Experiential can be a core component of any campaign to raise brand awareness, and can easily sit alongside wider marketing, PR and social media strategies. Experiential marketing connects people to your brand through ‘real life’ experiences; they may sample your product, participate in an activity or receive a freebie.
The events are often heavily branded and provide a great opportunity for businesses to entrench their product and key messages in the minds of prospective customers. But planning an event, while delivering and managing an effective experiential marketing opportunity is no quick process, and many brands (and their agencies!) make mistakes along the way.
COMMON MISTAKES MADE WHEN PLANNING AN EVENT
RELYING ON ATTENDANCE BY A FIXED NUMBER OF PEOPLE
It would be far easier to deliver an experiential marketing event if you knew exactly how many people would be there and when they’d arrive. Sure, your event may be invitation only, and you may have a comprehensive list of RSVPs, but what if people don’t show up? What if everybody shows up at different times?
The success of your event or activity should not depend on a large, or small, number of people always being present. It should be able to operate and deliver results regardless of how many are there.
NOT THINKING ABOUT THE WEATHER
Unless you’re planning an event indoors then you simply cannot take the British weather for granted. Sand and deckchairs may seem like a fantastic idea when the sun is shining outside the office, but you must plan for all eventualities.
It isn’t necessarily a bad idea to envision warm weather, but if you do, always make sure you have a back-up plan.
GETTING THE BRAND / EXPERIENCE WRONG
We get it. Your brand has to be front and centre, to the extent that your logo is burned on to the retinas of your guests, but too much brand exposure, and not enough fun, can turn people off from your product or service.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that your activity has to directly relate to your product. If you’re selling bouncy castles then you may not need to worry, but don’t be afraid to use your imagination and break loose from the confines of your industry if what you’re selling is less exciting.
ALLOWING ATTENDEES TO LEAVE EMPTY-HANDED
The aim of experiential marketing is to create a lasting impression on your guests and ensure they remember their experience. But too often, brands allow their guests to leave without a tangible reminder of who they’ve been engaging with.
There are countless small, practical – and brandable – gift ideas that you can explore, like coffee cup sleeves, keyrings or water bottles. It pays to give your prospective customers something to remember you by.
NOT CLARIFYING YOUR PRODUCT OR CALL TO ACTION
If you aren’t lucky enough to be promoting a household name then it is crucial that your brand’s proposition is clear throughout your activity. Consider what you want your attendees to do after they leave.
They should know your name, what you do, why it’s useful to them, and how they can access your product or service. As a part of this, you should also consider what your follow up will be to anyone who did attend, and a separate one for those unable to make it.