The Learning Curve

“Lead with Learning” is not something that you commonly hear in Experiential Marketing, but it is an essential way people learn about products/brands in exciting ways and then they become dedicated fans for the right reasons. It is important for brands/marketers to educate themselves on who they are targeting so they can educate their consumers in a way that is relevant to all.

Leading with learning can be categorized into 3 “phases”.

First is Discovery. Research is key! Know who your audience is and learn to understand the best way to connect with them and how you want to educate them on your brand/product. Ask questions, but not just close ended questions, real open questions to dive into what the real answers are.

Number 2, Storytelling. People look for brands/products they can relate to, that is what draws them in to something. How you show up and tell your story will create opportunities for consumers to educate themselves on who you are as a brand/product.

Finally, Consumer Journey. What is the path you want your consumers to take? The best way to create engagement is to let them tell their own version of the story. Give them the resources they need and let them share it their own way. People trust other people more than brands sometimes, so don’t try to tell consumers how they should feel. Educate them and let them learn and teach their way. In the experiential space we should always be open minded and willing to learn, because when you lead with learning that is when the magic happens!

Here is an example of how Robotproof Leads with Learning:

Our team concentrates on bringing our experience, Good Thinking and an educational approach to brands and organizations that we are passionate about, big or small, so that we can do work that we all are proud of. That is how we Lead with Learning. Because we believe in the power of education and experiential experiences, we were so excited to work with ActOne, a non-profit organization that provides arts field trips to children in Arizona. ActOne wanted to expand their offering in a completely new and exciting way using Virtual Reality – to re-imagine what a field trip could be. During an incredibly difficult time for educators and students, we worked together to harness the power of virtual reality to transport kids somewhere wonderful and inspiring – even if they couldn’t leave the classroom. The feeling of a magic school bus that could take you anywhere in the world to see art, listen to music and hear stories from artists who were also relatable and expressed how and why art was so important. This is so much more than walking into a classroom with a box of VR headsets. This is a true group experience that is designed to be easy for teachers and students. With our Borderless technology, a teacher can control every headset in the room individually and as a group – deploying experiences and tailoring preferences for each child’s specific needs. While one continuous story runs through our field trip; it is broken down into digestible chapters and interspersed with opportunities for in-person conversation. We worked to build lesson plans that enhance and extend the field trip – the trip can be the beginning or the culmination of a greater lesson.

With ActOne Arts Immersions, we have been able to capture a feeling of going to a faraway place that really is so close to home. Anything is possible with art, virtual reality and the desire to explore and learn. Check out a video of the activation HERE

The first VR field trip experience is called Freedom in Expression, it focuses on the history of public art and mural making. Students have the ability to travel to Chicago to visit muralist Sentrock in his studio and explore his murals around the city to discover how the Mexican Mural Movement inspired a modern-day mural movement. Students are also able to hear from the groundbreaking all-female mariachis Las Azaleas to learn what influences them and enjoy an incredible performance at the historic Fox Tucson Theatre. We hope that everyone who experiences the VR field trip will be inspired to find their own “freedom in expression.”

Both Robotproof and ActOne believe that Leading with Learning – providing exciting and innovative experiences in which to learn – is powerful. With Art Immersions – we can work to close the arts equity gap by overcoming economic, geographic, and logistical barriers to provide inspiring, engaging, and interactive experiences that cultivate creativity and critical thinking.

We wanted to learn more about Robotproof and how they create unforgettable and engaging experiences for their clients. So we did a Q&A with their Senior Producer (Carter Parrish), who also happens to be an amazing experiential marketer.

Q1. What inspired Robotproof to focus on “Leading with Learning” when educating your consumers? “Just like when you were growing up and teachers would tell you that learning can be fun, we take the same educational mindset into everything we do. If you can get people to learn about a product in a new and exciting way, you create more engagement and dedication to the product/brand.”

Q2. What are a few things a company should know about their target market to understand them better? “I think understanding their passions/frustrations is very important. You can never tell a person how they feel or make them feel something without knowing what their passions are, or what some of their frustrations are. If you can show someone how to make their life easier in an exciting way, they will pay attention. If you transport them to a place where they have memories, or a place they have always wanted to go, they will pay attention. We have to be more human in understanding each other to better connect and engage.”

Q3. You guys have done a lot of cool activations. What do you think is the best way to tell a story? Through video, images, experiences? “Great question, and I don’t know if there is a right or wrong answer here. We have seen different reactions to all of the above. Engagement and connection is key as you want to try and find the best ways to connect with each consumer. I think music is also a big part of the story as you can set a mood/feeling through music, so incorporating that within videos and images goes a long way in telling the story.”

Q4. We love how you have integrated VR into your lead with learning activations. How does VR help people learn better than just viewing media? “VR creates the opportunity to engage more. Yes you can visually transport yourself through viewing media, but with VR you can interact with it and immerse yourself in that experience. When you just view media I am sure there are a lot of questions you have about a product you are seeing. Using our ActOne experience as an example. You can view one of our amazing Chicago artist murals through ordinary media, but VR can get you up close and personal to the piece, learn about the artist and understand the story of how that art came to be. VR allows your curiosity to take you in any direction you want to go.”

Q5. One last question- How important do you think UGC is to a brand experience? (Specifically UGC videos). “UGC I think is super important in brand experiences because it again allows your consumers to tell their own versions of the experience. People trust and engage with friends, family and other people they know more than they trust a brand’s direct message. By giving the consumers an opportunity to build their own journey through video, music or other content, you are now getting something real and authentic.”

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