Marketing News: Why stimulating the senses can drive marketing success
Why stimulating the senses can drive marketing success
The challenge of presenting a distinctive brand proposition has led to marketers embracing ever-more creative ways of reaching their target audience. Rather than simply sticking a poster on the wall or sending out a single message to as many people as possible, marketers are increasingly aiming to offer what have been termed brand experiences.

In fact, a study by experiential agency Freeman has revealed more than 1 in 3 Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) plan to set aside between 20-50% of their marketing budgets for brand experiences. Taking part in trade shows and events is one popular option, along with sponsorship and exhibitions. And intriguingly, many are looking at recent innovations such as augmented and virtual reality as well.

So why are businesses queuing up to offer brand experiences?

Build lasting relationships
Nearly two-thirds of CMOs around the world regard brand experiences as a way of developing and fostering ongoing relationships with their core audiences. 9 in 10, meanwhile, feel it offers strong face-to-face interaction and more compelling engagement. This could be critical given that audiences have ‘fragmented’ in recent years, according to Chris Cavanaugh, Executive Vice President of Freeman. ‘It’s become more about narrowcasting – like finding your exact audience that you’re needing to market to and getting to those folk – versus a broadcast message,’ he said.

Showcase expertise
According to the Freeman research, 48% of CMOs believe brand experiences allow their firm to showcase their thought leadership. Meanwhile, 58% feel it helps to increase brand advocacy. It is therefore clear that CMOs are seeing the value of this approach and are willing to put more money behind offering compelling brand experiences.

B2B marketers more likely to invest in brand experiences
The Freeman study identified an interesting disparity when it comes to investing in brand experiences. Some 28% of B2B marketers adopt this approach, compared to just 18% of B2C counterparts. One explanation might be that B2C marketers are often able to rely on platforms such as broadcast media to convey their message. But this approach doesn’t necessarily work for many B2B marketers. They are therefore taking steps such as offering hands-on experiences at trade shows, drawing their audience in with goody bags, prize draws and impressive display banners before staging live demonstrations.

More than half of B2B marketers believe brand experiences are an effective way to generate leads, along with a similar proportion of brand managers. As Mr Cavanaugh says: ‘Audiences spend more time with the brand at live experiences versus a 15-second commercial. As a result, it’s really an opportunity to deliver the company’s point of view on the market.’ It’s also a chance to leave a lasting impression on people after they have moved on, perhaps by giving them literature on your organisation and promotional merchandise bearing your name and logo, such as pens, notebooks and water bottles.

And this is perhaps just the beginning as organisations could go much further as study data showed that just a quarter of marketers are actively trying to stimulate all five senses in their experiential marketing. As a result, this could be an area ripe for future growth, with all sorts of innovative and distinctive ways of commanding attention set to emerge in the coming years.


Sources / Further Reading
Marketers expect to allocate up to 50% of their budgets to brand experience PR Week
Consumers will spend more on simple brand experiences Marketing Week