Experiential Activation – no longer an afterthought

Mark Pickering, Founder and Creative Strategist at FLUXX: Ideas in Motion, Chairman of The Experiential Marketing Association of NZ (EMANZ)

Experiential and PR are two disciplines that work beautifully together and when done right they can provide tangible and effective results for client’s brands.

As chair of EMANZ (The Experiential Marketing Association of NZ) it has been great to see brands putting a bigger focus (and most importantly bigger budgets) in to the channel over the past few years. Whereas experiential was viewed almost as an afterthought for a campaign it is now being seen as an integrated part of the marketing mix, often leading the campaign idea and linking with other channels (traditional above the line, digital and PR) to amplify and extend the reach/effectiveness of the idea.

In a world where content has become king for use across all media channels, experiential can be the key provider of this through its ability to create drama, excitement and emotional connections with consumers in the live space. PR and social media have a special role in broadcasting these activations and amplifying them across earned media. Social media in particular has become a channel of choice for experiential campaigns via Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and Vine and this has also provided the industry with a new tool to set KPIs and show real measurement vs other campaigns and strategies.

Image sourced from Getty Images

Image sourced from Getty Images

A great experiential idea, properly managed and produced can not only touch the audience directly at a music festival, sporting event, on the streets, at a beach or shopping centre – but it can also now help the activation live outside the event itself. With consumers re-connecting to the activation post event via photos on Facebook or by uploading and sharing their experiences and user-generated content via other social channels experiential campaigns can show real added value.

All of this drives positive word-of-mouth for a brand and PR is the best medium to capture and broadcast this voice and drive further reach.

With the drive towards ROI and effectiveness the experiential industry are working hard on techniques and methodology to provide our clients with the assurance that they are getting bang for their budget and that the channel’s effectiveness can truly be measured and provide results. Social media, PR and digital/mobile have in recent years become part of the experiential mix and by setting KPIs through these channels an experiential activation can be more readily quantified and compared to other campaigns and media.

EMANZ has been working closely with AUT and CAANZ this year on pulling together a dedicated study on experiential effectiveness from which will come a tool kit for experiential agencies to use in future activations. This study will be a world first and we hope to be able to have a measurement system in place next year.

Join PRINZ for our May Learning Lunch to discuss experiential marketing and brand activation.

Register hereavailable to PRINZ members only.


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