Written by: Annalise Maniscalco, Certified Social Media Marketer
Have you ever been to same event year after year? You likely aren’t going for the free tchotchkes. Truth is, most of us go because our business development strategy hinges on it – and why turn down an open bar? Nonetheless, clients in the AEC industry have come to expect the same generic event year after year. But what if you could turn these tired business development tactics into unique experiences? What if you reached your audience in an emotional, engaging way? Then, each event becomes an opportunity to make significant, lasting connections that differentiate your organization and keep your audience happy.
There has been a dramatic shift across all industries, only hastened by COVID-19, to spend money on memories, moments, and experiences, rather than products – The Experience Economy. Experiential marketing is all about creating first person experiences that are tied to your brand. Contrary to common belief, experiential marketing goes beyond event marketing. Every touchpoint you have with your audience (webinars, surveys, social media, email, website and so much more!) is an experience they will associate with your brand, and therefore an opportunity to create positive, lasting connections. If experiential marketing isn’t already integrated into your organization’s strategy, it should be. Here’s why:
Positive Experiences Lead to Retention
An open bar may be enough to get your audience to show up, but is it enough to get them to come back? Humans connect over shared experiences. These connections lead to a better understanding of your organization and the role it plays in impacting the lives of your audience. This understanding, or association, that your audience has towards your brand is invaluable. Retention comes through nurturing relationships and creating positive brand experiences – among other things.
Experiential Marketing Improves Client Engagement
People love to talk about themselves and share their experiences, this we know. But did you know this can lead to long-term benefits for your organization? When you delight your audience and give them experiences they love, they are inclined to like, share, and recommend your organization to others. Brand advocates are created through the facilitation of authentic interactions. Don’t underestimate the power of your audience. They are your best promoters; give the people what they want!
Stand Out from Competitors
When business development strategies and events become repetitive, messages to your audience become easier to tune out. Experiential marketing fosters opportunities to gain actionable feedback from your audience and move beyond the traditional business development dialogue. While traditional marketing strategies will never truly die, standard content marketing alone will simply not cut it. Customer-focused experiences offer organizations an opportunity to differentiate their products, services and identity.
The best way to reach your audience in an engaging way is to create experiences they want to be a part of; it is one of the most effective ways to create positive, lasting connections. In a world driven by experience, the most successful marketing campaigns will be the ones that give your audience a reason to remember your organization and come back. Success is within reach of any organization willing to pay close attention to their audience; it doesn’t have to be complicated or elaborate.
If you want to help your clients form memorable, emotional connections to your brand that foster loyalty, reduce customer acquisition costs, and improve client experience, stay tuned for our upcoming blog where we share actionable tips on how to make Experiential Marketing work for your organization.