Field and experiential marketing glossary of terms

Sometimes – only sometimes – we feel misunderstood.

Not in a “mum and dad just don’t get me” kind of way, but in a “what do you actually do?” kind of way.

We’ve found that people associate experiential marketing with demonstrations, and don’t always think beyond that. The problem, really, is that there’s no consensus around terminology. One person’s experiential is another’s field and yet another person’s in-store. Without that clarity it’s hard to apply the marketing strategy people know and understand to the specific work that we do.

So: we’ve decided to explain ourselves and provide a glossary of the terms that define our work. Here we go.


The stage of a marketing strategy in which marketing activities actually take place; comes after the planning and before the evaluation.

AI (Artificial Intelligence)

A computer program that analyses massive amounts of data, predicts trends, and makes automated responses based on those trends and additional rules that are programmed in. Often used for data analysis and automated customer service functions.

Brand ambassador

A person who’s hired by a business to represent them in a positive light. By doing so, the ambassador makes people more aware of the brand, builds up a good reputation, and encourages more sales. A brand ambassador is meant to embody the business’ identity in appearance, demeanour, values and ethics; they’re the public face of the business.

Call To Action (CTA)

Something that asks customers, visitors or readers to do something specific, in return for something that’s useful or valuable to them. “Sign up for more information” at the bottom of a feedback form or post-event message is a classic; so’s “take this card and get a 20% discount”.


A percentage statistic. Divide the number of days a marketing experience successfully activated by the number of days originally planned and you find your coverage. Important for assessing disruption to your campaign, and identifying locations or factors where the experience didn’t work as planned.

Challenger brand

A brand that isn’t the category, sector or industry leader, but has the potential (and the intent) to go there. Typically used to describe new entrants into the marketplace, especially after some initial success.


A live showing-off of a product in use, which presents its key features and benefits to visitors and audiences.


Commercial transactions conducted on the Internet, often through a specially designed website or app (an e-commerce portal).


A measure of the number of people entering a place over a given period of time. Comparing footfall for a retail space, specific shop and specific location within a shop helps you evaluate how well your experience performed – how many people could it have reached, and how many did it actually reach?


Using elements of gameplay activities – scoring points, competing with others, gaining levels – to encourage participation in a marketing experience, and engagement with a product or service. Often the key to making an experience memorable and shareable. Coined by game developer turned interface designer Nick Pelling.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

Legislation introduced in May 2018, which sets guidelines for the collection and processing of a European citizen’s personal information. GDPR is citizen-first (meaning that US and, after Brexit, UK companies will still have to comply), and the British government has adopted GDPR as the template for its own Data Protection Act.

Gift With Purchase (GWP)

An incentive offered during the marketing experience, encouraging visitors to make a purchase. A free gift, a discount applying now or in the future, a limited edition or personalised product.

Guerilla marketing

The use of unconventional, unpredictable and unexpected tactics in order to promote a product or service. Tasting sessions for cheese are not guerilla marketing; an art exhibition of cheese sculptures is.


A word or phrase preceded by a hash sign – #. Used on social media websites and apps, to identify and filter messages to do with particular topics. This, for instance, is a #glossary about #experientialmarketing.

Incremental sales

The amount of additional sales which can be directly attributed to a given marketing activity.


If an activity takes place within a shop, it’s in-store. Distinct from activities that take place in food courts, public spaces, market halls and so on, which are on-street.


The act of promoting retail sales via the physical presentation of products in-store, or by selling physical goods that promote a product or service by association.


A generic term for consumers who reached adulthood in the early period of the twenty-first century. The current generation of 18-30s. They like hands-on experiences, sharing things on social media, and brands with the courage of their claimed ethical convictions.

Money Off Voucher (MOV)

Exactly what it says on the tin – a token exchangeable for a discount on a product at the point of purchase. Often offered as an incentive for participating in an experiential marketing activity.

Mystery shop

A monitoring and quality control technique. Observers pose as consumers to measure the quality of products, services or experiences as provided in a particular location, without staff being aware they’re under observation and behaving unusually.


If an activity takes place outside a retail establishment, and it’s not part of an organised, recognised retail event, it’s on-street.


An environment that’s opened temporarily to take advantage of a trend, a seasonal product, or a short-term lease on a retail space. Typically short-lived, but exclusive, and popular with millennials.

POS (Point of Sale)

Put simply, the time and place where a transaction is made in retail.

Qualitative data

Something you can observe but not measure – for example, the reason why a given customer enjoyed a marketing experience.

Quantitative data

Something you can measure and express in ‘hard’ numerical terms – for example, the number of customers who said they enjoyed a marketing experience.

Reach (campaign)

The number of people who make some sort of contact with your marketing message, either by visiting the experience in person or hearing about it via social media, word of mouth or publicity efforts.


Providing a small amount of product for free so consumers can try before they buy. What most people think experiential marketing is all about.


A selection of people in your target audience who share one or more similar characteristics – age, gender, ethnicity, occupation, typical shopping spend, home ownership, pet ownership, opinion of hard cheese…


A percentage measurement showing the increase of sales as a result of marketing activity. The positive kind of incremental sales.

Word Of Mouth (WOM)

When a consumer communicates their interest in a brand, product or service to another without using social media or wearing promotional merchandise.


And there we have it – but did we miss anything? If there’s a term we use that always foxes you, or one for which you’d like the Fizz definition – ask away!