Research continues to indicate that live engagement and events have a direct effect on buying behaviour.
Annual EventTrack research confirms that 74% of consumers say engaging with branded event marketing experiences makes them more likely to buy the products being promoted.
Put simply; increasing brand awareness through human interaction has unparalleled results and the impact of live events on consumers should not be underestimated.
The same research reported that 93% of consumers believe live events are more effective than television advertising which makes sense in an era where consumers can PVR and fast forward past adverts. More than that live events provide the context for better understanding of a brand’s product or service than any form of advertising ever could.
With this as the premise, and recognising that event and experiential marketing has become one of the world’s fastest growing forms of marketing, South African brands would do well to consider including events, promotions and activations in their brand marketing plans. When creating these interactive customer experiences – they must:
- Engage the Senses:
If people have experience with a company’s goods, and have experienced them with all their senses, they’re much more likely to purchase them. Shoppers are increasingly “tuning out” of traditional in-store marketing which means that brands need to reinvigorate their promotions by creating emotional arousal of the full five senses; sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.
- Harness the In-Store Experience:
Statistics show that 68% of all purchases are unplanned; 70% of brand choices are made in store; and staggeringly – a low 5% of shoppers are loyal to a particular brand (source: http://brandgenetics.com); this is directly linked to economic pressures faced by consumers. This number is set to decrease even more as shoppers continue the trend to dispel brand loyalty in favour of price. Brands must also remember that people are active shoppers, not passive consumers.
- Tap into the South African Consumer through Industrial Theatre:
Storytelling is intrinsic to black culture and in South African folk tales or Izinganekwane, they start off with the phrase: “kwasukasukela” which means “long ago”. An example of harnessing this storytelling culture is to create memorable experiences through industrial theatre – which loosely translates to a short performance using song, dance, characters and humour to tell the story of a brand.
Once upon a time the telling of stories was as necessary and as natural as walking and breathing. Once upon a time song and dance lived together like brother and sister. Once upon a time if there were conflicts in the community, people would ask: When did you last dance? When did you last sing? When did you last tell a story? Story telling takes communication to a whole new level, and as our language degenerates we need to tell more stories. It’s also a very effective way of delivering a brand’s message and a means to connect emotionally with consumers. The key is to create relevant interactions that lead to careful brand immersion; and to be successful – timing is key.
- Trial Product:
Giving consumers the opportunity to sample your product first is still one of the most persuasive ways of encouraging product purchase. Product trialling includes a brand interaction which is normally a sensory or tangible experience that builds trust and is consumer-centric. It offers the greatest odds of consumers switching brands. The consumer appreciates the fact that they are in control and can decide whether or not to purchase the product. Research also shows that consumers considering purchasing a product – do end up buying it after trying it at an experiential marketing event.
Another significant benefit associated with experiential event marketing is that it’s an effective platform for creating and distributing content between brands and consumers. Think of live events [like sponsorships,tours, street marketing, pop-up stores, in-store experiences, sampling, proprietary events, etc] as a content factory where consumers are doing the work. Using their mobile devices they take photos, videos and distribute content from branded events across their own social networks which further adds to the effectiveness of the activation – both in reach, engagement and credibility. This is a trend that’s showing no signs of slowly down and is only going to heat up.
While experiential marketing is evolving – it’s outpacing growth among other marketing channels like advertising, promotion, and eMarketing. Strategically planned and effective execution that touches all the senses, and combines the best elements of social media and above and below the line branding in the mix, will provide interactive powerful – if not explosive – customer experiences that tick all the right boxes: engagement, education, trial, and repeat purchase.
Behind the Scene
Isilumko Activate (powered by Studentwise) is a company focused on facilitating creative, integrated one-on-one interactions between a brand and the consumer. With impressive credentials built up over almost 22 years in the in the industry, this level 1 BBBEE accredited company has a rock-solid reputation that attracts and retains staff that are as passionate about activations as the company’s original founder members.
For details visit: www.isilumko.com/activate
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