If you’re out grocery shopping on the weekend, chances are you will be ambushed by several cheery product demonstrators inviting you to sample their wares.
That’s experiential marketing in its most basic form.
So essentially, experiential marketing aka engagement marketing connects consumers to experience a brand up, close and personal.
Remember Red Bull’s Stratos Jump? one where Felix Baumgartner broke a 52-year-old record by passing the speed of sound for the highest recorded parachute jump? That’s an example of experiential marketing with a big dollop of PR.
Here’s the thing though: experiential campaign doesn’t always have to be a stunt or an expensive transformation of space.
Creating an experiential campaign for a crowded and diversified marketplace requires creating a plan with precision. And when you are targeting a specific cultural group, all the orthodox rules of advertising along with conventional metrics and marketing platforms have to be tossed aside.
We, at Maple Diversity Communications, realized years ago that offering an immersive experience to customers was important. Over the years, we have created and perfected dozens of successful events for our clients. Here are our top three lessons.
1. Create a value or place for the brand: Ethnic groups in Canada bring traditions of their homeland with them. Case in point: Irrespective of the country they hail from, Muslims share several common rituals during Ramadan.
So, Maple Diversity Communications decided on a bold plan to introduce a new celebratory element—cakes, specifically General Mills’ Betty Crocker cakes. Our “30 Cakes for 30 Days” was a sweet success as it offered Muslims a chance to make space for cakes into their Iftar parties (elaborate meals with friends and family signaling the end of fasting). Cakes are uniquely western desserts and associated as a staple during birthdays, but visuals of mouth-watering recipes on social media platforms as well as the opportunity to taste the cakes at our Halal Foodfest helped us get Betty Crocker into Canadian Muslim homes for Ramadan.
Key takeaway: Keep the spotlight on the brand’s value to consumers especially when you are trying to micro-segment the product or build a new audience.
2. Be SMART: Customize the experience and measure success and KPIs with distinct call-to-action measures. Our Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant and Time-bound (SMART) campaigns are proof of the job well done.
Key takeaway: Set your objectives, plan your event and make sure you evaluate.
3. Embed yourself in your audience’s celebrations: In our campaign for Sony television, we launched a Sony Ethnic Activation at the International Village Mall in Vancouver with an interactive booth, prizes and red pocket giveaways as Chinese-Canadians celebrated the New Year. This was successful because we knew where our audience would be and why.
Key takeaway: Know your customers’ customs and taboos.