June 8, 2018
As society changes, so do our priorities. Unlike traditional consumerist models, in recent years, Millennials and Generation Z consumers are foregoing purchasing goods. Instead, a growing majority of young people would rather spend their money on experiences, such as going to the hottest festival or concert. Even more incredible, 72% of Millennials report that they will increase spending on live events in the future. This changing landscape of commerce is rife with investment opportunities for the companies that are best placed to make the most of the fundamental changes that have happened in marketing.
This has led to a new breed of event marketing, as experiential and live events have come to the forefront. The companies that facilitate small businesses being able to access and utilize event marketing effectively will have a potentially vast share of the new markets that emerge from these new trends in consumer behavior.
What Is Experiential Marketing?
Experiential marketing traces its roots back to the Facebook Live IQ Event that started it all. Facebook realised that they needed to educate marketers about their platform, so that they could take advantage of the data that it provided.
Rather than trying to communicate ideas verbally, or through traditional marketing channels, Facebook redefined the way we look at companies by offering live demos, such as an “instagram cafe”, which brought to life live digital trends, such as latte art.
They even built a house, just to show how Facebook could connect new parents to the outside world. Facebook may have had a hunch that experiential marketing would work, but the results probably blew even them away. 93% of those who visited the Live IQ Event in New York said that it gave them valuable insights, boosting the perception of Facebook as a brand.
Impact Of Experiential Marketing In The Event Industry
In another study, 65% of people said that experiential events helped them understand a product or service better.
As the digital world becomes more crowded, and the signal to noise ratio increases, finding ways to directly connect to your customers has never been more important. Especially because, amongst Generation Z, there is a trend of wanting to share experiences at live events on social media.
Money has taken a backseat to the social currency of social media likes on Facebook and Instagram. Now, 41% of millenials use Facebook every single day, and they are being fed branded content by the 67% of businesses who use Facebook for marketing. They are hungry for shareable stories, particularly in the form of video to show their eager friends. Businesses in the event industry are starting to realise that their local events could have global marketing impact, because they provide excellent content for video posts. Innovative companies that are capable of providing a one-stop-shop to enable effective event marketing for small businesses could lead to remarkable returns on investment.
Valoso is a all-in-one event marketing platform that is specifically designed to help small businesses get the most out of live events, and boost the reach of their experiential marketing. The new Valoso Studio also brings together several complex aspects of event marketing tech, including QA, HR, CRM and Communications. Valoso makes event marketing easy and accessible to every small business owner, which is important because EventTrack’s data revealed that 74% of all consumers have a better opinion of a brand after attending a live event. Using Valoso gives small businesses the opportunity to be able to increase the reach and impact of their live events with video posts on social media.
Millennials Believe That Experiences Make Them Happy
In the current climate, your event marketing efforts get paid forward dividends, because Millennials now connect experiences with happiness, making them feel happy about your brand as well. San Francisco State Associate Professor of Psychology, Ryan Howell has studied the connection between spending and happiness. He reports, “People actually do know, and accurately predict, that life experiences will make them happier.” Howell’s intuition has been backed up by the data, as nearly 77% of Millennials say that events and live experiences form some of the best memories of their lives.
The potential emotional impact that businesses can have using live events is immense. Almost 70% of attendees to live events say that it gives them a sense of community with those around them and the world. These powerful emotional cues lay the perfect groundwork for a new kind of brand loyalty and advocacy, which is one of the key secrets to successful investment, according to the McKinsey Global Institute.
Brand Loyalty And Business Success
The effects of this strong brand loyalty may be accentuated even more for small to medium size businesses and brands. Creative Director of Daymon, Ryan Dee, stated that “small to medium-size brands may have an advantage over larger brands in that they can be more experimental and host smaller events or activities that can more effectively convey the finer points of their messaging.”
It is an exciting time for investors in the companies providing services for the event industry, because the Event Marketing Institute predicts that experiential marketing spending by companies would increase by more than 11% each year.
In Asia the trend for experiential marketing is even more pronounced, with 32% of Asian marketers saying that they will spend over a fifth of their budgets on it, compared to 27% of North American marketers and 23% of European marketers. Although Asia has been the first to adopt experiential marketing, this is spreading very quickly into Australia because of the predilections and habits of the wealthy Chinese immigrant population there.
What Does This Trend Mean?
In the hopes of accessing more happiness, people are attending more events, visiting more amusements and travelling to more places. In the UK alone, the experiential market was valued at £171.9m with a staggering £81.4m being spent on live events in London alone. According to research by McKinsey, spending on experiences has grown 1.5 times faster that other personal consumption spending. It also outstrips expenditures on material goods four times over.
Small business marketers have started to realise that they cannot just offer products, they also need to connect them to the emotional experiences that young people crave. Now small businesses are planning to outlay up to 50% of their budgets on experiential marketing next year. Their focus on providing experiential moments for their customers, comes from the fact that 59% of CMOs see brand experiences as a way to create strong relationships with their core customers, and 90% of marketers worldwide believe that the face-to-face interaction of live events leads to better engagement.
As small businesses worldwide invest a larger slice of their budgets in events and experiential marketing, investors are beginning to look more closely at which global event marketing software companies, like Valoso, will be able to dominate the market.
Emily Ludolf is a tech journalist with a BA Hons. and Masters OXON in English Literature and Language from the University of Oxford. Her work has been published in The Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, and Entrepreneur.com. She writes for Valoso and The Technoskeptic. She also has a Masters of Research from the University of the Arts, London