Millennials and Experimental Marketing

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Experimental marketing gives marketers a valuable strategy to connect and engage with millennials. What is this type of marketing exactly? Experimental marketing is a type of advertising that focuses on providing consumers with a certain brand experience. Instead of verbal or visual communication such as print advertisements, experimental marketing utilizes as many senses as possible in order for consumers to immerse themselves in a brand experience. Because millennials (and college students especially) emphasize experiences over a physical product, engagement marketing not only promotes awareness and interest in a brand, but additional sales. Although it is a riskier form of marketing, here is why it proves to be more successful with millennials:

College students jump at the opportunity of being part of a brand.

They are not satisfied in simply talking about a brand and would rather interact and contribute to a brand. Social media has opened a new gateway for brands to interact with their consumers and encourage feedback about their products. Companies such as Pringles, Lays, Starbucks, and McDonalds have all reaped profit benefits by having consumers contribute flavor ideas. Experimental marketing gives students a voice to contribute their opinions and ideas, and temporarily makes them the center of attention.

They want experiences that prompt an emotional response.

Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines won over their customers in 2013 when they introduced virtual balconies to their passengers – a live video stream of ocean views outside their cabins. Landshark Lager handed out free samples of their beer at popular Las Vegas pool and hotel spots, capitalizing on the memory of relaxing by the pool on a sunny day and cooling off with a refreshing beer.

These experiences drive sales.

An Eventbrite study discovered that almost 70% of millennials surveyed said one of their biggest fears is missing out (coined as FOMO – Fear of Missing Out by college students). Social media and the Internet provides a greater access to all sorts of information about fun things to do or see online, which prompts the desire to do or see things in person. The experience culture allows your brand to sell experiences rather than products. An example of this is personal camera company GoPro, which incorporates customer footage and videos to advertise their cameras both on and off paid advertising channels.

Experimental marketing is extremely valuable to millennials because it broadcasts them as a member of a community instead of a customer, and provides them with shared experiences that prompt an emotional response. For more information on how to market to college students, contact us at OnCampus Advertising.

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