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Marketing Events a Strong Influence on Consumers

Live event marketing experiences where consumers interact with products, brands or "brand ambassadors" face-to-face are more effective ways to influence important consumer audiences, vs. TV advertising, Internet advertising and other marketing tactics, according to results of a study released this week by Jack Morton Worldwide, an experiential marketing agency

The results confirm that this increasingly important marketing medium resonates strongly across demographic and product categories, with especially high influence among key groups such as women, young people and Hispanics, according to Jack Morton Worldwide. Sponsorship Research International (Sri) conducted the research via online surveys with 2,574 consumers between the ages of 13 and 65 in the top 25 U.S. markets in March.

"Marketing methods need to be innovative and inventive to keep current with the new realities of the landscape our clients compete in," said Josh McCall, CEO of Jack Morton Worldwide. "Experiential marketing offers an alternative to advertisers who need new ways to reach their targets. Our research shows that experiential marketing is completely effective at influencing brand perception and purchasing decisions, and yet is still underutilized in reaching consumers."

Overall, more than two-thirds of consumers studied said experiential marketing would be extremely or very influential on their overall opinion of brands and products. Seventy percent say that participating in a live-event marketing experience would increase their purchase consideration, and 57 percent said it would result in quicker purchase. However, 73 percent of all respondents had never before participated in a live-event marketing experience, indicating an opportunity for marketers to differentiate.

While the influence of experiential marketing is strong across all groups, it is strongest among often-targeted youth and female consumers, according to the research.

• Nearly 80 percent of teens said experiential marketing would increase purchase consideration, while 65 percent said it would lead to quicker purchase.

• 72 percent of 18- to 23-year-old consumers said experiential marketing would make them more receptive to the brand/product advertising; 59 percent said it would lead to quicker purchase.

• 60 percent of women said experiential marketing would be more likely to lead to actual purchase of a product/brand, vs. TV advertising (26 percent, and Internet advertising (14 percent).

• 84 percent of women say they'd bring family or friends to a live marketing experience, and 75 percent say they'd tell others about the experience, which could give marketers a terrific opportunity to expand their reach and impact.

• 74 percent of Hispanic women and 66 percent of Hispanic men would be more likely to consider purchasing a product after participating in an experiential marketing event.

• 81 percent of Hispanic females indicated participating in a live marketing event would make them more receptive to future advertising.

• However, Hispanics are also the ethnic group most underexposed to event marketing; 78 percent of all Hispanics surveyed had never before participated in a live marketing event.

The effectiveness of experiential marketing was also tested against 14 product/service categories. In 11 out of 14, consumers said their preferred means of learning about new products/services was by experiencing it for themselves or by hearing about it from someone they know, as opposed to TV, radio, print, mail or the Internet.

Live marketing experiences were also shown to be a valuable way to increase marketing return on investment.

• 75 percent of consumer studies said that participating in a live marketing experience would make them more receptive to the product/brand's advertising.

• 75 percent also said they would be extremely or very likely to tell others after participating in a live marketing event, extending impact through word of mouth.

• Eight out of 10 consumers surveyed who had actually participated in experiential marketing in the past said that they had told others about their experience.
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