Written by Nielson B.

10 Trends In Experiential Marketing 2017

Are you searching for marketing trends in Experiential Marketing In 2017? If so this guide should help. Here we list the top 10 Experiential Marketing Trends In 2017.

Top 10 Experiential Marketing Trends In 2017

1) Bigger Increased Budgets

Expect to see more, higher quality activations. Back in 2013 experiential marketing budgets grew by 7.9% and then a further 5% in 2014. Budgeting facts aside, it’s obvious even to the naked eye of the increasing trend. Five years ago, straightforward kiosk set ups were a customary sight in festivals or malls. All of that is now a thing of the past, technology and social engagement are integrated into all activations. These advancements are a direct reflection of money now spent more toward the industry.

2) Because of this, Expect Increased Permit Costs 

Permit costs at private property’s, malls, festivals, events and trade shows seem to be like housing prices, they increase exponentially.  Event planners and property groups are realizing the true value of experiential marketing vs. old cash cows like arbitrary sponsorship levels. We have noticed activation permits increase by over 200% in 5 years at some locations.  Fervent Events paid one property group $2000 in 2010 for a one-day activation.  That location is now at $4500.

3) Larger Brands Will Continue to Combine Public Relations with Experiential Marketing

This is the ideal way for them to write their own engagement story. Neither service is an expert in one or the other, but both are friends in commerce for life.  PR & experiential marketing agencies and departments creating strategic partnerships, is mutually beneficial. One example is Red Bull, they have been doing this for years.

4) The Main Differences between Social & Experiential

It’s also important to note PR & experiential are friends in commerce, a relationship none the less that still needs work.  In the past, some companies have created a 5-minute stunt purely for social buzz.  To me, this isn’t just experiential it’s mostly a social campaign. This relationship between PR & experiential will significantly grow when PR comes after the experiential.  Because this is starting to happen, let the marketers produce a program….tag PR on the back of it. Not the other way around.

5) Experiential Marketing Will Continue to Mix Sales

These experiential marketing programs often have a sales component, and at best dismal.  This is a direct result of experiential marketing still being a somewhat new industry, and needing to show ROI, or return on investment. Even though regular media can rarely prove direct ROI and may never will, experiential was shaped for a modern marketing age.  Traditional media and for many parts print media still get away with no direct investments being associated to them, mostly because ‘it’s always been that way’.  Because, brand ambassadors have modern supportive tools like iPads and Point of Service (POS) software.  This means that more often than not, makes a ‘sign up’ component that is integrated, making campaigns more liable.

6) Out with the Old

Expect to see less and less charging stations and photo booths. These are great tools, but they were on their way out in 2014 & 2015, in the same way that the QR code was in late 2013 & early 2014.

7) In with the New

Mobile trucks and remodeled shipping containers were a big sensation in 2015, this summer they’ll become even more possible.  These are both a Money and “Wow” factor.  A mobile pop up (truck) can go direct to a target audience and it’s much more economical than say, a one month 2000sq ft pop up lease.  These shops are great, but to do it right they become expensive.  The refurbished containers also provide that cool urban feeling, which looks more industrial, less planned.  Add up all of these features, and that is what we want to associate with.

8) Brand Ambassadors will become Brand Advocates

We know what brand ambassadors are, and we know what student influencers are.  Brand advocates is what all marketers want. We want to represent the brand onsite during activations (as a paid brand ambassador) and online at other times (as a paid influencer).

9) The 2016 Olympics & Euro 2016, The Somewhat Perfect Guerrilla Marketing Moment…or so it seemed

Making a big deal out of publicity stunts at an event are a thing of the past. Nowadays increased security would (a) make unconventional marketing difficult (b) look down upon anything that was carried out. The risks now outweigh the reward. Not 6 years ago a Dutch beer company made big deal at the World Cup in South Africa with an in stadium stunt.  At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, Goldenpalace.com also caused some fuss. It would not be surprising for something similar to happen at this summer’s upcoming two mega events.

10) Another One Thousand Plus New Companies Will Launch Tomorrow…

Throughout the upcoming years, our industry will continue to grow. These days Google searches show new companies monthly it seems. Why is this? Interspersed marketing agencies are creating experiential divisions; determined marketers are going out on their own (with little start up costs / and equipment required); younger audiences who have grown up with smart phones and experiential have fresh, identifiable insight; and don’t forget one point – these budgets are thriving! 

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