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Experiential Marketing Trends of 2022 

July 1, 2022
Experiential Marketing
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Experiential Marketing is in vogue, and it’s here to stay. This type of marketing allows companies to create more immersive, hands-on experiences for their customers, helping connect with them on a deeper level, and generate top-of-mind awareness.

Currently, there are a number of experiential trends some brands have adopted that have hugely benefited their brand image, affinity, and awareness and resulted in increased conversion levels and customer retention rates (reducing churn by 50%)

Experiential Marketing is no stranger to industry changes. It evolves with the consumer’s changes and preferences. That is why it is so dynamic. Year on year, new trends pop up to fit society’s changing desires, and as a Marketing Executive, Manager, or Associate, it is up to you to find an innovative way of capitalizing on a trend that best fits your brand and target audience.

The year may be half gone, but it’s not too late to plug into the newest Experiential Marketing trends. Below, we outline Experiential Marketing strategies that are currently being maximized across the world and how some brands have benefitted from them.

7 Experiential Marketing Trends Making Waves

1. BRANDED GAMES

Games are an excellent way to market your product, and it’s possible to create a game that closely mimics a real-world experience. To make this work, you’ll need to keep in mind that in order for your game to be successful, it needs to be engaging and fun for the players. Including elements of your brand keeps it at the back of players’ minds as they game, and generates top-of-mind awareness long after the experience.

The Rexona FreshProtect Interactive Activation combined the use of a step-on pad (fitted with a sensor) and a mini-game to give consumers a feel of how the Fresh Protect Deodorant combats perspiration and body odor. The more consumers stepped on the pad, the more deodorant was released in the game to battle the ‘odor’ and the more points they scored! This activation brought smiles to the faces of Rexona’s consumers and successfully increased brand awareness and affinity as they engaged their target audience.

2. AI TECHNOLOGY

AI (Artificial Intelligence) is one of the most exciting trends in marketing right now, offering brands and marketers a wide variety of innovative tools to bring them into the future. It also offers marketers a chance to reach an entirely new audience through more efficient means. Imagine being able to broadcast your product or service 24/7 without having to pay for expensive advertising, or even hiring staff to do it all! With AI, you can start getting results immediately—and they’ll keep coming with each passing day.

A common example of an AI tool making waves is chatbots. Even here in Ghana, many brands have employed the use of chatbots, especially with regards to customer service. Whether it’s Hollard’s Araba, Vodafone’s TOBi, or Doughman Foods’ Whatsapp Chatbot, one thing is for sure – these brands are giving their customers a different experience their customers are not likely to forget!

3. EXPERIENTIAL INSTALLATIONS & POP-UPS:

Experiential installations and pop-ups are a unique, fun way to get your consumers to experience your brand for themselves. With these eye-catching concepts, consumers are sure to take notice, take and post pictures of your installation on social media platforms, creating conversation, and giving more recognition to your brand. They also add a whole new layer of interaction and engagement to your brand, which means that people will remember what you do when they interact with it—and want to come back for more!

A perfect example of an impactful experiential pop-up is the Google “Donut Shop” which was executed to help with marketing the new Google Home Mini across Europe and the USA. This interactive installation was fabricated as an actual donut shop complete with Google Home Mini branding. From the outside, you could see surveyor belts inside parading a mix of donuts and Google Home Mini devices.

Once inside, consumers were prompted to ring a bell and ask a Google Mini Home any question. After getting their answer from the device, a box was dispensed to the consumer from the surveyor belt, containing either a donut or a free Google Mini Home device. Either way, each consumer most likely left with a memorable experience (plus an exciting bonus gift)!

4. VIRTUAL REALITY (VR):

Virtual Reality offers the opportunity to create simulated environments your customers can immerse themselves in. This is bound to be one exciting adventure for them, with your brand as the adventure guide! 

Most people would love to experience brands before they make their purchase. That’s why sampling exists. But what if you could take it a step further by engaging not just one sense, but two or more?

Boursin, a popular UK cheese brand, did exactly this by creating The Boursin Sensorium – a live, multi-sensory VR experience for their consumers. They combined VR with a 360° CGI animation film, a bespoke soundtrack, as well as moving chairs, cool air, scented fans and product samples to engage all five senses of their consumers. This VR experience had consumers partake in a virtual journey through a fridge stocked with different products, including Boursin’s range of cheeses, of course. Videos were shared online and this campaign resulted in a social reach of 5 Million, 80K Video Views, and 4.8K VR Experiences.

5. AUGMENTED REALITY

Although similar to Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality presents some peculiar differences. While virtual reality creates virtual environments, augmented reality places virtual objects in natural environments. Photo filters are a popular example of augmented reality, but brands can take augmented reality a step further than just filters, to impress their consumers.

Let’s take IKEA for example. The popular furniture brand currently makes use of its IKEA Place App to give potential customers a preview of what their products would look like in their homes. With this app, anyone can scroll through their catalog and see how what they select would look (to scale) in their current space. This brilliant innovation eases the purchase decision of consumers and definitely puts IKEA a number of steps above their competitors.

6. USE OF NFTS:

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are a new cultural phenomenon that most people (and brands) are still trying to understand. Let’s make it simple – NFTs are unique, irreplaceable digital objects that can be sold or traded virtually. These objects are often referred to as “digital collectibles,” because they have value only within the digital realm.

The first application of NFT was in the gaming industry, where it was used for player-created custom avatars and items. The concept has since expanded into other areas, including Experiential Marketing.

Coca-Cola auctioned some of its most memorable assets as a “loot box” in the International Friendship Charity Auction. The loot box was a collection of four unique NFTs – a vintage Coca-Cola cooler, a bubble jacket, a sound visualizer image, and a friendship card. The winner was also given a real-life, fully stocked Coca-Cola refrigerator.

The auction was held on Open Sea Marketplace, currently the largest NFT marketplace. It lasted for 72 hours and the collectibles were sold at a whopping $575,883.61. All the proceeds were subsequently donated to Special Olympics International.

Instead of trying to sell a product based on its ability to do something (like selling cars), brands can now use NFTs as part of an overall marketing strategy tailored specifically toward customers’ needs and interests at any given time.

7. BRAND PARTNERSHIPS:

Experiential marketing isn’t just about the product. It’s about the experience itself—the moment, the thought, and the feeling that drives your brand’s success.

The right brand partnerships can help you connect with consumers in a meaningful way, and help them feel like they’re part of something bigger. But how do you make sure that your partnership is meaningful for both parties? We’ve got some tips for making sure you’re getting the most out of your partnerships:

  • Make sure your partner has strong ties to their industry and community so they can truly understand what makes their brand unique.
  • Come up with ideas together! It’s easy to get stuck in “what if?” mode when creating an experiential campaign without any real direction from your partner, but we’ve found that brainstorming events together helps to find ways to make those ideas even better than you could on your own.

You can even steal a page from Adidas’ book, from when they collaborated with Allbirds, an eco-friendly apparel brand. In spite of being competitors (both being shoe manufacturers), they came together to launch FUTURECRAFT.FOOTPRINT – a range of low-carbon sneakers in 2021, for technical innovation and to help reduce the earth’s carbon footprint. This collaboration increased Allbirds’ brand visibility and gained goodwill for Adidas.

CONCLUSION:

Experiential marketing can be a powerful way to connect to your audience on a more intimate level, but it involves a lot of legwork to find the right tactics. Although each tactic has its own advantages and disadvantages, they all have one thing in common: they’re a much better bet at attracting attention from your target audience, as compared to Traditional Advertising, and this is why Experiential Marketing is here to stay.

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