5 Ways to Sink an Experiential Campaign*

Clients Are Awesome!

Clients often come to the table with all sorts of ideas on how to make a great event, mobile tour, or street team activation to help their brand, which is awesome.

What a brand manager or even a traditional marketing professional may not understand, however, are the hazards particular to experiential marketing.

With the following overview, I’ll show you 5 ways to:

  • fast-track your failure,
  • alienate consumers,
  • and lose your funding.


for Guaranteed Failure

  1. Make things overly complex
    Create an experience that is confusing and off-putting. Make it difficult for your target demographic (and yourself) to understand what’s going on, and create barriers for your team’s execution of the vision. If you’re trying to fail, the last thing you want is for your guests to understand what makes your offering great.
  2. Have only one means of communication
    Information is cheap. It’s constantly available on innumerable channels of communication and media. When setting yourself up for failure, be sure to limit the methods by which you can reach (and be reached by) your team. Remember, dealing with problems on the spot as they arise will make your efforts more effective, and a key to failure is distance and ignorance.
  3. Don’t set benchmarks
    This is a no-brainer! Creating timelines and identifying crucial steps in your process helps you stay on track. Failure doesn’t need to keep tab on progress towards a goal. Failure doesn’t need to measure effectiveness…failure simply needs to fail. Rush headlong into untested methodologies without concern for benchmarking or comparison. You’ll be looking for a new position in no time!
  4. Don’t concern yourself with relevancy
    If there’s one thing we all know about failing at Experiential Marketing, it’s this: Treat all messages and all mediums as interchangeable with all audiences and venues. Targeting demographics with the right offerings, the correct placement, and the proper positioning just makes your efforts more effective…and when you’re shooting for a loss, that’s the last thing you need.
  5. Ignore your data…better yet, don’t collect it.
    When the event is over, it’s over. You showed up (barely), you went through the motions, and you gave away all the samples. Whatever you do, don’t build in a way to collect data and drive brand communication beyond the activation. I mean, how else are you planning on using that data? Increasing sales and planning for better marketing engagement in the future? C’mon. I feel like you’re not even listening to me! If you follow these tips…There. Is. No. Future.

In Closing…some Brighter Tips

Feel free to adapt and add to these tips as you discover new and creative ways to fail. On the other hand, if you are interested in success, perhaps looking on the back of this tip sheet could help out:

  1. Keep it simple
  2. Be available and over-communicate
  3. Use benchmarking for timeline tracking and course-correction
  4. Be relevant to your demographic
  5. Spin collected data into an asset for the brand and its marketing efforts


Maybe I should’ve started with that list. Let me know what you think!

photo credit: Nina Matthews Photography via photopin cc
photo credit: mag3737 via photopin cc

*Pro Motion, Inc. in no way endorses these practices. That would be insane. We do things that work. But you knew that. It’s why you’re here in the first place. Good work, you!