You’ve just created a fantastic shoe collection, unique cosmetic line or killer industrial widget. Now it’s time to unveil it to the buying public. You want to make a big splash and get buyers interested around the country or the world, and you want to do it fast.
The best way to spread the word quickly is with event marketing. Unveiling your product at an event accomplishes two things. First, it puts your product directly in the hands of potential consumers. You’ll gain valuable feedback.
Secondly, you’ll leverage the power of social media as other people witness, test and review your product and disseminate their discovery at the speed of light. 98% of attendees create digital or social content at events, and 100% share their content.
In a world that has desensitized consumers due to digital marketing, interactive brand activations allows buyers to use all their five senses. An experiential marketing services company can guide you from planning the event to the critical follow up afterward.
Why Event Marketing Works
If you think about it, event marketing was the first type of marketing. It was one buyer and one seller trading an item. The buyer could physically touch or taste the product to determine its suitability.
Today, with the global reach of the internet, it’s not practical to have everyone try before they buy. That’s why event marketing is so critical, especially for new products. 79% of U.S. marketers generate sales with event marketing.
Live events put buyers and products together to gain their reaction and feedback. It doesn’t matter if it’s a sample tasting at the local grocery store or a new product launch at the CES show in Las Vegas. The idea is the same, to put people and products together.
The added advantage is that there are hundreds or possibly thousands of other witnesses who will immediately send out reactions on their social posts, creating an instant buzz on a global scale.
Five Benefits of Event Marketing
Image Credit: Toyota
We’ve talked about the advantage of putting your product into the hands of customers. There are five additional benefits of live brand event marketing. The goal of event marketing campaigns is to get consumers to act.
Not all event marketing is handing out free samples. It is limited only by imagination. Some great examples of creating public awareness include:
- Toyota built a 100-foot tall, custom-fabricated, 3D rock climbing wall in Times Square to build awareness of their new RAV 4 Hybrid.
- Lipton installed an adult-sized slip and slide in downtown London.
- On November 5, 2016, Apple compiled photos and videos taken by people in 25 countries using their iPhones. The ad showcased the photographic capabilities of the phone with actual users interacting with the device.
Where event marketing looked a lot differently 50 years ago with limits to time and location, virtual and hybrid solutions have proven to be a powerful form of event marketing in the 21st century. These methods immerse people into the brand from wherever there are.
Event marketers hope to form long-term emotional connections during live events. They grab attention and bring brands to life.
Benefit #2 - Lead Generation
As a leading lead capture agency, we know that generating demand for your product and capturing leads are two related, but different functions of events. Using a live event to create demand is one facet of a more comprehensive marketing strategy. For example, giveaways work well to generate demand and curiosity for new product launches.
Lead generation works best at events where the prospects already have an interest in your company, and it caters to the right demographic. Face-to-face meetings and product demonstrations are vital to generating leads at an event.
It all ties to the old saying that it is better to show and not tell. When we market with an ad, we usually say a promise. Our product will improve your life. You could save time and money. These are strong motivators for customers. But they are still just statements. They are effective but nothing is as powerful as an experience.
When customers see a product in person or through virtual means, they get to experience the benefit themselves. This is an effective tool for generating leads and increasing demand for your product.
Benefit #3 - Engaging and Upselling
Nothing compares to the opportunity to meet with customers one-on-one at an event. Events offer the advantage of upselling your customers items or services they may otherwise not know are available.
Customers will appreciate learning about new solutions that address their needs. Using a helpful approach, upselling can improve your customer’s satisfaction and increase loyalty. As every marketer knows, there is a higher ROI in growing existing customers than nurturing new ones.
There is only so much you can do when a customer is far away. When you are interacting with them and connecting with them, you have a better chance of influencing them and making an impression. It is through relationships that we can power word-of-mouth marketing and build brand loyalty. It can all happen with the right event marketing strategy.
Benefit #4 - Educating New Customers
Other than networking, most event attendees want new information. They want up-to-date news about the latest designs, equipment, or whatever is relevant to their industry.
Give your prospects what they want, the latest information in as much detail as possible. Set your company apart by offering training, guides, access to webinars, or anything that will help them. By helping them to understand a new product or provide a solution, it will build loyalty for future business.
It also makes you an authority in your field. That’s very effective when increasing your reach, building partnerships, and influencing the market with your product.
Event marketing is vital for instant feedback. Companies lose millions of dollars because they did not understand their customers. Thankfully, event marketing gives you the chance to get real-time, un-influenced feedback.
When an audience member sees your product, you get a feel for their first impressions through their emotions, tone of voice, and body posture. They will tell you if something looks strange or if they are confused. These are priceless moments that even controlled marketing group studies have failed on getting. Use it to improve your product.
Instant feedback through event marketing is also valuable for identifying the hidden strengths of your product. Perhaps you had a minor feature that steals the show. People love it and it is why they choose you. Then you can use that information and study ways you can double down on it for more customer satisfaction.
Feedback is critical to good marketing. After all, great marketing can spread the word for a product but it can’t change the product. The more you improve it, the better customers enjoy it, the more sales and expanded reach your brand can expect.
Light The Fuse of Attraction
If you think about a brand, it’s just sitting there like a firecracker. You need to light the fuse to make things happen. That’s what brand activation does; it lights the fuse.
Experiential marketing is one marketing strategy to get people interested and involved by using a product or experiencing a service.
It’s the primary form of brand activation focusing on customer experience and interaction. It’s a marketing tool and an environment where you can connect people with your brand on a personal level.
Partner Up The Right Way
There is much more to event marketing than test drives and tastings. Attending or sponsoring a trade show or event is costly. To maximize your ROI, you want a partner who knows the ropes of experiential marketing and will invest your marketing budget wisely. They will plan and guide you before during and after the event.
An event marketing agency will tailor an experience that suits your unique goals and requirements. If you plan to roll out a new product, it’s no time for amateurs. Customers will try your product, provide feedback, and broadcast to their social networks in real-time. An event is a critical moment for the product and the brand as there is no second chance to wow your customers.
An event marketing company will also aid in following up after the event to solidify leads and continue social promotions.
Contact an event marketing agency to learn more about event marketing tactics for activating your brand, sponsoring, or attending a live event. They can provide you with top of the line event marketing services and support.
Image Credit: Trend Hunter