It’s hard to argue against what immersive experiences offer. Today's consumers have a wealth of resources at their fingertips, making behavioral marketing more important than ever. Consumers not only want to relate to brands but crave more opportunities to interact with others in fun & meaningful ways. The best activations are 10% of what happens to people & 90% how they react to environments that curate real brand relationships.
Marketers are not just responsible for top of the funnel conversion anymore. They are responsible for lifecycle marketing which includes acquisition, nurturing, sales conversion, culture and advocacy. Activations firms now have the added requirement of generating revenue and influencing consumer trends, not just creating exposure or leads. With expanded answerability comes the need for more personalized connections that produce significant results, meeting the consumer on the consumer's terms, face-to-face. Today, I'm going to shine some light on why you should be focusing your budget on the effectiveness of immersive marketing & dynamic micro-influencers.
In person engagements are taking over the largest portion of budgets with breakaway brands as experiential marketing is proving to be a relatively cost-effective way to create authentic affinity with consumers. In this always on the go world, people are less interested in advertising and being sold to constantly. The average person will now see more than 5000 ads in a single day; making it next to impossible to create a genuine connection online.
Many still think of event marketing & sponsorships as simply putting a logo on something. Those who do are missing 90% of the XM world — losing out on sales & organic distributors. Products are only 50% of what brands sell. The rest are lasting memories consumers share. The best activation programs blend key elements of sight, sound, touch & taste, crafting immersive experiences that supercharge the senses. Optimum responses happen when you ask your audience what they want, then appeal to their emotions with heart-felt experiences that bond. Isn't that exactly what we’re all hoping to achieve in marketing, building brand unity? People remember, 10% of what they hear, 20% of what they read and 80% of what they see & do. 95% of marketers agree that live events bring people together while providing valuable opportunities to personalized connections in a very impersonal and noisy digital world. (Bizzabo)
While experiential campaigns are nothing new, brands like Nike are leading the way becoming media moguls at the same time. How are they doing it? By creating shared value campaigns that hit people at the core. The best marketers know how to spark meteoric brand growth through powerful communities of free-willed evangelists, triggering distribution channels online that the world talks about. Opening doors to the heart, culture builders successfully grow loyal tribes of advocates through endearing and purposeful investments, that live on long after the party is over.
For example, take a look at Nike Soccer’s Strike Night campaign which invited the best strikers from all over Europe to compete against each other on the most intelligent soccer goal ever made. While only 400 people were able to experience this installation in person, the campaign was a massive success across Facebook Live and various other platforms. In total, Strike Night generated more than 700 million impressions. Nike's most recent PR play with former 49ers quarterback, Colin Kaepernick used this strategy to a tee. Just like a political campaign, the Greek goddess targeted her base and stimulated a response. The controversial crusade saw stock shares grow 2 percent, which has goosed the company’s earnings to the tune of $3 billion.
The fascinating growth of influencer marketing has spawned a new type of influencer, the micro-influencer. Savvy brands are now reaching consumers through sources which the consumer genuinely trusts. Initially, the most popular influencers were the celebrities with the largest following. While there will always be room for social media stars, not all budgets allow for costly ambassadors. 85% of all digital only campaigns fail to produce a positive ROAS. Enter influencer marketing with 29% instant brand amplification while being associated with a trusted mark. Last year, influencer marketing spend reached an eye-opening $570 million. Meanwhile the vast majority of this spending represents spending from B2C companies. Now that B2B’s are hopping on the influencer train, it stands to reason that spending on influencer campaigns will blow up even more heading into 2020. The key being spending that is focused on design, strategic planning & engagement in the cost-per-relationship. (CPR)
You can expect budget allocations for 360 experiences, in general, to continue to grow this year. Especially considering how great returns have shown for companies. 65% of brands are seeing an immediate boost in sales, while 93% of consumers claimed that live events had a larger influence on them than TV ads. (Statista) In 2018, $635 billion was spent on event marketing alone in the US. By generating powerful emotions and excitement in your brand or service. 98% of consumers feel more inclined to purchase products after participating in LIVE brand experiences.
Don’t get left behind. Blend micro-influencers into your immersive strategy and create your own team of champions who explore, express & embody the lifestyle they love.
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PRESIDENT & CHIEF EXPERIENTIAL OFFICER