With so much happening and so much at stake with every experiential activation, it’s important to know how you’re going to manage the chaos of a campaign. Steve gives us a look into his mindset in this article for Event Industry News.
Today’s consumers are lost in the middle of an endless desert of dry marketing campaigns. The blazing sun releases a relentless barrage of inescapable hot air; flat, beige landscape stretches as far as the eye can see.
In the monotonous slog through today’s arid, tedious advertising climate, experiential marketing serves as a much-needed oasis. While traditional marketing avenues promise a mirage of shade and water, experiential quenches consumers’ thirst by seamlessly nestling itself into their lives and encouraging tangible, relevant brand interactions. The engagement that ensues is infinitely deeper and more memorable than any television or print ad could produce.
And though it may appear so to a wearied traveller or a numb consumer, desert oases and experiential campaigns don’t just miraculously materialize out of nowhere. Successful execution takes a lot of forethought, coordination, and attention to detail.
The Many Moving Parts
There are literally hundreds (or maybe thousands) of moving parts involved in an experiential marketing campaign. And successful execution in the past doesn’t mean simply duplicating the same thing for the next campaign. Each and every campaign requires meticulous planning and organization.
At the onset, your first task is to assemble an internal dream team and establish who is in charge of what, the deadlines they are expected to hit, and the performance metrics that will measure their success. Delegate the tasks, set the schedule, define your ultimate goal, and set the wheels in motion.
Once you have your internal ducks in a row, it’s time to dig into the specifics. There will be lots of things to focus on, but standing front-and-center is the need to recruit and train a crew of brand ambassadors. These folks can make or break your campaign, so it’s key to ensure they’re properly trained, enthusiastic, and equipped to portray your company and product in the best possible light. Then, you’ll need to arm them with materials: vehicles, uniforms, props, samples, and more.
If you’re hitting the road for a multi-city tour, you’ll also need to plot your course. Where does your audience hang out? At any given point, you could be simultaneously managing activations at concerts, fairs, bars, retailers, sporting events, and busy street corners.
Organize Your Experiences
Confronting these countless details can feel like falling into a cactus bed, but it doesn’t have to. Here are two organizational tips that will help keep your moving parts in order:
- Put it in writing. Don’t let all those tasks, processes, and goals swim around in your brain. Write them out, and distribute them to every member of the team. This will provide clear direction to everyone and ensure no details fall through the cracks. Perhaps even consider designing checklists that ensure every element has a champion and a deadline.
According to psychological studies, writing a to-do list makes a mountain of tasks seem less monstrous. Even better, it also enacts a sense of urgency to meet every deadline. But don’t just jot everything down before the campaign and forget about it; follow up throughout the undertaking to track your progress and document key discoveries you can apply to your future events.
- Get serious about communication. Effective communication can never be over-encouraged. We utilize an event production timeline for every program. When launch day creeps near, our team enacts a “3-2-1” process that charts our communication for the final three weeks leading up to the campaign. We identify the key things we should focus on at each weekly milestone, which helps us uncover any last-minute problems we need to address.I strongly encourage the installation of a communication process that promotes weekly (and eventually daily) strategic catch-ups. Getting all stakeholders on a weekly conference call is a must to keep everyone on the same page and working harmoniously.
To call this planning process “information overload” would be an understatement, but as you know, a well-executed experiential campaign is valuable beyond compare.
Those who remain organized throughout the madness provide consumers with the refreshing, revitalizing glass of ice water they so desperately need.
Read the original article at http://www.eventindustrynews.co.uk/features/editors-choice-and-features/dont-drown-details-experiential-campaign/