Activations are events, campaigns or interactions targeted towards painting a long lasting image of a brand in the minds of the target audience. It's a great way to launch a new product, gain brand recognition, advertise a new partnership or even to boost interactions and social presence. For each brand, the target market and audience may vary so the strategies that apply can not be broad range or cliche. No one wants to remember a boring or cliche event.
This is why it is important your activation event experience is customized to create an immersive and unique experience that will move your target audience from plain admirers to brand advocates.
Here are 5 steps to ensure you get the very best out of your activation events.
Set your objectives and know your audience.
For your brand to get the most out of an activation event, you'll need to draw out clear objectives. These objectives will guide the planning and creative structure behind the entire event. The objective can either be launching a new product, introducing a partnership, creating product awareness and so on. Whatever the objective, it should be at the forefront of everyone's mind as you work towards organizing and planning.
In addition, you'll need to study your audience, which includes current and prospective leads. An indepth analysis of your target audience will ensure you create a well-rounded and immersive event that will convert.
The key is planning ahead...
When putting together an activation, it's always important to start planning well ahead of the intended time. Why? Often last minute plans tend to fall through and flop, either due to you or 3rd party errors. The margin between a mind blowing activation and a barely memorable one can be a single cancellation or mistake. Make a checklist of all the resources you'll need for the event, this will help you stay on track while organizing. Also, a task list for the individual members of the team will provide a measure of accountability for everyone.
Check, double check and triple check.
When making a delicious dish, you don't just pull it out of the oven or cooker without checking to make sure it's properly cooked and spiced. Think of your activation event as a 5 star dish. Every component both organic and inorganic, down to the smallest or most insignificant, must be checked to make sure they're all functional.
It is also imperative to add alternatives during the planning to avoid surprises. Without putting all the proverbial "eggs in one basket" you'll be sure you have replacements incase something inevitably goes wrong. These alternatives should be checked too to make sure they're also properly functional and operative.
During planning, a day or two before the event and even a few hours to start the event, run through the check list. It may seem paranoid but it's the best way to ensure you get amazing results.
Often people want a blend of entertainment, mystery and uniqueness. They subconsciously crave an experience they've never felt, something that will change their view and perspective on similar or competitive brands. Already seeing a picture? You have to be creative, build an event around existing trends and the unique feature of your brand. Reach out for ideas and repurpose them to serve your need in the best way possible.
Make use of promotions
Activation events and campaigns need as much publicity as you put out on your brands and products. Use of social media and web ads, influencer marketing, targeted ads, special fliers and deals, etc. are all fore front promotional tools you'll need in your arsenal to make sure your event gets as much publicity as it needs. "No publicity is bad publicity" so feel free to use whatever channel works best for you to get results.
It'll be a disappointment if all that excellent planning goes to waste because there's very little audience.
Event coverage(live feeds, videos, reels, pictures and other) both on and offline, during the event day is also imperative to help the audience relive the experience as many times as possible.
There you have it, a brief easy to use guide to help you put together and get the best from your activation event. Activations are important marketing tools considering we live in a very digital world and marketing is all about impressions.