Social media. Texting. Facetime. Video conferencing. Remote work. Humans today have engineered many ways to communicate to each other from afar.
In our rapidly changing and evolving world, much of our communication is going or has already gone digital. While this does create a ton of efficiency, it also creates problems when it comes to authentically communicating your brand and products or services.
Marketers need to be aware that they aren’t falling into the trap of only using digital communications to connect with their consumers. There should be a balance of those digital outreach methods alongside a solid experiential marketing strategy. Experiential marketing allows consumers to be face-to-face with your brand, products, and brand representatives to cultivate a deep human connection.
Psychological benefits of face-to-face communication
1. Engage the sense of touch
When you shake someone’s hand during an introduction or at the beginning of a meeting, you are conveying warmth and trust. An experiment found that “negotiators who shook hands were more open and honest, and reached better outcomes. Shaking hands causes the centers of the brain associated with rewards to activate.”* Whatever the method of business appropriate touch is during your experiential activation, it will have a positive psychological impact on the consumer and they will likely trust your brand more in the future.
2. Body language
This one might be a bit obvious. When you are having a conversation with someone face-to-face, it’s so much easier to see and read their body language. It’s going to be more obvious than an online or telephone presence if they are standing in front of you looking at their phone or are distracted. Your brain will work harder to stay engaged in what the other person is saying and respond accordingly when communicating face-to-face.
3. “Emotional Contagion”
While this sounds like a bad virus going around your kids’ school, it’s not! Neuroscientist Giacomo Rizzolatti developed the idea of mirror neurons, which are essentially when you see a person take action or react emotionally to something, your brain fires up neurons associated with the same thing.* Compared to an email or social media campaign attempting to deliver information and excitement about a product to your consumer through engaging font and colors, human interaction and likeable, high energy brand ambassadors do a much better job of conveying their emotion and enthusiasm for a product to your target consumer.
Prioritizing face-to-face communication in experiential marketing
There are so many competing products and brands. Oftentimes a consumer doesn’t know which to choose. Experiential marketing and mobile marketing can cultivate and solidify that brand loyalty. For example, we created the Fiskars Discover the Difference Experience Tour. We traveled to retail parking lots, farmers markets, and events in almost 40 cities to give consumers a chance to test out the Fiskars gardening tools.
Our tour team and brand ambassadors engaged the sense of touch by encouraging the consumers to get hands on with the Fiskars products. Our people conveyed their excitement and enthusiasm authentically without it coming off too sales-y. It was clear that the consumer was taking the opportunity into their own hands to discover the difference of Fiskars. Now when those people see Fiskars in Home Depot or other stores, they will remember this awesome experience they had and how authentic the interaction was. They might just become brand fanatics.
PMI President Steve Randazzo has over 30 years of experience in the field of experiential marketing and wants to share his knowledge with you. His book “Brand Experiences: Building Connections in a Digitally Cluttered World” is available for purchase starting May 14.
Want to learn more about how you can drive word of mouth and create brand loyalty through experiential marketing? Call us today!
** Brand Experiences: Building Connections in a Digitally Cluttered World by Steve Randazzo