When was the last time an advertising tagline stayed in your mind a day after you saw it? Which was the last internet banner you clicked? Do you remember rushing to a store to pick up that great new product just because the jingle told you to? If you’re shaking your head already, try this one. Do you recall buying something after you’ve tasted a free sample? I see you’re nodding, already… That’s the power of event marketing – a sushi tasting promotion does more than create awareness, it builds recall, and more importantly, an experience around it. Marketing gurus say (and they should know) that a product experience could build up to 90% recall – hey, the odds don’t get better than this.
In a crazy world of information overload, marketing messages are fighting to get noticed. As a marketer, you’re also never sure of whether a mass media campaign has got your message across to everyone in the same way. And whereas your customer would much rather be spared those high decibel messages, when the time comes, he or she would still like to be sufficiently informed in order to make a purchase decision quickly.
This is where event marketing fits in. Although not a new concept, it has emerged stronger in recent times, and now goes beyond mere sponsorship. Marketers are using events as a platform for greater interaction between their brand and their customers. By creating experience, event marketing adds a human dimension to the communication process. And experience means memorability.
At an event, the marketer has “sole rights” to the customer’s mindshare and a lower threat of distortion of the message. Besides, it also offers an opportunity to quickly respond to customer feedback and modify the communication accordingly.
Event marketing is an effective way of building your brand and stimulating sales. The method you employ will depend on your business – trade shows and launch parties are a great way to introduce a new car, while a simple product tasting arranged at a local supermarket may do the trick for herbal tea. Events are also a great way of bringing real value to the target audience – for example, a math quiz for school kids sponsored by a health beverage may also increase their interest in the subject.
Like other communication tools, event marketing must also form an integral part of the marketing mix in order to be effective. It must be dealt with the same amount of care as other initiatives – this means, goal setting, planning, and post implementation follow up. Some marketers wrongly believe than event marketing is little more than a publicity stunt – nothing could be further than the truth. This is where professional event marketing firms can add value.
In general, most events fall into one of two categories – a general event, where the audience is determined simply by who happens to be there – for example a product promotion using street theater. Events such as this are useful in terms of the spontaneous feedback provided by a wide cross section of public. On the other hand, a marketer may choose to create an event targeted at a very specific group. An example could be a bookstore which caters to sophisticated literary tastes arranging a book reading for special invitees. However you choose to do it, remember, event marketing gives you a chance to connect emotionally with your customer in a way no other medium does!