A secret weapon is one that is extremely effective and has immense stealth capabilities, which makes catches the target unawares. It is this stealth that reinforces its effectiveness, enabling it to have a far bigger impact than otherwise. When it comes to marketing, the target audience is what you seek to influence, and various tactics that you utilize form your weapons. In this regard, experiential sports marketing
has emerged as the new ‘secret weapon’. Brands are increasingly seeking to deploy this weapon in order to effectively engage their target segment and derive sustained commercial benefit. But what factors make it a ‘secret weapon’ worth using?
ENGAGEMENT AT THE POINT OF MAXIMUM VULNERABILITY
Experiential sports marketing campaigns are designed in a way to generate engagement with members of the target segment at a time and in a way that ensures that the recipients would most readily assimilate the message. In the build-up to a sporting game or tournament, or while the game or tournament is on, is when the audience is bound to be maximally receptive to related stimuli. By tying a brand closely around a sport, marketers can ensure that the audience is fed a dose of the brand while through the capsule of sport.
As seen above, such brand engagement occurs, without the target audience being conscious of the fact that they are engaging with the brand. For the target audience, all of it seems to be seamlessly be a part of the experience of being a fan of the team, player, or sport. Thus, the experience is pervasive, but not invasive.
HIGH LEVEL OF IMPACT
Qualitatively speaking, such type of engagement is bound to create a deep imprint on to the psyche of the target audience that forms part of the sporting fan-base. Because of the stealthy manner in which the engagement occurs, the targeted audience lends itself to the stimuli for longer durations of time, in a way that the effect of the stimuli continues to reinforce itself.
GENERATION OF BRAND EXPERIENCES
If there is one key aspect which is at the foundation of growth of brand strength, it has to be product experiences by the consumer. It is here that experiential sports marketing tactics score above traditional advertisements. Advertisements might generate interest around a brand, but experiential sports marketing events generate brand experiences. And good experiences are going to result in stronger brand recall, repeat purchases, development of brand loyalty, and also word-of-mouth.
THE CONTAGION EFFECT
It is the word-of-mouth generation that forms the basis of the expansion of a brand’s user-base. As per a study by Nielsen, as many as 92% of people place greater credence in the product recommendations by their friends or family members than claims made through advertisements. Thus, when a brand manages to generate positive word-of-mouth around itself, it cascades into a growing number of brand trials and purchases through the contagion effect.
Thus, experiential sports marketing acts in a manner that is similar to targeted pharmaceutical drug delivery, except that it occurs covertly and has an infectious impact. It is for these reasons that a growing number of brands are increasingly looking at experiential sports marketing as a must-have ingredient within their marketing plans.