Why experiential marketing is good for your small business

Experiential marketing, where a product or service is promoted through experience, will become increasingly important and valuable in marketing your small business in the coming decade. Despite all the advances in technology and growth in online sales, consumers still seek out the human element. Real-life connections still count, and emotional connections will win no matter how much technology you have on your side.

This is particularly true when seeking to appeal to mothers, the most lucrative and influential consumer in Australia who are responsible for $132 billion in spending every year. Accounting for 80 per cent of all consumer spending decisions, Australian mothers of all generations really value personal interaction with their favourite brands and businesses. Small businesses who want to appeal to mothers who dismiss this strategy risk being left behind in the 2020s.

Benefits of experiential marketing

Experiential marketing allows small businesses to create unique, fun, memorable moments with mothers, which are lasting and more effective than many other traditional marketing efforts. As an example, in Australia we’ve seen Birdsnest, a women’s online fashion brand, create behind-the-scenes experiences where fans can tour the head office, meet with a stylist, purchase clothes and enjoy lunch.

Millennial and Generation Z mothers are increasingly seeking out unique experiences that provide them with talking points with their friends. Given that Millennial and Generation Z will account for the majority of births in Australia in the next decade, ignoring this trend could be disastrous for your small business.

Experiential marketing will go a long way in helping small businesses build closer, lasting relationships with mums. It also fosters customer loyalty and advocacy, as mothers are more likely to share their positive experience with the business. They will share the story of the great event you created. Research says that when women become mothers they are eight times more likely to be talking about brands. Wouldn’t you want them talking about your small business?

Experiential marketing also helps small businesses demonstrate that they understand mothers, an important factor in winning them over. It’s something I see many larger brands failing to do and it is costing them dearly. Poor relationships, a lack of loyalty and the real threat of declining sales await those businesses who fail to acknowledge and demonstrate they understand mothers. Research prior to engaging in Experiential marketing is key.

Experiential marketing can be a great vehicle to show your brand purpose. The 2020s will be all around meaningful marketing which is underpinned by purpose, trust and relevance. It will be critical that small businesses get clear on their purpose and this must include a strong contribution back to the community and society. Experiential marketing can assist facilitate this for small businesses.

The role of technology

Technology will increasingly feature in experiential marketing efforts. Both Artificial Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) can really enhance experiential marketing efforts and can be used to create more sensorial experiences for customers. As events become more sophisticated, I believe that not only will brands be able to successfully strengthen relationships but they will also use the experiences to detail other product and service offerings in a more palatable way where people don’t feel sold to, activating a significant sales opportunity also.

In a recent study, 77 per cent of women said that a live demonstration or experience helped them understand a product. That’s a great opportunity. I encourage small businesses to investigate how they can utilise experiential marketing practices to appeal to mothers, Australia’s most powerful consumer, to give your business a competitive edge over the next decade.

Katrina McCarter, Founder and CEO, Marketing to Mums