The fact that there is so much competition for exposure combined with people wising up to the way in which products are being marketed means that brands are being forced to think outside the box in order to be seen/heard over the masses.
Changes in media consumption have resulted in a coming of age for experiential marketing, a trend that has largely been attributed to social media. Millennials would rather tell people about something they have done rather than something they have got, and obviously their preferred way to share this information is via social media.
The explosion of social media activity over the past five years has now meant it is fundamental to a company’s marketing success that they fit the social media platforms that they are using. However, the potential to make an impact with millions of people also poses a number of challenges. The overcrowding of social media channels makes standing out difficult, but not impossible. It appears that the future successes will be dependent on how brands and agencies choose to differentiate themselves from competitors.
In the past companies may have spent a lot of money on making one very savvy TV ad, however now we are frequently seeing people skip ads when they can, using ad blockers wherever possible. Instead it may be more effective to spend that same amount of money on making ten individual, slightly more rough and ready, films which can then be released on a weekly basis on the companies YouTube and Instagram channels in the hope of maintaining regular contact with their following and keeping this following actively engaged.
Cultural developments and events such as product launches represent excellent opportunities for brands to engage consumers through a larger context over a longer period of time than ever before. These events allow brands to circumvent direct marketing techniques typically eschewed by tech-savvy Millennial customers, and reach consumers by encouraging them to become part of a bigger dialogue. Last year Land Rover produced a short series of films that followed a photographer’s quest to find the ‘Ultimate Vistas’. By putting the photographer in the latest Range Rover, the company was able to showcase the vehicle in all of its glory, without the audience feeling like they were trying to push a sale on them… clever huh?!