Innovation is an integral part of the marketing industry. Trends may come and go, but one thing stays the same – to create an experience for the audience that drives deeper connections. Experiential marketing is at the forefront of marketing in 2021 as marketers are searching for ways to create dynamic, engaging experiences digitally. Advancements in technology and an increasingly digitally proficient society make digital, experiential marketing a must for marketers this year.

Emotional intelligence is a valuable tool for any company, but digital emotional intelligence is a game-changer. With the virality of social media, human emotions can be felt and shared across multiple platforms. Brands can use their emotional intelligence to guide their decisions and behaviors to better connect with their audience.

With the primary goal of creating a robust, memorable experience for the consumer, experiential marketing is a valuable tool for marketers everywhere. Understand how experiential marketing applies in today’s world, why it matters, and how to create an experience for consumers that builds a deeper connection and lasting loyalty.

Experiential Marketing in Today’s World

In the past year, consumers have been staying home more often than not, and the touchpoints that brands used to rely on have been largely cut off. Major events that brands used as an opportunity to connect with their audience have been canceled, leaving marketers to find a way to redefine their “experiential” marketing. With limited in-person experiences, virtual events and digital connections are at the forefront of many brands’ marketing efforts. Consumers and brands alike have discovered how to positively integrate digital activities into daily life. Researchers have found people are interested in attending a blended experience.

While some brands like Dunkin’ are finding ways to comfortably connect with their audience in person through “drive-thru vow renewals” in relation to Valentine’s Day, others like Coca-Cola have pivoted to a fully digital strategy, placing a focus on real-time content production and streaming to connect with younger consumers. Sprite’s “Let’s be Clear” campaign brings attention to issues that consumers are passionate about (like recycling) to build stronger connections and brand loyalty.

Why Experiential Marketing Matters

By understanding and accurately interpreting emotion and the language of the ever-evolving digital marketing world, marketers will better understand what influences decisions and why. Translating emotional cues from in-person language to digital language is a big part of experiential marketing in today’s world. This is why dedicating time to get to know your audience and understand how they speak (especially online) is essential.

Brands putting their (digital) emotional intelligence to use and developing a holistic digital strategy, including social media connection, will find stronger relationships with their consumers. Resulting in organic brand advocates with solid brand loyalty and, in turn, increased business and profit.

Changing the Future

Now that we have seen a considerable shift in experiential marketing, the industry’s future will be reliant on brands’ ability to blend the consumer experience. Creating a seamless, fluid relationship between both worlds, physical and digital, will ensure deeper connections, more engagement and reach, and ultimately stronger loyalty. Pizza Hut’s campaign to bring the arcade experience from the classic pizza parlor to the kitchen table is the perfect example of this. Using augmented reality, Pizza Hut consumers can play Pac-Man on the maze printed on the pizza box. This campaign speaks to a bigger goal: to bring feelings of nostalgia to their customers by resurrecting iconic Pizza Hut elements through a unique experience that blends virtual with physical.

With consumers willing to engage with virtual campaigns and events, we will see more and more truly blended experiences. By activating real-time content production and interactive blended experiences, experiential marketers will be changing the way brands build connections with their consumers.

Looking to incorporate experiential marketing into your marketing strategy? Contact the GROWL Team today to get started.

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