There's something exciting happening on New Zealand's marketing scene.
Events and brand experiences are coming to the forefront, changing the ways businesses and their customers engage and bringing a fresh take on brand interaction. Experiential marketing is being established as a major contemporary tool in communicating brands' messages. It takes a multi-faceted approach, advancing nuanced arguments in a way that goes beyond traditional marketing.
The burgeoning power and influence of events and experiences is something that shouldn't be overlooked by Kiwi brands.
What experiential marketing brings to New Zealand businesses
In a nutshell, experiential marketing uses creative solutions to help brands reach their objectives through the channel of experiences and people engagement. This has become increasingly pertinent in an age of widespread digital technology and connectivity.
"What we do is simultaneously very old and very new, in the sense that on the one hand it's the oldest form of marketing, and on the other hand it has become incredibly important in recent years because everyone is so flooded with distraction," explains David Hayward, relationship director at Orange Productions.
"Everyone is so inundated with information through digital channels, TV and other sources, that companies are realising that they need to connect with people directly and the best way to do that is through events."
It's all about the connection. Experiences have the power to move people emotionally and gain their loyalty in a way that static marketing doesn't. Following a positive interaction with a brand through an event, people are more likely to become loyal advocates. After participating in an event or experience, 98 per cent of people are inclined to purchase the product or service promoted, EventTrack figures show.
"The one thing that is powerful about this channel is that you can get people to move along the brand consideration from awareness to advocacy really fast. If people have an experience that is almost transcendent, a moment of real wonder and awe, then that can turn them from being agnostic to being a stark raving fan in seconds and that is something that you just can't get from a TV ad," David says.
The brand/consumer interaction
As well as establishing a genuine connection with customers, experiential marketing offers another important facet to brands – the benefit of instant feedback.
"With experiential marketing, you essentially hand your brand narrative over to the public. You can have a creative idea of what an event will be, but from the moment you go live it's up to everyone there what the response will be – the interaction transforms it into a collaborative process. That is both a challenge and an opportunity, because people can detect if what you are offering is not authentic," David states.
The direct interaction with people means brands can hone their offering in real time, adapting to the response generated by the audience. The two-way dialogue means brands can correct their message quickly, helping to build their reputation and solidify their status as a sustainable brand.
This level of engagement and insight are deeply important and can be pivotal in setting a brand apart from the competition.
Experiential marketing on the rise
As the power of social media continues to grow and brands search for new and innovative ways to interact with their customers, experiential marketing will gain more and more traction. Awareness, demand and real time are all on the rise, pushing brand experiences into the spotlight.
"In the last six or seven years experiential marketing has become much more sophisticated and people have started taking it more seriously. The way of connecting with people now has a stronger imperative than before – you used to be able to reach people on the 6 o'clock news, but that has all changed now," David observes.
As experiential marketing develops, it changes and evolves to suit the needs of both brands and consumers. As David explains, "Our ideas are like a hypothesis – we're testing things that no one has seen or done before and we're refining those ideas at the same time as we execute them."
"In a sense, experiential marketing is the oldest marketing channel, but it's still one with huge possibilities that no one has really captured just yet. There is massive potential for brands out there to get themselves noticed for having incredible events and brand experiences."
Orange Productions is a nimble player in the experiential marketing game. The brand experiences and events we bring to consumers are innovative, creative and agile, keeping pace with the changing face of the marketing scene. Interested in getting your brand noticed for outstanding experiences? Reach out to us today to find out what we can do for you.