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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.

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.

Brand activation and its role in driving consumer engagement and awareness

A great article by econsutancy about brand activation and its role with consumer engagement.

Many popular brands are using activations to build popularity and give the consumer an experience that will make them feel a real personal connection to the company.

What is brand activation?

Have you ever noticed when you go to buy a popular brand’s product, do you ever stop to ask yourself, how did they become so trustworthy and admired?

When a product is first manufactured it is virtually unknown to the general public.

Take Volvo as an example. when the company tried to enter into the US car market in 1962, Americans knew very little about this Swedish car maker.

Through the uses of consumer engagement marketing channels, such as memorable ad campaigns, experiential events, viral growth, and consumer participation strategies, Volvo managed to gain the acceptance of the American consumer as being a tough and reliable automobile.

Sales tripled within five years with the campaign “drive it like you hate it” being a huge success.

The process of making a brand well known and loved by consumers is called brand activation.

Consumer brand activations are a very crucial part of building a positive perception of a brand

This can be done through product samplings, in-store retail marketing, sponsorships, and experiential events.

This also encompasses the brand figuring out a few core features that will distinguish them amongst their competition in crowded marketplaces. They have to find brand positioning that will uncover assets that will highlight long term benefits to the company.

Brands must find a way to reach potential customers that can shift perceptions and create a real emotional engagement. These marketing events must bring up positive feeling in the minds about them in order for them to become loyal customers and purchase their products.

Key principles

  • To inspire demand for a particular brand, they must tap into the consumers’ passions using creative strategies and ideas.
  • Timing plays an important role in connecting consumers at the right time, and the right place so that the consumer becomes a motivated user and fan of the brand.
  • Using activation strategies, such as in person experience events, this can lead to the consumer starting to believe in the brand and what it stands for, which is a closer step in the path to purchase.

Brand activation case study

Here is an example of how brand activation can work. Pirelli Tires relies heavily on a strategy built on key partnerships with Formula One grand prix events, in order to promote its tires as being high performance.

There is a huge value with being a part of this world class racing event, as is the value of the premier performance and technology of the tires.

Having the name and logo as a part of the F1 racing circuit emotionally engages the consumer and all fans of racing, since the events are associated with high performance vehicles and expert driving.

Pirelli-tires-formula-1-brand-activation

Strategies for implementing a consumer brand activation campaign:

Experiential events:

Live experiential marketing events are being used by global brands to help position the brand into the consumers’ minds by attracting and emotionally engaging them in personal experience.

These events give people a chance to try a product, ask questions about it and participate in some way that makes them feel apart of the brand.

This can be achieved by blending physical and digital experiences together, so that the participants are encouraged to play apps and games, have their photos taken or ride on virtual reality car and bike simulators.

The purpose is to reach people on multiple levels (emotional, rational, psychological) so that they walk away from event remembering what is was like to touch, taste, and feel the product rather than just reading about it.

Promotional marketing:  

Promotional marketing involves raising awareness of your brand and its products in order to generate more sales and gain a loyal customer base.

The targeting of promotional marketing can take many forms, it can be targeted at businesses, to retail and wholesale companies or it can targeted at the end consumer.  Consumer promotions can be executed by using reward loyalty programs, giveaways, special offers, product samplings as well as point of sale displays.

Business promotions can used in workshops, event sponsorships, trade show booths and direct mail campaigns.  Wholesale trade promotions may consist of using incentives, or providing entertainment value or other methods like bonuses to reward resllers.

In store retail marketing

Ray-Ban-never-hide-consumer-activation

In store retail marketing activations can help a customer choose one brand over another inside a department store. It helps to enhance the image of a product or brand and as well as feature the benefits it offers or introduce the lifestyle associated with purchasing the product.

There are different types of retail marketing, a brand can be activated using point of purchase displays, attractive design or hosting, retail product launch experiences that allow consumers to experience and try a particular product.

For example, Ray-Ban launched a retail consumer activation tour called ‘Never Hide’ inside a number of high department stores, which engaged consumers by allowing them to try on the new polarized sunglasses and encouraged them have their photos taken inside a branded Ray-Ban photo booth.

Other engagement activities involved participants playing the Guitar hero simulator while wearing the shades.

Metrics for brand activation campaigns

When you want to create a brand activation campaign, the underlying objective should be to develop a face to face two way conversation with your customers.

Consumer brand activations help to bring life into a company and can build a very loyal fan base. The caveat is you need to create engaging and memorable experiences that strike real emotions with your consumer.

Here is a list of some of the measurement factors to keep in mind.

  • Consumer reach. How many targeted consumers would this campaign activation touch and reach?  Is it a national scale, worldwide tour, city wide or hyper local?
  • Brand relevance. Is this activation strategy and campaign relevant to the brand’s message and core values?
  • Return on investment. Can you measure the benefits vs the cost? Activation awareness campaigns should not always be measured in financial terms and sales. Were you able to capture consumer data, such as emails, social media followers and other future marketing leads and opportunities?
  • Long term potential. Do these activations campaigns give the brand any potential to gain sizeable long term benefits?
  • Integration capabilities. Will this brand activation campaign compliment and have the ability to integrate with other types of marketing channels within the company?
  • Uniqueness. Does your brand have a unique value or selling proposition that get consumers attention and make them want to talk about it?
  • Amplification. Is it possible if needed to be able to make changes in order to increase the amplification of the overall activation campaign?

Advantages of consumer brand activations

Here are a few of the benefits of consumer activations:

  • Brand activation events, the consumer can give you feedback on what to change or improve as they are interacting with you.
  • It can bring life into an aging brand and even reach younger Millennials audiences.
  • It can help to reinforce the brand’s positioning in the minds of the consumer.
  • Helps to cut through the traditional advertising clutter (TV Commercials, Print, Web Ads)
  • It makes your brand more prominent.

Conclusion

Do not underestimate the influence of experiential brand activations can play shaping the future and now relevance of a brand.

  1. Brand activations are not meant to be measured in terms of sales made. Instead, they should be viewed as a way to generate awareness and visibility for a company through cultivating real life engagement experiences with the target consumer.

Reaching The Unreachable: How Experiential Marketing Targets Brand-Savvy Millennials

This is a great article by Forbes. It tells us how millennials are targeted with experiential marketing pointing out that in addition to loving the experience of experiential marketing they also crave the authenticity of brands and handing out free swag is a sure fire way to get your brand noticed through following different social platforms on and sharing photos on social media with hashtags.

Reaching The Unreachable: How Experiential Marketing Targets Brand-Savvy Millennials

By Joey Kercher

Marketers are having a difficult time reaching millennials because tech-savvy and brand-savvy millennials tune out most forms of traditional marketing. They use ad blockers when using search engines, stream their entertainment while simultaneously blocking commercials, communicate and share news via social media, and ignore even the most brightly colored highway billboards or snail mail postcards. eMarketer reports that millennials choose to ignore ads, making it more difficult to catch their attention. Millennials know how to use technology to find products and services that meet their needs, but perhaps more importantly, millennials are brand savvy.

So how can experiential marketing target these brand-savvy millennials?

1. Millennials Love Experiences

It’s a sweeping generalization, but millennials are well known for their love of experiences. They eagerly attend festivals, concerts, trade shows, exhibits and sporting events and explore local nightlife and popular attractions. They want to experience the latest thing and are always looking for the next new and exciting thing. In fact, a study from the Harris Group reported that 72% of millennials would rather choose an experience over a material item.

When you take your product or service and highlight it at one of these events, you are sharing your brand with millennials in a context that they enjoy. You are integrating your brand into the millennials’ environment, ensuring that your brand will be on their radar. For brands to integrate themselves into the millennial environment, they need to seek out spaces millennials frequent such as malls, festivals, concerts, sporting events and college campuses (your exact target space will depend on your target demographic).

2. Millennials Crave Authenticity

It may seem counterintuitive to say that millennials crave authenticity when they spend hours each day on social media glamorizing their own lives and altering their personas. However, millennials are interested and attracted to other people and brands that are honest, transparent and authentic. You appear as an authentic brand when you connect person-to-person with millennials. You show them through personalized conversations with another human being what your brand stands for and how your products or services can help them. A Cohn & Wolfe study reported that 87% of all global consumers believed it was necessary for brands to “(act) with integrity at all times.” In fact, consumers went so far as to say that “authenticity” was more important to them than things such as “product uniqueness,” “product utility” and “popularity.” This is a distinct change compared to prior data and is theorized to be the result of millennials, as their “vote” in these studies push the results towards the need for authenticity from brands.

A great example of authenticity in an experiential marketing campaign is to develop a campaign designed to educate and share a product with your consumers rather than get something from them such as an email sign-up. Our agency has worked with Adidas on several campaigns where the goal was to share the latest sneakers with consumers by authentically having conversations about the new design aesthetic and performance changes. The goal was not to push the sneakers through sales but rather develop interest in them by authentically conveying why they were different to consumers. The goal was simply to have a conversation with consumers about the brand.

3. Hand Out Free Swag

Millennials are happy to share their feelings about brands on social media and branded events are no exception. In fact, Splash found (and shared in Adweek) that 81% of millennials shared photos on social media at a branded event, 71% used the event’s hashtag, 67% followed the brand on social and 56% signed up for an email list. All of this interaction took place at a branded event where millennials received products such as bottles, t-shirts, hats, glasses, totes or pens. Although branded swag isn’t required for millennials to talk about their branded event experience on social, it does help when it comes to images. Give millennials something to wear and share and they will.

The best way to encourage millennials to talk about their branded swag is to ensure that you give them a reason to show it off. This can be accomplished through a contest at the end of the day that requires a photo to be taken with the product or while wearing the branded swag. Sometimes it can be as simple as having a really unique and cool branded item that millennials are bound to use and want to show off immediately. In this way, branded swag can masquerade as a free product.

Millennials are not unreachable when you take the time to develop an authentic campaign aimed at connecting instead of selling and building brand awareness.

 

Headed to a trade show? Giveaways are essential for your booth!

A great-looking booth with clear branding is essential. So is a well-trained staff. Forbes’ article “12 Commandments of Incredibly Successful Trade Shows” tells us to “be audacious and memorable but smart and relevant.” One way to reach your targets: Give cool swag away that matters and pulls well.

At Digital Events, we already know that promotional products or giveaways are the most welcomed form of advertising by all generations and considered most effective in providing a rationale to respond.

But not just any cool swag will do. The Forbes piece continues, “Make people sit through a 20-minute presentation to get a $55 sweatshirt or a cool drone that flies from your smart phone. Why? You must educate Interest into Need, and only people with Need buy from you. Interest is the counterfeit of Need. Interest without Need wastes more time of your salespeople than anything else. Interesting and compelling bait on the hook catches a lot more customers.”

Here are some things to think about as you plan for the show:

Here are some things to think about as you plan for the show:

Why are giveaways a good idea?

  • They engage. People are curious and trade show attendees are there to uncover new business opportunities. What can you do at your booth that will draw them in?
  • They entice. People love free stuff. Make sure what you offer is targeted and relevant so you’re not just driving masses of freebie hunters to your booth for yet another key chain or stress spinner.
  • They showcase your brand. Especially when the item you offer is something that your prospects will keep and use, that showcase is very powerful—81% keep promotional products for more than a year.

What are best practices for trade show giveaways?

  • They are targeted to your audience. What does your audience want? Do your research. Don’t just randomly pick an item because it worked for another company or it’s the hot item of the moment but doesn’t necessarily relate to your company. You want people who take your item to use it and think of your company when they use it.
  • They are interactive. Games and interactive experiences help break the ice and give you something to talk about without high-pressure selling. Have fun!
  • They are relevant to your brand. Giving away beach toys just because it’s summer won’t necessarily move the needle or make people remember a company that makes cleaning products, unless those products are possibly to clean pools.
  • Take a personal approach. You may want to consider the famous quote from Dale Carnegie, self-improvement guru and author of How to Win Friends and Influence People:

“Remember that a person’s name is, to that person, the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

Wearables, bags and writing instruments are always popular promotional items but when personalized, take engagement to whole new level. When you personalize on site as Digital Events does, you have an additional opportunity get to know your prospects better. And the personalization ensures they keep and use your item.

  • Track your giveaways.
    Make sure you collect contact info of the people you’re offering your giveaways to so you can follow up with them after the show.
  • Monitor your social media and website.
    If your swag is working for you, you should see your social media likes and website traffic increase.

Ready to take action? Give us a call or drop us a line at Digital Events so we can discuss ways to make your trade show presence more successful than ever. We’d love to tell you what we’ve done for Fortune 500 clients like Nike, Mercedes-Benz, Target, Microsoft and more.