Steve Randazzo is the founder and president of Pro Motion, Inc., an experiential marketing agency located in Missouri.
Why Event Marketing Is the Best Way to Reach Niche Markets
Traditional wide-net advertising — television, radio, and print — is great for building brand awareness quickly, but that wide net contains holes big enough for entire demographics to slip through.
Brands that rely on courting niche demographics face a tough question: How can they engage an audience that doesn’t respond well to one-size-fits-all advertising?
Event-based marketing is the answer.
With event-based tactics, you can customize the engagement experience in a way the target demographic will best receive, connecting with the audience deeply and authentically. Events will let you target specific audiences with one-on-one conversations to capture their full attention, engage all their senses, and convert them more quickly — and often more economically — than other marketing methods.
A study by Event Marketing Institute found that 90 percent of people who attend a marketing event end up telling friends and family about it within two days; 69 percent will mention the sponsor of the event by name, and a robust 85 percent of attendees leave events with a positive feeling toward the brand. These are advantages brands need when going after niche demographics.
3 Can’t-Miss Event Marketing Tactics
If you think creatively, you can easily design an experience that can reach any demographic. The characteristics of the audience you’re targeting — location, time constraints, biggest needs, etc. — will help determine which tactic you should employ:
• Brand-Centric Events: One common method is to create a big brand-centric event with multiple hands-on, interactive exhibits that capture the minds and hearts of attendees. You can easily draw in the right crowd as long as your big event features fun, interesting, and valuable exhibits — whether those include face-painting stations or wine tastings, video games or tractor pulls.
• Street Teams: Another great way to reach a hyperlocalized demographic is to assemble a street team and let it strategically roam the very streets where your audience lives. When putting this team together, keep in mind that the members will be the face and voice of your brand. They need to be upbeat and engaging: Walking around meekly while handing out freebies will not create a lasting brand impression. Choose your street team wisely.
• Mobile Tours: If your demographic is a bit more spread out, perhaps a mobile vehicle tour is what your brand needs. My company recently worked with a nonprofit organization seeking to encourage family bonding in underserved communities. We helped the group create a large mobile play space that traveled to public parks in several communities, and each stop drew more than 3,500 attendees who left with nothing but positive thoughts about the brand.
Maximizing the Impact of Events
Before the event, enlist the help of influencers in the community to create anticipatory buzz. Partner with local radio stations and news outlets to ensure that word gets out and the event is as well attended as possible.
Remember that huge events that feature multiple exhibits, presentations, and roundtables can be difficult to navigate. Guide attendees by suggesting relevant sessions to interact with and connections to make.
Event marketing is already an effective tool when the events are planned and executed well, but you realize its true value by collecting and analyzing data. If you measure the specific level of engagement with each aspect of your event, you can dial in on what’s important to your niche audience and continue providing relevant experiences.
The data you collect will also help you develop detailed profiles of your target customers. These can include general information such as age, sex, race, and geography, as well as psychographic data such as hobbies, likes, and habits. These profiles will also play a huge role in the success of your future events.
Event marketing is all about crafting a well-targeted campaign that touches the demographic you care about the most. These unique, localized experiences — paired with the data you collect and analyze — put your brand in the right hands and ensures it stays there for years to come.
Until recently, the opportunity to have a celebrity attend an event, attach themselves to a name-brand or endorse a certain product or idea was untouchable. The thought of paying a person to promote a product was seen as something only Fortune 500 companies could afford. Social media has changed all that with brands and businesses utilizing celebrity influencers to connect directly with their demographics and increase sales and profits.