|Tuesday, 29 May 2007|
By Neal Burns
Every once in a while I think that we need to look at some rather traditional and standard approaches to marketing decisions stuff that has merit and has worked and examine how experiential advertising efforts intersect with contemporary business practice. And, as the ³experiential² work moves from ³alternative² to become ³mainstream² and expected the relationship to the constructs of premium vs. price-based, market share, growing or diminishing categories and other marketing considerations will become more important as part of the experiential proposal to new clients. Eric (if-it¹s-Tuesday-I-must-be-in- New-Delhi-Hauser) and I want us all to look smart as this evolution rolls forward.
So, as we try to establish guidelines and best practices to help promote both the effectiveness and acceptance of experiential advertising what can we adapt from marketing theory that helps bring thee two disciplines together. (Whoops Is experiential advertising a discipline a topic for another day I suspect.) I suggest that a good starting place is to look at those categories that are dominated by a leader e.g., beer, athletic shoes, hybrid cars and what we would suggest for those in second or third, or fourth - place. It is often the case that those are the most exciting and challenging assignments.
Leaders, I think, maintain their position by steadfast innovation year after year, season after season. Thus, it is Nike who intros ³Air², and modern high tops Coke bringing ³Zero² and ³Blak² to the market and Apple brings us ³i-Pod². The next in line also need innovative solutions but must add to that approach precise targeting. Generally speaking, in the presence of strong brand preference for the leader, identifying and attracting those that are persuadable (a term I cherish and will always attribute to Jack Supple) to consider trial is a hoped for result from any experiential campaign. For that market segment that is approachable and will participate in our campaign the relevance of the offer and its presentation are the moves that encourage not only trial, but also cause a re-shuffling of the considered set. And, the offer and presentation are the stuff of experiential advertising. The promise experiential advertising mavens can make to their potential customers must be clearly slotted in that direction and speak to the likelihood of increasing relative market share (RMS).
Embracing RMS as a marketplace reality places experiential advertising strategy and execution squarely in the marketing mind set. Neither the agency nor he product manager believe that there are hundreds of thousands of ³newbies² and their families slowly making their way to major markets from Montana. The clients who move portions of their spend to experiential campaigns will quickly recognize that their agencies understand that by and large they are in a share fight and the increase in their RMS is a wonderful measure of the success of the campaign.
As always the thoughts expressed in our blog are suggestive and, correct or not, reflect the current belief of the author. Yet, deep down, I am educable and look forward to your comments and your efforts to straighten out my thinking.
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