Brand loyalty is a funny thing: It’s incredibly difficult to establish, but it’s also incredibly valuable. Yet one wrong move — or lack thereof — can ruin the relationship. There are certain marketing tactics, such as experiential marketing, that have proven to generate brand affinity through fun and engaging events.
Experiential marketing is not a new concept and there are brands out there absolutely crushing it right now. JetBlue’s icebreaker campaign and AMC’s Los Pollos Hermanos restaurant pop-up campaign are just two examples of companies doing a great job engaging directly with their audiences and creating memorable experiences that develop into meaningful and lasting relationships. Yet while this has proven to be a great strategy, it does come with its pitfalls. Historically, it has been an expensive tactic and one that may not fit every brand.
Thanks to advances in technology, specifically the evolution of virtual and augmented reality, the barriers to entry are being lowered. Brands large and small can now experiment with creating exciting, engaging experiences — and get them into the hands of their consumers easily and quickly. And to top it all off, they are no longer limited to the bounds of the physical world.
For example, imagine Cubs fans being able to put on VR headsets at a concession stand behind home plate or at home and virtually being able to hit balls into the bleachers at Wrigley Field to earn free swag or discounted coupons for gear. Sounds fun, right? Or maybe you’re a fashion brand and want your target audience to feel what it is like to walk the catwalk during Fashion Week in Paris. That’s the great thing about VR — you can do anything and go anywhere, but instead of forking over hundreds of thousands of dollars for amazing one-time experiences, you can create a repeatable experience in virtual for less time and far less money. These are the types of interactive marketing experiences that VR makes possible.
Experiential marketing doesn’t have to be limited to the B2C crowd either. At the end of the day, B2B buyers are humans and have emotions, too. Virtual opens doors for companies to market their services and products to the businesses that use them in a more exciting, engaging way. There is a huge opportunity there for forward-thinking marketers in the space.
Tracking And Metrics
If you’re investing in experiential marketing tactics, you want to know how your campaign actually performed, right?
In addition to being able to create, well, virtually anything, VR gives you the ability to track almost anything as well. I know we all love our impression estimates and brand perception metrics, and those are still important, but wouldn’t you love to also be able to know exactly how many people engaged with your experience, what they did and for how long? This will allow you to truly understand what aspects of your experience worked best and what you can improve upon the next time. And, because it’s digital, you can easily change the things that didn’t work.