Experiential Marketing campaigns have always been an effective way to bring a brands product or service to the consumer where they are. From sponsorship of an already established concert or event to creating an original event specific to that Brand, or having a more continued and consistent presence in a venue that connects with the brands target market experiential campaigns are an effective tool.
Choosing an experiential marketing agency can be a challenge. Unlike general market they aren't as many experiential marketing agencies to select from. Also because of the nature of an experiential campaign and it connecting directly to the consumer of your product or service you have to be extremely diligent in selecting an agency that's handling the brand on your behalf at the consumer or street level.
There are 5 specific qualities to look for in an experiential marketing agency, to ensue that the campaign will be effective and cost efficient.
Experiential campaigns can be challenging. They're a lot of moving parts to any event but when you add a brand as a sponsor or putting together an event on a brands behalf that can add complexity. You're going to want and need an Experiential Marketing Agency who's has experience and can manage all the moving parts while still making sure the product or service is being displayed/represented right. Any agency worth contracting is going to have case studies they can provide you showing how they executed on other brands behalf.
Does your campaign need to cover one specific region or territory or several regions and territories. Either way choosing an experiential marketing agency that can match that footprint is key. If it's a local effort a smaller agency who has roots in the area could be more resourceful and use local connections to enhance the campaign. Where a a larger firm could facilitate a regional or national effort and whatever is lost in nuance and local connections is made up for the ability to scale and staff in several different areas.
This ties heavily into the first 2 qualities listed. An agencies ability to execute is going to depend in large part to existing relationships they already have in place and have built over a period of time. Do they have connections with venues and other vendors for collateral items etc? Do they have relationships with local precincts, politicians, government agencies to make sure you're in compliance with local laws permitting and zoning. This is not to suggest that these aren't things you couldn't do or have in place yourself but if your agency partner can facilitate, even better. Witt there knowledge of the area/Marketplace and these relationships your agency should also be able to key you into more nuanced information that someone form the outside wouldn't be aware of, cultural sensitivity, norms for that area/venue etc.
Cost over runs on any campaign is not out of the norm, but with experiential campaigns can get out of hand and become prohibitive to the success of the activation. As previously mentioned there are many moving parts to an experiential campaign all of these parts have different cost associated with them some straightforward i.e.; costs of a venue, while others are more ambiguous i.e. costs to live stream event to active users on a social platform. Your experiential Marketing Agency should be transparent with you as the client in where and how the money is being spent if it's according to the scope of work initially proposed and if there are over runs why and how that can be controlled. If this isn't done there's the possibility of spending a lot of money and no return on Investment.
What constitutes success with an experiential campaign. Is it the amount of attendees to an event or venue sponsored by your brand? Is it the amount of people form a sponsored event that then sign up for your service or buy your product. Is it mentions on social media or earned media? Is it all or a combination of these things and more? Whatever the answer is that metric and how it will be measured needs to be clearly defined form the outset. This will guide the campaign and ensure that from concept to execution the metrics for success are kept in mind.
An experiential marketing campaign is a great way to get your product and service in front of or in the hands of your target market but choosing the right agency is going to be paramount to the success of the activation. By looking for an agency with a proven track record, a matching footprint, who has existing relationships that can be leveraged on your behalf, transparency in billing and truly measurable metric for success you'll really see the power of this type of effort. Have you had success with experiential campaigns in the past? Let us know in the comments section.