We cannot, of course, pretend that we will ever be truly living in a “post-COVID-19” world; nonetheless, we are living in a world in which there has been a noticeable sensibility change around the virus. If the coronavirus pandemic has not exactly “gone”, the picture has certainly altered considerably amid the lifting of previous restrictions and rules designed to minimise the spread of illness.
And it is certainly important to acknowledge that – as invaluable as digital experiences at the height of the lockdowns proved to be for helping to preserve crucial personal and professional connections – it is also only human for us to yearn to be together. And sometimes, that happens to entail sharing a brick-and-mortar space.
The data points to a serious comeback for experiential marketing…
This weariness that now surrounds the notion of continuing to treat video conferencing and other digital means of communication as social ‘go-tos’, is borne out in the statistics.
Recent research has indicated a degree of “Zoom fatigue”. It has manifested in about two thirds of consumers failing to turn up for low-cost or free virtual events, as well as more than half of event marketers admitting that they struggled to create memorable and engaging experiences for virtual attendees, compared to in-person events.
It is no wonder, then, on the backdrop of the above, that according to a survey during last year’s period of recovery from the pandemic, eight in 10 brands signalled an expectation that their event and experiential budgets would match or exceed their pre-pandemic budget.
But are brands coming back to the ‘experiential marketing’ they once knew?
Speaking of the backdrop, the “return” of experiential marketing to many brands’ priority lists is not occurring in a set of circumstances that greatly resemble those of the last pre-pandemic year of 2019.
The businesses of today are grappling with challenges to the implementation of experiential marketing that are quite unlike those of a few years ago, ranging from shortages of event staff and upward pressure on wages, to strained supply chains and elevated costs. Few of these obstacles look likely to greatly lessen any time soon, which will doubtless have implications for your own brand’s interventions in the field.
After all, the fundamentals underpinning the need for experiential marketing have not shifted appreciably from the situation in 2019. Target consumers across the generations – from Baby Boomers to Generation Alpha – continue to hanker for engaging brand experiences. Furthermore, those experiences taking place ‘in-person’ can help transcend the temptation for a brand to centre its marketing in more passive ‘billboard’ forms, or to deter the customer with the ‘hard sell’.
So, while the challenges that accompany your brand’s use of experiential marketing are different to what they would have once been – and merit different solutions to suit – the reasons why your involvement in this field makes so much sense might not be so different. It is, regardless, all about tapping into the remarkable scope that this form of marketing offers for the best possible face-to-face user experience, in an age in which ‘digital overwhelm’ has become more acute than ever.
No one ‘does’ experiential marketing quite like Tribe
Whether the experiential marketing that you would like your brand to engage with looks likely to take the form of captivating product launches, trade shows, pop-up events, or all manner of other happenings that consumers will remember for all the finest reasons, the Tribe team stands ready to assist.
Our journey as an experiential agency has been ongoing since 2001. And whatever stage of its own journey your brand might have reached in its relationship with experiential marketing, we can help ensure you engage with the right people, in the right ways, at the right time.