Creating Experiential Marketing Events that Encourage Sharing, the Power of Demos, and How Top Experiential Marketers Measure Success (The White Board)

Experiential marketing events excel in achieving several marketing objectives. According to Event Tack 2015, brands listed top event and experiential marketing goals as increasing/creating brand awareness, driving sales, and enhancing product knowledge and understanding. Yet, the next year, the study’s focus shifted. The new study was titled “The Experiential Marketing Content Bench Marking Report: How brands and consumers use events as content generators.” With this new focus, Event Track 2016 explored yet another experiential strong suit: creating and distributing high-quality content.

The Elevate White Board features an article that discusses how brands can create share-worthy events. We’re also featuring two articles written by Elevate leadership. The first, published in Field Marketing magazine, was written by our Managing Partner, Carina Filek, and explores the power of product demos. The next, published in Entrepreneur, covers 5 ways freelancers can excel in the gig economy, written by Kelly Springs-Kelley, Elevate Marketing Director.

 

Experiential Marketing Events that Attendees Want to Share

As mentioned above, the experiential industry’s premier annual study, Event Track, dedicated the 2016 report to experiential as a content generator. The study found several compelling statistics, yet led with a head-turner. According to the research, “nearly all consumers (98%) create or capture some type of content at events and experiences – and all consumers (100%) that create content, then share it.”

But, on the brand side, there was a disconnect. The report went on to say that, “while event content is clearly important to consumers, only 35% of brands say they always capture or create content related to their experiential marketing programs, and an additional 33% of brands say they frequently create content.” With this disparity, one thing is clear. Brands need to capitalize on this highly-valuable word-of-mouth advertising by creating events that are sharable. Here are 6 tips for brands to do just that.

 

The Power of Demos – and the People Who Deliver Them

While experiential continues to evolve, there are certain aspects of face-to-face marketing that have stood the test of time. Two of these tactics are product demonstration and sampling. While many brands use this strategy, no company had doubled down on getting products in consumers’ hands more than Costco. And there is a great reason. The Atlantic reported a few years ago that “beer samples at many national retailers on average boosted sales by 71 percent, and its samples of frozen pizza increased sales by 600 percent.” These sky-high returns also increased sales for wine and cosmetics, at 300 percent and 500 percent, respectively.

In a guest blog for Field Marketing magazine, Elevate’s Managing Partner, Carina Filek, makes clear that, to achieve optimal results for these campaigns, it’s also critical to have the right people on the front lines.

 

How Smart Freelancers Stay Successful in the Gig Economy

Here at Elevate, we are passionate about pairing the best staff in the industry with the brands that they can deliver for. Through careful recruiting, vetting, and training, we find the people that bring brand experiences to life. Due to the nature of the industry, we hire our staff on a variable basis. And, while they are classified as W-2 employees, they are also considered “gig” workers.

We have a very up-close view of the gig economy as it relates to both W-2 variable hour employees as well as freelancers. We fill thousands of positions each year, and have a keen understanding of what success looks like for those who work gigs. In this article published in Entrepreneur, Elevate Marketing Director Kelly Springs-Kelley takes our years of experience and translates them into 5 tips on how temporary workers can stay competitive in the gig economy.

 

Why a Conference is a Great Experiential Marketing Opportunity

Many brands are getting creative as it relates to executing experiential marketing events. The discipline includes several ways in which companies engage with their audience, from new technologies to unique venues. And, while a conference might not be a “unique” venue, it isn’t a location that is typically front of mind when designing experiential campaigns.

But, as the article argues, that omission could be a missed opportunity. The author points out that, “the (conference) organizers have booked the venue, promoted the event, and invited people who are interested in what your business is selling.” Having a segmented, captive audience pre-assembled presents an attractive opportunity. Here Factory 360 gives the why and how in hosting a successful experiential event during a conference.

 

How Experiential Marketing Leaders Measure Success

Across the world, experiential marketing events continue to gain in both strength and popularity. As data surrounding experiential effectiveness circulates, more companies are executing brand activations. Yet, experiential is nothing new. There are several industry leaders both on the brand and agency side that continue to execute exceptional campaigns. These experiential marketing leaders are experts not only in wowing attendees, but in proving event ROI.

In the article, Limelight interviews 13 top experiential leaders to gather intel on how they are designing events, and which KPIs they are measuring to determine success. Having executed events for companies like Google, Nike, Facebook, and more, you’ll want to hear what they have to say.

Understanding Psychology to Design a Successful Event

Often, we tend to believe our decision-making is sound, and that we pour over key information to come to conclusions. But science has proven otherwise. Studies show that “contrary to what most of us would like to believe, decision-making may be a process handled to a large extent by unconscious mental activity.”

We, as human beings, are dependent on elements beyond our conscious control. And, as marketers, we are well tuned in to that fact. Designing experiential marketing events that speak to the unconscious preferences and inclinations of consumers provides both a more enjoyable and more effective event. From reciprocity to loss aversion, here are tips to help navigate the psychology of your customers and improve your experiential efforts.

 

As we mentioned above, experiential marketing has been evolving. The very nature of experiential marketing lies in the brand experience. Within that, brands recognize the immense flexibility and opportunity that this allows them.

Some brands choose to incorporate a multitude of channels and engagement tactics, both physical and digital. At the same time, some brands are monetizing events, seeing experiential as a way to drive revenue. This can be especially beneficial in helping companies combat seasonality, or take advantage of an event or time of year. The Atlantic explores the history of the popup, and why it has gone from “scrappy entrepreneurialism” to a mainstream marketing tactic that attracts small and massive brands alike.

 

How Hospitality Experiences Have Changed to Drive Brand Loyalty

Traditionally, brands have designed hospitality experiences to provide customers or key clients with a pleasant experience courtesy of the company. As Event Marketer points out, “the setup, usually part of a sports sponsorship, generally included a few beers and bites under a sad white tent, and when the game ended, so did the brand engagement.” But no more.

Companies are looking for ways to maximize spend and, in this case, tying a full-scale brand experience on to these simple efforts makes sense. Adding brand experiences helps to educate consumers about the brand, build brand loyalty, and capitalize on the fear of missing out (FOMO). The article lists several ways that top brands like Under Armor and Citi have taken hospitality experiences to the nth degree for maximum impact.

 

Author: Kelly Springs-Kelley

Kelly Springs-Kelley is the Marketing Director at Elevate Staffing. When she's not creating content or pondering the future of in-person consumer engagement, Kelly can be found hiking the mountains of Arizona with her 2 kids and 3 dogs.

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