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Mice Asia Net : July 2008
backstage Ronnie Lim, President south east asia, staging ConneCtions grouP experiential marketing creates lasting benefits ExpEriEntial markEting is creating lasting benefits for savvy business operators says staging Connections’ ronnie lim. released with a greater frequency than ever before. In today’s time poor environment together with this massive product choice comes consumer confusion – which is the best product for me and why? It is no wonder then that marketers have turned to experiential marketing to reach their customers and provide them with first hand experience of their products and services. Add to that the ability to gauge an immediate response from your audience – and you’ve essentially reached marketing utopia! While traditional media will continue to be relevant in the race to reach consumers, there is no comparison to the experience that face to face interaction delivers. No more glossy brochures with a sample dvd glued to the inside which is relegated to the “view later” pile! Experiential marketing is about the moment; it’s about touching, feeling and experiencing. Importantly it’s about empowering consumers to create their own connection in an ambient and engaging environment and walking away with a [positive] experience to share with others. Experiential marketing is the ultimate “word-of-mouth” influencer marketing tool. Compare the difference between flicking through a car brochure and actually test driving that car of your dreams. By driving it you can experience how the car feels, smells and handles so that you feel an emotional attachment to it. Though it can be pleasing on the eye, that’s a difficult emotion to solicit from a brochure! While every event is an experience and provides the opportunity to engage face-to-face with customers, experiential marketing is different. A successful experiential marketing campaign must be underpinned by a business strategy that identifies what you want customers to feel, how you want them to interact with your brand, and what lasting emotion and feeling you want them to take away with them after the event. To achieve this you need the right event team – an experiential marketing think-tank experienced in the development of tactical C ompanies large and small are always looking at more effective ways to build brand loyalty and we all know how overcrowded the consumer market is with products communication messaging as well as a skilled logistics team which will plan, manage and deliver the strategic experience whether it’s an event, exhibition, roadshow, product demo, mobile marketing or online and brand placement. Consider your event partner as just that – your partner in every facet of your event. Experienced companies will have the ability to manage the entire event including experiential marketing. Not only do they know about the latest technology but they have the skilled production specialists who can add another dimension to your event by seamlessly integrating the latest technology with the experiential design to create a complete immersive experience. It is obvious why experiential marketing is one of the fastest growing marketing communication disciplines. Creating a multi-sensory environment that stimulates sight, sound, taste, touch and smell means that consumers can experience every facet of the product or service. Consumers too are embracing this style of marketing as the experience is interactive, inclusive and personal, and it allows them to provide instant feedback. From a technical perspective, the ongoing success of experiential marketing has been assisted by significant advances in IT and CRM systems giving marketers instant access to customer databases and the ability to segment customers for specific channel marketing activities. Additionally its growth has been boosted by the ongoing development of digital multimedia technology, which makes marketing more dynamic and content far richer and more impactful than ever before! Experiential marketing requires a major investment in time, money and resources but done well the results are powerful and will lead to change. It can change buyer behaviour and lead to increased sales by creating an emotional connection to a brand and ultimately, and much to their delight, it puts consumers back in control. Ronnie Lim is a pioneer of the events industry in Asia. He established his business in Singapore in 1991 and for the past two years his company, Staging Connections TEC, has been voted Singapore’s #1 event agency in a survey of leading marketers. miceAsia.net 23