Show-Goers Just Wanna Have Fun: 3 Tips for Engagement with Experiential Marketing
This year’s North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) revealed countless new vehicles, companies and features to over 815,000 global visitors. The show provides each corporation an opportunity to capture hundreds of thousands of potential clientele in just one day. Every year, Detroit’s Cobo Center becomes electric (pun intended) with visitors who eagerly anticipate the opportunity to experience the newest innovations in auto. Experiential marketing is the best way to capture the attention of show-goers and make a lasting impression.
The top three ways to maximize brand exposure at the show with experiential marketing include: installing interactive displays, creating memorable experiences for customer engagement and incorporating outdoor advertising. Let’s take a closer look at each tactic.
Incorporate Interactive Displays Whenever Possible
Thanks to new digital capabilities, interactive displays have become the norm at the auto show. Social media photo booths, on-site Instagram printing, touch screens and hashtag giveaways are just a few ways to create successful, audience-driven marketing experiences.
Interactive out-of-home technology is one of the best ways to engage and encourage customer interaction with your brand. Companies fly in from all over the world with agencies and event teams to create interactive experiences that showcase their brand in a new light. Interactive displays prevent consumers from feeling “sold” into forced participation. Instead, consumers feel compelled to explore on their own and at their own pace.
The NAIAS is also a perfect event to capture targeted audiences for industries other than automotive. This year, for example, Delta created a replica of its eponymous Sky Club lounge which can be found in airports all over the world. While it is obviously not an automotive manufacturer, the airline leveraged the opportunity to speak directly to one of its key demographics of business executives by recreating an inviting space it dubs “a personal retreat.” By maximizing out-of-home assets within the space and at the entrance of the lounge, consumers were drawn to participate in the experience and share with others — especially given the exclusive credentials required for entrance.
Create a Memorable Experience for Customer Engagement
Experiential marketing is an opportunity to engage with customers on a memorable and grassroots level. Sprint, for example, created a moveable asset that traveled to local festivals in Michigan, Indiana and Kentucky. The moveable asset invited festival patrons to interact with the brand by using a photo booth, trying the “Service Speed Test” on their cell phones, and providing an escape from the heat on a summer day.
The NAIAS is a truly unique experiential marketing opportunity due to the high profile companies, suppliers and executives behind the event. With the addition of large-scale display communities like this year’s AutoMobiliD which addressed the importance of technology and autonomous vehicles, experiential marketing will only continue to grow as executives seek innovative ways to make their mark on attendees.
Maximize Exposure with Outdoor Advertising
Outdoor advertising is the most effective way to expose a brand outside of the show itself. The biggest executives and suppliers in the automotive and tech industries pour into Detroit in the months leading up to the show. Their frequent visits to the city provide a huge opportunity to capture a brand’s target audience.
Outdoor advertising and large wallscape displays cannot be ignored in the media mix leading up to a conference of this magnitude. Forget about standard billboards by the airport — executives are not paying attention when they exit the jetway. However, once they venture into the city and begin to explore, they won’t be able to miss large-scale displays, especially those that use the very buildings and structures that make up an urban landscape.
The auto show is the perfect time to prime your audience and make your brand impossible to ignore by incorporating interactive displays, encouraging customer engagement and maximizing exposure with outdoor advertising. With a little less than a year until the 2018 show, this is the perfect time to map a marketing strategy — put these three tactics to work and your brand will undoubtedly leave a lasting and valuable impression on the city’s hundreds of thousands of visitors.