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  The concept of experiential marketing has not been experimented with by many Nigerian brands. It has been observed that foreign brands in Nigeria, such as Techno, Oppo, and primarily mobile device companies, have deployed the strategy of experiential marketing.
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According to studies, experiential marketing allows customers to directly use or interact with brands through experiences such as online and offline events, sampling, contests, roadshows, sponsorships and so on. Trends show that it will thrive in 2022 and beyond, and more businesses, retailers, and startups will adopt it unprecedentedly. However, Nigerian brands are yet to tap into this aspect of marketing strategy. In Western climes, experiential marketing is critical in influencing buyer’s decisions. Studies show that 80% of people in the Western world buy products when they have engaged in them. 90% agree to purchase products when they have the opportunity to explore products through experiential processes. However, in Africa, brands engaged in them experienced low responses. An African founder reported how he organized a roadshow with over 1,000 attendees, but only 5% bought his products. This shows that experiential marketing can be tricky in emerging markets and may fail to yield returns. In this article, I share a few strategies brands can employ to enjoy bountiful customer purchases through experiential marketing.

Never Conclude That Experiential Activations Will Keep Customers

Brand owners often speculate that well-constructed experiential activations attract and secure buyers once they get acquainted with the brand. Conclusions from our investigation disclose the contrary. While 77% of interviewed consumers in Nigeria made their first purchase after partaking in an experiential activation, only 30% made new purchases after the first one.
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In addition, another significant conclusion demonstrated that 60% did not endorse the brand or recommend it to their friends after an experiential activation. Therefore, these outcomes demonstrate that extraordinary activations may stimulate customers to try a brand but are not enough to generate brand loyalty.

Don’t Confuse Experiential With Event Marketing

Many brands in Nigeria often confuse experiential marketing with event marketing. They think it is an avenue to sell their products and services. This could be associated with the fact that it is still nascent in Nigeria. Hence, its core is creating a memorable experience for attendees rather than selling. It is more like an exhibition centre, where brands market their value, brand story and vision rather than products and services.

Never Experiment With Experiential Marketing 

Another big mistake Nigerian brands make is that they practice it-and-run gimmicks regarding experiential marketing. It has been observed occasionally how short-notice brands recruit people, give them few guidelines for action and rules of engagement, and expect significant returns on their investment. This experiment can be counter-productive. There are cases where brands will add little contribution to the planning or abandon the projects altogether to marketing agencies. Trying and seeing methodologies or experimenting with experiential marketing will, in most cases, yield dismal results. Hence, experiential marketing is not a strategy to toy with but be executed with all senses of deliberateness.

Dwell On Experiential Marketing 

Brands in Nigeria only engage in this type of marketing when they want to launch their products and services. Unfortunately, they do not include agents in other stages of the offerings’ lifecycle. A good example is a mobile payment app that sponsored a popular TV reality show.
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It earned the desired popularity and had over 1 million people download its app but only a few active users. The trick about experiential marketing is that it can quickly generate leads but cannot keep customers for long. Hence, brands must always dwell on it through their offerings.

Concluding Remarks

Experiential marketing is all about marketing your brand values and brand story. However, many brands mistake viewing them as trade fairs where they come and sell their products and services. This is not to say that they can’t be an avenue to sell products. Their main aim is to make your brand a household name which you can capitalize on after marketing experience. It is more like a campaign where politicians sell their manifest so that voters get them to the ballot, they can give you their votes. Featured Image Source: Aquilla East Africa
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This article was first published on 10th October 2022


Nnaemeka is an academic scholar with a degree in History and International Studies from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. He is also a creative writer, content creator, storyteller, and social analyst.

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