Traditional And Experiential Marketing – A Study In Contrast

You will find experiential marketing almost everywhere nowadays. A growing number of companies are now moving away from traditional ‘features-and-benefits’ type marketing towards experiential marketing. In this article we will be referring to the term traditional marketing as a cannon of concepts, principles and methodologies that has been practiced for the last thirty years or so and most of those concepts, principles and methodologies focused on describing the quality of the product or service being marketed, consumer behavior and competition in the market. But unfortunately it was a theory hardly based on consumer psychology and actually presented an analytical engineering-driven view of products and customers with outmoded and untested assumptions.

Traditional event marketing has few key characteristics those can also be considered as its drawbacks when put against experiential marketing:

It largely focused upon functional features and benefits of the products and services being marketed

Most of the time both product or service category and competition in the market are narrowly defined

It considered customers as rational decision makers

All methods and tools used in traditional event marketing technology were verbal, analytical and quantitative

When it comes to branding traditional type marketing cannot be considered to possess a branding approach. In brand promotion strategies, products are never considered only in terms of their individual functional features and benefits but as assets linked with a particular brand and that is another reason that has pushed this shift towards experiential marketing. Compared to traditional marketing concepts, experiential event marketing has features like:

Focuses on customer experience providing sensory, emotional, cognitive, behavioral and relational values

Considers consumption as a holistic experience

Customers are considered as rational and emotional animals

Use eclectic methods and tools

Marketers are required to understand two immensely concepts in experiential marketing – ExPros or the Experience providers and SEMS or Strategic Experiential modules. Some of the SEMS that experiential marketers are required to use for effective brand or product promotion are sensory experience, affective experiences, creative cognitive experiences, physical and behavioral experiences and also social identity experiences and in this type of marketing every SEM has its individual objectives and purposes as well as their individual principles and internal structures.

In contrast to traditional event marketing technology experiential type marketing is driven by three basic factors

The degree to which experiential image of the brand or the company is enhanced with the new product or the extension category

The degree of new experiences that they can add

The degree to which they help in creating a holistic experience

Traditional marketing over the years has provided strategies, methodologies and tools for the industrial age, but presently there is the requirement of shifting from its features and benefit approach towards new concepts those can capitalize on the new opportunities brought in by experiential marketing techniques.


Clint Barton is an event marketing expert and is known to offer some amazing tips on the subject for the general public in the many informative articles that he writes. He recommends as the best service provider to trust with all your event & experiential marketing needs.