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  • Writer's pictureBrook Jay

Welcome to The Participation Generation of Marketing. And What’s The Bachelor Have to do With It?

Want to know how to engage the next generation of customers with your marketing? Here is a perspective to consider…

When did Mondays become something we looked forward to?

This past Monday, 4 of the badass women I work with each attended separate Bachelor viewing parties.

Apparently it was the season premiere, or something. And the first thing I thought was “When was the last time this has happened?”

Streaming services have essentially eliminated any need for “viewing parties,” getting together to watch a live show at a certain time and certain date.

We watch everything we want at our own time, our own pace and, most of the time, on our own. (Although my husband would never let me watch Succession without him.)

And yet The Bachelor of all things still manages to inspire this anticipation to participate. And it’s because they make the build-up, the social and digital marketing strategy, lead to an experience.

You can’t wait to watch it because then you’re behind. You’ve missed the boat, you’re out of the conversations.

Now THAT is exactly what experiential marketing needs to do, and how it needs to evolve.

Target audiences need to anticipate to participate in our events. And shared experiences are the key.

Because who anticipates to participate in a social media ad campaign? No one.

Who anticipates interacting with programmatic content? No one.

Who shares the Instagram advertisements that pop up in their feed to their Story? No one.

As antithetical as it may seem in a hyper-digital word, how we interact in the physical world is the biggest trend in marketing today.

Which makes experiential marketing an even bigger deal. We’re talking about using your marketing with a little inspired creativity to craft the types of experiences that today’s consumers want to have.

They’re memorable.

They’re grammable.

They’re shareable.

They’re the opposite of binge watching.

In 2020, it’s how brands are going to capture the attention of today’s consumer. Remarkable, branded, shared experiences.

Shared experiences aren’t new: people have been telling stories and communicating shared experience for thousands of years. As technology advanced, the medium changed: there was radio, movies, and television, but today we have the easiest platform for shared experiences that society has ever known: the Internet.

This power comes from the ability of shared experiences to transcend from the Internet into the real world, and vice-versa.

These experiences make you want to tell all of your friends and family about what happened, and you anticipate the next iteration of that experience.

Experience → Attention + Engagement

When you speak to most marketers today, they’ll tell you that reaching consumers is tough work. But it’s not because they’re ineffective at creating outstanding advertising campaigns. It’s because their advertising campaigns aren’t connecting with them.

So I’ve given you the key: shared experiences. Create them and campaign them, so that you have everyone anticipating to participate.

If marketing agencies are going to give their roses to one form of marketing this year, let it be experiential.

[Now excuse me, I have to watch the latest episode of The Bachelor if I want to talk to anyone tomorrow morning.]

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