Could gamification be the new experiential marketing asset?

Experiential marketing is based on target audience engagement in events or activities aiming to raise awareness or convert sales. But marketing specialists can make their efforts even more effective by incorporating elements of gamification, such as competitions and marketing games.

What is the benefit of experiential marketing?

Experiential marketing is a marketing strategy based on the customer experience, and the main goal is to create a memorable experience prior to the purchase. It is an excellent way to involve your loyal customers in your marketing activity, as well as your prospective customers, since they come into direct contact with your products and services from their very first interaction with the brand.

So, in contrast to traditional marketing, experiential marketing aims to break the marketing codes to offer a unique experience and influence the consumer’s purchasing behaviour by playing on their emotions. In fact, with experiential marketing it is not a question of showcasing the technical characteristics of a product or service, but rather to highlight the emotions and sensations associated with them.

This type of marketing is most notably characterised by an experience which is fun, interactive and memorable for the target audience. That is why gamification, which brings a fun and interactive aspect, added to experiential marketing which is lacking these aspects to operate effectively is a winning combination for your marketing campaigns!

Why use experiential marketing?

Experiential marketing helps you stand out from competing companies and makes all the difference with clients. With time and digital transformation, the needs and mindset of consumers have changed, so they are no longer satisfied simply by the quality of products. They also look for a sensational and memorable experience before making the purchase. That is exactly what experiential marketing helps you achieve in a record time!

How do you put this marketing strategy in place?

To put an effective experiential marketing strategy in place, it is particularly recommended to take advantage of the consumer’s 5 senses. In fact, the goal is to arouse emotions that will remain engraved in their memory by offering them an optimal customer experience in their purchasing journey. As a result, effective experiential marketing means applying personalised sensory and emotional marketing techniques and strategies.

Sensory marketing

Sensory marketing lets you use the 5 human senses to your advantage: sight, sound, smell, taste and touch. As an example, it is characterised by the sight of a colour, such as green which represents balance and nature, or yellow which often symbolises optimism. When it comes to smell, it is the only sense that is directly connected to the areas of the brain that generate emotions and memories. Therefore, associating a product to an odour, for example, allows the consumer to subconsciously create a link between the two! However, sensory marketing can only reach its full potential if it is used in association with emotional marketing techniques.

Emotional marketing

In fact, emotional marketing, based more on emotions, will expand the reach of 5-senses marketing. This type of marketing relies on the fact that our choices are very often dominated more by our emotions than reason, which we call “spur of the moment” purchases. For example, in experiential marketing, if a consumer feels comfortable in the sales outlet, or even if they enjoy browsing the online shop, and also like the products on offer, there is an emotional factor. However, keep in mind that emotional marketing can also involve a rational factor. For example, the consumer sees the advantages by reading the product or service description, but also by its purchasing price.

In experiential marketing, client experience must be simultaneously interactive, emotive and engaging. To achieve this, you can add gamification programmes to your experiential marketing strategy. Interactive quizzes are, for example, a fast and effective way to involve potential buyers in your sales process, while scratch card games or instant winner games will contribute to arousing positive emotions for participants thanks to the dopamine and the idea of a potential prize to be won.

International success stories

  • Red Bull and live-streaming live in the stratosphere

As you surely already know, Red Bull has been a master in extreme sports communication and representation for almost as long as the brand has existed, which is since 1984! Affectionately called Stratos for “stratosphere”, the Red Bull marketing campaign depicts Felix Baumgartner, an Austrian skydiver who worked in partnership with Red Bull to attempt to break the world record for the highest parachute jump in October 2012.

To pull off this incredible free-fall jump from 38,969 metres reaching an estimated speed of 1,357.64 km/h, Red Bull put Felix in a small communication shuttle and sent him to the stratosphere with the help of a large balloon filled with helium. What is truly remarkable about this experience is that his ascent and preparation to jump allowed him to break another record as the first person to cross the sound barrier alone without the help of a vehicle during his speedy descent.

As a sponsor, Red Bull broadcasted the whole event online and recorded a colossal number of views for a live stream broadcast on YouTube of just over 8 million viewers.

  • Coca-Cola and the AR experience

In Zurich, during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, Coca-Cola wanted to celebrate its continued support for one of the biggest sporting events in the world with an augmented reality experience in front of a train station. Thanks to this installation, the public and football fans could stand in front of a giant screen and seen a famous football player next to them. They could then train with the athlete or take part in their own mini tournament. Some clips of the experiences were shared on social media to spread the campaign internationally.

To summarise, marketing games and competitions are also assets that help you optimise your experiential marketing strategy by creating engagement with your audience, collecting leads and converting prospects into clients.

In order to be convincing and successful, your marketing campaign and the experience that you will offer your audience must be a long term strategy, with a series of several small gamification experiences that help to engage the client in the consumer and sales process. To do this, make sure the client completely disconnect from their environment and finds themself in your experience. This way, they will be fully absorbed in the experience that you offer them.

Furthermore, in terms of e-marketing or online marketing, the UX (user experience) and SEO, all the techniques implemented to improve a website’s position on search engines also play a role in the main parameters to consider and effectively put in place for a successful experiential marketing campaign.

With more than 10 years experience in creating games and fun experiences, the Drimify team accompanies you in the planning, creation and implementation of gamification programmes to optimise your experiential marketing strategy. Try out our demos and get in touch to make the most of our expertise and discuss your project.

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