One of the books I recent finished, via my library with Overdrive, was Hallucinations by Oliver Sacks. It was a pretty interesting read, I enjoy scientific writings but had little exposure to neuroscience before this book. The text covered some of the types of hallucinations and what kinds of conditions can cause them. One of the terms that came up was experiential, how even though the person having the hallucination can be aware of it, they are still fully enveloped in the sensations. I found this interesting, “mobile experiential” is the term we use to describe our industry. This job is all about creating an environment to surround participants with a desired message. We want you to experience the brand and leave with some kind of emotional connection to it.
As I have been working through the program for my masters degree I noticed two things about how the term “mobile experiential” is interpreted. First of all in much of the marketing world “mobile” refers to efforts seeking to make an impression via those delightful handheld devices we all have (well expect you Dave). The other stumbling block I ran into is that “experiential” is not a widely known avenue for brand marketing. Outside of sponsorship there aren’t enough firms that put on events. And boy can they benefit from connecting directly with customers.
While the end goal of each mobile experiential campaign might be different the opportunities it presents are similar. First you get the opportunity to put something physical and hands-on with your message. Secondly you are right there with customers, talking to them, hearing their feedback. This is especially effective when they are saturated in your message. The reason a brand would choose to put a mobile on the road is they see a need or have the desire to put something physical with their message. How that program is shaped and developed is endless.
When it comes to actual tours, it is the folks in the field who have the real task of implementing these programs. Someone can design a great trailer, dynamic programming, and invite the right people but unless the person working that show that day is committed to the goals it won’t be effective. Brands entrust to us to be the front line, the connection to customers. My own firm takes into consideration a number of factors before pairing a team with a program. This process seeks put the best possible skill set to match what the program goals are. That can be kind of tough at times. We have been passed over for projects we wanted because management saw us as a better fit for something else. The same goes for anymore working as a contractor in this business, while you might be incredibly qualified sometimes a different person is just a better fit for the brand.
This is why we work so hard to make ourselves everyone “ideal”. This is one of the reasons why I am getting a master’s degree. Josh and I figured out years ago that to be the team that every brand would want one of needed a graduate degree. Well I lost the round of Roshambo and here I am; one week from completing my degree.