Experience born of experiences

Having read the news analysis on experiential marketing (MW February 13), I feel compelled to give an account of experiential marketing from the perspective of those that arguably understand it best: field marketers.

Experiential marketing can manifest itself in many forms from handing out samples at railway stations, to building a mock Absolut bottle, but if it is to become the next big thing – as Chris Pullen suggests – it will require more than simply theatricality.

Nothing less than the combination of creative concepts, high-quality profiling of catchment areas, audience-targeting in relevant environments, quality of execution and attention to detail will do.

But most important, and most often overlooked, is the measurement and evaluation of pre-determined criteria. After all, this is what will determine whether customers flood through the checkouts or part with their credit card numbers.

The recipe for success is about doing exactly what it says on the tin – giving someone an experience and leaving them wanting more. If the experience has left the customer with nothing, the brand is ultimately left with nothing too.

To take the example of Nestlé’s Double Cream bar “experience”, it doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out that 73,000 bars of chocolate are going to be

stolen in 20 minutes if you plant a jackknifed lorry full of them in a busy city centre. But how do you expect anyone to have an emotional experience with your brand when you haven’t bothered to think about each potential customer as special – and how do you ultimately determine the success of such a campaign?

To say that response mechanisms “are ways of knowing how successful you’ve been” is certainly wide of the mark for long-term brand success. It hardly takes into account how successful the brand has been after the competition or event has finished – and that is ultimately what you’re after.

Tracey Wills

Client services director




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