- The Platform
Unlike traditional or online marketing efforts, live marketing is a uniquely fast and effective way to build brand awareness through face-to-face connections with consumers. It engages all five senses, sparking emotions that form lasting memories which have been shown to drive brand loyalty.
Live marketing is focused on engaging consumers at every stage of their journey through face-to-face or live interactions. With live marketing, audiences are activated through tactics such as:
Live marketing covers the entire customer’s journey, from the moment they interact with a brand (before and during each experience) to each post-activation touchpoint.
There are some people who use experiential marketing and live marketing interchangeably, but in the end, experiential marketing is a subset of live marketing.
Live marketing encompasses not just the face- to- face event itself, but also leading up to and coming out of the experience itself.
“Think about it this way: live marketing focuses on people-to-people interactions, whereas experiential can include people-to-paper, people-to-radio, or some sort of in-person experience. Live marketing takes on a holistic approach to face-to-face advertising, whereas experiential can be very divided.”
– Jonah Midanik, Founder & CEO, Limelight Platform
Event marketing is just that, events. It typically doesn’t include sampling and credit card acquisition programs. Sponsorships in themselves are not event marketing, although event marketers might do sponsorships and be present for some elements. They are a subset of live marketing.
In the past, television drove a significant portion of ad dollars. Though brands couldn’t measure the impact of their message, they knew consumers watched television, so that’s where they needed to be. But to cut through the clutter in today’s multichannel world, brands need to think differently.
Whether your goals are better consumer engagement, lower costs and/or increased leads/sales, live marketing makes sure potential customers have an authentic and often emotional experience with your product and brand.
You can take a test drive, you can drink a beer. People can’t experience the taste of your beer through their phones.
When done correctly, live experience is the fastest way to take someone from not knowing who you are to a customer, or even champion of your brand or product.
When it comes to face to face marketing, there are a number of problems event marketers currently experience.
Say you’ve just purchased a banner advertisement at a hockey game. Your brand and dozens of others line the ice. The banner will remain for three months, and at the end of those three months, you have to calculate the ROI of that banner and explain it to your boss.
Did it increase sales? Did it decrease sales cycles? Basically, your boss wants to know how your marketing effort contributed to the overall financial success of the business.
It used to be that proving ROI didn’t matter so much, because when marketers were fighting for an event budget, they’d be up against someone who ran television ads.
But now, marketers who take part in event, experiential and any other live marketing efforts have to go up against digital or content marketers.
Digital marketers have the ability to measure their efforts through KPIs like website traffic, conversions and leads. They can say, "web traffic is up 303%" or "conversions have doubled" and they have the analytics to prove it. And all that live marketers can say is that 200 people showed up to their live experience and had a good time.
The other problem live marketers face is that even if they do collect data, it’s incredibly disjointed. As a result, consumers are getting a terrible experience.
You go to an auto show and fill out a form. A month later, you get an email announcing the new Chevy Volt, which is great, but you filled out the form for the Dodge Ram. You’d never buy the Volt; in fact, you hate the Volt.
Consumers are willing to give you information if they get the right piece of information back at the right time. Think about it: most of us give our Facebook information in return for being connected to brands, applications and more just so that we are exposed to more personalized, targeted information that we are interested in.
Executing a full scale live marketing campaign in the traditional sense is incredibly expensive because it’s disconnected, and difficult to operate. Especially when most solutions out there are custom-builds that require a lot of time and money for little return.
At the very least, running a million-dollar experience requires a team of two people for the next four months. Marketing leaders have to then measure the ROI of those two people, compile the data, which is hosted in a several different places, and configure legal compliance and data security.
Brands need to develop custom activation assets (websites, landing pages, mobile apps) for every campaign. Because they often need to involve multiple suppliers and partners, the process is usually slow, painful and requires more resources than necessary.
Live marketing automation changes the rules by letting brands plan, build and launch their own activation assets with less involvement from suppliers or partners - and do it all in a shorter time frame.
The central tenet of modern marketing is to test, measure and scale your efforts. If you can’t do that, as a marketing leader, you’re in serious trouble. At the end of the day, live marketing is about applying best marketing practices to your face-to-face campaigns.
Dynamic Signal’s CMO, Joelle Kaufman, sums up it up best: “I expect my in-house meeting planner, and anyone who is going to work with her and my marketing team, to be relentless about tracking and collecting insights and making data-driven decisions, because you won’t get me twice at an event if you don’t.”
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