Experiential Marketing: In A Nutshell

"When we understand what matters to people ... we can be what matters to them."

— Momentum Worldwide, agency behind Facebook IQ Live

I’ve been on trade stands selling things since I was 10 (don’t worry my Mum did pay me!) and the most successful stands are always the ones where audience interaction occurred without me having to directly ‘sell’ something. This is experiential marketing in a nutshell. 

Last month we took a deep dive into the world of Events + Social Media. You may have gathered that it is one of our favourite topics and client service offers. 

As we were discussing how to incorporate the concept of Experiential Marketing into the month, we collectively decided this topic deserved a month unto itself. So drum roll please…. 

Welcome to GRM April 2019: Experiential Marketing 101.

“Wait, back it up Chels. What is experiential marketing?”

Touche! It took us awhile to wrap our minds around it as well. 

Eventbrite more thoroughly defines experiential marketing as: “a strategy that engages consumers by using branded experiences. Sometimes referred to as “live marketing” or “event marketing experience,” the idea is to create a memorable impact on the consumer. One that will inspire them to share with their friends both online and off. These experiences could include an event, a part of an event, or a pop-up activation not tied to any event.”

In short: interactive elements that amplify your audience’s experience with your brand and its people.

Experiential Marketing example at Social Media Marketing World

“So, what does it have to do with social media, since you are a social media consultancy?”

Social media and mobile are the perfect tools for amplification. 

Also, if you think about what type of photos are shared on social media by individuals, they’re all ego-centric. Much of your planning for your event asks the question: how can you harness this phenomenon during the event to amplify your brand?

“Why is experiential marketing important - it sounds like a “nice to have” but not a necessary component to my event. Do I really need it?”

Yes. You can do a good job with out it, but you can do a GREAT, longer lasting, more memorable job if you do it well. To be honest, you are already probably doing it, but it is wise to always think outside the box to set yourself apart. 

It adds another element to your event, it creates great brand exposure online and it cements a strong relationship between customer and brand. Plus, people love talking to people and trying something different so why not add an ego-satisfying activity in there which involves social media?

It can be a lot of work but you can make it fit seamlessly with what you are already doing.

”Okay, can you give me a few examples of what this could look like?”

This is the fun bit for our team. We love thinking of new ways and observing how people are using this marketing tool. They can range from a simple photo booth to an elaborate Pepsi Max bus shelter adventure.

Here are a few more ideas:

  • Instagram frame
  • Interlike app
  • Images with ‘your face here’
  • Hashtag competition

I know this is not everybody’s cup of tea, but I genuinely get excited and geek our about this topic. Not only is it fun, but I love seeing how you can align your business goals,social media goals, events, budget, and personality in a clever experiential marketing tactic. How cool is that?! 

Later this month we will hear who in the rural sector is doing it well, a guest post from Mark Pickering, and closer look at how we can help you.


We are also carrying on our March offer for an event planning and experiential marketing brainstorm where we will work to align your goals, brand and event to create a memorable experience. 

So the next time you plan your event, ask yourself — how can you amplify your audiences experience? Share some ideas with our community in the comments below!

Chelsea Millar is the owner of Grass Roots Media (GRM), a cat named Ducati, and a spicy red Mini Cooper called Pacey. She primarily takes on the role of 'Boss Lady' for GRM but also flits around the primary industries wearing many agvocating hats .... and cheering on the industry wherever she lands. 

Chelsea has a background in Agribusiness, Social Media, Digital & Print marketing and has developed a passion for digital communication as she sees it playing an important role in telling the Primary Industries NZ Inc story now, and in the future.

Her little house on the beach is her sanctuary and thanks to her mum, her garden is growing like crazy.