Experience-based marketing is not a new concept, as it has been around for a while and many B2C companies have had a lot of success implementing it. The challenge is for B2B companies to use such techniques to advertise and market. Experience marketing gives the target audience a first-hand experience by giving the audience the ability to touch, feel, see and know your offering or product.
Max Lenderman, the author of “Experience the Message”, says engaging potential customers is more important than shoving advertisements into peoples’ faces. With an attention span of 8 seconds which is equal to that of a goldfish, it is really hard to reach the target audience minds with one or two or even 10 instances of our marketing campaigns. I like two examples that Max Lenderman gave at the Art of Marketing event.
Example 1: In India having a cell phone has become the fifth necessity after food, housing, clothes, and electricity. Most of the people in rural places are not educated and their main preoccupation is with farming. Reaching such an audience to promote products is a difficult task. Billboards, TV, newspaper ads or online ads are all off limits. How do companies reach such audiences? The way marketing agencies do that is by implementing experience based marketing. They use pop-ups in stores where they engage the audience via a street play, drama or musicals.
Example 2: Charmin, the maker of bathroom tissue, opened up a few free to use washrooms in one of the busy New York areas. People in New York’s Time Square area had resorted to washroom use in Starbucks or nearby restaurants. Now people are happy to see these public washrooms conveniently situated that also provide an experience nothing like they have ever experienced before. In addition to providing a washroom facility, Charmin has richly decorated that place with fancy chairs, and a stage to dance and sing while waiting. Many people have left with pictures and most importantly praise and promise to use only Charmin from there on.
Takeaways for B2B marketers:
It is more important to engage with the audience while marketing or showing off your product.
Instead of spending thousands of dollars on billboards, banner ads and other expensive ads, make use of experience-based marketing by giving away free to use products and giving prospects a first-hand experience.
B2B marketers can learn from these examples by letting their potential customers experience the product before making a decision like ActiveConversion’s 14-day free trial.
Make it easier for them to use/try the product. It is easier to make people switch if you change the environment to making usability your priority.
To all you B2B marketers, can you bring the flavor of experience into your marketing?
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About Ritu Singh
Ritu has over 10 years of experience in planning, facilitating and executing marketing programs. She is passionate about marketing and driven to help start-ups and small to large companies market products and services online and offline.