Many companies are turning to 'experience marketing' (event-based marketing) as a viable component of the marketing mix, with 81% trying some form of this discipline, according to the fifth annual 'EventView 2006' survey co-sponsored by The George P. Johnson Company (GPJ), and The Meeting Professionals International Foundation (MPI).
The fragmentation of traditional media combined with growing consumer cynicism toward marketing messages means marketers must identify new means of reaching customers. Through integrated event marketing, the survey report suggests, brands can increase engagement by bringing together the best of all disciplines while emphasizing the customer experience and what happens face-to-face.
Event marketing being tried
The study found that many companies are now dedicating one-quarter of their marketing budget to event marketing, and more than one-third of companies expect their event marketing budgets to increase in the future.
"The critical role that meetings and events continue to play in the overall marketing mix is one of the clear messages of the EventView 2006 report," concluded Dawn Myers, director of research for MPI. "The undeniable effectiveness of face-to-face interaction is increasingly attractive to marketers who are seeking to cut through 'information clutter'."
The EventView 2006 survey noted a significant move toward experience marketing, although post-event measurement is becoming an increasingly important part of that shift. Key findings of the survey included:
- 80% of respondents said they were currently trying some form of experience marketing;
- 74% of those who had tried some form of experience marketing said they would continue the transition over the coming 12 months;
- 71% of respondents said that they already engage in some form of post-event measurement (an all-time high in the ongoing survey);
- 75% of respondents who expected an increase in their event marketing budgets also implemented post-event measurement tactics.
According to David Rich, vice president of programme strategy for GPJ, "The ability of experience marketing to engage a target audience is leading companies to leverage this discipline as a key element in strategic campaigns. The brands that can engage internal audiences, prospects and customers - and move them at an emotional level that can create deep, personal loyalty - are going to be the brands that succeed."
GPJ, in partnership with MPI, commissioned the EventView study as a part of an ongoing effort to understand trends in the event marketing industry. The study, now in its fifth year, is based on interviews with over 800 senior marketing executives from global brand companies. Respondents came from North America, Europe and Asia Pacific.