By: Erik Hauser
O! Hello faithful readers of the BFMB! The BFMB remains one of my favorite places to be able to free flow write. What a thrill! It’s the little things in life, ya know:)?
I have done many things in my career to help try to put things (all kinds of things) in a new perspective, to help people see things through a new lens, to sometimes even challenge the core of their belief structure in order to help them succeed in today’s new market landscape. This, without question, is actually my favorite thing to do…to stretch the thinking of individuals.
Anyone can, like a blind mouse, accept and work inside of existing structures. Others challenge the status quo because they think that there is more that can be done — much more. Just because things have been done a certain way for a long time doesn’t mean it is the correct way to do things. And, it’s never to late to start making the right decisions. Force change — be the person that says enough!
This style of thinking, of essentially questioning everything, is the new mandatory, especially given the seismic marketplace changes that we have experienced recently. If you get a chance please thumb through the BrandAnimation archive, and you’ll see me rambling about these types of things.
For example, during the emergence of the digital age I challenged traditional thinkers that were simply looking at the digital space as if it were a physical space and strategizing it as such. When, in my opinion, people should have taken a moment to pause and realize that this was a whole new world — a world where geography meant little and the ability to engage consumers took on a whole new meaning. It certainly wasn’t a time to simply turn billboards into virtual billboards –where’s the innovating thinking in that, where’s the engagement? It was a time for much, much more. I wanted to be a part of that. We built an engaging platform for Wells Fargo that is bigger, badder and stronger today then when we first started it. It has been widely adopted by school districts and many other learning institutions. Ultimately the work transcended marketing and showed the universal truth that schools were teaching algebra, but not teaching kids how to handle their finances. This is the story that ran in Time magazine among others and today it continues to evolve into the killer financial literacy app. It was, at the time, a radical idea that had to withstand a 1,000 no’s before we got our yes to proceed. We had people like Tim Collins and Gina Fung at Wells Fargo that wanted to challenge the status quo — and did — and won!
Ahhhh….So now it comes time for us to challenge something that I’ve been witnessing for some time. It’s an omni-present way of thinking that needs to be dismantled and thrown out with tomorrow’s garbage. Please - Please don’t mix it in with the recyclables as I wish to never see it again - seriously.
What needs to be dismantled? The way that companies, for the most part, allocate funds for live brand experiences, or what is commonly referred to as event marketing. Live events, over the years, have essentially earned their way up the ranks to be considered a mass channel. Yet, they are looked at and thought about, by most, at the tail end of the integrated marketing communication plan, or even worse, it’s when some companies just some some excess budget to throw around.
There are many issues that I will address in this series of articles, but the first is the most obvious shift that needs to take place.
Research report after research report shows the effectiveness of event marketing as a stand alone mass channel when utilized as part of a comprehensive, fully integrated marketing campaign. Numerous studies have been conducted and showed the key consideration metric set that most brands feel is the most valuable is consistently moved more with live events than any other media. At a quick glance these key metrics include an increase in brand awareness, brand recall, purchase intent and lastly purchase. Event marketing time and time again proved itself and that’s the reason that it has finally emerged as a mass channel.
The question is obviously ‘why don’t more brands effectively utilize event marketing as a true mass channel, at the proper level/frequency, to achieve their optimal results on a larger scale?’ As we all know, the cost per touch goes down drastically the longer the event marketing initiative is up and running.
Okay! Almost time for our first brain bending exercise. We’re going to break down the mechanics of mass channel buying. Take a few breathes…Feel free to crack a knuckle or two….ready - set - Wait for Part 2 for the dismantling to begin - Part 2 will be here soon!