Archive for June, 2015
We’re proud to announce that MKTG INC made Event Marketer’s It List of the top 100 event agencies! In the words of Event Marketer:
This year, the Top 100 event agencies collectively represent the best of what this industry has become. The conceptual work is stellar. The strategic expertise is bar none. The digital savvy is exceptional. It’s our strongest list to date, and, just as rigorous and thorough as it was the year we started it—this It List is your bankable guide to the veteran shops and rookie agencies that are leading event marketing today. Of course, making the final picks for each year’s list is no easy task. And this year we had more agencies apply than ever before. Inevitably, a few that once made the list will find that as their businesses have evolved, so too has our need to shine a spotlight on just those shops that are delivering the most experiential expertise.
It’s the most competitive agency community in the industry’s history to be sure. But it’s also one of the most exciting times for brand marketers, who have access to more talent, experience and specializations than ever. We congratulate all of the agencies selected for this year’s It List, and present to you the Top 100 Event Agencies of 2015.
Check out the full MKTG INC write-up here.
The Good (But Not Surprising) News
Experiential is bigger than ever and only going to grow in importance. More and more brands are putting experiences at or near the center of their marketing mix. It’s increasingly a driving force, making up much of campaign content. One need look no further than this year’s Grand Ex winner – Bud Light and Mosaic’s Up for Whatever – to appreciate the sheer magnitude of this intensifying shift. Some data for 2015:
– 79% of brands plan to execute more experiential programs
– Budgets are expected to increase by more than 6%
Results. We all know that experiential marketing, done well, works. But there’s rising data to back this up which is partly why so many brands are turning to what we do.
– Over 75% of brands see better than a 2:1 ROI on their investment
– After an event, 74% of participants have a more positive opinion about the company, brand, product or service being promoted
– 87% of respondents say a live event helps them understand products or services better than a TV spot
– Experiential drives consumers to purchase: 98% of people are more inclined to purchase as a result of attending an event
– 71% of participants tell a friend or family member about their experience
In examining the vast array of work showcased and dissected at this year’s summit, there were a few marketer behaviors that generated breakthrough experiences:
– They were bold. A no-fear attitude. The thinking is big risk, big reward. Examples: Heineken and KY Jelly (yes, KY Jelly).
– They pulled at heartstrings. Direct quote: “If they’re crying, you’re doing your job.” Examples: Dove, P&G.
– They created user-triggered experiences. See bullet one – this can be dicey – but not knowing what you’re going to get can be the brilliance of it too. Examples: Visa, Old Navy.
– They used experiences to do what nothing else ever could. This sounds obvious but when you watch the floor drop away at a North Face store in South Korea, you’ll get my meaning. Examples: The North Face, Samsung
Have you looked at your business card recently? If not you should. MKTG INC’s cards are known for their unique perspective and purpose (the latter being expressly to embarrass their bearer, natch). This column takes a look at the business cards of our coworkers and hears the stories behind them. Here’s the story behind the business card of Danielle Stefanuk, Senior Account Executive, in MKTG INC’s New York City office.
It’s always the quiet ones.
I may seem quiet at first but once you get to know me, I’m anything but quiet! Don’t let my soft-spoken voice fool you.
For example, to resist eating a sugary snack one fateful afternoon, the demure darling you see in front of you once sprayed a fistful of jellybeans with Windex.
This is, embarrassingly, a true statement. Even more embarrassing than the act itself is how I got the idea. My roommate and I were watching an episode of Keeping up with the Kardashians (guilty pleasure) and in the episode; Kim received a bunch of cupcakes. She didn’t want to eat them all so she sprayed them with Windex. While I typically would never emulate the actions of the Kardashians, I just as equally did not want to eat my entire bag of jellybeans. So I sprayed them!
When asked why, her response was simple: “Well, would you eat something sprayed with Windex?”
There are not many people that would actually eat something after it has been sprayed with Windex…except for maybe the father in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding (am I right?).
This kind of clear-sighted practicality paired with fervent passion is one reason clients love Danielle. Or maybe it’s because she’s always giving them jellybeans.
It’s definitely the former. I am certain of this because I no longer buy Jellybeans in an effort to save my bottles of Windex for cleaning purposes only.
Photo by ©Gamma Nine
At MKTG INC, whether it’s a B-to-C campaign, or B-to-B ,we craft our event strategy with our client’s target audience at the center:
-What are their passion points?
-How can we engage with them prior, during and following an event?
-How do we build something that is special, sharable and unforgettable and ultimately build an allegiance between the target and our client’s brand, products and/or services.
That strategy came to life for cloud software giant NetSuite’s 5th Annual SuiteWorld Conference in San Jose, California. From May 4th-May 7th, the streets of San Jose were packed with thousands of people attending SuiteWorld, heralded as the #1 Cloud ERP Event of the year.
As NetSuite’s experiential marketing partner, we led the creative execution for the entire conference, as well as the production and creative delivery of three ancillary events throughout the week.
In addition to producing over 35,000 pieces of signage and collateral, MKTG INC set-up a mind-blowing alternative to the typical conference, as attendees found themselves floating through competitive games of air hockey and listening to the SuiteTunes in between totally stimulating breakout sessions and keynotes, finishing off their week of working by celebrating at SuiteFest with the upcoming Rock ‘n’ Roll goddess, Dorothy, infamous Norwegian duo Nico & Vinz and indie electro band, Capital Cities.
From the grand façade welcoming this year’s attendees, the Nav Centers guiding the way, and the Pedicabs offering a friendly ride home, the ooo’s and ahh’s over the look and feel were familiar coos being heard from both near and far.
Digital Summit Atlanta, a gathering of some of the most forward thinkers in digital marketing, took place this week and I was proud to make it my 3rd time in attendance. Each year I have been able to discover new topics and discuss the next trends in digital marketing.
Overall, each year has followed its own theme as digital marketing as a whole evolves so quickly. In 2013, trends in how social media was changing for brands was explored in a lot of sessions. Last year it shifted to a major focus on content marketing and SEO. Now, at #DSUM15, the next stage in UX (User Experience) design seemed to be the key focus.
And with that, here are three key takeaways from the conference as it can relate to what we do in the experiential space…
1. Humanizing UX
Many of the sessions at Digital Summit really focused on UX as we were challenged to think of what was next in the field. For example, how do we run UX more lean and understand better, powered with ‘big data’, how to humanize someone’s digital experience. When we map out the consumer journey – remember that each user is an actual person with problems and needs.
When you look at bring a consumer through a brand experience for experiential this line of thinking makes a lot of sense, right? It is our expertise to bring brands to life in a way that they can interact with consumers as people and not anonymous IP addresses. However many activation designs we see in the field could do a better job from at the ideation stage to keep in mind that once launched, these are people with their own objectives who will walk through our ideas.
So when thinking through your consumer experience idea, map it out. Literally draw out each stage of the activation UX and use this tool to identify where the gaps are or more importantly, where it can be more streamlined.
2. Millennials are mobile-first…and are starting to earn a lot of money
When you hear the word “millennials” – how old of a person pops in your mind? Probably an early-20-something with new student debt maybe? Well consider that millennials are were born starting in 1980 and now are entering their mid-30s. Sure there is probably a healthy amount of debt still lingering – but this generation is now entering over a $Trillion in buying power and loves to spend.
So with all of this data we now have on the ‘Connected Generation’ – what have we learned about marketing to them? It’s a long answer but here are two quick tips from @annieg from StumbleUpon.
First, “6 is the new 60” – as in the 6” phone is more important than the 60” TV. Now that doesn’t mean the generation is consumer less video – in fact it’s more than ever. But reportedly 33% do not watch any broadcast TV.
Second, it seems obvious that millennials are connected to their mobile devices, sure, but how many experiences are being built mobile-first? When we consider social, if you stop to think why they are so effective with the connected generation it’s not just because they are social – but because the most popular experiences are mobile-first. Snapchat, Instagram, Vine…some of the most powerful platforms for the younger Millennials have excelled by being native to the 6” screen. So consider mobile-first experiences to connect and make an engagement that this group wants to use. After all, it is why the younger Millennials are now being known as Social Natives.
3. The Entrepreneur Wants to Solve a Problem
I heard a great line this year and it came during a keynote speaker Chris Brogan, whose content I highly recommend. To summarize:
Stop chasing innovation, which aims to just do something.
Be an entrepreneur, which aims to solve someone’s problem.
While this is absolutely a trap in creating the latest in digital experiences, it is also a trap in experiential marketing. Brands and agencies alike all want to innovate and create and truly great new things are activated in our space every year. But when coming up the ideas for the experience on the front end, don’t just try to chase an innovation for the sake of doing it. Instead, identify an audience’s problem and solve it. That is where the entrepreneurship mindset excels and where experiential marketing can truly make an in-person impact on someone.
If you are ever free in May, I highly recommend Digital Summit. This is only a small snipet of content from the 2-day conference. I still have to go through pages upon pages of notes but in the meantime, enjoy the learnings and feel free to find me @BradMEpstein if you want to go through my timeline where I shared some more real-time leanrings!
Bonus! PowerPoint is where data goes to die!
If you work with data (you should!) treat it as a living, breathing source. PowerPoint it becomes static and if 2015 taught me anything – is that static is kryptonite for the modern marketer. So learn new tools that keep you agile and keep your brand’s marketing velocity as fast as possible.
Last week on May 27th on the rooftop of Niketown in midtown Manhattan, Nike premiered the Hypervenom II cleats exclusively for dozens of girls from the Intense Soccer Academy’s U17 and U10 teams. In addition to trialing the brand new cleat, the soccer fanatics were taken through drills like the pros by members of the US Women’s National Team. In between tears of joy and excitement, the girls got to play alongside their idols who they will be cheering on come next week when the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicks off in Canada. GO USA!
The Hypervenom II is available for trials in the Women’s World Cup Box at Niketown New York exclusively and will be available for sale on June 4th.