Mastering the Art of Experiential Marketing

Matthew Cox June 21, 2019 Experiential

I once heard a great quote about mastering material.

“If you want to learn something, read about it. If you want to understand something, write about it. If you want to master something, teach it.” – Yogi Bhajan

At the 2019 Experiential Marketing Summit, I had the opportunity to teach my chosen craft: experiential marketing in retail environments. And while I would never consider myself a master, I’d say I have some skill.

Public speaking is natural to me. I’ve presented to both small and large audiences, university classrooms to Fortune 500 boardrooms. Speaking at EMS, though, was different – standing as an expert among peers in the same industry. I had to be brilliant. To bring my A-game, if you will.

But here’s the thing about presentations at EMS – they’re just not very experiential. And isn’t that the very reason we attend? I was determined to counter that trend. To make our experiential marketing session… experiential.

As any wise General would, you gather your most trusted Captains and assemble a battle plan. For me, that’s retailcomm Marketing Manager Jen Sheets and VP Teeg Stouffer. Together, we crafted a dynamic show, and pre and post-event marketing to drive our peers to attend.

It didn’t have to be glamorous. It had to be experiential. So we went with core topics: Generating Mass Market Awareness, Driving Traffic, Creating Memorable Events and Cultivating Consumer Loyalty. And we did more than just talk. We shared the premise behind each concept, we demonstrated our experience in each with a video case study, and, most notably, we applied the concept live – in person – with our audience. And it was powerful. Memorable. Experiential!

“Presentation was very ‘conversational.’ It felt more like a buddy sharing his/her experience than a presentation, lecture or sales pitch.”

“. . .great rapport with each other and the audience. The presentation was experiential, which is surprisingly lacking at most EMS sessions. And everyone left a winner!”

Explaining the tricks of my own trade taught me to strip it down. I analyzed our client projects with a critical eye, examined every detail, thought about what we could have changed, considered why we did the things we did, and projected ideas for the future.

And then I realized – that’s exactly the beauty Bajhan’s wisdom. By teaching it, I laid the groundwork for mastering it.

I think I’ll teach more. And maybe master it one day.


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