Marketing your business in 2023 can often feel like a guessing game, especially in this digital era where your client has a plethora of online platforms attracting—or distracting—them.
As people are glued to their handheld devices, it may seem like a daunting task to stand out on their path to saying ‘yes’ to your business.
Between word-of-mouth marketing, wedding expos, and print advertising—tried and true marketing efforts over the years—some of the more crucial aspects of today’s client experience (emotion, engagement, and experience) are neglected.
This is where you can shine: a strategy that allows your client to actively participate in an experience, evokes an emotional response, and increases their overall engagement.
This is experiential marketing.
The Three Es
In essence, experiential marketing is a strategy that offers direct client engagement through interactive or participatory experiences.
Millennials and Gen Z crave and expect memorable, exciting, and innovative experiences. They constantly want to be ‘wowed’ by everything they encounter. Truthfully, they want to be included in the experience, which in turn, makes a lasting impression.
A major advantage to these in-person experiences is exactly that: it brings them to you.
In addition to bringing the client to you, experiential marketing is the perfect vehicle to prime the senses, ignite the imagination, and cultivate a feeling or emotion within your client by incorporating specific details and sensory experiences that draw them into the world of the event.
This is more than just storytelling. This is the co-creative process, which capitalizes on their desired outcomes—evoking emotions and engaging the senses—allowing the client to build on the story in their own minds and build a personal connection with your product or services.
In turn, this makes the experience more memorable for the client, and as Maya Angelou says, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
While building a personal connection to your product, experiential marketing invites the client to engage in an activity or other interactive components. This step is crucial in understanding the overall ‘why’ behind this underutilized strategy, as we put the client in the mindset of saying ‘yes.’
On a technical level, we create a micro-commitment, which in a nutshell, is anything that requires them to agree to and carry through on a commitment. One small action can lead to future larger actions.
Through multi-sensory, in-person experiences, we can move the client from observer to active participant, which in turn increases overall engagement of the client and leads to increased sales.
Ian José Ramirez, CSEP, is the Co-Owner of Madera Estates, an award-winning Spanish- and European-inspired wedding and event venue located in Conroe, TX.