7 As of Marketing Experiences

Chingay Festival 2006

This post was inspired by a recent email I sent to Ivan Chew offering 2 cents worth of ideas on marketing. I have rejigged it slightly and expanded on the As for the purpose of this post.

Marketing of leisure attractions, libraries, clubs, restaurants, lifestyle destinations and other "experience" oriented "products" are slightly different from traditional products and services. These are usually less tangible, more perishable and depend more heavily on the external factors which affect the five senses.

Consider the 7 As as you develop and market your experience-oriented products or services:

AWARENESS - It doesn't matter if you have the best theme park rides in the world or offer the greatest culinary experience if people aren't aware of it. Awareness shouldn't just be the ability to recall an advertisement or a brand. It should be clearly defined and easily linked to the positive attributes of your offering.

AUDIENCE-CENTRIC - Know who your customers are and what their preferences are like. What is their preferred language? What kind of visual or audio cues work better to attract their attention? In addition, how should your outlet or surroundings be furnished to cater to their needs. For example if there are many elderly folks, then some chairs would be good!

ACCESSIBILITY - Being easily reached, understood and appreciated are key. This includes physical (distance), intellectual, and even emotional intimacy. Cultural contexts should also be considered as they can determine if something catches on quickly with people or loses its significance altogether due to its foreign nature.

ACTION-ORIENTED - Focus not only on offering the service, but look at how you can engage your customers to be part of the action. Studies have shown that the more they are involved, the better the chances of generating customer satisfaction. Involve them, get their hands all dirty, and let them play!

AMAZE & ATTRACT - What makes participating in your activity more fun and interesting? How do we make it exceptional? Can you transport your customer to a magical or faraway place? Is there something that will just blow his or her mind away? To stand out, you need to differentiate yourself from competing demands for a customer's discretionary time and money.

AFFINITY - An emotional connection and bonding helps endear yourself to your customers. Look for the common ground with your target audiences. Ask yourself how the experience conveyed can touch their hearts or make their lives more meaningful? What else can you do to resonate with them?

ATMOSPHERICS - These relate to the environment, ambience and other aesthetic factors that lead to the overall flavour and character of a product or service. How do they contribute to a night at the museum, or a day at the library? Are there distractions like bad smells, broken tiles or peeling walls? Is the music being played conducive or does it sound like a broken record?

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