Marketing practices have evolved considerably in recent times, as businesses have looked beyond the quest for profit and instead sought to empower consumers as a part of their brand. Social media has played a huge part in this drive, and the mediums compatibility with experimental marketing is at the forefront of this evolution.
Written by Lewis R Humphries
By its very nature, experimental marketing is an evolutionary and constantly changing entity. Social media is a similar concept, as its journey from social networking site to professional market tool has been remarkable. In fact, it is through the application of social media that experimental marketers have found the ideal vehicle for their campaigns, and introduced their brands to the attention of a global audience.
Experimental Marketing Campaigns that have Leveraged Social Media
With this in mind, it is worth evaluating innovative examples of social media driven marketing campaigns, and exactly how they tie in to prevailing trends. Consider the following: -
The Link Between the Virtual and Digital World: While the capacity to create experiences that seamlessly connect both virtual and physical properties is relatively ground breaking, there are previous events that have managed to achieve this. The Wear it Pink Breast Cancer Campaign of 2011 provides a relevant example, as in partnership with UK event planning firm Chillisauce it developed the world’s largest bra and suspended it from the ITV Southbank Building in London.
The campaign was popularized and promoted through Twitter, where users engaged in real time conversations with organizers and shared their feedback. As a result, spectators became empowered as key components of the event, and this has set a template which marketers and business owners have strived to emulate since.
The Creative Use of Mobile Technology and Devices: An increasing number of individuals are accessing social media resources through their mobile devices, and this trend is set to peak in the years to come. The growing competition and level of advancement within the smartphone market is key to this evolution, with South African based beer company Carling one of the first to capitalize on this trend.
At the end of 2011, the firm launched its ‘Be the Coach’ event, which encouraged participants to coach two chosen football teams and influence the direction of a live game. As a result, social media communities saw the level of mobile usage grow considerably, while a further 85,000 fans attended the much anticipated game in person.
How Live and Spontaneous Events Inspire Engagement: Proponents of experimental marketing are increasingly looking for new ideas, with the creation of live and spontaneous events emerging as an increasingly popular concept. These experiences are designed to fully engage consumers and participants, while empowering them as important components within a particular brand. Take the Oreo Daily Twist promotion campaign, for example, which ran for 100 days during 2012 and led to the creation of innovative, live adverts every 24 hours. Not only were these shared in real time through social media, but the medium was also used to engage customers through collaboration. The response was incredibly positive, and served as an extremely effective way of encouraging brand loyalty.
The Bottom Line
As fundamental concepts, social media and experimental marketing have a great deal in common. It therefore stands to reason that they should compliment one another, with social media providing the ideal platform from which marketers can promote their brand and develop an engaged and loyal consumer base.
The growing affinity between the real and virtual world is one that continues to have a significant impact on both social media and experimental marketing. This trend is likely to remain prominent throughout 2013 and beyond, as it offers new and exciting opportunities to firms who hope to gain a competitive advantage over their rivals.
How do you connect the online and offline world? Share in the comments section below.
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