May 3, 2016

The Experiential Landscape for 2016 and Beyond

These are exciting times for experiential marketers. With the rapid advancement of emerging technologies, now more than ever marketers are harnessing the power of a brand's physical presence. Check out AMP’s perspective on the experiential landscape for 2016 and beyond.

Authors: Derek Shore, Dan Hicks and Lauren Peterson
July 25, 2013

The 411 on Measuring Events: Tips to Effective Event Measurement (Part III)

The goal of qualitative measurement, while not as statistically significant as quantitative tactics, is to assess event performance by obtaining unaided, firsthand consumer reactions, impressions and perceptions relative to the event experience.  This information gives marketers an in-depth and unfiltered evaluation of how the audience received an event. A few methodologies to capture this data include:

In-person interviews/intercepts

In-person interviews can be used to measure the immediate effectiveness of the event and provide insight on things like: what brought consumers to the event, their initial impression/perception of the event and what was most memorable about the event.

Social Media Conversation Monitoring

An effective way to measure consumer sentiment and perception of an event is to monitor the social conversations that arise. Marketers can now follow and track event related content posted by consumers by utilizing hashtags, Google alerts, and social media monitoring applications (see a comprehensive list of social media monitoring tools in this article by Pam Dyer on social media today), giving brands the opportunity to listen to what consumers are saying in real time. Monitoring event specific social content will give you an unfiltered look at consumer attitudes toward an event as well as  valuable insights on what did or didn't resonate with them. Don't be afraid to engage further in conversation with targeted consumers, the greatest thing about social media is the ability to interact with your consumers.

Event observation/Interaction

Observe and experience the event for yourself or with your team. Engage with the brands activations as if you were a consumer, interact with staff, demo the new products, ask questions and use the technology. The knowledge and insights you and your staff gather from observing and interacting will give you a solid understanding of the event experience and strong basis to analyze all of your additional event metrics.

Things to remember

The goal of measuring any event is to evaluate the success and effectiveness of the event based on your marketing objectives and uncover actionable insights to help drive future event strategy.

A good measurement strategy begins with clearly defined objectives and leverages a combination of methods to effectively measure the event success.

July 22, 2013

The 411 on Measuring Events: Tips to Effective Event Measurement

We can all agree that with the planning, logistics and costs that go into executing a brand event, it's essential that you have a measurement strategy in place to help gauge the success and effectiveness of your event marketing efforts. That said, measuring events can often be a complicated assignment when trying to determine just what to measure and how best to measure it. Don't fret though, there are a few best practices you can follow to help in the development of your measurement strategy to ultimately provide you with the metrics and insights you need to accurately evaluate your event.

Define your objectives

Since there is no industry "standard" on what indices should be measured at an event and different types of events support different objectives, it's up to you to develop a measurement plan that accurately assesses the success of your unique event. The first step to developing this plan is defining the objectives and key performance indicators (KPIs). 

For example, if one of your objectives is to raise awareness for a product, KPIs may include product trial rate, number of impressions generated and increased product awareness metrics.  Additionally if another one of your objectives is to increase brand affinity, your KPIs may include delivering a 'memorable experience'? and establishing a trending topic on social media, all of which can be measured through a variety of methods.

Objectives and KPIs can be fairly straightforward, but you will want to include all key stakeholders in establishing them. It's important to have everyone involved and in agreement with the objectives before you can begin to build out a measurement strategy. Gaining alignment will help eliminate any misunderstanding of the purpose of the event ahead of time.

Develop tactics to effectively measure success against each objective

Now that you know what success looks like, you can effectively develop a measurement plan to evaluate your marketing efforts. At AMP, we measure our events on both a quantitative and qualitative basis. Within these two options are multiple tactics. In our next two blog posts, we will discuss a few tactics to consider when developing a measurement plan.

Keep in mind that there is not one 'correct'? method to measure against your event objectives, only methods that will give you actionable information that you can continue to plan against. What are some of the objectives you have for your next event?

 

July 8, 2013

Spread the Word: Creating Shareable Experiences

 

First, to be clear, your event does need an iPad (or an android tablet or many smartphones) to be successful. Your activation needs to keep people connected to the digital world at-large to extend reach beyond the physical footprint. Social and mobile devices enable people to talk, share, and tell their friends how cool they are for participating in your awesome brand activation. Whether people are tweeting, checking-in, vine-ing or instagramming on their own or being strongly persuaded by cheerful Brand Ambassadors, people sharing info about your activation is good.

You're smart, so you know that social sharing creates buzz. But, you want that buzz to be sustained and turn event goers into long-term customers' and ultimately brand evangelists. So, how can you turn that moment-in-time picture or tweet into a future engagement? A few ways to achieve this goal include:

Track, Monitor and Respond to Conversations in Real-time

Experiential marketing is about engaging with consumers one-on-one, so why not take that principle online? Create an event-specific hashtag to track the conversation. The ubiquitous hashtag, now also on Facebook, groups all messages about a specific topic into an ad-hoc forum that are searchable and indexed by search engines. So, arm everyone with your hashtag. Think of something clever and relevant, but keep it short and sweet. Make sure to put it on all event signage, staff t-shirts, and collateral so that everyone is informed.

With the event hashtag, community managers can easily track the event and respond to attendees via social channels. Answer questions, give suggestions, or launch a contest. By engaging in a two-way conversation, you have the opportunity to build a longer term relationship.

Capture Data

Now people are actively engaging with your brand at your event and online. This is a great opportunity to understand more about your customers and potential customers. More Facebook likes than Instagram posts? 250 check-ins on Foursquare? Looks like you have a peek into which channels to target for future marketing initiatives.

If event-goers are using your social sharing photobooth, you can include opt-in questions to capture email addresses to follow up with them post event. With RFID technology, we are closer to finding out how many people are actually attending your event and engaging on social. Data capture win!

So, when creating a branded experience, be sure to bring iPads or mobile devices to capture the necessary data to follow up with attendees post event. While we all may not ultimately define 'success'? in the same terms, as experiential marketers, we can agree that extending the reach of our events is a step in the right direction.

March 27, 2012

And the Lineup Is...

If you're like me and have attended a music festival or two (hundred), then you've probably learned a few tips and tricks along the way ' like bringing rain boots to navigate the ensuing mud-slide after a slight drizzle or MacGuyvering a face-mask from a bandana to brave the sandstorm from a passing golf cart. As marketers gear up for this festival season's metaphorical mosh-pit of bands and brands, here are a few strategies to keep in mind.

Why Music Festivals?

According to a Brand Republic survey, 78% of consumers state that brand association with music is a good thing. Presence at a music festival creates a positive brand experience and memorable consumer interaction. As a venue for a young, attentive and social audience, it is no wonder why marketers continue to target these opportunities. Additionally, consumers are adapting to the presence of brands at festivals as they realize the value that they bring to the experience.

While You're Here, Make Yourself Useful

For an audience that has come to embrace the commercial counterparts at music festivals, static branding simply won't cut it. A brand's presence at a music festival should bring something useful, functional or necessary to attendees. Providing a service that ties back to the brand is one way to create a meaningful connection with the consumer. This can range from offering a VIP experience to fans or simply holding people's 'stuff'? as State Farm did at many of this year's events by supplying lockers to protect consumers' valuables while delivering a message of safety and security.

Not All Festivals Are Created Equal

It is important to keep in mind when planning your activation that consumers' needs can be contingent on a festivals location, layout or even lineup. Air conditioning and cold water for example, can take on new meaning after three days of camping in the hot summer sun but won't necessarily receive a standing ovation at an après ski-festival in the Rockies.

More and more, marketers are letting consumers design, shape and control their interaction with the brand and sometimes even the festival itself as is the case with the ever-popular design contests to determine festival merchandise. The use of bespoke consumer takeaways from personalized kicks to self-designed tote bags and T's allows fans to create a souvenir as well as an experience that they love.

Go 'Green'? or Go Home

To engage an audience of today's festival-goers without a message of concern for the environment would be like belting out a 'play Freebird!'? at your next concert experience. As festivals become greener, marketers should follow their lead. Even if your brand isn't 'green,'? incorporating an earth-friendly festival footprint can be as simple as recycling items used within your space, ditching paper prints for a digital photo-activation or selecting eco-friendly items for consumer giveaways.

One More Song!

As with any good concert, there should be an opener and an encore. Marketers can leverage pre and post festival communication to increase brand visibility within the music space. As mentioned recently by MarketingWeek.com: 'Brands can use digital to engage with their target audience before, during and after the events to get the most out of their experiential activity.'? This is important not only to create an experience that resonates with consumers long after the event but also to reach the audience who may not have attended a music festival this year.

So before you grab your Ray-Bans and head for the mainstage on this year's music festival circuit, be sure to plan accordingly. While just a few of many guidelines to keep in mind, following these steps in addition to setting clear goals will help ensure your brand gets an all-access pass for creating memorable consumer engagements that drive epic results.

Rock On.

December 1, 2010

Millennials are Looking for the 'Shop-erience'? this Holiday Season

I'm a Millennial and I like to shop, both on- and offline. Of course, marketers and advertisers already know this simple fact. They also know that I have attended university and am just starting out my career, live in an urban-setting with a moderate household income, like to feel good about donating to philanthropic causes, and spend a large amount of time pilfering away on social networking sites. However, do marketers really know why I like to shop? It's all about the experience.

Over this last week, I came across not one ' but two ' unique shopping experiences that provided value above-and-beyond the traditional mall excursion or product search online. Last week, Google launched Boutiques.com, a 'personalized shopping experience that lets you find and discover fashion goods through a collection of boutiques curated by taste-makers ' celebrities, stylists, designers, and fashion bloggers.'? The website is built with technology-software that 'learns'? about your style and trend preferences to be able to provide more relevant search results and recommendations over time. The user has the option to create their own boutique, share outfit ideas with friends, leave comments for other fashionistas, and source similar looks within a variety of price ranges.


Prior to the launch of Boutiques.com, online shopping could seem like a chore. This is not to say that Google completely revolutionized the online shopping realm; rather the search giant combined the search for and purchasing activities into one, cohesive website. Everyone wins: retailers are able to advertise their products directly to consumers and shoppers have all the necessary tools at their fingertips to stay ahead of the fashion-game. The experience is convenient, easy, and customizable and as a millennial, I appreciate that.

My second shopping example is more experiential in the traditional sense, bringing the high-brow fashion of Cynthia Rowley to neighborhoods throughout the United States via a mobile boutique. The fashion truck contains Rowley's entire fall 2010 collection, as well as select pieces from her spring and summer lines. Shoppers have the opportunity to learn of the truck's whereabouts via a live Twitter feed, and can visit the 'shop on wheels'? in their local market for a fun, fashion splurge. With a limited number of stores across the US, the Cynthia Rowley mobile boutique provides shoppers with the opportunity to experience the look-and-feel of the brand. The experience is fun, conversational, and out-of-the-ordinary, enhancing the brand image and helping to establish a positive association in the minds of consumers.

As the holiday shopping season is fast-approaching and I'm looking to buy gifts for family and friends ' and to take advantage of those sales to update my own winter wardrobe ' I will be looking for the brands that provide an engaging and memorable shopping experience. I hypothesize that these brands will come out on top in the New Year.  After all, it's all about the 'shop-erience.'?

November 18, 2010

Flash Mobs take Consumers by Surprise

For those of you who aren't familiar, a 'flash mob'? is when a large group of people assemble in a public place, seemingly going about their normal, everyday business, until all of a sudden, the group breaks into a performance of some sort.

In the fashion capital of the world, New York City, the AMP team executed flash mob fashion shows recently for two retail store grand openings last week. What better way to capture consumers' attention than to catch them by surprise with a free fashion show in the middle of the day'?¦ right on the sidewalk?

Imagine walking through the city, only to encounter a sudden blast of music, an emcee setting the scene for a fashion show, and a crew of paparazzi snapping shots of beautiful models as they begin to strut their stuff down the 'catwalk'?. This assembly only occurs for a short period of time, but long enough to leave a lasting impression in the minds of those passing by who stop to find out what all the ruckus is about. As soon as the show is complete, the gang disperses back into the crowds, blending in with tourists and city folk until the next flash mob commences. We showcased the hottest Fall fashions throughout the city, as our ten models walked an improv runway. Consumers who experienced the flash mobs walked away with excitement, as they had a firsthand visual of what they could look like after shopping at the store, and many walked away with the intentions of going right to the grand opening to see for themselves!

Flash Mobs are definitely a fun addition to the world of experiential marketing! In fact the new hit series, GLEE, was featured in a Seattle flash mob recently. In a populated walking mall, the sounds of the Glee cast singing Don't Stop Believin' (one of my favorites from Journey!), Gold Digger and more filled the air. All of a sudden, dancers broke out of the crowd to perform. 'Gleeks'? from all over the country flew in to be a part of the giant event, proving that flash mobs are truly entertaining and engaging. Here in our own city of Boston, a flash mob appeared for the lunch crowds at City Place, promoting the ArtsEmerson production of Fraulein Maria in September. The Gwen Stefani hit, Wind It Up, pulsed through the speakers and lunch-goers found themselves lost in a sea of dancers.

Flash mobs are certainly shocking consumers and are becoming a popular tool for experiential marketers to utilize for promotions. Want to learn more? Send us an email!

November 10, 2010

The Convergence of Media & Live Experience Amplified with Technology

You can't help but notice if you're an event geek like me that virtually every other commercial on TV today is based on, related to, or actually produced at a live event. The first true instance of this that will forever stand out in my mind was one of my first touring assignments ' the 2000 Pepsi Challenge. There are plenty of examples that precede my example like the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile (which I've driven) and The Betty Crocker Bake Off (for the marketing history buffs) but I lived this proclamation of marketing day-in, day-out for an entire summer and it truly changed my point of view on marketing and the human experience.

Fast forward to this era and you have what I consider to be the crème de la crème of this genre in the Kashi campaign. I've had the chance to see a lot of their 'set'? materials first hand and I can't help but pay extra attention each time I see these commercials partly because of their familiarity - a mass broadcast of my discipline - but also because they're really good.  I like how they're simple and straightforward, but I also like how they use, or at least recreate for filming, everyday interactions that they have with consumers on the street. I find it to be honest and credible; thus building brand loyalty with me as a consumer.

I then came across a blog post a couple of weeks ago from someone who I'm 'Linked In'? with via one of my groups talking about 3D projection street marketing. I've seen some of this stuff online before but never with effective brand communication to support  it. However, I was intrigued by some photos and his description of the execution:

  • paraphrased: Toyota and the agency Glue Isobar offer a very cool use of 3D projection for the release of the new Auris Hybrid in the UK. In deciding to not just use the walls for the media projection, they've placed the product and its hybrid technology in a futuristic atmosphere that visually exemplifies the Hybrid Synergy Drive system's core benefit, energy replacement and the campaigns slogan 'Get Your Energy Back.'?

I'm always curious to see what's next so I clicked the link in his blog for video of the experience.

Needless to say, I was amazed by this beautiful display and the convergence of media/ branded communication, technology and live experience. To imagine myself just casually walking down the street that night and being interrupted with this show is amazing to me. It makes me want to buy the Auris and import it to the states and I wasn't even there. Being able to seamlessly integrate the communication platform into the live experience and tie it all together with this technology is nothing short of amazing and this is just a glimpse into the next era of the types of engagements and communication we're going to be creating in the industry and here at AMP'?¦

And for those of you who are like me and need to learn how they actually did this, click here to see the making of video! Now let's race to see who can be the next to do something cool'?¦

November 10, 2010

The Convergence of Media & Live Experience Amplified with Technology

You can't help but notice if you're an event geek like me that virtually every other commercial on TV today is based on, related to, or actually produced at a live event. The first true instance of this that will forever stand out in my mind was one of my first touring assignments ' the 2000 Pepsi Challenge. There are plenty of examples that precede my example like the Oscar Meyer Wiener Mobile (which I've driven) and The Betty Crocker Bake Off (for the marketing history buffs) but I lived this proclamation of marketing day-in, day-out for an entire summer and it truly changed my point of view on marketing and the human experience.

Fast forward to this era and you have what I consider to be the crème de la crème of this genre in the Kashi campaign. I've had the chance to see a lot of their 'set'? materials first hand and I can't help but pay extra attention each time I see these commercials partly because of their familiarity - a mass broadcast of my discipline - but also because they're really good.  I like how they're simple and straightforward, but I also like how they use, or at least recreate for filming, everyday interactions that they have with consumers on the street. I find it to be honest and credible; thus building brand loyalty with me as a consumer.

I then came across a blog post a couple of weeks ago from someone who I'm 'Linked In'? with via one of my groups talking about 3D projection street marketing. I've seen some of this stuff online before but never with effective brand communication to support  it. However, I was intrigued by some photos and his description of the execution:

  • paraphrased: Toyota and the agency Glue Isobar offer a very cool use of 3D projection for the release of the new Auris Hybrid in the UK. In deciding to not just use the walls for the media projection, they've placed the product and its hybrid technology in a futuristic atmosphere that visually exemplifies the Hybrid Synergy Drive system's core benefit, energy replacement and the campaigns slogan 'Get Your Energy Back.'?

I'm always curious to see what's next so I clicked the link in his blog for video of the experience.

Needless to say, I was amazed by this beautiful display and the convergence of media/ branded communication, technology and live experience. To imagine myself just casually walking down the street that night and being interrupted with this show is amazing to me. It makes me want to buy the Auris and import it to the states and I wasn't even there. Being able to seamlessly integrate the communication platform into the live experience and tie it all together with this technology is nothing short of amazing and this is just a glimpse into the next era of the types of engagements and communication we're going to be creating in the industry and here at AMP'?¦

And for those of you who are like me and need to learn how they actually did this, click here to see the making of video! Now let's race to see who can be the next to do something cool'?¦

October 12, 2010

To execute or not to execute? That is the mobile tour question.

As an experiential marketer, you typically prefer to route your mobile tour to large fairs or festivals, professional sporting events, or other large events, where tens of thousands of consumers will have access to your footprint and brand. These events are usually in pretty large DMA's and are, for the most part, easily accessible. But what about events in rural America? In towns that have a total population of 10,000 or less? Is it worth your time? Is it worth your budget?

If you're looking for more than just quantitative results, then I say Yes, with a capital Y. Working with a regional client who offers its services in extremely rural areas, I've seen firsthand the impact that mobile tours can have on consumers in these markets. First reaction: they are shocked to see you in their town. Second reaction: they are excited to see you in their town. Third reaction: they are grateful to see you in their town.

Shocked? Excited? Grateful? Seems like a recipe for some quality consumer interactions if you ask me. Not to sound like a softy, but when I'm at an event and see consumers really having a good time, it's an awesome feeling ' knowing that my client's brand  played a role in making their experience memorable. And this happens even more so at events in areas where they are not accustomed to mobile tour activations or larger brands being a part of their community.

Having attended events in both major cities and small towns (and by small towns I mean I've driven past horse and buggy crossing road signs'?¦ on the highway'?¦), I feel event-goers in rural areas will be more receptive to your brand and event presence than their urban counterparts.

So I bid you farewell with the following'?¦ Sometimes it's nice to have a successful event in terms of numbers, but sometimes it's also nice to have a successful event in terms of quality consumer interactions and long-term consumer impact. What are your thoughts?

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