Is Your Brand Ready for Experiential?

Clients come to us all the time wanting to really make an impact and connect with consumers. Experiential marketing is our bread and butter at MotusExp and we have a passion for creating campaigns that are truly and utterly customizable. Unlike TV, print, OOH, etc, experiential marketing allows you to take a business problem for a client and custom tailor a solution to meet a specific need with control over how a consumer will engage with it and the means by which you will reach them. You can target a particular audience and reach them in a way that will really capture their attention. In addition, 98% of consumers feel more inclined to purchase after attending an activation (EventTrack).

Experiential marketing connects with consumers on an emotional level, which is extremely effective long-term. It stops people on street corners and allows for brands and their offerings to be touched, consumed, measured and discussed. But you shouldn’t just jump full force into an experiential campaign without first taking into consideration some key factors. First and foremost, ask yourself — is your brand ready for experiential?

Make Sure your Timing is Right

Incorporating activations into your marketing schedule strategically is key. Make sure to give ideas some breathing room by allowing time for planning, production, promotion, permitting, etc. Rushing to get to an activation off the ground that you don’t have time to promote via the proper channels isn’t going to reach its full attendance potential, for example. Similarly, themes for your events should align with the product/service you are promoting as well as the season. So even though you may not want to sit on an idea that feels oh so good, timing really has a whole lot to do with the success of an experiential campaign.

Do you Have the Budget for It?

Thankfully, dollars go pretty far with an experiential marketing campaign in comparison to TV or print. Unlike other forms of marketing, with experiential marketing, it’s more about the quality and depth of an experience than the amount of impressions you get. So take the time to really plan, and partner with someone who will get it right. A marketer should also have a clear grasp on what their client is comfortable investing in a campaign. A big idea often times goes hand-in-hand with deeper pockets. Selling in a campaign with all the bells and whistles, on-site staff, premiums, promotion, etc. is certainly attractive, but stick to a smaller more targeted activation if money is too tight for a higher-level investment. Or, you may want to wait until you have the right budget for that big idea.

Campaign Strategy and Brand Value Align

Other factors that will lead to success include a campaign strategy that closely aligns with a brand’s current marketing strategy. A buzz-worthy experiential activation is ultimately the end goal, but if the content doesn’t align with a brand’s mission statement, at the end of the day you aren’t going to truly unlock the full potential of an activation.

Defining Success

The most important piece of the puzzle is your Return on Investment, so setting a goal upfront is key. What does success look like? How will you measure? Even the most impressive activations don’t always translate to the bottom line. So while astounding your audience is wonderful, making a profitable investment is most important.

Finding the Right Partner

Finally, the success of an experiential campaign (or any marketing strategy) relies both on a willing client, as well as a skilled marketer. A brand (or even marketer at that brand) that has a history of successful activations is going to see the value in the investment. Which certainly makes things easier — i.e. giving the agency more leighway creatively. That’s not to say that a brand shouldn’t hop on the experiential bandwagon for the first time, certainly, it has to start somewhere! We’ve guided many clients down that path. But just make sure the partnership feels right. A brand that doesn’t trust their partner agency’s leadership and expertise should walk away.

Bottom line? Before you invest financially, and allocate the manpower to launch an experiential campaign, you really need to ensure you have the right plan in place in order to successfully execute. A cohesive partnership between a client brand and their agency is the first step, in addition to a clear understanding of brand strategy, and budgets. The right timing is also important to ensure a truly impactful experiential marketing campaign. When you get it right, there’s nothing like a tangible brand experience to create a lasting memorable impression for a consumer, in addition to a stellar ROI.

 

How to Avoid Sales Malpractice

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Business Emergency

Who will your client call first?

Is it me or does the sales process remind you of a patient-doctor relationship?  When a customer is experiencing a business emergency, they want to connect with a trusted professional to get a diagnosis.  The professional examines the pain and provides a solution. The customer has the choice to move forward with the solution or get a second opinion.  If they move forward, the solution is put into place, an action is taken and when the steps are complete, the pain is gone, we hope. Are you viewed as a trusted professional in the eyes of your client?  Will you be the first one they call for a solution?

Trust is built by putting the client’s needs first, over anything else.  Are you providing a solution that is good for the client or good for you?  Are you confident that the solution your product can provide will work? Your client will not call you first, no matter how good your product is if they don’t trust you.

There is tremendous pressure placed on sales teams to make their numbers, push the priority of the week or fill unsold inventory and the client is in the middle of this sales malpractice.  Let me take you into the mind of a sales rep. When they receive that email or call for a diagnostic meeting, their mind takes them to far off fantasies that this will be the client that saves their month.  I have been on many diagnostic calls between a client and their rep and listened to them push the client into solutions that do not deal with the problem. This will never win the clients trust. Trust is built off of success from the client’s perspective, so prescriptions should only be given that will kill the pain of the client, not the rep.

Clients want to work with trusted companies.  Companies that provide solutions that may not benefit themselves.  What? Can you believe I said that? That’s right, advise a client not to use your product or service if it will not relieve their pain.  Put the client first. This will pay-off tenfold when the client trusts that you are a leader in the industry and will never steer them in the wrong direction, leading to a deeper relationship, future business, and referrals.

When it comes to a business emergency, some clients can feel it is as complicated and urgent as a personnel medical issue. I am sure, if you needed medical attention, you would seek the most trusted doctor.  By putting your client’s needs first and being recognized as the most professional business advisor in your industry, get ready to take that first call.


Sponsorships from the Buyer’s Side

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It’s that time of year, thousands of brands are engaging with millions of consumers through live events this summer.  You did a great job negotiating the best price, but are you helping your company to reach their goals or are you wasting their money?  I have had the pleasure of being on both sides of this fence, from selling sponsorships to leveraging the best assets for my clients.  Here are the top 3 takeaways every buyer should be aware of before signing on the bottom line for your next live event sponsorship.

Goals

Defining the company goals (leads, branding and/or sampling) will help you determine which event is right for your company and help you negotiate the right assets.  If the goals are leads and sampling, make sure your sponsorship includes high traffic on-site exposure to maximize interactions.  If branding is a priority, you want to negotiate more media and on-site logo exposure to gain more impressions.

Early Start

Once you have selected the right event platform, don’t drag the negotiation process on for too long.  You want to make sure that you get every available impression available in the contract.  Many brands wait too long to sign the deal and by the time the event up-dates their website, adds your logo to the promotion and revise the radio scripts, you have lost weeks or months of exposure. 

Remember the Activation

This is the number one mistake brands make when negotiating a sponsorship.  They don’t leave enough money in the budget to invest in their on-site activation.  How many times have you been to a venue or festival and seen the non-branded tent, table and unmotivated people on their cell phones?  I have seen it a hundred time and it drives me crazy.  It’s hard enough to attract people to your activation, it’s even harder if consumers are afraid of you because of your appearance.

There are many more pot holes on the way to navigating the perfect sponsorship.  If you have the right partner, they will help you avoid most of the standard mistakes, but if you keep goals, impressions and the activation top of mind, you will be off on the right foot.  Good luck and I look forward to talking to your trained and motivated brand ambassadors at the next festival.