Marketers on Board with Creating Memorable Experiences

HIL ANDERSON, SENIOR EDITOR
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Dallas — A new survey released by The Freeman Co. says the move toward experiential marketing has gained momentum in the trade show sector.

Corporate marketers are increasingly placing their faith and resources into creating experiences for attendees that are as memorable as the products on display in the aisles. “The role of brand experience continues to increase in scope and importance, as audience expectations evolve,” said Chris Cavanaugh, Executive Vice President & Chief Marketing Officer at Freeman. “Our new research helps us understand brand experience as a medium of the future.”

More than 1,000 marketing professionals from around the world confirmed that sentiment in a survey conducted by Freeman and the brand research firm SSI. The entire 15-page report is available at http://bit.ly/2q6I6ON.

The respondents were in nearly unanimous agreement that trade show and consumer show audiences are increasingly looking for unique and stimulating experiences during their visits to such events. And companies are increasingly willing to put up the funding to accommodate their customers.

“Steep competition, changing demographics and more sophisticated audiences mean marketers need new approaches,” Cavanaugh said. “The right brand experiences have the power to evolve brands, build relationships and inspire action.”

Key findings from the survey include:

More than one in three chief marketing officers plan to allocate between 21% and 50% of their budgets to brand experience marketing over the next three to five years.
59% of CMOs see brand experiences as helping to build customer loyalty.
The tactics used most to connect with customers are familiar, including websites, email marketing and social media. Newer technologies such as virtual reality, interactive touch screens and gamification are also available and are more likely to be in use by companies involved in 20 events or more annually.
Asia appears to be ahead of the game in using these new technologies. For example, the adoption rate for VR by marketers in Asia is 31% compared to below 9%-13% in the U.S. and Europe.
CMOs appear to be more enthusiastic about brand experience than their subordinates. 58% of CMOs say it has a major impact on connections with the audience, but that sentiment is shared by only 13%-18% of brand and event managers.
Customers have historically been looking for a square deal when making buying decisions for their customers. The rising demand for memorable experiences demonstrates that being treated well personally is another powerful tool for building brand loyalty.

Reach Chris Cavanaugh at (214) 445-1000 or chris.cavanaugh@freemanxp.com