Post Categories: November 2016

Knowledge Portal: Keeping Up with the Trends—What’s Next in Experiential Marketing

One day you’re in, and the next, you’re out.

That isn’t just the catchphrase of a popular TV show—it’s reality for many retailers and brands. Consumers’ attention spans are getting shorter and shorter, and many of us are also becoming more fickle. As a result, retailers and CPGs can’t simply rely on what has always worked in the past—a fact that’s true for all aspects of the retail business, including experiential marketing.

That’s why the experts at Interactions are always scouting the latest and emerging trends. As Interactions’ Creative Director Ryan Dee explains, “whether it’s food, fashion, technology or current events, we’re always looking for trends and ideas that can translate into our clients’ programs and events.”

Keeping up on these trends is especially important for capturing the attention the latest generations of shoppers: Millennials and Generation Z. Incorporating larger cultural trends into experiential events helps make the experience more impactful for these target consumers—and in turn, can help build greater affinity for the retailer or brand.

For 2017, Dee has identified four trends retailers and CPGs can tap into to maximize the impact of their experiential events:

  1. GamificationAs evidenced by the Pokémon Go craze, video games aren’t just for kids. Incorporating game-like activities into a retail marketing experience can be a great way to engage with today’s shoppers. “Gamification can provide a 360° experience, as well as the instant gratification consumers are looking for,” says Dee. For example, a retailer could integrate augmented reality (AR) into their product finder app to highlight all of the products in the store that fit a specific diet trend, such as Paleo. Consumers could score points or earn rewards by “capturing” those products.
  2. Meal SolutionsOur lives are busier than ever, and shoppers today want convenience and solutions. “Demonstrating take-and-make meals or a collection of ingredients paired with a recipe that shoppers can recreate at home instead of a single product is a great way for retailers and brands to capitalize on this,” says Dee.
  3. The Maker MovementConsumers are increasingly looking for do-it-yourself opportunities, especially when it comes to food. “A retailer could benefit from this by offering craft beer workshops, or classes on how to make sushi or kombucha,” suggests Dee. This not only gets shoppers into the store, it also provides an experience they’re likely to share on social media—further increasing the program’s reach.
  4. Personalized Digital EngagementConsumers want more personalized engagement from retailers, which traditional brick-and-mortar retailers have often struggled to provide. “But they could easily change that by tying back to shopper loyalty data,” explains Dee. For example, a retailer app could offer targeted recipe ideas while shoppers are in-store or invite them to demonstration events or classes based on the products and brands they’ve purchased in the past.

knowledgecoverEven if you think you have an experiential marketing program that’s working now, Dee warns that it might not continue to be successful in the coming years if you don’t evolve along with the consumer. “The data and studies show that Millennials and Generation Z are in the driver’s seat now. If you don’t keep up with and appeal to what they want and demand, then you’re going to fall behind.”

To learn more about Interactions services, contact Lindsay Steller, Director of Sales and Marketing, at