I’m sure you’ve seen this report (the PR behind it is fairly robust) coming out of the UK, which purports that in Europe “experiential marketing is forecast to become one of the biggest growth areas in marketing in the next five years as senior marketers shift an increasing proportion of their marketing budgets towards it,” according to a new research study carried out by London-based international marketing services group the MICE Group.

The report is titled “Experiential Marketing: It Works.” Okay, the title can use some work. But for marketers still on the fence about XM, this should be just the right nudge into accepting an axiom of all marketing in the future: we all want meaningful experiences in the way companies and brands approach our lives and our time.

Since the last sentence is a subjective definition, the MICE Group report puts it in terms most traditional marketers will understand. Namely:

Spending in this area is set to grow as marketing budget holders now believe that it offers considerable advantages over other marketing tools, especially in building brand loyalty and encouraging word of mouth recommendation amongst consumers.
The majority of respondents (80 per cent) described 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.
But a lack of training or suitable measurement tools is holding the discipline back causing it to be seen more as a tactical tool rather than a strategic activity. And there is still a clear need to clarify and define the media options that sit within this discipline.

Nothing new here for us XM’ers. Here’s a bit of new numbers, tho:

Many respondents (43%) felt that experiential marketing had not realised its potential due to a lack of training amongst marketers and the majority (80%) welcomed more guidance in this area; perhaps from external service providers or professional bodies.
A greater use of case studies would help drive the industry forward.
43% of the respondents anticipate increasing their marketing budgets over the next two-three years with only 12% foreseeing a decrease.
The future for experiential marketing looks bright; with 62% agreeing that it will be “one of the big growth areas in marketing over the next five years”.
Around half anticipate growing their experiential marketing spend, both in real terms and as a proportion of budget.

Good news if you’re in the XM business. Get the full report here: Download experiential_marketing_it_works_report2006.pdf


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