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What a year 2021 was for experiential. AI and AR gained traction as engagement tools. QR codes made a comeback. And there were all kinds of cool examples of brands thinking outside the box to get tongues wagging.
Coupled with all of that were important learnings and trends that either appeared or gained greater momentum. Here are four things every XM agency professional needs to know to ensure success in 2022.
BIG DATA = BIG MONEY
Data reigns. That’s nothing new, but what the past couple of years taught us is the need to power up on data collection and focus on impactful information. Live-event budgets are being slashed and clients are done with post reports that can’t quantify returns.
Yes, many consumers are excited to get back to in-person events. But with hybrid now the norm, agencies need to marry digital and experiential data to provide a holistic picture of events and activations. Without that, ROI, ROE, ROX, ROwhatever can’t be properly measured, and clients won’t be satisfied.
If you’ve not raised your experiential-data game, you’re already behind the competition. Partnering with Limelight Platform will change that.
Writing for FTx 360, Amanda Parisella points to a number of trends, but automation and personalization stand out. It’s a fact that customers are much more likely to purchase when they feel a brand is aware of who they are and what they’re interested in, rather than just feeling like they’re on a product mailing list. But that’s not necessarily easy to do.
“Some tasks in marketing are redundant and time-consuming,” writes Parisella, a point everyone in the industry can agree on. The message for agencies is to focus on what you do best—creating engaging experiential initiatives—and let partners like Limelight do what they do best—measuring, reporting, customizing and creating timely and personalized follow-ups to drive purchase journeys.
The Drum points to the perseverance of pop-up marketing. Long a successful way to build brand affinity and test potential markets, pop-ups became even more trendy the past couple of years as brands looked for ways to engage consumers during the throes of the pandemic.
But pop-ups have also always come with a built-in problem: a dearth of meaningful measurement. Anecdotal information was often the best that could be gleaned: “Hundreds of people walked by. We handed out dozens of samples. Thirty people gave us their emails. They seemed jazzed!”
That’s not good enough. Not anymore. But there is a solution, an elegant way to measure people’s engagement with any activation: spatial analytics. A dynamo in the space is Meshh, which offers clients years of expertise and reams of data on how consumers interact with any physical space, from bricks-and-mortar locations to mobile awareness activations.
Writing for Marketing Insider Group, CEO Mark Brenner highlighted what real-time data means for XM. “[It] allows for more personal experiences but it also enables event planners and organizers to see how their event is performing … allowing them to take steps to make immediate improvements.”
Data is next to useless in modern XM if you can’t act on it in the moment. It needs to be something much more than just numbers to report—it needs to enable agility. And the best way to be quick on your feet is for every stakeholder to see what’s actually happening, what’s working—or not—and why.
That can only come from seamless integration into tech stacks, full-funnel measurement and the expertise to put it all together in an easy-to-digest dashboard. Guess who offers all of those?
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