Social Media Word of Mouth

Experiential marketing and social media integration . . . a no-brainer

Posted by Claire Hutchings on October 30th, 2012 at 2:25 am

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

Asus Zen Zone

The Asus Zen Zone at Bromley Market

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.

8 Responses to “Experiential marketing and social media integration . . . a no-brainer”

  1. What I really love about social media is that you can shape and form it to fit with almost all of your other marketing efforts. Because social networking is about interacting, every time you come into contact with your audience you have the chance for a social interaction, both online and off.

    • Social media is definitely an incredibly important medium to amplify all sorts of marketing channels, working in its own right with stand alone Facebook or twitter campaigns, as part of an integrated campaign (like the examples above) while also being able to communicate other brand messages and act as a customer service tool. But the most important reason why social media works as part of an experiential campaign is the exponential element.

  2. Kristen says:

    I really enjoyed your arictle on experiential marketing . I thought the examples you used served well to prove your point of view. I have to agree when you say clients are demanding and wanting the most out of their marketing budget. This has definitely lead to fierce competition within the industry. It seems agencies are undercutting just to get the business - this would be an interesting topic for an article that I would definitely read! Thanks for the post! I thoroughly enjoyed it.

    • Hi Kristin

      Our agency actually takes quite a different stance on this. We only pitch for work that is going to be worth our while - There can often come a point where clients budgets and expectations just don't align, and that can sometimes be the point where we will have to walk away from the job.

  3. Paul M says:

    Nice article! It would be interesting to get a view on how experiential marketing can be used by small companies - without the budgets of the large corporations. Is this something that can be undertaken on a small scale, or do you think experiential is only effective when done en mass?

    • Hi Paul
      I definitely think that experiential marketing can be used by SME's without big budgets. Its about changing your mindset and thinking about things you currently do and making them more of an experience, ideally with an exponential element allowing you consumers to market you via word of mouth.

      Smaller budgets may mean you can afford the big agencies experience - but by thinking outside the box I am sure SME's can adapt things they already do to become more experiential. And the great thing about social media is that it is free / very low cost in comparison to other media.

  4. Jamie says:

    Given the relatively short period of time Experiential campaigns are in market brands cannot afford to integrate Social Media, how else will they continue the conversation with consumers and increase the campaign reach? Equally mobile must be included if you want to increase participation – leverage instant peer to peer messages to get more consumers to the activation.

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