The Covid-19 pandemic has affected almost everyone everywhere around the globe. Just here in Australia, we’re all aware of the series of lockdowns and restrictions that have been placed in each state over the past twelve months which has invalidated people, activities, and businesses of all sizes. It may have infuriated some, but hey, we need to follow rules placed by the government for our own sake and everybody else’s OR suffer the consequences.
This same reason is why businesses thought experiential marketing is gone for good. Because people can’t go out and it is nearly impossible for businesses to promote their campaigns through face-to-face interaction (due to restrictions), the events industry and promotional agencies have suffered a big blow to their business. It came to the point that even we in our agency were wondering when it was ever going to end.
As the world comes to a halt, many companies started to reflect on how this affected their businesses. Some are taking the time to analyse their numbers and adjust their strategy. Businesses that can offer their products and services online have shifted or retained online marketing strategies. Other businesses have no choice but to wait or close in the worst-case scenario because their products or services can only be acquired through physical interaction.
Now, after all those months of uncertainty, we are finally seeing the light. As of this writing, we are back in business!
Experiential vs Traditional Marketing
Traditional marketing uses traditional methods to encourage potential customers by emphasising the qualities and benefits of a product or service (Johnston, 2013). Experiential marketing entails giving clients a unique experience allowing them to interact with the product or service through their senses (Johnston E, 2013).
When employing traditional marketing, marketers create a message that conveys all the vital facts about your product or service (Johnston E, 2013). Potential clients may read, listen to, or view your message, but this type of communication is often a one-way street (Johnston E, 2013). Print advertisements in newspapers and magazines, as well as television advertisements, are examples of conventional marketing used by different brands (Johnston E, 2013).
The goal of experiential marketing is to provoke a reaction from customers. A little sample of the product, for example, could be included in the campaign.
Experiential marketing taps into a customer’s emotions and is a more effective way to connect with them (Johnston E, 2013). Traditional marketing employs more rational techniques; however, it can also appeal to emotions. Consumer memory is aided by repetition in traditional marketing (Johnston E, 2013). Experiential marketing can either play on the consumer’s existing memories or create new ones with them. It’s a one-of-a-kind method of communicating your message because it increases brand exposure by engaging with customers rather than relying solely on digital screens.
Experiential marketing, as opposed to traditional, allows marketers to communicate with their target audiences in real-time. This is accomplished by immersing consumers in the brand’s experience and involving them in interactive activities. Because it focuses more on creating relationships, the experience is considerably different from traditional approaches, and it has been demonstrated to be not only more effective but also faster.
Read more about Experiential Marketing on our previous blog: What is Experiential Marketing?
Why human interaction cannot be replaced?
Social interaction is part of human DNA. According to the book ‘Why Our Brains Our Wired to Connect’ by UCLA neuroscientist Matthew Liberman, our urge to connect with other people is so great that it might overshadow our needs for food and shelter. He claims that social interaction is essential to our survival as species and is why we grew big brains in the first place. As he said, you might have the best concept in the world, but if you can’t interact with other people, it won’t work. You cannot build a rocket ship on your own. And we agree!
Email, social media, and some apps help us to connect, but they can’t replace the impact of face-to-face interactions. In fact, according to Cornell University and Western University researchers, face-to-face inquiries are 34 times more effective than email requests.
The reason behind this is trust. Seeing a person physically tells you a lot about the person. You can gauge that person by the way he acts or how his eyes react to what you say. You can simply take in the emotional information about the people you meet in person simply by just looking into their eyes or face. It’s never easy to hide your emotion about something in person.
Read our blog: How Face-to-Face Interaction Affects Consumer Behaviour
The Covid-19 pandemic has affected almost everyone everywhere around the globe. With lockdowns and restrictions, everyone thought that experiential marketing is dead. But after months of uncertainty and because of the government’s initiative and the cooperation of people around Australia, the events industry has finally come back. And now, more than ever is the time when people appreciate more of what was lost (human connection) and the time to take advantage of experiential marketing.