Amy Kelley is the Global Digital Content Marketing Editor at GES. With a strong background in content marketing, social media and communications, she is a passionate writer and self-confessed word geek. Amy is also the founder of a non-profit and a health and wellness online community.
Experiential Marketing: 10 Proven Ways to Get Stakeholder Buy-in
Experiential marketing is one of event planning’s hottest trends right now. According to the site Statista, 74 percent of consumers said they were more likely to purchase products promoted by events, and 93 percent of them claimed that live events had a larger influence on them than TV ads. But experiential marketing can be expensive. Take these 10 steps to secure stakeholder buy-in and support.
1. Set an Appointment to Ensure All Decision Makers Are Present
Don’t catch your stakeholders in the hallway and hope to “put a bug in their ear.” Make sure all decision-makers are present in your scheduled meeting, that you have necessary materials, answer individual questions and gauge interest through body language.
2. Know Who’s Likely to Say Yes
Know who you’ll be presenting to and whether they are likely to be champions of your idea or budget sticklers. Align your ideas with at least one person. In advance of the meeting, build consensus with at least one champion.
3. Use Examples to Sell Experiential Marketing
Using case studies and examples from other events remove your opinion from the presentation and prove the approach works for competitors and partners alike. Use statistics and include budgets to show where experiential marketing has worked.
4. Deliver on ROI Because That’s How They’ll Measure Success
Couch all on your arguments in terms of return on investment (ROI), the ways to generate revenue, and the opportunity for innovation. Make sure your stakeholders are willing to invest their career capital as well.
5. Shape Your Ideas Around Business Needs
Align your ideas with the company’s vision, mission and strategies. Speak to how experiential marketing can help meet each business need.
6. Solve a Business Problem
Build a business case for using experiential marketing to solve a challenging problem within the company. Make sure to back up your tactics with details and financials.
7. Add Science and Data for Quicker Buy-in
Include industry data regarding experiential marketing. Use stats that talk to the shift of experiences over material goods and interaction with brands influencing purchases.
8. Anticipate Opposition to Your Case
Be prepared for the “what ifs” and the negatives. Have answers to counter opposition but don’t antagonize the stakeholders. Build trust by anticipating all aspects of the program.
9. Present Options to Improve Your Chances of Yes
Present a high, medium and low budget option. Even if they choose the least expensive option, you will be getting what you want, and they will feel like they are trying experiential marketing at a safe entry-level price point.
10. Cut Costs in Advance
Show your stakeholders that you’ve already reduced the budget and reallocated where possible. This shows fiscal conservatism and innovation, two things stakeholders appreciate.
At the conclusion of your meeting, reiterate the top three points and give the stakeholders an easy path to approval. Just as you would keep in mind the desires of your audience when creating an experience they’ll enjoy, consider the personalities, needs and concerns of your stakeholders when trying to gain support for your experiential marketing initiative.