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How to Combine Traditional and Experiential Marketing to Boost Event Results

The rise of concepts like online advertising, content marketing, and experiential marketing means that event promoters have to carefully consider how much they spend on traditional methods. However, that doesn’t mean that there’s not a place for traditional thinking in most marketing playbooks. Here’s how you can combine traditional and experiential approaches into a single strategy that produces effective event marketing.

What is Traditional Marketing?

The umbrella term “traditional marketing” encompasses a wide range of concepts. It typically refers to promotional content put out via sources like print media, television, radio advertising and direct mail.

The growth of digital marketing and experiential marketing tempts us to view these traditional marketing strategies as old fashioned. Nevertheless, 31 percent of businesses continue to promote their content in traditional forms (Marketo).

“Traditional marketing still has leverage in the marketing world,” says Emma Miller of the Digital Agency Network. “People still watch TV, listen to the radio or read newspapers. Publicity helps you increase awareness about your business, brand, product, events and so on.”

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Magazines are a still a strong traditional marketing avenue

What is Experiential Marketing?

The basic concept behind experiential marketing is that people value experiences more than tangible things. By providing branded, memorable events, experiences and even live exhibitions, companies build up positive associations. They also generate increased levels of customer loyalty as a byproduct.

A recent study from Freeman finds that more than a third of CMOs expect to spend between 21 and 50 percent of their budget on these types of experiences this year. So marketers are turning to event and exhibition services to deliver their brand experiences.

“Experiential marketing is all about immersing a customer in a particular brand or product,” says Mark Evans in an article for Digital Marketing Magazine. “It works to establish an emotional connection between the potential customer and the product or service being promoted.”

Combining Experiential Marketing With Traditional Marketing

Traditional and experiential methods have their own places in most marketing mixes. When marketing strategies combine the two, it has a great effect. One of the areas where this combination is at its best is in exhibition or trade show marketing. Take, for instance, modular exhibition stands.

Modular exhibition stands are ideal for combining experiential marketing with traditional branding. Especially because they allow graphics to be changed easily to match the specific needs of a given event. Classic branding techniques, such as the use of established color schemes, logos and slogans, can be used on the stand itself to attract attention.

Using Traditional Marketing to Build Hype and Extend Reach

Traditional marketing also has value pre- and post-show. For build up, local newspapers, local radio and direct mail are great for generating interest and attracting attendees. In the aftermath, print magazines, print newsletters, local newspapers and trade publications help extend the reach of your event and keep it relevant.

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Do you have success promoting events with a mix of marketing? Let us know what’s working best for you in the comments! Or, catch us on Facebook and Twitter.