Listening to our October 14th guest speaker, Brendan Walsh, founder of Mole Street Digital speak about experiential marketing was phenomenal. As Brendan began to explain his over-the-top and extremely engaging techniques to get deliver community-wide solutions, it hit me: experiential marketing is literally just guerrilla marketing but ramped up.
I’ve always been a fan of guerrilla marketing. Being able to grab a customers attention in an unforeseen way with a “distraction” that can sometimes not be related to the end-goal is extremely exciting. It’s almost like live click-bate.
Sure. Brendan and his team put on an amazing summer music festival that spans several blocks in Center City every year. What’s the catch? Up-front, there isn’t one, just an opportunity for the brand to get closer with the community through fun and engaging events or experiences.
The summer solstice fest is free for everyone in every community, which is actually the point of the festival: bringing communities together to celebrate as one. That’s it. That’s all. No catch. Right? As a marketer, my spidey-senses went off immediately. Brendan invites heavy hitters to each Molestice, organizatons like Philly.com. uwishunu and the Philadelphia Business Journal all cover this event. Bringing brand awareness to Mole Street Digital and their community footprint. Brendan and team also get major sponsorships from brands like Capital One and RedBull; they sell Molestice-branded swag and they construct hashtags to make the event sharable and fun. This is all just an extremely fun way to get Mole Street Digital some digital street cred and foster respect and admiration from community members.
Success is in the numbers. This Philly-based startup has gotten over 2,000 people to attend each Molestice event since 2010! The brand awareness is astronomical.
Don’t sleep on IKEA’s brilliant guerrilla strategy
You know that feeling you get when you go into your favorite store with absolutely nothing in mind to buy. You know this store is your favorite when you walk in and are perfectly okay with window-shopping for a solid hour. IKEA has these types of fans. Myself included.
In 2011, IKEA UK hosted a giant in-store sleepover in their bed/mattress department. Customers took to social media in a Facebook group requesting that IKEA host a slumber party in one of their stores and IKEA actually listened. 100 of those fans were invited to their local IKEA, where bedtime stories were told (yes, bedtime stories), manicures were given and massages were administered! Brilliant.
How did IKEA make it worth-wile? They had a sleep expert on-site giving advice on sleeping styles and mattress suggestions. You’d better believe they had a cash register open the entire time! You’d better believe these Facebok group members took to their following to talk about their experience, live-tweet, and post images of their pillows and bed-neighbors all night long. This experiential strategy paved the way for long-lasting quality content.
Guerrilla marketing is all about the experiences
Brands that craft amazing, memorable and honest experiences can really pull on the heart-strings of customers. If they leave your experience with a smile and a fond memory, they’re more inclined to make a purchase when your brand is presented among competitors.
Experiential marketing is all about early-funnel, smart and fun content strategy! There’s no harm in making people happy just by using your brand, just like Brendan and his team at Mole Street Digital do every year!