There’s no denying the power of broadcast when it comes to reach. Despite the advent of streaming TV services, podcasts and online video, there are still very few channels that can deliver the kind of mass exposure for brands that broadcast offers.
But smart marketers know that reach isn’t always the most important metric – or the right measure of success – for their brand. For many brands, getting consumers to experience what you’re selling – to see, taste, smell and touch it – can be immeasurably more impactful.
Broadcast certainly has its place in the marketing mix, but for brands that want to deliver these types of immersive, engaging experiences – and create genuine, authentic connections with their audience – experiential is very hard to beat.
Broadcast – huge reach, lower recall
Big budget broadcast advertising spends do reach massive audiences, which is great for building brand awareness and buzz – but they do suffer from low recall and low conversion.
And this low recall is affecting advertising spend in traditional broadcast channels.
According to Group M, TV’s slice of the advertising pie in Ireland was €177m in 2018, down almost 5% from the €186m that was spent in 2016.
But if reach isn’t all you’re after – what channel is best for increasing recall and conversion?
Experiential – smaller scale, big returns
The benefits of live brand experiences over broadcast are many. While audience size may be smaller, being able to engage people directly at live events and having personal, authentic 1-2-1 dialogue helps create strong emotional connections and build meaningful relationships between a brand and its target audience. And that’s not to mention the ability to amplify your brand message before, during and after an experience through social and digital channels.
Smart brands know the powerful impact experiential activations can have: 75 per cent of brand-side marketers agree that experiential has proven to be the most successful tactic of their brand’s various marketing activities, a 14 per cent increase from a year ago.
Picture me here
There’s been a massive shift in consumer behaviour over the past 5 to 10 years – driven largely by smartphone ownership, 4G & Wi-Fi connectivity and social sharing apps.
That means content, especially shareable social media content, has become an amazingly powerful currency.
This is where brand experiences can win out over, or alongside broadcast – the bigger and bolder or more immersive the branded experience is, the more likely it is to be shared online through earned media.
Whether it’s a Facebook post or an Instagram story, the opportunity for brand amplification is immense. There are over 1 billion daily Facebook and WhatsApp viewers and a staggering 10 billion viewers on Snapchat. And it’s not just the numbers that are powerful – we know that social media generates more active, engaged interactions than broadcast, whose audiences are generally more passive.
In fact, 92 per cent of brand-side respondents believe that integrating events and experiences into overall sales and marketing is imperative to success.
Experiential marketing in action
Here’s an example of an experiential activation stunt for the Rings sequel from 2017 that went viral thanks to a simple brand experience and the power of digital amplification.
The video follows shoppers in an electronic store as they check out the crystal-clear image of a 4K TV. Moments later, the woman shown on the screen starts to crawl out of the TV and into the store, terrifying those nearby. The number of consumers experiencing this prank were probably only in the dozens, but by amplifying the messaging through social channels, the campaign achieved incredible results.
The prank was so successful it’s achieved over 300 million views on YouTube – with over 200 million of those views happening within the first 24 hours.
Before wide release, the film had been panned by critics with a paltry 3/10 rating. The trailers had failed and the film itself made only $60 million in profit. But the video was a great example of a live experience captured on video that caught people’s attention, made for great shareable content and multiplied its reach online by the millions.
Experiential: right time, right place
We know that it’s experiences that people are short of, not things. So it’s not surprising that experiential marketing is currently the fastest growing marketing channel. A whopping two-thirds (67%) of brand-side marketers are anticipating an increase in experiential budgets within the next year and a half, a 17 per cent boost from 2018.
This highly dynamic marketing channel has grown rapidly as a result of consumer behaviour. It is a marketing channel that is feeding an insatiable consumer need, especially amongst Millennials.
And it’s a marketing channel that smart marketers are investing in heavily in the coming years.
Register for our award-winning masterclass
Want to harness the power of experiential marketing for your brand? Learn how to create truly extraordinary live activations – register now for BecauseXM’s free, award-winning masterclass.
Entertainment for Business has seen the Masterclass content and we are happy to partner with our friends at Because XM to bring it to your attention.
Where and when? The Alex Hotel, Dublin, 7th March 2019.
It’s a two-hour session showcasing proven strategies, techniques and case studies from top brands across the globe to demonstrate how best to use experiential marketing, virtual, augmented reality, digital amplification and influencer engagement to deliver truly disruptive brand experiences.
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