May 13, 2016 Sol Rivero

13 Experiential Marketing Statistics you should know

With the sudden and swift rise of the internet and multiple social media channels, most companies and marketers found a new way of getting their product out there using digital marketing strategies. Surprisingly, according to most experiential marketing statistics released in the last few years, nowadays more and more businesses are focusing their efforts in activations and in-person events to reach their target market.

While digital channels offer an easy and almost instant way of connecting with consumers, as well as reaching a broader audience no matter where they are in the world, a well-crafted event gives visitors a unique experience by stimulating their senses during the process of engaging with a product or brand in a direct and effective way, which most social media channels could never achieve –at least for now!

For companies still wondering if all the effort of planning and delivering a successful event is worth it, we have compiled some essential data that might help you make up your mind.

Essential Experiential Marketing Statistics you must know

With thousands of brands joining social media every day and channels changing their algorithms to deliver a less blatantly commercial experience, the competition for users’ attention online can become an almost impossible chore for marketers and small companies. Fortunately, an activation has the power to capture consumers’ interest by helping them focus on a single message with no interference or distractions interrupting the communication between the company and its target audience.

TV and Pay-per-click Ads can cost a lot, and the results might not be as efficient as initially expected, so it’s not surprising then that about 77% of marketers use Experiential Marketing as a vital part of a brand’s advertising strategies.

An in-person event helps brands be right where they need to be in order to cause a direct impact through up-front interaction with people. That’s probably why, according to the brand survey run by EventTrack last year, companies have been increasing their event marketing efforts gradually since 2014.

These experiential marketing statistics about brands and marketers’ opinions regarding event marketing are crucial for understanding the industry’s present status:  

  • 67% of marketers think Experiential Marketing is an effective strategy
  • In 2015, 79% of brands said they would execute more events than in previous years
  • Last year, 65% of brands expressed their belief that in-person events are directly correlated to sales
  • Experiential marketing budgets were expected to grow approximately 6.1% in 2015, with 79% of brands reporting they would create more events in the near future
  • 58% of the events created had to do with influencer-related experiences

What to make of this?

Is your company focusing its marketing efforts solely in digital channels? Perhaps it’s time to reconsider your approach!

According to these experiential marketing statistics, more and more organizations and businesses understand the importance of creating real-time experiences that get customers involved with their products. The direct approach that distinguishes event marketing from other advertising strategies provides a more certain way of reaching out to users and generating sales, so small companies looking for effective, straightforward tactics to build their following and have some revenue will certainly benefit from a well-crafted event in a great location.

How users feel about Experiential Marketing

Understanding what brands and marketers think of events is important, but as we all know: the real focus of any activation is the consumer. What people like, dislike and respond to can teach brands a lot about how to reach their customers and what to offer to their target market to successfully fulfill their needs and expectations.

65% of the consumers surveyed by EventTrack said live events helped them have a better understanding of a product or service, vastly surpassing digital efforts and TV advertising as methods of recognizing and learning about a brand. Keeping this in mind, it’s not that surprising that many brands are concentrating their energy and resources in reaching out to their consumer base with a more practical approach, using brand ambassadors and influencers to successfully connect with their audience.

In-person events have the power to sway a customer’s opinion regarding a brand, big or small, and influence their purchasing habits while creating an emotional and sensory connection with every attendant. These amazing experiential marketing statistics will let you know how users really see your events:

  • 98% of users feel more inclined to purchase after attending an activation
  • 74% of consumers have a better opinion about a brand after an in-person event
  • 70% of users become regular customers after an experiential marketing event
  • According to 80% of attendants, live demonstrations and free samples significantly help define their purchasing decision
  • 71% of consumers share information about their experience with their peers and family members

About this last item, it’s essential for marketers to understand how word-of-mouth will work moments and even days after the event is over. Social media can play a very important role when it comes to spreading the word about your activation: about 34% of consumers surveyed said they would make a post about the experience in their social media, while 33% of them said they would take photos or videos during the event.

Channeling that type of engagement into user-created content that can be employed to validate your brand is as important as causing a great impression on your attendees. The connection between your brand and its potential consumers must be transparent, meaningful and long-lasting.    

What to make of this?

On one hand, these experiential marketing statistics show brands and marketers that the apparent success of event marketing isn’t only a matter of a few companies’ perception. Consumers also understand the importance of an event when it comes to knowing the details of a product through live sampling or in-person interaction. Customers are more than ready to attend an event, get involved in engaging activities, and spread the word if it’s a satisfactory experience.

Also, it’s extremely important that marketers think ahead and come up with creative and interactive ways that incite and help attendants to share the results of their own experience with their network: QR codes, apps, social media… are some of the many incredible tools that can complement an event marketing strategy.   

Event Marketing and Online Marketing Strategies

While face-to-face events are definitely a great way of achieving many of a brand’s specific set of goals, marketers know you can definitely expand your reach by complementing your plan with social media tactics and other online marketing strategies.

Digital channels are helpful tools that can assist event marketers in the process of achieving most of their goals, such as spreading the word about the activation, getting in touch with influencers, or even creating a database of users and leads.

Surprisingly, according to experiential marketing statistics a staggering 11% of brands don’t seem to use social media to complement their in-person efforts, a fact that might start changing very soon as new tools like Livestreaming and easy-to-use platforms such as Snapchat gain even more ground.

All kinds of worldwide events hosted by large and small brands are using live, unpolished content to show people the different stages of an experiential marketing activation, creating a narrative that people can get invested in, and helping nurturing a more humane relationship between the company and the consumers.  

Here is an overview of how companies use digital channels to support their experiential marketing efforts:

  • 82% of brands use Facebook to support their events
  • 78% of marketers use social media before an event; while only a 62% use it during the activation, and 65% use it after it
  • 62% of brands define a budget for social media efforts to support their events

Having an online marketing strategy that complements a brand’s event is absolutely necessary to expand its reach and allow customers to tell others about the product. According to last year’s experiential marketing statistics, between 24-29% of attendants use mobile devices to send a message or picture to their family or friends during an event. Also, about 60% of the consumers use Facebook to share event-related content, closely followed by Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn as the top social media platforms used during an activation.     

What to make of this?

While many marketers don’t think too much about how to use social media for their events –aside from announcing it, or showing some of the results-, consumers do tend to use their social media channels as a way of sharing their experience with others and validating their own opinions on different subjects. Nowadays, consumers are much more prepared and able to share their thoughts than ever before.

Brands and marketers can use this to their advantage by both encouraging and using this consumer-created content: using hashtags to lead a conversation, inviting users to tag your social media profiles on their pictures, creating dynamic contests using their content… the sky is the limit when it comes to expanding your reach!

A new wave of event marketing is here. With the promise of never-before-seen technology, unique experiences and live interactions, marketers and brands have an incredible chance to reach an alienated audience that craves authenticity and appreciates the possibility of being “here and now”.

Is your brand incorporating experiential marketing in its strategy? How are you reaching out to your consumers?

Sources:

Event Marketing Institute. (2015). Event Marketing Institute. Retrieved May 6, 2016, from http://www.eventmarketer.com/reports/

Factory 360. (2015). 4 Experiential Marketing Statistics You Should Know . Retrieved May 06, 2016, from https://www.factory360.com/4-experiential-marketing-statistics-you-should-know/

Pesin, B. (2015, May 8). 35 statistics that every event marketer should know. Retrieved May 6, 2016, from http://blog.eventfarm.com/blog/35-statistics-that-every-event-marketer-should-know

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About the Author

Sol Rivero Cinephile. Bibliophile. Social Media Marketer. Working as Copywriter and Community Manager at Markdebrand.
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