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Julia Manoukian


December 1, 2017

2018 Live Marketing Predictions: Consumer Experience Takes Center Stage [Roundup]

Julia Manoukian

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As the new year approaches, executives looking to spur change must take control of their own destiny. The consumer experience and confronting rising churn rates will take centre stage. This was the overarching sentiment of Forrester’s latest predictions report, a year of reckoning. We’re also taking a look at why experiential budgets are the focus next year, and the increasing functionality and applicability of event tech.

The Live Marketing roundup is a weekly roundup of the latest insights in live marketing, which includes face-to-face efforts such as experiential, event and other brand marketing.

Predictions 2018: A year of reckoning

“The fate of individual companies has never been more uncertain, and the window of opportunity is closing for many companies unprepared or unable to adapt to new market realities.” If this isn’t a cry for action, we don’t know what is.

Forrester’s 2018 predictions outline the macro dynamics affecting businesses today. Some key considerations in the live marketing space:

  • CX hits a wall. Companies can’t move quick enough as consumer expectations quickly rise. In the following year, Forrester reports one-third of companies will continue to see further decline in CX performance. Those declines, the report writes, will translate in a net loss. A handful of smart executives will intervene and push for putting CX at the center of everything they do, but most will maintain the status quo and “procrastinate until the evidence is overwhelming, putting their firms at risk as we enter 2019.”
  • The digital crisis. It’s not a question of why anymore, it’s a question of when. The longer leadership waits, the more they put their firms at risk. Forrester reports 20% of CEOs will fail to act on digital transformation, risking the vitality of their companies. 
  • The advertising correction. Advertising is out. Rather than throwing money at traditional spending, according to Forrester, CMOs will increase spend on:
    • Revitalizing CX to drive affinity and stem churn
    • Synchronizing loyalty programs to customer expectations
    • Understanding how to decode digital platform algorithms
    • Advancing martech to deliver individualized experiences at scale

How Experiential Marketing Budgets & Influencer Budgets Are Growing in 2018

With traditional marketing being less and less effective, marketers have never needed face-to-face marketing more than they do now. Kevin Kukk, President at Experiential Marketing agency OVX, lists a few key reasons why brands should be focusing their budgets on experiential marketing and influencers in the coming year.

  • When it comes to experiential, marketers are looking to brands like Red Bull, GoPro and Nike for inspiration. But events don’t automatically lead to brand loyalty. To have a lasting impression, brands need to think about the consumer experience holistically, integrating technology at every step of the way to ensure the most consistent experience possible.
  • According to the Association of National Advertisers, spending on sponsorship activations grew to an estimated $595 billion last year, and forecasting indicates it’s not going to slow down. Successful activations -- such as Nike Soccer’s Strike Night campaign -- should be relatively lost-cost and generate a big splash (Strike Night, for example, generated over 700 million impressions) and an authentic relationship with consumers.
  • Influencer marketing is another way to “hit people at their core.” When done right, influencer marketing has been shown to increase brand amplification by 29% while being associated with a trusted mark.

How Tech Will Transform Event Management [Infographic]

Marketers -- and people -- use technology to communicate, collaborate and create operational efficiencies. The event landscape is no different. Recent advances in technology are spilling over into the multi-billion dollar event industry. From drones taking the place of booth attendees to marketing automation allowing brands to personalize every stage of a consumer’s journey, the potential of technology is unlocking the way we think about, execute and measure face-to-face marketing.

An infographic from event management company Maximillion (via MarketingProfs) reveals some key technologies that are revolutionizing face-to-face marketing. While the infographic highlights UK research, the trends are universally applicable.

      • Geofencing: Using GPS or RFID technology to rope off a virtual geographic area that triggers a response when the device enters or leaves the area. Geofencing can be used to send notifications to welcome attendees and facilitate networking.
      • API: Application Programme Interface helps you keep all apps and cloud driven platforms at one place that it is easier to manage and handle various apps and services.
      • Email and Marketing Automation: With marketing automation, you can send more personalized emails to prospective attendees and, based on the actions they took, continue communication after the event is over.
      • Social Media: Social media is the backbone of any event; it’s where sponsors advertise and attendees find out about the event and share content before, during and after it.
      • Live Streaming: Live streaming allows the event you to expand their reach. Channels such as Facebook Live enable viewers to share real-time reactions and interact with one another.
      • RFID: Radio-frequency identification technology allows brands to more easily collect and pass information between exhibitors and attendees.
      • Wearables: Wearable technology has a ton of potential to change all aspects of an event such as the site inspection process, food and beverage purchasing, etc.
      • Virtual reality: Not only can virtual reality be used to boost attendee engagement, but virtual reality booths can also be set up to host meetings.
      • Robots and Drones: Robots and drones are currently being used to do photography and video during events, but additional potential lies in fulling service roles like bartending, personal assistants and booth attendants.
      • Crowdshaping: Crowdshaping, collecting data from attendees via apps and social media to make adjustments to an event, can help control crowd flow and inform content and layout at future events.

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