With experiential marketing, brands hold events to allow consumers to interact with their products and services. The strategy is also known as engagement marketing. Companies employing this strategy try to help customers connect with their brands. Some of the main objectives of this marketing strategy are: fostering customer loyalty and enhancing customer lifetime values (CLV). 

Several best practices form part of the Experiential Marketing strategy. Some of these include determining approaches to evaluate outcomes and selecting ways to maximize online engagement through different media. 

While offering exceptional reach to brands, several pros and cons come with this marketing approach. 

Pros of Experiential Marketing 

  1. Increases Brand Awareness and Social Media Engagement

With experiential marketing seeking to create unique and memorable experiences, the strategy is a perfect partner to social media marketing. Thanks to the norm on social media, memorable experiences are easily shared. Through dedicated hashtags, brands using experiential marketing strategy see their events shared widely. 

At the same time, social media provides vital metrics and figures that experiential marketers can use to assess performance. For instance, changes in the number of likes that a campaign garners can be a good indicator of changes in brand awareness. 

  1. Builds Reputation and Credibility

Through experiential marketing, brands demonstrate their authenticity to current and prospective clients. Thanks to human-to-human interaction with a brand’s ambassadors, consumers establish meaningful connections and change their perceptions towards a brand. In support, research findings have demonstrated that more than 65 percent of consumers consider live events more helpful in understanding a product, as compared to other types of marketing. 

What’s more, more than 74 percent of attendees of engagement marketing events indicate having positive attitudes towards brands being promoted. At the same time, after an experiential marketing event, more than 70 percent of users joined the regular customers’ roster. This signals the marketing strategy’s effectiveness in influencing brand credibility and consumer perceptions. 

  1. Offers Consumers Interactive and Engaging Experiences

With increased digitization in marketing, more than 91 percent of well-performing businesses place significant emphasis on live events and also plan to grow their event marketing budgets by considerable margins. Noting that close to 98 percent of users feel drawn towards purchasing a brand’s products after an engagement marketing event, marketers can benefit from significantly hot leads. 

Brands can also use information collected from such events to remarket to attendees. This increases the value derived from a brand’s marketing budget. 

Cons of Experiential Marketing 

  1. Challenges Ascertaining People’s Reactions

With large numbers of attendees, it’s a challenge to predict how they’ll react. In part, uncertainty over whether an audience understands the product being marketed is to blame.

At the same time ensuring that individuals associate their experiences with attitudes towards a brand can be a daunting task. In context, potential customers may feel left out if a campaign fails to capture their imagination. This lowers returns from a brand’s marketing budget.

  1. Budgetary Challenges

To create systems that capture consumers’ interests, engagement marketers need qualified human effort. Without adequate financing, however,  hiring intellects to create fail-safe live-marketing models is an uphill task. Ultimately, this challenge may affect a campaign’s success.

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Ronn Torossian is the Founder & Chairman of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently owned PR firms in the United States. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth and vision, with the agency earning accolades including being named a Top 50 Global PR Agency by PRovoke Media, a top three NYC PR agency by O'Dwyers, one of Inc. Magazine's Best Workplaces and being awarded multiple American Business Awards, including a Stevie Award for PR Agency of the Year. With over 25 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected public relations executives. Throughout his career he has advised leading and high-growth businesses, organizations, leaders and boards across corporate, technology and consumer industries. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications. He has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly in the media and has authored two editions of his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations," which is an industry best-seller. Torossian's strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, a Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a recipient of Crain's New York Most Notable in Marketing & PR. Outside of 5W, Torossian serves as a business advisor to and investor in multiple early stage businesses across the media, B2B and B2C landscape. Torossian is the proud father of two daughters. He is an active member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of multiple not for profit organizations.