Stuart Bradbury, managing director of Avantgarde, feels that experiential has become central to the marketing mix.
"Experiential has been moving towards becoming a mainstream marketing platform and for some sectors it has always been at the centre. It is often used to kick-start a campaign and from there it follows into other communication channels. We’re all bombarded with messages all the time, but the most powerful way that a marketer can communicate to their target audience is by getting them to remember something, by doing it face to face and creating an experience that the consumer wants to be part of and wants to pass on to other people."
Sharon Richey, chief executive of Because, suggests that the most successful brands have integrated marketing campaigns with experiential working as an equal partner.
"Experiential is a good partner for almost all of your media channels nowadays, but I would also argue that the brands that are the most successful and the most talked about are those that really have truly integrated strategies. Experiential sits as an equal partner at the table to those of social media, PR and digital.
"In respect of the overall media mix, there will always be a place for above-the-line and for broadcast channels, because naturally those channels are all about reach and pushing your message out to millions and millions of people to build your brand. Above-the-line channels will always dominate, but brand experience is vital - there’s more of a level playing field than there ever was."
Kevin Jackson, EMEA vice president of sales and marketing at George P Johnson, sees the industry becoming stronger.
"As an industry, it has got bigger, stronger, more knowledgeable and we’re finding it easier to make our case in relation to advertising or PR. The world has moved on and what brands are looking for is engagement. What consumers, customers and clients are looking for is relationship.
"The greatest change in the last five years has been a move towards collaborative working with a client’s other communications agencies. There’s a recognition that the idea can come from anywhere, whereas previously it usually came from the advertising agency. That’s not true anymore for the bigger, global client. Other clients are recognising that spend in the experience channel is outweighing spend in the advertising channel, so we become the lead agency or the idea-generating agency that they come to first."
Event's Brand Experience Report 2014
In association with Vivid Interface, Event's first Brand Experience Report 2014 provides an in-depth analysis into the world of experiential, with analysis on the pitch process, budgets, lead times, payment terms, recruitment and event associations.
To download Event's table of experiential agencies click here.
The full report will be available to download in the next month.