Experiential Marketing – Buzzword or Leverage
Experiential Marketing . . . we all do it at some level but is it just an industry buzzword or
something to be considered, managed and leveraged in today’s businesses?
First off, what is it? Marketing experts and gurus have written, spoken and analyzed the many
aspects of Experiential Marketing. There are some clear opinions about what it is and what it
isn’t, however, most agree it involves the development of stimulating, engaging and visible, walk-
in and online experiences. I personally like to enhance this and give it more depth by defining it
as, the collective effect of all sensory experiences that occur during every point of contact with an
From the first point of contact, whether it’s a hand shake, business card, flyer or sign, people form
an impression of what type of business you are, how you position yourself and what kind of
product and/or service they can expect to get from you.
To illustrate; A new Italian restaurant opens up in downtown Winnipeg. They design, print and
distribute a flyer which I receive in my mailbox. What does the flyer tell me about the restaurant?
How do I position them in my mind? Lunch buffet, quality dining or somewhere in between? Is it
printed on pink paper with blue writing, 10 different fonts and a major typo in the headline? Or is
it printed on a smooth glossy paper, clear copy and an enticing photo? This is the first point of
contact and one that will either engage the dining prospect to take the next step or cause them to
drop it in the recycling bin.
The flyer is enticing and I love Italian so I decide to make a reservation for Friday night. I dial the
number and the person on the other end greets me, “This is ABC Italian what do you want?” Or
perhaps they say, “Good day, this is ABC Italian, Winnipeg’s newest premium Italian dining
experience, can I take your reservation for this evening?” This is your second point of contact.
Now what impression do I have? D