Marketing, like everything else in our lives, has evolved. It is no longer an ad campaign, a promotion or an interactive event. It’s no longer simply a below, above or through the line solution.
No matter how integrated the message, and how many platforms they land on, these still follow the traditional formula: pitch and pray.
The New Black
So what is marketing in 2019, and why is Boost preaching experiential when everyone’s talking Digital? Before I tell you, let’s be clear in the knowledge that Digital Marketing is here to stay. Its crossed the proverbial gauntlet and is as important to business as oxygen is to life. If you don’t’ know this yet, don’t’ worry, you’re not alone, but best you get moving…
What Boost is currently doing best for digital, is translating corporate stories of success and wonder into every form of video imaginable. They make you laugh, cry, scream with joy, sell, buy, learn, dance, vote, love and labour. That’s why video is the new Black.
When Boost Meant To Lift, Or Rise
But more on that later. Today we’re talking the three shades of experiential marketing. Also known as event marketing, promotions, ambush marketing and many other names. What these have in common are that they’re usually there to sell, sometimes to create awareness and often to sample product. They always comprise first hand, mostly interactive experiences where bonding occurs between a brand and a human being. They are usually memorable, all be they, mostly, short-lived.
Boost has been delivering these types of experiential marketing programmes and campaigns to big brands for the past 15 years. Yup, even before Boost was Boost, and when boost actually meant, to lift or rise.
The most recent such programme was the Blue Ribbon Taste of Summer campaign this past December and January. This traditional Experiential campaign had audiences Spinning to win prizes in the informal trade across 7 of SA’s 9 provinces, driving sales, raising awareness and taking the time to have fun with the people who, for the longest time have been eating this bread.
Experiential Marketing – Communities And Schools
The second type of experiential marketing that Boost has been entrenched in for those 15-years is our ‘School Programmes’. These bring value to entire communities by telling branded, curriculum-based ‘stories’ in classrooms around the country. Hosted by professional artists or performers, Boost in conjunction with education specialists create and present content that directly adds value to the learner’s end of year results.
Through the delivery of a message, usually in the home language of the learners, and with a good helping of fun and entertainment, brings, what could sometimes be considered “boring school stuff”, achieves an extraordinary rate of participation and message retention resulting in excellent grades on the topic in question. Kids happy, tick. Teachers happy, tick. Parents happy, tick. But there’s more…
A New Form Of Experiential Marketing
Today’s experiential marketing no longer simply talks to the traditional customer or client, the purchaser of our goods or services. Boost has had the privilege of working with progressive thinking, culture-oriented companies. Companies who wish to communicate with their most important customer. The customer that has the most influence yet, seldom, if ever, buys the company’s product or services. We’re talking about the employees. The office staff, the workers, drivers, cleaners, bakers, technicians, writers, builders… and the list goes on.
It all started with a brief from a long-standing client: The Challenge – Traditional training is not working for us. We (Management) would like to get ‘closer’ to our employees. We wish to do this at all levels, but mostly those whom we (Management) know little about. We want to see their perspective and would like to invite them to see ours.
This may not sound like a brief for a marketing campaign, yet it inadvertently sought for us to make people laugh, cry, scream with joy, sell, buy, learn, dance, vote, labour and love.
We were to create first-hand interactive experiences where bonding of sort occurs between a brand and a human being. Ideally, the experience would be memorable and generate a powerful mind and behaviour shift. And so began Boost’s many dances with what is often referred to as Change Management or Training.
How Does Change Management And Training Look In The World Of Experiential Marketing?
For a start, it places the audience first. It places all the energy into understanding the target audience and providing a safe space for all to engage and share their stories. The content is often created, right there, in the room, although guided by sound psychological theories, coaching, and communications techniques. Most importantly, it’s about talking to our audience in their own language. Their mother tongue. There can be no shot-gun approach here. The great thing about Experiential marketing is it can be likened to a radio commercial, where a script is produced and you find 12 people to narrate your script in 12 official languages.
Magical Experiential Marketing
What’s magical about experiential is, it’s possible. What’s even more possible and extraordinary is that when you get the formula right (know your audience, speak their language, engage, tell a story, be authentic and entertain) experiential marketing will provide you with an attentive, focussed, empowered audience that actively participates and often becomes the story. Like traditional experiential marketing, Boost brings theatre, poetry, dance, games, humour and of course music into the mix.
Most HR departments and executives take some time to digest the concept but the proof is made visible very quickly. The biggest challenge in providing experiential marketing for agencies like Boost lies in the reporting. Whilst Boost has built its track record on providing tangible, measurable results, that old saying “you had to be there” still applies. This because experiential marketing is a bit like going to an Ed Sheeran concert and singing along with 60 000 other humans to your favourite songs. You can explain it till you’re blue in the face, but at the end of the day, the goosebump moments are saved for those who were there. And it is these goosebump moments that bring the message home. That moment where every man and woman in the room feels like they are part of something special, they feel connected, and they like what they’re feeling. A lot.
Welcome to the wonderful world of experiential marketing.