Ah, “Reach”. Experiential, meet thy nemesis.
The same dance has been performed for over a decade now. Experiential agencies brag about the influence their campaigns have on consumers, while their clients reply “well, it had better do for £4.26 cost per contact”. The agencies then mutter something about “marketing mix”, and we start all over again.
Everyone has a point here, and ultimately they compromise, accepting it as inevitable that “reach” and “experiential impact” are two ends of a see-saw, and we must choose between them.
The truth is, this isn’t completely accurate; and here’s why:
Once again, we are seeing experiential suffer from being viewed through the same paradigm as other forms of marketing. Unlike TV, print, social, and so on, experiential has no “format”. A TV ad’s “format” is 30 seconds of video in an ad break; a print ad’s “format” might be one full page of a magazine; meanwhile, experiential sits outside of this – whatever your idea is, that is your format. This paradigm has had a similarly misleading effect on reach.
With other media channels, we “get” reach. We’re dealing with an isolated media unit, and we just look at how many people it gets put in front of. How many people were viewing that TV show? How many people read that magazine? How many impressions did that Facebook post get? And so on.