Experiential Marketing is not about sampling, live events, PR stunts, field marketing or indeed the next big thing. These are simply the outcomes of Experiential Marketing. To understand what Experiential Marketing really is, we need to understand its history and what it delivers.
All marketing is about the ‘delivery of information’ – be that a message, a piece of news or a sales offer, and how you go about telling that story. Today, it is about how we choose to deliver that information that is key to our communication, and how our audience choose to accept that information that creates brand and company growth and trust.
Information is distributed via a variety of mediums for which brands pay high revenues due to the high cost involved in production. TV, radio and other press delivers information to mass audiences. Much like a fireworks display, this is a mass activity that is big, bold and happens for a short period of time and then ends. As we live in a world dominated by mass-customisation, cheap, personalised production catering to small niches, experiential marketing begins to thrive.
What differentiates the different mediums is how we deliver that information to people in what has been coined as “The Experience Economy”.
In 1971 Alvin Toffler, an American writer and futurologist, talked about the upcoming “experiential industry” in his book “Future Shock” which Joseph Pine II and James Gilmore extended upon in their 1999 book “The Experience Economy”. Each stated the ‘Experience Economy’ as the next economy following the ‘Agrarian Economy’, the ‘Industrial Economy’ and the most recent ‘Service Economy’. Pine and Gilmore argue that businesses must orchestrate memorable events for their customers and that memory itself becomes the product – the experience. In an age of commoditization, where most products and services are undifferentiated, consumers shift their focus from product and service attributes to the experience obtained while using the product or service.
Hence, Experiential Marketing was born out of “evolution” and a shift in consumer focus and need. In an ‘Experience Economy’ information is distributed through stories; every product or service you are selling has a story and is of course then ‘experienced’ by the end-users. Experiential Marketing tells these stories using both visual and verbal elements.
Therefore Experiential Marketing is a powerful communication channel used in delivering information to a core audience through an experience.
Hotcow is a multi-award winning brand engagement agency specialising in experiential marketing. Our mission is simple: to help brands understand the power of “experience-based marketing” and offer expertise in how to develop, plan and execute campaigns in the right way to get the right results, while showing that every pound spent is measurable. Visit www.hotcow.co.uk for more information.