Sensory Marketing Techniques Every Marketing Student Should Know About
We didn’t choose the digital life. The digital life chose us.
For as long as we can remember, we’ve been surrounded by the all things digital. In the past couple of decades, marketing folks have been trying to enter this space. First, it was through online display ads but that just doesn’t seem enough anymore.
There are several studies being conducted on a more innovative approach to marketing, as we speak. Digital advertising has saturated the online marketing experience – almost numbing customers to several kinds of digital marketing tactics. As we move towards experiencing brands, sensory marketing is making waves. Touching on the customers’ emotional side, sensory marketing is all about playing with taste, smell, sight, or sound.
By appealing to the customers’ senses, brands are starting to use sensory marketing to give customers an immersive experience.
To add to this, Jennifer Johnson, senior vice president at Bioscience Communications, calls sensory marketing ‘a powerful communication vehicle that allows you to feel’.
As early as 2000s, giant hotel chains began experimenting with sensory marketing by diffusing scents in hotels as a means to reduce stress and thus, in a subtle yet sure way, stimulate positive memories. Scent is known to be super stealth, generating a staggering amount of emotions. In fact, JW Marriott’s Vice President – global brand leader, Mitzi Gaskins, added that ‘scent is just as important as music, lighting, and botanical elements in creating the right mood’. No wonder these giant brands are investing hundreds of millions of dollars in scent marketing.
Similar to using scent as a way to engage with the customer, marketers are also exploring integrating virtual reality in their marketing campaigns. Marriott also dabbled into this new marketing technique with the introduction of teleporter booths. Customers wore Oculus Rift headsets and were teleported to exotic destinations. This 4-D technology proved to be a great way to add an element of storytelling through VR.
Immersive experience gives customers a chance to emotionally engage with the brand, increasing their chances of brand recall.
Even though sensory marketing can be said to be at its nascent stage, soon more brands will use marketing tactics like installing the smell of freshly baked cookies for a Got Milk campaign at bus shelters.
Its suffice to say, with sensory marketing there are hundreds of ways brands can use this marketing technique to differentiate their brand identity and create successful customer relationships.