Archive for the ‘experiential marketing’ tag

3 Key Learnings from Digital Summit Atlanta 2015

without comments

DS2

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.

Share Button

Experiential Brand Spotlight: GoPro

without comments

Photo courtesy of Adweek.com

Maya Angelou once said: “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”

These days that famous line is especially resonant for us as experiential marketers. Consumers today seek inclusion, conversation, and, above all, powerful emotion from their brands. As technology thrives and the world vacillates between online and off, brand interactions must be deeply personal, customized and meaningful. At the core of all this lies experiential, the place where people join your circle, trust is built and lasting memories are made. Just one reason why investment in experiential marketing is up nearly 5% from last year.

Knowing the needs, aspirations and interests of the target consumer is more essential than ever before, and one brand has hit all these notes perfectly in 2014: GoPro.

In an era where standalone consumer electronics crash and burn at the hand of the dominant smartphone, GoPro’s $2.95 billion IPO was the largest of its kind in 20 years. What impresses me about this feat is not the camera’s innovative size or quality (while impressive), but rather the way the company has sold people on the experience of using the camera rather than the camera itself. They sell the spectacular memory of catching a surf wave, braving a double black diamond or jumping from an airplane (on my bucket list). A GoPro camera symbolizes the thrill seeker. A society of adventure lovers that captures life’s most exciting moments and empowers them by giving them a voice to share content digitally with fellow enthusiasts.

GoPro’s success is a testament to the emotional value we place on experiences. Technology is making this easier and easier. As we’ve seen with GoPro and other tech wearables, the latest gadgets allow brands to personalize experience even more through robust, user-generated data and content.

So what next? Savvy experiential marketing is the perfect medium for sowing intimate relationships and leaving your consumers feeling valued and inspired. Just look at the brilliant experiential campaigns put out by GoPro, Red Bull or Converse’s  music-recording studios. These are the mavericks that take their purpose to heart and understand that while experiential may not reach the ten million viewers that see a flashy TV ad, it reaches a more concentrated and valuable audience.

 

Share Button

Written by Alexander Fellows
Alexander Fellows

December 22nd, 2014 at 3:59 pm

Using RFID to Improve the Customer Experience

with 2 comments

Photo courtesy of Tomorrowland.com

Today, RFID technology is so much more than an IPass or a race-timer. The technology has changed the way big corporations such as Wal-Mart handle their supply chain management, the way retail stores prevent shoplifting, and the way experiential marketers make use of their spaces. Here are a few ways events are utilizing RFID technology to improve experiences:

Tomorrowland Music Festival:
This Belgium music festival took to the wristband trend over the traditional admission ticket. When guests received their wristbands in the mail they could register their band to connect with their Facebook page. During the course of the two-weekend event, if any two guests pressed the button on their wristband at the same time while they were close to one another, the other person’s Facebook info would be shared via email. Every day that the guest attended the festival, they received an email of all the people they met that day.

Photo courtesy of TasteofToronto.com

Photo courtesy of TasteofToronto.com

Taste of Toronto:
The Taste of Toronto used RFID a little differently than just an admission ticket. They said goodbye to the dated ticket method for paying for food and drinks and instead provided each attendee with an RFID card. The guests could load money on the card and use it to pay for all food and drinks at the event. At the end of the day, if there was money left over on the card it was donated to Second Harvest Food Rescue.

C2MTL:
C2MTL, the Commerce and Creativity conference in Montreal, used UHF tags (similar to RFID but functions from as far away as 30 feet) to help staff the event. The tags were on each badge of the guests and the chandeliers were UHF-enabled to receive information from the guests’ badges. Producers knew when people entered the building and passed security successfully, and they also knew when to add extra staff to popular food stations.

Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival:
Bonnaroo draws thousands of guests to Tennessee each June. Guests registered their RFID wristbands online before attending the event, and in Bonnaroo’s partnering with Microsoft, linked them with a Microsoft OneDrive account. Every time the guest visited a photobooth or viewed a performance, they could scan their RFID band and have photos sent and saved to their account.

Checkout more smart uses of RFID in the BizBash article “6 Events Using R.F.I.D. Technology to Improve the Guest Experience.”

Share Button

Pop-Up Cafes and experiential marketing

without comments

popupcafe

 david byrne pop up

Apparently today was the first of what may be many “pop-up” cafes in NYC (not to be confused with the sitting “parks” installed around Times Square and other parts of the city).  According to the Gothamist story, these cafes are paid for by local participating proprietors and you don’t have to purchase food to take a break, sit down and relax at the tables.  As you can see from the second picture, David Byrne was there to celebrate the innaugural event with some DOT folks.  We see many interesting experiential marketing ideas taking shape here – especially if you team it with geolocational apps, oh, and of course, some cool brands. (Photos from Gothamist)

Share Button

Written by Francesca Gangitano
Francesca Gangitano

August 12th, 2010 at 3:29 pm