A-Z of Experiential Marketing – H for Hindsight

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6 ways you can ensure your experiential strategy benefits from hindsight

Experiential is a fast moving arena where marketers need to be constantly on the ball to achieve glowing results from campaigns.  There is little doubt that innovation and experimentation are great conversation starters.  But there is no sense in simply ploughing into a campaign because you think that the market may respond favourably if you haven’t done your homework.  So in this next article, in our ongoing series on the A-Z of Experiential Marketing, we look at how you can benefit from hindsight when ensuring that your experiential strategy is on track.

1. Choose a tactic that suits your overarching marketing strategy

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Experiential campaigns can take many forms, one of the most popular in PR terms can be the stunt, widely used to grab momentary attention and create long-lasting social media assets.  But enthusiasm to grab attention can sometimes mean that stunts move away from the core brand message and, in the long term, distract rather than add to the marketing mix. There is no use creating something that stands out as truly innovative without aligning it with what you are trying to say, or want people to hear consistently about your brand.  Go for innovation, get noticed, but remember that consistency is everything when trying to build a brand long-term.

2. Set clear objectives, benchmarks and KPI’s

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Know where you are at the outset and know where you want to get to.  Then make sure that you have the tools in place to measure success. Define goals across a range of areas such as web traffic and online sharing, consumer and employee engagement and, of course, subsequent sales or behavioural changes.  This will allow you to identity what mechanics you can use in future to create a memorable event based on what the audience will actually respond to. In order to make a real impact identity what you want to say and then say it through the right channels.  By giving yourself targets to shoot for you can ensure that all messages are pointing in that direction.

3. Explore the process

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Once you’ve set your objectives and KPIs it’s time to plan the intended audience journey.  Like any good story, an experience needs a beginning, a middle and an end.  Devise a bespoke, brand-specific story arc and whatever route you settle on, ensure that the process is mapped so that you can review it and look at how it could have been more effective or what particularly shone.  This will also allow you to adapt as you go.  If the campaign is a roadshow never be afraid to learn en route and adapt the experience if needs be.  Flexibility can be the key to success.

4. Results

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It goes without saying that reporting must be built into the structure of any experiential activity.  Think about how you can gather visitor feedback – directly through survey or indirectly through usage, engagement time, pre/during/post event, online conversation etc.

It sounds like a given, but crucial and telling results can be overlooked sometimes.  Clear discernable results can be used to create attention grabbing case studies that prove that the activity delivered ROI and are essential when pitching for further experiential budget and planning new campaigns.

5. Review and dissect results

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Yes you set objectives and yes you gathered results but have you actually really looked at them?  It is very easy after an event to propel yourself into something else, without really understanding the results.  By looking carefully at results you can start to pull out the bits that really worked and the bits that either need improvement or that simply don’t connect with your audience in a meaningful way.  This will not only streamline future campaigns and allow you to justify spend, but will also enable you to nurture particular areas of the campaign (such as social media engagement) which may rightfully and usefully extend their shelf life.

6. Move on

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In an age where engagement is at the very heart of marketing strategies, it is important to keep moving, adapting and innovating in order to provide an alluring strategy that keeps delivering results.  Understand the campaign that has been, but also look to the future.  By continuing to drive for engagement at events or through social networks you can start to build a real brand community.  By adopting a forward thinking, future-focused experiential strategy you will be able to reap the rewards.

It is vital to weave reporting into the very fabric of an experiential event.  It allows you to gather data and hone ideas so that you can make more informed decisions about future campaigns.  It also helps identify areas that resonate well with your audience, allowing you to reintegrate those into future strategy.

Oh yes, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Want to read more of our A-Z of Experiential Marketing posts? You can now download and keep A-N as a PDF ebook.

Or select another of the posts from the series to view online:

Audience | Brief | Content | Digital | Engagement | Fun

Global | Hindsight | Insight Journey | Knowledge | Logistics

Mobile | New | Old | Product Launch | Q&A | ROI | Social Media

Target Market | User Experience | Venues | Word of Mouth | X for X Factor | Y for Youth | Z for Zeitgeist

a-zilineupebookDownload our ebook!
You can now download the first part of our A-Z of Experiential Marketing series as a ebook to keep for reference or read on the daily commute!
We are well on our way to Z, but in the meantime click here to get hold of the A-N ebook!

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