Toyin Olatunji-Daniel is one of the most renowned multimedia experts in the country and shares her thoughts on experiential marketing and why brands should deploy it.
In a Nutshell
Experiential Marketing is essential because there are stories to be told. The only way to connect to people’s emotions is to offer experiential services that people can relate with, with the use of their senses.
It is also the only way you can sustainably make an impact on every individual.
Experiential marketing is here to stay; it is the new normal and we are so excited to be a catalyst of this new norm that is being used by brands to connect with their audiences on a level that has never been seen before.
We do this by using exhibition booths, POS, fabrication of props, the building of sets and stages, commercial interior and food trucks to tell the brand story.
Traditional Marketing, as we know it, has taken a back seat now because it was designed to create and distribute a message effectively without necessarily connecting to the innate and vulnerable part of the end users.
Experiential marketing, on the other hand, connects with people directly. For example, with the GT Bank Food and Drinks Fair, the bank has been able to leave an indelible mark on the minds of entrepreneurs as well as the people who come to participate in that fair.
For instance, I took my child along for the last one and she has been talking about the fair for the whole of May even though she has been there only once.
Why? Enough attention was paid to ensure that even the children’s activities were beautifully done.
If you can leave that kind of mark on a little girl where she is still bursting with excitement days after the experience, then the brand did a good job.
In the same way, different organisations deploy different methods such as activations, use of freebies and other unconventional methods to get into the emotions of people.
This will to get consumers to engage with the brand and then, by themselves, they will make referrals.
Experiential marketing is a win-win. If I have an amazing experience with one brand, I will tell another person about it without receiving payment for it.
This is why I recommend that brands should have a strategy section for all things experiential advertising. The world is moving super-fast.
Getting on board with experiential advertising is the most amazing thing to do so you don’t become a backbencher in the world of commerce.
As a company, we have done quite a number of experiential advertising campaigns and are glad many brands are beginning to take experiential marketing seriously.
It is the most exciting feeling when people call you to bring their dreams to reality. We have been involved in different campaigns with brands like Briscoe, Access Bank, Maggi, YouTube, Google, GT Bank, Red TV (UBA)., etc.
All of these experiences are never the same. It brings to mind the effort of these brands to have these personal experiences with their end-users. Maggi takes the cake because they are constantly improving.
GT Bank, Access Bank, UBA and Google have gone above and beyond and we are happy to be in the background, actualising these dreams by creating the commercial interior and props that the end users can interact with.
It is nothing short of phenomenal and we look forward to having more of these experiences.
I will end these by saying God has used amazing people to bring all these our way – Zapphire, Miles Events, LiveSport 360, Q21 Solutions, Angelica Designs and Concepts, Coker Creative.
There are quite a number of major challenges when it comes to experiential marketing; some of which are the business vision and individual touch point.
Experiential marketing is about the objectives of the brand but sometimes, focus is lost on what the customer needs.
There is also the challenge of targeting an engagement. Dealing with customers is like the Montessori system of schooling for children where the method of teaching is on a need-to-know and one-on-one assessment.
A major mistake made with experiential marketing happens where clients are not made the focus and it, instead, becomes advocacy for products.
It is, therefore, important to target for engagement. Another challenge is that due to the number of people that need to be attended to, it can lack personalisation.
Another challenge is measurement. You can’t measure the impact of the experiential activation. KPIs are driven by metrics that have little correlation; there is no time visibility into the effectiveness of the campaigns or the advertisements.
How do you get your ROI from this sort of thing? One of my teachers in Business School says, “You cannot keep what you cannot measure.”
Additionally, budget constarints can be a huge challenge. We have gotten requests for activations and it seemed like an open cheque but after carrying it out on a large scale and sending the cost to some brands, we get excuses.
Experiential marketing is very expensive; so, it is either you know what you are in for and go for it or you ensure you are working within scale.
Most times, with experiential marketing, brands end up confusing the consumer by sending an array of messages; their touch points are many and inconsistent, there is a lack of personalisation and there are long delays.
Ultimately, the trust of the consumer in the brand is questioned and they end up feeling frustrated.
Experiential Marketing in the Nigerian Environment
In Nigeria, we have pretty much joined the bandwagon of experiential marketing. As an experiential agency, we work with different brands to create these experiential events to help tell their story.
Experiential advertising, if managed well, has many benefits. One of which is company’s visibility into experiential performance. We streamline and digitise operations, serving experiences both online and offline.
For instance, I had this amazing experience with ASOS, an online brand. I bought footwear from them all the way from the UK to Nigeria and they were not the right fit but they sent me another pair in less than a week with apologies. The experiential part of their service is 100%.
The way I see it, in Nigeria, we are always quick to jump to change without a clear and thought out plan in place. If we sit down and marry both traditional and experiential advertising, alongside the other components of advertisement, we will be getting the best of out of advertisement.
Fortunately, there are a couple of advertising agencies in Nigeria that already understand this, so I can say that there is an improvement and advertising, as we know it in Nigeria, is headed for the stars.
Editorial Note: This article was originally published in The Spark Magazine. Find the magazine here to read other articles.