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Some of the Cognito New York team recently attended BritishAmerican Business’ discussion on “Next Level Marketing: Where Can’t We Go?” While the panel focused on the creative forms of marketing to meet the shifts in consumer customer behavior and expectations, it got us thinking about what makes a successful experiential marketing campaign in financial services.

Here are three recent marketing campaigns we think offered something unique. The next time you want to develop an experiential campaign, learn from these examples:

1.     Make it emotional. Keep your customers emotions in mind as you think about how to reach them. What are their likes, dislikes and hobbies? At the recent Coachella festival in California, American Express embraced its customers love of music by offering augmented reality (AR) payments for cardholders. The company embedded a shoppable AR feature in their app that enabled cardholders to buy certain merchandise using their camera throughout the festival. They were also able to customize their purchase with free embroidery and given access to priority Uber and free Ferris Wheel rides.

2.     Create a community. Appeal to the human propensity to be a part of a community or movement, much like Sallie Krawcheck did when she founded Ellevest. Sallie didn’t just create a female-focused automated investing app with the mission to close the gender-investing gap, she created a community of like-minded female investors. People in this community can choose to be a part of a wider networking group – Ellevate – a professional women’s network that provides the support and resources needed to succeed.

3.     Give it a purpose. The rise of social good experiences is compelling. Brands want to go a step further than just giving away free merchandise and free food — they need to appeal to a customer’s desire to be more socially responsible. GE’s “Healthymagination” event brought together tech innovators and healthcare providers to showcase the importance of technology in rural healthcare systems. Using interactive “movie sets,” 700 attendees were virtually transplanted to three different healthcare environments: a rural African clinic, an emergency room, and an urban clinic. Doctors shared stories about the impact of GE’s healthcare technology in each of these environments. The experience united participants and got them talking about a global issue – access to healthcare in impoverished areas. Make sure your campaign creates an experience that starts a conversation among your target audience.

The next time you are thinking about doing some experiential marketing to your target audience, don’t get caught up in trying to throw the biggest and baddest event at the coolest venue in town. Think about how you can appeal to your customer’s emotions, establish a sense of community, and provide a purpose to all those involved. Remember: focus on reaching your target customer in ways that matter to them.

Mariah Measey is an account manager at Cognito in New York