In 2015, 79 percent of brands found a 2-to-1 ROI on their experiential investments and 95 percent of consumers were more inclined to make a purchase after attending an event (EventTrack). As experiential marketing grows and earns a larger share of marketing budgets, what kind of trends can we expect to see for consumer and B2B brands in 2016?
1. POP-UPS AND MOBILE UNITS As brands make larger initial investments in concepts and production, they are challenged to find ways to increase ROI through creative executions. Mobile units allow brands to bolster reach by attending cross-state, or even cross-country, events with relatively low transportation/operating costs. From prefab units to fully customized build-outs, expect creativity to soar on wheels.
2. A SHIFT TOWARDS INTERACTIVE Videos, premiums and giveaways will still have a place at events, but this year, brands will focus on creating emotional connections through consumer experiences. Newer technology, including wearables, 3D, virtual reality and mobile app integration, will allow brands to customize the experience to an exact audience — and collect prospect information to boot.
3. INCREASED PR AND SOCIAL INTEGRATION As marketers recognize the importance of strong themes and storytelling in their experiential programs, they will strengthen the partnership between experiential programs, PR and social media (and at times, paid media). Experiential gives brands plenty to talk about, and if done right, can produce loads of quality content as well. From using social to drive attendance and extend reach, to partnering with PR and paid media on custom programs, experiential marketing may become a true IMC partner.