Engaging your audience through Experiential Marketing

June 25, 2013

Event Recap: Lessons in Experiential Marketing

By Bruce Nickson

On Tuesday June 18th, attendees of the Experiential Event were able to gain insight into what some of the most innovative players in the experiential world were up to, and how they did it. Basically, there were four distinct lessons from four very distinct marketers.

 Despite some quibbling about the correct rubric: engagement marketing, event marketing “whatchama call it marketing”, the gist is that all of the speakers were using the term as an activation of emotion.  The theory is that this will cause a “change”, and given the magic of emotion, greater engagement with a brand, a movement or an idea through direct interactive experience.

Raise Your Hand


Lessons from the Public Sector

Typically not the first place to go for insight into the latest in marketing creativity, Kerri Buschel of Worksafe BC explained that for them, experiential marketing is life-critical. When we learn of a mill accident causing death, we typically think “how tragic” and go on to what’s next.

At Worksafe BC, however that same accident is taken very personally and could be regarded as a failure of their efforts. It’s a little different from a 2% up-tick or down-tick in sales or market share.

From this context we have to understand the constraints associated with public sector campaigns. Kerri explains that there are at least three:

  • Financial responsibility (they’re spending our money)
  • True to core (exactly as legally mandated no more or less)
  • Innovation constraint (in which innovation, given the audience – which means everyone – seems to happen by accident)

So, since everyone is aware of (at least in the abstract) safety, how does Worksafe BC make it real? More TV and radio spots – in one ear out the other, again.

In a Wasserman and Associates designed campaign, enlisting paralymian posterboy Josh Dueck came as an effective solution. Leveraging Josh’s’ engagement, charisma and commitment allowed them to attract crowds large enough to break the Guinness record for high fives. I know, I know; but it worked.

The Raise Your Hand campaign made significant measurable difference (and may have saved lives). The key measurement: in the three months of the campaign, workplace injuries in men dropped by 9.5% and in women the decrease was 10.9. Now that’s a metric.

Stand by for Lesson Number Two from the Mightly Mighty Red Bull … coming soon …

Bruce Nickson is employed in the sales and marketing of engineering services and is embarking on (yet another) startup in the technology space.