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January 4, 2024

Partnering with an Experiential Agency

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Experiential marketing is a great strategy for any brand looking to increase brand awareness, loyalty, revenue, and more. Its unique ability to make memories brings consumers closer to their favorite products, making it a fantastic tool for growth. However, many brands need help growing their experiences with their in-house teams. After all, it's a Herculean effort to put together an event, let alone an entire series, across multiple geographies and brands.

That’s where agencies come in. Experiential agencies, or brand experience agencies, help forge tighter connections between consumers and brands. They help design and implement impactful live experiences, working to directly influence behaviors, shape perception, and yield a return on investment. With the right budget and understanding of your goals, they’ll deliver on-brand events that align directly to your strategy.

In this blog, we’ll unpack how brands can use experiential agencies to increase the impact of your programs,including how the insights they deliver with experiential platforms like AnyRoad can inform your strategy.

Understanding Experiential Agencies

Experiential agencies help their clients create brand experiences that engage consumers, such as pop-ups, activations, and more. They use the insights you already have about your target consumers to strategize and plan the best way to make an impact and get the best return on your investment. 

For the brands that have the marketing budget to support this but may not  have the people power to double down on experiential in-house, partnering with an agency can be a great solution for scaling brand experiences. 

In fact, according to a study we conducted on the state of experiential marketing, 15.3% of those surveyed said they rely entirely on agencies for their experiential marketing. In comparison, 25% used a combination of both agency and in-house resources. As investment in brand experiences continues to grow, we expect both numbers to continue to increase 

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What Experiential Agencies Do

Understanding your target audience is a critical component of building effective brand experiences. With this in mind, an experiential agency will either ask you for or provide you with a profile of your ideal consumer. Their understanding of this  will determine what strategy, including the kind of experience, location, and creative, they’ll pitch to your team and how they’ll design the interactive experience for the best outcome. 

Many agencies will help  execute the experience, hire staff to run the campaign and some will even collect consumer data and feedback for you using  an experiential marketing platform like AnyRoad. That way, after the event, they have the insights to fully understand how it went, who engaged with your brand at the event,  if the KPIs agreed on were met, and other essential details that can keep your consumer journey going.

Why Consumer Brand Marketers Use Experiential Agencies

It’s a fact that brand experiences take a lot of work to pull off. For brands that are moving from tentative first experiences to a full strategy, often, there’s not enough headcount or experienced marketers to make the right kind of growth happen right off the bat. Agencies can help advise on the best next step from the many times they’ve worked on experiences and act as supplemental help for your team to scale their strategy.

Scaling can be tricky! Just take a look at the wheel.

Leveraging Expertise for Field Marketing

Because experiential agencies have extensive experience in planning and executing events, they also understand the importance of capturing the right data both during and after the event. They can help your brand with determining the best way to collect consumer data for each event and also analyzing it to pull out actionable insights to guide your strategy.

For example, Conversate Collective is an experiential events agency that takes you from ideation to reporting on measurable insights. They partner with brands to help them learn more about their audience and what they can do to improve distribution, marketing spending, and more. They use AnyRoad’s experiential marketing platform to collect consumer data, collate information, and uncover trends that help their clients optimize their strategy and meet their goals. 

Using AnyRoad and a series of large-scale field marketing events, they were able to help their CPG beauty brand client:

  1. Demonstrate a growth in brand awareness by knowing which attendees were  regulars vs new to the brand
  2. Know which experiences drove the greatest impact on brand perception by identifying those with the highest net promoter scores among attendees
  3. Understand consumers’ purchasing behavior and how events influenced this

You can read the full story here to learn how they did it, but this is just one example of how agencies help their clients find success through experiences.

A quote from Conversate!

Choosing the Right Experiential Agency

Picking the right experiential events agency comes down to a few key factors: Creativity, budget, measurement, and analytics. 

Creativity With Purpose

Creativity injects life into experiences, taking them from ideas to impactful moments for your consumers. When vetting agencies, consider their past work when bringing innovative ideas to the table and aligning those ideas to their clients’ values. Bringing your brand's narrative to life in a compelling and unique way is important to capture attention and foster a deeper connection between the audience and the brand. However, it’s also important to note: “As cool as this idea is, will it resonate with my target audience?” What kind of proof is the agency offering that this will make the impact they believe it will?

In the dynamic landscape of experiential marketing, where originality is key, a creative agency can conceptualize and execute events that leave a lasting impression as long as they are geared toward the right audience.

Check out our favorite creative activation examples!

The Right Budget

Based on your budget, there are different levels of strategy and even agency types that you should investigate. There’s the obvious: who will give you the biggest bang for your buck? But also consider: if you can afford to hire them, what strategies do they specialize in?

If you have a smaller budget, but the agency specializes in large scale activations, will they deliver the right kind of experience with a tight budget? Or if you can invest more, do they want to focus on KPIs that dwell too much in beginner metrics like impressions or products sampled? 

Knowing your goals will help you narrow down your choices based on how you want your budget to be used. You’ll get better alignment with the agency that way and have a more impactful experience. 

Measurements and Analytics

How is your agency measuring the success of your strategy? Which KPIs are they focusing on, and do they have a way to measure information? If so, what’s the timeline for getting that analysis? A data-driven approach is essential for showcasing your ROI and refining your future strategies after the one you’re working on ends. And for some agencies, they can refine even an immediate strategy with live feedback

Some agencies use an experiential marketing platform like AnyRoad that works offline, to gather key consumer data points that they otherwise wouldn’t have been able to get. This isn’t just your regular form; agencies that use AnyRoad can collect data from a series of events that can then be pulled onto one dashboard to surface trends and patterns that might have gone unnoticed. 

Patterns and trends on AnyRoad's dashboard

For businesses with multiple brands, each campaign can be compared against one another, showcasing a holistic view of the experience strategy across the board, regardless of the campaign, brand, or even geography in which the experience is happening. 

Find an agency that can take your brand beyond an immediate view – a future-thinking agency. That way, you know that your events will scale and grow with your brand.

Collaborative Strategies for Success

By aligning on specific objectives, your team and your chosen experiential agency can work towards your goals with better results. Whether you want to grow brand awareness, drive consumer engagement, or boost your brand conversion rate, having well-defined KPIs provides a roadmap for success. 

The goal is to realize results, ensuring they’re tangible and information you can take action on. For example, what are you defining as a return on investment? Is it brand conversion? An increase in your net promoter rating? Lifetime consumer value? Defining that immediately will help the experiential agency gear the experiences they design toward your specific needs. It will also help you establish benchmarks showing how the partnership is moving forward.

Key Takeaways

Navigating the dynamic landscape of experiential marketing requires adaptability and strategic decision-making since it plays a pivotal role in creating authentic, long-lasting connections between consumers and brands. This means partnering with an experiential agency can drive your strategy even further or get it lost in the weeds, depending on how well you can prove success. 

Choosing the right agency is about finding an alignment in forward momentum and vision. When you need more hands on deck, an agency is a specialized resource to help you set measurable goals and KPIs and create an immersive experience that paves the way for success and return on investment.

Step 1: Evaluate Your Scheduling Software Needs

Before researching online booking systems, evaluating your business needs is essential. After all, you don’t want to overspend on bells and whistles when you only need an online form. For newer events looking to scale, a more sophisticated system might be the goal but not the starting point.

Consider the type and size of your business, the nature of your services, and the volume of transactions you handle. For instance, if you run tours and tastings, you should look at solutions meant for high-volume enterprises that can include add-on shirts, beer steins, and more.

Scheduling Software Flowchart

We made a helpful flowchart to help you decide if you’re ready to invest fully in online bookings or look into a free scheduling app, like Google Forms, as a better starting point.

As someone trying to make smart investment decisions, you don’t want to buy a booking and ticketing solution that doesn’t meet your needs. Use our guided questions to determine where you are in your investment journey.

Booking System flowchart
Use the flow to gauge where you are on your journey!

2. Compare Booking Page Features and Pricing

Booking Page Features

Once you have a clear idea of your business needs, you can compare online booking systems that meet your criteria. Have a list of your most essential needs and what would be nice for you to have. Some features you should consider including on your list include:

  • Website integration
  • Branded booking page
  • Configurability to match your brand
  • Payment processing and add-on sales
  • Automated reminders
  • Automatic data analysis
  • Feedback collection and analysis
  1. Website integration
  2. Branded booking page
  3. Configurability to match your brand
  4. Payment processing and add-on sales
  5. Automated reminders
  6. Automatic data analysis
  7. Feedback collection and analysis

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