Recently, we interacted with Mr. Arvind Balan, Co-Founder & CEO, Maxperience – an experiential marketing agency with a knack for fresh ideas, passion for great adventures, and a vision to realize perfect experiences for their clients.
Here are the interview highlights:
1. You have always had an affinity for motorsports. Did that lead you to start an experiential marketing agency with a specialisation in auto events and motor sports? Please expand on Maxperience’s journey.
My love for motorsports is definitely one of the key factors leading up to Maxperience’s inception. Racing has been a fundamental part of my life, and even prior to Maxperience, I’ve actively engaged with numerous auto sports and adventure events like Maruti Suzuki Desert Storm, India Baja, Ford India, BMW XDrive & Land Rover, in various capacities.
Maxperience was born in 2018 as a result of combining my enthusiasm for motorsports with the shared vision of Arpit Gupta, the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Maxperience. Together, we aspired to transform our shared passion into a sustainable and profitable venture. Basically, our journey began with a vision – to utilise motorsports not only as a personal connection but to commercialise it through experiential marketing solutions.
This venture faced its share of challenges initially, as the concept of using motorsports for brand marketing wasn’t widespread. However, with successful projects like Hero XTracks, we demonstrated the profound impact of motorsports in brand marketing, especially for premium and performance products. Our journey started with collaborations with Polaris and Hero MotoCorp and has since expanded to service more than 15 top automobile brands and countless impactful projects.
2. What are your offerings and USPs? What is the overarching process for a project at Maxperience?
At Maxperience, our approach to every project begins with a deep understanding of the product’s target audience and the brand’s expectations. When a brief comes our way, our teams delve into comprehending the USPs of the product, identifying the target audience and aligning the corporate expectations of the brand. This initial phase is very crucial as it sets the foundation for our entire project strategy.
Following this, we move on to crafting a strategy that integrates all these critical touchpoints. What sets us apart is our commitment to a 360-degree approach. Rather than focusing on short-term or event-specific executions, we strive to envision the bigger picture. We believe in aligning our solutions with the overarching goals of the brand, ensuring a cohesive and comprehensive strategy. This holistic approach is a distinctive aspect of our methodology.
We take pride in not only utilising motorsports at the core of our solutions but in our dedication to creating an overall strategy first. The integration of motorsports seamlessly fits into this broader strategy, aligning with the brand’s goals and objectives. This approach sets Maxperience apart by offering solutions that go beyond individual events, contributing to the brand’s sustained success and market positioning.
3. In just 5 years, Maxperience has worked with ace brands like Hero, Suzuki, Royal Enfield, Polaris, etc. and has shown tremendous growth. How do you plan to scale this up in the future?
We aspire to evolve into a comprehensive 360-degree marketing and event powerhouse, reaching new heights while solidifying our position as the premier experiential marketing agency in India. A significant part of our future strategy involves expanding our footprint within the motorsports industry. We aim to enhance awareness and engagement, positioning ourselves as a specialised marketing agency with unparalleled expertise in performance automobile products.
As we navigate the future, our commitment to pushing the boundaries of what’s achievable in the experiential marketing industry remains unwavering. While we embrace growth and innovation, our enduring passion for autosports and the exceptional experiences it brings will continue to be the driving force behind everything we do.
4. The experiential marketing segment experienced a growth of 8.2% in 2021 to $67.63 billion, according to PQ Media’s Global Experiential Marketing Forecast 2022-2026. What do you think are the key factors behind this growth?
I think the biggest factor contributing to this rapid growth of experiential marketing is the fact that the Indian consumers are becoming increasingly more aware and informed about the brands, products and services that they consume. They are putting more importance in the first-hand experience or loyal reviews from people they trust. In turn, their purchase decisions are heavily dependent on such experiences, especially in the premium category.
5. How do you think motorsports and auto events help the brands? Can they help brands from sectors other than automobiles as well?
Any time that consumers get to experience a product or a service, it builds a unique and favourable affinity in them towards that offering. This allows the brands to build a stronger trust level and establish an emotional connection with the consumers. This is, by far, one of the most significant USPs of experiential marketing. Such positive associations with the brand make for highly engaged consumers, who over a period of time become loyal advocates of the brand.
This advantage can very well be leveraged by brands from other sectors, especially auto ancillary brands offering tyres, batteries, etc. The increasing emphasis on premiumisation and performance products in various industries also makes these events a strategic platform for showcasing such offerings.
Globally, motorsports and auto events serve as significant platforms for brands to engage in Research and Development (R&D). These events facilitate research for enhancing products, components, performance, functionality and understanding audience perceptions. Further, considering that motorsports is the second-largest sport globally, it holds immense potential for brands beyond the automotive realm. In India, the burgeoning interest in performance automobiles and the luxury auto segment aligns with the rapid growth of motorsports. This presents an excellent opportunity for brands from various sectors to directly engage with the high net worth format.
6. We are almost in the new year, what are the trends that you envision in this sector in 2024?
I believe that 2024 is going to be the year of motorsports in India. The positive reception of events like MotoGP, the unfolding excitement of the Indian Supercross League, and the anticipation surrounding upcoming events and high-performance vehicles all contribute to making 2024 a pivotal year for motorsports-based experiential marketing.
Looking ahead, one of the predominant trends would be the EV sector going beyond commuter vehicles and stepping into performance vehicles in the near future. Another trend expected to take centre stage is the emphasis on brand communities. Brands such as Harley Davidson have successfully cultivated dedicated communities around their products, with consumers proudly and actively participating. Recognizing this trend, numerous brands are now investing in building robust consumer communities, which are poised to gain even greater prominence in the future. The shift towards community-driven marketing represents a departure from traditional strategies and underscores the evolving landscape of experiential marketing in the motorsports sector.