In troubled times for broadcast marketing advertisers turn increasingly to experiential techniques based on the premise that experience speeds the passge through the purchase pathway, builds preference and stimulates word of mouth and positive sentiment. And why not?
The part of the puzzle that experiential marketing does not solve is scale. There are only so many events, in so many places with so many in attendance. These techniques, somewhat counter intuitvely also share two of the key aspects of digitally induced behaviors being personalization and collaboration.
The obvious question arises “how do you get more more people to get involved and stay involved?”
Perhaps the answer lies in wide area digital distribution of local events. Take an example from the automotive sector which can use all the help it can get. Manufacturers spend fortunes on stand building at Detroit, Geneva, Paris and the other motor shows around the world. They use them to showcase design, new models, new technologies and concepts yet attendances at these shows are limited by geography. What’s worse is that the press and television that cover these occasions are delivering audiences diminished in numbers and engagement.
The web of course does extend reach of the shows but driven more by online media outlets than by the manufacturers themselves who, as far as I know have made limited efforts to create communities built on the physical investment they make.
The same is true of the (literally) thousands of tours that take place every year promoting everything from TV shows, cocktails and diapers. If you are lucky you might get an e mail after a visit, you might even get friended by a Myspace or Facebook profile but the opportunity to get involved, stay involved and involve others seem to be limited.
The simple truth is that the price of contact is rising and the cost of engagement is rising faster still. The obvious imperative is to maintain contact once it is made and to deepen engagement once it occurs and doing that will involve understanding and leveraging the network potential of every event we stage.