We are beginning to see greater shifts in both the workplace and events with the way we run our conferences, meetings, ceremonies and special events. Face to face interaction has been dramatically reduced, virtual events and meets are dominating and may continue to do so indefinitely.
What Covid-19 has taught us, is that digital is the way forward when face to face engagement cannot be carried out. Not only that, digital is far more cost effective, easier to organise and time efficient. What sets digital apart from face to face is the lack of sensory engagement.
Many of us are experiencing a bit of a “death by zoom meeting” type of feeling right now. If brands, organisations and companies were to take the necessary steps ensure that their employees, consumers and affiliates were all sense-engaged during these virtual gatherings, it wouldn’t feel like another virtual “snooze fest” for anyone.
So why sensory engagement? The senses play a key role in consumer perceptions and create a powerful influence over buying decisions. Sensory marketing is recognised as an essential tool for strengthening the connection between brand and consumer by stimulating all of the senses and generating emotions.
Sensory marketing leverages all five senses to influence perceptions, memories, desires and behaviour. There are three crucial steps to take when implementing a successful sensory marketing strategy in your next campaign.
1) Creation of buyer and user experiences
Creating memorable experiences can forge a stronger connection to a product or service, increase satisfaction, influence behaviour and attitude. Consumer behaviour can be influenced by sensory marketing to generate experiences at every stage of the buying process: activation of desire, awareness of the product or service, assessment of the product or service in relation to other options, purchase, and post-purchase evaluation of use or consumption.
This sort of 360° sensory marketing serves to define the points of contact between the consumer and the brand at every behavioural stage: before the purchase, during the purchase, and during final use.
2) Integrating the five senses
The importance of each of the five senses in the transmission of perceptions and the generation of experiences depends on the nature of the product or service and the stage of buying behaviour in question.
As a rule, however, a higher degree of sensory stimulation means more communication and a better experience. Research has shown that the involvement of multiple senses can have a multiplier effect on perceptions when the senses in question communicate synergistic messages. In other words, each sensory stimulus reinforces the messages conveyed by all the others, giving rise to stronger, more consistent, and more natural perceptions.
3) Communicating brand image; sensory branding
The main strategic objective of sensory marketing is to communicate a brand image, also known as sensory branding. Sensory branding is developed through a sensory strategy, which determines which senses will be utilised in the communication of the brands image and connects each of the five senses to the consumer, while also defining the messages and experiences to be developed by each sense.
In summary, being across the engagement of all five senses ensures better return on your investment. Improved brand and product awareness, better influence on buying decisions, positive brand experience memory and above all, increased brand advocacy from providing a multi-sensory, emotionally uplifting, experience overall.