Counselor Commentary: Live Opportunity

Capitalize With Live Events

Andy CohenSome of today’s biggest brands understand one inexorable truth about marketing: The closer you can get to customers, the better off you’ll be. Just look at the Winter Olympics, taking place in Sochi, Russia, for the past couple of weeks and wrapping up this coming weekend. Companies ranging from Procter & Gamble and McDonald’s to Coca-Cola, Visa and Samsung are not only advertising on TV every night during the Games, but they’re also getting as close as possible to the athletes and spectators on the streets of Russia.

Visa is handing out items throughout the Olympic village promoting its credit and banking services. In addition to samples, Coca-Cola and McDonald’s are both providing Olympics visitors with a variety of scarves, ear-muffs, jackets, and other cold-weather gear emblazoned with their logos. The Olympics, just like other major sporting events, are the height of live event marketing – and these brands know they need to do everything they can to leave a positive and lasting impression on the people they’re interacting with.

In fact, they know that the live event medium – unlike most other traditional advertising vehicles – gives brands a unique opportunity to connect with an audience in a much more personal way. “The din of noise is deafening,” says David Rich, senior vice president of strategy and planning worldwide at George P. Johnson Experience Marketing, an event marketing agency. “Brands are realizing that awareness is no longer enough – it’s about brand experiences and creating brand relationships.”

With that realization, the breadth of the live event market is growing exponentially. Research from the Event Marketing Institute shows that marketers’ use of live events as part of their marketing mix has increased by more than 40% in the past five years. And, it’s an opportunity that ad specialty distributors should be discussing with their clients, because promotional products are often used by brands as they try to give attendees something they can easily remember them by.

“Reaching people isn’t the challenge – it’s connecting with people,” says Charlie Horsey of MKTG, a marketing services firm that specializes in event and experiential marketing for companies such as Nike and Google. “Tactile engagements where people can feel, touch, taste the product, rather than simply reading about it, deepen and enhance relationships.”

Live events, in conjunction with practical and memorable promotional products, create the perfect opportunity for your clients to do exactly that. It’s the advertising medium that’s growing the fastest today. Shouldn’t you be capitalizing on it?