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In a world where throwing a sales pitch out into the digital sphere just isn’t enough, experiential marketing has risen to the forefront as the answer to marketing leaders’ most challenging transitions. It gives marketers the chance to engage young consumers in a way that has hooked their attention and reeled them in as brand-loyal customers. There is one catch though — it only works if a brand knows what its target audience values and responds to.
Millennials and Gen Z dominate today’s market. They are all about self-expression, new experiences and social responsibility. That includes corporate social responsibility. While sustainability can describe economical, ecological and social efforts, today’s society places emphasis on the ecological side.
With issues like pollution, climate change and global warming within consumers’ list of top 10 fears, companies are expected to take a more active role in protecting the environment.
How can you incorporate sustainability in experiential marketing?
Sustainability comes not from what brands say, but rather what they do. Experiential marketing gives companies the opportunity to put their best foot forward. This includes making smart or “green” decisions when planning events and even collaborating with consumers in a way that makes a lasting, positive impact.
Major brands have used experiential marketing to raise awareness of their commitment to leaving a smaller ecological footprint, and smaller businesses can follow suit. Here’s how.
Be mindful of your resources (or use them for good).
When putting on an event, brands should choose their resources wisely. There are numerous products and services on today’s market that can help make an event more eco-friendly.
For example, manufacturers are increasingly creating products that are edible, plant-based and biodegradable. These organic alternatives eliminate trash waste while giving samples of brand product an additional fun (and Instagrammable) element.
There are many other ways brands can promote eco-friendly behaviors in their marketing efforts. One simple way to impact the environment is to reduce the amount of plastic used at your marketing events and in your business. For example, you could offer reusable paper or cloth bags with your logo and include special offers for customers who post a photo of the bag and use a customized hashtag like #ecofriendly@[your company name] on Instagram or Twitter.
Invite consumers to lend a hand with experiential collaborations.
Urban Rivers, an organization devoted to transforming city waterways into wildlife sanctuaries, created an incredible virtual experience by using Kickstarter to fund and create an interactive trash robot. Trashbot empowers donors to clean up trash along the Chicago River, from anywhere in the world, without ever leaving their computer chairs.
Social media posts regarding the Kickstarter campaign and the VR Trashbot experience have already raised awareness of this eco-friendly venture and brought awareness to the Chicago River trash volume.
Even if your brand doesn’t have a trash robot on hand, consider adding a donation box at your marketing event to collect used items to be reused. The donation drive can be a content-rich opportunity to highlight your company’s devotion to a more sustainable environment.
Not only can a business send out reminder messages about the drive via social media before their experiential campaign, but there are also opportunities after the event to share photos on Instagram of how the donations were reused and redistributed. Brands might also offer some incentives for customers who share social media posts about their own sustainable donations.
Create incentives that inspire consumers to collaborate.
On Earth Day 2018, Niantic partnered with marine conservation organizations to host a worldwide collaborative trash reduction effort. Fans of Niantic’s popular Pokémon Go game collected over 14,000 pounds of trash in 19 countries worldwide. Participants were given in-game rewards and exclusives for their participation. This project, no doubt, created memorable experiences of making the world a cleaner place through a major collaborative effort.
Environmentalists are also joining hands at major music festivals like Bonnaroo and Firefly to reduce litter, encouraging visitors to pick up and recycle. On the concert grounds, participants can exchange collected trash for merchandise, VIP tickets and other rewards.
Big events and wildly popular video games may be too much for a small business owner, but creating a collaborative event that rewards sustainable behaviors is as simple as planning an Earth Day event to beautify your community that includes both your employees and your customers.
By planning your event around a holiday celebrated worldwide, your brand can join a major movement. Amplify your local events through advertising and social media marketing and include photos on your website to showcase your successful efforts. Encourage customers to get involved in the planning, promotion and execution of the event.
National brands and small businesses alike, regardless of their budgets, can link sustainability to their marketing campaigns. The key is to meet your target audience where they are and make natural, authentic and noticeable connections.
April 11, 2019 at 08:23AM
Forbes – Entrepreneurs