In the old days, experiential marketing typically translated to “mobile tour,” which meant a big, branded trailer, a big footprint and a big routing schedule. In recent years, we’ve seen a shift in this mentality towards a focus on what brands are calling “hyper-local.” This approach focuses on specific markets and can showcase a brand’s commitment to local communities and, if done correctly, can really be worth all the hype.
A hyper-local campaign can typically hold a much smaller price tag than its big mobile tour counterparts, allowing smaller brands the opportunity to dip their toe in the “experiential” water without breaking the bank. This type of campaign can make a tailor-made, personal connection with consumers in a specific market and by adding customized touches that resonate specifically with that community, a brand can appear as if it is a natural extension of the neighborhood. In turn, positive feelings towards the brand are naturally created for knowing the city so well. For example, using the city’s college school colors for your tailgate campaign or knowing the local cultural traditions for an upcoming holiday are ways to show consumers that you relate to them while making your brand more desirable.
With the emergence of experiential event elements that are smaller and more cost efficient such as the Ricos Nacho Truck from Craftsmen Industries (custom fabricated Chevy Silverado, built to gain attention while staying nimble), opportunities to tap local communities continue to be more flexible and targeted.
In turn, we anticipate a surge in focus from “hyper-local” to even smaller, more customized and intimate community activations to make a big impact on a local level. Because Keller Fay Group confirms that nine-tenths of word of mouth referrals still occur offline*, we anticipate another shift where hyper-local will become even more niche and brands will not only have to prove their knowledge about communities, but also show consumers that they relate to them on a very personal level. This can be done through in-home parties with influential community members to share positive work of mouth while creating great experiences. And if brands do it right – by telling the right story, to the right people, in the right place – success is inevitable.