When it comes to experiential marketing, brands shouldn’t be competing with phones, they should be integrating mobile content that engages Millennial consumers just as much as the live event.
While more brands amp up their digital efforts, experiential marketing may be more important than ever to appeal to young consumers, who are looking for unique activities they can talk about on social. Ultimately, experiences created by brands should creatively integrate digital to amplify the impact…but many fail to authentically marry both.
Boutique marketing firm The Participation Agency specializes in “bringing together live and digital experiences.” They’ve created out-of-the box initiatives like The Patch, Sour Patch Kids’ indie musician crash pad, and the Timeshare Backyard, which Coca-Cola’s Fuze brand booked for two weeks this summer. Today, Ruthie Schulder, President of The P.A., is sharing her expertise on the right way to create mobile efforts that align with experiential marketing to appeal to Millennials, and spread your brand’s word:
THE RIGHT WAY TO INTEGRATE MOBILE AT EVENTS
Marketers are just starting to dive into how mobile can be integrated at events. As the rise of experiential and the domination of mobile converge, the playing field is open. Trends and strong players are just starting to emerge, and as an agency of Millennials activating Millennials both live and digitally, we at The Participation Agency forecast what’s here to stay and where first movers will come out on top.
Brands and venues still insist on creating their own apps, which most consumers will never download. Starting off with this barrier to engagement is a huge misstep. Brands need to go to platforms where people already are, and activate them with content that is shareable and transformative to the experience.
People used to go to events to talk to each other; now, they talk to us. Brands know that, but instead of using it to their advantage, they compete with phones for consumers’ attention spans. We use mobile to actually push experience at events, with activation prompts, direct influencer conversation, and a robust hashtag strategy.
In short, it’s all about the content, but right now…
- The content is predictable. In fact, event content is often limited to the invite and the post event discount email, turning premium brands into discount brands with one click. Content needs to be the thread that keeps an event strategy together by enticing a feedback loop between brand and consumer throughout the campaign.
- The content is static and one note, and everyone sees the same stuff. With all the knowledge we have of our attendees, this is another big miss. We learn more data about our guests before, during, and after the event, and we customize content based on that data. This way, consumers see what we know will resonate with them, and we use that to our clients’ advantage.
- The content has no purpose. Right now, it’s mostly used as a recap after most people have already moved onto the next hundred things that are captivating on their phones. Every piece of content that’s pushed out should be with the goals of being forward thinking and therefore shareable, customizing the experience, and keeping consumers in circle post event.
- The content is not optimized for mobile. What’s the thing that’s most captivating at the event, and how can it be translated into content that capitalizes on inspiration? Those are the moments that capture the excitement of an event and remind people why they came to be marketed to in the first place.
The industry is just starting to think about these things, and it’s an exciting time for brands to push boundaries smartly and effectively, and for agencies to be able to really tell the engagement story for their clients.
Ruthie Schulder drives strategy and business development for The Participation Agency. Ruthie’s MBA focus was on marketing (brand strategy, consumer behavior) and management (developing and managing high performance teams). Ruthie maintains that in creating incredible experiences that serve as a jumping off point for media, consumers will associate with brands in an impactful way. Ruthie spearheaded a concept of digital offerings that helped earn The P.A. an EX Award for best production of a consumer event in 2014. Ruthie was featured in Inc. mag as CEO of one of the youngest startups on the women-led top 10 companies in New York.