Pitching marketing ideas is part and parcel to your position. But this article isn’t just about pitching normal marketing ideas, we’re going to talk about how to internally sell experiential marketing to your boss. Certainly, it involves the best practices for pitching ideas to management that you’re used to, but we’re going to help you find the perspective you’ll need to convince your superiors that it’s time to do more than just think outside the box. It’s time to throw the box away.
Set a Time to Talk
This is probably the biggest indicator that you’re serious about what you’re pitching, and that your manager should be serious about listening to what you have to say. Be sure you’re asking to set enough time aside to accommodate the full presentation of your pitch, which we’ll expand on in a few moments. Make sure that it’s clear you’re going to need that amount of time, because this is an idea that you want to discuss in a capacity that goes beyond what you can accomplish in passing or via email.
Do Your Research
This is going to be imperative to your ability to carry through with the rest of our steps regarding how to pitch ideas to your boss about experiential marketing. At the heart of the rest of the footwork is your ability to understand this concept and the related needs and expectations forward and backward. You’ll need to be the expert in the room, and you’ll need to carry the confidence of that position to be as convincing as possible.
Consider the ways that such an experimental approach can carry the organization forward, both in its current goals and its future impact. What areas deserve to be highlighted? Is there something specifically about how you got the idea for this experiential pitch? Know why experiential marketing is the opportunity to unlock your brand’s audience, and understand the resources needed to achieve KPIs.
Show Them the Results
Once you’ve done your research, you’ve done the heavy lifting to convince your superiors. You’ve got the data that proves experiential marketing is worth it, and isn’t just the latest fad. However, you can’t just give them a dump of information — often that’s a fast track to getting their eyes to glaze over, and once you’ve lost their attention, the odds of getting your project approved start falling. Highlight the benefits with meaningful data, as specifically as possible, and gather examples of other projects that were successful, and how that success can be achieved by your team. Here’s some examples of data that could help:
- Studies by Event Marketing Institute and Mosaic prove 89% of consumers believe events improve their understanding of a product or service over traditional advertising methods on TV and radio or in print.
- This is paralleled by the belief of 93% of consumers that openly describe these events as more effective in converting them to action than traditional advertising, and 96% describe themselves as more likely to buy a product after this kind of branded event.
- These events leave 74% with positive impressions of the brand and its product.
Here’s some examples of experiential ideas transformed into concepts:
- Market example: Mountain Dew Energy (UK) — As a brand, Mountain Dew doesn’t have all that much of a presence in the UK, so when it came time to promote their newest beverage, the brand went all out on a 43-day tour with 15 brand ambassadors on a Mountain Dew branded truck. They didn’t create their own events, but they established themselves at events such as music festivals that were already occuring (i.e., with an audience ripe for the converting) and hosted mini events like contests and giveaways, not to mention samples of the drink. About 55% of the targeted audience went on to purchase Mountain Dew, and more than 30% of those were brand new customers. Plus, for every pound spent (i.e., $1.40 USD), they nearly doubled in ROI (£1.85). The takeaway: A brand doesn’t need to spend on a drawn out awareness campaign, but can instead quickly and measurably create an outstanding experience that motivates customers to explore your offerings.
- Market example: Knock Knock app’s 1st Annual Netflix and Chill Festival (2015) — Tapping into the “Netflix and chill” meme, the marketing firm created viral buzz for their event, which turned into over 30 thousand RSVPs on Facebook, spreading to multiple campuses, and attracting the attention of social media influencers. Festival attendees posted selfies and other photos to social media outlets like Instagram and Snapchat, which generated buzz for Knock Knock itself. The app went from merely the latest in a long list of social apps to a trending leader in app stores. The takeaway: A brand doesn’t need to make a pitch to customers to make a big impression and earn consumer trust and interest; rather, integrating the brand into a fun event does the heavy lifting for you.
- Market example: TD Bank’s #TDThanksYou Campaign — In order to bypass the everyday person’s view of banking and differentiate itself from the rising distrust in financial institutions, this campaign was structured in such a way as to engender positive social currency. Large booths were placed in several cities, and inside, visitors would be given a variety of thank-you gifts, from flowers to cash, and even to once-in-a-lifetime offers such as throwing the first pitch at a professional baseball game. The takeaway: It doesn’t matter what kind of product or service you offer; literally any brand can take advantage of experiential marketing. It doesn’t take a lot to show your brand cares about its customers and its community, either.
Package Your Pitch Creatively
Experiential marketing is all about breaking away from the expected and making the pitch for experiential marketing needs to do the same thing. You don’t need to be confined to the recitation of data and ROI forecasting. Build a presentation that takes full advantage of experiential concepts, whether that’s including a demo that allows you to utilize audio and tactile experiences normally ignored in a marketing pitch or something else altogether. Make your pitch visual, at the very least, and definitely make it memorable.
Play Devil’s Advocate Beforehand
The odds that your pitch will completely convince your superiors to greenlight the project no questions asked is going to be pretty low, no matter how well designed it is. They’re definitely going to have questions, and they’ll probably have objections. As you prepare, take the time to figure out what they’ll need or want to know so you can develop a conceptual risk management plan. Be ready so as to be confident as you answer their challenges with thoroughly developed answers.
Now that you’ve got a better idea about how to use best practices for pitching ideas to management as the method for how to internally sell experiential marketing to your boss, it’s time to take the next step: develop the actual marketing campaign strategy and put together a winning plan. Put together the elements you need to be convincing, and get ready to take your brand to the next level of true consumer engagement.