By Arvind Balan
Experiential marketing creates brand awareness through direct interactions with consumers in real time, and this is what sets experiential marketing apart from more traditional and digital forms of advertising. All the senses are stimulated, and it has been shown to increase brand loyalty by making an emotional impression on people. Using experiential marketing can build consumer awareness and attachment to your brand through a more personal and authentic channel. To your advantage, you will gain in-depth knowledge of your target market.
The following case study shows how luxury automotive brands have used experiential marketing to promote their new products:
Case 1-The Audi experience
Audi, a brand known for its luxury cars, recently embraced experiential marketing. Audi Driving Experience is an advanced track driving training program that gives customers an up-close view of the car’s creativity, skill and precision. Before bringing its driving experience to India in 2012, the German brand offered it in different countries. Another such event is the Audi Sportscar Experience, which attracts more than 2,000 drivers each year, enhancing its engagement with customers. Buyers can see the car’s capabilities on the track.
Case 2-Cadillac-Culinary kitchen
Cadillac California hosted the LYRIQ Electriq Kitchen to showcase the new LYRIQ, skipping the New York Auto Show. The five-course menu was inspired by the EV. The chefs crafted the tasting menu over six weeks after a Cadillac designer gave them a preview. The new Cadillac was both the inspiration for the menu and the centerpiece of the event. Innovative dishes were prepared and were inspired by the translucent glow of the car’s front grille and the lighting created a tingling sensation.
A common refrain among successful business owners and CEOs is to “take care of your consumers or your competitors will.” The automotive sector is no exception.
People often underestimate the challenges facing the automotive sector. At first glance, performance looks great, but there are significant challenges due to new technologies, a changing regulatory landscape and a very picky customer base.
Adding experiential marketing to your automotive business’s overall marketing plan can make a huge difference. Numerous studies have shown that this method of advertising can be just as effective as traditional methods. Measuring the performance of an experiential marketing campaign is trickier than other marketing tactics.
With these benefits in mind, the article discusses how automotive companies are implementing experiential marketing to provide consumers with a favorable experience with their brand.
- Automakers are shifting their budgets to experience.
Using experiential marketing makes sense. More and more companies are allocating resources away from traditional marketing and towards more innovative forms of promotion, such as events. Increasingly, automakers are spending money on in-person promotions. Over the next three to five years, CMOs are expected to spend up to 50% of their marketing budgets on experiential initiatives. The goal of any successful experiential marketing strategy is to leave a lasting impression on consumers through the creation of memorable experiences. Experiential marketing is effective because it encourages positive word-of-mouth about the brand from real customers rather than the business itself.
- Need to seduce “Millennials”
For younger generations like Millennials and Gen Z, the value of traditional marketing strategies like email, direct mail, sponsored ads, etc., has diminished. Therefore, automakers have a unique opportunity to engage with their target audience in a memorable and engaging way. The automotive industry leverages experiential marketing to connect with customers that go beyond those in social or digital marketing.
- Engage the five senses
It has been observed that experiential marketing is the most powerful form of advertising. It’s the most effective strategy for converting consumers into buyers and advocates. It’s no surprise that after an experiential marketing event, the vast majority of attendees end up becoming regulars. Unlike other channels, the experience calls for the active participation of participants, which includes the use of their senses. Cars are such an important part of people’s lives and such an important investment that it’s crucial that they have an enjoyable, multi-sensory experience with them. Pop-up bars with digital displays, auto shows with interactive wheel stands, and exhibits with product demonstrations are all examples of experiences that allow businesses to connect with customers on an experiential level. Products are available to consumers through all of their senses. These senses are amplified by advanced technologies like artificial intelligence (AI). Customers in any industry, but especially the automotive sector, would rather have a physical product in hand than a digital product. Instead of reading about the car, they want to take it for a test drive and see it for themselves.
- Create the right BUZZ
Earned media, organic or user-generated content both contribute to the buzz around a given marketing event. This anticipation is, however, amplified by experience marketing. Experiential advertising is the only method that can create a real stir. A recent survey found that nearly every consumer who attended an event or experience shared the content on social media. Experiential marketing helps companies expand their reach and introduce their products to new consumers.
- Increase omnichannel visibility
The times when experiential marketing could be considered the marketing equivalent of the Wild West are rapidly passing. The most iconic and innovative automotive brands are now adopting this method to learn more about their customers. The benefits of merging digital and physical customer data into a unified profile are already being felt by marketers. This increases participation and provides material for subsequent publicity efforts.
A print advertisement in a magazine or newspaper will not spread like wildfire. No amount of attention from a publicity stunt will last. Distributing flyers does not require any kind of personal interaction with the target audience. While digital and social media have their benefits, they can’t compare to the power of experiential marketing. Reaching these demographics can be accomplished through experiential marketing. An event is much more likely to get enough attention on social media to go viral if it’s original, intriguing and meaningful.
Impressions made during immersive events and shows will stay in the minds of attendees as long as they continue to reflect on the nature of their experience. Having an experience gives customers a sense of belonging, both personally and with a particular brand. The effects of all of this are likely to linger in people’s minds long after they’ve finished their morning coffee and turned off the news.
The marketing industry is changing. Today, consumers have a wider variety of options to choose from, so businesses need to make real connections with their customers if they hope to retain them. It is no longer enough to simply bombard an audience with messages in the hope that some will stick around. Brands that prioritize customer experience tend to be more successful. More and more automotive companies are experimenting with experiential marketing because of its proven success. It’s a proven and effective way to get things done, and it’s working better than ever due to advancements in technology and changes in mindset.
The author is co-founder of Maxperience. Opinions expressed are personal.
Also read: Chai Pe Charcha with BrandWagon