Category Archives: Power of Event Marketing

Mobile Marketing Tours: How to Be on the Right Path

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mobile marketing tours


Have you ever experienced the thrill of the ice cream truck? The sound of those upbeat jingles coming from blocks away has driven hundreds of thousands of children in their directions for decades. Considering their popularity, it’s surprising brands didn’t more quickly follow in their mobile footsteps. But, at last, the trend of mobile marketing tours caught on, and brands need-not look back.

That’s because consumers love the ease of getting their lunch made or their pet groomed right outside the doorstep of their home or business. It makes life easy, a benefit that should come as no surprise with the dependence we all have on our mobile devices. But, mobile tours also make consumers’ lives more exciting. And, it’s these perks that place brands that launch this type of experiential marketing event in the forefront of their respective markets.

Why Mobile Marketing Tours Work

A national consumer services brand activated a mobile marketing tour of several hundreds of events throughout the U.S. over 10 months. And, the results were astounding. The majority of visitors to its stops – almost 80% of all guests – were non-customers. When surveyed, 12% planned to switch to the brand. And, seven percent had done so in the six months following the mobile tour. Of its current customers who visited, 75% said they were “more likely to stay” with the brand as a result of the event.

These statistics are common for brands that engage in experiential marketing. When activating mobile tours, it’s for several reasons that include:

  1. Brands can get in front of people left untouched by digital advertising and similar efforts.
  2. Brands with only an online presence or with brick-and-mortar stores in limited areas can interact with consumers or penetrate new markets to build connections.
  3. They personify their brand. This enables consumers to trust brand messages – a strategic advantage per Harvard Business Review – and to become brand loyal.
  4. They can get their products in consumers’ hands, allowing them to verify benefits through use of their senses.
  5. Consumers fear missing out on experiences, such as those provided by mobile tours, and are more easily persuaded to visit.

Event marketers only need to put in the time and effort to make visits to their mobile marketing tours worthwhile to realize benefits.

[Tweet “Mobile tours allow brands to reach new consumers and solidify relationships with those current.”]

5 Things You Need to Make Mobile Tours Work

Like all experiential events, mobile marketing tours call for much attention-to-detail. Yet, mobile tours may command more since there are many events within a single campaign. Event marketers can find success with careful thought to these five critical elements.  Read More

Why People Want to Buy Experiences, Not Things

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In case you haven’t heard, there’s a new yoga craze sweeping the nation – goat yoga. And, it’s probably what you would imagine. People do yoga, while goats roam around and jump on the participants who are holding poses. It may seem odd to some. But its creator, Lainey Morse, realized early this type of yoga had unique therapeutic benefits. In fact, it was during her own divorce and illness when she “realized the power goats had to make people feel better.” And, it’s obvious others have discovered the same.

Morse began the trend in Oregon last year. It has since moved in all directions of the country and landed near me in Nashville, TN. And, though I’d considered trying it, I wasn’t sold until I saw a friend’s experience on Instagram. She was reaching for her toes and smiling ear to ear, while a cute baby goat stood on her back.

That next Saturday morning, my four-year-old daughter and I joined the sold-out 7:30 class. It was already humid and an imminent thunderstorm loomed overhead. I was beginning to regret my decision. But then, the gate opened, and all the little goats hurried through to greet us, their guests. My daughter yelled for me to “look!” And, as I glanced over at her smiling face, I was reminded why people prefer to buy experiences, not things.

4 Reasons People Prefer to Buy Experiences, Not Things

Around 75% of millennials would rather buy an experience than a product. And, for several good reasons:  Read More

How to Deliver the Best Brand Experiences

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Deliver the Best Brand Experiences

One hundred and fifty. That’s the number of friendships you (or I) are capable of maintaining, also known as “Dunbar’s number.” This was discovered by Robin Dunbar, an Oxford professor of experimental psychology. He claims any number over 150 is more than the typical human brain can handle. But, what does it mean if the average Facebook user has 338 “friends?” Does his research still stand? It does, thanks to further analysis that shows online interaction does not strengthen the bonds of the weaker links. Even with our growing adoption of social media, Dunbar’s number stands true. And, that’s because these lesser relationships lack one vital ingredient – the “synchronicity of shared experience.”

According to Dunbar, we need “face-to-face time” to establish “deeper connections.” And, he says, “the time we invest in superficial relationships comes at the expense of more profound ones,” which poses another question. Are we wasting our time on social media? The answer is a resounding no.

A study out of the University of California, San Diego finds being on social networks may help us live longer. This is possible by boosting our social circles, which has proven time and again to extend one’s life. Yet, harmony must lie with other areas. The study’s experts say,  “Interacting online seems to be healthy when the online activity is moderate and complements interactions offline.” The same could be said for the best brand experiences. A healthy balance of online interaction and face-to-face time is necessary for success. That means digital marketing and experiential marketing must co-exist.

Why Brands Need Balanced Marketing

The numbers are in. Digital marketing alone is incapable of doing the job brands need. For example, over 40% of those engaging in social media have yet to determine its impact. Yet, we do know 65% of us pay no attention to online ads and will “skip” them without blinking. Instead, we’re on the hunt for an experience. And, this is particularly true for millennials, of whom around 75% prefer to buy an experience over material goods. This is pushing many brands to strike a balance. They’re offering an experience to encourage the sale of their products. And, they can prove the effectiveness, with almost 45% of brands realizing a 3:1 ROI. Read More

Pop-up Retail: 5 Ways to Be Cool at Back to School

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Pop-up Retail

“Two roads diverged in a wood and I –

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.”  – Robert Frost

This Fall, when school is back in session, many students will dissect this stanza and others from Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken,” and seek to understand its meaning. Many will be surprised to learn that the poem’s intention was as a joke for a fellow poet. Yet, the irony is, Frost’s peer, and most everyone else who reads it, believes the poem to be a serious commentary on the impact of our decisions.

Likewise, a look at the current state of the retail industry puts a heightened importance on marketers’ decisions. This is due to the massive numbers of brick and mortar closures and the heated competition among all retailers, in-store and online. Yet, few are doing anything extraordinary to stand out. Few are taking the road less traveled to make a difference. But, there are ways for retailers to take a new route to increase sales and brand awareness for back-to-school, the second largest shopping season of the year. A smart combination of pop-up retail and experiential marketing trends can make all the difference to help retail brands succeed. 

Why Choose Pop-up Retail for Back to School

A New York Times article claims, “Pop-Up Stores Thrive in a World of Failing Retailers.” The reasons are evident. First, pop-ups require little commitment, such as permanent lease space, and fewer resources, including large-scale inventory. Second, they provide a great means to get personal with consumers. This is especially true for online-only retailers and those with little to no presence in a target area.

Another reason, and the most important as it relates to true success, surrounds shoppers. The article tells us that, while pop-ups have been around for decades, their revitalization has made them “fun.” This is important “since consumers crave these experiences.” It’s why some retailers will take their pop-up retail space a bit further by using experiential marketing techniques. Read More

3 Retail Marketing Ideas to Be Open and Have an Edge

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Retail Marketing Ideas

I have to admit; I may be contributing to the rise in retail store closures. With two small kids, it’s just easier to shop online, even if I prefer to get out and see and touch items before buying. So, when I did get the chance to visit my local mall a couple weeks ago, I was at first shocked to find the spaces of two long-time retailers bare. Then, I began to think about my last experiences in these stores. They were less than satisfactory. In fact, they were the kind that made you not want to return. Maybe I’m not the problem.

It goes without saying that customer experience is paramount to win business. Yet, welcoming shoppers with a smile, although still important, is not enough anymore. Retailers must create environments that engage the senses and offer value above and beyond quality items and discounts. And it’s clear that, in some cases, this is necessary not only for success, but for survival. That means retail marketing ideas must elevate brands above their competitors and keep stores open against increasingly challenging odds.

At a Glance: The Current State of Retail

Kiplinger stands by its prediction of a 3.8% rise in retail sales for 2017. Yet, e-commerce will continue to “gobble up” these gains. The digital will reap 14% growth, while in-store sales will see another year of a 1.5% increase. This latter figure, though low, may come as a surprise amid steady reports of store closures.

Among the casualties is former electronics giant, RadioShack, which has just closed over 1,000 stores. A visit to competitor HHGregg’s website reveals the company is “no longer in business” after shutting down its 220 locations. And, the discount shoe retailer Payless ShoeSource is bankrupt, and will shudder around 800 stores itself. But, the same fate will not doom all brands.

Kiplinger also named “6 Retailers That Can Stand Up to Amazon.” And, when you examine each of their strengths, one word comes to mind: brand experience. “Some have carved niches by selling goods that people prefer to buy in person. Others provide services or shopping experiences that can’t be replicated online.” So, no matter if it’s the thrill of the find in TJ Maxx, a food sample in Costco, or an interactive experience in Best Buy, these retailers have found their sweet spot. The brand experiences they provide have consumers coming back for more. Read More

Sports Event Marketing: How to Be a Winning Brand

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Sports event marketing

“In baseball and in business, there are three types of people. Those who make it happen, those who watch it happen, and those who wondered what happened.” – Tommy Lasorda

Those who know Tommy Lasorda know him for his long-time association with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He got his start with the team as a player in 1954, when it was the Brooklyn Dodgers. Several years later, he became a coach, then manager and, finally, in 1996, the club’s Vice President. Some may attribute his rise in ranks to his love for the game. But the truth is, Mr. Lasorda also knows business.

A Forbes article dubbed him “the Lee Iacocca of baseball, the master motivator, the prince of positive thinking.” That’s because Lasorda understood the importance of his players – his employees. Thus, he always let them know he appreciated their efforts and sought to motivate them to believe in themselves and give their all. At the same time, he reminded them of the significance of their fans. Without fans, Lasorda said, “there wouldn’t be any people like us.” He believed that keeping baseball alive meant saying thank you to fans and giving autographs upon request. It meant giving the fans a great experience.

Since Lasorda’s reign over the Dodgers, the experience level necessary to delight fans has grown in scope. But, Lasorda’s message still applies in baseball and in business. If your consumers are at sporting events, don’t be the brand sitting idly on the sidelines. Be the brand that makes it happen though sports event marketing.

For the Love of the Game’s Experience

Though baseball is “America’s favorite pastime,” other sports fans may beg to differ. From the NFL to NASCAR, and the NHL’s Stanley Cup Playoffs to the Kentucky Derby, there’s a sport or event for everyone. And, while many articles attempt to uncover the science behind the love of sports, we know, in a nutshell, it’s the fan experience.

A Washington Post article says these sports “help fill the need we have to connect with others, the desire for a transient but thrilling moment.” It’s why three out of four millennials prefer to buy an experience versus a product. Yet, today’s expected level of experience goes beyond a touchdown or hockey goal. And, this is when experiential marketing gets its turn at bat.

Sports event marketing can combine the need for a connection with the desire for a big experience to win the hearts (and wallets) of sports fans. But, if your brand is new to the experiential game, how do you guarantee a grand slam? Read More

How to Wed Experiential Marketing and Lead Generation

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Blend Experiential Marketing and a Lead Generation Strategy

Going on a first date these days is less of an art and more of an item on a checklist. People choose potential suitors by simply “swiping” left or right on their Tinder app. So, it should come as no surprise that topics previously off-limits are actually on the checklist, too. From politics to religion, no discussion is off the dinner table (or bar top). In fact, a survey reveals “talking politics on a first date actually increases your chances of getting a second date by 91%.” Similarly, if you can’t have transparent conversations with potential customers, how can you continue a relationship?

You need information, whether that’s getting an individual’s contact details or asking for the sale. It is these “uncomfortable situations” that can make lead generation daunting. This is especially true when face to face. But, the good news is, for brands and companies, getting to the next step doesn’t have to be hard. Marketers can ease into the next phase of the consumer relationship without awkward first-date moments.

Setting the Stage for Your Lead Generation Strategy

The rise of digital marketing has created several new avenues to get leads. Yet, the saturation of video ads and email campaigns have rendered many efforts relatively fruitless. In fact, 65% of people will immediately “skip” online video ads, and the majority of us do so out of habit. So, breaking through the clutter to reach potential consumers becomes the challenge. Experiential marketing is an effective solution to stand out and generate leads. Read More

8 New Street Marketing Ideas That Will Get Attention

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Street Marketing Ideas

If you are a marketing veteran, you are always on the look out for new street marketing ideas. With so many companies actively engaged in all types of experiential marketing, marketers are looking to draw serious distinction between their brand and the competition. In many highly-trafficked urban areas, passers-by have probably seen every trick in the street team playbook.

The good news is that, with the fast pace of technology, there are lots of new ideas both here as well as on the horizon. Here are eight street marketing ideas, from holograms to projection mapping, that are sure to spark instant interest in your event.

Read More

Food Industry Events: How to Serve Up Success

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Food Industry Events

“First we eat, then we do everything else.” – M.F.K. Fisher

Mary Frances Kennedy Fisher was an American food writer. She wasn’t a critic, but penned her thoughts on our relationships with food in a moving way. Yet, despite her outstanding skills, her peers often questioned why she chose that subject. They even dismissed her for it, per a New York Times article. But, for M.F.K., it was a clear decision. She’d deemed food, along with security and love, “our three basic needs.” She said they “are so mixed and mingled and entwined that we cannot straightly think of one without the others.” For her, writing about food is “writing about love and the hunger for it.”

M.F.K. would be an easy fit in today’s “foodie” society. Food lovers would revel in her writings. They would welcome her emotional connection with food and her way of bringing them along on her journey. It’s easy to imagine her influence and the demand she could create for herself at food industry events.

The State of the Food Industry

Opportunity abounds in the food industry, and all players are out for their share. In 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported that new food and beverage introductions hit a nine-year record high at 21,435 launches. And, the National Restaurant Association expects restaurants to bring in almost $800 billion in sales, making 2017 the eighth straight year of growth. Yet, challenges are present.

For new consumer goods, Nielsen has reported that 85% will flop, while CNBC said 60% of restaurants fail their first year. Odds are against newcomers, but existing brands aren’t exempt. Research from Deloitte has stated “many consumers have signaled a distrust of the established food industry.” That’s unfortunate considering trust is a huge factor for today’s consumers in making purchases.

So, how can new brands stand out against veterans? And, how can veterans regain consumer confidence? One solution is activation of – and a presence at – food industry events. Read More

The Best Retail Marketing Strategy for Spring Holidays

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Retail Marketing Strategy

Mother’s Day founder, Anna Jarvis, never imagined, nor wanted, her beloved holiday to be the moneymaker it is. She’d marked the day as a tribute to her own mother, who’d given her time to so many. Anna’s hope was that other children would, like her, use the day to visit with and thank their moms for all they’ve done. So, it may come as no surprise to learn that, to her, its commercialization was a disgrace. She fought it tooth and nail, burning through a large inheritance and even petitioning to have the holiday abolished. That was until it landed her in a sanitarium. The ironic twist? The companies that benefited most from the rise of Mother’s Day paid for her care.

Today, Mother’s Day takes third place among U.S. retail holidays, and it is just around the corner. But first, 87% of Americans will celebrate Easter, also a top-five retail holiday. Is your retail marketing strategy poised to take a share of the upcoming spending sprees associated with Spring holidays?

The “Other” Retail Holidays

With St. Patrick’s Day just behind us, we know the Irish holiday was expected to bring in a record $5.3 billion in retail sales. This number is up almost $1 billion over last year. The youngest generations were expected to do most of the spending, Millennials and Gen Z. So, does its success signal good news for our more traditional retail spring holidays, like Easter, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day?

In 2016, Easter and Father’s Day broke 13-year National Retail Federation (NRF) survey records at $17.3 billion and $14.3 billion, respectively. And, Mother’s Day held steady with previous year’s sales at $21.4 billion. For 2017, Kiplinger predicts an almost 4% increase, though recent numbers for some retailers, like Urban Outfitters and Express, may signal otherwise.

Urban Outfitters’ CEO says the problem is an “overabundance of retail stores.” The competition led to deep discounting, giving way to lower margins. These promotions, combined with slower mall traffic, are concerns for the CEO of Express. So, how can retailers drive traffic and stand out without minimizing revenue? Read More