The Trade Group’s Executive VP of Sales Malcolm Gilvar recently hosted a lunch-and-learn presentation on experiential marketing at our Dallas headquarters. Clients inquire about this topic everyday, so we asked him to share a few highlights from the event and how both B2C and B2B brands can utilize experiential marketing to promote their products and services.
Can you tell us a little about the guests who attended and their familiarity with experiential marketing?
Close to 50 people attended the event and all were familiar with experiential marketing to some degree. The group was really diverse with companies of all different sizes represented. When I asked the guests if they had used experiential marketing tactics in the past, about 20 percent of the attendees raised their hands.
This didn’t surprise me, because about 20 percent of the guests were from B2C companies, which are more likely to use branded experiences at live events to engage with consumers.
Since The Trade Group works with so many B2B companies, I felt it was important to explain how B2B companies can use experiential marketing, too, especially at trade shows and corporate events.
For readers who are less familiar with experiential marketing can you share a quick overview?
Experiential marketing is all about brands connecting with customers in a more intimate way, by appealing to all five senses. B2C brands have used these experiences – also known as brand activations – to get consumers interested in their products or services outside of the traditional corporate environment.
In order for these experiences to be effective from a marketing standpoint, they also need to be fun, memorable and shareable on social media. At The Trade Group, we’ve helped clients create a wide range of experiences using green screens, photo booths, video stitching, interactive video displays, apps, giveaways, immersive environments and more.
Experiential marketing is really taking off. In fact, marketers expect to allocate up to 50 percent of their budgets for brand experiences.
Why? When you create a fun experience that people want to tell their friends about – i.e., share on social media – your target market spreads the word for you – something commonly known as brand amplification. Plus, experiences really appeal to millennials, one of the most attractive target markets for brands today.
How can B2B companies take advantage of the benefits of experiential marketing?
As I mentioned earlier, B2B brands have a huge opportunity to make a big, memorable impression on their clients with branded experiences. Today, B2B brands are using experiential marketing strategies at trade shows and corporate events, as well as sponsorships, pop-ups, virtual reality experiences and in other branded spaces (airports, malls, reception areas, etc.).
One of the examples I shared during the presentation was the photo opportunity we created with a green screen for DFW Airport. The airport was exhibiting at a trade show in China and the experience we created allowed guests to insert their image into one of three Texas themed photos.
This activation was a huge success because it appealed to a target market that loves anything to do with Texas. In addition, the photos included DFW Airport branding and were very shareable, due to the combination of a fun Texas theme and personalization.
ICYMI: Watch the experiential marketing presentation now
Want to learn how to amplify your brand through experiential marketing? Contact us! Creating fun, memorable and sharable experiences is what we do. Just give us a call at 800-343-2005 to speak with a member of our team.