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Marketing Master Class, ep. 6: Experiential marketing

Marketing Master Class
Ken Huges headshotWant to learn about growth marketing from some of the best in the business? Tune in to “The Marketing Master Class” podcast series to hear expert tips, hacks and best practices. In Episode 6: “Experiential marketing,” we’re joined by Ken Hughes, consumer and shopper behaviorist and CEO at Glacier Consulting, for a discussion on experiential marketing and how brands can break free from the status quo in how they market to consumers. Tune in to the podcast to hear more about developing a more experiential marketing strategy, building your experiential equity and embracing disruption. 
 

Meeting today’s consumers

“If your story isn’t being told by your customers and consumers – and that’s as true for B2B as it is [for] B2C – do you even exist?” posited Hughes early in the podcast.

In the past decade or so, there’s been a shift in how consumers view the world and their place in it. In the past, consumers were small part of a big world. Today’s consumers, which Hughes calls blue dot consumers, “are the world. They stand at the center and everything revolves around them,” he said. “That blue dot consumer expects things to be hyper-personalized, … instant, … frictionless and seamless, and expects you to predict what they want.”

In addition, those consumers are moving towards experiences and away from materialism. As Hughes explained, “we now live in an experiential economy where you are what you do. You are what you share … That’s your new social currency … That’s your definition of self-worth.” 
These factors create a need for consumers to share and tell their own stories. To address this need, as marketers, he suggested we should ask ourselves: “how do we use our product/service as a conduit for them to tell their story?” 
 

Building experiential equity

“Brands need to deliver … experiential equity – what are you giving your consumers from an experiential perspective that allows them to talk to others, that allows them to share. It’s about sharable moments,” remarked Hughes in the podcast. 

While brands have traditionally been content creators, brands now also need to be content curators to help fuel conversations around your brand, product or service. As Hughes discussed, “that’s where brands can really play with search, social and email and they can feed that as part of the experiential piece to be able to share it … We often see experiential marketing even immediately encouraging the consumer to share the experience they just had on various platforms.” 

Ultimately, it’s about having consumers share their experience with as many people as possible – helping to extend the reach of our experiential marketing campaign. “If you do [experiential marketing] well and, if particularly, you encourage the search, share and social piece of that well, you get a much bigger bang for your buck than traditional marketing spend,” Hughes remarked.
 

Embracing disruption

“The only way you survive disruption is being ready for it. It’s really about adaptability and flexibility,” shared Hughes. 

While we may not be able to predict what will happen in the future, we can prepare for it by building in the “agility that a startup usually will have by its very nature – with its small teams, sprint teams and project-based working systems,” he said. It’s about “building organizations that [can pivot and adapt] and having budgets that can do that and budgets that can flex.” 

In today’s fast-paced environment, Hughes reflected “the moment you realize you need to change is the moment you need to be changing and nearly have been delivering on the change.” 

Hear more tips and insights from Ken Hughes in Episode 6: “Experiential Marketing". You can also subscribe to “The Marketing Master Class” and other Bing Ads podcasts on SoundCloud. 

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