The world has changed, but experiential marketing is as popular as ever.

2020 dealt the world a number of blows; bushfires, financial instability and a global pandemic to name a few, but it turns out we humans are a resilient bunch and we are bouncing back, bigger, better and more determined than ever before. 

So, in a world where suddenly we are more conscious of our own physical space and how we interact with other people, does experiential marketing, a concept that is based squarely on the concept of consumer/brand interaction, still prove popular? 

Better still, can it adapt in this new, ever changing world?

The answer? Yes, it certainly can. 

Better still, there is a host of new experiential marketing trends that are taking the industry by storm and will continue to transform traditional brand activations as we know it. 

So what should we be looking for in 2021 and beyond?

1. Digital Emotional Intelligence

Fuelled by the increase in User Generated Content (UGC) and social media platforms over the past 5 years, Digital Emotional Intelligence, or DEQ, is the latest technology to take the world by storm and it is designed to analyse human emotion and interpret these cues digitally. 

The result? The ability to digitally understand how a sense of connection can be drawn between humans and, for brands, individual products or services and then use this information to personalise marketing strategies to the individual consumer. 

The end results? Targeted, unique, genuine and authentic engagement between brands and consumers and brand activations that capitalise on this.

2. Shopping Local

With the term ‘lockdown’ becoming part of everyday vocabulary and international borders still remaining closed, local community shopping centres are expected to take centre stage as places to visit for good old fashioned retail therapy. ‘Why?’ you ask? 

After a year where there has been a notable decrease in physical interaction amongst the broader population, consumers are now hungry for experiences that take them away from the online landscape and place them back into the ‘real’ world, where they can explore the 5 senses and touch, hear, taste, see and smell, in person. 

The best way to do this? Experiential marketing, through pop-up activations, centre court installations, physical sampling and promotional engagement. 

The world is craving real human physical connection and experiential marketing is stepping up to the plate as the answer.

3. A Brand that Acts

‘Sustainability’ is becoming the IT world of the 2020s and companies, of all scale, are acting to ensure that they are, if not leading, at least part of the pack. 

For experiential marketing, this means creating activation spaces that are not only physically sustainable in terms of design, build, and delivery, but consumer experiences that invoke that emotional feeling of ‘warm, fuzzy, done good’ in consumers. As a result, consumers are, by choice, gravitating towards companies where they find an alignment of values, such as sustainability, in addition to a physical product or service. 

In fostering value-aligned relationships with consumers, brands are able to tailor experiential design(s) so that they create memories, invoke emotion, and where the experience lasts well beyond a singular interaction.

4. Maximising Video Content

We’ve all heard of social media ‘Stories’ and ‘Reels’ and in 2021, these are the tip of the iceberg. 

Video content is a simple, but powerful mechanism for communicating messages and holding the attention of your audience for short periods of time. Consumers apparently retain 95% of the information presented in videos as opposed to the 10% of the information they retain through traditional print marketing.

Adding to this is further is the small fact that social media platforms are ever involving and through various AI features, are able to allow users to directly link their consumers to products with a single click of a link. 

Outside of the world of social media, we also have companies like Shootsa, which enable B2B sales communication through individualised video messaging. 

So if you think videos and social media aren’t for you, maybe ponder this small fact; 40% of consumers now identify with the GEN Z demographic and get the majority of their content through social media platforms and video generated content. 

So there you go, 4 trends in experiential marketing that are taking the world by storm in 2021 and ones we are looking forward to integrating and delivering in the second half of this year.

If you haven’t given much thought to what experiential marketing means for your business in 2021, that’s okay. Consider giving our team a call and let us work through a plan for you.  


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