Marketing in Real Life – A guest post from Wyoming SBDC Network
By Audrey Jansen, Market Researcher at the Wyoming SBDC Network
If you are wondering how your brand can stand out in a sea of social media promotions, you might want to skip more Instagram ads and boosted Facebook posts. Why? Because doing something IRL is more memorable than seeing a picture of it (if you’re lost, IRL is internet-speak for “In Real life” and if you want tips on how to use internet-speak non-awkwardly, check out this Hootsuite blog post).
Big brands have caught onto this idea, called event or experiential marketing, and are using it across industries:
- Outdoor shoe brand, Salomon, has launched group runs where they give out free swag, offer tutorials, and let runners demo shoes. Here is an article on the debut of one of their running clubs in Colorado.
- HBO show Westworld set up a fake town from the show at film festival SXSW where users could hang out (eat, party, and look for clues of happenings for the next season). Check it out here.
- Lifestyle brand Refinery29 hosts an event called 29rooms where they have 29 themed rooms that utilize their products and offer a unique experience. Here is an article that talks about this experience and 7 others.
It’s no surprise that big brands are throwing some awesome experiential market campaigns. A 2017 survey of 400 mid to senior level event marketers found that most believed “events are the single most effective marketing channel (31%) over digital advertising, email marketing and content marketing.”
Not only were these marketers right that event marketing is effective, it also gives you customer data gold. Whether you sell tickets or give them away for free, as long as you require customers enter some basic data about themselves you will walk away with a lot of valuable information about who your customers are. Names, addresses, ages, email addresses, etc. All of this information should be prized and utilized to better improve every other area of your marketing strategy and any events you do in the future.
Ready to plan your event? Here are some things you should ask yourself in order to offer your customers (and potential customers) something that is meaningful and memorable:
- Who is my target market/ideal customer?
- Where are they and/or where do they like to go?
- What do they like to do? (Take this questions down to the nitty gritty details: what music do they listen to? What food do they eat? What are their hobbies?)
- Why should anyone come to this event? (AKA: what is my value proposition?)
- How will I keep my product or service at the forefront of the experience?
With these questions answered (P.s. if you don’t know where to start with finding this information, send me an email and our team will help you out) you are ready to start planning! I know the examples I gave of big brands were outlandish: you don’t have to break the bank doing this. Start small, collaborate with relevant small businesses, and use the event to generate revenue (sell tickets, charge for specific experiences within the event, etc.).
You are an entrepreneur: follow your gut, ask for help when you need it, and jump!
Want to more or want to get started on your small business? The Wyoming SBDC Network can help.