Offline Marketing Ideas That Are Innovative and Original

Experiential Marketing

Brands that succeed do so because they implement a multi-channel marketing strategy. What does that mean? They use a combination of online and offline marketing ideas. But amid the height of the pandemic, digital marketing supplanted in-person events to sustain reach with consumers staying indoors. For a time, it almost appeared offline marketing would become obsolete. 

Yet as the world turns, so does the reversal of fortune for live events. So far, 2021 has marked the rebirth and return of in-person activations. But just because you have a sound strategy heading into the latter half of the year doesn’t mean it’s too late to change the game. Let’s look at offline marketing ideas that are imaginative and guaranteed to WOW audiences.

What Is Offline Marketing?

Offline marketing is any form of marketing that occurs outside of the Internet. While that’s a broad definition, it distinguishes a vast landscape between marketing on the web and marketing in the real world (like billboards and trade shows). But just because it’s the 21st century doesn’t mean the world is wholly connected online. According to the FCC, 19 million Americans still lack access to broadband services. That’s 6% of the U.S. population, and your brand shouldn’t ignore them. This statistic proves how and why offline marketing is still a crucial component of the modern world— even in the Digital Age. But not all offline marketing ideas are created equal. They come in many forms. Some offer higher rates of engagement, while others help you segment your target audience. Regardless, it’s worth exploring the options at your disposal to decide which ones are right for you.

1. Community Engagement

Consumers want companies to show their support for causes they believe in. Modern brands face far more pressure to be a force for good in their local communities and the wider world. Community engagement— or cause marketing— allows businesses to create experiential marketing campaigns aligned with consumers’ consciousness around pressing issues impacting society. Younger generations especially prefer supporting brands that are ethical and socially responsible. There are many ways you can take offline marketing ideas like community engagement and make them a reflection of your values. Whether it’s launching a social media campaign raising awareness or hosting an in-person fundraiser, your brand can project compassion while increasing its reach. 

In 2019, Quaker Chewy partnered with AdoptAClassroom.org to get kids in NYC ready for the new school year. With a branded food truck— and star power provided by Neil Patrick Harris— Quaker Chewy gave away over 500 assorted boxes of Quaker Chewy Bars. Plus, Quaker Chewy donated $1 to AdoptAClassroom.org for every box purchased nationwide as an additional element to its community engagement.

2. Turning Influencers Into Brand Ambassadors

Influencer marketing centers around partnerships with social media personalities who have loyal followers. It’s become an increasingly important strategy, with 93% of brands currently using some form of influencer marketing. However, these relationships should be more than just product placements and endorsements. Influencers who team up with you should be brand ambassadors. Essentially, they should be advocates for your business, promoting its value, why they choose you, and— in turn— why their fans should also.  

The best example of a successful brand/influencer partnership is one of the oldest. When the country’s most famous NCAA basketball player turned pro in 1984, he teamed up with a scrappy athletic brand to launch his own sneaker. Nearly 40 years later, that company— Nike— is now one of the world’s most valuable brands. As for the athlete? Michael Jordan became a global cultural icon (and the partnership earned him an estimated $1.3 billion— and counting). 

3. Surprise Consumers With Guerilla Marketing

While challenging to execute, guerilla marketing can reap huge returns. The challenge comes not from cost (it’s one of the most cost-effective offline marketing ideas) but because it’s difficult to predict its results. What does it take to ensure success? It takes brainstorming original ideas, having a strategy that matches your customers’ values, and the energy to execute with little room for failure. Why? Because the best guerilla marketing activations are the ones that go off without a hitch. 

With its roots tracing back to the 1980s, guerilla-based tactics created a shift from traditional print, television, and radio marketing. Today, there are four sub-categories, and each is markedly different depending on your needs:

  • Indoor guerilla marketing takes place inside public areas like retail stores, hotel lobbies, and museums.  
  • Ambush guerilla marketing happens without prior permission at large-scale events (like festivals, concerts, and sporting events). 
  • Experiential guerilla marketing includes pop-up stores and mobile showrooms to create an immersive experience. 
  • Street guerilla marketing takes advantage of outdoor public spaces and inserts a brand into an existing atmosphere. 

4. Work With the Media

One of the most effective offline marketing ideas to promote your brand is to leverage media relationships. Whether it’s a company announcement or product release, you can receive free exposure through earned media. But effective doesn’t also mean easy. Once you open the door to reporters to cover your business, you’re under a microscope. It’s all about the optics. So, attention to detail is crucial to put your brand in the best possible light. 

While press releases are the general method for reaching journalists, a media event or press conference attracts more coverage for many reasons— from the in-person action to the vibrancy of speakers and attendees. Live events are also an efficient way of getting out your brand’s news or message at once. Organizing and executive a successful media event requires proper planning, but there are bulletproof tips you can follow that’ll help you capture the right attention for your brand. 

5. The Value of Cross-Promotions 

You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase, “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours.” In a nutshell, that’s cross-promotion, and they’re often what offline marketing ideas are built on because they build rapport. Moreover, cross-promotion means you can lean on the reach and visibility of another brand to strengthen yours. 

When Adidas released their Original P.O.D. sneakers, they engaged in cross-promotion with award-winning chef and author Eddie Huang, who created one of the line’s designs. Ahead of its official launch, Adidas stationed a branded food truck in the heart of Times Square that fed hungry customers bao buns from Huang’s legendary Baohaus. Using Adidas’ name recognition and Huang’s celebrity, over 500 pairs of sneakers were sold in a matter of hours.   

Engage Your Customers With Creative Offline Marketing Ideas

Great offline marketing ideas take energy and commitment. They also take time to plan and execute. But, when your brand is consistent, sticks to its goals, and stays ahead of the consumer guessing game, it can drive success. Offline marketing offers a personal way for your brand to engage, delight, and differentiate itself. So, get out your thinking caps, get started, and see how offline marketing can take your business to new— and exciting— heights.

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Remember the Time: Why Nostalgia Marketing Works So Well

Experiential Marketing

In a world that’s constantly evolving, nostalgia marketing immerses you in remembrance of the past. Back when you were younger, and life was simpler. Plus, research shows that nostalgia gives our lives a sense of continuity and meaning as we grow older. In turn, brands recognize the value of nostalgia marketing to convince consumers to spend through the power of sentimentality. Inspired to open their wallets for the immediate return of cherished memories gives brands the chance to connect with their customers on a deeper level. The good news? Any company can reach consumers by taking them to the past. Let’s explore some of the most convincing reasons why nostalgia marketing works so well for brands.

Nostalgia Marketing Photos

What Is Nostalgia Marketing?

What makes nostalgia marketing so impactful is its inclusivity. We all daydream about the past. So, whether you’re a Millennial remembering your favorite Saturday morning cartoons or a Baby Boomer dusting off old vinyl records you listened to in high school, nostalgia marketing offers something for everyone. After all, the experiences of our past help mold our present personalities and identities. Because its meaning is so broad (depending on the consumer), the simplest way to define nostalgia marketing is to see it as a satellite in the orbit of emotional marketing. We know that emotional marketing has consumer cache, convincing customers to act and advocate on behalf of brands. Likewise, nostalgia marketing taps into emotions through memories.

For a brand as storied as Coca-Cola, they frequently lean on nostalgia marketing because they have the company history to do so. So, every holiday season, we get a dose of fond memories with its classic, Norman Rockwell-style Christmas ads. Fast-forward about 70 years later and, to the chagrin of Millennials everywhere, Coca-Cola discontinued its citrus-flavored drink, SURGE, in 2014. 

Coca Cola Nostalgia Marketing Advertisement Santa Claus

Thus, the SURGE Movement was born. From petitions to billboards (and a presentation to the President of Coca-Cola North America), fans saved SURGE from extinction, and it remains in the arsenal of Coca-Cola’s extensive product line today. What made the SURGE revival so successful wasn’t so much anything Coca-Cola did on its part. Instead, it simply responded to fans’ nostalgia and generated goodwill and loyalty by bringing back a beloved beverage.

Nostalgia Marketing Makes People Feel Good

The first reason why nostalgia marketing works so well is that nostalgia is good medicine. In a study conducted by the University of Southampton, researchers found that nostalgia can “counteract loneliness, boredom, and anxiety.” Similar studies have also found that nostalgia helps people cope with stress and dramatic life changes. In other words, nostalgia isn’t just a marketing strategy; it’s also a psychological phenomenon. 

For decades, Apple has enjoyed its status as one of the world’s preeminent brands. Part of that success is a testament to its innovative marketing plans. In 2016, Apple tapped into feel-good, heart-warming memories upon its release of the iPhone 6. Turning to Sesame Street— arguably the most nostalgic of all children’s shows— Apple created an ad starring Cookie Monster using Siri to bake his treasured cookies. Apple’s nostalgia marketing campaign combined its innovative technology with a blast from the past to showcase its fun and playful side. 

Nostalgia Marketing Triggers Memorable Pop Culture Moments 

One of the easiest ways to capture an audience is to help them remember fond memories. Moreover, shared experiences are the ones that cast the widest net. So, classic films and music, historical events, and fads occupy the most space in the cultural zeitgeist. Whether it’s Spotify’s homage to “The Neverending Story” or Enterprise Rent-A-Car’s nod to “The Karate Kid,” tapping into memorable pop culture moments is a powerful strategy to elicit strong emotions. 

In 2019, Amazon recreated a classic 1950s New York experience IRL, when “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” occurs to promote the show’s third season. With help from a branded food truck stationed in the heart of Manhattan, a complimentary selection of nostalgic eats was offered. With sandwiches like “The Maisel” (pastrami, salami, and coleslaw on rye) and “The Susie” (turkey and coleslaw on rye) to the most classic New York dessert, the Black and White cookie, Amazon used both sensory and nostalgia marketing to transport fans of the show to back to post-war NYC.

Nostalgia Marketing Creates More Authentic Campaigns 

Last but not least on the list of why nostalgia marketing is so successful has to do with authenticity. Brands spend millions of dollars every year to be “relatable” to their target audiences. When consumers can see themselves in a brand, it creates an almost unbreakable bond. That sense of “kindred spirits” intrinsically ties the brand and consumer together. 

If you grew up in the 90s, there’s little doubt how much of a role Microsoft played in your life. It opened up the user-friendly PC experience worldwide and spearheaded the technological revolution of the 2000s. In 2013, Microsoft launched its “Child of the 90s” campaign, promoting its latest edition of Internet Explorer. Microsoft took audiences on a trip down memory lane to win over a generation now loyal to browsers like Chrome and Safari. From slap bracelets to floppy disks, Trolls, and Tamagotchis, they created the ultimate tribute to the 90s. With its slogan, “You grew up. So did we.,” Microsoft used nostalgia marketing to reconnect with the millions who first logged online with them.

What’s Old Is New Again

Having a passion for the past can bring brands success. Looking back on good times and warm memories allows brands to invoke positive emotions from consumers, put their products in a positive light, and boost awareness and loyalty. Older audiences will reminisce, and younger generations will enjoy the novelty of old trends becoming new again. Developing the right nostalgia marketing strategy takes identifying memorable moments for your audience and using them to enhance your brand’s identity. When brands understand their customers, they can keep their fingers on the pulse of what they crave and what excites them the most.

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5 Fundamentals of Successful Event Marketing

Experiential Marketing

Hosting any type of event— a conference, seminar, workshop, or something else— needs a proper plan. Successful event marketing is the most effective channel for achieving business goals. But, what’s the difference between a good experience and a great one? Here are the five fundamentals of successful event marketing that will transform your brand’s awareness and reach with consumers.

successful event marketing tips

What Is Event Marketing?

Event marketing— at its core— is the promotional strategy of a brand, product, or service. It’s a tactic that involves in-person, face-to-face interactions. Every event, however, is different; it has various audiences, content, and values. For example, brands can use event marketing to build relationships or educate consumers. But, regardless, successful event marketing leverages the power of live experiences to achieve brand goals.

1. Knowing Why You’re Hosting an Event 

Successful event marketing always needs a reason to exist. Therefore, it’s critical to know its primary purpose. Once you understand that, you can better plan and properly allocate your resources. To achieve maximum success, ask yourself these two questions before you begin:

  • Why is this event important? This question is the framework for your event’s key objectives. Answering this question is the defining factor that will help you decide and communicate your event marketing strategy.
  • Why should people attend this event? While you may feel your event is important, it’s not about you at the end of the day. It’s about your target audience. So, what’s in it for them? How does your event benefit them? Your event must add value, solve a problem, or offer a solution.

2. Deciphering The Consumer Perspective

Answering that last question leads us to the next fundamental of successful event marketing. Take a step back and think like a consumer. Look at your event from the consumer perspective. Often, there are compound motivations for attending an event, but they’re all equally valid. For you as an event marketer, it’s your job to figure out ways to appeal to these competing rationales. Why? Aside from the fact that 82% of marketers believe audience engagement is an important KPI for success, attendees will disengage if your event’s purpose is unclear. In a hyper-media ecosystem, audiences are savvy and disinterested in spending time looking for a reason to attend an event if the advantages aren’t clear. On the flip side, if you offer them benefits to invest in your brand or solutions to their problems, they’re more likely to take notice.

3. Stand Out With Unique Venues

More and more, marketers are turning to unique locations to launch successful event marketing that stands out. But there should always be an alignment between your brand’s values, your audience’s expectations, and your event’s goals. Having said that, demand for non-traditional spaces is on the rise. So, let’s look closer at some of the benefits of unique venues:

  • They help you leave your comfort zone: Depending on your brand, pushing the envelope may make your event more memorable versus traditional spaces. 
  • They boost attendee engagement on and offline: When you host an event in an unusual space, you’re going against the grain while giving attendees something to talk about and post about.
  • They’re customizable: Because of their uniqueness, non-traditional venues are often more versatile. This allows you to transform your space to suit your event’s needs.
  • They are complementary: If you don’t want a unique venue as your primary location, they can be an extension of your event. Instead, use non-traditional spaces for offsite receptions or as a venue for smaller, test events.       
marketing event venue

4. Ensure Your Timing Is Right With a Great Plan

Now that you have defined goals, understand your audience’s wants and needs, and have a unique venue in mind, it’s time to draft a detailed plan. This will help you stay on track, execute efficiently, and achieve your event’s goals. But when should you start creating your plan? Depending on its size and complexity, it’s crucial to start as early as possible, so you have time to understand logistics, requirements, and necessary actions. Your plan should also be fluid, meaning it should hold up to revisions that will likely happen during the planning process. 

Along with a solid and sturdy plan, successful event marketing also depends on the right timing. What does that mean? Several factors to consider include; weekdays vs. weekends, holidays, event type, and location. As you progress through your plan, mark significant milestones and critical deadlines, so your plan is always current and updated.

5. Create Delicious Content That Satisfies Audiences

No matter how much planning you put into your event, if it’s boring, you’ve lost the war before it even started. Creating compelling content that captivates your audience increases engagement. For example, when German luxury goods brand MCM wanted to promote its Global Creative Platform, they partnered with street artist SAMBYPEN to launch an experiential marketing pop-up. Recognizing South Korea’s youth culture and Berlin’s dynamic street art scene, the MCM x SAMBYPEN campaign blended the artist’s graffiti style into the brand’s apparel and accessories. 

MCM invited consumers in New York and Los Angeles to immerse themselves in the collection in a multi-city experiential marketing mobile tour. Using a branded food truck, attendees received complimentary cups of La Colombe coffee and sweets from LA’s Sprinkles Cupcakes and cookies from NYC’s Chip City. As brand ambassadors showcased ready-to-wear items displayed on the food truck, MCM executed successful event marketing using a non-traditional platform that added value for its target audience.

Elevate Your Brand With Successful Event Marketing

The benefits of event marketing are far-reaching. They give your brand the ability to increase awareness, visibility, engagement, and— of course— sales. In addition, your brand can boost its presence on social media and in the press. When you tap into the fundamentals of successful event marketing, you can turn target audiences into loyal customers. So, give them something special with an event that can be enjoyed, shared, and remembered.

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The Future Of Experiential Marketing Post-COVID

Experiential Marketing

In a world emerging from the COVID-19 pandemic, our desire to return to live experiences and events is ramping up. With festival line-ups announced and tourists traveling at near pre-pandemic levels, epidemiologists predict we’re entering a second “roaring 20s.” Like consumers, brands are no different, and they’re eagerly awaiting a return to “normal.” With restrictions slowly lifting, they’re plotting ways to reach consumers offline again. But as brands return to traditional experiential campaigns, there’s an understanding that experiential marketing post-COVID has fundamentally changed the landscape. So, how will they find their way into consumers’ consciousness in this new era? More importantly, how will customers engage with them? Let’s take a closer look.

Post Covid Event

Safety First Takes Center Stage

If there’s one thing COVID has taught us, it’s practicing better hygiene to mitigate our chances of infection. As large-scale events return, so will an emphasis on health and safety. From sanitizer dispensers to touchless technology, gone are the days where thousands of strangers pass along their germs. The first global event staged in 2021 is the Cannes Film Festival. But this year, it will take place under strict health and safety guidelines. The biggest changes include the required use of masks during all screenings and around the red carpet. Meanwhile, guests will be required to keep a distance of three feet, and the “fan zone,” where celebrities sign autographs, has been scrapped. While organizers hope to soften some of these restrictions before the July event kicks off, expect most festivals to follow Cannes’ experiential marketing event post-COVID playbook. 

Brands Prioritize Personalization

Spending over a year in practical isolation has made us— many of us at least— become more insular. Our desire for personalization is a byproduct of being forced to be alone for months on end. To combat this, for most of 2020, brands launched virtual events. What they lacked in face-to-face interaction, they made up for with deeply personal experiences to compensate. Even with in-person campaigns resuming, expect the world of experiential marketing post-COVID to retain and expand on this strategy. 

But personalization in experiential marketing isn’t necessarily new. Luxury brands have employed this tactic for years to foster brand loyalty and emotional engagement. For example, this past Mother’s Day, Kate Spade launched Broadway in Bloom, honoring New York moms and the reblossoming of New York City after the pandemic. Without a collection to promote, Kate Spade connected with New Yorkers, memorializing the pandemic’s human impact while celebrating the city’s “return to normal.”

A Greater Emphasis on Wellness

Throughout the pandemic, reports of depression, stress, and anxiety skyrocketed. With attention to mental health, brands spent last year tapping into consumers’ wellbeing to engage with them. Well-positioned to continue that trend, experiential marketing post-COVID will emphasize emotional wellness to connect empathetically during trying times. Last December, Vans commissioned public murals for its annual #VansCheckerboardDay awareness campaign. Rallying fans worldwide to participate in various digital brand initiatives; the campaign supported mental wellness among women and the LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC communities. Vans received over two billion views of their #VansCheckerboardDay TikTok challenge. Likewise, the brand raised over $1 million for global mental health charities.

Experiential Marketing Post-COVID Won’t Miss a Beat

The most significant impact the pandemic has had on the public is our lack of human interaction. We as a species crave close comfort, and that connection takes on many forms. To put it simply, we want to do things and, generally, with others. As restrictions lift, brands know that the best way to get consumers to buy a product is to get it in their hands. That’s why experiential marketing post-COVID is likely to resume without hesitation. Why? Because the biggest winners in the game are the ones that create the most immersive experiences. That requires getting up close and personal with target audiences. While there will be changes that outlive the pandemic, the public’s excitement for the world opening back up is high. That makes the long-term forecast for experiential marketing bright and puts the importance of in-person events back into focus.     

Experiential Marketing Post-Covid
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How Food Trucks Elevate the Kardashian’s Brands

Experiential Marketing

The Kardashians (+Jenners): Kris, Kim, Kourtney, Khloe, Kendall, and Kylie. They are the undisputed queens of marketing and social media. Through different business ventures, lifestyle apps, deals, sponsorships, and high-fashion modeling, they’re more than a family; they’re a multi-billion dollar brand. With a combined 955 million followers on Instagram alone, they’re also more than influencers. They’re arguably the most successful businesswomen of this generation. We’d be remiss if we didn’t examine strategies they use to target their audiences, exemplify their value proposition, and “break the Internet.” Branded food trucks are one of those tactics. Harnessing experiential marketing has helped them increase engagement, sell products, and introduce creative campaigns that captivate the entire pop culture universe.

Kylie Jenner Stops Traffic With a Branded Food Truck

Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Cosmetics is a brand that is a juggernaut to be reckoned with. In less than five years, the youngest member of the Kardashian/Jenner clan has built a nearly $1.2 billion brand. So, how’d she do it? Kylie’s strategy is to leverage her Instagram, TikTok and Snapchat accounts to release images of new collections and by posting videos of her swatching and modeling products. She also sends PR boxes to YouTube beauty influencers (who review her products on their channels). Simply put, Kylie’s skillfully tapped into the seismic shift in today’s eCommerce purchasing culture.

But Kylie dominates headlines because she goes beyond her virtual presence. She reinforces her popularity online with live experiential events that capture media publicity and consumer attention. In 2017, ahead of the release of its holiday collection, Kylie Cosmetics launched the Kylie Truck. This custom-wrapped branded food truck rolled through the streets of L.A. as part of a month-long campaign. From her latest lip kits to accessories, items were displayed on the truck’s front, turning it into a mobile showcase. For an extra special treat, brand ambassadors handed out vanilla cupcakes featuring Kylie Cosmetics’ famous logo on the icing. With tens of thousands of likes on Instagram, her branded food truck dominated social media with a campaign elevating the popularity and charisma of the beauty mogul.

Kendall Jenner’s Branded Tequila Truck Makes a Special Delivery 

Kylie’s older sister Kendall Jenner is ultra-famous in her own right as the world’s highest-paid model. But that doesn’t mean she’s shied away from the occasional brand endorsement. Recently, she’s carved out her niche as a businesswoman, founding the premium spirits brand 818 Tequila. Like Kylie, Kendall launched 818 Tequila with a gallery of videos and images on Instagram that’s currently amassed over six million likes. With agave plants sourced from Jalisco, Mexico, Kendall’s tequila line includes Anejo, Blanco, and Reposado blends.

Ahead of Memorial Day, Kendall rolled up her sleeves and hit the road with a branded tequila truck for 818’s debut. Wanting to be a hands-on boss, she even got behind the wheel and operated the big green truck herself. Because it’s not every day that people see one of the most famous supermodels on the planet driving a food truck. People (including a swarm of paparazzi) flocked to the L.A. event. Not only did Kendall hang out for photo-ops with fans, she even hand-delivered cases of 818 Tequila to local liquor stores.

It’s a tall order to reach the stratospheric levels of the Kardashian/Jenner brand. But that doesn’t mean you can’t launch a successful campaign with branded food trucks. If some of the most successful women in the world are using it, it makes sense to tap into the same strategy. Plus, it’s easy to take your brand to new heights when you have professionals who can handle all the details. Find out how branded food trucks will turn heads and boost your business by getting starting today!

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