Experiential Marketing and The Reality of Industry Disruption
By Tunji Faleye
Today’s engagement marketing, sometimes called experiential marketing, live marketing, event marketing, special events, on-ground marketing, or if you like participation marketing has been experiencing massive disruption occasioned by internet, media and social media.
Recent happenings in the industry have shown that any experiential marketer who worth its salt and able enough to detect where the pendulum of the business is swinging to has to take the new trend seriously and update his skills in order to meaningfully engage consumers.
The wide spread of Internet penetration and the increasing competition among online retailers which have led to the rise of virtual experiential marketing (VEM), using the Internet and its various channels to create an enriched and engaging experience have contributed enormously to new ways of consumer engagement, most especially when VEM also relies on an electronic environment that engages customers and arouses their emotional responses to create an unparalleled experience and consequently capturing their loyalty.
Why it is very imperative now a day to create high impact virtual customer experience is because of the belief that experience remains the best teacher which will enable customer to create brand loyalty and translate it into meaningful decision to patronise the brand over and over.
To achieve this, there must be a compelling customer value proposition which stems from the understanding of how an online experience can satisfy customer needs.
Also, experiential marketer needs to create the digital customer experience framework to address all areas of interaction between customers and the business, while also use proven tools, of the “7Cs”, content, connectivity, customisation, consumer care, convenience, communication, and community to support the framework.
Similarly, marketer must be aware of when to integrate the online and offline customer experience. This can be achieved by enhancing the virtual customer experience through consistent links with the offline world.
It is a known fact today that the media landscape is cluttered with constant messages however, experiential marketing is one approach that allows for endless creativity and connects brands with fans in exciting and immersive ways. This is why different forms of experiential marketing including installations, prankvertising, live events and viral videos will have meaningful impact with the use of social media because they are conversation starters and allow fans to engage in dialogue.
Also, marketing experts recently advised experiential marketing professionals on the need to learn new skills that will improve on their business offerings because of the disruptive impacts of the internet and socio media on their profession.
Speaking recently at the Experiential Marketers Associations of Nigeria (EXMAN) Business Conference in Lagos tagged: Growing Nigeria’s Brands Through Meaningful Experiences, Oare Ojeikere, Group Chief Marketing Officer at Dangote Plc, said, “it is imperative for experiential marketers to unlearn old way and acquired new skills because the economic realities required new rule and radically different way.”
Oare said this is necessary because what is redefining marketing now a day are the trio of “Internet, Media and Social Media,” adding that marketers are also required to “change their mindset to become customer-centric which will eventually improve on the bottomline.”
According to the marketing guru, who is a senior marketing professional with significant result-oriented cross-industry management experience gained with industry-leading fortune 500 organisations, managing customer experience and journey have become paramount in today’s marketing strategy.
Similarly, Olu Akanmu, Executive Director, Retail Baking at First City Monument Bank said, marketers should also be conscious of a digital economy that is changing industry structures and empowers new industry players.
The experience commercial leader with an unusual diversity of experience in consumer goods-manufacturing, healthcare, telecommunications and financial services added that it is instructive to redefine the marketing practice which will enable the industry to stand the challenge being posed by the new economic realities.
Similarly, Dr. Rotimi Olaniyan, immediate president EXMAN, advised marketing professional to take up the operation cap in the industry, adding that there is need to fundamentally question the foundation upon which marketing practice was built which requires having a fora where marketing professionals and clients will be able to meet mind.