Happy Freakin’ Monday Ep 19 – Selling Experiences

Do you sell a product or service that cannot be found anywhere else in the world? Probably not. So why do your customers go to you and not someone else? It’s all about the experience.

No matter what business you’re in, no matter what product or service you are selling, the experience is what your clients are buying. So stop focusing on product features and benefits and let’s talk about how we can improve your marketing by selling experiences.

Tourism is a great example because it is without a doubt selling experiences but most tourism advertisers still don’t seem to realize this. They continue to focus on features and benefits. What do I mean by this? Well a few months ago I was seeing a lot of ads in my Instagram feed for visit Japan and visit Alberta. These are two very different parts of the world but the ads looked almost exactly the same. Both were showing mountain ranges and hiking, eating at a restaurant... These are merely features. I mean wow, you have mountains, trails and restaurants? Why should I visit yours over another? Oh right Japan, you have some pretty cool architecture... That’s a benefit but it is in no way compelling me to experience that specific country.  

Seriously, advertising in this way is the equivalent of saying, hey buy my car because it has 4 wheels, a steering wheel and a radio. Um, ya, so does every car in the world.

An experience is actually connecting me to the journey of not only seeing the sights, but igniting my other senses and emotions as well. I am also using this example because I've had a lot of success marketing tourism destinations with more of a focus on experience. Check out our most popular example here - http://bfresh.media/2016/10/25/newfoundland-in-ten-days-a-viral-success/


It sounds complicated but it’s really about telling great stories. Here are some tips on how to actually do that:

  1. Use Video - video is one of the most efficient tools when it comes to storytelling. You will be able to say more and connect with your audience more quickly and effectively with video.
  2. Focus on a positive customer experience and tell that story. Testimonials are great for this. Another example is the fast food chain A&W ran a campaign not too long ago where they introduced people on the street to their hamburger. So it was not trying to introduce us to the entire menu but 1 single product and they captured authentic reactions of people trying this hamburger. They were also told a little bit about the quality of the ingredients (the benefits) as they ate them but the focus was not on those ingredients but rather the customer’s reaction and how that information made them feel.   Check out that video here: https://youtu.be/lT_POsrIIBs
  3. Simplify your message. Just like the A&W campaign, focus on one item from the menu, convince me that it’s made with heart and passion and I will order the combo. Going back to the tourism example, don’t try to show me the entire country. You’re not doing it any justice by showing me that you have mountains, trails, restaurants and beaches.
  4. Target your (simplified) message. We have the technology! It’s really not hard to target your advertising to specific age groups and interests. So if you are marketing to seniors, show seniors. If you are marketing to millennials, show millennials because those audiences want to see themselves in the experience. Don’t try to create a one size fits all because it just won’t work.

So ask yourself what is the experience I’m selling and how can I communicate that to my audience. Your marketing will be better for it, I promise. 

See you next week!