Special Feature: Why experiential marketing matters for retail

By Gwen O’Toole

Experiential marketing is growing in popularity as suppliers and retailers look to target consumers outside the traditional print and television media.

Failure to implement a smart, comprehensive plan from the outset, however, can cost thousands of dollars, according to Dylan Retif from Australian design and display expert DisplayWise.

This organisation specialises in the design, production, installation and transportation of custom experiential marketing roadshow displays.

“Five years ago, major brands would showcase their products to consumers via standard advertising channels such as television and print, but the economic impact of the Global Financial Crisis has forced them to rethink their marketing approach.

“Today, savvy retailers recognise the importance of targeting the consumer directly. Roadshows enable brands to interact with potential customers directly through custom displays in shopping centres, airports or sporting venues, for example.”

Retif said direct communication can yield strong results and complement the traditional retail approach, while maintain a focus on pushing customers into stores to purchase.

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Common mistakes for inexperienced, Retif said, included choosing the wrong construction materials for the display, failing to address all the logistical requirements of the venue, paying too much for freight and transport, not having access to adequately trained tradespeople and not acting early enough to secure preferred scheduling or discounts.

“It’s important to be smart about the materials and finishes you use for your display. They need to last the duration of the campaign, including being set up and pulled down and transported numerous times,” he said. “They need to look as fresh on the last day at the thirtieth location as they did on the first day at the first location.”

A key aspect to be considered is venue logistics, as most venues aren’t designed with easy access in mind.

“At a suburban shopping centre, you will be restricted by loading dock dimensions, door sizes, the weight of your display and how your display can be transported through the centre. There may be restrictions on when the bump in and bump out can take place. In shopping centres build times are always out of business hours, and this can affect the timing of the campaign.”

DisplayWise was recently contracted to develop a custom roadshow display promoting Samsung’s new range of AV equipment and mobile phones. The displays only spent five days on average in one shopping centre before moving to the next. The display was designed and built within four weeks.

“The campaign travelled to 40 shopping centres across the country and was a great success,” Retif said.

Gwen O’Toole is a marketing expert and the editor of SPICE Magazine.

Samsung has been taking this AV and smartphone stand on a national roadshow.

These sorts of displays can complement the retail experience for consumers.

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