Director general of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising (IPA), Hamish Pringle, pointed out the strengths of live events in emotional engagement and fame creation as a hook in the wider marketing mix.
Pringle, keynote speaker at the Summer Eventia in Cardiff, used the analogy of fly fishing – with each different medium a fly to choose from, keeping in mind the point of view of the fish. “You need to put the brand into the information flow where and when it will help the customer.”
Pringle outlined the five key roles in brand building: Fame, Advocacy, Information, Price, Availability. “If you ask ‘where do we fit in, which roles could we fulfil? Of the FAPIA model, brand engagement is strong in fame, information and availability,” Pringle said.
“Fame is the most powerful driver of effectiveness – brand activation can make brands famous. Emotional is better than rational in commercial communications – and one of the greatest strengths of live events is emotional engagement.”
Brand experience or live events, where human interaction is the common denominator, were only one form in an increasingly busy and constant media stream for the modern consumer. Pringle pointed to data from Accenture which show the average UK individual will receive 1,009 commercial communications daily. Referencing the IPA Effectiveness Awards, Pringle noted the winners used on average two different media for their campaigns in 1980; by 2010 that had leapt to more than nine different media.
“The optimum is to use three to four media. TV remains the most effective medium – so how do we partner with TV and other online screen-based televisual media?”
Pringle pointed out the need to locate your target audience’s current engagement with other media to find the best mix. On average, the IPA TouchPoints survey found event goers tend to be low commercial radio and television consumers but heavy internet users and heavy/medium newspaper users.
The next level was to move into a two-way conversation with the audience, Pringle added. “We can no longer just send stuff out – we have to expect it to come back. Now there’s a two-way conversation using the back channel. We have to respond to that challenge.”