Hybrid Events

Experiential Marketing in the era of Metaverse: Emerging Technologies and Their Challenges

Eventually Learning Team
It is hard to forget the lines of Tyler Durden, the main character, not the protagonist, of David Fincher’s Fight Club. “Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need, and the things you own, end up owning you… We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won't. We're slowly learning that fact.

But guess what, here we are at the threshold of a new digital age that has unquestionably changed the human behavior that fed on the unnatural, made-up, need-to-consume ideology of promoters. Metaverse, or the 3D virtual + augmented reality space, is really not that great big of a deal for me, but hey, Meta didn’t burn a hole in their pocket for a lousy marketing strategy, that would end up consuming, oops, being consumed by the worldwide audience.

Experiential Marketing and what not?

In between these two eras, experiential marketing was a glimmer of hope, that shone too dimly but is now being majestically fueled by the maleficent yet creative technology. But then what is experiential marketing? How do we relate to its meaning in this new era of Metaverse? Is it really just a harmless, creative technology? Is it Metaverse itself?

Layne Braunstein says ‘Experiential is environment to human being’. But then also, how far are humans willing to alter, willingly or unwillingly, their environment in the backdrop of emerging technologies? Technology, with all its perfections and imperfections, has already changed the struggles of marketers; and what fruits they’ll bear, only time will tell. But experiential marketing is proving to be a crucial catalyst for the much-stalled event industry, especially with the Metaverse taking up the center stage.

The Key Points to Building an Awesome Experiential Marketing Campaign

Experiential marketing, as we understand it, should be used as an experience or belief in the surroundings to drive the point home, rather than as a medium. Some of the key points that should be kept in mind for building an awesome experiential campaign are:
  • Active, not passive engagement – unless the audience is actively engaging with your brand, there are chances that the fallout rate might not drop down.
  • It has to be live – The world wide web is the largest rabbit hole that has limitless resources to offer to your audience, but what makes your campaign stand out is the belief that right now, right here, someone is watching or listening to the attendees from the other side.
  • Multi-sensory – being able to engage multiple senses at once has been the essence of the sentient being from the times immemorial. Make sure you touch upon this very trait of us.
More importantly, a brand has to be in accordance with the fact that their audience consists of humans, it is not some users or consumers. It limits the scope of principles that forge an immersive and interactive campaign. The gamut of experiential marketing, coupled with the emerging technologies, extends its ambit to encourage more utility and provides opportunities to the audience to get closer to brands and their products.

“When you do it this way, it prepares brands for the next thing. It doesn’t stop with AR/VR and the Metaverse. There is always going to be something lurking down the path”. – Eric Bee, R/GA

The Road That Lies Ahead

Deriving from the words of Eric Bee, it is in the best interests of every brand out there experimenting and trying to build a digital immersive experience for its audience to take a utilitarian approach to its campaigns.

There have been multiple instances that shed new light on the use of these creative, emerging technologies, some of which comes through the video game platform, Roblox. The company has announced a plan to build a Metaverse all around its players – it wants to create a virtual space where people can come together within millions of 3D experiences to learn, work, play, create and socialize. Roblox is doing this by bringing brands together with developers to build custom-made virtual spaces for brands to capture and cater to their audience in Roblox.

“Overall, our vision for these activations on the platform is to encourage brands to create authentic and native connections with their fans, which enhance our community’s shared experience without interrupting what they are already doing”. – Christina Wootton, VP of Brand Partnerships at Roblox.

Some of the other examples are Balenciaga’s 3D billboard in Piccadilly Circus London with Fortnite, that shows Balenciaga’s virtual Fortnite garments and the association of Jailbreak and NASCAR, in which NASCAR provided audio resources to make their cars sound like real in Jailbreak. There have been many instances of virtual concerts in the Metaverse, with artists like Travis Scott, Ariana Grande and Marshmello teaming with Fortnite to put up shows of unprecedented global scale, and revenue.

What It Means for The Event Industry?

With the soaring number of brands and artists teaming up with video game platforms, event industry holds an edge over these. The whole spectrum of events is established on the prerequisite of building experiences. Aleksandra Panyukhina, the Experience Marketing Lead for Pixels, went on to suggest that event marketing should be rebranded as experience marketing and I believe she is not anywhere remotely near being wrong about it.

Events are a huge piece of the strategy in each of these areas, yet thinking only about events felt very limiting to me. Experience needs to be a continuum, a red thread that goes through all of the interactions your audience has with you., she suggests in a post on LinkedIn.

I have reasonable evidence to believe that eventprofs have certainly realized this and are working to continuously build ‘something more’ than just events. This is what not just the future but the present demands of them, and what’s a little harm in exploiting that little edge we have. Isn’t this what it is for.

Happy building!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is experiential marketing?

By encouraging customers to participate in, or interact with a brand, experiential marketing creates a memorable experience for the customer. In order to create engaging customer experiences that improve brand comprehension, this advertising is centered around consumer motivations rather than necessary media formats.

How much of my overall marketing budget should be allotted to experiential?

Experiential marketing is fantastic because it can either work independently to take a customer through the complete discovery to buy cycle or it may support and even enhance other media strategies. If you’re just starting out in experiential and want to give it a try, we recommend starting small to see how experiential can drive results.

How much does experiential marketing cost?

Experiential marketing campaigns can have working budgets anywhere from a few thousand dollars to a million dollars or more. It is for you to work effectively and efficiently within your budget to find solutions to grow the return on your experiential investment.

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