Consumer Experience: Brand Handlers Across the Globe Highlight Expectations as Lockdown Eases

The global Covid19 pandemic has impacted business so profoundly that the norms of marketing, especially experiential is expected to change extensively as the economy of different countries open up. With a globally acceptable vaccine still some months or even years away, caution on all sides will be the watchword. ExperientialNG took time to scan across the global information super-highway to capture the perception of top marketers from different part of the globe.

Rajesh Radhakrishnan, Chief Marketing Officer, Vritti Solutions, India

Rajesh Radhakrishnan, Chief Marketing Officer, Vritti Solutions, India

Brand managers would pile pressure to ensure high ROI even on lower budgets:

With the utmost need to target the masses with relevant contextual messaging, experiential marketing would be expecting a revival within months. Talking about the significance of the experiential branding, the utmost need for focused and interactive marketing practices would be vital for brands to stand out Also, there is a serious need for experiential solutions with strong propositions, and ensured ROI would be paramount due to cut down in marketing budgets. There would be increased pressure on brand managers to ensure return on investment of each penny spent on activations. Hence, experiential marketing would need at this time, strong propositions with emotional quotient that can also yield great PR value which can make the brand to stand out. Unlike pre-COVID 19 PERIOD when between 50% and 60% of engagement and turnout was considered fine, now brand managers would want it to be more than that.

Another fact is, pending when a vaccine would be readily available, the entire experiential experience must strive to be as contactless as possible to ensure the safety of the masses and promoters. Otherwise, one mistake can backfire the entire activity.

Experiential marketing requires an audience congregation at bus stops, bars, malls, media platforms and other public places While the whole concept of experiential activity is about people congregation, a radical rethinking of the location factor has become very important considering the pandemic.

We can still gather people but the audience’s participation now will clearly depend on the relevancy of the product for them and to some extent properly maintained protocols such as social distancing and sanitisation of venue and products.

Mircea Manea, Founding Partner ,Blueprint Studios. San Francisco, USA.

Mircea Manea, Founding Partner, Blueprint Studios. San Francisco, USA.

We would need to continuously reshape the future of online events to stay relevant:

Event industry leaders would need to take action and re-imagine the future of events in safe and innovative ways. We must consciously help brands re-envision events, both virtually now and even when live events return, to give us that confidence to host audiences and employees safely as we design and create memorable experiences.

Brands still want to host memorable events, to fulfil that inert desire for more authentic connections in today’s new norm so innovations would be key.

With large gatherings on hold now and in the near future, experiential experts must launch new products and services to help brands with improved opportunities to engage their attendees virtually in new, innovative ways. This can be through creating virtual event platforms (VEP) with interactive exhibits, live stream integration, peer-to-peer networking rooms, and 3D virtual exploration spaces (VES) that can n transcend real-world limits. We would need to tailor immersive experiences for remote workforces, online classrooms, and diverse event audiences.

The industry will need to continuously retrain itself and be prepared to show a strong commitment towards connecting brands and their audiences through unique solutions that truly engage.

Anthony Duckworth, Experiential Marketing Director, American Express

Anthony Duckworth, Experiential Marketing Director, American Express

Consumers will seek beyond brand amplification for meaningful experiences:

Coming out gradually from the coronavirus outbreak, consumers will be looking for events that enrich their lives. This means the future of branded experience would lie in creating meaningful events over shareable ones He said: People are going to pivot from wanting something shareable to wanting something meaningful. Events won't just be about brand trickery anymore, there will be less brand amplification, it will be about how we can make their lives better

Amy Brown, Head of Creative Strategy, Google

Amy Brown, Head of Creative Strategy, Google

The future of live storytelling would be realistic engagement:

It is very important, going into the future, that experiential marketing, which is basically live storytelling, should consider in all ramifications, what is going to be genuinely helpful to the consumer and how much of their concentration is needed. Contrary to the notion that events need to be fully immersive, when it comes to online experiences we must consider how people will be consuming the media.

We will always need to research and understand how our audience is consuming media content, what they can engage with and when. We would always need to be and think about what is going to genuinely be helpful before we present them. The pair were joined by Maria D'Souza marketing director at Barclays Ventures for the panel discussion on the future of live storytelling.

One thing Covid-19 has succeeded in doing is forced brands to evolve to the voice of the consumer and compel brands to think about how they can make a meaningful impact on the life o