How Experiential Marketing Technology Improves Cause Marketing, How Live Events Accelerate Company Growth, & Finding Your Brand’s “Extreme Fans” (Elevate Connect)

Key Takeaways

  • Immersive tech like VR and AR allows brands and charities to promote empathy for causes by transporting consumers to experience their need through “first hand” experience.
  • The data continue to show that live events drive sales, making them a key amplifier of any brand’s growth strategy.
  • Influencers can be a powerful way to hyper-target your brand’s audience but identifying those “extreme fans” who already have a strong connection to your company could be a better bet.

Using Experiential Technology to Drive Cause-Driven Marketing

cause marketing

One of the reasons purpose-driven marketing has found such success is because it allows brands to make a difference in their communities (or the world), while at the same time demonstrate company values and connect with purpose-minded consumers. In fact, some say that aligning with a cause is a must, with 87% of consumers saying they prefer to associate with brands that are supportive of a good cause.

It’s important to note that cause marketing is often not as simple as donating money or time to a non-profit. Consumers are looking for brands to take a strong, authentic stance. To achieve this, some brands are turning to technology for assistance. From 360-degree VR experiences that transport city dwellers to remote areas to witness pollution in the ocean to an app that makes a game of picking up trash, technology provides endless opportunity. Check out Cramer’s recent blog post with more examples of how technology can be used to create empathy and do good.

Why Brands See Live Events as Exponential Growth Drivers

sobe mobile tourWhen Oculus launched what was to become their annual developers conference (Oculus Connect), virtual reality was still relatively new. Many of the 800 or so attendees were interested in the new technology, but they hadn’t thought about the vast array of benefits that VR could provide to businesses. Fast forward to 2018, and Oculus Connect 5 is gearing up to be bigger and better than ever. Open to both industry professionals and the public, the conference has become an important event for both developers and consumers.

It’s no surprise that proprietary events like Oculus Connect have become an integral part of marketing budgets for many brands. Despite requiring a large budget, these events allow brands to appeal to event hungry consumers and showcase their products, company culture, and more. As this Entrepreneur article points out, “brands use live events because they are an excellent channel through which marketers can achieve their annual goals.”

EA’s Event Producer Discusses the Challenges of Executing a Mammoth Esports Event

ea playGaming has taken on a whole new role in popular culture. It is no longer coveted by nerds, tech-geeks and kids. In fact, Playstation and Xbox’s largest customer base is between the ages of 25-34 years old. Knowing this, gaming producer heavyweight, Electronic Arts (EA) launched EA Play, an annual activation that connect fans directly with the brand.

To accomplish this is no easy feat. Especially when you consider the number of divisions and studios owned by EA (EA Sports alone includes FIFA Football, Madden NFL, NBA Live, etc.), there are an incredible number of interest to serve over the 3 days event. Not to mention the equipment and logistics associated with putting on an esports event. In a recent interview with Event Marketer, EA senior events producer, Corbin Bourne, discusses how EA met these challenges head on and found continued success. Check out the full interview here.

How to Elevate Your Next Experiential Campaign with AR


In 2015, Microsoft published a study that claimed that humans’ average attention span went from 12 seconds in 2000 to a mere 8 in 2013. Many believe this could be a result of the fact that people now can access anything, instantly. Everything is almost always easily delivered. From information to food, we have turned into a “right- now” society.

This same study also challenged marketers to get creative with how we capture engagement and interaction with consumers.  One solution is to use the very thing could be at the root of the shorter attention span phenomenon – technology. For example, the use of augmented reality (AR) in experiential by many big-name brands have proved successful in capturing the attention at the event with participants, and post-event via shared social media posts. This article provides some great examples for brands interested in using this tech for their events.

Why Extreme Fans Might Be More Effective than Influencers

extreme fans

Imagine for a moment, your favorite brands or products. Think about how you came to love them. Perhaps it was because they aligned with something that was important to you, like the environment or healthy living. You likely eagerly told people about the company and encouraged them to give them a try. Or maybe a brand you love was recommended by someone you knew or talked to, and their enthusiasm drove you to become a customer.

The power of endorsements is not lost on marketers. From celebrity endorsements to social media influencers, these techniques tend to deliver. However, in some cases, today’s consumers want more. Instead, they want transparency and relatability. This article in Adweek suggests that brands, rather than only focusing on influencer marketing, should instead look for extreme fans. The author argues that the fan is the ultimate influencer and provides several examples of how brands can tap this group.

Adidas Erects Venice Pavilion Replica to Pay Homage to Skateboarding and Street Art


The city of Venice Beach in Southern California is iconic. Tourist and locals alike consider Venice a must-visit to soak in the sun and the many “attractions.” It is the birthplace of major pop culture references, including body building at the original muscle beach. As the epitome of California beach culture, Venice was also the birthplace of street-style skateboarding, complete with ample street art and graffiti as a backdrop.

Adidas Skateboarding wanted to embrace the shared history of skateboarding and the graffiti art/beach culture by erecting a replica of Venice Pavilion, the legendary skateboarding site, in LA. The original pavilion was demolished in 2000, creating a sense of nostalgia for some and FOMO in others. Event Marketer covers the full event details here.

Experiential Marketing Makes Your Company Memorable

soap & glory For many brands, experiential marketing is a must. The ROI associated with face-to-face consumer engagement is tremendously high. According to Event Track, “Forty-eight percent of brands realize a ROI of between 3:1 to 5:1, and 29% indicated their return is over 10:1. Twelve percent say their ROI is 20:1 or higher.” But there is no one-size-fits-all campaign. The success of brand events requires careful, creative planning to ensure that the campaign aligns with the brand, budget and overall goals.

Brands must focus in on the “why” in order to figure out what type of experiential marketing tactic they should use, as pointed out in this Entrepreneur interview. The interview, with Adam McArthur, founder of The Booth & Bus Co., outlines what key approaches need to be taken before the planning process begins. McArthur also provides several suggestions on how to extend the larger ongoing conversation with consumers that experiential events are so good at starting.

Carlsberg Went Beyond Creative by Sampling Beer Caviar at World Cup


While the continued growth in experiential will no doubt improve both consumer experiences and brand outcomes, it also raises the added challenge of executing a unique brand activation. While simple experiential methods such as sampling continue to prove effective, with increased competition it is more important than ever to differentiate. Brands need to be creative in order to stand out in a loud space. This becomes especially important when marketing to a specific audience.

Case in point, beer brand Carlsberg had a tough challenge ahead of the World Cup. Many fans are drinking as much as they are cheering, and Carlsberg wanted to get in as a choice fans would gravitate towards. So instead of a standard product sampling, they got creative. They created a “caviar” – made from their beer. Through this eye-catching approach, Carlsberg not only had a uniqueness to their World Cup activation, it also brought the local Russian culture to the forefront.

Author: Elissa LiongElissa 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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