Today, virtually no industry is untouched by society’s relatively new-found ease in collecting and assimilating data. For decades, marketing decisions have been made based on the information that we’ve been able to gather about consumers, both online and in-person. Now, new technology has advanced our capabilities in this area exponentially. And in marketing, there is no richer place than a brand activation to harvest data of all types, from consumer make up to product and brand sentiment.
So now that event marketers have better information delivered with better speed and accuracy, it’s up to them to deliver better campaigns. A recent Chief Marketer panel gathered some of the biggest names from brands and agencies to discuss everything from live data collection to event engagement. They explain why data-driven decision-making applies across the board.
A few decades ago, video games rarely existed beyond the four walls that contained the screen on which they were played. Now, through technological advances fuelled by the online world, and now via live streaming, “video game play” is not what it used to be. It now has a name – esports – and the community is gaining popularity at an exponential rate. Whereas, during its infancy, esports tournaments were small, siloed events, now these mega-events are catching the attention of millions of people.
The momentum that esports has amassed and the eyeballs it attracts makes it difficult for brands to ignore. Much of this attention is through influencers who play games in front of millions via YouTube or streaming platforms like Twitch. But as esports grows, more fans are tuning into large-scale broadcasted tournaments. Any way you see it, there is tremendous marketing opportunity to be discovered. And as Tom Flanagan of Subnation and its parent company, Big Block, warns, “Now is not the time for brands to resist, over-analyze, or sit on the sidelines and watch. The speed at which this culture moves will ensure that it will not be there for your brand when you’re ‘ready’ for it.”
For some brands, experiential marketing is a tried and true consumer engagement tool. Many budgets contain a brand activation line item, either a few large pushes or a series of smaller ones. Whatever the goals and strategy, year-over-year more brands choosing experiences and there are proven results. But there are still holdouts. Some companies remain apprehensive about the impact and measurability of a brand experience and are comfortable focusing on digital.
In a Forbes article by We’re Magnetic agency President Jessica Reznick, by taking a closer look at the challenges surrounding brand activation, brands can be better equipped to leverage experiential. Reznick explains that not all events are created equal and sees “experiential” as a buzzword. She encourages companies to realize that any activation has to fit the brand personality. Check out the full article here.
Through face-to-face marketing, brands create unique and memorable experiences that consumers can share with their friends and family – in most cases by design. Yet, no matter how on-point your experience is, there can be negative unintended consequences. One of these is when attendees are idle. We live in a “right now” world and putting off gratification can be a struggle for many people. This means that brands need to be aware of low engagement points, such as waiting in line.
Brands can create another method of engagement by providing a pre-experience to keep consumers appeased as they await the main event. For LG, this came in the form of brand ambassadors, who showed queued guests a special “face swap” social app. Not only did this approach keep attendees engaged, it added a shareable moment that amplified the event.
From the personal interaction of door-to-door Avon sales reps to Sephora’s “beauty experts”, the cosmetics industry knows the power of experiences. Not only are the products perfect for sampling, beauty brands are stepping up their game. Many are incorporating wow-factors like technology tools that elevate the customer’s buying experience.
The most recent beauty brand to adapt technology is Covergirl. The company opened its first flagship store in New York city and pulled out all the stops. Located across two floors, the store embodies their motto, “I am what I make up.” The brand built the store with the intention of engaging customers through different mediums. Upon entering, shoppers are welcomed by an AI-powered greeter. Then, throughout the store, customers have the opportunity to use augmented reality to try new glam looks.
This holiday season, the United States is expected to spend about $1.1 trillion. While this includes both on and offline sales, it’s safe to say 2018 holiday spending will be healthy. These numbers are great news for brands, yet, the challenge is their earning a piece of this consumer spend.
There are many ways for companies to attract new customers this holiday season. Most often, it’s through discounts and special offers but, in recent years, brands are utilizing experiences as well. As this Inc. article best puts it, “the holidays are a great time for retailers to test unique ways to lure [new shoppers] to stores, especially since [they] may be easier to come by this time of year.”
Whether through paid ads, influencers, or growing an organic following, social media plays a pivotal part in most brand’s marketing strategy. In fact, not having a social media presence could potentially lead to consumer distrust of a brand. When we consider that in 2017 2.46 billion people were using social media over the average span of 2.25 hours per day, it’s safe to say that social media is a good way to connect with customers.
With the many benefits that social media provides, there are downsides. One is the way social media affects people. Social media tends to create a false sense of reality because people see what others are choosing to share, which is usually the “glam” and not necessarily the reality. Social media also perpetuates the disconnection from human interaction, which people inherently need. Knowing this, brands can benefit by creating an irl (in real life) experience that can break what can be a negative pattern within social media.
For much of our lives, museums have been thought of in the context of school field trip destinations or dull sites of interest your parents took you to. But the word “museum” has seen a transformation, in large part due to experience-driven museums that have been popping up in recent years.
According to this post by The Marketing Arm, the trend of experience museums was not an accident. By using the term “museum,” these experiences connotate education and cultural value. Creators of museums like the Museum of Ice cream were able to use this sentiment to take their experiences to a new level. The author of the post also points out that these experience museums follow similar tactics as interactive museums (like the California Science Center), such as engaging through sensations and interactions. The author points out that “these museums encourage us to rethink not only the degree to which people should be active participants in their own education.”