3 Cost-Efficient Experiential Solutions for Your Brand

This is a guest post by Jay Selig, marketing & PR manager, RedPeg Marketing.

This is a guest post by Jay Selig, marketing & PR manager, RedPeg Marketing.

“I have no budget!”

I hear it all the time. Brands show interest in adding an experiential component to their marketing mix, but balk at the price to do so. I get it, we don’t all have deep pockets, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find a creative solution. After all, experiential marketing is meant to be a creative or alternative means of expressing a brand’s message—no cookie cutters allowed. If that’s what you want, chances are there’s a cost-effective solution for you. And who wouldn’t want that when 77 percent of experiential programs delivered at least three times return on their investment. Not sold yet? Just give me a minute.

There are countless methods to creating experiential marketing programs and they won’t all bust your budget. Not all of them cost a million dollars. In fact, many aren’t even in the 6 figures. If you’re set on adding experiential to the mix, here are a couple low-cost options that can be executed for under $100K.

1. Sampling.

This may not be a viable solution for a service-based company, but for brands looking to quickly get their product into consumers’ hands, we’ve got ourselves a winner. In such a competitive market, getting consumers to take a chance on a product they’ve never tried is an uphill battle. For most industries, you can view a product on a shelf, on TV, or online, but rarely do you get an opportunity to engage consumers’ senses beyond their sight. Hence, why sampling represents an ideal solution for the food and beverage industry. At face value, sampling is neither glamorous nor the most press-worthy advertising medium. It is, however, a personal introduction to a brand and its new product—one that you likely wouldn’t consider otherwise. At its base level, sampling is simply brand ambassadors distributing product at a targeted location. No fancy cars, costumes, or setup necessary, just some branding to distinguish yourself. The more money you want to invest, the more elaborate campaign you can devise. In the end, all the consumer needs is a taste to want the whole thing.

2. Stunts.

Ever seen a flash mob? Maybe you saw something around town that just mesmerized you and held your attention. Well, that could one day be your brand. Nothing lights up the Twittersphere quite like a public spectacle. Dare I say it provides you the viral element you so jones for? It’s no guarantee to succeed, as is true with all campaigns, but can it be lightning in a bottle if executed correctly. Take Nestle’s The Natural Bliss Café campaign. To promote its all-natural coffee-mate, it took a New York coffee shop and replaced the baristas with ones wearing only body paint. How’s that for shock value? Sure, it’s a big brand with a larger budget, but the goal and thought behind it is the same for those looking to get serious press and brand awareness. Up the ante and you can go bigger and wilder, but even for the tight-pocketed, the potential remains.

3. Guerrilla Marketing.

This is typically the most grassroots of the marketing options, as brands take to the streets to interact with consumers at the most opportune times. Now I’m not talking about placing some poor shlub on the street corner with a clipboard to ask for signatures—that’s boring and no one responds to that. I’m talking about offering something fun or of use to people in a specific location. The perfect example is of hot new startup, Fixed. The company, who plays the hero by fighting people’s parking tickets for them, keeps their marketing simple and effective. All it does is send “Ticket Heroes” to the streets to look for the dreaded parking ticket. Upon finding a ticket, it leaves a branded report card so the owner knows exactly where to go. Guerrilla marketing can be extremely effective as long as the product or service serves a purpose for the consumers in the moment.