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Experiential Campaigns Make Marketing Relevant, Fun & Inclusive

As consumers it would be fair to say that we don’t like most advertising. Generally speaking It tries to tell us what to think, how to feel and even how we should behave. And of course the overwhelming majority of it is uninvited, intrusive and all too often completely irrelevant.

As a marketing communication professional for nearly twenty years I have been responsible for a few campaigns that would tick all of those boxes. The experience of those campaigns has left an indelible mark, shaped my thinking and brought me to an inescapable conclusion.

You see the truth is that most of what we do is considered an irritant by the very people we are trying to engage. In fact, for the industry as a whole this represents a singular uncomfortable fact that causes many a sleepless night amongst brand owners, their marketing people and the agencies they employ

Brands spend around £20 billion a year in the UK trying to convince people to buy their products and services. Yet despite this eye-watering amount of budget and some of the most talented people on the planet working on their campaigns they still fail to ignite even the smallest amount of interest.

Like many people in the industry I seem to suffer from a form of split personality. At work I am excited, professional and upbeat when I am working on a marketing communication project. Yet as a consumer I am cynical, indifferent and dismissive of campaigns I encounter during my day to day activity.

So how can we ensure campaigns engage people in a memorable and meaningful way…….

Be Relevant

Relevancy is pivotal when it comes to marketing. Research suggests we encounter any where between 3,000 – 5,000 marketing messages every day. With that amount of activity all screaming for our attention it is easy to understand why many people zone out when it comes to advertising. Brands need to demonstrate how they fit into peoples lives and why they deserve attention and consideration from time poor, and often cynical, customers.

Achieving this is no easy feat, being relevant is no longer about a generic one size fits all slogan splashed across broadcast mediums. Smart brands understand that messaging has to appeal to a diverse range of customers each with their own individual set of preferences and considerations. Nuanced differences that are further complicated by ethical, environmental, health and social considerations.

It is against this backdrop of complexity that brands need communication strategies and campaigns that are adaptive and flexible. They need to engage in a two-way conversation that allows them to share and show the value they deliver for customers. This conversational approach will ensure that the brand story and product/services benefits can be tailored to fit the personal needs of individual customers.

Be Fun

Making marketing fun and putting a smile on peoples faces should be the number one objective for every brand. Creating a positive emotional connection with customers is a key driver when it comes to delivering both short and long term commercial success. Yet despite this simple but well known truth many brands still spend their marketing budget yelling and telling.

Imagine being able to change that and engage people in an entertaining, worthwhile and helpful manner. Providing moments of “wow” that captivate consumers with a new sensory experience whilst adding value on a personal level. Imagine being able to deliver marketing campaigns that customers welcome, value

So for brands who are looking to stand out, create a point of difference and be truly memorable perhaps it is time to change their approach. Focusing on fun creates a better mechanism of exchange for the advertising weary consumer and enables brands to entertain, amuse and delight the very people they wish to engage. After all who doesn’t want a little bit of fun in their lives.

Be Inclusive

Let’s be honest the over whelming majority of advertising is a one-way dialogue promising that a particular product or service is the best thing since sliced bread. Sadly as consumers we know, all too often, that the promises made in the advertising simply fail to deliver when it comes to the experience.

Marketing campaigns need to be inclusive, enabling consumers to interact with brands and their products. Communications need to change from a monologue to a dialogue and allow for a genuine conversation to take place. Changing shopper behaviour requires a change in brand behaviour that includes a more human and personable approach.

So What does a campaign look like that incorporates all of these factors. Well Frank Wainwright from Field Marketing & Brand Experience Magazine shared his thoughts on the Kellogg’s, Special-K campaign. You can read his post by clicking here

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