It’s official: experience marketing is on the rise. In the next three to five years, marketers are expected to increase spending on experiential by up to 50 percent. This is great news for us, of course, but also for brands that are looking for a better way to connect with their audience. Those willing to invest will quickly discover something we’ve known for a long time: nothing beats experiences when it comes to building meaningful customer relationships.
Still skeptical of the effectiveness of experiential? Consider, for a moment, the Pillsbury doughboy. The pleasantly plump American icon is called upon each semester at NYU to illustrate a professor’s powerful argument—without brand experience, advertisements are irrelevant. Indeed, “even the most carefully crafted and well-stewarded brand imagery is completely meaningless without experience.” Now can someone bring me a cinnamon roll?
Okay, so we’re now all on board with prioritizing brand experiences. But how do we get them right? Two tips: 1) have courage and 2) gather customer insights. Brands must be willing to promote experiences ahead of product attributes—a shift that can be scary for some. They must also get to know and root their efforts in customer needs. The city of Las Vegas did just that in 2001, and now what happens in Vegas gets posted all over social media. Talk about amplification!