Having spent many years working in digital roles, it’s intriguing to see the growth in marketing spend on delivering real life experiences in B2B and B2C.
There’s an inescapable logic to this. In the digital age, relationships can be increasingly virtual and ephemeral. So companies are re-discovering a basic marketing truth. There’s nothing like a real, shared experience. It means people can ‘feel’ the message and the brand, rather than just be exposed to it. And this builds a far deeper and more emotional response with consumers.
The rise in digital significantly grows the reach of these ‘experiences’. Today live events and online are almost always blended, whether publicly or privately. Tools like webinars, social media, content sharing, and collective media (such as photo and video sharing) are increasingly ubiquitous.
Sadly there’s not much hard data on engagement marketing in NZ. But in 2014 US B2B marketers rated in-person events as the most effective tactic they use – for the fourth year in a row. 70% believe events are effective. This compared to only 45% who thought social media was effective, despite this being the most used tactic. As a result over 20% of U.S. B2B marketing budgets are dedicated to events.
We’re seeing the same trends emerge here in New Zealand. Events and experiential are no longer ‘below the line’ but are becoming a leading strategic driver for companies. Ironically, the rise in digital has made us treasure ‘real’ experiences even more than before, as well as amplifying their effectiveness.