Experiential marketing agencies aren’t a new phenomenon but they are becoming more popular. Firms who specialize in creating experiences around your product or service where your target personas can interact with the brand directly and walk away with a higher recognition and affinity for the brand than before the experience. One important factor with any marketing effort not just experiential, that effort should ultimately be tied into a sales pipeline.
All of your marketing should have steps that take a persona from a prospect to a marketing qualified lead (MQL) and then a sales qualified lead (SQL) , at which point that lead would be handed over to the sales team for follow up and close. The problem with a lot of experiential based campaigns is a focus on the experience in that moment with little to no focus on how to take that person and engage them past that moment to the point we’re they’re MQL, SQL and ultimately a customer. Your experiential marketing agency should be able to feed and to a certain extent nurture your sales pipeline.
One of the great things about an experiential campaign is the connectivity it gives the brand to its buyer persona. Especially when done right and is organized the hand to hand combat that takes place at an event where the persona is emerged in the brand with little to no distractions or interference from the outside can’t be replicated in any other format. The challenge with most events like this is continuing that good feeling and engagement past the time of that event and initial interaction. How do you determine how many of the folks you interacted with at the event actually converted and purchased from you? If you have different service offerings and product lines how do you know which ones they’re interested in or not and how to market those accordingly. It used to be that these things were never covered or considered when using an experiential marketing agency, but that has changed.
When an experiential marketing agency is activating on behalf of their client there are a few mechanisms and techniques that can be added to the activations to make sure these activities feed your sales pipeline taking folks from being prospects to MQL to SQL and ultimately customer. Here are a few.
A very basic landing page can be the genesis of going from prospect to close. Ambassadors who are engaging on the brands behalf can have tablets or mobile phones with simple pre made landing pages that ask basic information i.e. name email address product or service interested in.
This landing page should be connected to your CRM and subsequent workflows. Not only can you now nurture the prospect to the point of closing it can also act as a barometer for the event overall. If you see a lot of repeat contacts from a particular event or type of activation you may begin to consider moving to another area, creating a new type of activation or abandoning the strategy all together.
Attaching this activity to a CRM can actually save you from spinning wheels and spending money on a tactic that’s not yielding results or on the flip side you may increase efforts and activations if you find after events the CRM and workflows are filled with quality prospects that convert into sales.
Similar to most other forms of media being able to measure is key. This is what was missing from experiential for a long time, great events lot’s of people, but how much did we sell as a result?
Your experiential marketing agency as a way to gauge which of your products or services are the most attractive and also what personas are best for these can activate on behalf of specific services or line of products. Then add the same landing page element maybe one that’s more detailed ask a few more questions specific to that line. Theoretically the original invites or place that’s chosen to do an activation will target those who you believe will be interested in that specific line of product or service, but ultimately how the prospects or your ambassadors enter their info into the CRM and what options they choose is going to determine whether or not the agency choices were correct. Even if they aren’t initially through lead nurturing you can still convert close and delight leads that weren’t interested in the first place it’s just a little harder
The most effective activations that your experiential marketing agency can put together are ones where the audience or attendees are given lots of stuff. The more swag the better the more things they can feel, taste, experience and even take home the better.
Best practices dictate the more you give the more you can ask for. Don’t be bashful about giving as much as possible during an activation but make sure to ask for as much info is necessary to know get that prospect into the CRM as close to an SQL as possible.
Like any other sales process the more info your sales staff has about a prospect and their pain points/needs the easier it is to sell them based on that info. So don’t be shy about loading prospects up with SWAG and memorable experiences at these activations just make sure you’re asking for an equal amount back from them in the form of information that can be passed along to your sales team for a follow up and close.
Experiential Marketing agencies are almost a must have for any robust marketing campaigns. Nothing beats going where your target personas are or setting up an event for them to come to you to experience the product or service up close. Not only are these highly effective marketing techniques but if you build effective landing pages, feature specific service or product lines, offer more and ask for more, these activations can become a robust solution to feed your sales pipeline and have your sales staff convert and close having a positive impact on the bottom line.