How to Get Consumers to Use all 5 Senses (Hint: It’s Experiential Marketing)

Appealing to consumers is an art that many small businesses have trouble mastering without an intentional strategy set in place. If you’ve struggled with advertising and have experienced a plateau in prospective customers, you may be wondering how to effectively draw in new clientele. 

It’s no longer sufficient to bombard your customers with email and virtual campaigns. In fact, consumers frequently suffer from information overload and begin to block out and resent the continual stream of cross-over marketing messages that pop up on their smartphones. 

This tactic is more successful at producing feelings of anxiety and annoyance for the consumer rather than implanting a positive lasting impression of your brand. Instead of asking yourself the question of where and how frequently to post advertisements, you might consider how to get consumers to use all 5 senses. To begin to answer this question, let’s break it down by each sense– sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste. 

Sight– It is likely that your client base is constantly on the go. They are commuting to work, school, their children’s extracurricular activities, the grocery store, the bank, etc. While in transit, the information that they process happens to be what is directly in front of them and happening around them. Thus, location and strategic product placement is vital to advertising. Intentional placements of advertisements in locations you know your clientele will be is a smart way to get noticed in the right scenario, at the right time. For instance, if you’re marketing to mothers, an ideal placement for your 50% off summer clothing sale might be a local Pilates studio, daycare, or nail salon. By extension, user-created content that is closely tied to location is more likely to generate views, likes, and shares on social media platforms. Asking customers to tag your location in posts will increase traffic to your page and allow your name and location to be visible to a greater population. 

Sound– Everyone has a song that takes them back to a particularly fond time in their lives. Music is a powerful force that enables individuals to express their personality, identify their moods, and relate to one another. Audibility via smartphone technology can grant your brand visibility now more than ever. In the form of audio-visual advertisements and jingles, your brand can capture the attention of your client’s monkey-mind as they aimlessly scroll. Additionally, the audio atmosphere you promote in your brick and mortar storefronts can positively or negatively impact your image and your customer experience, which is why song-selection should be taken seriously. 

Smell– The sense of smell is a mysterious way that one can intimately interact with the world without the use of dialogue or visual cues. Warm, inviting scents create a familiar atmosphere and encourage customers to linger in the pleasantness. Potent, rich smells can create an atmosphere of luxury and wealth. Likewise, unidentifiable odors and staleness paint a picture of neglect and cheapness. What story do you want to tell about your business through smell? 

Touch– Tactile experiences make a larger impact on a consumer’s attitude and opinion that one might think. For instance, can you think of a food that you don’t like simply because of its undesirable texture? Now, can you think of a particular article of clothing that makes you feel happy just because of its softness against your skin? The sense of touch can greatly persuade your clients to engage emotionally with your product. Consider ways you can positively incorporate the sense of touch into your physical location. Perhaps that’s ensuring that the temperature in your store is always comfortable so customers don’t have to handle cold merchandise or feel uncomfortable while shopping. 

Taste– The obvious way to incorporate the sense of taste into your business is by allowing your consumers to enjoy food demos and samples. Even if your business doesn’t involve food, what simple ways can you provide cost-effective tastes into your customer’s shopping experience? A great example of this is how DoubleTree hotels offer warm chocolate chip cookies at their check-in desk. The first impression the guest receives is a personalized comfort of home. Small details such as offering your customers mini bottles of water can go a long way. 

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