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February 4, 2008

New research points to growth of experiential marketing in 2008

A survey of marketers released last week reveals widespread plans to increase the use of and spending on experiential marketing this year.
Some 75% of marketers surveyed by Jack Morton Worldwide in the UK, Europe, the US, China and Australia affirm they will increase spending on experiential marketing in 2008. Around half of these plan to spend 5-10% more than in previous years, while 12% will increase spend by 11-25% and almost 10% say their experiential budget will rise by more than 25%.
The global survey of almost 300 marketers revealed the level of significance now placed on the marketing function by industry professionals, 70% of whom say that experiential marketing is extremely or very important to their organisations, and 71% of whom report that experiential marketing will become increasingly important in the year to come.
The survey results come after a year of intense debate over the future of traditional and non-traditional marketing media, fuelled by the demand for new ways to reach increasingly sophisticated and selective consumer audiences.   Experiential marketing’s unique ability to reach, engage and make relevant connections with audiences has contributed to its growth in this climate.  

Highlighting this point, 93% of respondents agreed that experiential marketing generates advocacy and word-of-mouth recommendations – the ultimate “user-generated content” in an era of increased consumer control and hunger for authenticity. Some 92% also agreed that experiential marketing both builds brand awareness and brand relationships, while 77% stated that it generates sales and leads.
The survey also reinforced the need for brands to “do” more and “talk” less. Around 98% of respondents agreed that “brand experiences that deliver on brand promises are central to building commitment and loyalty”, while 99% concur that “what a brand does is as important as what a brand says”.
Marketers agreed that demonstrating return on investment on experiential marketing is a key area of interest and opportunity. Measurement was identified by respondents both as the number one obstacle to their successful deployment of experiential marketing, and as the main topic they’d like to learn more about.
“When 86% of marketers agree that brands need to talk less and do more, clearly, marketers now see experiential marketing as core to marketing strategy and not just an add-on,” said Julian Pullan, managing director of Jack Morton Worldwide. “And, as the survey reveals, they’re demonstrating this with how they’re allocating and planning their budgets. Beyond spend, the survey is testament to experiential marketing’s ability to emotionally engage and generate advocacy. As an agency that has been committed to the experiential space longer than just about anyone else, we look forward to being instrumental in what will be a very exciting future for the sector.”

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