The latest challenge in the marketing world is Gen Z – it is the generation that came after the millennials, born approximately from 1995 to the early 2000s. This generation was brought up in a fast digital world and expected most interactions to be supported by a digital supplement.
Gen Z’s favourite social channels include popular social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, etc and they also prefer watching live streams of events.
Digital marketing has worked well for millennials but the marketing world has realized that in order to reach Gen Z effectively, we have to evolve beyond just digital marketing. One of the major avenues being explored in the race to capture the imagination and attention of Gen Z is experiential marketing.
What is Experiential Marketing?
Experiential marketing is a marketing strategy to engage the consumers directly and invite them to be a participant in the evolution of the brand or a brand experience.
It differs from traditional marketing in the following ways:
- It is focused on providing values to the consumer that are sensory, emotional, and cognitive.
- It’s objective is to create synergy between the brand’s meaning, perception, loyalty, and consumption.
- It requires a wide range of research methods in order to get a fair understanding of the consumer profiles.
It is a growing trend in marketing where the focus is on experiences that engage the consumers, which leads to an emotional connection and a relationship with the brand’s products and services. Physical experiences and interactive experiences are often used in experiential marketing solutions to highlight the offer of the brand’s products or services and to make the customer feel like a part of the process.
What Makes Experiential Marketing Special?
Direct Contact with Consumers
Experiential marketing solutions are all about reaching directly to the consumers. The most notable examples of this can be seen in the events activation solutions sector where the focus of the brand is on making a direct connection with the consumer. Marketing trends for gen Z indicate that they are wary of traditional marketing and would rather prefer a genuine connection with a brand through Gen Z’s favourite social channels and other channels.
Using tools like Hashtag Printer or Social Mosiac allow brands to connect with their consumers in a very direct manner and make them not the target of the marketing strategy but rather a part of the process. By valuing this direct connectivity over anything else, experiential marketing has proven to be one of the most successful marketing trends for gen Z.
Unique Multi-Sensory Experience
Gone are the days when a brand could just set up a booth at an event and wait for customers to start asking questions. Experiential marketing is all about offering unique experiences to consumers with the objective of fostering a positive relationship.
Experiential marketing technology is laser-focused on providing a complete, multi-sensory experience to the consumer which is impactful and leads to the consumer wanting to be a part of the brand’s marketing journey. VR and AR are a major part of experiential marketing activities as seen in magic mirror or green screen photo booth. By immersing your consumer in a multi-sensory experience, you allow them to understand the values of your brand in a better manner.
Creates Authentic Interactions Between Brands and Consumers
As repeated, again and again, the main objective of experiential marketing is on creating an authentic relationship between the brand and the consumer. This is done by providing them multi-sensory experiences and taking them along on the journey of the brand’s evolution.
The marketing trends for gen Z indicate that over everything else, gen Z values authenticity and honesty. When a brand markets themselves in an authentic manner using experiential marketing, they attract the attention of gen Z, who are soon going to be in the prime working years of their lives and hence of great interest to the marketing world. Live streaming services are also another avenue which creates a direct, authentic interaction between brands and consumers.
Does Experimental Marketing Build Trust and Advocacy?
In today’s age, every brand activation agency understands the value of experiential marketing. One of the major reasons why it is so valuable is because it does build trust for the brand in the minds of consumers. Experiential marketing is more engaging than traditional marketing and most consumers derive some value from experience.
When executed correctly, experiential marketing can build major trust and advocacy for brands. The brand activation strategy is to immerse the consumer by offering them a valuable brand experience and then using that goodwill to move forward a positive relationship with the consumer with trust and advocacy as its key characteristics.
The world of marketing is always changing and given the current marketing trends, experiential marketing is seen as an evolution over traditional marketing, as a new way of looking at marketing with the core focus being on brand experiences which are immersive for the consumer and on the creation of a two way relationship between the brand and the consumer which is filled with trust and loyalty.