The State of the Experiential Marketing Industry

What’s Happening and How It Will Shape Experiential Marketing in 2013

Checkers Grand Opening Events - Adelante Live IncThere’s a lot happening in the world of experiential marketing .  As more companies expand their marketing plans to include live events as a viable form of creating brand awareness, our industry continues to grow and change to meet their needs.

Thanks to an agency survey report released by the Event Marketing Institute (EMI) in partnership with Mosaic Experiential Marketing, we have compiled what we feel is some of the most vital information about our industry and its future.

Overall Growth and Impressions

  • Agency revenue growth rates are expected to grow 15.2% in 2013, compared to a reported 12.4% growth for 2012.
  • The top three client experiential marketing goals are to increase sales, increase brand awareness, and launch new products. Also gaining more importance to clients this year is lead generation, up 13% from last year.
  • The features that most enhance a consumer’s in-store shopping experience are not surprising. Of the agencies surveyed, 100% ranked Outgoing and Engaging Staff as “very important” or “important” on a 5-point scale.
  • The top three agency aspects most important to clients (from the agency perspective) are project management, strategic consulting, and measurement services. When selecting an agency, brands tend to look at costs, creativity, and the experience of an agency.
  • 58% of agencies believe that if brands viewed events more strategically than tactically they could achieve more value from the relationship.

Technology Usage at Events

  • In response to the use of digital media and technology at live events, many agencies responded that it is “becoming a requirement, opposed to a ‘nice to have’ element”, “can help track ROI”, and “mobile devices are the main engagement technology”. However, agencies also reported that getting consumers to share things on social media still posed quite a challenge.
  • According to the survey, integrating technology into live events is considered a more promising strategy than celebrity or content-focused events.
  • Use of smartphones by consumers during in-store events and experiences is on the rise. Primarily to take pictures, scan QR codes, receive instant savings, and compare pricing.
  • Last year, 45% of agencies reported they used social media around events. Today, 62% of agencies are using social media to reach a larger audience, disseminate event information, and to gain new leads.

Measuring ROI

  •  When asked about reaching ROI goals, 52% of agencies reported that “the ROI level realized or anticipated is not applicable”.  Meaning: Reaching a desirable number in terms of traditional ROI calculations is often difficult with experiential marketing – tracking is more of a measure vs. a traditional ROI number.
  • Of the criteria used to measure ROI in this type of marketing, the top three metrics are total event attendance/participation/visits, the amount of leads brought in, and the time spent with the product or experience by customers. Other metrics include the number of social media postings, Facebook “likes”, and website hits.
  • 62% of agencies responding to the survey say the lack of an event measurement industry standard process or model is a challenge for their organizations and their clients.

This study supports that these trends, key learnings and challenges will continue to shape our industry as we move through 2013 and beyond.

Source: EventTrack 2013. Event & Experiential Marketing Industry Forecast & Best Practices Study.  Special Report by Event Marketing Institute and Mosaic Experiential Marketing.

 

Adelante Live - Account Manager - Lisa Marino - ThumbnailLisa Marino is an account manager with Adelante Live Inc. To learn more about Lisa, please read her full bio here. When she’s not scheduling promotional talent for ALI, she can be found singing REO Speedwagon songs in her dreams. (Seriously.)

Public Relations: Top Tips for Social Media Integration

Social Media Integration- Adelante Live BlogYour social marketing efforts aren’t a stand-alone effort! They also impact your traditional marketing, advertising, public relations, and customer service. Last week we explored how social media can support and enhance traditional marketing and advertising. Today we’ll look at how social media works with your PR campaign.

If you’ve been paying attention to news online, you’ve probably noticed a little story about an Applebee’s waitress, a Reddit photo, and the restaurant’s lackluster reaction to the whole fiasco. The key takeaway here is that social media now plays a critical role in your public relations, so it’s important to be proactive about it. A few guidelines to keep in mind as you use social media for PR:

Use your platforms wisely.

Facebook and your corporate blog aren’t the best place to post every last press release, but some savvy Twitter use can get you connections with key journalists. Use the platform to connect with these individuals–and give them information that’s really useful to them.

Find the story.

PR isn’t just about press releases! It’s about telling the story of your company and–more importantly–the people who make your business a success. As you put together your editorial calendar, weave in blogs about “everyday heroes” who make your business stand out. Perhaps it’s a regular customer who’s been coming to your restaurant since it opened, or maybe it’s the employee who spends every weekend volunteering.

Send a consistent message.

Branding impacts both marketing and PR, and it includes much more than just your logo. Your topics, tone and register all affect the way people perceive your business online. And ultimately public relations is about giving your audience a favorable impression of your business, no matter how they encounter it.

Plan for the worst.

Mistakes happen. You and your business won’t always be perfect and satisfy every customer. Increasingly, dissatisfied customers and clients take to social media to air their grievances, so you must have a plan in place for handling complaints. Decide who will respond and how. It may even be helpful to craft a few “go-to” responses, so that you don’t scramble to post something that actually makes the situation worse!

Focus on connections and relationships.

In the past, PR focused on one-way communications: sending out press releases, providing sound bites, getting media coverage. But consumers–and reporters–today expect something more. They’re truly looking to build relationships with your business….which requires two-way communication. Be willing to explore where that communication could lead, and find new ways to invite or enhance the conversations.

 

Jen Straw - Last Straw MediaOur guest blogger is Jen Straw -the CEO and founder of Last Straw Media, LLC. Jen is a social media expert featured on FOX and NBC. She has 17 years of media writing experience in television, print, public relations and social media.  She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Tampa, teaching writing for PR, media writing, writing for broadcast news and studio television.

Measuring ROI in Experiential Marketing Campaigns – Part 1

Why ROI Often Means More than Dollars and Cents

ROI - Adelante Live blog

When planning a marketing campaign, most marketers will measure its potential success  or set program objectives by estimating the potential ROI (Return on Investment). ROI calculations are also used after the campaign has executed to measure the success of the campaign against the budget. ROI is typically a numerical value – i.e. the percentage of increased sales versus the amount of money spent. In traditional marketing this can equate to: “If we spend $50k in media buys, and receive $150k in sales as a result, the ROI is $100k (or a 200% ROI).”

However, when you decide to expand your campaigns to include experiential marketing, you are forced to view ROI a little differently. So although many “numbers” people want hard fast measurements in dollars and cents, there are other factors to consider when talking about ROI in experiential marketing.

Let’s look at some other ways that we in the live event marketing world use to judge the success of a campaign:

Social Media/Lead Generation

If one of your campaign’s goals is to gain social media traction or to build your consumer  database by executing live events, then those results should be a component of your ROI. In order to get measurable results, you can implement the following tactics in your next event.

Facebook:

  • Set up your event on Facebook so consumers can check-in to your event.
  • Have your brand ambassadors (BA’s) check-in as well and post status updates promoting your product and page.
  • Create an interaction and incentive to drive consumers to “like” your Facebook page, create a post, or upload photos to your page directly from the event.
  • After the event, calculate how many additional “likes” you’ve received and track their posts.

Twitter:

  • Ask your brand ambassadors to tweet while at the event using your handle and an event-specific hashtag that you created.
  • Make sure your event hashtag is posted on event signage.
  • Have BA’s tweet photos of consumers trying and enjoying your product.
  • Have the talent also ask consumers to tweet using both your handle and hashtag.
  • Post event, you can track results by using a variety of applications that measure your tweets’ reach and trending pattern.  Note:  If you’re trying to measure this by yourself, make sure you search for your hashtag within 24 hours after the event as hashtag posts will disappear from a search as the trends on Twitter change!

Lead Generation:

  • Use your event talent to collect names, email addresses, phone numbers, and/or mailing addresses of event attendees as they enter the event space. Note: Many consumers are turned off by giving away too much personal information. Think about what you really need and how you are going to use it before you ask!
  • Give consumers something special if they give you their contact info – perhaps a full product instead of just a sample, or combine it with a fun activity such as taking their picture at the event, then having them enter their information in order to receive a copy.
  • Use this interaction time as a way to assess how your consumers feel about your brand. Instead of just straight data collection, ask attendees to participate in a short (3-5 question) survey. Give respondents an impactful premium item as a thank you for their participation.
  • You can outfit your staff with a custom application which can be used on a tablet or other handheld device, or info can simply be entered into a spreadsheet or a simple form on those devices. Avoid pen and paper when you can! (Someone will have to enter the data at some point which will increase your costs and the time it takes to follow up with attendees.)
  •  At the end of the event, be sure to calculate how many leads you obtained through that event and measure it against the cost.
  • After any campaign there should be a series of follow-up communications with consumer leads from your event. Be sure to include any additional sales/responses from those communications as part of your event’s ROI.

Use of social media at events for event promotion, attendee follow up and content creation is made even easier with the advent of event-specific social media applications on the market today.  There are some awesome platforms that allow event attendees, for example, to receive a branded photo directly uploaded to their Facebook page after they are prompted to like the brand’s page or creates a tweet with their photo attached. Also these apps can easily log survey question results and consumer lead info.   These apps run on easy-to-use tablets and create useable consumer created content that can be instantly measured! Don’t know where to start? Please give us a call! We have relationships with multiple providers and can ensure you get the right tool for the results you need.

There are other ways that the ROI of an event or promotion can be calculated. Please read part two of this series here.

Adelante Live - Account Manager - Lisa Marino - Thumbnail Lisa Marino is an account manager with Adelante Live Inc. and our Google+ guru. When she’s not hustling for ALI, she can be found doing a mean cover of “Dreams” at a local karaoke night.

Measuring ROI in Experiential Marketing Campaigns – Part 1

Why ROI Often Means More than Dollars and Cents

ROI - Adelante Live blog

When planning a marketing campaign, most marketers will measure its potential success  or set program objectives by estimating the potential ROI (Return on Investment). ROI calculations are also used after the campaign has executed to measure the success of the campaign against the budget. ROI is typically a numerical value – i.e. the percentage of increased sales versus the amount of money spent. In traditional marketing this can equate to: “If we spend $50k in media buys, and receive $150k in sales as a result, the ROI is $100k (or a 200% ROI).”

However, when you decide to expand your campaigns to include experiential marketing, you are forced to view ROI a little differently. So although many “numbers” people want hard fast measurements in dollars and cents, there are other factors to consider when talking about ROI in experiential marketing.

Let’s look at some other ways that we in the live event marketing world use to judge the success of a campaign:

Social Media/Lead Generation

If one of your campaign’s goals is to gain social media traction or to build your consumer  database by executing live events, then those results should be a component of your ROI. In order to get measurable results, you can implement the following tactics in your next event.

Facebook:

  • Set up your event on Facebook so consumers can check-in to your event.
  • Have your brand ambassadors (BA’s) check-in as well and post status updates promoting your product and page.
  • Create an interaction and incentive to drive consumers to “like” your Facebook page, create a post, or upload photos to your page directly from the event.
  • After the event, calculate how many additional “likes” you’ve received and track their posts.

Twitter:

  • Ask your brand ambassadors to tweet while at the event using your handle and an event-specific hashtag that you created.
  • Make sure your event hashtag is posted on event signage.
  • Have BA’s tweet photos of consumers trying and enjoying your product.
  • Have the talent also ask consumers to tweet using both your handle and hashtag.
  • Post event, you can track results by using a variety of applications that measure your tweets’ reach and trending pattern.  Note:  If you’re trying to measure this by yourself, make sure you search for your hashtag within 24 hours after the event as hashtag posts will disappear from a search as the trends on Twitter change!

Lead Generation:

  • Use your event talent to collect names, email addresses, phone numbers, and/or mailing addresses of event attendees as they enter the event space. Note: Many consumers are turned off by giving away too much personal information. Think about what you really need and how you are going to use it before you ask!
  • Give consumers something special if they give you their contact info – perhaps a full product instead of just a sample, or combine it with a fun activity such as taking their picture at the event, then having them enter their information in order to receive a copy.
  • Use this interaction time as a way to assess how your consumers feel about your brand. Instead of just straight data collection, ask attendees to participate in a short (3-5 question) survey. Give respondents an impactful premium item as a thank you for their participation.
  • You can outfit your staff with a custom application which can be used on a tablet or other handheld device, or info can simply be entered into a spreadsheet or a simple form on those devices. Avoid pen and paper when you can! (Someone will have to enter the data at some point which will increase your costs and the time it takes to follow up with attendees.)
  •  At the end of the event, be sure to calculate how many leads you obtained through that event and measure it against the cost.
  • After any campaign there should be a series of follow-up communications with consumer leads from your event. Be sure to include any additional sales/responses from those communications as part of your event’s ROI.

Use of social media at events for event promotion, attendee follow up and content creation is made even easier with the advent of event-specific social media applications on the market today.  There are some awesome platforms that allow event attendees, for example, to receive a branded photo directly uploaded to their Facebook page after they are prompted to like the brand’s page or creates a tweet with their photo attached. Also these apps can easily log survey question results and consumer lead info.   These apps run on easy-to-use tablets and create useable consumer created content that can be instantly measured! Don’t know where to start? Please give us a call! We have relationships with multiple providers and can ensure you get the right tool for the results you need.

There are other ways that the ROI of an event or promotion can be calculated. Please read part two of this series here.

Adelante Live - Account Manager - Lisa Marino - Thumbnail Lisa Marino is an account manager with Adelante Live Inc. and our Google+ guru. When she’s not hustling for ALI, she can be found doing a mean cover of “Dreams” at a local karaoke night.

Why You MUST Use Google+

Google+ Is So Much More Than Another Social Networking Site

On the surface, Google+ looks like just another social media site.

You can build a profile. You can add friends. You can follow people and have them follow you back. You can post “status updates” to your Stream. You can even upload photos and videos, and share links.

But what you probably don’t know is that behind all of the social networking lies a virtual SEO jackpot!

Search Engine Optimization

Type your business name – or even your personal name – into a Google search.

Where do you rank?

If you have to click to Page 2 to find yourself, you’re not doing a very good job with your SEO strategy. And, even if you do show up on the first page, it could be because you are signed into your Google account.

Here’s what that means…

When someone is logged into their Google account and conducts a Google search, the results pull not only from the good ol’ interwebs, but also from your Google+ page and those sites and searches recommended by those in your network on Google+.  So…if your buddy Carl has recommended a web page on Jager Bombs, and you search for “Jager Bombs” on Google, the page that he recommended – good or bad – will make its way to the front page of your search results.

Why Does Google+ Matter?

The more activity that you have on your Google+ page, the more likely it is that your website will be seen by others.

For example, when you set up a Google+ page, others may share the content that you post, “+1” it (recommend it), or comment on it. This activity gives your Google+ page AND your main website (that you will link to your G+ page) a boost in Google’s search engine results.

You’ll see activity grow around your site! And more page visits = more leads and opportunities!

How to Use Google+

Make sure that each of your sites (corporate site, Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) are posted as links on your “About” page in Google+. Then, post new, useful content on your Google+ page on a regular basis. Continue to post content on a regular basis so that others may read, share, and comment on it. Encourage people to “+1” your post to build up interest.

If you can increase your visibility in a Google search by using Google+ on a regular basis, imagine the possibilities! Bringing your name or web page to the top of a search engine results’ page is a monumental WIN for any business or even individual talent looking to make a name for him or herself.

Google+’s SEO capabilities make it very different from other social media platforms. In a world where your search engine ranking can make the difference between making the sale or not, the important role that Google+ plays in your overall social media strategy cannot be ignored. So if you haven’t already, get started today on creating your Google+ page and start adding people and pages to your circles. Most importantly, please add Adelante Live to your circles and let’s stay in touch!

Important Links:

How to Simply Create a Google+ Page for You

How to Create a Google+ Page For Your Business

How to Create Circles in Google+

Adelante Live - Account Manager - Lisa Marino - Thumbnail Lisa Marino is an account manager with Adelante Live Inc. and our Google+ guru. When she’s not hustling for ALI, she can be found doing a mean cover of “Dreams” at a local karaoke night.