We live in an era where the latest tech is at our fingertips. It has enhanced both our personal and professional lives, but at the same time we continue to crave face-to-face interactions. It’s innate to the human condition – we’ve been sitting around campfires sharing stories and knowledge with one another since the beginning of time. In essence, today, we’re living in a phygital state – one where we simultaneously exist in real and virtual worlds. With this understanding, how can brands engage audiences to fulfil this need for connection?
Today the most successful and progressive brands, companies, organizations and institutions build loyalty, create communities, enhance culture and share their key messages and latest news via amplified live experiences. Here’s a few reasons why…
- Live is the hot ticket. Discerning millennials and Gen Zs, who accounted for 43 billion and 2.46 billion, or well over half of the world’s population in 2019 famously prefer to spend their money on experiences over things. Furthermore, it’s predicted there will be 80 million millennials and 83 million Gen Zs in the US alone by 2026, surpassing Gen X-ers and baby boomers, who will each hover around the 60 million people mark. Based on sheer population predictions alone, live experiences are a must today and in the future for brands wishing to engage audiences of millennials and Gen Zs.
Despite their rising numbers, spending power, and subsequent influence, this preference for live isn’t confined to millennials and Gen Zs, either. According to Forbes, 74% of Americans prioritize experiences over products, highlighting that there’s an overall desire for face-to-face engagements.
- Combined live and digital experiences enhance reach and engage audiences. While most of us crave live, we’re also innately digital beings (enter the phygital trend I mentioned earlier). At the most basic of levels, we’re glued to our smartphones, and take the laptops and tablets we work from everywhere we go. Weaving opportunities for digital engagement throughout a live experience makes perfect sense, plus it can extend the reach and shelf life of your brand well beyond the physical.
Compelling keynote? Awe-inspiring performer to kick off the day? Brand activation and product sampling unlike any other? There’s no doubt that elements like these will wow target audiences and create a deeper emotional connection between a brand or message and the audience. And it’s these moments that compel them to capture what they see with others—effectively amplifying your event and brand in the process. This approach empowers audiences to become citizen journalists as they share their ‘news’ and elevate their social currency. Plus, a handful of social shares could see your audience increase from 1,000 to 1M as they tune-into these live updates.
- We’re now blessed with strategy-led experience experts. With live firmly on the radar of consumers and now, brands, events have become highly strategic. They are no longer the free gift with purchase or cherry on top, nor are they simply about venue styling, catering, and signage. Creatively and strategically led live brand experiences are an essential component of every marketing campaign, which is why we predict the rise of the new CEO – the Chief Experience Officer. They will be experts at devising and implementing these experiences, they will recognise that the future is not only about the physical, but insights-led end-to-end campaigns of which live is a critically important component. These experts ensure your brand, company, organisation, or institution remains relevant through meaningful live and digital experiences—a must as the experience era continues to gain momentum.
Don’t get left behind. Make sure you engage audiences by providing them with what they seek. I encourage you to leverage the tools and experts at your disposal to deliver unforgettable experiences that drive brand advocacy and relevancy in the long-term.
Learn more about the power of live and other trends in the marcomms sector by reading Challenge Everything: The Battle Cry That Blew Sh*t Up and INVNTd Live Brand Storytelling, the new book I’ve co-authored with INVNT co-founder and COO, Kristina McCoobery. Follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn!
Originally posted on Forbes.