An article in CMO by David Saef, EVP of Strategy & MarketWorks GES caught my attention—I liked the way Saef’s framed his approach to experiential marketing; his team’s planning strategy for building effective campaigns is based on eight questions. Saef emphasized a company doesn’t need a million dollar budget to create a unique and tangible experience for customers what is needed is customer-centric planning. Here’s what Saef had to say:
How To Plan For Customer Centricity
Building an effective experiential event for your target audience is a massive undertaking with many moving pieces. But you can lay the groundwork for a customer-centric event by reviewing these questions with your team beforehand:
- Who are you targeting? What do you know about your customers, and what characteristics make them unique? Are these new or existing customers? Are they interested in a particular product or service?
- What is your customers’ No. 1 challenge? What problem will you solve for them?
- How does your brand help customers meet that challenge? How will your product or event solve this problem in a unique way?
- How have you interacted with your target audience, and how did that interaction go? Consider the positive and negative interactions your customers may have had with your brand in the past.
- How do your customers perceive you now? What do they expect to see from you? How do they expect to feel after interacting with your brand?
- How do you want them to perceive you? Do you want to maintain or improve your customers’ perception of your brand?
- What kind of experience will help you maintain or improve your customers’ perception of your brand? What could you do to surprise and delight them? What would motivate them to give you another chance?
- How will you measure the outcome of this project in terms of customer success? What metrics or data will you use to measure the impact of your experiential marketing efforts?
Saef concluded by saying, when every aspect of an experiential campaign is tailored to the needs of the customer it creates an event that is ‘exciting, memorable and powerful.’ By accomplishing this, an event will showcase the brand’s ability to solve the customer’s greatest challenges. And, when customers perceive the brand as ‘the solution they’ve been waiting for’ there is no need for ‘gimmicks or drama to hold their attention.’ I couldn’t agree more.