Marketers are upping their spend on experiential marketing, with a recent survey finding one in three CMOs plan to set aside between 21 and 50 percent of their marketing budgets for brand experiences. For business leaders, this brings a demand to take a serious look at the way they’re publicizing the work they’re doing. However, what they need is a powerful experiential marketing strategy.
“We’re seeing significant growth in (powerful) experiential marketing led by creative agencies and innovative firms,” says Daniel Yaffe, Co-Founder of AnyRoad. “As brands are able to better measure the ROI of experiential marketing through Experience Relationship Management platforms, the industry is seeing budgets shifting from more traditional marketing to engaging experiences that allow consumers to build emotional connections and lasting relationships with the brand.”
For the agencies that handle marketing for some of the world’s top businesses, experiential marketing is a part of every campaign and initiative. Here are some ways that 12 top agencies are innovating the space. As such, these will inspire your own efforts to change the way you connect with customers by leveraging experiential marketing.
1. The Taylor Group
First, it can be difficult to stand out at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES). But, The Taylor Group has taken its exhibits to the next level. The agency regularly makes “best of CES” lists for its interactive efforts, including 2017’s LG exhibit, which included a tunnel of 4K OLED curved screens and an installation showing how Nano cell technology works.
2. BRC Imagination Arts
Second, BRC specializes in creating experiences that inspire people to feel and think differently about themselves and their world. There’s a good chance you’ve already experienced one of the agency’s creations. For example, they’ve designed a multitude of award-winning brand homes, tours, visitor centers, cultural attractions and museums. BRC’s projects include the Jameson Distillery Bow St.; The Guinness Storehouse; The Heineken Experience in Amsterdam; Manufacturing Innovation at the Ford Rouge Factory Tour; and Story Garden by AmorePacific.
Conferences are a great way for B2B brands to grow their customer bases. And, agencyEA knows how to make a lasting impression. Past experiences include the 2016 QuickBooks Connect Conference. At this event, the agency set up an interactive photo booth and themed lounges to encourage networking among attendees.
Savvy brands are aware of the impact social media has had on brand experiences. Impact-XM took advantage of this by setting up a selfie spot at Bay to Breakers, a very popular annual San Francisco-area footrace. For example, the agency sourced a hand-painted view of the city as a backdrop for the selfies.
Sports fans make the perfect audience for brand experiences, and Wasserman specializes in creating memorable interactions. One example of its work was the NFL Experience in Houston, which gave fans the chance to design sporting memorabilia using Microsoft Surface products. Not only were participant creations displayed on a projection dome, but two cleat designs were turned into actual cleats, worn by Atlanta Falcons player Devonta Freeman and New England Patriots player Malcolm Butler.
6. Momentum Worldwide
If a brand experience leaves customers smiling and laughing, then the marketer has done a great job. Working with partners, Momentum Worldwide set up the Oreo Wonder Vault in New York City to get the word out about Oreo’s new choco chip cookies.
The exhibit was designed to be larger than life in order to take customers back to childhood when they experienced the world from a much smaller perspective.
7. Jack Morton
Generating interest in a product launch can be tough, but Jack Morton found a unique way to get the word out about OnePlus’s new phone. Also, customers were sent Google Cardboard headsets and invited to watch the launch in virtual reality through either an Android app or on YouTube.
Another innovative approach to a product launch was Grow Marketing’s event announcing Olmeca Altos Tequila Añejo. For example, the party included a custom paper flower bar and a social photo booth to ensure attendees interacted with the brand. Additionally, the agency focuses on building authentic brand loyalty through their pop-ups, events, tours, and launches.
To help Target celebrate its support of the LGBTQ community, MKG created a space as part of NYC Pride. This area included a Proud Pride Family living room that made the perfect photo opportunities. Also, they had swing and confetti booths.
This multicity marketing agency worked with Patagonia to plan a seven-week tour in a biodiesel-converted Dodge truck. During the tour, team members repaired used garments. Also, they offered tips to customers. Additionally, they shared the entire experience on social media along the way.
11. Factory 360
Sampling events are nothing new. In fact, brands have been conducting in-person taste tests almost as long as food and beverage companies have been around. However, Factory 360 combined sampling with education when it brought Russian Standard Vodka to the U.S. market. In addition to traditional Russian toasts, models interacted with customers and provided information that helped Russian Standard become a success.
BeCore helped customers indulge their love for adventure with an off-roading event through the Siuslaw Forest. For example, guests rode with professional drivers through the most beautiful parts of the Northwest U.S. Also, the weekend included rides on dirt bikes and ATVs. Additionally, they did fly fishing and surfing.
Exploring Experiential Marketing
If your brand is considering exploring experiential marketing, these agencies can provide great inspiration. As experiential marketing becomes more popular, companies will need to become even more innovative to stand out from the competition. However, working with one of these agencies and emulating the powerful experiential marketing tactical approach they recommend will get you there.