Opinion: Think secondary audience first to realise experiential's potential

Jack Lamacraft, MD of brand experience agency The Park, discusses the ways in which marketers can maximise the effectiveness of experiential campaigns. 


Most marketers understand the power of connecting a consumer with their brand in the real world and providing them with a unique, engaging and memorable experience, but experiential marketing is still struggling to shift the perception among some that it’s a costly, inefficient discipline.

The problem is that experiential is often compared to other disciplines solely on reach and, although we can wax lyrically about the deep connection we’re creating, when there are only 1,000 people who physically experience our campaign compared to a digital experience that reached 100,000 for the same budget, it’s easy to see why those perceptions persist.

However, with effective planning we can make sure we’re optimising the amount of people who know about the brilliant experience we’ve created.

Amplification of brand experiences is obviously nothing new but I still feel that this thinking often comes too far downstream and therefore too late to create any real impact, as a discipline we need to start looking at what we do as campaigns, not events.

Four ways to ensure your experiential goes beyond the event itself


What’s the digital strategy?

It’s easier than ever to connect the real world with the digital world, but the “give a shit factor” needs to be considered. Why would someone want to watch other people enjoying a great experience on Facebook live?

They probably won’t. Think about what will actually be interesting for people to experience in the digital world and plan accordingly.

How are we using the attendees to spread the message?

Two words: shareable moments. People want to share unique experiences with their followers and friends on social media. Work out what is going to be a must-share moment and make sure every attendee experiences it.

How are we going to generate earned media?

It’s not enough just to invite the media along and hope for the best, think about what you can create that is genuinely newsworthy, what will they want to write about.

Target the right people, don’t just invite everyone along. Work with them pre-event to help shape their content and think about different content for different publications.

What’s the content we’re seeding afterwards?

The days of creating a hype video with a killer soundtrack are long gone, it’s no longer enough just to point a handycam at the experience and edit something together that gives people who weren’t there a flavour of what happened. It’s just annoying to see something great that you missed out on.

Content should be taken seriously; work with proper writers and directors, allow them to shape the experience to create content with a proper narrative that people will want to watch. The same goes for photography, work back from the shots that will resonate.

By thinking about the secondary audience in the planning stage we can make sure we’re reaching and engaging a much larger audience that just those lucky enough to experience it first-hand, therefore delivering a much greater ROI for our clients and hopefully getting more marketers to realise the potential of experiential.

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