Click this. Try this out. Buy now!
These are just some buzzwords that marketers use to spur customers to do something.
Along with colorful visuals or upbeat videos, games, events and other marketing activities, a call to action is now a necessity in almost every ad or marketing material.
Marketing in the 21st Century
Marketing is a broad term that is broken down to several disciplines. Under its wing are several channels and mediums all aimed at one thing – selling. Whether it is to sell a product, service, or idea, marketers explore various ways to communicate to an audience so whatever it is they offer will be patronized.
The marketing landscape has changed over the years. New inventions, innovations, social and cultural changes, and several other factors that have changed how people live have also influenced – and now even dictate – how products are developed and marketed.
These days, it is no longer enough to utilize traditional forms of media in marketing such as print, TV, or radio advertisements. With the 21st century lifestyle that calls for instant gratification, digital and experiential marketing have come to life. With a click or a swipe, customers normally get what they want when and where they want it.
Digital marketing refers to marketing products through digital technology. It is not only confined to using the Internet but can also use out-of-home (OOH) advertising, mobile phones, and any other digital mediums.
Experiential marketing, on the other hand, refers to marketing activities that involve the customer experiencing something whether through the five senses. These activities aim to evoke emotion or spur action.
Combining these two is said to be a powerful one-two punch that marketers employ nowadays to maximize their marketing money and get better return on investment (ROI).
However, it is easier to put them together in theory than actually applying them since achieving synergy can be quite tricky. It is not enough to design an attractive digital or experiential campaign. You must also be able to create in a way that will make customers engage with your brand or product. Campaigns without customer engagement will eventually fade into oblivion.
So what do you need to do? You must effectively combine the strengths of both digital and experiential marketing to create a marketing campaign that will compel customers to take interest (and hopefully get converted into loyal customers) in your brand or product offer.
Here’s how to develop this powerful combo to your advantage:
1. Define your target market
Who are your consumers? How do they think? What are their interests?
Know the demographics and psychographics of your customers. Gather data, conduct market research, and analyze the information presented to you.
It is paramount that you know whom you are talking to so you know how you should talk to them.
2. Set clear, measurable goals
What do you want your customers to do? What are your objectives?
Do you want them to visit your website? Fill a form and subscribe to your newsletter? Taste the new flavor of your beverage? Are you inviting them to go to your showroom?
Be clear in setting your objectives then find efficient metrics to measure your success. Sales and digital marketing goals are easier to measure because they can easily generate quantitative data, but do not be disheartened when it comes to measuring experiential data. There are companies which specialize in these kinds of activities so you can also opt to enlist their services.
Setting quantifiable markers for success will tell you which efforts are working and which ones you will need to ditch.
3. Create an activation strategy
How will you carry out your objectives? What marketing or communication tactics will you use to accomplish your goals? What specific activities have you planned to pique your customers’ interest, invite them to experience your offerings, or compel them to buy?
Map out your activation campaign by identifying the ideal marketing mix. And while it is tempting to cast a bigger net, you will benefit more by identifying what specific mediums your audience normally uses.
- Are they glued to their smartphones? Use digital ads, games, or interactive banners.
- Which malls do they go to? Use OOH, interactive displays, mall exhibits, car displays, POS materials.
- Are your target audience moviegoers? Target cinema spots, flyering.
- Sports fanatics? Take advantage of half-time commercial spots, banners, streamers.
- Heavy users of Instagram or Facebook? Channel your messages through influencers / celebrity posts, and paid ads.
There are a million and one ways to catch your customers’ undivided attention when you know where they are looking. Define and conquer.
4. Keep in touch
How do you continuously create customer touch points? What sustaining activities have you planned? Do you have a customer relationship management system in place?
Plan to keep in touch with your target audience all throughout the purchase process and beyond. When selling a car, for example, do not just stop your interaction after you deliver the vehicle. Continue to nourish the relationship through customer appreciation events, friendly reminders, and even holiday greetings. Establishing good relations with your clients can lead to repurchases as well as create positive word of mouth that can lead to referrals.
Call to Action
A good measuring stick to use when evaluating the success of a digital and experiential campaign is when you have incited your target clients to action.
Whether they were touched enough by that video on taking care of the planet that they bought your environment-friendly bags or they were attracted to the speed and fuel-efficiency of your car when you took them for a test drive, the point is that you were able to achieve what you set out to do.
Do your homework and go through the necessary steps. Develop a well-thought out plan using the guide mentioned above and you will have better chances of winning those customers over.
Grace Yacoub is the owner, founder and CEO at Zaman. She recognized the potential to develop brands in Dubai back in 1996. Amongst her first projects were to convert the local powerhouses of Etisalat and NBD into branded entities and engage the nation in the drive for modernity. She has since led projects across finance, family, industry, property, retail and all sectors to convert many of the region’s most important companies into powerful brands.