• Ulhaas’11- The Experiential Marketing Carnival

    THE EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING CARNIVALMarketers from IIM Calcutta participated in the execution of a very important process for any company. They were Involved in conducting a market research program which would allow companies to understand how consumer perceive their brand. This event, organized by Team Census, was conducted during the month of January. Sahil Dev, a member of the organizing team gives a description about the two day experience.

    A brand is made or broken by the response of the consumers towards it. So, we can see why “knowing the consumer” is of utmost importance in the success of a marketer. The rationale behind this event was generic cialis to provide insight to the marketer about their own brand’s image in the mind of the consumer. This disguised market research event is a fresh attempt to understand consumer response to the products in different segments.

    THE EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING CARNIVAL1Ulhaas, currently in its 5th edition, is the only event conducted by students of IIM Calcutta outside of campus. It provides participants with the chance to directly interact with consumers. The event is not in the form of a questionnaire which is usually used for conducting a market research for a company. Here customer response is captured by disguising questions cleverly and subtly in games, quizzes and other fun-filled activities. Thus by creating a lively and fun environment, customers tend to give their true responses to questions which otherwise would have yielded incorrect results via a normal questionnaire process because people get conscious when they know that they are undergoing an evaluative questionnaire. Participants were tested on the basis of aided and unaided recall of products of different companies. Information was collected to describe the key attributes a consumer looks for in a particular kind of product.

    Being an event which conducts live projects for firms from different industries, the organizing teams approach different companies for their requirements, with the promise of obtaining consumer research insights. This year, Team Census got projects from companies belonging to diverse sectors. The project partners for Ulhaas 2011 were Godrej Interio, Nestle, CRY and Radio Mirchi. The venue partner for the event, City Centre Mall, New town, saw a footfall of over 10000 people during the two day event. Free gifts for participation and interactive games conducted by Team Census were an incentive for people to come to the event. The radio Jockeys’ provided by the radio partners, Radio One, garnered massive attention from people.

    After the event, the teams analyzed the data and determined awareness levels about the brand/product/service offered by these companies, and they provided recommendations for the same. Ever since its inception, recommendations from teams at Ulhaas have turned out to be highly insightful and effective for the companies.

    The whole process is a great learning for the teams as it gives them a real life experience of dealing with consumers and extracting information for the companies. This gives them exposure to the work they might be doing in their summer internships and jobs. Team Census, the experiential marketing club at IIM Calcutta provides opportunity to students for using this platform to explore new avenues in the field of marketing.

    Read Also: Fresh from the Market

  • Experiential Marketing Simplified


    Experiential marketing might sound like just some more jargon, but the concept is quite simple really. It’s an innovative way to market a product that’s high on the ‘touch and feel’ factor. It focuses on the consumer’s side of the marketing process, something that all good and effective marketing techniques should do.

    The definition that most marketers work with is:

    “Expe­ri­en­tial Mar­ket­ing con­nects audi­ences with the authen­tic nature of a brand through par­tic­i­pa­tion in per­son­ally rel­e­vant, cred­i­ble and mem­o­rable encounters.”[1]

    “Experiential marketing is a form of marketing that creates an emotional connection with a consumer. It’s the actual customer experience with the product and service that resides in the customer’s consciousness. Using one or more of the senses such as touch, taste, smell, sight and hearing – Experiential Marketing seeks to establish a touch point or connection with the customer – connections in the form of experiences that are personal, memorable, interactive and emotional in scope.”[2]

    Experiential marketing is all about concentrating on the customer’s emotions and experiences. It has been seen that for various kinds of products, mostly low-involvement impulse purchases, an emotional appeal works much more effectively than a rational appeal. Think about it. Suppose you’re at a supermarket. You’re tired and weary after all the shopping. All the walking around, carrying heavy bags, has made you hungry. And then suddenly, out of nowhere, the smell of rich, aromatic coffee beans hits you, coupled with the sweet aroma of freshly baked brownies. You instinctively walk over to the café situated inside the supermarket and spend obscene amounts of money on food that you could have probably gotten at a cheaper rate outside. But you don’t think of that because you’re tired and hungry, and want immediate satisfaction. All this wouldn’t have happened if you hadn’t been hit by the delicious smell of coffee and cake. This is experiential marketing. Making the customer experience the product for himself or herself, first hand, so he or she is almost under compulsion to make a purchase.

    The goal is to establish a memorable ‘connect’ with the consumer by playing on the 5 senses of a human being- sight, smell, taste, touch, sound. This essentially works on the right brain- the ‘creative, free thinking, emotional’ side- of the consumer.

    experiential marketing

    A few examples of a good usage of experiential marketing are discussed below.

    Let’s start off closer to home. Mahindra Tractors wanted to launch a strong hydraulic tractor that enabled farmers to plough the field more efficiently. For this, they launched a campaign called ‘Hy Tech’. To showcase this technology to the farmers, Mahindra engaged them through a technique in which sensors were fixed to the hydraulic and a large LCD monitor was placed for the farmers. This captured the movement of the cultivator on an ECG graph. The farmers easily understood the functioning and effects of the hydraulic tractor. They could see the tangible benefits for themselves before making the purchase. Moreover, the recall value was higher, since the farmers could themselves try out the tractor. Also, the unique way in which they could see the effects, the usage of the LCD monitor, etc. all contributed to a more involved experience, and the sales graph went shooting up.

    Another example is TVS. TVS launched a wedding campaign promoting its bikes, to capture the maximum target audience as the wedding season swept a greater part of North India, especially Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Mobile vans made on a ‘wedding theme’ were used to create awareness and promote the newly launched bikes, which were named StaR sports and StaR city (ES spoke variant) across 50 districts. This was done through demonstrations. The whole initiative was a tremendous success, generating more than 50,000 enquiries in just 1000 days. TVS became somewhat of a buzzword in Uttar Pradesh since they captured on the one thing that is very Indian and breeds a community feeling- our weddings.

    Whirlpool, the consumer electronic durables giant, launched a campaign for Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Maharashtra. The audience experienced the brand functions via road shows, small kiosks and interactive sessions. The promotional activity generated over 600 enquires in 75 days.

    These are just a few of the many Indian companies that have dipped their toes into the waters and experimented with experiential marketing tactics.

    Experiential marketing is highly effective because it cuts across the advertising clutter, and appeals to the consumer at a direct level. It also serves the purpose of creating a higher recall value, and is thus, a more efficient marketing technique. However, pitfalls do exist. It is difficult to measure, for one. It is can also be more expensive to implement, because rolling out a mass campaign is difficult, and requires greater investment in terms of time and resources. There are ways to use this tool smartly though.

    It can be used in many different innovative ways. For example, after the release of Star Wars III, Wal Mart, which was the licensed distributor of star wars products, used promoters, tents and a person dressed as Darth Vader to pull the crowd. More than 2500 people were hired and trained for the event. Suffice to say, it was a huge success. Hindustan Unilever Limited has been using experiential marketing since 1996 when it launched the Pepsodent Dentist interaction with free dental check-ups, interaction with dentists, touchscreen kiosks, etc. It also set up Lipton Tea kiosks serving mocktails, health beverages made from HUL brands as well as ice cream. But experiential marketing isn’t just for the big guys. Small companies can use it very effectively too. For example, chocolate tasting events, demonstrations at craft shows by toy-makers[3], etc.

    As can be seen, experiential marketing can be done in a variety of ways. There just doesn’t seem to be a dearth of ideas. It’s of little wonder then, that most companies these days are going the Experiential Marketing way.

    [1] http://adventresults.com/2007/10/30/definition-of-experiential-marketing

    [2] http://web2pointzeromarketing.blogspot.com/2008/03/definition-of-experiential-marketing.html

    [3] http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/205988