You’ve probably heard that experiential marketing, or engagement marketing, is a powerful and effective way to connect with customers. As we’ve written about before, branded experiences can certainly help to foster customer loyalty and advocacy.
So let’s take a look at some of the best examples of experiential marketing events – and why they were successful.
What is experiential marketing good for?
The benefits of experiential marketing, and the reach of an experiential event, extend much further than the immediate event experience.
An impressive 98 per cent of consumers create digital or social content at events and experiences. What’s more, 72 per cent say that friends’ posts about branded experiences make them more likely to buy from that brand.
So, when done well, your experiential event is powerful beyond its physical boundaries. Live experiences create live digital interactions, in turn creating tangible virtual experiences for customers and prospects further afield.
Here are some great examples of experiential marketing to help you understand when to use experiential marketing to best effect.
Five awesome examples of experiential marketing
1. Twitter: Bring online to the shoreline
Experiential marketing events can be particularly useful for businesses primarily based online. Twitter, for example, is one company that has capitalised on translating virtual experiences into physical (and shareable) experiences.
Twitter Beach has been a hit at both Cannes Lions 2017 and 2018. The experience was a success each year for a number of reasons:
- Its creative, innovative structures captured attention
- Multiple chillout, presentation and meeting areas (plus thoughtful air conditioning) encouraged people to stick around
- A variety of sessions, such as Women’s Brunch, provided a content-rich experience for attendees – not just a spectacle
Events such as Twitter Beach have helped to position Twitter as a creative thought leader. And its presence at the Cannes Lions 2018 event certainly delivered return on investment, with the Cannes Lions jury crowning it king of outdoor advertising.
See here for more info on delivering ROI at events.
2. Coca-Cola: Experience marketing on the move
Like Twitter, Coca-Cola wanted to translate a virtual experience into a physical one. The company decided to take the Christmas truck from its TV ads on tour.
Coca-Cola’s aim was to raise brand awareness and ensure as many people sampled drinks as possible. It therefore organised various experiential marketing events based around the Christmas truck in 39 cities across the UK.
Bright lights, a familiar icon and free samples proved to be a winning combination with consumers. However, it was the interactive element of Coca-Cola’s brand activations that was particularly important in helping to spread the word. Attendees enjoyed an exclusive glimpse inside the truck and messaged each other with a hashtag capitalising on the upcoming festive season: #holidaysarecoming.
Coca-Cola not only gave away 405,000 samples, but garnered an impressive 860,000 organic impressions on social media.
The event also represented a prime example of the benefits of mobile data capture. With the truck on the move to various locations, the ability to capture customer data anywhere, whether online or offline, was more important than ever.
3. Memrise: Create user-generated content
Taking experiential marketing on tour isn’t only for multinationals such as Coca-Cola. Smaller companies can leverage longer itineraries too.
In 2016, language-learning company Memrise took the ‘Membus’ on tour around Europe. The company travelled through nine European countries and filmed over 20,000 locals speaking their own language.
Memrise’s learning platform relies on users contributing language content for it to work. The Membus tour was therefore a great example of experiential marketing because it achieved three objectives simultaneously:
- It created initial user-generated content and experiences
- It raised massive brand awareness
- It ensured a future supply of user-generated content as its user base grew organically by word of mouth
Memrise utilised Kickstarter to get its 1970s double-decker bus on the road. The company also showed that ambitious experiential marketing for small businesses is possible. For more tips and tricks, see How to create the wow factor on a budget with affordable event technology.
4. Paypal: Make it mobile
When PayPal partnered with Uber to implement a new payment option, the companies ran an on-the-move experiential event known as ‘Meet the Speakers, Mobile Office Hours’ at Le Web Paris.
Attendees took a 30-minute Uber ride with a high-profile conference speaker, providing an opportunity to ask in-depth questions. With the rides filmed and shared on social media, the event was a great success. PayPal gained over 50,000 new consumer app users and more than two million Facebook impressions.
For more on fintech and customer experience, see How fintech is revolutionising CX in financial services.
5. Kodak: Treasure your experience
Experiential events are important because experiences matter to people. Kodak knows this, and wanted to remind consumers exactly how much they value their experiences, memories – and photos.
To do so, Kodak took to the streets of London to ‘accidentally’ wipe people’s phones and photos. See how they reacted in the video below.
Of course, Kodak hadn’t actually wiped people’s phones. But its experiential experiment was a huge success. Publications and blogs such as Mashable and Cnet picked up the story around the world.
It also sent a strong message to participants and viewers alike that experiences are powerful and mean a lot to us. Something businesses would do well to remember.
Not done yet? After more great examples of experiential marketing?
See how Boundless pulled off a successful rebranding campaign with highly visual event experiences and live incentives for attendees.