More than half of respondents from our 2015 Content Marketing Survey believe in it – events are the most effective form of marketing in Asia.
Events allow customers and prospects to meet with the people behind the brand and also experience the brand’s values.
However, the event experience usually lacks longevity and soon enough, one event blends into another leading to event fatigue. People forget what they know about the brand after the event. This is marketing failure 101 if a brand is unable to sustain a lasting impression.
What about engagement marketing?
Also known as experiential marketing, engagement marketing is a strategy that emphasises direct consumer engagement and encourages direct consumer interaction with a brand. While the term may be relatively unfamiliar, it’s already part of your game plan if you’re organising events.
If you’ve been doing events, the question is: how do you market the “experience” of your brand further? How do you create a sticky enough experience to increase your brand awareness, and make your brand stand out from your competitors?
Engagement marketing extends beyond inviting people to your event and telling them what’s great about your product or service. It’s about letting them experience the brand and connecting with intellectual and sensory information.
People remember things and interactions better if they have experienced it – good or bad, fun or scary, happy or sad, or awe-inspiring and motivated.
Engagement marketing not a stunt
Contrary to popular misconception, engagement marketing is not about public relations stunts or gimmicks.
Here are four great examples of engagement marketing (Click on the videos to watch):
Carlsberg UK, 2015
A billboard with the words “Probably the Best Poster in the World” was set up at Brick Lane, a neighbourhood popular with craft bears. The idea is to make Carlsberg, a mainstream lager, stand out. So the billboard has a functional tap installed where people can pull their own pints (Of course, there were plain clothes “security” as well for pint control as a precaution). Needless to say it’s a bit hit. Free beer, why not?
The North Face Korea, 2014
The outdoor product company opened a pop-up shop for the Never Stop Exploring campaign. This outlet contains a few racks of clothes and a floor that slowly disappears at one point, forcing the startled shopper to climb the walls. The shopper is rewarded with a free windbreaker at the end. It was interactive, fun and on brand.
Zappos USA, 2013
This online shopping site created an unexpected experience during Thanksgiving, one of the busiest travel months of the year. Zappos turned a normal baggage carousel at one airport into a Wheel of Fortune game, where travellers stand a chance to win prizes based on where their luggage landed. Suddenly waiting for their luggage becomes a joy!
Thai Health Promotion Foundation, 2012
An amazing anti-smoking campaign called “Smoking Kid”. A child holding an unlit cigarette was sent to ask smoking adults for a light. The surprising reaction from the smokers: they advised the child not to smoke. At the end the child hands a note over to the smoker that says, “You worry about me. But why not about yourself?” Effective? You bet.
Maximising your reach
With social media, there are many ways to extend the longevity of your event. It’s pulling all the resources together – from working with brand ambassadors and influencers to campaign planning online and offline – from start to end and beyond.