Here is a great article by Factory. This article explains the benefits of why being face to face with your consumers at experiential marketing events is important and how these events build better relationships with your targeted audience.
WHY FACE-TO-FACE COMMUNICATION WITH CONSUMERS IS IMPORTANT AT EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING EVENTS.
One of the ways that experiential marketing differentiates itself from other forms of marketing is it allows brands to engage in face-to-face communication with their target audience. Regardless of what type event you plan on hosting, it’s strongly recommended that you have brand ambassadors communicating with your guests in some way. Why is this so important? Here are some of the many benefits of engaging in face-to-face communication with consumers:
Ask and answer questions
Using traditional forms of marketing such as TV commercials, print, or radio advertisements, brands are only able to engage in one-way communication with consumers. Brands can speak to the consumer, but the consumer cannot respond to the message. Unfortunately, this means that consumers won’t be able to get their questions answered. At an experiential marketing event, consumers have the chance to speak directly to the face of the brand and ask as many questions as they’d like to learn more about the brand and its products or services.
Letting consumers ask your brand ambassadors questions also helps clear up any misconceptions that the consumer may have about your products. For example, let’s say a company that sells allergy medications is hosting an experiential marketing event. As a brand ambassador talks to a guest, he may realize that the guest is under the impression that the allergy medication is available by prescription only, when it is actually sold as an over-the-counter medication. By engaging in face-to-face communication and asking each other questions, the brand ambassador has the opportunity to identify and clear up misconceptions.
There are other ways for brands to engage in two-way communication with consumers, such as on social media channels, so what makes face-to-face communication so important? Using social media channels, brands only get to see what consumers say, but they don’t get to see their nonverbal cues, which are sometimes more important than the words that have been spoken. A brand ambassador who is engaging in face-to-face communication with a consumer has the opportunity to listen to what each consumer has to say while also picking up on nonverbal cues. For example, let’s say a brand ambassador is speaking with an event attendee who asks the ambassador about the retail price of a certain product. Upon hearing the price, the attendee responds politely, but the ambassador is able to pick up on nonverbal cues that indicate he is not happy. The brand ambassador now has the unique opportunity to tailor the
conversation based on how he has interpreted the guest’s reaction. Instead of continuing to talk about the features of the product, the ambassador could begin to discuss rebates or special discounts to draw the consumer back in.
By interpreting nonverbal reactions during face-to-face communication, brand ambassadors can adjust the conversation as needed to ensure that the consumer remains engaged.
Build relationships by establishing trust
In order to sell to a consumer, you must have some sort of relationship with him, and there’s no better way to build the foundation of a relationship than with face-to-face communication. Why? Researchers have found that face-to-face communication is essential for building authentic relationships with other people. More specifically, studies have shown that making eye contact while engaging in face-to-face communication is key to building trust. If a brand ambassador at your event gets the chance to speak and make eye contact with consumers, these consumers may begin to trust your brand as a result of the conversation. Although trust can be established with consumers in other ways, it is typically created much faster during face-to-face communication than it would be using other methods.
Opportunity to show the brand’s personality
It can be difficult to show your brand’s personality using traditional forms of marketing. After all, there’s only so much that you can say and do within a thirty second commercial or a one-page magazine advertisement. However, it’s much easier to help consumers understand who you are as a brand using face-to-face communication at an experiential marketing event.
In order to show your brand’s personality, it’s important that you take the time to thoroughly train brand ambassadors so they understand how they can best represent you. For example, if you want consumers to see that you are a fun and playful brand, brand ambassadors should be relaxed, talkative, and friendly when speaking to consumers. If you use words such as “wise” and “reliable” to describe your brand, then your brand ambassadors should be trained in a different way. In this case, brand ambassadors should be able to answer every question thrown their way and should remain professional and courteous at all times. Properly training your brand ambassadors can ensure that they are ready to communicate directly with consumers and convey your brand’s personality to your target audience.
Companies often pay thousands of dollars to market research firms so they can gather feedback about their products, messaging, and brand in general. But, why waste thousands of dollars on this research when you can gather feedback from consumers at experiential marketing events? Brand ambassadors have the unique opportunity to speak one-on-one with guests at the event and hear what they have to say. As long as brand ambassadors are trained properly, they should be able to collect all of this feedback so you can thoroughly review it after the event.