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October 6, 2006

Confusion and lack of training preventing the full experience

Experiential marketing may be the latest "big thing" in marketing terms, but it seems that corporates are finding confusion and lack of training are preventing it reaching its full potential, according to a survey by marketing services company MICE Group.

While the survey, entitled Experiential Marketing; it works, predicts that experiential marketing will be the biggest growth area within the marketing mix in the next five years, it also highlights a number of areas where the discipline is failing with marketers.

"A lack of training or suitable measurement is holding the discipline back causing it to be seen more as a tactical tool rather than a strategic device. And there is still a clear need to clarify and define the media options that sit within this discipline," states the report.

Other drawbacks highlighted include experiential techniques being expensive to implement and needing strong commitment in terms of resources, time, logistics and management. They are also seen by companies as difficult to control and measure and this is detracting from their wider use.

The survey goes on to state that: "Few companies are considered to do experiential marketing effectively and it is seen as an expensive way to reach customers if there are not clear links between the brand and the chosen event or events."

MICE also claims that 43% of respondents felt that experiential marketing had not realised its potential due to lack of training among marketers, and 80% welcomed more guidance in this area; perhaps from external providers or professional bodies.

Despite all this, the future for the live and experiential sector looks bright: 80% of respondents described their experience-based activities as being important within their marketing mix, accounting for around one third of their entire marketing budget - a percentage set to rise in the future.

To help promote the cause of live and experiential marketing and raise awareness of the benefits it can bring to companies' strategic marketing plans, MICE Group has launched a new website www.experientialmarketing.org

The international survey included senior brand marketers from a broad range of industries and based in the UK, Germany, France and the US. The respondents have responsibility for substantial marketing budgets targeting both national and international markets and engage in a wide range of marketing activities.


EVENTS:review wants to know: Does the live marketing industry - whether that be events companies, exhibition organisers or experiential agencies - have what it takes to make the most of this opportunity? Or will its lack of definable metrics and the confusion surrounding what it actually is ultimately be it's downfall? Let us know what you think...

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