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Q: What is the difference between events, brand experience and experience marketing?
The umbrella term would be experience marketing – or “Live-Marketing” that’s how we call it. This includes all elements of a brand- or product campaign where customers meet the businesses in person. Live marketing contains the strategic consideration of an event, also the conception and implementation of all elements. Brand experience generally means the encounter with the brand. This works most successfully with Live-Marketing. Events are the implementation measures on site, the operational part of the Live-Marketing.

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Q: When do experiential marketing events work best?Experiential marketing events are then most successful when they meet the needs of a user. The following factors can be derived from the consideration of the trends for successful marketing communication.

Authenticity, relevance, emotion, added value and storytelling

  • Authenticity – or in other words, honesty.
  • Relevance – or the content must have something to do with my life, my experience world.
  • Emotion – or the message must touch, move, makes me laugh or cry.
  • Added value – or the communication must take me forward, must allow me new experiences, must expand my knowledge.
    Storytelling – Or how can I pass the experience in a short story to my friends, acquaintances, family, etc.
  • Important for experiential marketing events is always the viewpoint of the participant on the brand or the product.

Q: What kind of results can experiential marketing bring in comparison to other marketing activities?
It is important that I connect the live experience with the possibilities of online communication. (mobile application, social media, location based services). We call these events hybrid events. The success factors of hybrid events against other marketing activities are:

More Brand Exposure and Brand Awareness
Successful live communication always aims at consolidating, changing or Extension of certain patterns of thought.

Additional range, contact duration and intensity
Through the use of virtual elements, hybrid events can increase the range and contract duration of live communication significantly.

A strong activation favors the involvement.
Through additional activations, hybrid events can help many elements of the Event staging to more involvement.

Q: What are the latest trends in experiential marketing?
This can be answered relatively simply. State-of-the-art and absolute innovation trend are live campaigns. The impact of the digital revolution is only now apparent. In the meantime, the B2C is now moving on to the development of B2B communication, which means that it has also finally arrived in live marketing. On the one hand, the Internet offers a lot of possibilities, but on the other hand also shows the dangers I need to face with communication skills. Here events or live marketing is of particular importance. They are the channel that lets us experience companies, brands and products in personal communication. This means communication in direct dialogue. It is therefore a logical step that events and live marketing measures are now the focus of communication campaigns. Successful campaigns are Live Campaigns! It isn’t daring to make the thesis that a successful brand communication without live campaigns is no longer possible. Live Campaigns put the hybrid event at the center of campaign planning. This means that an event is no longer just the function of a medium but also that of the message and the content provider. As a result, the event becomes information, which can be picked up and further processed within all other communication channels.

Q: Which experiential marketing campaign inspired you in the last year?
This is, of course, difficult to answer, as I have influenced many experiential marketing campaigns. The anniversary event of BMW THE NEXT 100 YEARS is a very successful and many awards. The event had to highlight and emphasize BMW’s visionary shift from a company delivering the ultimate driving machine (BMW’s highly successful brand positioning over the last decades) to a new perspective, focusing on the ultimate driver and its driving lifestyle. The main focus would be a journey through BMW’s history and future. A narrative story line highlighting a number of watershed moments. All 4 BMW Group brands (BMW, MINI, Rolls Royce, BMW motorcycle) were to play a significant role in the storyline, underlining various aspects of BMW’s vision the coming 100 years of mobility. The connection and synergy of people and technology was to be the essence of the story line. A connection between history and future. Designing 12 multimedia vignettes with song, dance and poetry support, telling the story of BMW throughout the years. A story told by German master storyteller Rufus Beck. Supported by BMW employees where relevant and culminating in the launch of a new concept vehicle, embodying BMW’s vision for the future.

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Q: What’s been your favourite project to work on so far and why?
Again, I can’t actually make a choice. But the project BASF Creator Space tour was a lot of fun. The Creator Space™ tour engaged stakeholders as active participants in inspiring, interactive events. It connected people in an inspiring space to co-create sustainable solutions, thus not just adhering to BASF’s strategy “We create chemistry for a sustainable future” but being a live proof of it. The diverse topics of the local Creator Space™ tour stops show the flexibility of the concept while strongly communicating a consistent BASF brand message. Local teams chose locally relevant hot topics, e.g. clean water accessibility in Mumbai, or responsible food consumption in Barcelona. All with the same aim: To broaden the network and generate ideas and bring some forward for implementation. Due to the flexibility of the setup and the heavy involvement of the local BASF teams, there were ca. 10 sub-events at every local Creator Space™ tour stops, from creative workshops, to inspirational keynote speakers, to 24 hour “creatathons”, live concerts and movie nights. From serious, highly technological solution finding to entertaining and motivational fun and games. Each local event was different in content but all resulted in genuine, realistic solutions for local real life challenges. A live communication strategy generated multilevel and multichannel communication on a global scale.

Q: Which was the best book that you’ve read on experiential marketing (or marketing in general) so far and why?
My favourite book is Seth Godin: Tribes: We need you to lead us. In this fascinating book, Seth Godin argues that now, for the first time, everyone has an opportunity to start a movement – to bring together a tribe of like-minded people and do amazing things. There are tribes everywhere, all of them hungry for connection, meaning and change. In an increasingly complex world the longing for orientation rises. This is one of the secrets of Word-of-Mouth and thus of Influencer marketing. The aim of a brand is to combine the highest possible adherence. In modern marketing literature one speaks also of tribes. Tribes are wider than simple brand fans, because the products have a symbolic meaning for the tribe. Social media did not directly change consumer behavior, but needed followers, visibility and the possibility of online shopping. These opportunities have dramatically changed consumer behavior.

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