When you think about standout marketing, likely the first thing that pops into your mind this time of year are the Super Bowl ads. Many are still getting major playtime, but the ads wouldn’t have reached so many people if there weren’t an event that first drew in the audience. So what are some of the hot event and experiential marketing strategies that help draw people in and win long-term brand loyalty? Here’s what’s trending.
As more and more people jump on the social media bandwagon, brands are able to leverage it in more ways. Events are integrating social media into their fabric instead of just tacking a hashtag onto the rest of their strategy. Entire experiential concepts are being formed around the idea of social media because it allows for individuals to engage directly with the brand and create their own unique set of experiences. For example, there are now social media lounges at sporting events and interactive store displays triggered by social media hashtags.
Hit the Road
Instead of convincing the consumer to come to them, many companies are taking their product directly to the consumers. Pop-Up shops and road tours allow for brands to reach particular audiences in a wide-range of locations. This allows brands to target their marketing and their product more precisely to match a particular audience or location.
Being green isn’t just for Kermit anymore. “Green” events are becoming more and more relevant as people adopt more sustainable practices like providing recycling bins or ride sharing at an event or by using recycled materials. While this can draw a specific demographic, the greater benefit is that events that adopt sustainable practices give the brand a “green halo” and elevates a brand from a company to buy from to a company to trust.
Targeting the Kids
So they might not really be kids, but Millennials are becoming a focus for brands not just in events, but in marketing in general. Millennials are expected to spend 100 billion dollars on products in the next year. They’re also more likely to be loyal to a brand after they’ve formed a connection to it. As a result, one of the best ways to reach Millennials is through experiential marketing—it seals the connection.
Put Them First
Perhaps the biggest trend revolves around the people coming to your event. That may seem obvious, but it’s a relatively new concept. In the past, people have come to an event to experience whatever you’ve decided they’re going to experience: whether it is a speaker, product demonstration or presentation. Now, many brands are realizing that the best results come when an attendee can drive the conversation. Shaping the event around their experience and integrating the “attendee first” mindset into various elements of your programming will really make the difference in quality engagement.
There are a lot of logistics involved in event marketing and that can sometimes seem like an undertaking bigger than trying to shovel your car out from under sixteen inches of snow (which some of us in the Midwest have had to do recently). However, the undertaking will prove to be worth it because of the context-rich experiences the customer will have with your brand. They will feel something about you, they’ll remember you and most importantly they’ll be pre-disposed to choose you the next time they go to purchase.
The key is to find a way to involve your audience in the conversation. Position yourself so that your marketing strategy is more of an experience than a pitch. If your consumer wants to be involved and wants to associate with your brand, there will be no need then to sell them your product; instead, they’ll be asking for it.
Are there any event marketing trends that you’re seeing? Share @movecomm!