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  • David Boon

The name says it all 'EXPERIENTIAL': So put the EXPERIENCE in your experiential marketing

The Experiential Marketer Summit has been a benchmark to assess what we are doing as an agency and how we can improve to help our clients win more.


COVID-19 temporarily halted us traveling to this annual event but we keep close to it by reviewing the key takeout’s and researching as much of what happened as possible.


In doing this, this year, I was reminded by an article in Event Marketer - the organisers of the Summit - of the essence of what experiential marketing is: giving the target audience an experience of your brand's value proposition.


This take-out from a keynote at the summit (Alyson Griffin - State Farm’s Head of Marketing) is so relevant, yet I don't believe enough attention is given to understanding:

  • How you moved your brand’s barometer in your engagement campaign.

  • If your experience properly connected the target audience to the brands' value proposition.

  • If they had a key take-out / learning about the brand from their experience with you.


“Eliminate random acts of marketing,” said Griffin. “It’s not enough just to get the activation right; you have to know: Did you move them, how did they feel, were they excited, did it match to your brand, are you adding value to your company over time? If you do it consistently, you can transport your customers beyond the activation footprint and into infinite spaces.”


Event Marketer says Griffin "drove home the value of playing the long game and creating cohesive touch points for every event campaign", saying a fault of many brands is that they "make short-term marketing decisions that deliver ROI in the moment, but the secret is to avoid silos, be consistent and move beyond quarter-by-quarter thinking."


In her keynote address*, Griffin shared three questions that her team has to answer before an event or activation is approved for implementation:

  1. Tie your events and activations back to your brand clearly and consistently.

    1. State Farm stands for being a good neighbour.

    2. Before planning an experience, the brand goes back to questions like “are we being a good neighbour,” “are we showing up,” “how are we showing up,” and “are we staying true to our brand?”

  2. Think of which bucket of the sales funnel you’re targeting for your activations.

    1. Are you collecting leads or driving brand affinity? (Both can be 100% aligned to driving sales too!)

    2. Activate accordingly.

  3. Brand experiences should ignite attendees’ dopamine and spark memory receptors through their live experiences.


I'm certainly going to be challenging our teams with the above, so that we can continue to push the needle when executing a brand experience and build (long term) value for the brands we activate.


Source/Reference: Event Marketer; *Experiential Marketing Summit

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