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Beyond the event: Secondary audiences come first in experiential

By Jack Lamacraft, Co-Founder & Managing Director

The Park


The Drum Network article

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July 24, 2019 | 4 min read

Most marketers understand the power of connecting a consumer with their brand in the real world, providing them with a unique, engaging and memorable experience. Despite that, The Park’s Jack Lamacraft argues experiential marketing is still struggling to shift the perception among some that it’s a costly, inefficient discipline.

Audience and crowd

/ Daniil Silantev

The problem with experiential is that it’s often being compared to other disciplines solely on reach. Although we can wax lyrically about the deep connection we’re creating, when there are only 1000 people who physically experience our campaign compared to a digital deployment that reached 100,000 for the same budget it’s easy to see why those perceptions persist. However, with effective planning, it’s possible to optimise the amount of people who know about the brilliant experience we’ve created.

Amplification of brand experiences is nothing new, but I still feel that this thinking often comes too far downstream and too late to create any real impact. As a discipline we need to start looking at what we do as campaigns, not events.

Things to consider:

What’s the digital strategy?

It’s easier than ever to connect the real world with the digital world but the give-a-shit factor always needs to be considered. After all, why would someone want to watch other people enjoying a great experience on Facebook live? Think about what will actually be interesting for people to experience in the digital world and plan accordingly.

How are we using the attendees to spread the message?

Two words: shareable moments. People want to share unique experiences with their followers and friends on social media. Work out what is going to be a must-share moment and make sure every attendee experiences it.

How are we going to generate earned media?

It’s not enough just to invite the media along and hope for the best. Think about what you can create that is genuinely newsworthy, what they want to write about, that’s relevant to their audience. Target the right people, don’t just invite everyone along. Work with them pre-event to help shape their content , and think about different executions for different publications.

What’s the content we’re seeding afterwards?

The days of creating a hype video with a killer soundtrack are long gone; it’s no longer enough just to point a handycam at the experience and edit something together that gives people who weren’t there a general impression of what happened. It’s just annoying to see something great that you missed out on. Content should be taken seriously.

Work with proper writers and directors, and allow them to shape the experience to create content with a proper narrative that people will want to watch. The same goes for photography, where you can work back from the shots that will resonate.

By thinking about the secondary audience in the planning stage we can make sure we’re reaching and engaging a much larger audience that just those lucky enough to experience it first-hand, therefore delivering a much greater ROI for our clients and, in the end, hopefully getting more marketers to realise the potential of experiential.


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