In the real estate world we always hear people say that it’s all about “Location. Location. Location”. This is so true. It is a little different when it comes to consumer brands. In that case it’s all about “Loyalty. Loyalty. Loyalty”. Statistics show that existing customers spend 67% more than new customers. For this reason, companies spend millions of dollars each year designing impactful marketing strategies to constantly engage their customers, thanking and rewarding the current ones so they increase their usage, all the while acquiring new ones. From this process, customer loyalty programs were created. A customer loyalty program is a marketing tool used by brands to motivate repeat customers by offering some type of reward system.
The traditional tactics to driving new loyalty program members include direct mail, email blasts, SEM, and sometimes good old-fashioned telemarketing. But there is another way to acquire new loyalty program members that may be overlooked for a variety of reasons. It’s called Experiential Marketing: The activity of designing or developing a themed activity, display, or exhibit at a live event to promote a product or service.
Some roadblocks that prevent companies from utilizing experiential marketing to drive new loyalty members include lack of internal resources, lack of funds, and simply the lack of understanding about how experiential programs, if executed correctly and scaled, can substantially move the needle by delivering volumes of new loyalty members and valuable data.
Here are 6 benefits of using experiential marketing to acquire new loyalty program members:
1. Sign Up New Members Quickly and Easily
Perhaps this is an obvious point, but an experiential marketing campaign provides you with the opportunity to sign up new program loyalty members “on the spot”.
To streamline the sign-up process, technology such as tablets should be used to input customer information. A vanity promotional code can be used to track these new signups. This approach will also protect the privacy of the customer. Making the process easy, quick, and convenient is essential for conversion.
Don’t underestimate the ability to acquire new loyalty members through an experiential marketing campaign. By hiring experienced Brand Ambassadors and executing a compelling consumer promotion, you will incentivize consumers to register. For example, you could offer a free $25 gift card to new members who sign up at your booth. Brand Ambassadors will speak to the promotion and encourage prospects to participate. Provide your Brand Ambassadors with bonuses for hitting certain conversion goals, or compensate them with a commission for each new program loyalty member acquired. Brand Ambassadors are powerful tools that can give you the results needed to make your experiential program cost effective and yield positive ROI.
2. Bring Your Brand to Life
Events provide you with the opportunity to speak directly to consumers. By doing so, your brand demonstrates its commitment to creating a relationship with its customers. This direct interaction expands your network and establishes a shared experience that can enhance future communication and increase loyalty.
Forrester published research that concluded that emotion is one of the strongest unique drivers of loyalty. Therefore, there’s not doubt that face-to-face connections with consumers would benefit brand loyalty.
By staffing your event activation with personable, engaging Brand Ambassadors who know your brand inside and out, your brand will develop authentic relationships with consumers that will lead to increased revenue and loyalty.
3. Increase App Downloads
Some customers will sign up for your loyalty program through the web but will never get around to downloading your app. By generating app downloads through your experiential marketing campaign, you’re now able to market consumers via the app as well as through email or text. Apps are valuable marketing tools and brands should always try to increase downloads.
A popular way to drive app downloads through your experiential marketing campaign is to run a sweepstakes. Consumers can be entered directly into the sweepstakes upon showing your Brand Ambassadors that your app has been successfully downloaded onto his/her phone.
4. Generate Leads
Perhaps a consumer doesn’t want to sign up for your loyalty program but may consider doing so at a later time. Don’t let that prospect get away! This is a warm lead and could result into a new program loyalty member down the road. Collect the prospect’s email address in exchange for a small branded giveaway such as a koozie or pair of sunglasses. Select an item that fits in with your brand image. This is now a new lead to which you can market post-event.
5. Collect Data
Events are the perfect platform for your brand to interact with consumers and uncover meaningful data that can be analyzed for future marketing efforts. One way to collect this data is to execute a photo booth engagement. We especially like the idea of a GIF photo booth – consumers can pose with friends and the camera will transform the photos into a custom GIF. In order for consumers to receive the GIF via text, email, or social, they simply answer a few survey questions. Keep the questions short and sweet and limited to three or four total.
6. Test and Learn
Unlike traditional advertising or marketing tactics, events allow you to tweak your strategy “on the go”. Test and analyze different promotions or coupons until you’re seeing the results you want. If consumers aren’t interested in your pitch or product, you have the luxury of changing it.
Events are also a great way to conduct market segmentation testing. Choose five events or locations that each attracts a different type of demographic to determine which demos best fit your brand and will garner the most loyalty member signups.
Experiential marketing’s ability to capture metrics, resonate with prospects, and generate value is unparalleled to other marketing tactics. The right face-to-face experiences can make long-lasting, shareable impressions that eventually generate revenue and lead to growth and customer loyalty.
Need help with your loyalty program acquisition efforts? On The Avenue Marketing creates face-to-face event sales programs that drive customer acquisition. Contact us today for a free consultation. We'd love to hear from you!
Patty Sins has spent 30+ years producing, developing, and executing top quality, consumer-driven sales and marketing programs. She started her career as a promoter for the Ice Capades and the Harlem Globetrotters. From there, she went on to earn her MBA from Kellogg Graduate School of Management. She has held executive marketing positions at HBO, Fox News Channel, and CBS. In addition, Patty has worked on both the corporate and client sides of event sponsorship including programs with the NFL, NBA, MLB, NASCAR, The US Open, Sara Lee, AT&T, Procter & Gamble, Cadillac, and Target. In her spare time, Patty loves to listen to country music, watch NFL games, go on adventure trips, enjoy quality time with her kids, and walk her dog (the one and only Brando!).