2018 was a great year for Experiential Marketing, with some stand out campaigns that pushed the boundaries from an innovation and executional point of view.
Although Experiential Marketing can be used to great effect as a tactical tool to deliver against specific objectives, the most powerful Experiential activities are planned in tandem alongside the full marketing mix as part of an integrated approach.
The two major steps forward in 2018 was the intelligent use of Experiential to create authentic and credible content alongside real-life engaging experiences, and the homogenisation of measurement mechanics to deliver standardised ROI’s and benchmarks for Experiential campaigns, largely driven by the IPM.
Looking ahead to 2019 we’re going to see Experiential continue to drive forward how brands engage with their audiences credibly, whilst increasing the efficiency and impact of campaigns.
Here are the top 5 trends out look out for in 2019.
PAID FOR EXPERIENTIAL
2018 saw a significant rise in the number of brands acting as curators of experiences that their audiences not only want to go to but are willing to pay for! Benefit were one of the first with the Good Ship Benefit, and a number of booze brands have followed with varying success including Aperol, Peroni, and Hendricks.
Ultimately people pay to go to great experiences. So if brands can create an experience that their audience want to go to, putting a price against the ticket not only subsidises budgets, but can attribute a greater value to the experience and help minimise last-minute dropouts.
The balancing act here though, is to deliver against brand objectives whilst creating an experience that is worth the cash…
INTELLIGENT SAMPLING (LESS WASTAGE, MORE IMPACT)
Although there are many sampling campaigns which spread the net widely or rely on the audience demographics supplied from venues and sites, targeting specific audiences through sampling can be very scientific.
I believe 2019 is the year that this will come to fruition by combining the use of audience data, proprietary insight, and a core creative concept, sampling campaigns can minimise wastage by targeting where audiences are more effective, as well as defining when and how they will be most receptive to a sampling message.
The increase of efficient targeting will also put more weight on the importance of delivering samples in an engaging way with a creative concept at its core and the decline of generic mass sampling (which has a significant amount of wastage).
INSTAGRAMMABLE VS. AUTHENTIC
2018 was all about making experiential campaigns as sharable as possible!
Whilst we’re not going to see this change dramatically in 2019 (as people still want to post about their lives) we should see a shift in balance from primarily aesthetic executions to experiences and events that are grounded in authenticity and credibility – essentially more meaningful experiences.
Creating meaningful experiences might seem like it would be the foundation of Experiential, and in most cases, it is, but with the importance of getting people to share the experience on social media we have seen this foundation overlooked too many times in 2018.
LESS IMMERSION MORE SELF-CURATED
Immersive seems to have been the buzz word in Experiential Marketing for the last few years, largely driven from the desire to create multi-sensory experiences and engage consumers as deeply and meaningfully as possible.
Whilst this is all well intended, it has often resulted in slightly contrived or repetitive experiences due to forcing creative through a brand’s agenda. Successful campaigns in 2019 are likely to get back to facilitating genuine moments for audiences, allowing them to collaborate with brands to curate unique and authentic experiences.
USING LIVE EXPERIENCES TO LIVE UP TO BRAND PROMISES
Lots of brands have been looking at their purpose/sustainability recently, and marketers are recognising that Experiential can help communicate this effectively.
By illustrating exactly how brands are giving back in a real-world environment, the engagement and content developed can create philanthropic messaging that is more genuine and authentic.