Guest Blog: The best engagement strategies are made of this – Elevate

Elevate discusses terms of engagement with Field Marketing and Brand Experience Magazine

Two hundred million people classify their Facebook relationship status as “single.” So, grasping the potential, Mark Zuckerberg announced that a dating service is coming to the social media site. Long-term relationships, not hookups, are the goal of the service. But, numbers for other dating sites may indicate otherwise.

A Michigan State University study found, of love matches made online, only 32% of couples went on to get married. In contrast, couples who had met offline had a better success rate – over double – at 67%. Though online dating is convenient, benefits of face-to-face meetings speak for themselves. For example, the transparency that derives from body language to determine interest can save precious time. And, the same can be said for business relationships. That’s why it may come as a surprise to learn 71% make inbound marketing, specifically their online presence, top priority. Maybe not so surprising, 63% of global marketers cite generating leads a top challenge. Could something be amiss in their inbound lead generation strategies?

It’s true; consumers spend a large amount of their time online. But, it doesn’t mean brands’ intrusions are welcome. One study finds 81% of people dislike mobile pop-up ads, and 80% dislike video pre-roll ads. Another survey finds consumers younger than 40 are more likely to complete a 15-second ad when rewarded, such as with digital content. Yet, as Inc.com points out, available content is “limitless.”

Consumers are inundated with digital information. And, brands are hard-pressed to stand out online. Instead, innovative brands are moving outside the virtual box and looking to in-person events to engage potential consumers. Even with the digital focus, nine out of 10 CMOs say a “brand experience delivers strong face-to-face interaction and more compelling brand engagement.” In fact, 54% of B2B marketers and 53% of brand managers deem brand experiences effective lead generation strategies.

Why the Best Lead Generation Strategies Have a Brand Experience at Their Core

A brand experience has the potential to do so much more than a coupon or white paper download that may or may not get used or read. There’s a personal aspect that can’t be found with many other marketing method. Through two-way conversations, consumers can get to know brands, which earns their trust. This may be in sharing how brands can meet their needs, solve problems or fulfill desires. At the same time, they can have some fun or gain other value, such as in educational sessions or product demos.

This is where brand experiences make great lead generation strategies. That’s because the means to collect consumer data is often seamlessly woven into the experience and goes unnoticed. Consumers’ guards are down. They’re learning to trust the brand, while enjoying themselves and giving no thought to handing over their email address or other data. In turn, there is no room for hesitation or misgiving. The result, for consumers, is a transparent and authentic look at the brand, while making memories. They are not thinking about lead generation. Yet, for brands, through these experiences, databases are bigger and bottom lines are richer – both now and in the future.

Brands may be concerned that using brand experiences to further lead generation strategies could significantly increase costs. Yet, the truth is, guerrilla marketing tactics, such as street teams, can be launched with minimal expense. Further, event marketers have shown tremendous ROI, with 48% achieving 3:1 to 5:1 and 41% reporting a 10:1 and over. In short, brand experiences pay for themselves and beyond, when the right components are in place.

The Best Brand Experiences are Made of These Components

Brand experiences, as lead generation strategies, take less time to get off the ground than building an online presence, which means faster results. Yet, event marketers must pay careful attention to two key elements to find the most success.

The Right People

Depending on the type of brand experience, brand ambassadors may only have mere seconds to share their message, establish trust and get the lead. Event marketers should be thorough in their hiring process, choosing people who are not only personable. They must also be flexible to adjust to various personalities and objections. The complexities prompt many to rely on an expert event staffing company to supply the best talent for their activation.

 

The Right Technology

Automating lead generation is a must in today’s technology-driven society. Yet, again, how event marketers choose to do so will depend on the type of activation. This may be as simple as freeform data entry to register for a discount or can be incorporated into a game or interactive element. Event tech, such as in these examples, is believed, by 86% of event marketers, to have a “major positive impact” on their events’ success. The key is to ensure the means best fits with the flow and purpose of the event itself.

Two Proven Ways to Seamlessly Collect Lead Info in Brand Experiences

Event marketers can use the following two examples to incorporate their own lead generation strategies into a brand experience.

With incentives.

Much like digital marketing, brand experiences can use rewards to influence people to provide contact information. After all, consumers want to receive things of physical value. Specifically, Gen X and Baby Boomers will appreciate a discount or digital offer. This may be provided after trying a product sample or taking part in a demo.

 

Through activities.

The sky is the limit when it comes to using interactive elements to capture contact information seamlessly. This may be to send a memento post-event, such as a photo taken in a branded photo booth or when attendees were immersed in a virtual reality experience. Or, it may be a fun or helpful interactive quiz to help them find ways to use your products or services. Or, it could be a game with potential to win a great prize. No matter which you choose, when implemented correctly, you will have entertaining ways to get consumer data without an intrusion.

 

Elevate Staffing connects people with brands by delivering campaign-specific staff for every event. Contact Elevate to learn more and discuss your next activation. 

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