Whilst much of the world is silently willing for the pandemic to remain in the past, there is no doubt that it now sits as an important part of our history. Beyond being a period of time spent indoors, it also provides the perfect lever to analyse market behaviour and trends, particularly when looking at face to face engagement. For this reason, the following blog uses the pandemic as a stagnant point, to understand the shift in consumer behaviours around experiential marketing from before, during and beyond the pandemic.
The necessity of experiential marketing campaigns
Experiential marketing is fast becoming an unavoidable practice within marketing strategies, pushing the boundaries on all future brand campaign concepts. The majority of the markets put pressure on brands to provide user-experiences that offer ease of access, reliability, and joy. If an experience is easily digestible, then consumers will engage, on the contrary if they are met with complexity then the target market will be quick to move onto a competitor.
The relevance of experiential marketing statistics
Ideas alone no longer play a role in strategies without the use of statistics and measurements to support them. Every organisation must be able to calculate and execute all plans based on information and forecasts. The statistics discussed throughout, highlight the opportunities for companies if experiential marketing campaigns are implemented into their strategy.
The Prioritisation of Experiential Marketing Pre-Pandemic
It is clear that ahead of the pandemic the role of experiential marketing was deemed as very necessary among marketer. 93% of event marketers and their companies prioritised hosting events (experiential marketing campaigns) because many respondents say event marketing drives more business value than other marketing channels. Moreover, 52% of consumers say they have more positive feelings about brands after attending experiential marketing events (stats from The Event Marketing Evolution, 2018).
The Impact of Financial Investment on Experiential Marketing
Most event marketers plan on increasing the number of event marketing activities they organise. Many senior marketers plan on investing more in live events in the future both in budget and number of events. This is supported by 17% more companies who organised 20 or more events per year between 2017 and 2018. CMOs were expected to allocate 21-50% of the marketing budget to experiential marketing (stats from Bizzabo Blog, 2018 and Freeman, 2017).
Marketers Interpretations of Experiential Marketing
Unassumingly, business was flowing as usual in 2019, with most already looking ahead for opportunities in 2020. Two-thirds of marketers agreed that brand experiences were effective in reaching organisational goals. As forecasted for 2020, customer experience will be more prioritised over price and product as key brand differentiators. 9 in 10 marketers agreed that brand experiences deliver more engagement, and most of them believed that experiential marketing and experiential events are key in achieving brand success.
Presenting, significant statistics on interpretations by marketers
- 65% of brands see events/experiential marketing as sales-oriented (EventMarketer, 2019)
- 84% of entreprises emphasise that events/experiences are keys in marketing (EventTrack, 2018)
- 58% of CMO’s reckon that brand experience enhances advocacy (Freeman)
- 60% of marketers emphasise that post-event campaigns are strategies for success (Agency EA, 2019)
- 91% of thriving businesses value live events as success factors (Bizzabo, 2918)
- 80% of average income firms emphasise that live events are success factors (Bizzabo, 2918)
Impact of Technology on Experiential Marketing
According to pixperience.com, 89% of marketers found that the event management software industry has helped them manage their staff. 40% of event technology adopters say the number one benefit is an improved ability to track and measure events (stats from G2 Event Management Platforms, 2019).
Impact of Experiential Marketing During the Pandemic
The impact of the pandemic saw experiential marketing campaigns shift from what was traditionally a face to face experience to now a virtual (yet tactile) engagement. This pivot in approach was eagerly adapted to with 71% of B2B marketers and 63% of B2C marketers planning hybrid events to maintain their planned campaigns. The pandemic opened new ways of enhancing customer experience, and ROI’s warranted the continued importance of these campaigns (stats from Agency EA 2021).
- 77% of savvy marketers embrace experiential marketing as a pivotal brand strategy. (EMI)
- 87% of astute video marketers validate video content’s rewarding ROI .
- 75% of convention attendees felt more connected to a brand through B2C in-person events. (Agency EA 2021)
- 81% of brands anticipate experiential marketing event budgets to match/exceed pre-pandemic levels. (Hubspot, 2021)
- 91% of consumers exhibit higher intent to purchase goods/ services after attending brand activation events. (Hubspot, 2021)
- 32% of enterprises persevere with in-person events despite pandemic limitations. (Hubspot, 2021)
- 40% of customers showed heightened loyalty due to mobile experiential campaigns. (EventTrack, 2021)
- 74% of event planners anticipate honing safe environments with stringent standards post COVID-19. (PMCA, 2021)
Post Pandemic Behaviours
Business Perspective of Post Pandemic Results
With the impact of the pandemic slowly fading, the integration of experiential marketing campaigns have returned to booming, now standing as one of the top five marketing strategies that companies leverage to grow their business.
- 68% of B2B marketers held in-person events. (Agency AE, Jul – Dec 2021)
- 63% of B2C marketers organised in-person events. (Agency AE, Jul – Dec 2021)
- 81% of marketers hosted live events in 2022. (Agency AE, Jul – Dec 2021)
- 81% of brands foresaw event budgets matching or exceeding pre-pandemic levels. (EventTrack, 2021)
- 63% of event organisers anticipated hybrid formats, especially for conferences and meetings. (Agency AE, Jul – Dec 2021)
- 52.9% of event marketers find it challenging to create Unforgettable and captivating. (Bizzabo)
Consumers Perspective of Post Pandemic Result for Experiential and Event Marketing
The impact of a consumer’s buying behaviour has come full circle since covid, noting that consumers are once again more likely to make a purchase after participating in a brand activation or experience. In 2021, 20% of event organisers reported planning online-only events; that number decreased to less than 5% for 2022.
- 91% of consumers pledged to purchase post brand activation. (EventTrack, 2021)
- 40% of consumers affirming brand loyalty after encountering brand activation. (EventTrack, 2021)
- 67% of consumers refrain from attending low-cost or generic virtual events. (Experiential Trends)
- According to a Q2 2021 report, only 42% out of all anticipated virtual participants actively engaged in live events. This highlights the potential for hybrid strategies to cater those unable to attend in person, and to expand online audience reach. (Bizzabo)
The future of experiential marketing and digital advertising
Since pandemic restrictions are now mostly lifted, people are starting to go out once more and the demand for live experiential marketing events are starting to return to pre pandemic numbers. Some strategies that were implemented during the pandemic proved efficient, to the point that event planners and event organisers still use most methods to this day (zoom meetings and virtual events, live streaming on socials, Virtual Reality/ VR, entertainment, lifestyle & gaming apps, event apps). The current landscape has evolved.
Effective experiential marketing strategies that were booming during the pandemic (mostly digital advertising) are now being combined with traditional strategies, thus audience reach is increased. Now, every company prioritises hosting events varied with virtual streams. It is undeniable that the chance to reach target audiences on live events, audiences who can’t come to the venue, and to people from all corners of the world is at an all time high. (trustradius.com/buyer-blog/experiential-marketing-statistics)