Events Playing an Increasingly Important Role in Marketing


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Sponsored events leave an indelible imprint on participants, resonating positively for brands for years. Unlike a digital-only campaign that may drive a KPI or two, events enable brands to invest in direct relationships with consumers.

Live events have a tremendous impact because they stir the emotions, producing potent human connections that transform relationships with sponsoring brands. What a digital campaign concludes you may have hit your target, but will people remember your messaging for long?

This is why global brands are increasingly shifting marketing dollars away from traditional advertising to experiential marketing. For a generation of streamers who consume media on their own time, an in-person experience becomes a shareable moment, and for business an opportunity to develop long-lasting personal connections with consumers.

While experiential marketing may be one of the oldest marketing channels, it integrates well with new media, becoming content factories for brands. Events offer businesses an opportunity to showcase videos, screen relevant content, distribute printed material and amplify their social channels. Events deliver Instagrammable moments, which get shared peer to peer and generate storylines that attract media.

Images from experiential events tend to find permanent homes on smartphones. They become a living testimonial for the brand, providing real, authentic moments that drive consumer engagement and build brand loyalty. It is why so many corporations have increased their budget for brand activation spending and why marketers should be paying attention.

How does creating a branded event translate into your marketing goals? It gives brand stewards the opportunity to create a multi-tiered strategy, one of action and reward. Offering rewards for action has a positive psychological effect on consumers, creating cravings and desires that the brain’s neural pathways translate into positive emotions. In effect, you are using the experience of live events to hook consumers into habits that benefit a brand through rewards. So, let’s motivate consumers to share socially through incentives like winning a must-have product or a ticket to a VIP or influencers only event. The more action, the greater the reward.

Some things never change. Marketers still need to know what compels and drives your target audience, how to capture their imaginations, and inspire them to action. Creating an experiential event needn’t be complicated, sometimes simplicity speaks volumes. Give consumers the opportunity to test or trial your products in a multisensory way. Capture it in slow-motion and make it exclusively available to brand loyalists. Create powerful human experiences, with messages that matter. Your target audience wants to be at the center of it all, a place where others cannot enter. They want to get their hands dirty in maker spaces. They want to learn from experts and feel connected to the brand. Surprise them with concerts and activities that help tell your story and that are culturally relevant. You are beginning a relationship with people poised to become future brand ambassadors…what will you do with it?

How do you measure success? It starts early in the process, first fully define goals and objectives. Then establish a baseline, know all of the costs associated with the event, and devise ways to capture data. Once the event is complete you will need to offset the costs by your established goals. It can be measured simply through direct sales, consumer newsletter signups, registrations for news on future events, shared social posts, or earned media generated from your event.

However, there are high-tech solutions that can provide data on a consumer or attendee’s journey through an event through RFID tokens. By tracking the consumer’s experience, you can build dynamic profiles that can be segmented and used to direct market and retarget. There are ways to implement software solutions that utilize an API feed to capture data and populate CRM platforms, which will assist with automation. While metrics and goals may vary for each organization, the ultimate objective remains the same, investing in relationships that can last a lifetime.

An event is a shared experience, one that transcends touch screens and a 2D reality by creating real moments and forging emotional connections. It is what makes live events so powerful.
It is about investing in relationships that outlast the span of an ad campaign. It is why global brands have been shifting their marketing budgets away from traditional advertising and increasingly investing in live events.

Jennifer Kurland
Jennifer Kurland has been leading live programing, branded experiences, and celebratory moments for more than two decades. As a founding partner of productionglue, her ability to transform a client’s vision into an immersive experience through innovation and sustainable practices has earned her not only client loyalty but recognition throughout the field. From ideation, to creation, to execution Jennifer leads a team that challenges the boundaries of what’s been done before enabling her clients to shine.


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