EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING and Why It Rocks!
Give people a brand experience that they'll remember forever
Experiential events transform people into brand advocates
Share content of people blissfully connecting with your brand
Experiential marketing helps companies stand out in competitive environments
Leverage influencers to reach people beyond the event
Track your experiential marketing impact via engagement, social, and sales
Experiential marketing immerses people in real-world experiences that connect with them on an emotional level, transforming them into customers. It's a powerful way to build loyalty, generate word-of-mouth, and drive sales.
Companies and agencies use various terms for experiential, ranging from XM to brand activations to event marketing.
Experiential marketing takes on many forms, from pop-up shops to interactive installations to immersive events.
The goal is to create a personal connection between people and your brand to increase loyalty, positive word-of-mouth, community, and, ultimately, sales.
Experiential marketing activations lean heavily on sensorial experiences - taste, touch, smell, physical activity, learning, and movement.
Here are just a few of the benefits of experiential marketing:
- Create brand advocates. Experiential events transform people into passionate brand ambassadors who will share their experiences with others.
- Generate content. Experiential events are perfect for creating photogenic and shareable content. People love to post about their experiences on social media, which helps to spread the word about your brand.
- Stand out from the competition. Experiential marketing is a unique and effective way to reach your target audience and make your brand stand out from the crowd.
- Leverage influencers. You can partner with influencers to reach a wider audience and promote your experiential event.
- Track your results. It's easy to track the impact of your experiential marketing campaigns by measuring engagement, social media reach, and brand demand.
Experiential marketing can be a single event, a year-long campaign, or an ongoing initiative.
Experiential marketing concepts often include include demonstrations, product sampling, brand activities, performances, and other sensorial experiences.
Experiential marketing events can occur anywhere - outdoors in public spaces, inside venues, at festivals, sports arenas, beach boardwalks, and other creative locations.
A well executed experiential activation attracts attention, engages people, brings your brand story to life, and influences people's attitude and purchase behavior.
Experiential marketing events are utilized by everyone - Business-to-Consumer (BTC), Direct-to-Consumer (DTC), Business-to-Business (B2B), nonprofits, and healthcare companies.
It is particularly effective for products or services that are new or innovative, as it provides the opportunity for people to experience the benefits of your brand first-hand.
Experiential activations can be designed for a single location, a few cities on the same day, or as a national tour.
Social media, influencer marketing, and livestream elements are integral elements to your experiential marketing initiative.
If you're looking for a way to take your marketing to the next level, experiential is the answer. It's a powerful way to connect with your target audience on a personal level and drive results.
Experiential marketing services
ALT TERRAIN is a pioneering experiential marketing agency that helps brands of all sizes create and execute customized campaigns that achieve your business goals
Our services include:
- Crafting story-centric experiential concepts that resonate with target audiences and drive results
- Strategic planning and design of brand experiences that are both creative and effective
- Production of all event assets, including tents, stages, booths, signage, and lighting
- Creation of engaging brand activities, such as games, prize wheels, Instagrammable installations, and photo booths
- Onsite experiential marketing producers with experience in major cities across the US
- Sourcing and booking event locations
- Obtaining city and venue permits
- Managing event asset storage, transportation, and installation
- Recruiting and training brand ambassadors
- Producing outfits and props
- Preproduction planning for all aspects of your experiential event
- Providing liability insurance certificates
- Ensuring event safety, accessibility, and security
- Coordinating videographers, photographers, performers, press, celebrities, and influencers
- Developing marketing materials and giveaways
- Creating site plans and run-of-show schedules
- Tracking impressions, engagements, feedback, KPIs, CPIs, and other key metrics
- Providing post-production recap and recommendations for future initiatives
How to measure the effectiveness of experiential marketing
There are many ways to measure the effectiveness of your experiential marketing campaign. Here is a guide to some of the most important key performance indicators (KPIs):
Pre-event exposure: Measure how many people saw and interacted with your event promotion communications, such as social media posts, website pages, and email campaigns. You can track impressions, RSVPs, and social media engagement (comments, shares, follows, sign-ups, etc.) to measure pre-event exposure.
Dwell time: Dwell time is the amount of time people spend at your event. It is a good indicator of how interested, engaged, and satisfied they are with your brand. You can measure dwell time manually or with beacon technology.
Direct sales: Track your sales before, during, and after your event to see if there is a lift. Many brands sell products onsite and offer promo codes to encourage people to buy after the event.
First-party data: Collect people's information at your event, such as email addresses and phone numbers. You can do this with contests and giveaways, photo booths, and app sign-up incentives. This data will help you stay in touch with potential customers and learn more about them.
Engagement: Experiential marketing events are all about engagement. Track engagement by measuring the types of brand activities people participate in (demos, games, sampling, etc.) and by watching for upticks in social media engagement from people at the event and those who see it online.
Community: Measure how your experiential marketing event affects your brand community on social media platforms like Twitter and Twitch.
Perception: Track how your target audience perceives your brand before and after your experiential marketing campaign. You can do this with event exit surveys, focus groups, and social media sentiment analysis.
Loyalty: Measuring the impact of experiential marketing on brand loyalty is challenging, but it is important. One way to do this is to track repeat purchases from people who attended your event. Another way is to measure general customer retention rates over time if you host several events in a city.
Event coverage: Experiential marketing campaigns can generate a lot of earned media, such as news articles, influencer posts, and social media mentions. Track the volume and tone of the coverage to get an idea of how effective your campaign was at generating buzz and interest.
Demand generation: Measure the impact of your experiential marketing campaign on website visits, newsletter sign-ups, appointment requests, and social media interest.
Return on investment: ROI is the most important KPI for many businesses. Calculate ROI by comparing the cost of your campaign to the revenue or value generated over a specific period of time.
Don't forget the emotions: Experiential marketing is all about creating positive experiences for people. While it can be difficult to measure emotions like anticipation, attraction, excitement, joy, sense of belonging, and love, they are important outcomes of experiential marketing campaigns.
Overall, measuring the effectiveness of experiential marketing requires a multi-faceted approach that considers both quantitative and qualitative data. By tracking a variety of metrics, you can evaluate the campaign's impact on brand awareness, perception, engagement, community, social, and sales.
How to prepare your brand for an experiential marketing campaign:
Set clear goals. What do you want to achieve with your experiential marketing campaign? Do you want to increase brand awareness, generate leads, or drive sales? Once you know your goals, you can tailor your campaign accordingly.
Create story-centric and multi-sensory experiences that will excite your target audience. Experiential marketing is all about creating memorable experiences that people will talk about. Think about what your audience cares about and what kind of experiences would be most relevant to them.
Design your experiences around a unifying brand theme. This will help to create a cohesive and consistent experience for your audience. Your brand theme should be something that is unique to your brand and that resonates with your target audience.
Research and secure locations where your target audience commutes, shops, or socializes. This will help you to reach your target audience where they are already spending their time.
Allow at least 3 months for permitting and production. Experiential marketing campaigns can be complex, so it is important to give yourself enough time to get all of the necessary permits and to produce your event assets.
Integrate experiential marketing event elements that get noticed from afar. This could include signage, tents, or other visual elements that will grab people's attention.
Include participatory social sharing opportunities. People love to share their experiences on social media, so make it easy for them to do so at your event. This could include creating photo booths, using hashtags, or offering incentives for people to share their photos and videos.
Budget for all aspects of your event, including asset fabrication, storage, people, preproduction, transport, installation, uninstall, and disposal. Experiential marketing campaigns can be expensive, so it is important to create a realistic budget.
Share a request for proposal (RFP) with several experiential agencies or do it in-house. If you have the expertise, you can produce your own experiential marketing campaign. However, if you don't have the in-house expertise, it is important to work with an experienced agency.
Make environmental and social sustainability a top priority when producing your experiential marketing events.
Strive to create regenerative marketing events that have a net-positive impact on the world.
While regenerative marketing isn't always possible, there are many things you can do to reduce your environmental impact, such as using recyclable and eco-conscious materials, donating one-time-use items to local charities, and offsetting your carbon emissions.
You can also boost your net-positive impact and brand standing by partnering with local nonprofits in your experiential marketing activations.
Here are some specific tips for producing more sustainable and regenerative experiential marketing events:
- Use recycled and eco-friendly materials for signage, decorations, and other event assets.
- Donate one-time-use items, such as clothing, furniture, and food, to local charities after your event.
- Offset your carbon emissions by planting trees or investing in other renewable energy projects.
- Partner with local nonprofits to support their work and integrate their mission into your event.
By following these tips, you can create experiential marketing events that are both engaging and sustainable.
Diversity, equity, & inclusion
Consider how your experiential marketing choices affect people from the perspective of DEI. This includes guests, staff, sponsors, influencers, press, vendors, and local communities. Make sure to create an event environment where everyone is treated with respect.
A well-planned DEI experiential marketing event includes:
- A bias-free environment
- A living wage for all workers
- ADA compliance
- Community outreach and contribution
- A culturally and gender-diverse talent pool, guest list, and workforce
Being deliberate and intentional about DEI in your experiential event planning will create better outcomes for everyone involved.
Experiential marketing events are possible in every major US city including:
New York City
Who is the best experiential marketing agency?
The best experiential marketing agency for you depends on your specific needs. Consider the following factors when choosing an agency:
- Expertise: Look for an agency with experience in your industry and in the cities where you plan to activate.
- Alignment: Choose an agency that understands your brand vision and business goals.
- Creativity: Look for an agency with a creative team that can develop fresh and innovative ideas that will resonate with your target audience.
- Strategy: A good agency will develop a comprehensive strategy for attracting, engaging, and moving your target audience.
- Production: More than half the work happens before your experiential marketing event. Make sure you choose an agency with experience in event planning, fabrication, transportation, and warehousing.
- Collaboration: Look for an agency that communicates clearly and transparently throughout the experiential marketing process.
- Budget: Set a clear budget for your experiential marketing initiative and break it down into allocations for strategy, planning, production, activation, and management.
Once you have considered these factors, you can start creating an experiential marketing request for proposal (RFP). This will help you to narrow down your options and find the best agency for your needs.
How to partner with ALT TERRAIN
1. Share your ideas, inspirations, and brand goals
The first step in partnering with ALT TERRAIN is to share your ideas, inspirations, and brand goals with us. This will help us to understand your vision and create a customized experiential marketing event proposal that meets your specific needs.
2. Receive a complimentary experiential marketing event proposal within 5 days
Once we have a good understanding of your needs, we will develop a complimentary experiential marketing event proposal and send it to you within 5 days. This proposal will outline our recommendations for your event, including the concept, creative, budget, and timeline.
3. Set a time to chat about how to improve the concepts or explore other ideas
Once you have received our proposal, we will schedule a time to chat with you about it. This is an opportunity for us to discuss your feedback and make any necessary adjustments. We can also explore other ideas and brainstorm new concepts to ensure that your event is a success.
4. Coalesce around a concept that meets all your brand goals
Once we have finalized the concept for your event, we will work with you to develop a comprehensive experiential marketing plan. This plan will outline all of the details of your event, including the budget, timeline, logistics, and creative.
5. Approve your experiential marketing agreement
Once you are happy with the experiential marketing plan, we will draft an agreement for your approval. This agreement will outline the scope of work, deliverables, and payment terms for your event.
6. Start up experiential marketing planning, prep, design, fabrication, and logistical coordination to bring your concept life
Once the agreement is approved, we will begin planning and executing your experiential marketing event. This includes everything from designing the event space and creating the marketing materials to fabricating the event assets and coordinating the logistics.
We will work closely with you throughout the entire process to ensure that your event is exactly what you envisioned.
Experiential marketing is a powerful way to create desirable and measurable outcomes for your brand. It can help you attract new customers, strengthen relationships with existing ones, and turn people into brand advocates.
When planning your experiential marketing campaigns, focus on concepts that will delight your target audience and communicate why your brand matters. Experiential marketing is an investment, so do your research, take your time, and find the right partners to bring your ideas to life.
By investing in experiential marketing, you can build a strong brand community, boost sales, and create superfans.
Share your brand goals for a complimentary experiential marketing insights, ideas, frameworks, and recommendations.
Experiential Marketing FAQ
Experiential marketing is a good investment as people remember and are influenced by it more than any other tactic.
Positive physical interactions are proven to influence people's brand perceptions and purchase behavior, plus turn people into advocates.
Experiential marketing delivers on every brand metric; awareness, perception, interest, engagement, social, advocacy, leads, content, insights, and sales.
If you evaluate your investment on brand outcomes - from impressions to experiences to content to community to revenue - you'll find experiential marketing proves its worth.
Experiential marketing strategy is an insight-driven plan to bring your brand story, message, and benefits to life in front desired audiences. It is people-focused and goal-orientated.
The best experiential marketing strategies involve stimulating, participatory, educational, and joyful experiences.
Here's your experiential marketing strategy planning guide:
- Start with defining what you hope to achieve with your experiential marketing campaign.
- Know your target audience well, as it will help you create experiences that resonate with them.
- Develop a creative concept that will spark attention, interest, and engagement.
- Create a production plan, including the location scouting, timeline, build-outs, transport, installation, staffing, prep, activation, and post-production.
- Consider how you will measure success and collect feedback from participants.
- Execute the experience: Make sure everything runs smoothly, and participants have a positive experience.
- Measure success and refine your strategy to improve future campaigns.
Experiential marketing cost varies widely, depending on the concept, size, scope, location, duration, and people resources required to bring it to life. Small experiential events can cost as little as $25,000, while more significant ones can exceed 20x that amount.
Experiential marketing events seem like fun parties from the outside. Although, one must account for all the work that goes into creating an wonderful event such as event space rental, production, design costs, fabrication, staffing, travel and transportation fees, technology, equipment rental, marketing materials, and promotion.
With the high cost of producing an experiential marketing event, it is essential to leverage it in every way possible; promotion, influencers, social media, etc.
Contact ALT TERRAIN with your brand goals for a complimentary experiential marketing event proposal.
Experiential marketing activations are measured in a multitude of ways; here are a few to keep on your radar:
- Assess event promotion reach and exposure.
- Count onsite event impressions, attendance, and engagements.
- Track onsite sales and post-event via promo codes.
- Survey social media coverage and engagement.
- Quantify sign-ups, contest entries, and social media follows.
- Influencer integration, reach, and impact
- Survey people before, during, and post-event via Net Promoter
Overall, experiential marketing measurements are tailored to brand specific KPIs or goals.
New York City has dozens of experiential agencies, knowing who is the best depends upon your brand needs.
Here are the top tips for finding the best experiential marketing agency for your company:
- Select an agency with experience in your sector (e.g., DTC, FinTech, fashion, etc.)
- Review their portfolio to see if it aligns with the type, size, and vibe of experiential events you'd like to produce.
- Share brand identity, ideal customers, insights, strategies of interest, creative ideas you may have, budget, and, most importantly, outcomes with your prospective experiential marketing agencies via conversation and a request for proposal (RFP).
- Review each agency's recommendations internally, and set a time to walk through each proposal in person or on a video call.