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Why Event Marketing Should Be Part Of Your Marketing Strategy

Event Marketing is the way of the future.  Companies such as Nike, TD Bank, Lush and Jet Blue have been diverting marketing resources to include event marketing strategies for one reason and one reason only.  It works!

The way it works is by linking your products or services with positive and carefully tailored social experiences.  Engaging directly and personally with customers, providing a shared experience, and enhancing trust.  Fostering customer loyalty that has the greatest opportunity to be embedded and sustained over time.

The challenge is creating events with the right emotional tone.  A tone that matches the brand and moves consumers through a sales cycle.  This is what an event marketer can do for you.  We understand what you offer, analyze your target demographic, and create experiences that bring consumers together in a way that has meaning and purpose.

What Is Event Marketing, Exactly?

Event marketing is a channel where lived experiences are created to promote products and services in a way that is congruent with the brand.  Event marketers design events that provide consumers with unique and memorable experiences while achieving specific return on investment goals.  Marketing events can be tailored to address outcomes such as brand positioning, database growth, inquiry generation, sales or brand advocacy.

Sales & Marketing

Event marketers take what we already know about the sales process and apply it on a larger scale. We already know that people buy from people they like and trust, making relationship building an essential part of the sales process.  Event marketers take this knowledge and apply it on a larger scale by creating live experiences drawn from a brand’s ‘personality’.  The intention being to target a specific demographic, build likability, trust, and inspire action.  Working towards a relationship between the business and consumer that goes beyond ‘point and click’ or. sales pitch.  In this way a more meaningful and lasting customer relationship is established that invites consumers to include the brand as part of their lifestyle.

Large Budgets Don’t Guarantee Success

Small or medium sized businesses may be concerned that event marketing won’t fit into their budget. Don’t lament, budget doesn’t define success in the world of event marketing.  The biggest budget may get you to the coveted first page on Google and the highest ranking ad; however, successful events are a product of strategic design, careful execution, a commitment to excellence, and experience.

Of course, a larger budget will provide more frills, create grandiose experiences, and cutting edge technology.  But, big spending will prove frivolous without a well thought out plan with clear goals.

A good example of a big budget event flop took place recently.  You may have heard about the Frye Festival debacle.  The promised luxury festival in the Bahamas had exceptional marketing content and huge ticket sales.  Unfortunately, poor execution and a lack of consistency between the brands message and reality led to an expensive failure.  Yet a lesson is learned.  A successful small event that can be built upon is far better than a big budget event flop.

Online And Offline Converge

While building a brand’s online presence is important, we don’t want to forget that word of mouth also spreads quickly.  Thoughtfully coupling your brand’s offline and online presence makes your brand influence wider and stronger.  Successful event marketing targets the right audience; invites existing clients to interact with the brand in a reaffirming way and entices new consumers to learn about its values.  Online marketing and event marketing are not mutually exclusive.  Even hosting small, in store retail events, client appreciation events, and activations that attract a small number of people in person can translate to reaching thousands of consumers.  The implementation of online strategies that work with the event strategy generates the largest return.  Conversely, online brands can bring an offline life experience to consumers that feed off their online presence.

A great example of an online retailer using event marketing to expand their brand is Zappos.  Zappos took their online brand on the road in an effort to connect their brand to the offline world and expand their reach.  Successfully creating a connection with their online and offline presence.

Click here for full details on Zappos’ road show:

Conclusion

As marketers we want to create the largest amount of engagement and capitalize on it consistently. The challenge, of course, is actually making it happen. The more data we have about consumers, not just in terms of how they spend their money, but also about their overall lifestyle, values, and belief systems the easier it is to make predictions about how they will respond to specific activity.  Marketing events are a great way to tap into our human need for real connections that are live and in person.  Through this process we can acquire data, build relationships, and invite consumers to act in rich and meaningful ways.

by Zaheeda Merchant

For more information on Event Marketing contact us

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