We’ve all seen the question floating around – is advertising dead? It’s not a surprising thought given how much white noise exists in the oversaturated world of advertising. Advertisements are everywhere and consumers are getting better at avoiding them, whether they are skipping through video ads on YouTube or paying to turn off advertisements altogether. Given these trends, there’s a growing need for companies to find new ways to effectively engage people. While traditional advertising might appear to be fading into its final days, advertising is actually far from dead! It simply needs to be smarter, and drive lasting connections and impressions with end customers.
Notably, we’re seeing experiential marketing emerge in response to the challenge. Experiential marketing is an advertising strategy that focuses on helping consumers experience a brand – with an emphasis on EXPERIENCES. This is a substantial differentiation from traditional strategies that broadcast brand and product benefits to a wide audience. Also referred to as engagement marketing, experiential marketing may be comprised of a variety of marketing strategies geared toward immersing customers within the product or solution by engaging them in as many ways as possible. Ultimately, companies utilizing this strategy want to help customers form memorable, emotional connections with a brand to foster customer loyalty and improve customer lifetime value (CLV).
Recently, the marketing team at Konica Minolta brought experiential marketing to PRINTING United, a large-scale trade show created to showcase the latest solutions for commercial printing, packaging, in-plant printing, apparel, graphics/wide format and functional printing applications. We did this by combining the power of our new global “ReThink” campaign with an immersive experience at our exhibit booth. The “ReThink” initiative aims to show how Konica Minolta continues to transform by innovating new products and creating stronger relationships with our customers by creating stimulating and interactive experiences with our machines.
PRINTING United provided the perfect opportunity to showcase the power and potential that experiential marketing experiences can create. (And conversely, how we can drive a more emotional and exciting connection with our target audience within the creative printing industry.) Typically at our events, an attendee visits our exhibit booth to meet with product managers and technology experts, see the machines in action and take the time to view and feel the live samples. This year, we changed things up by adding a creative, real-life experience with the concept of ‘ReThink Avenue’ at our booth to help inject unique ways to bring to life the value of our Graphic Communication and Industrial Print expertise.
On “ReThink Avenue,” customers strolled down a row of storefront boutique-themed windows. Each window represented an area of the world – from Paris to London to New York – and allowed visitors a glimpse into the breadth of Konica Minolta’s value proposition in graphic communication and industrial print. It did so by showcasing a vast number of different samples. Almost everything – aside from the Macaroons! – was printed and finished on different Konica Minolta machines. This included, but was not limited to, street signage and posters using our wide format machines to chocolate boxes printed using our new Precision Packaging Series PKG-675i corrugated box printer, embellished by our MGI devices.
Customers not only got a glimpse of the machines on display, but experienced Konica Minolta’s creative print capabilities to help us inspire new conversations and ideas with our customers to allow us together to break into new markets.
More specifically, our approach focused on dramatizing key features of individual technologies. Our storefronts brought to life our highly creative solutions, ultimately demonstrating how printers can “ReThink” color, embellishment, packaging, wide format, finishing and workflow to create higher value print on our range of equipment and software solutions and unforeseen value for their business.
We also engaged visitors through an augmented reality (AR) experience. By simply downloading an app and pointing their devices to a ‘trigger image,’ users were able to launch an AR scenario focused on the four product segments being showcased: production color, label and packaging, decorative print and wide format.
So, experiential marketing is a unique tactic to help push the parameters of how to reach your customers and curate content that your target audience wants to see by allowing them to engage with your company firsthand.
Overall, it is important to start the shift from interruptive messaging to a customer-first immersive experience that creates the opportunity to interact with your customer to develop a more meaningful and impactful campaign strategy.
Here are some tips to get started:
Designing your campaign with these ideas in mind will help gain more earned media rather than paid media, leaving more of your budget available for the experience itself.
Most importantly, have fun with experiential marketing and enjoy the lasting impressions and conversations it will create for your brand.