Beyond Content: It’s Time for Experiential Marketing Raising the Barr Weekly Memo: Issue 141

This week’s reflection point: It’s widely known that content marketing is critical to business success. But in this day and age, creating valuable, relevant content for your target audience isn’t the only marketing strategy you need. You must also give your audience an authentic experience—and you can do this with experiential marketing.

Experiential marketing enables your customers to truly experience your brand, your product, or your service. It allows you to show your prospects—firsthand—the incredible results you can help them achieve. Through the use of images, sound, video, and 3-D visuals, you can do more than simply show or tell. You can give your customers an irresistible experience of success.

By way of example, luxury car manufacturers such as BMW are famous for their experiential marketing ads. As the TV screen flashes peeks of the newest car model, viewers get a real sense of how it might feel to grip the premium-leather steering wheel in their own hands. These ads are often shot from a first-person perspective, making viewers feel like they’re literally in the driver’s seat. The winding road stretches out before them; smooth leather and shiny chrome surround them; a moon-roof showcases stars in the sky above as they zoom toward the horizon.

In this way, BMW promises the “Ultimate Driving Machine”—and then lets viewers actually experience it.

Taking this technique to a whole new level, Buick announced this year that customers will have the chance to take test-drive vehicles home for 24 hours as part of what the company calls its “long-term brand promise.” Such experiential marketing tactics demonstrate the company’s confidence in its product, and give potential customers the ability to truly experience what it’s like to be a satisfied buyer.

So how does this all relate to you and your business? Here are six tips to help you formulate your experiential marketing plan:

  1. Leverage your web presence to provide experiences to visitors, rather than just information.
  2. Find creative ways to let your audience experience what it’s like to work with you.
  3. If you offer a product, enable customers to experience how your product can create success.
  4. If you sell an experience—such as vacations or hotel packages—give your customers a real taste of the ultimate experience you offer.
  5. If you’re a service provider, think about what experience will compel clients to work with you.
  6. Clarify your target audience’s recognition of what success looks like with your company.

With all of these methods, keep the senses in mind. You want to transport your audience via sight and sound—even smell, taste, and touch—to a feeling of success. Done right, experiential marketing is about creating an experience that’s not just close to reality—it’s actually better.

This week’s tip: Ready to go beyond content marketing? Give your customers an irresistible experience of success with experiential marketing.

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