You don’t need me to tell you that social networking sites have exploded, changing the way we interact forever. With the virtual world taking over the real world we all become ever more glued to our smartphones - it‘s therefore only natural that brands should exploit this in their marketing to consumers. Even Tesco CEO Philip Clarke agrees saying in a recent speech to the IGD Convention, “digital technology has given brands the chance to forge a personal relationship with every customer”.
While there is a lot of hype around the use of digital and social media in marketing, this does not have to be to the detriment of experiential marketing budgets. In fact it is becoming more and more obvious that the two not only complement one another but can be instrumental in enhancing brands campaigns producing increased reach, consumer data, geo targeting, amplification and essentially increased ROI.
Here are a couple of examples of recent campaigns that have utilised social media, introducing an exponential element to each campaign that has increased interactions – and ultimately sales.
Alpro – Enjoy Plant Power
Alpro has long invested in experiential marketing – understanding its benefits to drive trial of a product that has been historically misunderstood. This integrated campaign allowed festival goers to sample Alpro for breakfast with an interactive cereal bowl photo mechanic. Consumers could climb in with their friends and have a photo taken which was not only printed but posted to their Facebook profile too. This resulted in over 7000 Facebook interactions
ASUS – Zen Zone
In order to convey ASUS’ award winning Zen Book’s USP we are currently facilitating a roadshow across the UK with the Zen Zone – a stress free environment for consumers to trial the unbelievably fast and light new offering. The zen atmosphere is completed when consumers check-in and tweet to receive free herbal teas at the stand. In addition to this you can also track where the Zen Zone is via the ASUS Facebook page.
And it’s not just our clients who are getting in on the social action. According to Marketing Week, PepsiCo are getting ready to launch a “social vending system” allowing consumers to purchase drinks for friends via Facebook. While Microsoft are poised to launch Halo 4 and feature gamers’ photos on a live TV advert of those fans who have agreed via Facebook. This is all part of a wider integrated campaign with partner brands such as Mountain Dew which will provide “game fuel” for their experiential arm of the campaign.
As clients become more demanding, wanting to get the most out of their marketing budgets (and would blame them!?) it’s absolutely time the experiential industry begins to think of new ways to add that value. There is little doubt in my mind that this could – and should – come in the form of greater integration with social networking.