Experiential marketing can take on many different forms. At its foundation, it is about how people can experience your brand across different mediums. It can be delivered in your store, online or through your product itself. Part of it can be how you answer your phone or how your team greets people at events. Today, some of those experiences are how brands transcend the digital to create real engagement.
Nowhere do you see that more than at trade shows. These are opportunities for brands to create relevant and contextual experiences that span digital and the actual trade show floor. In March, the SXSW conference took place in Austin, TX. SXSW started out as a music festival in 1987, but it is has grown into a conference that showcases some of the latest thinking on digital technologies, marketing and more. For startups, SXSW is the place to get your initial thoughts vetted and seen. And, yes, music is still a big part of the entire SXSW event and culture.
At the conference, there were thousands of exhibitors and this year, MasterCard stood out.
As you may know, MasterCard’s brand is about being “Priceless” and helping people achieve priceless moments. For SXSW, MasterCard partnered with Mashable to deliver the “Priceless Elevator Pitch” touted as the best elevator incident since Jay Z and Solange (if you don’t get it, Google it).
MasterCard cardholding visitors at the booth were given the opportunity to pitch their start-up ideas in 60 seconds or less. All of this was done in an actual pop-up elevator at their booth. Each participant in the elevator pitch had a chance to then win $15,000 to help bring their start-up idea to life. Also, to help make this successful, MasterCard also took to social media with the hashtag #PricelessPitch to draw in booth visitors. In fact, #PricelessPitch became a trending topic on Twitter.
Relevant context, audience and branded experience.
MasterCard understood that a big part of SXSW is for startups to meet others, garner attention and learn. MasterCard’s brand is about providing “Priceless” moments across the board, even for small businesses and crafty startups. So, offering them a chance to win $15,000 to get their ideas going would, indeed, provide these entrepreneurs with a “priceless” moment. This struck the perfect balance of context (the SXSW event), the attendees (startups) and the brand (championing priceless life moments).
When it comes to experiential marketing, you have to think beyond just events. It has to be an extension of an organization’s entire brand where things like events naturally fold into them. Part of that experience is embracing a culture that adopts the brand experience from the top all the way throughout the organization. The experience a company seeks to deliver to customers has to be a part of every fabric of the organization. For more information on experiential marketing, call Webolutions at 303-300-2640.
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