Event planners, CMOs and brand managers are putting more emphasis on in-person brand experiences, according to a new global study conducted by brand experience company, Freeman.

The study, which surveyed close to 1,000 marketing professionals across North America, Asia and Europe revealed immersive brand experiences are set to increase, with Asia leading the way as an early adopter of the latest immersive technology.

Adam Charles, senior vice president and managing director, Asia Pacific at Freeman, says: “I think the research findings demonstrate what we’ve always believed: when you create a great brand experience it goes far beyond the people that experienced it firsthand.

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“Brands that create the right emotional connection and give people the tools to share the brand story can literally reach millions of people. The audience becomes the content publishers and network to amplify the brand message.”

Respondents, who work across both B2B and B2C segments, confirmed brand experience is more central to their roles today than it was in the past, with nine out of 10 stating brand experience delivers stronger face-to-face interaction and more compelling engagement.

Marketers and event planners in Asia are using the latest immersive technology more than the rest of the world, and their budgets for brand experience are increasing faster too.  

More than 30 per cent of Asian marketers use VR


Forty-two per cent of marketers in Asia are tapping into sensory interaction as a way to personalise brand experience, compared to 28 per cent in North America and 13 percent in Europe; and 31 percent of Asian companies use virtual reality, compared to a meager seven to nine per cent elsewhere.

Gamification is another growing digital integration, with 22 per cent of companies in Asia versus only nine percent and 13 per cent for their respective counterparts.

As marketers realise the value of brand experiences, they are shifting spend, with nearly one in three Asian marketers expecting to allocate at least 21-50 per cent of their overall marketing budget to brand experience (aka events) in the next three to five years.

Currently, the top three tactics Asian marketers use to drive brand experience are social media (50 per cent), website (46 per cent) and sensory interaction (42 per cent).

According to the study, 50 per cent of marketers in Asia believe brand experiences help increase sales, 47 per cent agree events build loyalty, and 44 per cent appreciate the ability of events to narrowly target an audience.