Monday, September 10, 2012

Experiential Marketing and Its Impact on Word of Mouth Marketing. Marketing Secret 33/101


Restaurants thought they were the beginning of experience based marketing in the '60's, but the idea has been around for a very long time. Retail started talking about the "experience" a few decades ago.  Apple has now created at least one template for what that might look like when there is an unlimited budget to test a new concept.  There is now an entire division of marketing that describes itself as experiential marketing.  For those of us with only a few or a few dozen employees, what can we take away from this trend?

Sit back, close your eyes, and visualize what your client's experience looks like.  How do they experience you online, as they drive by, when the walk in the door, when they call, and when they interact with your people?  Is the experience amazing, great, good, not so good, forgettable?  Is the experience random or have you created a experientially based environment designed to be remembered?

In our last post we talked about customer service and how the goal would be to provide a clear cut customer service message that a consumer could repeat the next day to a friend.  Some folks won't remember the great headline you've tried to burn into their brain, but they might remember a sight, a sound, a smell, or a fun time.  And if you can create a very specific and intentional experience, you have a better chance of some of your clients talking about their interaction with your company on Facebook or at the office. 

We have a local Italian restaurant that has an outdoor dining area.  Once an hour, they have a rousing rendition of That's Amore.  The words are on the table and everyone joins in.  That is memorable.  They also have garlic bread rolls that are so amazing that everyone in town talks about them.  Two experiences.  When anyone asks me for a restaurant recommendation, they always come to mind immediately.  Cost of those two experiences.  Free.

Action Steps for Day 33:
  1. Get your top staff or staff together for a brainstorming session
  2. Ask the group if they think there is an amazing experience at your business
  3. If not, throw the subject out to the group for ideas
  4. The goal is to come up with some unique, memorable, positive experience that customers will remember and repeat to others. Remember that in brainstorming their are no bad ideas.  Can you imagine the meeting at Walmart where someone suggested putting senior citizens in the front of the store to welcome customers?
  5. When you have an idea, create an entire program around it, which may include advertising, PR, in store signs, etc.
  6. This is not a replacement for outstanding customer service

If you are reading this blog, you obviously take this stuff seriously.  Link up with me on LinkedIn, and join me at Google+.  These are the places where I'm active.  Love to see you there.

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