What the future holds for experiential marketing

What the future holds for experiential marketing

Three-sixty gets Sense UK MD Lou Garrod’s thoughts on experiential marketing trends published in Campaign magazine feature.

The rapid pace of global political and socioeconomic change will continue up to 2030. As experiential marketers, we’re on the front-line when it comes to communicating the way in which existing brands and the new disruptors will respond.

By 2030, for example, products will be far more sustainability focused, driven by Generation Z who will be coming of age. With second-hand fashion becoming bigger than luxury goods, our focus will shift from ‘new’ to ‘renew’. Agencies will take more responsibility for their role in over-consumption, while helping boost brands’ sustainable credentials with greener, more ethical campaigns.

Of course, technology will have a big impact, but maybe not quite as expected. Yes, experiential will embrace it, but also act as an antidote to it. The latest innovations in artificial intelligence, augmented reality, facial recognition, and holographics driven by the power of 5G will make brand experiences more immersive and increase their global reach and impact, but also improve how experiential campaigns are measured. 

In contrast, growing fears over the addictive nature of smartphones and spiralling screen time will see experiential marketing play a pivotal role in helping brands satisfy growing customer demand for digital detoxification, along with a craving to deal with real people in the real world rather than chatbots and robots in cyberspace.

People’s desire for more choice and control will grow, with agencies responding by creating multiple increasingly creative and original brand experiences that consumers can self-select. Meanwhile, the rise of fake news and the erosion of brand trust will make authenticity key to the success of any experience.

As nostalgia tightens its grip on the consumer mindset, with growing future-phobia meaning people prefer to look back rather than forward, experiential will also be there to satisfy this hunger by vividly recreating the past.

By harnessing the power of digital technology to enhance tangible, authentic real world brand experiences that engage and connect with consumers more deeply, experiential will be embraced by more brands and sectors, building on the recent IPA Bellwether findings that 11.9% of marketers anticipated increasing spend in this area over the next two years, more than any other marketing discipline.

This article first appeared in Campaign as part of the magazine’s Experiential 2030 feature.