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Six experiential marketing trends according to Jack Morton

Six experiential marketing trends according to Jack Morton

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Eric Mottard
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Event and experiential marketing agency Jack Morton does not merely conceive and organise events, they also keep an open, analytical eye on their market, on consumers and social trends, and regularly publish research papers. We bring you here a few inspiring ideas from their latest report. It is good stuff, but here are the main ideas, for the busy person you are…

Morph with me

This trend points to fast-changing consumers, very open to new experiences rather than following a fixed, predictable pattern. “Every life stage and vibe change can be a transition point for today’s consumers”, they say. Combining physical and digital interactions and experiences, they live a highly unpredictable life, changing tastes and activities, and even identities. “One minute they’re digital masters, the next they’re craving analog sunsets”.

For events? Brands should be flexible and quick to adapt and innovate; they should think of new types of campaigns, and change experiences so as to offer the required novelty to this new consumer. Surprise, suggest new experiences, play with the desire for surprise and even paradox. “Create integrated campaigns that do more than follow audiences across platforms, give them experiences in which they can land and connect with others”, they say. Always thinking of making these experiences sharable and content-generating.

Purpose is power

Purpose and values are essential dimensions of brands, and have been for a few years, but this is dangerous in a polarised world. But fear not! “Polarization is an invitation for brands to lean into purpose, not a reason to go quiet”, they say. Brands should take risks and take stances which may not be liked by all… or else become irrelevant. In a polarised and fragile world, brands can thus be “sources of optimism”, help people feel part of something bigger than themselves, be enmeshed in their customers’ lives and identities.

For events? Purpose has been an ingredient of events for a while now. It is not time to go silent; rather brands should offer purpose-driven experiences. But also, capitalising on events’ ability to provoke constructive conversations, events should stimulate dialogue, action, and community-building.

Your people are your power

The war for talent rages on, probably stronger than ever. Be it for motivation and productivity, or employee acquisition or retention, employee experience is strategically important for businesses today. Effective organizations prioritize employee engagement, employee experience. And with remote work and flexible organizations still frequent, this need gets even more acute. It is time to turn employees into brand ambassadors.

For events? “The time employees spend together socially can positively impact their performance as well as the relationships they build both internally and externally”, says the report, especially when it comes to Gen-Z. Internal events are more important than ever, and should combine entertainment with community-building (we all need to feel part of something) and recognition of the talent of the company (we all need to feel recognised).

Content fatigue is real

Attention spans are getting ever shorter, and the quantity of content seems unstoppable. We are flooded with content and it gets logically harder to compete and this should force a reckoning after years of obsession with merely “generating content”. According to the report, “the best way to short-circuit the cycle is to tap into oxytocin and the bonding hormones that occur when we connect to authentic experiences and content”. Consumers, saturated with content… are hungry for content that feels human, connected to their passions and real.

For events? “Experiences are content goldmines, featuring real people with real voices (instead of paid influencers) whose genuine excitement can make a brand come alive” Content generated in a live situation, with the emotion of shared moments and the corresponding generation of oxytocin, will be a way to cut through this clutter. So expect events to be stronger than ever as content generation opportunities.

It’s personal

This has been an objective of marketing for a while, and remains so. “Personalization is considered a critical component of a brand’s strategy. Customers crave experiences tailored to their desires. The solution there will be AI, an easy way for mass-personalisation: it can identify patterns and trends to design more relevant and tailored creative solutions, surprise customers and build genuine connections.

For events? AI-integrated brand experiences can become opportunities for marketers to elicit feedback from an engaged audience, applying humanized data points to create personalized offerings. So brands should look for agencies who offer clear AI design and innovation… to achieve this agility and personalization.

Authenticity is currency

In a saturated economy, a challenge for marketers is standing out among a sea of co-branded options. One opportunity will lie in forging more authentic alliances, fueled by real passion. Customers “seek soulmates, not sponsors”, they say. Brands should consider alliances with less emphasis on brand placement and devote more resources to creativity and storytelling.

For events? Brands should allocate more resources to creative storytelling and experiences and explore novel approaches to relationships, the report says. Posturing is not in, authentic values and conversations are. Despite influencers’ current  amazing success, this points to the opportunity for real human experiences and testimonies.

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