The Experiential Difference

Noah Osborne, Biz Dev Maestro – Shop Marketing and Creative Group

21st century marketing has become a landscape of digital noise and social gimmicks. People are numb to digital and traditional tactics, but they aren’t numb to opportunities that allow them to interact with a product or brand in person. When the interaction is meaningful, the impression is lasting.

The Three Main Aspects of the Experiential Difference:

  1. Attention, aka “The Head Turn Effect” – Having the ability to actually turn heads amongst a crowd in a day and age when you are constantly being berated by noisy advertisements—ads disguised as interesting videos, in-bound tools tricking you into signing your soul over to an auto-generated email loop in exchange for an “e-book”, or the classic cash prize giveaway. Our 2017 minds are inundated 24/7 with marketers trying to catch our eye. So, what is the one thing that grabs enough attention to make you take a second look? Or even better, to engage? How about a 30’ foot trailer blasting music with a 20’ ski jump off the back, while spectators are waiting for the next local athlete drop in on a rail. Okay, so not every experience allows for a 20’ ski jump to turn heads…but you get the picture. Avoiding digital ads has become habit, but avoiding something extravagant on the street or at a festival is almost impossible. I give you…a captive audience.
  2. Real life interaction – In a 2017 world where the buzz of virtual reality is overbearing and countries like Japan are breeding themselves out of existence because millennials would rather foster a relationship online than in real life—we have found our marketing landscape starved of real life experiences. [Insert awesome nerd gif]. It’s time to quit spending the lion’s share of your marketing budget serving ads to a “targeted audience” in an online environment where skipping past your ad has become second nature. It’s time to put boots on the ground, press the flesh, and have the smiling face of a passionate brand ambassador put your product in the hands of your next loyal customer. Now THAT is a marketing budget at work.
  3. Winning the digital game while marketing IRL – I know what you’re thinking, “okay Noah, so you’re suggesting that we give up on digital altogether so we can focus on authentic lifestyles experiences?” No. And that’s the best part. Your social media and content gurus are going to love us just as much as your CMO will. Why? Out of every great experiential event comes a plethora of story rich, click-bait gold, sexy, head-turning branded media that every social media manager dreams of getting their hands on, but can’t justify the expense. It’s the kind of media that fortune 500s spend millions trying to make look authentic. But, it all happens organically when you put your product in the hands of a consumer for the first time. Whether you’re managing paid media spend in-house or using an agency, I can promise you one thing: the creatives responsible for both post content and paid content will be doing backflips when they get their hands on the media yielded by an authentic brand-in-hand consumer experience.

The fact is, something physically happening in front of an individual that they can experience and interact with directly, gets a whole helluva lot more attention than being served yet another video ad. If it’s bang for the buck that you’re looking for and REAL impressions that you want, give people an experience that generate conversation, something memorable. Your brand will thank you.