Nelson’s Column: Live Event App Revolutionises Brand Engagement and ROI
In this blog I will show you how we brought brands & sponsors closer to their target consumers through an App at Golf Live.
The proliferation of digital connection has created an amorphous sea of communication, where brands struggle for consumers to see and hear them through the mesh of online and offline media.
According to David Rich, SVP of strategy and planning worldwide at George P Johnson Experience Marketing, “The din of noise is deafening. Brands are realizing that awareness is no longer enough – it’s about brand experiences and creating brand relationships.”
Consequently, the use of experiential and event marketing to involve consumers in a two-way, cooperative dialogue is growing. Retail, digital, and live event channels take the brand and “brand experience” directly to consumers and have
the opportunity to engage them, enhancing the experience itself. Brands are beginning to understand the power of these types of experiences.
Here is how we achieved this and more with an App at Golf Live.
With over 500 golfers at the event using the App on a regualr basis we could calculate the number of splash screen impressions per visitor. Each visitor went to the App on average 12 times. This adds up to approximately 6,500 splash screen impressions of the lead sponsors brand while the app is loading. See image of splash screen (left).
This is a simple and effective way to improve sponsorship recall.
Competitions via Event App
We like competitons and prizes at events. We learned that people were really receptive to the competitons we ran through the App. Here is a short case study of a competition we excecuted for a company called Toowap.
They wanted to create some hype at the event and have some post event PR to promote their product.
We created a competition, on the fly, to attract more visitors to their stand and have a great wee story for them after the event.
The first thing we did was post the question in our Live Chat feature. We let vistors know that the answers were in the Toowap brochure – so they had to go to the Toowap stand to know the answer.
An hour after we posted the message in Live Chat, we sent out the question. Screen shots above show the users experience. Visitors had 60 seconds to answer. The winner was selected at random from the correct answers we received. We sent the winner a message to tell him he had won and to come and collect his prize. See picture below:
Share Picture Competitions Empower Brand Advocates
TaylorMade were a lead sponsor at Golf Live. Ipsos and Golf Live approached them with an idea for a competition that utilised the “Share Picture” feature we had built into the App. Thankfully they were willing to experiment. The competition was simple. Visitors had to “Show Their Driver Love” by taking a photo of themselves with a TaylorMade Driver. The pictures below illustrate the users’ experience:
We learned that people are willing to share pictures and contact details to win prizes through an event App. It’s a great way for consumers and brands to connect, just look at the pictures! Share picture competitions drive brand advocacy and should be heavily promoted pre and during the event by sponsors and event organisers.
Over 60% of visitors kept their location services on and shared their location. This allowed us to track the movements of people. In my last blog I talked about flocking. This is when visitors respond to stimuli sent to them through the App. We proved that flocking can aid event flow mechanics, keeping sponsors happy with constant footfall. With GPS data, we can effectively track peoples movements at specific moments in the day.
For event organisers:
They can now offer another channel for their clients to engage with their target audience, before, during and after the event. One of their exhibitors backs up this claim:
“I felt that some of the golfers felt a lot more engaged with some of the manufactures and exhibitors. The App brought everything together, making it more of a rich experience overall. A massive thumbs up, this could really work at other events elsewhere” Sean Cornell, Brand and Marketing Director, Dave Hicks.
The App opens more opportunities for exhibitors and sponsors to engage visitors in a two-way dialogue. In the future, the use of timely and relevant notifications will have a positive effect on brand equity & give sponsors more bang for their buck. In order to successfully connect with your target consumer through an event app your communications should be short, friendly, fun, relevant and timely.
The App enabled real-time data collection and facilitated two-way engagement from a target audience. This was achieved without the need for any sample, recruitment, screening or incentives. These components represent, on average about 30-40% of the cost of a research project. The response rates we received from our visitor satisfaction survey were over 20%. The responses came from visitors as they were leaving the event. Received point-in-time feedback negates the need for a post event online surveys, again reducing the research & evaluation costs.
How Did We Pull This Off?
Pushing the boundaries is risky. To go where no one has gone before required a crew of specialists who had never worked together before. To reduce the risk of failure we needed partners who were willing to experiment with us on this short roller-coaster ride. We needed outdoor WIFI, without this, visitors would not be able to connect to the App. We found Stadium Wireless and they delivered. We also needed a platform to operate the different features of the App, we briefed Lumi and built a bespoke platform to deliver surveys, Live Chat, GPS tracking and notifications. It had to look pretty, 301 Creative Design added their touches to the App Map.
As a visitor at previous Golf Live events I had a good idea of what might work. I could not have done this without backing from my team at Ipsos OTX, my esteemed colleague Gabriela Mancero, Golf Live’s Event Director (James Goode) and the Marketing Manager James Kennedy. Final thanks must go to the 547 people who downloaded the Golf Live App. It was fun.
Author: Andrew Nelson is Director of Socialised Research at Ipsos
You don’t know unless you try!