Why is experiential marketing important? Seven inspirational case studies!

Mark Schaefer
9 min readMay 9, 2024

Here is one of the most poignant news items from the recent Cannes Lions Festival, an annual gathering of brands, creatives, and advertisers: Agencies were imploring streaming service Netflix to start showing ads.

A sign of the desperate times for brands!

Due to streaming content options and other generational dynamics, people don’t see ads like they use to, and if they don’t block them or skip them, they don’t believe them.

To succeed in the future, we need to re-imagine marketing by weaning ourselves from traditional methods that don’t work any more and put the customer in control. The customer is the marketer.

User-generated content (UGC) is one of the most effective ways to get our story told — and believed — among our audiences.

And that brings us to the growing importance of experiential marketing.

Four “whys” of experiential marketing

More than 20 years ago, B. Joseph Pine and James Gilmore wrote a Harvard Business Review article predicting the rise of the “experience economy.” They argued that a newly competitive battleground was emerging around delivering experiences to customers, the next evolution in marketing.



Mark Schaefer

Keynote speaker, marketing strategy consultant, Rutgers U faculty and author of 10 books including KNOWN, Marketing Rebellion, and Belonging to the Brand!