The digital age has revolutionized the way that companies and consumers connect. Social media and a strong online presence are essential to generate interest and get a brand noticed. And yet, internet buzz is just a piece of the puzzle. This is especially true when all your competitors are buzzing just as loudly. How can an online business stand out to build brand loyalty? How can ANY business drive purchaser participation with their brand? The truth is that nothing is as effective in connecting brands and consumers as an in-person meeting. And event marketing provides just that – a way to communicate on a human level.
Human Interaction Can Affect Purchasing
Salespeople are often left out of the equation in many of today’s automated purchases. While online and automated transactions provide returns in terms of efficiency, they miss the mark in lead production, direct customer feedback, and exchanging of ideas. And without those components, it is very difficult for any company to build brand loyalty.
Brick and mortar stores are not immune to this phenomenon. According to Forbes, the way we think about retail may be changing fast. Store locations are disappearing in America, while internet sales rose about 23% in 2015. Self checkout lanes have become the norm in various retail settings. And disappearing with these trends is the opportunity for a sales team to transform first time customers into repeat customers.[Tweet “Event marketing creates a positive emotional space for a new customer to get to know a company.”]
How Event Marketing Fits In
The right event marketing team can capture this opportunity by creating a positive emotional space for a new customer to get to know a company. Many successful internet retailers understand this and are attempting to bridge the gap between the IRL world and the web. For example Amazon, a company that according to a recent estimate received 51 cents for every additional dollar Americans spent online last year, has recently embraced the idea of the pop up store. Through in-person marketing they are tapping into the valuable resource of a tangible visit to a physical location.
There are several reasons why more and more companies are investing in in-person marketing:
- When we buy a product or service we often are unconsciously buying emotions that we associate with it
- Sometimes just liking a brand representative is enough to build brand loyalty
- Point of sale or initial brand exposure is the best time to foster a positive brand perception
Traditional advertising, whether broadcast or in print, is a powerful tool for brand awareness. However, these avenues can rarely build brand loyalty, or generate the quality of sales leads, that an engaging street team or in-person experience can.
Emotions Guide Behavior in Subtle and Overt ways
We all want more happiness. It is also human nature to compare ourselves to others. Many times we perceive that others are somehow experiencing more happiness than we are. Considering this simple concept helps to guide the way one plans a marketing or street team event. A brand experience that has fun and social excitement written all over it will effortlessly draw customers. Why? Because people crave positive emotions, especially when we see others experiencing them. If a company’s representatives can make potential customers feel welcomed, engaged, and invested, they will make life-long, loyal customers for a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing.
The NASCAR Experience
This point was hammered home for me when I attended my first NASCAR event. I had seen NASCAR on TV, but never felt engaged. For that reason I was reluctant to see it first hand. A friend insisted, however, that I would have a great time, so I decided to give it a shot.
Upon entering the venue, I was immersed in energetic crowd. They were engaged with something they were passionate about and having a great time. Just by being close to them, my mood shifted. I began to feel energy from the roar of the engines and cheering of the crowd. Every time the racers sped by the feeling that I want to be a part of this thrilling experience solidified.
In attending this event, I eagerly participated in something that was not previously of interest. The hand-on experience worked so well that I watched a NASCAR event on TV the next week. From a single experience, my behavior changed. In a similar way, an event experience has the potential to change consumer behavior dramatically.[Tweet “An event experience has the potential to change consumer behavior dramatically.”]
Event Marketing is the Best Way to Build Brand Loyalty
Often today’s customer demands logical reasons and a thorough understanding of why they should pick one brand over another. However the unconscious part of their decision-making still wants emotion. Through event marketing, companies can build brand loyalty by giving a consumer something to feel, taste, or see in person. And as a side benefit, these positive emotions can make them more receptive to the logical motivations behind purchasing from your company. From all angles, event marketing makes it easy for your brand to win.
Are you considering incorporating event marketing into your marketing platform for the holidays or in 2017? Since 1999, EPS has been working with brands and agencies to staff and execute high-impact, high-reward experiential marking events. Contact us for a proposal – we are here to help!