Reaching Gen Z Through Brand Experience, Why Music Festivals Continue to Endure, & the State of Marketing Attribution and Measurement (Elevate Connect)

The brand experience is defined in many ways, and can encompass a variety of touch points. Defined by an article published in the American Marketing Association’s (AMA) Journals of Marketing, “Brand experience is conceptualized as sensations, feelings, cognitions, and behavioral responses evoked by brand-related stimuli that are part of a brand’s design and identity, packaging, communications, and environments.” A brand experience can take place at a grocery store kiosk, or when reading a press release about a company’s philanthropic endeavors.

But, experiential marketing is a unique form of the brand experience. It has the power to amplify impact by immersing consumers in a tangible, interactive environment. This week’s White Board leads with an article exploring the reasons why experiential is especially effective in reaching Generation Z. We also discuss why branding unlocks innovation and the influencer marketing revolution.

Why Experiential Marketing Resonates with Gen Z

Millennials are on the tip of every marketer’s tongue these days. This generation recently became the largest living generation, and with their median age of 28, they are coming into their own related to spending power. But as the clock marches on, the generation behind millennials, Gen Z, are also getting older. As the article reports, “Generation Z is expected to account for 40% of the world’s consumers by the year 2020.”

Working now to understand the motivations of, as well as build brand loyalty with, this group is a smart move. And while there are some differences between Gen Z and the Millennials that come before them, they share a lot of the same preferences. Valuing experiences, authenticity, and technology, the article shows why Gen Z is more receptive to experiential than traditional marketing.

18 Stats Proving the Efficacy of Experiential

Now that we are a few weeks into 2018, we have had the opportunity to view several yearly ”best-of”s. From event technology tools to watch in the new year to experiential trends worth investing in, marketers have a lot to look forward to. Yet, while high-impact, more efficient events are always on our wish lists, showing event ROI remains a critical part of designing an experiential campaign.

One of our favorite annual surveys is Event Track, which details data surrounding both the effectiveness and opportunities surrounding events. Here, Profit Industry summarizes statistics from this report and others, showing how powerful experiential can be. The first one? “74% of event attendees say that they have a more positive opinion about the company, brand, product or service being promoted after the event.” Wow. How can you not read the rest?

For Retail, the Answer is the Human Touch

It has been well reported over the past few decades that the face of retail has changed. Online commerce has dramatically changed the way that most consumers purchase goods and services. Once-powerhouse brands like Sports Authority and Toys ‘R Us are facing a dramatic number of store closures. Brick and mortar is dying.

But that’s the wrong assumption, says Catherine Lucas, Managing Partner of Greenroom Design. She argues “that the real threat isn’t the irrelevance of the store environment, but instead, traditional retails reluctance – at its increasing peril – to reimagine itself, beyond a perfunctory purpose. Bricks and mortar isn’t dead…it’s merely broken.” She says that it can be fixed, through retail brands providing consumers with a meaningful brand experience.

Why Marketing and Branding are the Keys to Company Innovation

A fast-paced, changing world requires that companies be alert and adaptable while staying relevant. Successful companies will not be afraid to fail, yet approach new opportunities in a thoughtful, entrepreneurial way. In other words, it will be the innovators that continue to grow and succeed.

The author of the article argues that “For true innovation to exist within a company the brand needs to drive innovation as a cultural and systemic attribute, 360º within the company. Marketing therefore potentially has a powerful new position to play in shepherding the efforts of multiple facets of a company in realizing innovative experiences.” Read more to learn why branding may hold the key to allowing marketing to pioneer.

Experiential Retail Design is the Key for Retail

As we’ve touched on, many leaders in the retail marketing space do not see brick and mortar closures as the sign of the traditional retail apocalypse. And, like the advice above given by Catherine Lucas of Greenroom Design, Dave Nemeth of Trend Forward sees promise in innovation. The article points out that “the in-store environment needs to evolve to provide customers with exciting experiences.”

By designing the retail environment around compelling experiential elements, brick and mortar locations will drive consumers in-store. The article goes deeper into what retail can do to stay competitive in the new digital economy, and provides examples of brands that are doing experiential retail to much success.

The State of Marketing Attribution and Measurement

In the marketing world, not just experiential, measurement and attribution are front and center. If you don’t know how well your strategies are working, then it is impossible to show whether your investment is paying off. In fact, this article opens with the statistic that “a whopping 91% of marketers agree that measurement of their efforts is a top priority.”

But there is a disconnect. The author goes on to say, “yet only 13% rank their measurement abilities as “excellent,” according to an infographic by B2B marketing attribution experts BrightFunnel.” At a time where technology tools related to event and marketing measurement seem to be coming from the woodwork, too many marketers feel as though they are not able to capture the data that they need. Here is a detailed infographic that outlines the current state of marketing attribution and measurement. Read more to see how your company compares.

Some of the Coolest Experiential Marketing Campaigns You’ll See

Often, we tend to use the word event when describing experiential marketing campaigns. But, like a brand experience, these concepts can be related, and even overlap, but are unique within themselves. Experiential campaigns often take place at an event, but “there are also times when they have nothing to do with a specific event.”

When it comes to experiential, brands can be as creative as they want to be. They just need to ensure that the experience is engaging, relevant, and drives clear and measurable company goals. HubSpot lists 8 experiential marketing campaigns that will, as they say, make your eyes green with envy. From Google to Guinness, here is how top brands are getting the experiential thing right.

The Why Behind the Ever-Successful Music Festival Business

We spend a lot of time talking about how things have changed. The media landscape, the way we shop, how we communicate with each other…it seems that little is left as it once was. But there are a few things that have stuck around through changes in culture and technology. And, interestingly, music festivals are one of those that has endured.

Whether you grew up in the era of Woodstock or Lollapalooza or Bonnaroo, music festivals have continued to be popular. And, as a result, they are an attractive place for marketers to find consumers. Here Event Marketer speaks with Rick Farman, co-founder of Superfly, the New York City-based organization behind San Francisco’s Outside Lands and rural Tennessee’s Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, about why the music fest phenomenon continues to grow.


Experiential Marketing Trends You Need to Know in the New Year


How to Shift Your Perspective on Your Event Marketing Strategy

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