C-Suite Network™


A No BS Guide to Recruiting and Hiring Exceptional Employees

Unveiling the Key to Assembling an Exemplary Team

In the realm of prospering enterprises, the pivotal factor lies in the construction of a robust and proficient team. Your workforce forms the bedrock of your organization, and the acquisition and selection of suitable individuals can be the differentiating factor.

This pragmatic guide delves into the fundamental strategies and valuable insights to aid you in attracting, evaluating, and onboarding top-tier employees who will spearhead your company’s progress.


  1. Crafting an Alluring Job Listing

The initial stride in the recruitment process involves the creation of an enticing job listing that captivates the attention of qualified candidates. Commence by elucidating the job title, responsibilities, and desired qualifications with utmost clarity. Remember, lucidity is of utmost importance! Eschew the utilization of jargon or convoluted language that may perplex prospective applicants.

Next, accentuate the distinctive attributes of your organization and its culture. Convey your fervor, mission, and values to entice candidates who resonate with your vision. It is crucial to exhibit authenticity and showcase the personality of your company. Infuse a touch of your personal experiences as a business owner and articulate the reasons behind your passion.


  1. Effective Candidate Screening

Upon receiving a pool of applications, it is imperative to screen candidates effectively. Look beyond the surface-level particulars and focus on their skills, experience, and cultural compatibility. Embark upon the process by scrutinizing their resumes and cover letters, paying close attention to their previous roles and achievements.

In addition to conventional screening methods, contemplate incorporating behavioral and situational inquiries during interviews. This approach aids in assessing how candidates would navigate real-life scenarios they may encounter in the workplace. Share anecdotes from your own experiences to establish a personal connection and provide invaluable insights.



  1. The Art of Conducting Interviews

Conducting interviews is an art form that demands meticulous preparation and execution. Structure your interviews to encompass a blend of technical and behavioral questions, enabling you to gain a comprehensive understanding of the candidate’s capabilities. Eschew generic inquiries and opt for tailored questions that pertain to the specific role and align with your company’s culture.

Remember, interviews should facilitate a two-way exchange. Encourage candidates to seek clarifications about the company, team dynamics, and growth prospects. This open dialogue will afford you a glimpse into their enthusiasm, inquisitiveness, and compatibility with your organization.


  1. Onboarding for Optimal Success

Congratulations! You have discovered the perfect candidate. Now, it is time to set them on the path to success through a comprehensive onboarding process. Commence by extending a warm welcome and introducing them to the team. Cultivate a supportive environment where new employees feel at ease posing queries and seeking guidance.

Develop a structured onboarding plan that encompasses both general orientation and role-specific training. By providing lucid expectations and equipping them with resources, you will enable employees to swiftly acclimate to their responsibilities and comprehend how their work contributes to the overarching goals of the company.



  1. Cultivating a Positive Work Culture

Cultivating a positive work culture is indispensable for employee satisfaction and retention. Foster an environment wherein individuals feel valued, respected, and supported. Encourage open communication and deliver regular feedback to facilitate the professional growth of your employees.

Invest in comprehensive employee development programs, both formal and informal, to augment their skills and knowledge. Create opportunities for advancement within the organization and acknowledge their accomplishments along the way. When employees perceive their contributions to be appreciated and their potential to be nurtured, they are more inclined to exhibit unwavering commitment and motivation.


Conclusion: Assembling an Exemplary Team

The process of recruiting and hiring exceptional employees is an ongoing endeavor that necessitates dedication and diligence. By adhering to the strategies expounded upon in this guide, you will be well-equipped to attract exceptional talent that aligns seamlessly with your company’s objectives and values.

Remember, constructing an exceptional team is not merely about procuring skilled individuals; it is about fostering a supportive culture wherein every member can thrive. Therefore, devote the time and effort required to invest in your employees, and behold the flourishing of your organization as a result.

Prepare to triumph in the realm of recruitment and propel your business to unprecedented heights!












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Break Free From Founder Dependence: Strategies for Business Success?

How to Overcome Founder Dependence as a Start-up?

Commencing a business is an exhilarating voyage. As an entrepreneur, you invest your passion and dedication into transforming your start-up from an idea into a tangible reality. However, as your business expands, there is a risk of excessive reliance on you, the founder. Founder dependence can impede scalability, hinder decision-making processes, and limit overall growth potential.

This article delves into the challenges posed by founder dependence and explores effective strategies to overcome this obstacle.


Three Dangers of Founder Dependence

When a start-up heavily relies on the founder’s expertise, connections, and decision-making, it becomes vulnerable to various risks. Let’s closely examine some of the perils associated with founder dependence.

  1. Limited Scalability

Founder dependence can hinder the scalability of a start-up. When all critical decisions and operations flow solely through the founder, it creates a bottleneck that restricts growth. As the workload increases, the founder may struggle to delegate effectively, leading to burnout and inefficiency.

Scaling the business becomes challenging without a well-structured and empowered team.

  1. Challenges in Decision-Making

When a start-up excessively depends on the founder for decision-making, it can slow down the entire process. The founder may become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of decisions they need to make, resulting in delays and missed opportunities.

Additionally, decision-making becomes subjective, heavily influenced by the founder’s biases and perspectives.


  1. Single Point of Failure

Founder dependence creates a single point of failure within the organization. If the founder is unable to work due to illness, personal circumstances, or other reasons, the entire business can suffer.

This vulnerability puts the start-up at significant risk, jeopardizing its continuity and survival.


5 Strategies to Overcome Founder Dependence

Now that we comprehend the challenges posed by founder dependence, let’s explore effective strategies to mitigate this risk and foster a sustainable and scalable business.

  1. Cultivate a Strong Leadership Team

Building a robust leadership team is crucial to reduce founder dependence. Identify individuals who complement your skills and share your passion for the business. Delegate responsibilities to them, empowering them to make decisions and take ownership of their respective areas.

Cultivate a culture of trust and collaboration within the team, encouraging open communication and idea-sharing.

  1. Document Processes and Systems

To minimize reliance on the founder’s expertise, document key processes and systems within the organization. Create clear guidelines, standard operating procedures (SOPs), and knowledge repositories that outline how tasks are performed.

This documentation facilitates knowledge transfer, enables new hires to quickly get up to speed, and ensures consistency in operations even when the founder is not directly involved.

  1. Implement Effective Training Programs

Invest in comprehensive training programs for your employees to enhance their skills and knowledge. By equipping your team with the necessary tools and expertise, you empower them to handle complex tasks and make informed decisions independently.

Encourage continuous learning and professional development, fostering a growth mindset within the organization.

  1. Foster a Culture of Innovation and Collaboration

To overcome founder dependence, nurture a culture of innovation and collaboration. Encourage your team members to think creatively, share ideas, and take ownership of projects. Emphasize the importance of cross-functional collaboration and create platforms for brainstorming and knowledge-sharing.

By involving the entire team in the decision-making process, you can harness diverse perspectives and drive the business forward.

  1. Continuously Evaluate and Improve

Regularly evaluate your processes, systems, and team dynamics to identify areas for improvement. Solicit feedback from your team members and stakeholders, encouraging open dialogue.

Adapt and refine your strategies based on these insights, ensuring that your business remains agile and responsive to market changes.


Embracing Growth and Sustainability

Overcoming founder dependence is vital for the long-term success and sustainability of a start-up. By developing a strong leadership team, documenting processes, implementing training programs, fostering innovation and collaboration, and continuously evaluating and improving, you can reduce reliance on the founder and unlock the full potential of your business.

Remember, building a business is a collective effort. Embrace the growth opportunities that come with empowering your team and trust in their abilities.

With the right strategies in place, you can navigate the challenges of founder dependence and steer your start-up towards a prosperous future.





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The Gentle Leader’s Playbook: Mastering Employee Performance Without Being a Jerk


If you’re a manager or a business owner, you comprehend the significance of monitoring employee productivity in order to maintain a high-performing team. However, it is equally important to approach this task with empathy and respect, avoiding the perception of constant surveillance and becoming the manager that everyone loves to hate (just like the boss from the Office Space).

Establishing clear expectations forms the foundation of respectful productivity. Employees need to comprehend what is expected of them and how their performance will be assessed.

By precisely defining goals, deadlines, and key performance indicators (KPIs), you provide a transparent and equitable framework for tracking productivity.



The Key to Lasting Bonds: Open and Transparent Communication

Open communication is crucial when it comes to monitoring employee productivity respectfully. Foster an environment where employees feel at ease discussing challenges, seeking guidance, and sharing progress. Encourage regular check-ins, one-on-one meetings, and team discussions to offer support, address concerns, and celebrate achievements.

Remember, effective communication entails active listening and providing constructive feedback.


Utilizing Technological Tools

In today’s digital era, numerous tools are available to help efficiently and unobtrusively track productivity. Here are a few popular options:

1. Time Tracking Software:

Employ time tracking applications that allow employees to log their hours and monitor the time spent on specific tasks or projects. This provides valuable insights into productivity without excessive micromanagement.

2. Project Management Platforms:

Platforms like Trello, Asana, or Jira enable teams to collaborate, assign tasks, and monitor progress. These tools offer transparency and accountability while respecting employees’ autonomy.

3. Employee Monitoring Software:

While controversial, some organizations find value in monitoring software, like Acti Trak,  that tracks employees’ computer usage and internet activity. However, it is crucial to implement such tools with clear communication and consent from employees.

Remember, technology should complement human connection rather than replace it. Strive for a balance that empowers employees instead of making them feel excessively scrutinized.


Providing Training and Development Opportunities

Investing in the growth and development of your employees not only enhances productivity but also nurtures a positive work environment. Offer training programs, workshops, and resources to enhance their skills and knowledge. When employees feel valued and supported, they are more likely to be motivated and engaged, resulting in increased productivity.



Acknowledging and Rewarding Performance

Recognizing and rewarding your employees’ hard work and accomplishments is crucial for maintaining motivation and morale. When employees feel appreciated, they are more inclined to go the extra mile. Implement an employee recognition program that acknowledges exceptional performance, whether through verbal praise, team shout-outs, or tangible rewards.

Celebrating successes together creates a positive atmosphere and encourages sustained productivity.


Balancing Autonomy and Accountability

Finding the right balance between autonomy and accountability is essential for tracking productivity without being intrusive. While it is important to hold employees responsible for their work, excessively micromanaging every aspect of their day can be demotivating and counterproductive. Trust your team members to manage their own time and tasks while providing support and guidance when necessary.

This approach fosters a sense of ownership and empowerment, resulting in higher productivity levels.


Cultivating a Supportive Work Culture

A supportive work culture plays a significant role in effectively tracking employee productivity. Foster an environment that encourages teamwork, collaboration, and mutual respect. Encourage employees to openly share their ideas, concerns, and feedback. When individuals feel safe and supported, they are more likely to be engaged and productive.



And there you have it! Monitoring employee productivity can be accomplished respectfully without resorting to intrusive methods. By establishing clear expectations, promoting transparent communication, utilizing technology wisely, providing training, and rewarding performance, organizations can foster a productive work environment while maintaining employee trust and morale.

By adopting these strategies, employers can strike a balance between accountability and respect, ultimately leading to improved productivity, stronger employee relationships, and overall organizational success. Remember, a harmonious workplace built on trust and open communication paves the way for both individual and collective growth.

So, let’s embrace these practices and create a thriving work culture where productivity and respect go hand in hand.


Branding Case Studies Marketing

How to Identify Your Target Audience

How do you know you’re delivering the right message to the right people at the right time? You can create a fabulous message, but if you’re delivering it to consumers who are NOT likely to engage with your brand, you’re wasting valuable time and resources. Knowing how to identify your target audience is crucial to the success of your business. You may have more than one target audience, so it’s also essential to create messages that resonate with each of them. Let’s delve into how to identify your target audience.

What is a Target Audience?

Your target audience is a group of consumers who are most likely to want your product or service. Specific demographics and behaviors such as age, gender, socioeconomic status, location, cultural preferences, profession, interests, and more are all factors that make up your target audience.

Your target audience may have segments or niches as well. For example, a real estate agency might want to attract first-time buyers with smaller budgets as well as wealthier clients seeking a luxury vacation home. Likewise, a skincare company that makes products for men and women would want to market to them differently — and target niches within each gender, such as teens fighting acne or older women worried about wrinkles.

Roles Within Your Target Market

Your target audience also has characteristics beyond demographics and interests. For the most part, your target audience falls into one of two categories:

The Decision Maker: This consumer makes the purchase, even if they are not the person using the product or service. Using our skincare company example, men may use an aftershave lotion, but their wives or girlfriends are the ones choosing which product to buy.

The Influencer: These people may lack the ability to buy, but they wield a heavy influence over the buying decision. Gen Z, consumers born roughly between 1997 and 2012, have immense influence over how their parents and peers spend money, even if they’re not old enough to buy. Spouses/significant others, colleagues, friends, and family members typically play influencer roles.

The takeaway here is that you’ll want to craft messages that speak to both consumers.

Determine Your Ideal Customer

You’ll want to identify who your ideal customer is and their top concerns and desires. It can be helpful to create an avatar or a “perfect customer” for each target audience — their age, gender, marital/relationship status, location, income, and interests.

In our real estate example above, the first-time homebuyer might look something like this:

  • Age: late 20s to early 30s
  • Relationship status: recently engaged or married
  • Desired location: suburb not too far from their workplace
  • Income: stable and sufficient to afford a 10 to 15% down payment, monthly mortgage payments, and related expenses
  • Interests: wants to start a family within a few years, so needs a home in a neighborhood suitable for children (parks, schools, recreation)
  • Plans for the home: only residence / live in it for several years

Alternatively, the second vacation homebuyer might have these characteristics:

  • Age: 50s to early 60s, retired or retiring soon
  • Relationship status: married with adult children, possibly grandchildren
  • Desired location: Upscale oceanfront resort community
  • Income: Very high and stable, can easily afford a sizeable down payment and monthly mortgage payments
  • Interests: golf, boating, tennis, country club membership
  • Plans for the home: use it several times throughout the year for vacations and family gatherings / an investment opportunity so likely to sell when the time is right

The ideal messaging for attracting budget-constrained, first-time buyers would demonstrate how the agency can help them find an affordable home in a family-friendly neighborhood. In contrast, the best messaging to attract vacation homebuyers would showcase the agency’s expertise in finding luxury homes in desirable upscale communities.

The key takeaway here is that once you know specific details about who you want to attract to your brand, you’ll be better able to craft messages that appeal to them.

Determine Your Target Audience’s Pain Points

Another vital component to identifying your ideal customer is understanding their concerns and the problems they are trying to solve, known as pain points. Pain points can also be benefits or solutions that improve their lives in some way — make them feel healthier, wealthier or more attractive; save them time or money; reduce frustration or stress, etc.

Using our real estate agency example, pain points for the first-time buyer might be:

  • I’m worried I’ll pick the wrong neighborhood.
  • What if I can’t find any affordable homes I like?
  • What if I find expensive problems in the house after the sale is final?
  • Can I trust this agency to be fair and have my best interests in mind?

The vacation homebuyer’s pain points might be very different:

  • I’m worried the home will lose value instead of appreciating.
  • What about vandalism or theft while I’m not there — does the community provide adequate security?
  • How likely is the home to be damaged or destroyed in a hurricane?
  • Does this agency have expertise in identifying homes with a high likelihood of generating an appealing return on investment?

The key takeaway is that once you understand how your products or services can solve your target consumers’ pain points, you’ll have a much better chance of engaging with them.

Need help determining who your target audience is? We can help! Contact us today.

Advice Branding Marketing

Headline: Hybrid Events Are Here – Here’s What Not to Do

If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it’s how to interact with others through screens. We already know that experiential marketing allows brands to engage with consumers directly, but now many brands are struggling to connect with their target audience virtually. Hybrid events, which cater to in-person and remote audiences via live streaming, are becoming more common as travel restrictions and uncertainties from the pandemic linger. Hybrid experiential marketing events can be a way to reach more consumers — but they can also be tricky to pull off without mishaps. Here are five potential pitfalls to watch for when planning a hybrid event.

#1) Turning Remote Attendees Into Spectators

Setting up cameras and streaming the live event or activities to virtual audiences won’t cut it. You don’t want your remote attendees to feel like they’re on the outside looking in as mere spectators. They must have opportunities to participate in real-time along with in-person attendees. Allow for live Q & A, voting or comment sessions that remote attendees can type into chat windows — and let the live audience see the comments/questions (hire an emcee to moderate). Your in-person audience could do the same via their mobile devices so everyone has equal participation opportunities. Another option is to provide opportunities for in-person and virtual participants to snap photos and share them using event hashtags. You can find many ways to engage your virtual attendees.

#2) Using a Venue That Can’t Support Both Audiences

Your event venue or location might be fantastic for showcasing products, displaying cool videos, and hosting live entertainment — but could lack the technical capability to handle multiple video streams and Wi-Fi connections from in-person attendees. Ensure your venue or location has the technical capacity and an onsite technical support team to resolve problems quickly. A backup power source is crucial because a power outage would sabotage the entire event. Finally, the venue or location must also work for in-person and live streaming, so avoid picking one that would be challenging to film or uncomfortable or unfeasible for in-person attendees.

#3) Assuming the In-Person Personalities can Interact With Both Audiences

You might have dynamic speakers or entertainers who can expertly engage a crowd but may lack the experience or ability to excite a remote audience. (Just ask any teacher who had to teach to classroom and remote students simultaneously in 2020 — often, the remote students felt ignored). In contrast, you might have an excellent YouTuber or another online influencer who is entirely comfortable speaking to their webcam for hours but would fall apart in front of a live audience. Your entertainment or influencer may just need some training or rehearsing.

#4) Choosing the Wrong Platform

Your organization might have lived on Zoom over the past several months and held successful meetings — but Zoom might not be the best choice for an experiential marketing campaign. For example, your target audience may hang out on YouTube or Facebook, so you’ll need to understand where your target audience lives virtually. In addition, your marketing team or influencers may be talented gurus who can connect with consumers at a concert, sporting event, or shopping mall, but they may not know how to transition that talent to engage virtual audiences. The takeaway here is to research and plan carefully to ensure you’re using the right platform and people — you may have to hire outside help experienced in running hybrid experiential marketing campaigns.

#5) Ignoring Sponsorship Opportunities

Fully or partially sponsoring an event such as a concert, sports, charity, or community event is often the first thing brands consider when planning an experiential marketing campaign. However, hybrid events often reach a much larger audience than in-person only, meaning they offer fantastic sponsorship opportunities. You can use videos, sponsor-hosted sessions, banner ads, sponsorship pages, and a whole host of other methods to get your sponsor seen and heard by both audiences. In addition, you can email or text offers from sponsors to remote and in-person attendees, so everyone is offered the same swag, freebies, discounts, etc. So don’t overlook this potentially lucrative opportunity!

We can help you plan and execute a hybrid experiential marketing campaign! Contact us today & leverage our 25+ years of experience and expertise in creating impactful, successful events and activities!

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Why These 3 Experiential Marketing Strategies Work

We’ve discussed why experiential marketing attracts new consumers, increases brand loyalty, drives sales, and delivers attractive ROIs. Experiential marketing is one of the most successful strategies a marketing team can utilize. This strategy will likely increase in popularity as consumers are tired of being “sold to” by endless one-way communication. However, despite its successful track record, experiential marketing is also challenging to get right. In this post, we will explain three different experiential marketing types and their key takeaways.

Product Sampling

Product sampling is the strategy most of us know. Brands typically hire brand ambassadors, people who mimic the demographic of their target audience, to hand out samples or get consumers to try something. Typically, product sampling occurs at trade shows, concerts, festivals, fairs, sporting events, retail outlets, and even busy street corners using pop-up booths and lounges. However, it can also work in e-commerce too — for example, a company can throw in a free sample or two when a customer places an online order. Another benefit is gaining invaluable insights into what consumers think of your product, which you can share with your design team.

Instead of telling consumers how great your product tastes, smells, or feels, they can try it for themselves without any obligation to buy. Biore, a skincare company that makes bandage-like pore cleansing strips, hit the jackpot in 1997 when they were a sponsor at Lilith Faire, a nationwide concert tour featuring female artists. Lilith Fair attracted a mostly female audience between 18 and 34 — Biore’s exact target audience for the pore cleansing strips. Brand ambassadors walked around handing out free strips. The buzz and free press generated by photos of women rocking out a concert with white strips on their noses catapulted the new company into stardom, vastly exceeding its sales projections.

Key Takeaway for Product Sampling: Product sampling can be an exceptionally successful way to attract new customers, increase brand awareness and enhance loyalty when executed properly. (Learn more on our blog post, “What Does It Take to Create Effective Product Sampling Campaigns?). It’s essential to understand where your target audience is going to be.

Many brands make the “spray and pray” mistake — wasting time and money distributing free samples to consumers who have no need or interest in their products.

Product Showcases

Similar to product sampling, demonstrating how your product works, feels, and sounds is an excellent way to allow consumers to experience your brand. For example, we launched a product showcase for ISOPURE, a high-performance sports nutrition company, at the GoPro Mountain Games in Vail, CO. We built an inviting pop-up lounge with comfy couches and our skilled brand ambassadors invited consumers to create custom samples of ISOPURE’s sports drink products. The campaign worked because we chose the right place, time, and message for ISOPURE’s target audience!

With virtual and augmented reality technology, you don’t even need to have your product physically present. For example, Audi launched a highly successful virtual reality campaign where adults were reminded of how fun it was to create sand structures and then drive toy vehicles around them. Each participant built a course in a real sandbox, and then a depth-sensing camera scanned their creation. Next, participants donned a virtual reality headset and sat in a driving simulator that mimicked how the new Audi Q5 handled the bumps and jumps in the custom-built course, including realistic sound effects.

The initial VR experience launched at a premier Audi dealership in Norway and then went on the road to other locations. Norwegian Audi dealers reported a 57% increase in visitors during the tour, and the Q5 became Audi’s best-selling model in Norway.

Key Takeaway for Product Showcases: The product showcase must do more than display the product — it must generate buzz and provide an authentic, memorable experience that allows consumers to engage with your brand.

Consumers can spot a gimmick a mile away, so your engagement must feel authentic and have the right time, place, and message to connect with your target audience.

Brand Activation & Event Sponsorship

Another way to engage with your target audience is by sponsoring an event — a sporting, music, community, or charity event. However, event sponsorship no longer means simply paying to display your logo before and during the event. Whether you’re sponsoring an event or introducing a new brand or product, you want to make a splash and “wow” your target audience.

The annual SXSW festival in Austin, TX, is a veritable guidebook for how to sponsor events using experiential marketing. From parking-lot-roller skating rinks (VICE) to giant wave pools (TNT), photo and video opps sitting at Michael Scott’s from The Office desk and a Project Runway experience (Comcast NBCUniversal) and a garden with a 20’ tree bar (Amazon Prime Video), the multi-day festival is just teeming with innovative, exciting opportunities where brands engage consumers. SXSW is extremely popular because attendees get to experience fun, surprising, delightful activities beyond just watching music performances — activities that get a lot of free press coverage and get shared on social media, allowing brands to reach a much vaster audience than simply the event attendees.

Red Bull is the master at event sponsorship and always sponsors experiences and events that align with its extreme action/sports reputation. However, even brands that don’t immediately seem to correlate to an event can produce a successful experiential marketing sponsorship. For example, butter maker Land O’Lakes launched a highly successful activation at SXSW using references to Nicolaus Copernicus, the 16th-century astronomer who discovered the Earth rotates the sun, not the other way around, making the sun the center of everything. Copernicus also had a reputation for being a truth-seeker, so Land O’Lakes capitalized on that angle. It promoted the idea that the company was seeking the truth about our food system and hosted several events and activities to match that theme.

However, brands must choose suitable events for sponsorship and activation. Not only should the brand and event “personalities” match or support one another, but they must also match in size and scope. A small company won’t likely see much ROI sponsoring a large event, and vice versa. For example, a massive company like Coca-Cola won’t get much exposure sponsoring a small community event. A smaller company will see a much better ROI sponsoring or activating at a niche event where its target audience will be, and participation costs are much lower.

Key Takeaway for Event Sponsorship & Brand Activation: Choose events that match your size, scope, and brand image for sponsorships and brand activations.

Get creative and find ways to engage your audience in surprising ways.

These are just three experiential marketing campaigns. Stay tuned because we’ll discuss more experiential marketing campaigns in our next post, including cause marketing, mobile tours, VIP hospitality, and special events.

Need some help with launching an experiential marketing program? Leverage our 25+ years of experience and expertise in creating impactful, successful programs.

Case Studies Entrepreneurship Marketing

Can We Change Buyer Behavior? Hint: Yes, With ExperientialMarketing

Have you ever walked past a table at an event, store, or busy street corner and stopped to sample a new food or beverage? Or maybe you received a free 10-minute chair massage from a new day spa, jumped into a virtual reality game at a festival, or took photos and shared them of you with a brand mascot? If you said yes, you’ve participated in an experiential marketing activity. These are just a few simple examples of experiential marketing. Let’s take a deeper look at what experiential marketing is and how it works.

How Experiential Marketing Works

Instead of bombarding potential customers with ads on social media, television, online, billboards, print media, and bus stop benches, experiential marketing is a strategy that directly engages your target customers. This strategy doesn’t mean you simply set up a booth at a tradeshow, event, festival, etc. and hand out free swag that most people won’t keep or even remember receiving.

Experiential marketing provides opportunities to interact with customers directly — but that’s only part of it.

• Your potential customers need to feel a memorable, positive emotional reaction when they interact with your brand.
• Consumers need to feel excited enough to share their experiences with their friends and on social media.
• Consumers need to be able to taste, touch, hear, feel, and/or smell your brand — and enjoy the experience.

We already mentioned the free samples and virtual reality experiences, but experiential marketing is far more than that. And some of the most successful experiential marketing campaigns don’t even try to sell products or services — they accomplish their goals by making consumers feel a personal connection to the brand that leaves a lasting impression and changes buying behavior. The bond can occur when the consumer felt the experience was fun, “cool,” relevant, or inspiring (such as the brand doing something to benefit society or a nonprofit like this Folds of Honor DreamShip campaign).

You might be thinking, “OK, that sounds great for brands that produce tangible products, but mine doesn’t.” Experiential marketing works just as well for companies that provide services or other non-tangible offerings. For example, Hollywood studios know this and create opportunities for fans to get excited about new movie releases. Common strategies include using popup virtual reality activities, temporarily transforming stores or cafes into ones featured in the films, and sending actors out into crowds dressed as well-known film characters.

The bottom line is that consumers need to feel benefitted in some way — their association with your brand must make them feel more hip, attractive, understood, healthier, wealthier, excited, informed, empathetic, inspired, enriched, empowered, or philanthropic.

How Experiential Marketing Changes Buying Behavior

So now we know the first step is to engage (or re-engage) your consumers and establish a personal connection. Once they’ve established that connection with your brand, they become loyal customers. That’s great, but that’s just the beginning.

The crucial next step is for those customers to become unofficial brand ambassadors. When consumers come away from an engaging and unforgettable interaction with your brand, they are likely to share their experience with others — this is the holy grail marketers want. Research has shown that consumers’ friends and family have far more influence over buying behaviors than ads. In other words, consumers trust their friends and family more than advertisements. Your brand ambassadors are naturally creating new customers for your brand, and like a ripple effect, the circle of brand ambassadors continues to grow. You’ve changed buying behavior.

Ironically, this concept isn’t new. For example, in the early ‘80s, shampoo maker Fabergé aired an incredibly memorable TV commercial featuring blond actress Heather Locklear talking about using its shampoo. Locklear explains she liked it so much that she “told two friends,” and the screen splits into two versions of Locklear talking. It continues with “they told two friends and so on and so on,” and the screen continues to divide into 16 versions of Locklear talking.

Experiential Marketing Isn’t Risk-Free

Successful experiential marketing campaigns work because they create brand loyalty and organic brand ambassadors. However, experiential marketing takes careful planning to avoid wasting opportunities, time, and money.

You can create the most incredible brand interaction experience, but it can fail if you do it in the wrong place. You can choose the right place but at the wrong time. For example, your message is spot on, and your target audience is there, but they’re distracted or too busy to pay attention. Another pitfall is not fully understanding your target audience’s needs and creating a message or experience that is unengaging at best and irrelevant or insulting at worst. Carefully consider your audience, product or service, objective, and how it can translate into a meaningful, authentic customer experience.

Need some help with launching an experiential marketing program? Leverage our 20+ years of experience and expertise in creating impactful, successful programs.

Branding Case Studies Marketing

Planning Your Mobile Marketing Tour

While you’re settling back into the office after the holidays, it is the perfect time to plan a mobile marketing tour!

mobile marketing tour is an excellent opportunity to meet your target audience in their lifestyle intersection.

Why Mobile Marketing?

  • Impact—Going on the road you’re able to reach a wider audience, expanding your campaign’s impact on consumers.
  • Pace—Not only will you be able to reach more people, but you will do so in a shorter amount of time. The mobile tour allows you to connect with more people in a faster manner.
  • Specialization—Probably the most exciting benefit of the mobile marketing tour is the ability to really individualize each stop to best cater to the area and people of each location. The marketing purpose is the same, but you can tailor each experience to a specific place.

Tips for Successful Mobile Marketing Tours

1. Research Beforehand

Choosing the best location is crucial, it must make sense for your brand and be convenient for your audience.

Finding a locale that fits your audiences’ lifestyle while complementing your brand will only be possible with in-person visits

Planning site visits, mapping out efficient driving routes, and installing a plan B will ensure a smooth and successful event.

And now, it’s important to know the area’s regulations and restrictions for groups of people. A little research will go a long way.

2. Personalize Each Event

As I’ve mentioned, being able to travel to different places gives you a wider audience, and while your product will remain the same, your users and their preferences will vary.

Do your research and make tweaks accordingly to appeal to specific locations. Your supporters will notice the details that cater to them, and they’ll be appreciative.

3. Prepare Your Staff

Considering your staff and brand ambassadors will be the face of your business on-site, taking the time to train them properly will be worth it.

Preparing them to engage (safely) with consumers, reviewing event logistics, brand policy and procedure, and the company’s mission will be essential to have a solid staff who will adequately represent your brand in all interactions.

4. Reach Your Audience

Are you hoping to catch random pedestrians, or do you have a specific target audience in mind?

If you know your audience, it’s crucial to reach out beforehand, build up the hype, and get the important information out online.

Let your followers know when and where ahead of time, this can be done easily via Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

5. Keep Interest

Once you head out to your next location, it’s important that your supporters still feel connected. Don’t be shy online!

Continuously post photos, updates, etc. on social media to show previous customers how you value them, and potential new customers can see what fun is in store for them.

A mobile marketing tour is an exciting opportunity to bring your products to life, but if done without adequate planning, it can fall flat.


We Can Help

Want to learn more about how we help brands and agencies find the right marketing solutions? Contact our expert team at MOGXP here. We’ll work together to identify the best opportunities to make your experiential marketing campaign a success.

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