Econsultancy editor David Moth included Felix Baumgartner's jump from a height of 39 kilometers into the list of the coolest examples of experiential marketing. In this article, you will learn why the Red Bull Stratos project with Baumgartner's participation is not empirical marketing, despite all the coolness of the event. You will also learn what experimental marketing really is and how to use it on the Internet.
What is empirical marketing?
To answer this question, it is important to find out why the jump from the stratosphere of the Red Bull Stratos does not apply to this concept. 8 million people followed the jump Felix Baumgartner live. Leading information publications of the world have announced, covered and analyzed this event. Skydiver’s heroic act made millions of people empathize with him and feel their involvement in the accomplishment. All the couch daredevils must have imagined themselves in the place of Baumgartner for at least a second and made a small step and a huge leap.
Red Bull Stratos is not an empirical marketing. This project is more related to content marketing. Red Bull marketers created content that gathered 8 million people from the screens and made them empathize with the hero. But even people with vivid imagination and did not feel close to what Baumgartner felt, looking down. In other words, if you call Red Bull Stratos experimental marketing, the target audience of this event was one person.
Felix Baumgartner survived free flight and literally felt that Red Bull was inspiring. Unlike the audience, he and only he got the experience. Is it too expensive to drive a capsule into the stratosphere for the sake of one person?Empirical marketing is the creation of links between a brand and consumers by providing the latter with an emotionally and intellectually engaging experience. This definition reflects the second name of the concept under consideration: experimental marketing (from English. experience - experience, experience).
Please note that this is about consumers' own impressions, and not about empathy for someone else's experience. You must admit that a person jumping from a height of 39 km receives much brighter impressions in comparison with the audience watching this jump from the sofa.
The empirical marketing definition is well illustrated by a campaign organized by the Tim Hortons restaurant chain.
Passersby was invited to visit the newly opened restaurant in a small Canadian city and take part in the "Experiment in the Dark." Entering the restaurant building, visitors found themselves in total darkness. The waiters, orientated in space with the help of night-vision devices, accompanied the guests to the table and treated them to coffee. They asked visitors to appreciate the taste of the drink. Needless to say, all the experiment participants liked the coffee?
Representatives of Tim Hortons explained this by the effect of sensory deprivation: when people were deprived of the opportunity to perceive what was happening with the help of their eyes, their ability to sense the taste of coffee increased. Do not discount the emotional involvement that provided participation in the experiment.
Symptoms of experiential marketing
You can simply determine what you are dealing with experiential marketing. First, you personally participate in brand-organized action as a potential or existing customer. Secondly, the action is accompanied by at least one of the following phenomena:
- You experience emotions.
- You feel something unusual. These feelings are associated with a specific product. We can talk about the taste of coffee, the sensation of flight, the aroma of perfume, the sensory complex of a participant in a test drive of a racing car, etc.
- You yourself are actively acting. For example, you try coffee, test a new operating system, go on a trip to Africa.
- You think, analyze, compare. For example, the participants in the Experiment in the Dark accurately compared the taste of the proposed coffee with the drink they use every day. The participant of the test drive will certainly analyze the driving characteristics of the new car model.
Note again that the key sign of experiential marketing is considered to be your personal participation in the action organized by the brand. The directors of Latin American TV shows evoke the emotions of the audience, and the masters of the pen can help you to feel the taste of meat, which the brave traveler eats with a knife. But if you yourself have not gone through the experience, empirical marketing is not a question.
How to use empirical marketing on the Internet
Large offline companies live well. First, their marketers see their customers face to face. Secondly, they have big marketing budgets. It remains to be a little savvy and organize an event within the framework of the concept of experiential marketing. In the video below you can see how Virgin Atlantic handled this task.
And what about small Internet companies that do not have the ability to organize street performances and know their clients only by e-mail addresses? There is nothing easier if the marketers of the company have a wit. In this case, they understand that empirical marketing is not limited to large-scale actions and experiments, but it is possible to interact with the customer from a distance.
The following ideas will help you use experimental marketing on the Internet:
- Offer potential customers a trial version of your product or service. This is the most obvious idea that is widely used by software manufacturers and service providers. According to various studies, consumers are more willing to buy the product if they can gain experience using the free version.
- Hold educational and informational events. Modern online services, such as Google+ Hangouts, will save you from having to rent a room or go to clients in another city. Agree, good webinars and online conferences make the participants to act and think, and also cause them emotions.
- Use email newsletters as an empirical marketing tool. See how the Liters e-book store does this task.
The company asks the reader to share their opinions about the book purchased. It’s hard to refuse this offer, because reviews give bonus points that can be spent on new books. Creating a review makes the customer think, analyze, compare and experience emotions. This is empirical marketing in its purest form.
- Have you ever talked to Amazon support? A typical dialogue with these guys is:
- Give customers gifts. This is another obvious way to use experimental marketing in an online environment. A cup with a company logo, six months of free use of the program, a regular customer card - these pleasant trifles evoke positive emotions among consumers and enrich their experience of interaction with the brand.
- Hello, my Kindle is frozen, the screen saver is on the screen all the time. Reboot does not help, tell me what to do?
- Hello Dmitry! My name is Vijaya, I will gladly solve your problem. But first let me know what your mood is today?
-?! Thank you, the mood is good. And you?
- Oh, I am very glad that you are in a good mood. And thank you very much for being interested in mine. I'm fine, today is good weather. Your problem has been resolved, restart the Kindle and enjoy reading.
Now you understand why Amazon support is considered the most loyal to customers among large Internet companies? Support service managers consciously do everything so that consumers experience only positive emotions. Use this experience to implement empirical marketing with your customer service.
Do not rush into the stratosphere
To use empirical marketing, you do not need to spend money on super-expensive projects and force customers to participate in them. There are many simple and inexpensive ways to evoke emotions in a client, give him feelings or make him think and act. Use them to create emotional and intellectual customer relationships with your business.