The boardroom was dated with worn wood panel walls and stained carpeting. It was musty, real musty like an old library. The office furniture was beaten up and had probably seen more use than they should have.
But, there they were in front of me: Nine people. Eighteen eye balls all fixated on me. Their stares shot through me into the back of my head. They were looking for fresh ideas and answers to how best target a specific demographic in an upcoming campaign. The company was losing market share in our region and I was hired to develop and execute a new experiential campaign since I knew the market. What they had done in the past was old school and didn't speak to this specific audience. It was all on me now! I pulled out my notes and gave them my thoughts. My concepts were based on my essentials for a great activation.
Here are my top eight ideas to make a great activation:
1. Put yourself in the shoes of your target. Think about there day to day, family, friends and what they do to socialize. Where do they congregate?
2. Have info on what your audience likes and doesn't like about the event you're activating at
3. Know specifically what you want to achieve and how it will be measured. For example: We want to increase awareness of a new service
3a. Train your staff from beginning to end of activation. How to best greet people, do demonstrations, respond to questions etc.
4. Create a way to engage the visitor and connect the objective to something that resonates with them
5. Develop the engagement so it keeps the audience present for an extended period of time
6. Ensure the staff are well informed for every conceivable question they could come across
7. Make sure the activation space is well organized and kept neat
8. Have an effective after action plan to make sure there is timely follow up from the activation
One bonus- Can we capture data at the event to use in future marketing. That data could be length of time at activation, email addresses, a score the guest gives for the quality of the event
In the end we achieved our goals. We did employ the new concepts I developed and only because the team was well prepared and executed exceptionally did we indeed make great strides in market share. Be personal, be specific with your activations and you'll see success!