Happy Event Attendees

2018 Trend Report: Ads are Out, Experience is In

The 2018 reports and forecasts are coming in, and the news is bad for advertising. Traditional advertising is flat or declining, with print taking a big hit and broadcast spending levels forecast to be about the same, year-over-year. The biggest loser is banner advertising, projected to drop a staggering 8.8%. The fact is, customers are avoiding advertising at an ever-increasing rate, with an ever-changing and expanding array of tools to block and avoid unwanted ads. CMOs are unwilling to continue their spend on ads that don’t get views, and to prioritize channels that don’t yield measurable results.

While all these reports may look like bad news for the advertising industry, the forecast isn’t entirely grim. The bright spot for the upcoming year is that experiential advertising continues to rise. In 2018, experiential marketing will become an ever-more-important feature of the advertising landscape, as 9 in 10 marketers recognize the importance of experiential marketing in driving brand engagement.

But experiential marketing is more than a short-term trend. As consumers have more and more choice and autonomy in when, where, and how to interact with brands, marketers must respond with content that is unique and compelling. Study after study shows that millennials value experiences over possessions, and reaching this coveted segment means being as mobile, creative, and innovative as they are. Even the projected increase in cinema ad spends, and Google’s focus on “near me” searches, reflects the fact that these consumers aren’t home on the couch in front of the TV; they are out and about, having new experiences, making new memories, and seeking the unexpected. Experiential marketing is a great way to both reach and engage them.

And experiential marketing isn’t just a way to target and reach the consumer, creating a unique experience that stays with them. Good brand experiences are also highly sharable, generating organic views for a influence and engagement that reaches far beyond the moment. A staggering 98% of consumers create digital and social content at events and experiences, giving brands a built-in opportunity for organic influencer marketing. Integrating social at every aspect of the experience appeals to consumers, who want to create and share content with their friends and followers, and user-generated content becomes brand content in turn. It’s a win-win.

Finally, positive brand experiences are shown to yield bottom-line results. When these experiences are fully integrated with mobile and social technologies, the result is real-time metrics that give brands the data they need to measure campaign effectiveness, as well as direct insight into specific consumer behavior. And it’s not just data that drives the success of experiential marketing. Studies show that it directly leads to sales, when 65% of consumers buying a product or service at an experiential marketing event, and 70% become regular customers. These kinds of real-time sales results and quantifiable data deliver so much more to marketing teams than vague metrics like ratings and views. A single compelling brand experience gives companies invaluable, ongoing insight into the effectiveness of all their marketing efforts.

2018 is the year of experiential marketing, but it’s not just a trend or a shift in spend for the year. It’s the dawn of a whole new way to engage with consumers, generate traffic, and grow sales. It’s the future of relationship based advertising.

Want to learn what experiential marketing can do for you?

Let’s chat.

 

Chalk board calendar with events and sticky notes

Event Production – Why You Shouldn’t Bootstrap Your Next Event & Hire A Professional

event production

So, you’ve heard about the great success that other brands are having with experiential marketing and would like to reap some of the magic for yourself. On the surface, setting up such an event seems straightforward. You just need an idea, a place and a plan, right? Think again. For such events to produce results, they need to be carefully planned by someone who understands the finer points of experiential marketing. For this reason, it’s always best to hire an experiential, trade show or event firm instead of taking the do-it-yourself route. Here are a few compelling reasons why:

They Know What Works

For experiential events (like popups) to work, an element of surprise is needed. In order to create lasting impressions, attendees need to be shocked to some degree. Without that, the odds of them spreading the word and boosting brand visibility are slim to none. What may seem like a good, surprising element to you is likely to fall flat in real life. Experiential marketers understand group psychology, and know how to surprise or shock them in ways that are beneficial for brands. Without their help, you’re likely to engage in a process of trial and error that leaves you frustrated and disappointed.

They Have Connections

Even if you have a fairly strong social media presence, chances are that you don’t know the right movers and shakers–or  influencers, as they’re more commonly referred to these days–to make your event a true success. What would take you weeks to accomplish in the form of “cold calls,” including email marketing and the like, can be accomplished in short order by an experienced and well-connected experiential marketing expert.

They Use Cutting-Edge Techniques

Like anything in the world of marketing, what worked for an experiential event a few years ago is likely to miss the mark today. Again, an element of surprise is needed. You need to present something that piques people’s interest. Scour the Internet all you’d like, but you’re not going to find reliable information about ideas that haven’t been done again and again.  Since experiential marketers live and breathe this type of marketing, they are always on the cutting edge of the latest techniques.

They’ll Save You Time, Money and Effort

If you’re thinking about tackling an experiential marketing event yourself, it’s probably because you’d like to save money. However, hiring a professional firm to handle it for you is actually very cost-effective. It doesn’t just save you money, either. It helps you avoid wasting time and effort that would be put to much better use elsewhere. Cliched though it may be, time really is money. Can you afford to turn away from your everyday business to plan and execute a successful event or campaign?

They’ll Show You Measurable Results

Without knowing how effective your efforts were, you can’t improve upon them for next time. Measuring the results of an experiential marketing event or campaign is difficult enough for experts. For everyday business owners, it’s downright impossible. The right experiential, trade show or event firm will have a defined process for gauging the results of such efforts, and they will be able to show you exactly what their work did for you.

Looking for someone to help with your next event?

Let’s chat.

Measuring tape

ROI on Experiential Marketing: It’s all about measurement

ROI on Experiential Marketing

One of the biggest pitfalls of experiential marketing campaigns is the difficulty of gauging its overall success. Just because you experience a great turn out and participation at your activation doesn’t mean that it accomplished anything for your brand. All too often, those who attempt to engage in experiential marketing assume there’s simply no easy way to track the results, so they decide not to worry about it. This often leads to a lot of wasted time, effort and money. Without measuring the ROI of a campaign, how can you improve your efforts over time? Here’re a few tips to get back on track with tracking the ROI of your experiential marketing event:

Establish a Goal

You can’t track the success of anything without first defining what success means. Therefore, the first step of any experiential marketing push is to clearly define at least one goal. Ask yourself what the ultimate purpose and core values of your campaign or event are trying to accomplish. Do you want to increase sales? Are you trying to raise awareness about a new product or service? Are you attempting to branch out into different markets or appeal to different demographics? By establishing clear goals, you are setting the cornerstones for an effective campaign.

Quality Trumps Quantity

As mentioned in the opening paragraph, just because a throng of people shows up at an event doesn’t mean it’s considered successful. Again, remember to keep in mind your goals and key performance indicators (KPIs). The truth is that it’s far better to have genuine interactions with smaller groups of consumers than it is to have superficial interactions with much larger groups. For one thing, when someone genuinely interacts with a brand and is emotionally connected by its message,  they are more likely to spread the word to others. Without question, positive word of mouth is a KPI that’s universal among all experiential marketing campaigns.

Understanding Metrics

Establishing how your KPI’s are defined and tracked is a crucial next step in understanding your event’s ROI. For example, if you want to boost sales, the ideal outcome would be a spike in sales. If your main concern is raising brand awareness, you’ll be looking for a spike in online mentions of your brand.  After defining your goals, associate the appropriate KPIs that align with your overall strategy.

Brand Awareness Research

If your budget allows it, engaging in brand awareness research before, during and after an experiential marketing event is an excellent way to assess its success. This approach is best utilized when raising brand awareness for a new product or service. Surveys are a great tool to leverage this. By surveying your target demographic before, during and after an event, you can gauge how their perception potentially changed based on their experiences. Ideally, you will want to see a participant who has little knowledge about your brand become more aware, engaged and enthusiastic about your offerings.

The Future of Measuring Experiential Marketing ROI

Not surprisingly, more ways to connect and track ROI of experiential marketing efforts are on the horizon. One example is facial recognition and tracking software, which can be used at live events to assess faces in the crowd for things like age, gender and even how long they hang out at a particular destination. Such software can even track how many people are smiling or otherwise expressing happiness, which is a useful metric in its own right. This software and other new technologies aren’t so widespread just yet, but you can expect to see them come into their own over the next few years.

Want to learn more?

Let’s chat.

Elephant in the plains

Why World Wildlife Fund’s “#LastSelfie” Worked

WWF Last Selfie Campaign

From front facing smart phone cameras to selfie sticks, the selfie is a phenomenon now a cultural staple, and is constantly evolving into new trends since this campaign was launched. Unlike the Selfie, many animal species are not so lucky. Enter the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one the preeminent conservation non-profits. Using the mobile social media platform Snapchat, the WWF reminded us of this sobering fact.

The World Wildlife Fund’s brand awareness campaign was centered around Snapchat, a mobile social media platform that allows users to send each other pictures and videos that disappear after ten seconds. The WWF realized that this fleeting functionality could allow them to highlight that time is also quickly running out for many endangered species. This was one of the first introductions to the Snapchat filters, and the way WWF used the social platform was both relevant and impactful to its core message for the campaign.

The activation of the campaign came as followers of The World Wildlife Fund’s Snapchat account received pictures of an endangered animal overlaid with a caption such as “Don’t let this be my #LastSelfie” or “Better take a screenshot this could be my #LastSelfie.” Accompanying these images was information that told the followers where they could go to help.

As a result, there were posts by 40,000 Twitter users that were seen by 120 million users which represents 50% of all users on the platform at the time. The WWF met its monthly donation target in just 3 days.

See the Youtube video here.

The Pineapple Juice:

  1. Many companies, including Snapchat themselves, have tried and struggled to monetize and mobilize their users. This campaign expertly wove together the theme of disappearing by choosing a social media vehicle that is known for doing just that, and now you can see countless brands using snapchat filters.
  2. The WWF had a maximum of 10 seconds to clearly display three important points: what their problem is, why you should care and how to take action. With such a small window of opportunity, the WWF clearly hit a home run.
  3. The WWF understood the value of Snapchat as a medium for reaching and engaging millennials. The Selfie and by association, Snapchat, promotes vanity and self-obsession but the WWF showed us how to flip this paradigm on its head and use the platform to affect amazing positive changes.

Ready to learn more about the Pineapple Juice?

Let’s chat.

Carly our awesome intern!

Meet our Intern: Carly Connor

Name: Carly Connor

School: St. Cloud State

Hometown: Superior, Wisconsin

Why did you want to intern at The Pineapple Agency?

The company’s philosophy! – ‘Marketing finds customers. Experiences create life-long fans.’ I wanted to be a part of an agency that supported and encouraged bold ideas.

What does a typical day in the office look like for you?

Everyday is different. But it usually goes something like this: check emails, read the latest industry headlines, interact with influencers and share content on social media, conduct research for current clients, brainstorm and write new blog posts.

What are you hobbies outside of work?

I love exploring Colorado. Going on new hikes or adventures with friends is one of my favorite things to do. I wouldn’t consider myself a foodie, but I’m always on the hunt for new restaurants (especially those with rooftop patios). Attending concerts and taking photos are also things you’ll always find me doing.

What is on your Colorado Bucket List?

  • Make it to the top of Pikes Peak
  • Go to the giant Canyon Swing in Glenwood Springs
  • See another show at Red Rocks

Interested in working with us?

Let’s chat.