Saturday, September 19, 2020

Executive Education

Subaru Recognizes the Value of an ROI Driven Live Event Strategy

For businesses, live events change the very nature of interacting with consumers. While computer screens or envelopes typically safeguard marketers during campaigns, the same is not true at a live event. Rather, brands engage face-to-face with an attendee, which means they need more creative strategies and tools to overcome different physical parameters. Whether this is because of the above average energy, the real-time unpredictability, or the sheer number of people and sponsors gathered in one place, marketing teams can be overwhelmed by live events.

This situation is why we at Tagkast worked to develop innovative photo marketing software that helps brands improve the ROI of event marketing initiatives. This software, unlike a traditional photo marketing campaign, allows businesses to interact with a higher than normal amount of event attendees, add branding to events photos and videos, and instantly stream the content to a consumer’s own social media networks. In looking at a recent partnership with car company, Subaru of America, it’s clear how Tagkast transforms a brand’s face-to-face interactions at live events into viral, word-of-mouth recommendations that influence purchase intent and generate leads.

At the 2015 Philadelphia Auto Show, one of the largest auto shows in the United States, Subaru wanted to increase the effectiveness of its live event presence. As with most live events, Subaru’s biggest challenges were the number of attendees and the speed of the event itself. Auto shows are a tricky marketing opportunity because brands cannot predict how many, or how well, attendees will interact with their companies. There are too many potential consumers, too many competitors, and too many swirling variables. However, rather than seeing these barriers as reasons not to engage at the Philadelphia Auto Show, Subaru incorporated innovative photo marketing software to transform these traditional limitations into strengths. Here’s how it worked.

Encourage Social Sharing with Custom Photo Branding

Throughout the auto show, Subaru encouraged attendees to take photos with company cars. Each of these photos was branded with a Subaru logo as well as the customized hashtag #subarushometown, which highlighted the brand’s Philadelphia origins. As photos were taken, Subaru prompted attendees to share their images organically, in real-time and directly from the showroom floor to popular social platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Subaru used 100 percent mobile tablets at the event to promote this immediate sharing – creating a fun experience that also optimized every photo for high-quality, high-interaction display. Since the software was fully mobile, unlike a stationary photo booth, it was easier for Subaru to move around and interact during the busy and complex event.

Results Matter

At the end of its five days at the auto show, Subaru achieved astounding results. Every photo sharer became an instant brand advocate, and, because of the simple addition of branding to the marketing campaign, Subaru earned over 400,000 organic, brand impressions. While just 2,000 photos were taken, social media sharing amplified branded reach 200 times over. It can be difficult to reach a large portion of attendees, but the right photo marketing software help brands make every single interaction count. In addition, 98% of the photos were taken with the Subaru cars, making the shared photos an even stronger product endorsement for the car company.

Subaru was also able to collect tertiary consumer information ­– 1,422 emails, 596 Facebook likes and 60 new Twitter followers. Similarly, because of an additional VIP reception after the auto show, which attendees could only gain access to during the photo sharing process, Subaru further identified a highly targeted audience of Subaru enthusiasts from among the auto show masses. Despite the barriers of the live auto show, Tagkast’s innovative photo marketing software helped Subaru achieve business success.

How Brands Can Generate Successful Event-Marketing Campaigns

Subaru’s marketing campaign focused on people. Subaru engaged organically with attendees and created genuine and long-term enthusiasm around its brand. While this might seem like an obvious marketing strategy, Subaru leveraged its relationship with in-person attendees to drive word-of-mouth marketing, which is one of the most powerful forms of marketing that brands can gain. With every photo shared, Subaru reached new customers and turned every positive experience at the auto show into a viral product recommendation.

Second, these word-of-mouth marketing efforts were enhanced by efficient technology. Communal tagging features, which speed up how attendees provide data and share photos, helped Subaru learn more about potential customer without burdening attendees with tiresome forms or time-consuming processes. Again, because all of this happened across social platforms, attendees enjoyed the speed of interaction while Subaru benefited from socials massive sharing power.

And third, Subaru’s marketing campaign offered real results. While it can be difficult to measure the return on investment of a live event, Subaru’s branded photography tracked metrics like overall impressions. With these insights, Subaru could monitor the effectiveness of its campaign. The brand can also use these actionable analytics to make more informed decisions at future live events, as well as to more productively drive sales at later moments in the lifecycles of those they met at the auto show.

Without innovate photo marketing software, the sheer physicality of a live event like the Philadelphia auto show would have made such business objectives difficult to achieve. While size and speed were once drawbacks of a live event presence, this is no longer the case. As Subaru demonstrated, sponsored events achieve engagement rates, consumer interaction and sales on a scale unappalled by many other marketing campaigns.

No matter your brand’s past experiences with lives events, it’s important to consider what a future presence at live events can do for business. If your brand is sponsoring any upcoming events, you should be working to better your live-event positioning and consumer engagement strategy.
By Joe Matthews, Co-Founder and CEO Tagkast.

Joe Matthews
Joe Matthews is the co-founder and CEO of Tagkast, a social advertising platform that turns event photography into branded content. Before that, while attending Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management, Joe co-founded Poggled, an events and daily deals site for nightlife. Before Kellogg, Joe worked in investment banking and retail consulting.