Experiential Marketing in Times of Coronavirus: How to Keep Consumers Living Brand Experiences

  • One of the issues that have been repeated repeatedly in recent years is the importance of experience marketing. Brands need to be memorable, connect prominently with consumers, and build strong bonds with them. Traditional advertising and marketing were no longer succeeding, at least not as much as in the past, so companies have been forced to work differently and position themselves with other elements. The experiences have been one of them.

    Experiential marketing has been present in many actions of brands, actions that have even ended up sneaking between those that go viral and those that have a positive impact on social networks. In essence, the marketing of experiences tends to create 'livable' actions, which make the consumer - and those around them - the protagonists of the movements and of the marketing action itself.

    Slides instead of stairs in the subway, machines for making trips in virtual reality in airports, games on a human scale in the streets, improvised concerts ... Anything that one imagines, possibly before a brand has already thought of it and put it on the market. practice.

    But how can you do marketing experiences and how can you create experiences if consumers are trapped in their homes? How do you manage to create 'livable' actions when you have to maintain social distance and separate consumers from each other? It seems like an impossible challenge, although it is a pretty crucial one. After all, in areas such as congresses, exhibitions and conferences, the marketing of experiences was an important element to connect with the potential niche of the market to seduce, that of B2B consumers.

    Marketers have been migrating experiences and actions related to them to the digital environment. They may be less memorable and more subtle, but they do involve giving a certain continuity to the relationship between brand and consumer.

    Thus, for example, many companies have concentrated their efforts on making small positive experiences during the purchase process, especially in electronic commerce. At a time when buying has become a bit stressful for one reason or another, this can become an element in favor of the company.

    However, the experience does not have to be solely digital and focused on what happens at those points of contact between consumer and brand. Companies can also create tangible and memorable 'physical' experiences that become material to reach consumers in a way with the potential to go viral or become material for conversation, brand loyalty or deeper relationship. between consumer and company.

    What the organization must do is think many times outside its comfort zone and capture spaces for the marketing of experiences that until now were not necessarily within it.

    As explained in Chief Marketer , in addition to actions in mobile marketing, many companies have also created multichannel actions or have taken the experience to another level. For example, car companies have made road trips in the US to create memorable experiences linked to the brand (although, indeed, this is more difficult to do in Europe or in countries that have implemented landfills). Kia took a trip from New York to California in one of its new vehicles, with local stops. With this, he was generating derived stories and creating content marketing that becomes an experience for those who receive it.

    A parallel idea - and previous - is that of Audi in its Australian division that had made, in the early days of the coronavirus quarantine in 2020, a long road trip that it recorded and launched on YouTube so that anyone could experience it from home.

    Marketing at home
    Returning to the Chief Marketer examples , the marketing of experiences can change in order to continue generating experiences but in a covid-friendly environment and respectful of health recommendations. If the authorities ask us to stay at home, marketing must find a way to enter homes and make them the epicenter of experiential marketing.

    B2C companies are, they explain, those that have already found the most avenues for success Last Database in this field. Ikea succeeded in the Christmas campaign with Gingerbread Höme, a kit that consumers could download from the company's website at home and allowed them to create Ikea gingerbread furniture. They put the cookie and Ikea gave them the guidelines and the master lines to create their furniture.

    Others created e-gifting systems via a mobile app that gamified access to their products and generated new opportunities to connect with the brand (Taco Bell did it, for example, on taco day).

    And ultimately, companies must leverage the touchpoints they do have with consumers to make them part of the positive experience and make a memorable impact. For example, now that consumers are buying more than ever online, eCommerce packaging has become much more crucial. It is not only the packaging that allows the product to reach its destination, but also a window to bring the brand into the home of consumers