Mumbai: Experiential marketing is like the thrilling racecar of the advertising world, where brands shift gears from traditional methods to create unforgettable, hands-on experiences for their audience. Now, imagine this fast-paced world colliding head-on with the heart-pounding excitement of auto events and motorsports. That's where the magic of specialized experiential marketing in the auto and motorsport segment comes to life. It's an exhilarating journey where brands rev up their engagement strategies, fueling the passion of enthusiasts and everyday consumers alike, and steering towards success with unforgettable brand experiences.
Indiantelevision.com in an email conversation with Maxperience co-founder & CEO Arvind Balan spoke on the company’s launch, trends in the experiential marketing industry and more.
Arvind Balan is the co-founder & CEO of Maxperience, a leading experiential marketing agency headquartered in Delhi NCR, catering to both national and international brands. The agency offers 360 degree marketing solutions to the clients, but Arvind’s love for motorsports and over 18 years of extensive experience has led him to establish a specialisation for Maxperience in the auto events and motorsport segment.
Having started Maxperience in 2018, Arvind has since been dedicated towards creating immersive, unforgettable and safe experiences for the audiences that inspire and excite them. Under his leadership, the agency has also seen exponential year-on-year growth for the last five years.
On the story behind Maxperience's launch and its unique approach to specialising in the auto events and motorsport segment within the experiential marketing industry
Maxperience came into existence because of my lifelong passion for motorsports and adventure events. From a young age, I had an unwavering fascination with everything related to cars, racing and the thrill of adventure. Crossing paths with Arpit Gupta, who is the co-founder and managing director of Maxperience, we realised that we shared the same passion. More than that, we were driven by the same vision of turning our passion into a sustainable and profitable venture. Hence, Maxperience was born in December 2018.
Initially, our focus was solely on organising auto events, but as we ventured further into this space, we realised the enormous potential it held for corporate solutions. So, we soon expanded our services to offer comprehensive corporate solutions centred around autosports and motoring experiences. This transition allowed us to work with some of the most reputable and well-known brands in the industry. Clients like Hero MotoCorp, MG Motors, Royal Enfield, Audi, Porsche, Apollo Tyres, CEAT Tyres, BYD, and many others trusted us to deliver outstanding experiences that aligned with their brand objectives.
Over the years, Maxperience has grown into an experiential marketing agency, providing a wide range of solutions. However, what sets us apart and continues to be our core DNA is our unwavering commitment to autosports and motoring experiences. This passion-driven focus is the driving force behind everything we do, from creating unique events to crafting innovative marketing campaigns.
On the challenges and opportunities you've encountered while growing Maxperience over the past few years
The current Indian market and landscape is an opportunity in itself, I believe. People are actively looking for personalised experiences as they allow them to relate better to a brand, so subsequently, many brands are stepping up to provide their consumers with such experiences. But when we first started, it was quite the challenge to sell everyone on the idea of using motorsports to create such experiences. But our passion showed, the results also spoke for themselves, and we convinced our clients and the larger industry that when used correctly, motorsports can be used as an effective marketing tool.
Over the last four years, Maxperience has seen a steep growth curve. So, initially it was challenging for our small team to keep up with it. But we persevered, soon new people joined the mission, and the growth hasn’t slowed down!
On the recent trends or innovations that you've observed in experiential marketing and its evolution in the future
While brands like Harley Davidson have aced the game in building rider communities since long, the trend has now picked up as more and more brands are now looking to build their own communities, with tech and app being an important part of the whole process.
Further, technology has introduced multiple other innovations in experiential marketing with use of tools like Augment & Virtual Reality (AR/VR), incorporation of AI, use of hybrid experiences, projection mapping and other such techs. The same is bound to grow further as it creates a stronger brand resonance with the GenZ audience, which are going to make up biggest bunch of consumers in coming years.
On India’s response to Motorsport
Well, India only recently hosted MotoGP, one of the biggest motorcycle racing events in the world, for the first time ever. That is the biggest indicator of the country’s building affinity towards motorsports. Prior to this as well, the number of auto adventure and motorsports events have been seeing a significant rise.
Further, India is witnessing a shift in consumer behaviour within the automobile industry, which is also driving the popularity of motorsports. Due to an increase in disposable income and easier access to information, consumers are now more discerning when it comes to their vehicle choices. The mindset has shifted away from solely considering utility and day-to-day functionality to encompassing a broader perspective, which includes a focus on the overall power and performance of the vehicle. This has in turn opened up space for experiential solutions that allow consumers to truly experience the performance and capabilities of these vehicles.
On sustainability and environmental concerns playing a role in your marketing strategies, in the world of motorsports and auto events
Recently, Federation of Motor Sports Clubs of India (FMSCI) enacted an environmental policy and sustainability guidelines, which underlines protection measures for soil, groundwater & local biodiversity during, along with curbing sound & air pollution. We strictly adhere to the guidelines in each of our activations. Further, we also follow the international norms by Treadlightly, an initiative that promotes the responsible use of motorised vehicles when recreating outdoors.
Taking sustainability and environmental factors into account while executing any motorsport event or automobile experiential event is always the top priority for us. In one of our recent events, Hero Dirt Biking Challenge, we set ourselves a lofty task of achieving ‘zero plastic wastage’. I’m proud to say that we accomplished it! It has set us to keep up the efforts in our other events.
On adapting your marketing strategies to engage different target demographics, from motorsports enthusiasts to everyday consumers
We recognise that effective engagement requires a deep understanding of our audience and we employ various strategies to achieve this. The key among them is audience segmentation. Basically, segmenting our audience into distinct groups based on factors like their interests, preferences and behaviours. For example, motorsports enthusiasts may be looking for high-adrenaline experiences, while everyday consumers might just be looking to dip their toes, or maybe seek more family-oriented or practical engagements. This is why most of the motorsports we organise have various levels of “difficulty”, which allows beginner or amateur riders to experience the same thrill but in a more restrained way. It also gives them room to grow and steadily increase their level, making for a new experience every time.
Furthermore, a personalised approach is very important, so we take great care to craft experiences that resonate with specific target segments. This personalisation extends to the content, messaging and overall feel of our events. By addressing the individual interests as much as possible, we create a sense of personal connection that is vital for effective engagement. Experiential marketing, in particular, thrives on fostering these personal and emotional connections with consumers, setting it apart from other marketing approaches.
On notable projects or campaigns that Maxperience has worked on particularly in the auto and motorsport space
Our Hero Dirt Biking Challenge (HDBC) was not only unique but also massive in its scale, attracting over 100,000 participants from all corners of India. The challenge involved conducting various stages of the competition across 40 cities in 25 states. However, the true highlight was the creation of an entire sports village, known as a Bivouac, for the final stage of the event, in a location that had no access to electricity, water, or road connectivity. Despite these hurdles, our dedicated team managed to pull off this extraordinary event successfully, creating a memorable and immersive experience for participants and spectators alike!
Another noteworthy campaign was our celebration of Suzuki Hayabusa Day. This event was an opportunity to engage directly with Hayabusa owners and enthusiasts. We organised simultaneous rides in seven major Indian cities. What set this campaign apart was the sense of community it fostered among Hayabusa enthusiasts. By bringing together over 300 owners for a day of thrilling rides and camaraderie, we created a strong and lasting bond between the brand and its customers.
On the vision and mission of Maxperience in the next three years
In the next three years, Maxperience envisions and strives to continue its impressive growth trajectory. Our journey so far has been marked by rapid expansion and a steadfast commitment to our mission of establishing ourselves as the premier experiential marketing agency in India.
We also plan to expand the brand into a comprehensive 360-degree marketing and event powerhouse, while enhancing awareness and engagement within the motorsports industry.
Our vision for the next three years is to continue pushing the boundaries of what's achievable in the experiential marketing industry. However, amidst all our expansion and evolution, one core element will always remain constant - our deep-rooted passion for autosports and the extraordinary experiences it brings.