Here are the academics of experiential marketing for those of you who are interested. I have thirty plus years in trade show and event strategy, planning, measurement and ROI (my ethos).
Experiential marketing is highly effective communication, designed to elicit a response and a behavioral result from the receiver. It is therefore, by definition persuasive. Persuasive speech (including writing) is founded in three forms of rhetoric or persuasive proof: (this is the very condensed version and these to some degree follow one another.)
Aristotle's "On Rhetoric" described experiential marketing 2,400 years ago.
"Persuasion is clearly a sort of demonstration, since we are most fully persuaded when we consider a thing to have been demonstrated." The three components are as follows:
1) "Ethos" is an appeal based on credibility of the speaker. This is heavily intertwined with brand.
2) "Logos" is an appeal based on logic or reason. Our presentations, demonstrations, sales collateral, web content should all be driven by logic, i.e. leading the viewer to a logical conclusion(this is a study in and of itself).
3) "Pathos" is where the emotions come into play. Pathos is appeal based on emotional response. Much advertising is emotionally oriented. Admiring or wanting to be like the celebrity who wears the cool watch for example.
For our purposes here EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING is about helping the prospect come to and through the emotional decision to act, because they "feel right about it." That can come from interacting with the product, feeling good about the personal interactions with the staff or sales team, feeling lower risk due to confidence in your credibility and logic. "Trial" is the ultimate risk reducer and emotional compliment. Testimonial is a form of vicarious trial. Great design and proper mood also facilitate these transitions.
Our tools in the exhibit and events world are: (not intended to be a complete list)
• Visual Communication and Information Structure: How concepts are presented. Message hierarchy for example (another great course and topic)
• Color: Color is quite capable of influencing psychology. Contrast is important for establishing priorities.
• Sound: Music is a powerful mood changer.
• Graphics: A picture speaks a thousand words.
• Interactive Experiences: Graphics on steroids, that can be presented in a customer contextual perspective and engage the participant.
• Human Communication and Interaction: Very helpful in sealing the deal.
This topic is a very rich opportunity to use communication and experience to maximum advantage. It personally excites me. Weak messaging is one of the top inhibitors in trade show and event marketing. If you are interested in more detail, I am available to teach seminars on effective event communication. Contact me though the Constellation Communication Corporation website www.constellationcc.com
Constellation Communication Corp.