Planning an experiential marketing campaign requires multiple levels of collaboration, effective communication, and creative thinking. Generally, this type of marketing event involves a certain amount of face-to-face interaction and, before that, a multitude of moving pieces. But what happens when you encounter a roadblock to that? Perhaps you had an event planned, and something went awry, or you had been hoping to attend a conference, but it's been canceled. What are you supposed to do now?
Many unexpected things can arrive out of nowhere as we embark on the process to achieve our marketing goals. Can't that be said for anything in life, though? When these things arrive, we have to adapt and adjust to managing the situation the best we can. Marketing is all about creativity. Even in the best of times, we have creatively learned to deal with roadblocks and unexpected changes with openness and uniquely out of the box ideas. Our creative minds are our optimal tool to reimagine how to best attack the situation in a new light.
When a wrench is thrown in your plans, sure it's stressful, and the uncertainty can be destabilizing, but let's look on the positive side. Now you have the time to imagine a genuinely immersive and brand stamping new event concept that will knock the socks off your intended audience. Here are eight reasons why now might be the best time to dive into planning your next experiential marketing event.
Make a point to set aside time to brainstorm. Hunker down and collect every wild idea you've ever had. Whether it's completely outrageous or previously done, it's still an excellent time to get everything out of your head and from the rest of your team members too.
Make sure to build a master list of what event ideas have inspired you, which ideas seem too good to be true, and the ones that have worked best. Regardless of whether or not those ideas fit your marketing limitations or budget, it is always good to create a list of tried and true and inspirational ideas that have resonated with you.
Many times we overlook or spend less time on evaluating the business goals. Maybe everyone has the time right now to crunch some numbers and data to get a closer look at who is responding to your current marketing efforts. Do you have a niche you want to attack or one you're neglecting?
Meeting with the right team members to discuss metrics and the best markets to target might entirely re-frame your entire marketing campaign. Now is also the time to review the budget in place to help provide some structure to realizing your ideas.
Use your experience to your advantage. Think about the past experiences you've had with your experiential marketing campaigns. What worked? What didn't? Did you achieve your objectives?
Remember to consult the people who worked on the project and ask them to reflect on the previous project with you.
Make a list of pertinent questions to find where you can improve, what most impacted the customer/visitors, and whether what you hoped to accomplish was achieved.
Experiential marketing is all about the experience. Think about what impacts you in your day-to-day. What do you, as a consumer or impressionable member of society, like to see. What engages and excites you?
Which of your ideas best connects to the customer? Now is the time to settle on a concept that fits your business needs and leaves the most powerful message.
Leaving a compelling message or impression is the goal of experiential marketing, so really take the time to put yourself in the shoes of the other person- whether visitor, consumer, customer, attendee. Think about your audience and your goals collectively, but think about what your audience is experiencing first. What is he or she hearing, feeling, understanding? Does that translate a positive message about your brand or invite them to engage?
While right now, it might be hard to imagine a timeline of anything. We advise you to develop an experience timeline. Consider the thoughts that might pass through the head of the participant. As they move through each part or phase of the experience you've created, how do they react or interact?
The goal is to understand the process of what they might feel, think, or assume.
Did you create something to entice them, how so? Why did they approach? Is it a positive experience? Can they participate or engage further? What impression does it give them of your brand? How and when do they connect the experience to your brand?
Analyze the entire process as minutely as you can. Then think about how the whole experience will help leave the audience with a positive and lasting impression of your brand.
What do you need to do now? Begin to make a list of all the pieces necessary to achieve your goal. Work with designers to ensure you check all the right boxes.
Remember that reflection on past experiential marketing events you've already hosted? Refer to that list to make sure that you are covering all your bases.
While it might seem crazy to think that you can start working on a project like this already, once you have all the necessary plans, the rest is communication. You can begin working with a team to prep and plan all the different pieces. Make sure you have built an experiential marketing team with all the necessary team members.
Finally, know that it is possible. While it might be hard to imagine at this moment, trust us. Realizing your next experiential marketing campaign is going to happen. When it does, people are going to be thirsting for immersive experiences that completely defy the norm.
While attending events for in-person inspiration isn't a possibility right now, you can check out these 8 Gripping Experiential Marketing Concepts that Make a Lasting Impression from Coastal Creative.