The Excellent Advantages Of Promotional Giveaways

 

A great article by Self Growth giving points on how promotional items are a great resource.

The Excellent Advantages Of Promotional Giveaways

Promotional giveaways can really help you in attracting customers during trade fairs and for promoting events organized by the company. These items are distributed free of cost as a tool for promoting the company and grabbing the attention of prospective clients. They also help you in developing good relations with the public and your business clients. There are various different items that you can use as giveawaysbut you must surely keep your budget in mind before selecting them. The promotional giveaway makes the customer aware of your company and it also helps in keeping you ahead of all your competitors.

So, now let us discuss about the various great advantages that promotional giveaways can provide to your business enterprise.

1. An affordable option
Using promotional giveaways is a very affordable option for you as they do not cost you a large sum of money. It is a great way through which you can advertize your brand without having to spend a huge amount of money on TV commercials. You can use pensbagst-shirtspicnic plates and various other items as promotional tools and can present them to your customers and clients free of cost.

2. Targeting your specific audience
Proving giveaways is a great way through which you can grab the attention and loyalty of your target audience. For attracting a specific group of people, you need to order giveaways that are suitable for your event. Giveaways should be something that are useful and would make the audience feel happy to get them. Trade shows are the best places where you can distribute these products and earn laurels from your loyal customers.

3. A fun way to achieve success in your business venture
Distributing giveaways is a fun way through which you can please your customers as well as your employees and partners. It is a great way of advertising as it creates brand awareness and loyalty. This tool eventually results in increased sales as more and more people are attracted towards your company.

4. Leaving a lasting impression
You can really leave a lasting impression on the minds of your clients and employees by giving them the promotional giveaways. Your guests, clients, customers and employees would surely remember the great items that you give them during events, tradeshows, meetings and organizations.

These products would really help your company in the long run. So, what are you waiting for, just purchase great promotional giveaways and attract all prospective buyers and customers.

5 Extreme Personalization Examples That Actually Worked

 

We know that the more narrowly our marketing is focused, the more likely people are to respond. The most extreme version of this is 1-to-1 marketing, which while effective, is not really scalable.

Through creativity and technology, however, several companies have been able to utilize extreme personalization at scale, and in doing so, redefine their industries. Today, we’ll be looking at these companies and analyzing 5 extreme personalization examples that actually worked.

Personalization Example #1 – Ayogo Gamifies Personal Health

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The World Health Organization recently observed that more people will benefit if they follow doctor prescriptions seriously rather than focusing on development of new therapies.

In fact, in the North America and the U.S. alone, over $314B is spent on medication non-compliance – more than what is spent on cancer, heart disease, and diabetes put together.

Enter Michael Fergusson, CEO of Ayogo. The company has designed a platform called Empower that focuses on bringing about behavioral changes in patients through gamifications.

The Execution

Ayogo’s objective while designing Empower was to encourage users to take their prescriptions seriously. While patients typically care enough about their health to visit doctors when something is noticeably wrong, that motivation tends to fall off the longer they are removed from their last doctor’s visit.

In attempt to combat this and help lead people towards better health, Ayogo developed games that have successfully prompted behavioral changes in patients, The Empower app lets users create personalized avatars that symbolize their goals and aspirations. Once the patients get their visual avatar up and running, games and virtual coaching services are available.

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One of the best features of the app is that it takes into account patient-to-patient networking as part of its gamification process. This has facilitated better health outcomes during various clinical trials.

The Empower™ platform is currently being adapted for patients suffering from type 2 Diabetes, Obesity & Bariatric surgery preparation, insomnia, and illnesses subject to injection fatigue.

The Data

  1. In a 3rd party clinical trial , 60% of patients preparing for Bariatric surgery used the app to engage twice per day for 12 weeks. The app also helped patients easily adjust to life after their Bariatric surgery.
  2. Patients playing one weight loss game lost 17.3lbs over 12 weeks, vs just 8lbs by the control group. App users also kept the weight off for a longer period.

Actionable Advice

Gamification has become a popular and highly effective way to drive engagement, and it’s often most successful in ways you would least expect. If you can find a way to gamify a typically unenjoyable activity for your customers, not only will you improve engagement and conversion rates, but you will also differentiate your brand by leaps and bounds.

Personalization Example #2 – Coca-Cola Has A Bottle For Everyone

With Australia being one of the world’s more developed markets, growth is tough.

No doubt, Coco Cola has been applying every trick in the book  to capture the attention of the audience through campaigns such as “Bottle Blast” and all; however, the company never got the required traction. Partly because the Coke campaign had become extremely predictable and mostly because the Australian youth found it hard to relate to a big and iconic brand like Coca Cola. Australians are egalitarian by nature and they really like to cut people to size if anyone seemed too big for their boots.

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The Execution

A campaign called “Share a Coke” was born that spoke to the Australian youth at eye level.  The campaign’s USP was that it swapped Coke’s branding on bottles and cans with the 150 most popular first names in Australia. When customers saw their name on the coke bottles, it created a personalized experience, even though these bottles were still mass produced.

The campaign was a big hit that summer, with Coke selling over 250 million bottles and cans and expanding the campaign into more than 70 countries. Teams in Britain, Turkey and China put their own creative spins on the concept, while preserving the simple invitation to “Share a Coke with (insert name).”

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Actionable Advice

What makes Coke’s campaign so brilliant is that it combines personalization AND automation. By selecting the top 150 names, they created essentially 1-to-1 connections with millions of customers without actually needing to market 1-to-1. When someone saw a coke with their spouse’s name on it, purchased it, and presented it to that spouse, it made for a personally entertaining moment in a way you’d never expect from a soda product.

Look for innovative ways to create a more personal perception even if you are still running a high volume campaign.

Personalization Example #3 – Zappos Has Extreme Customer Service

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In the interconnected, high-feedback landscape of today’s markets, customer services has become a primary selling point for brands. As per a Walker study report, customer experience is set to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator in the next few years.

Zappos, an online shoe and clothing company, has taken advantage of this shifting landscape by turning customer service into an art form.

In 1999, when Zappos founder Nick Swinmurn was scouting for a good pair of shoes in a mall in San Francisco, he failed to find anything he liked. One shop had the right style. Another had the right color. The third had the right fit.

Disappointed, he went home and searched online for shoes. But then again, he found there were no major online retailer selling specialized shoes.

So in 1999, Nick decided to quit his day job and start an online shoe retail business.  In June 1999, ShoeSite.com was born, later converted to Zappos (Spanish word for ‘shoes).

The Execution

Zappos, today an Amazon subsidiary, is one company that goes to extremes to please customers. The company not only offers a wide range of shoes, but also offers free shipping both ways. So if a customer has to return shoes, they can do so freely. Some customers will even order 5 or so pairs of shoes, try them all, and then return the ones they don’t like at no charge.

If that weren’t enough, the company also has an unheard of 365-day return policy backed by a full refund.

But Zappos didn’t stop there. In 2004, they relocated from San Francisco to Las Vegas with the goal of building a large, high-caliber team of phone-based customer care specialists. This shift was a little surprising considering that only 5% of the sales happened through the phone.

Justifying the act, in an HBR article, Zappos founder Nick Swinmurn said: “We receive thousands of phone calls and e-mails every day, and we view each one as an opportunity to build the Zappos brand into being about the very best customer service.”

Here’s Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s take on the same:  

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Even the company’s website real estate highly focuses on data gathering and reviews.  This case study doesn’t exactly reveal how much the company benefited from the above customization policies, but the fact is there are companies that succeed by putting customers at the core of their business.

Here’s Tony Hsieh’s take on his company’s extreme personalization strategies  

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The Data

With year over year growth fueled by their commitment to customer service, Zappos ended up selling to Amazon in 2009 as part of a nearly Billion dollar buyout.

Actionable Advice

Customer attention is incredibly important and criminally under-emphasized. It is FAR easier to retain customers than it is to create new ones, and past customers will buy more from you when you launch new products or services. It’s easy to take customers for granted as you move on to the next sale, but you should be investing as much time (if not more) enhancing the experience for your existing customers as you do on sales or lead generation.

Personalization Example #4 – Popcorn Metrics Uses 1-to-1 Onboarding 

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Onboarding is one of the most critical parts of the SaaS business model.

When Popcorn Meterics launched, it offered a low-cost product with a 30-day free trial to drive new users. And while initial signups were strong, very few users were converting at the end of the free trial.

The Execution  

The company decided to overhaul its onboarding process. While the original process was focused on automation and run primarily via automated emails, the new process offered a more personalized experience that included interviews, Skype chats, videos, and tutorials.

The Data

The new onboarding process was an incredibly strong success for the business, increasing total sales by 367% in just 12 weeks time.

Actionable Advice

User boarding is an important part of the sales funnel, and while automation might be a priority for you, including personal points of connection can significantly increase the way users respond to your offers and engage with your product.

Personalization Example #5 – Netflix Uses Algorithms To Recommend Videos

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Netlflix has always focused on the user experience, and after adding the digital portion of their service, that focus began searching for ways to enhance personalization. With an ever-expanding digital catalog, the company was struggling to display the right content to its 57 million users while simultaneously allowing them to search out and discover new content for themselves.

Agreed, similar problems are faced by news sites, search engines and online stores as well. But then, Netflix had to deal with different sets of problems as well, such as interface constraints and here in this case, it’s about movies and TV as opposed to other media.

The Execution  

In addition to creating a specialized algorithm to send personalized content to users, Netflix also created a new dashboard layout that allowed users to scroll left to right to view additional titles within a category, or scroll up and down to browse various categories chosen based on their viewing habits. The new layout gave users greater control in browsing new titles without sacrificing navigational simplicity.

 

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The Data

While we have no way of knowing exactly how influential this improved UI has been to Netflix’s continued growth, their stock has tripled over the last three years, which indicates their overall approach to the customer’s experience is paying off.

Actionable Advice

One key takeaway here is that Netflix understands its audience’s different needs. They’ve identified three separate ways users want to engage with the platform, and they’ve found a way to provide intuitive paths for all three purposes using personalization.

Sometimes users want to search for a specific title they’ve heard about. This activity needs to happen fast, and Netflix provides access to their search with just a single button click.

Often, users simply want to resume shows they are in the middle of watching, and Netflix has made this easy by including “My List” front and center when you login.

Finally, sometimes users just want to browse new titles and explore new shows, and Netflix answers this with an intuitive layout and navigation built around personalized content.

Conclusion

From the above case studies you would have easily figured out that personalization or extreme personalization is not industry-specific.

You could apply to any industry. The only thing that one needs to keep in mind is to study your target audience  inside-out before you go ahead and apply them.

What other extreme personalization case studies you are aware of?

Let me know with a quick comment.

 

Jini Maxin is a senior writer at OpenXcell – a top Mobile App Development Company. She has a masters degree in Journalism and Mass Communications and is a frequent contributor to several online publications and websites. Her favorite pastimes include reading books (fiction & non-fiction both) and introspecting. Get in touch with her on Linkedin and Twitter.

The Best Experiential Marketing at Coachella 2017

https://www.eventprostrategies.com/the-best-experiential-marketing-at-coachella-2017/

 

best experiential marketing

“It’s pretty much the most important festival in the country. It’s one of the rare instances when all of the celebrities, influencers and other musicians are watching, and their voices are amplified through social media.”  – G-Eazy, Coachella 2016 performer

There’s no music festival that incites as much FOMO as Coachella. It doesn’t matter if you’re actively seeking out its news and images or not. Anyone online at any time during its two weekends is going to get his or her share of the music festival. From celebrities to socialites to everyday people, attendees of all kinds are eager to let us in on their experiences. What they’re doing and what they’re wearing is what those not lucky enough to be there want to know. Then there are the brand experiences. And don’t worry – companies are delivering.

Some brands are sponsoring celebrities and influencers, making them brand ambassadors. And, others are serving up experiences attendees aren’t soon to forget. No matter the means, one article best sums up marketers’ goals. “Studies have found millennials – the demographic buying up tickets to the sold-out festival – are more prone to FOMO.” So, they are “more likely to form connections to brands that allow them to share unique interactions with their envious friends at home.” In short, the right support of Coachella and its approximate 250,000 attendees can yield great ROI and return on engagement (ROE) for smart brands. This is especially true for those with the best experiential marketing activations. 

The Battle for the Best Experiential Marketing Campaign

Music festivals everywhere are stepping up to the challenge to give ticket holders an experience above and beyond the main stage. And, it’s this initiative that makes Coachella a standout among its rivals. The festival brings the best of food, drink, art and music. And, it demonstrates its commitment to sustainability in unique ways. It’s even turned recycling into an activity that earns attendees festival apparel and VIP upgrades.

This experience is what matters most to millennials. In fact, almost 75% “say they would purchase an experience rather than a product.” They find experiences “more satisfying than material purchases.” Yet, a quick Google search on Coachella 2017 results in article after article about increasing corporate sponsorship. This makes it more important than ever for brands to stand out. And, many deserve a standing ovation for their 2017 event efforts.

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3 Brands with Experiential Star Power at Coachella 2017

The following three brands brought their best experiential marketing campaigns to Coachella. And, we’re sure to see their ideas pave the way for future music festivals and other activations.

1. HP delivers a cool, out-of-body experience.

In the middle of the desert, attendees sought refuge from the heat in “The Antarctic,” an 11,000 square-foot projection dome. Once inside, guests enjoyed air conditioning and cushy seating, courtesy of Coachella sponsor HP. But, that wasn’t the dome’s main attraction. It was the 360-degree audio-visual sensory experience instead.

The digital show, reminiscent of a kaleidoscope, took participants on an incredible journey in the desert. Then, they moved through space and within the human body. Variety deemed “the mind-bending experience” the “most innovative art installation at the fest.” And, it may be “a sign” of the new norm for art in the age of millennials. Yet, it wasn’t just about the art. The company put its technology to work, too.

Visitors to The Antarctic could alter the dome’s display via HP’s OMEN X gaming desktop. They could also design their own kaleidoscope, using the HP Inking Laser Show, which launched at the festival to lure students and creative art pros. These efforts were only half of the brand’s activations. But, all components let consumers get hands-on with the products and immerse in experiences sure to leave a mark.

2. H&M brings the other “cool” to the desert.

Coachella is synonymous with fashion. So, brands are capitalizing on that in the weeks leading up to the event. In fact, numbers show eight out of 10 attendees bought shoes and/or clothes pre-Coachella to complete their festival look. And, H&M is an obvious go-to.

The ever-popular fashion retailer entered its eighth year as a Coachella sponsor with the”H&M Loves Coachella” campaign. Two months before the festival’s start, it launched photos of top influencers wearing a line specific to Coachella. Then, efforts continued on-site with an interactive tent that mimicked the scene of the photo shoot. To do so, the tent featured three distinct areas – a garage, living room and patio.

Inside, visitors had access to a plethora of experiences. For example, the garage held a video booth where attendees could capture themselves on film. This room also served to reinforce H&M’s commitment to sustainability by urging guests to recycle their clothing. In the living room, they could use three backdrops for unbelievable photos, including a mountain peak and suspended clouds. As the main attraction, individuals got “the illusion of being sky high,” a photo likely to draw some attention on social media.

The experience culminated on the patio with a pop-up shop for the “H&M Loves Coachella” collection. Guests could buy items on iPads, while they charged their phones and refilled their water bottles. This gave them reason to linger with H&M a bit longer, creating more opportunities to post photos using the brand’s custom hashtag for enhanced ROE.

3. CIROC went where the cool people party.

Coachella official sponsors Absolut and Cupcake Vineyards did their best experiential marketing on-site. But, the fact is, many people come to Coachella Valley and its nearby areas, forgoing the festival and choosing to attend parties. These soirees are often by invite only, furthering the general public’s feeling of FOMO. And, it’s how other alcohol brands gain from Coachella’s popularity. One of which was premium vodka brand CIROC.

To launch its latest flavor, Summer Colada, CIROC took over the Hard Rock Hotel in Palm Springs. The weekend began with influencers getting a taste of the new beverage in summer-inspired cocktails. Then, the brand threw an exclusive pool party, hosted by R&B singer Jhene Aiko, with music by DJ Kitty Cash. This drew celebs, like Ashley Greene, Evan Ross and Ashlee Simpson, to the hot spot.

The brand also made sure to be present at other hot gatherings throughout the festival. This included the Revolve Festival Party, hosted by online fashion retailer, REVOLVE. AOL reported it a “star-studded party where celebrities lounged poolside, sipping on CIROC’s Summer Colada.” Famous guests included Nicole Richie and Kendall Jenner, “alongside a bevy of social media influencers and bloggers.” It’s obvious CIROC knows how to combine the power of influencers and experiential marketing, proving product sampling can go a long way.

 

Since 1999, EPS has helped countless brands execute experiential marketing at festivals of all kinds. From Coachella to SXSW, our field teams have demonstrated the skills and expertise to wow attendees time and again. Let EPS handle staffing so your next event is your brand’s best experiential marketing effort yet.

About Jessica Catignani

Jessica Catignani is a Nashville area-based writer with over a decade of experience penning content and copy for dozens of businesses, as well as for national publications. Her previous professional work also includes marketing, event planning and retail management. All of this combined gives her a solid foundation for research and reporting on what matters most to the clients of EventPro Strategies (EPS).

15 of Marketing’s Most Memorable Experiential Moves

https://adage.com/article/agency-news/15-marketing-s-memorable-experiential-moves/291975/

 

20th Century Fox: “The Simpsons Kwik-E Mart”
In 2007, 20th Century Fox hyped the release of “The Simpsons Movie” by bringing Kwik-E-Mart convenience stores to the real world. The studio partnered with 7-Eleven and its agency Tracy Locke to transform a dozen stores into their “Simpsons” counterpart. The shelves even boasted familiar treats like pink sprinkled doughnuts, Buzz cola and Krusty-Os cereal.

TNT: “Push to Add Drama”
This effort from Belgian agency Duval Guillaume forever raised the bar for stunts. In 2012, in a sleepy Belgian town square, passersby encountered a mysterious red button labeled “Push to Add Drama.” Those who bit unleashed havoc on the streets in the form of ambulances, fist fights and gunshots — all in an effort to promote the channel’s “Daily Dose of Drama.”

TNT: “Ewing Energies”
On the other side of the Atlantic, TNT set out to promote the third season of “Dallas” last month by installing the first Ewing Energies flagship gas station in Manhattan — with prices set to kill the competition at $1.98 a gallon. Located at 10th Avenue and 37th street in New York, the station was open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Feb. 24, the day of the season premiere. One of the show’s stars, Josh Henderson, even stopped by for a visit.

Selfridges: “No Noise” 
Last year, British retailer Selfridges launched an unusual campaign via agency 18 Feet and Rising to celebrate the “power of quiet.” When founder Harry Gordon Selfridge opened the shop in 1909, it included a “Silence Room” where customers could get respite from the shopping storm. “No Noise” translated that idea into a host of initiatives, including a silence room designed by architect Alex Cochrane as well as “The Quiet Shop.” The boutique featured carefully curated products from brands such as Levi’s, and Marmite, which agreed to remove the “loud” logos that adorn their products for more minimalist labeling.

MGM: “Carrie: A Telekinetic Coffee Shop Surprise
Agency Thinkmodo is behind some of the most entertaining and passed-around experiential videos, including this recent effort to promote MGM’s remake of “Carrie” last year. Patrons of a coffee shop witnessed a young woman send a man up the side of a brick wall with a flick of her hand after he accidentally spilled his coffee on her laptop — a “real world” example of the telekinetic rage that drives the film’s title character.

Red Bull: “Stratos”
Red Bull outextremed itself when it sent skydiver Felix Baumgartner on the world’s highest skydive — from 24 miles above Earth. Red Bull announced the effort at the beginning of 2010 and on Oct. 14, 2012, Mr. Baumgartner made his leap. It became one of the most-talked-about events of the year — clips of the feat even served as the intro and finale to Google‘s annual zeitgeist video.

Nike: “Chalkbot”
One of the most celebrated examples of technology-meets-the real world, Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, Ore., Deeplocal and Standard Robot in 2009 created a roving vehicle that imprinted messages of hope sent by tweeters along the route of the Tour de France. It also snapped images of those chalk notes and sent them to those who tweeted them. Meant to promote Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong, the effort led to a 46% increase in apparel sales for the organization. And although the reputation of its founder later crashed, Chalkbot remains a landmark experiential effort.

HBO: “Voyeur”
The cornerstone of this 2007 multiplatform campaign from BBDO, New York, was a “Rear Window”-style film that gave a peek into the interconnected lives of various apartment dwellers. The film, directed by RSA‘s Jake Scott, was projected onto the facade of a New York building, giving onlookers a true sense of voyeurism. The effort was designed to assert HBO’s position as a storyteller like no other.

Hot Outdoor Advertisers
This year, Coca-Cola, the Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and charity Caritas created bus shelters that warm shivering commuters in wintry climes while promoting brand messages. Coke brought “happiness” to the frigid in Sweden; Fort Lauderdale reminded New Yorkers that they could be wearing bikinis elsewhere; and Caritas showed how far donations could go to providing comfort for others.

Gatorade: “Replay”
Gatorade and agency TBWA/Chiat/Day Los Angeles teamed up in 2009 to give rival high-school football teams the chance to replay their final senior-year game — 15 years after the showdown ended in a tie. Gatorade staged a rematch between the two original teams documented in online webisodes and a TV series.

IBM Watson
In 2011, IBM put a truly human face on its Watson artificial-intelligence system when the A.I. came face-to-face with Alex Trebek and a couple whiz-kid competitors for a game of “Jeopardy” and won. Since then, the supercomputer has evolved into a cloud service that enables many types of businesses to make sense of their mounds of data in more human ways. Recently, IBM invited mobile developers to come up with their own Watson-fueled ideas and will provide seed funding for the three best.

SAP
Enterprise-software firm SAP showed off its social-media analytics prowess at the NFL’s Super Bowl Boulevard in New York this year in an installation that sat among more expected consumer-friendly exhibits from advertisers like Xbox, Snickers, GMC and Papa John’s. The NFL.com Stats Zone, powered by SAP, turned numbers, images and data insights into fun, digestible factoids about the NFL and the big game.

Royal Caribbean: “Virtual Balcony”
Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines aims to enhance its passengers’ travel experience with the “Virtual Balcony” created by Control Group. For RCCL’s new “Quantum of the Seas” ship, the tech-innovation firm created digitally-enabled faux balconies that give each stateroom a real-time live-streamed view of the sea, complete with guard rail. The firm consulted with MIT and Harvard scientists to help ensure the experience would be motion-sickness-free.

Coca-Cola: “Open Happiness”
Coca-Cola’s “Open Happiness” platform has inspired efforts like the outdoor ad above to delightful vending machines that dispense everything from sandwiches and flowers. The brand has also conducted moving stunts, such as this tear-jerker that brought Filipino overseas workers home to their families.

Zappos
Last year on the busiest — and most annoying — travel day of the year, the day before Thanksgiving, online retailer Zappos sprung a surprise on one of its most loyal markets, Houston. Along with agency Mullen, Zappos turned one of the baggage carousels at George Bush Intercontinental Airport into a “Wheel of Fortune”-style game that awarded travelers the prizes upon which their luggage landed.

How is Personalization Changing the Face of Marketing?

This is a great article from Marketo. It shows us readers how personalization toward the consumers is changing marketing and that this trend is here to stay.

 

How is Personalization Changing the Face of Marketing?

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In 2013, 84% of all email traffic was spam. The average person sees around 1,700 banner ads each month. Your audience is bombarded daily by companies trying to sell their products. In an oversaturated market, it’s common for consumers to get annoyed and end up ignoring all advertisements

But what if their online experience was different? What if it was completely tailored to their interests, and their friends? Feeling connected makes the difference. It creates a sense of community yet individuality all at the same time. Personalization in marketing works. We’ve interviewed several marketing gurus to get their opinions on the why’s and the how’s

Specified Content

John Jantsch (@ducttape) is a speaker, marketing consultant and bestselling author. His book Duct Tape Marketing, partners with a blog of the same name, which was named one of the 100 Best Websites for Entrepreneurs by Forbes magazine. Jantsch commented that how you define personalization makes all the difference

If you stop at adding someone’s first name to an email I think you’re missing this changing face idea. To me, personalization happens when a marketer or salesperson can take a piece of content and make it more useful for a specific prospect or customer.

My favorite way [to do this] is to create customer- or prospect-specific news feeds, topic pages, and content collections

Most consumers know that just because their names appear at the top of an email doesn’t mean you typed that email specifically for them. Personalization isn’t just about fancy software, it’s about providing relevant content.

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A Sense of Identity

Small business expert and internet pioneer Susan Solovic (@SusanSolovic)was one of the original co-founders of the first video news sites for small businesses, Small Business Television. She is a New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, and sought-after keynote speaker.

When it comes to marketing, Solovic agrees that personalization is the best.

We live in a high-tech world, yet consumers crave high-touch. They are tired of their calls being answered by Silicon Sally, and they want to be recognized as human beings, not a username and password or account number. Personalized marketing gives customers a sense of identity. They cease to be one of the masses, and instead become an individual with unique wants and needs. Consumers tune out mass marketing because they are bombarded by it everywhere. A personalized message that is relevant is much more likely to attract their attention and to seem more credible.

When asked what ways her company embraces personalized marketing, Solovic responded with how she engages with her customers.

Currently, I use social media as a way to connect with my audience. I don’t outsource this function because I think it is important to truly engage to be authentic. Later this year, I’m launching The Small Business Expert Academy, and I’ll be using personalized video emails to virtually coach and mentor my audience.  

Nobody wants to feel like a blank face in a crowd. Focusing on the individual needs of customers will give them the sense that they are truly being heard.

Responsive Design

Jessica Sprinkel (@jessicasprinkel) earned her MBA from University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and a BA in Economics from Wake Forest University. Sprinkel is currently the Director of Marketing Programs and an analytics software startup called Logi Analytics in Washington, DC. She explained how the latest technology allows companies to personalize their marketing.

More recently, marketers have been able to use dynamic content, which means instead of setting up individual campaigns, and trying to route prospects into the optimal one, you can create ONE campaign, ONE email, and ONE landing page – all of which display differently depending on who is on the receiving end.

The personalization of marketing is about more than just messaging.

Maybe the most important way you can personalize your website experience is through responsive design. For one of our recent campaigns, we discovered that as many as 32% of visitors were using a mobile device, and yet the page was designed for a desktop. We just rolled out responsive landing page templates across the board, with mobile-friendly features like swipe and click-to-call, and have seen conversions increase by almost 2x.

Personalization is about convenience. When a page or email is customized for him, a customer will feel like the company took the time to know him.

The Future of Marketing

Personalization is here to stay. Elle Woulfe (@ellehwoulfe) is a revenue-focused marketer with expertise in digital marketing and demand generation. She is the Director of Demand Generation at Lattice Engines.

Woulfe shared interesting insight about the future of personalization in marketing.

The next wave of personalization techniques will manifest themselves in offline touches. Smart marketers are tapping into predictive analytics and are using account level buying signals to make sure their sales reps know that a prospective customer has a product need even before the customer does. Brands that successfully implement these technologies and harness all the relevant buying signals stand to achieve a substantial competitive advantage.

Personalization in marketing is just going to get more personal. As businesses utilize new technology, soon consumers will be able to access all their “likes” before they even have a chance to search for them.

Get Personal, Get Results

Email personalization boosts open rates by 26%, and click-through rates by 97%! By 2016, more than half the dollars spent in US retail will be influenced by the web, and customer-centric marketing increases online sales by 25%. There’s no denying it: If you want a steady increase of sales and loyal customers, personalization is the way to go.

Target Christmas Spectacular Event

With Christmas months away here is one of our favorite events we did  with Target one year for the Christmas Spectacular Event. Customers and event-goers were able to personalize their own ornament and get into the spirit of Christmas at this exciting event.

   

   

   

 

If your company needs on-site personalization at an upcoming event please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at www.digitaleventsinc.com or email info@digitaleventsinc.com.

Experiential Activity Marketing: Winning Over Today’s Customers, One Event At A Time

A great article from Forbes. Solomon explains why experiential marketing wins over customers in today’s market.

Experiential Marketing: Winning Over Today’s Customers, One Event At A Time

“Experiential activity marketing” is a term that’s batted around more and more these days. In case the phrase still sounds like futuristic gibberish to you, let’s spend some time with Bharat Rupani, President of Interactions Marketing, an experiential marketing agency and subsidiary of  Daymon Worldwide in San Diego. Rupani, who has 20 years of experience in leading the development and expansion of brands in both the consumer products and retail sectors, explains the term as “work done with retailers and brands to connect directly with shoppers – usually through an event that happens inside a store or externally in the community.” Like what?  “In terms of our company, experiential marketing can range from anything from us handing out samples in a store, to staffing grand opening celebrations, to being behind the truck of a mobile tour.”

I wanted more examples, so Rupani took me first to the grocery industry, where Interactions Marketing has done work for Giant Foods on the East Coast of the U.S. (Giant is a part of the mammoth Ahold USA corporate conglomerate.)  “At the Giant Landover, Maryland grand opening, our team created a three week long extravaganza for the store that featured a flash mob, a custom miniature ice cream truck, a selfie booth, kids craft area, outdoor grilling event, and a number of food sampling events. It was a way to connect with shoppers in what we feel was an unforgettable experience, and to help cement Giant Landover within its local Maryland community.

Mini Ice Cream Truck by Interactions Marketing, Giant Food Grand Opening, Landover, MD • Credit: Interactions Marketing

Mini Ice Cream Truck by Interactions Marketing, Giant Food Grand Opening, Landover, MD • Credit: Interactions Marketing

He then spoke about their relationship with Advance Auto Parts, for whom Rupani’s company has created a mobile tour (with a 44-foot RV) that reaches Advance Auto Parts’ shoppers at over 30 automotive events across the nation. The RV-based tour interacted with nearly 50,000 people in 2015 alone, of whom they managed to sign up more than 15,000 new members for Advance Auto Parts’ loyalty program, Speed Perks.

Interactions Marketing for Advanced Auto Parts, Daytona Bike Week • Credit: Interactions Marketing

Interactions Marketing for Advanced Auto Parts, Daytona Bike Week • Credit: Interactions Marketing

Experiential activity marketing, of course, also has digital components.  In the case of Advance Auto Parts, this year, Interactions Marketing augmented its program by developing a game (“Rev it Up!”) that allows customers and prospective customers at home to test their diagnostic skills, with prizes that include gift cards.

There are many challenges involved in any customer-focused enterprise, and I spent some time with Rupani talking about problems and issues that have come up for Interactions Marketing as it has grown.  He let me know that the  biggest challenge is talent acquisition, not for technical skills, but for the human, customer-focused element: “Rapid growth always comes with its challenges and growing pains to an organization. And one of the primary challenges for us has been keeping pace with the growth and being able to find and deliver the top quality talent that Interactions is known for providing. Often in hiring talent for experiential marketing, we find a shrinking pool of candidates who have a passion for human interaction and face-to-face encounters that is necessary for the work we do. Personal engagement is an art we must keep alive – it’s upon us to hire and train those who can emote and connect with people.”

Finally, I wanted to draw Rupani out on principles of experiential marketing that would be useful whether a company is of a size that can engage his company’s service.  He told me that, absolutely, the answer is yes; “Experiential marketing doesn’t have to be overcomplicated – it’s about the human to human experience and word of mouth which are both extremely powerful marketing vehicles.”  First, he says, “realize that with each interaction during your day you are creating a memory for someone; in this sense you already have a role in selling and in creating experiences.”

Next, “take that concept beyond your team, and beyond your office and you can be creative in the way you engage with shoppers.” The key, as with any marketing or advertising tactic, is to know your consumer: “For example, if you want to conduct a street team event, think about your target audience, where do they live, where do they congregate, what messages and offers would appeal to them? When you know the answers to those questions, and a few more like them, you’ll know where, when, and how to stage your event. Ultimately if people try your brand and like it – you’ve made an impact that traditional marketing (radio, print ads, TV) can’t produce.  With so much focus on technology today, experiential marketing is still the real and organic interaction with a brand that so many of us still enjoy and value.”

IS YOUR TRADE SHOW STRATEGY WORKING?

A great article by Skyline. Check out some new Trade show tips.

IS YOUR TRADE SHOW STRATEGY WORKING?

Let’s tackle this two ways. First, discuss the 2 least-effective “strategies” that are the default strategy for too many exhibitors, and second, what strategies work best for the most common trade show sales and marketing goals.

tradeshow strategy events exhibiting

FAULTY DEFAULT TRADE SHOW STRATEGY #1: KEEP DOING THE SAME THING FOR YEARS

Some trade show exhibitors (hopefully not you!) are stuck in a rut. They go to the same shows, they bring the same booth staffers, they offer the same promotions, they have the same booth design, no matter what show they go to. This is the strategy driven by inertia.

There is no measurement of past shows or research of potential new shows to alter their show schedule. No measurement of qualified lead counts from booth staffers to identify keepers and staffers to stop bringing to shows. No changing of booth graphic messages to adapt to different industry shows. No testing of anything to find a better way.

FAULTY DEFAULT TRADE SHOW STRATEGY #2: LOGISTICS OVER MARKETING

Whoever manages your trade shows must handle hundreds of minute details about shipping, hotels, plane tickets, vendors, executives, timing, and more. It’s a lot to keep track of, and without it, the show doesn’t go on. So, all that must-do activity crowds out the optional, but actually essential, marketing activity.

What gets put on the back burner, and then often not done, is training the booth staff on how to take more leads and then qualify them in the booth, creating a marketing campaign with promotions that get more attendees into the booth, better lead management to ensure better follow up, and more measurement to then decide what is generating sales and marketing results and what needs to be improved.

MOST COMMON TRADE SHOW GOALS: GENERATE LEADS, INCREASING AWARENESS, STRONGER RELATIONSHIPS

Do you already have a primary business goal that you are trying to achieve by your trade show activity? It helps to hit a target if you know what you are aiming for. It may be that your trade show goal has also been stuck in a rut, and it’s time to reevaluate why you are exhibiting at trade shows today, as your company – and its place in the marketplace – may have changed substantially.

The most common goals are generating leads, increasing awareness (of your company, of a new product, in a new industry), and strengthening relationships (with key clients, dealers, business partners). To achieve your primary strategy involves excelling at several trade show tactics, and adapting them to your specific needs.

WAYS TO GENERATE MORE TRADE SHOW LEADS

To get more leads, you need more booth traffic, and then have your booth visitors want to continue the conversation after the show. To get more booth traffic, you need to be at shows where your buyers walk, an attractive exhibit, desirable promotions, and most of all, more and better staffers to get people out of the aisle and into a fruitful dialog. So, do you know what shows have a higher number and percentage of attendees that match your buyer profile? Do you know what kinds of promotions appeals to their demographic? Does you exhibit have enough visual impact to stop attendees? Have you trained your booth staffers how to convince attendees your company offers a viable solution to their problems? These tactics will boost your lead counts.

WAYS TO INCREASE AWARENESS AT TRADE SHOWS

While the tactics you use to generate more trade show leads will also help increase awareness, your focus alters some if your main goal is to increase awareness. Increase your company visibility with an entertainer or activity in your booth that creates a buzz. Or use a promotion that will get talked about, or a giveaway that everyone will see, like a bag or a sponsorship. Run ads, send email and direct mail, and interact on social media promoting your at-show presence. Try to get your top management or subject matter experts placed as speakers at the show. If you are launching a new product and want to increase awareness of that, then enter any contests or special show floor areas or public relations opportunities the show offers around new products. These activities may also bring you leads, but they will boost awareness even more.

WAYS TO STRENGTHEN RELATIONSHIPS AT TRADE SHOWS

When your goal is to strengthen relationships via trade shows, you are almost always deciding to focus on a smaller audience than when your goals are awareness and leads. That means a shift in scale. Your exhibit may be designed more like a lounge or an office, with spaces for comfortable meetings to honor your key contacts. You may even have a double-deck exhibit with a conference room on top. Your promotions will be fewer, but more expensive, and your booth staffers must be top-notch, either part of executive management, or the best people-persons you have. When your goal is relationship-building, your show plan extends beyond the booth, to include meals (dinners, breakfasts) outside exhibit hours, and even special events (a fun activity in the show city, a night on the town) with the most important people you want to bond with. And your promotions will be more personalized, with account managers contacting their clients, or channel managers inviting their partners.

For business-to-business marketers, trade shows are perhaps the best medium to achieve your business goals. I hope you now have better ideas on how to focus your trade show strategy so that it aligns to reach those goals, to ensure your trade show strategy is working.

Event and Experiential Activity Marketing Trends

We love the blog by Skyline. Here is an article by them about event and experiential marketing trends.

EVENT & EXPERIENTIAL MARKETING TRENDS

By: Kayla Goeman, Marketing Associate, Skyline Exhibits

I took a look at one of the world’s most comprehensive annual research studies on event & experiential marketing to breakdown industry trends for you. You can use this data to help justify your trade show or event budget and presence to leadership.

Here is what I found.

KEEPING THE GOAL IN MIND

As with most marketing projects, the end goal has to be kept in mind when making tactical decisions.

What is the goal or strategy for events and experiential marketing in 2016? Unsurprisingly, the top two goals for investing in events or experiential activity marketing are to increase brand awareness and drive sales. You can also expect to see significantly more events and experiences hosted by companies in 2016 than in the past, with a whopping 79% of respondents planning to execute more event and experiential activities this year.

MEASUREMENT

Interestingly, the criteria for measurement has changed in the past two years, with total attendance or participation as the highest form of measurement, followed by Facebook likes or social media activity, followed third by leads. The second and third place measurement of social media activity and leads is intriguing due to the complexity of tracking ROI these metrics give. In a perfect world, a lead gathered includes detailed information about a prospect that includes a timeframe for purchase. These types of details are harder to flesh out when someone is retweeting a post or sharing an exciting Facebook status from your company.

A lead will often automatically be entered into your company’s marketing automation or CRM platform, whereas tracking someone through social media into your CRM system can take multiple steps. What you measure should be dictated by your end goal for hosting an event or trade show. If brand awareness is the end goal, social media buzz will be a relatively easy measure to track and give you the most reach, whereas if driving sales is a key goal, detailed lead information will set your company on track.

BUDGETING

So, we know we will be seeing more events and more experiential activity marketing taking place over our year. With more events to host, and theoretically more competition for attendance and “buzz” at these events, a sizable budget to help companies stand out has become important to respondents- as budgets are expected to increase over 6%. The 2015 average growth rate of budgets is nearly three times the level of recent U.S. GDP growth.

THE VALUE OF EVENTS

The goal is to increase brand awareness and generate sales, which will be done by measuring the total attendance, social media presence, and number of leads with an increased company budget. But why? Why are events worthwhile?

We live in a consumer-driven world, where the customer is expecting much more from a company than ever before. Why is the investment of an event worthwhile? The consumer values events. A significant 98% of survey respondents said that participating at the event or experience made them more inclined to purchase.

Is there anything else your marketing department is doing right now that leads to a 98% more inclination to buy? If not, it’s valuable to consider hosting an event. It may even be a good idea to host an event for your best clients if you are exhibiting at a trade show.

If you are attempting to justify an investment in an event or trade show to your boss, know that these consumer and event trends are increasing, and shows the pulse of what’s to come.

Under Armour Event – Engrave Your Shoelaces!

Here is some wonderful event photos from when we worked with Under Armour. At the event shoelace tags were engraved for all the sneaker heads.

For more ideas about your next event please contact us at info@digitaleventsinc.com.

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