Customers want and expect epic experiences. Experiential marketing is not new to the scene, but the past few years have opened up a world of opportunity into what an experience could look like. Oftentimes, these robust customer experiences are time-consuming for marketing teams and many are built on “good enough” data. With economic uncertainty looming, it is important that we learn and get smarter with every marketing program, and that includes getting, and using, better data. Fortunately, AI can help.
During his MAICON session, Jonathan Yaffe explored how leading brands, including Nestle, Budweiser, and Michaels Arts & Crafts, measure first-person data from in-person, virtual, and hybrid experiences. Yaffe discussed the power of data and AI in understanding human behavior and fostering brand loyalty—including using natural language processing to draw insights, or how AI helps model customer behavior—and how data-driven experiential marketing is changing the future of the industry and the way brands build long-term relationships with customers.
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Did you know that 72% of millennials prefer to spend money on experiences over buying material things? Yaffe started his MAICON session with this eye-opening statistic from Harris Poll.
Car ownership is declining, home ownership is down for this age group, and social media posts focus more on vacations and experiences rather than new clothing. But is the marketing world keeping up?
Yaffe defines an experience as “something that triggers at least three senses.” A YouTube video? While it has the potential to be great, it’s not an experience. Some great examples from AnyRoad clients include:
Sprite taking over a beaches, building out large shower structures for beachgoers to rinse off in a “Sprite Fountain.”
Meow Wolf, an arts production company, creating immersive experiences in three locations across the US.
Also think about Home Depot painting classes, Sur La Table cooking classes, or Lululemon free yoga, pilates, or meditation classes where these brands can constantly grow their community. They also want to be where you’re having fun, because when you associate that brand with fun, you’ll spend more.
But what if marketers looked at experiences as not only a creative endeavor, but also as a scientific one as well?
Think about the scientific method:
- Take your brand and build out experiences at scale
- Baseline and collect data on how these experiences change human behavior
- Benchmark against competitors
- Segment baked on data
- Test experiences
- Predict how certain experiences will change behavior
- Measure, adjust, repeat
AI-powered, data-first marketing can help change experiences from just fun things to do to behavior-changing, revenue-driving programs.
With artificial intelligence, segmenting and measuring demographics and firmographics become consistent attainable, and scalable.
We’ve talked so much at the Marketing AI Institute and within our community about the possibilities for the creative world to embrace AI, and experiential marketing is a place we’ll need human creativity. That said with more intelligent technology, we can create even richer experiences for our customers, and appeal to prospects in ways we hadn’t thought of.
Become a next-gen marketer by checking out the resources at the Marketing AI Institute. Read our blog posts, take our Intro to AI for Marketers class, attend webinars, join our community, download reports, guides, and templates (all free), read Marketing Artificial Intelligence, look into AI Academy for Marketers and Piloting AI Bundle, and our annual MAICON—Marketing AI Conference.
Get access to all MAICON main stage keynotes, sessions, and panels with the MAICON 2022 On-Demand Bundle.
Cathy McPhillips is the Chief Growth Officer at Marketing AI Institute.