How to Choose the Right Event Staff, Tying Purpose-Driven Marketing into Events, & Trading Loyalty Program Points for Experiences (The White Board)

According to several studies, each year brands are committing more budget to experiential marketing. This increased investment shows that companies are buying in to the high returns that face-to-face marketing delivers. With this additional investment, getting experiences right is of the utmost importance to protect ROI. Beyond campaign design, one of the best things that brands can do to ensure their efforts are well-rewarded is have the right people represent their brand at each activation. The leading article in this week’s White Board news roundup breaks down two different event staff roles, and how to determine which is best for your activation. We also dive into the basics of event data, and how Citi incorporates giving back in their marketing efforts.

How to Determine the Right Event Staff Roles for Your Activation

Not all experiential events are created equal. In-person marketing strategies vary depending on industry, marketing objectives, target markets, location, featured products, and much more. Because of this, there is not a one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to finding the right event staff to engage attendees. Each brand needs to carefully consider what kind of staff they need for each unique activation.

For brands with a higher technical need, or for events that allow for demonstrations or longer face time, you might consider a product specialist. Specially-trained staff can help bridge the gap of understanding and allay any concerns that consumers may have right off the bat. As Elevate’s own Global COO puts it, “(product specialists) will understand the nuances of each product and be able to answer questions related to its history.” For a detailed assessment on what people will work best for your unique activation, read on.

Citi Uses Purpose-Driven Marketing to Make a Difference in the Lives of Kids

It can be argued that cause, or purpose-driven, marketing is one of the best current marketing trends. Outside of doing good in the world, purpose-driven marketing is an extremely effective way to connect with consumers. Consider the fact that fifty percent of consumers identify themselves as belief-driven buyers. In a time where brand loyalty is a hard thing to come by, smart brands are combining their passion for philanthropy with consumer outreach and marketing.

When it comes to planning a cause-focused experiential event, there is quite a bit to consider. One example of a brand that has consistently been successful in executing these types of initiatives is Citi. For the fourth year in a row, the brand worked alongside nonprofit Share Our Strength to produce the Taste of the Nation. With the help of Citi, the No Kid Hungry Campaign was able to tell its story and bring together some of New York’s best local food, wine and mixology experts. Knowing the appeal of food images posted on social media, Citi encouraged attendees to use #CitiGiving, which amplified the event and built anticipation for events to follow.

Event Data 101: What to Gather and How

Data is what marketers live for. Which is why, for many brands, one primary concern is how to measure event ROI. It can be difficult to know which information should be obtained, the best methods with which to gather it, and how to apply that data against marketing objectives and future events. When it comes to a brand experience, it is important to not only gather the right information but do so in a way that is not obtrusive or inconvenient for attendees.

A recent post by Elevate client Becore explores several types of data that can be collectedduring most experiential marketing events. The author asserts that, “by their very nature as events, these engagements generate reams of invaluable data points on attendee behavior and event effectiveness. Every action and lack thereof is valuable as information. What they say, what they do, where they go, that is transforming experiential marketing.” The author then breaks down event data into three categories: technical, behavioral, and contextual. Read the full post here.

Samsung 837, the Brand’s Experiential Hub in NYC, Succeeds in its Mission

In early 2016, Samsung announced the opening of their very first flagship experiential center, known as Samsung 837. A “Marketing Center of Excellence,” the vision was to create a living lab and digital playground for Samsung to share with their consumers in New York. The space allows consumers to get a first-hand experience with some of Samsung’s newest and most popular products, while providing access to a customer care team.

As they come up on their second year, Brand Channel interviewed Zach Overton, Samsung’s VP of Customer Experience and General Manager. The interview covers topics such as who comes through Samsung 837, the other brands that partner with Samsung to execute experiences in the space, and how Samsung 837 continues to innovate to keep consumers excited about the project.

Moving Budget Away from Line Items and Into Experiences

It is common knowledge that to build a brand, you need to spend money. Almost every company has budget line items for sales, branding, marketing, and more. Yet, sometimes these categories are based on habit, not data. Often marketing spending is automatically allotted to certain strategies such as digital marketing, whether that be paid ads or social media. The rest might go to traditional advertising, such as media and print. But, as this article from AdWeek asserts, “The Mad Men fantasy for advertising is over. You’ll never have enough dollars to buy enough customers. But you can win them with experiences.”

What if brands shifted the way they approach their marketing budget and created a line item for experiential? That’s the argument that David Clark, chief global experience officer at PwC makes. He goes further to explain that “experience isn’t just one thing.” It encompasses all parts of a business. Focusing on brand activation can help drive a brand forward by providing what modern consumers want most: a positive experience.

Campaign’s Preview of the Best in World Cup Brand Activation

To say the World Cup is a big deal is an understatement. During the 2014 final match, an estimated 400 million viewers tuned in to watch the game. Not to mention that each of the 63 games that led up to the final had a viewership equal to that of the Super Bowl. Given these numbers, it’s no surprise that brands covet the opportunity to reach such a large and eager audience.

As we countdown the days to the next tournament, brands are already starting their World Cup campaigns. Icelandic Air launched an experiential campaign to celebrate and cheer on the country’s national team, who will be making their very first appearance on the world stage. Companies such as Budweiser and New Balance are also getting into the action. Here Campaign lists some of the companies that have already thrown their hats into the World Cup ring.

Putting Wellness, Experience and Convenience at the Forefront

In most industries, the competitive landscape has been growing steadily over the past several years. In addition to the rise of digital commerce and other disruptive elements, outside forces such as the recession have affected consumer buying habits. Yet, in any environment, it is critical that brands adapt as it relates to both what they sell and how they sell it.

This article makes the argument that brands that support wellness, experience and convenience will see the most success with the modern consumer. These elements create and maintain authenticity, which is an important quality that many consumers now look for in brands. As Emily Hamilton, senior brand experience marketing manager at FRCH Design Worldwide, puts it, “whatever you decide, it must be authentic, make sense and elevate your brand.”

Why Loyalty Incentives are Moving Toward Experiences as Rewards

Loyalty incentives are a smart way for brands to engage with customers while maintaining and nurturing brand affinity. In fact, 71% of consumers say that participation in a loyalty incentive is a meaningful part of their relationship with a brand, and are likely to recommend a brand with a good loyalty incentive structure. But not all loyalty structures are equal. Some are more effective than others, and many brands are discovering success by changing their model toward experiential.

By allowing their consumers to trade in points for experiences, brands see several benefits. One, consumers crave experiences over material things, so these rewards can often have a more significant impact in furthering the brand relationship. Second, these allow brands to capture data surrounding buying patterns and preferences to deliver better products, services, and customer experiences. Read more to learn how adding this hands-on element to loyalty incentives can result in better rewards for both the brand and the customer.

Author: Elissa Liong

Elissa Liong is the Data and Analytics Manager at Elevate Staffing. She's a certain kind of particular, and loves thinking about all things data and insights. When she's not uncovering consumer insights and building out engagement tools that people love, she is probably at the gym or reading online spoilers about TV shows (even for episodes she hasn’t watched yet).

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