Using Brand Experiences to Drive Sales and Generate Leads, Experiential Bloopers to Avoid, & When to Live Stream Your Marketing Event (The White Board)

Key Takeaways

  • Live brand experiences are ideal for driving sales. Brands with a longer or more complex sales cycle like finance and real estate should use experiences for lead generation.
  • Live streaming can amplify a brand activation’s reach and ROI. But brands must use it at the right time, in the right way..
  • Mistakes in experiential marketing can be costly, both in resources and reputation. But through proactive approaches, brands can avoid missteps.

The Best Way to Generate Leads and Close the Sale

The age of the internet has allowed people to stay connected. From keeping in touch with childhood friends to direct contact with celebrities, we now connect with anyone, anywhere. And while we spend countless hours online, there is no replacement for in-person connections, especially when it comes to marketing. In fact, the data continue to show the power of face-to-face marketing, with 98% of event attendees reporting that, “assuming the product or service promoted was one they were interested in, participating at the event or experience made them more inclined to purchase.”

When it comes to creating a strong lead generation campaign for ad-resistant consumers, companies should look no further than brand experiences. As the data above shows, because these activations make consumers more likely to buy from a brand, they are also an optimal place to generate leads. This might be most appropriate for industries that require longer on-boarding, such as banking or finance. In addition, these events provide an opportunity for brands to build trust with consumers, furthering the likelihood of the sale. And to keep an activation running optimally, Elevate’s COO, Carina Filek suggests the key to success is through two components: the right people and the right technology.

How to Avoid these Experiential Marketing Disasters

The benefits of experiential marketing are clear. Regardless of budget size, these campaigns provide brands with an opportunity to have valuable face time with consumers. They let companies get creative and immerse consumers into a once-in-a-lifetime experience. But, as we know, sometimes the best-laid plans do not go as intended. Misses, such as a misguided concept or poorly-thought out execution, can lead to a brand experience that simply doesn’t work out. And sometimes, they can fall into the disaster category.

From Paramount Pictures ill-fated promotion of Mission Impossible III (which resulted in the real bomb squad being called) to Jägermeister’s poison pool (it sent 9 people to the hospital due to mixing the wrong chemicals), brand experiences can fumble. Here The Trade Group provides a list of experiential marketing bloopers, then takes a closer look at what went wrong to ensure no one else makes the same mistake.

To Live Stream or Not to Live Stream – Here is the Answer

It’s safe to say live streaming videos is popular. In fact, 80% of brand audiences prefer live video from a brand as opposed to reading a blog, and 82% prefer live video over a static social media post. This makes live streaming a significant value-add for experiential marketing activations.

Consider that 67% of live video viewers are more likely to attend an event that they’ve seen live streamed. With the small cost of creating a live feed (an internet connection and a device with which to record video), brands can easily amplify the ROI of their event. But not all events work for live streaming, as Becore points out. There are certain elements to consider before offering your event footage to the masses. Check out Becore’s blog post to learn when live streaming should be incorporated and how to do it well.

VR and Cocktails Lead Brand Activation at the US Open

For much of the world, June meant the kickoff of the World Cup and all the drama that surrounds it. But, June also brings the US Open, this year taking place at the Shinnecock Hills Golf Club in Long Island, NY. The United States Golf Association (USGA) estimated an economic impact of $130 million to Long island due to the tournament, as they expect more than 200,000 attendees. With this expansive reach, it’s no surprise that the Open sees global brands such as Deloitte, Lexus and American Express executing multi-faceted brand activations.

Deloitte Digital created several VR activations, one of which gave users a VR tour of key locations within this year’s Open. Lexus focused on delivering experiences in actual reality, with a golf simulator that assesses the attendee’s swing. Meanwhile, American Express created a space for attendees to get a little rest and relaxation.

Coach’s Art-Forward, Carnival-Inspired Adult Playground

One of the biggest names in luxury is Coach. Since its founding in 1941, it has built a name that is synonymous with high-end. Like other successful luxury brands, Coach created an empire by convincing consumers that their product is worth the price, not just in quality, but in name. Yet, in the modern consumer marketplace, luxury is experiencing an upset. The biggest brand names in high-end products are challenged in securing millennial and gen-Z consumers.

But, like Coach, many of these companies are bouncing back by investing in experiential to reach this target audience. Most recently, Coach went outside of their typical in-store experience and built a pop-up in New York. Coach’s goal was to reach the difficult-to-market-to millennials and create a pop-up that delivers a “woke” experience. The brand activation encouraged attendees’ self-expression with the goal of creating a connection to the brand.

Big CPGs Are Giving Retail Execution Another Try

If you were to go into any grocery store’s snack section, you’d see an ocean of products to choose from. And with the large number of new products hitting the market each year, it’s getting harder and harder for brands to stand out. Market saturation is leaving CPG brands of all sizes to decide how they want to differentiate their products.

Recently, new insights have lead big CPG brands such as Kraft Heinz and Kellogg to return to field sales, after reports began to show that shoppers are going back to the center isles. For many years, trends have shown consumers retreating to store perimeters in favor of specialty products. This article by Seth Nagle outlines the benefits of having an in-person presence to drive sales considering this new data.

Four Summer Event Marketing Trends to Look Forward To

Summer means school is out, the weather is warm, and people are more inclined to be vacationing and enjoying time outdoors. Even though there is no official “best time of year” to execute an experiential marketing campaign, for many brands, summer is a strong contender. Companies know to take advantage of the increase in foot traffic to drive interest in their activations. They also seem to take advantage of the fun summer mood to develop increasingly fun and interesting events.

Whether it’s a pop-up training/retail experience or a traveling beverage sampling/photo opp, the options are endless. But as endless as they are, we tend to see certain trends each year. This year, Soho Experiential predicts that some of this summer’s most popular events will be those that are active or food-centric. To learn more about their other predictions, click here.

Mountain Dew’s New Experiential Campaign at the NBA Draft

According to Nielsen, sports broadcasting in the United States has seen a decline in viewership. From a 30% year-over-year reduction for the World Series game to an 8% decrease in viewership of the Winter Olympic games, no sport seems to be safe. It could be argued that the reason for these drops result from the individual set of challenges each sport has seen. From the kneeling controversy in the NFL to FIFA corruption at the World Cup, sports have seen their sets of challenges. But whatever the reason, it’s important to note that this decline is not an indicator that there are fewer sports fans.

Today’s sports fans are still engaged and interested in attending the live version of the sport. For brands, this might mean pivoting their approach toward interactive sports sponsorships. Instead of producing commercials and digital marketing campaigns, live experiences will go much farther in reaching fans and connecting with them. Consider Mountain Dew’s approach. To kick off the NBA draft, the brand created a live event that included appearances by NBA players, samplings, and food trucks. Read more about how the soft drink company is converting basketball fans into brand ones.

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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