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, President and CEO of New York-based 5W Public Relations. He has overseen the company's rapid growth and expansion to the Inc. 500 list, as well as provided counsel to hundreds of companies, including members of the Fortune 500, Inc. 500 and Forbes 400. His work spans global interests, corporate entities, high-profile individuals, regional business entities, government agencies and academic institutions - both on routine public relations matters and extremely sensitive issues. One of the foremost public relations experts in the U.S., Torossian is known for his aggressive, results-focused orientation, as well as his close working relationships with members of the media, influencers, decision makers, politicians and celebrities. At 5W Public Relations, Torossian's client experience has included programs for Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Anheuser-Busch, Barnes & Noble, Cantor Fitzgerald, IHOP, McDonald's, Evian, EDS, VeriSign, XM Radio, Seagram's, The Loews Regency, Bad Boy Worldwide Entertainment, Marriott Hotels, Vail Resorts, Pamela Anderson, Snoop Dogg, the Government of Israel, and others. Referred to by The New York Post as a "publicity guru," by Fox News as a "high-powered PR CEO," by Tyra Banks as a "crisis management guru," and by CNN as "a leading PR expert," Torossian is regularly featured in and quoted by the media, including by CNN, Fox News Channel, MSNBC, NBC, The New York Times, and others. CBS National News said "Ronn Torossian knows spin," and a New York Times feature story on Torossian referred to him as "The consummate hard-driving, scrappy NY publicist." Earlier in his career, Torossian was a Vice President/Group Director for one of The InterPublic Group's (IPG) largest PR agencies, where he was responsible for significant client growth and successful client programs, including work for Clinique, Fox News Channel, DHL, Hard Rock Café and others. A resident of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Torossian was named to the Advertising Age "40 Under 40" list, PR Week's "40 Under 40" List, is a regular lecturer at universities and conferences, a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and a board member of numerous non-profit organizations.