What are the three basic customer types you will encounter during experiential marketing?

Experiential Marketing

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Brands are withdrawing their funds from traditional marketing and investing in experiential marketing. Going experiential allows brands to interact with their customers directly in the real market. It puts the companies in touch with their target audience in their comfort zone. That made us wonder if experiential techniques are ideal for all audiences. It turns out that it does not have the same result in all places. The different audiences react differently to the same marketing techniques and the same campaigns.

Engagement marketing gives a chance to a customer to see and sample products. That sets it apart from conventional marketing and advertising. It can be either direct or indirect, but it has the power to influence the audience more than the average advertising methods do!

Given the different socioeconomic backgrounds, purchasing powers, age difference, and variations in other factors; it is understandable that the same campaign elicits different responses from different target groups. We have categorized the audiences of any top experiential marketing agency into three broad divisions considering their fundamental interests, commitments and the ease of wooing.

The non-loyalists

They usually love the free samples and gifts. They love everything as long as they are free. They are challenging to woo since they are afraid of spending money. They are highly price-sensitive, and they do not fall for the fancy packaging and marketing techniques. The non-loyalist usually goes for the cheapest products out there. When they have to spend their money, they typically go with the tried and tested products. That tells us that “non-loyalist” can be a misnomer. They are the smart buyers, who know the value of money and they go with the real brand leader. The toughest challenge a marketing team has to face with them is convincing them that they should give a new brand a try.

The brighter side of the situation is = the so-called non-loyalists are open towards interacting with your ambassadors to try a free sample. That means they are ready to meet you halfway already! The best way to engage them is to give them a clear comparison of the brands they use right now and the brands you are endorsing. It will help you gain their trust, and it will help your products find a place alongside theirs irrespective of the price gap. Moreover, if the price gap is not significant enough, you have a better chance of replacing the current brand they are using. Break the silo. Step outside your comfort zone. Interact with these potential customers by approaching them from their perspective.

The trendsetters and hipsters

They are the underground eye-rollers. They are too cool to try things that are mainstream. They have tried the man-bun and the cat-glasses before they featured on magazine covers. If people like a brand, they don’t like it. If you like their brands, they don’t like you! Well, it is a little complex, if not confusing to deal with these people. They spend time, money and effort in being different from the crowd. They like the feeling of exclusivity.

In most cases, the brands that offer this exclusivity become a significant part of their identity. They love products that are under the radar. They have the potential to be your ardent fans. Now, the challenge is to approach them with a product that the Average Joes and Plain Janes are not using yet. In short, you have to create a bubble of exclusivity that they believe and like.

The only way to impress them is by treating them as an authority that loves and cares for a brand. You need to cut the noise and speak with that authority. The best way to go about it is to seek their expertise, ask for their feedback on your products and indulge them in the experiential process as much as possible. You need to show them that you value their expertise and brand choices. As a result, you need to help them understand that you are ready to offer them an exclusivity-based experience that they were already getting from their patent brands. That is the only way to get them onboard your brand journey.

The early birds

They are the tastemakers and the early testers. The always queue up when Apple launches a new product and pre-order EA games. They care about the product and the brands. They are not scared of investing in a unique experience. The early birds are the ones that consist of the qualities of a hipster customer and the skeptic non-loyalist, with one huge exception – they are not afraid of spending. They love to be ahead of others in the experience curve. They like taking risks, and they love new experiences. Now, the challenge is to be able to reach them at the right moment and convince them to stick around for the rest of the brand’s journey.

Sadly, even the best experiential marketing agencies do not always have the leading market brands and products. However, the problem with the early birds is keeping them on the journey for long since they will hop on the next train that comes along. For wooing the tastemakers, you need to wipe the line between marketing and products. Hybrid campaigns and riskier programs help in grabbing their attention with the groundbreaking creativity. The early birds like brands that take the risk and push the limits of marketing beyond the traditional landscapes.

These are the three broad categories of customers you might come across while running your event-based marketing campaign. You can meet them at a park or inside a mall. The space of interaction should give you a clue about the category they fit into. However, as we have mentioned before, sometimes the groups overlap, and it is impossible to tag an individual as a trendsetter or a tastemaker or a non-loyal. The next potential customer you interact with might have some qualities of each category. That is why you must always remember that irrespective of their leading trends, all individuals your brand will interact with are going to be potential customers.

What are the three basic customer types you will encounter during experiential marketing?