Steve Fontanot, experiential marketing expert and Director/Creative Director of Chieftain Communications was recently asked to address a Networx event in Sydney to discuss how brands can be brought to life by creating positive experiences for consumers.
Steve was joined on the panel by Group Marketing Manager for Topshop Australia, Prue Thomas, and Head of Events & Activations for Ensemble, Matt Cameron.
All the panelists agreed that digital now plays an extremely important factor in brand campaigns, especially the experiential marketing component, creating valuable branded content and amplifying the experience further.
“The integration of digital also means we can use it as a valuable tool to track campaign results.”
Matt agreed: “The opportunities that are presenting themselves to us in the digital space are now endless and can go out to a massive audience.”
Prue said one of the most satisfying parts of her job is to work on what was once considered a traditional PR event and integrating it across consumer and digital channels “to a level where PR becomes the by-product of the event, which is really interesting as it turns things on its head.”
“Unless a campaign is fully integrated, I don’t think you are meeting the objectives,” she added.
However, Matt pointed out that it’s best to engage experts in experiential when integrating this all-important element into a brand campaign.
“There is so much going on behind the scenes that people don’t know about,” he said. “[The clients] don’t know about the approvals you have to go through and picking the right staffing to represent the brand, to getting the signage right, I could go on for hours…”
Steve agreed, saying it was why Chieftain Communications was born in 2009.
“I really felt there was a gap in the market for an agency totally focused on experiential marketing, but who could also integrate it with PR, social media and digital marketing, which just wasn’t being done efficiently.
When asked what lessons needed to be learned in terms of experiential marketing, Prue said a common error was “repeating a formula that has worked in the past without reviewing it… without any thought as to what the consumer would want.”
“I spend a lot of time going down and watching other people’s campaigns and trying to see the reaction of those campaigns,” added Matt. “I spend time talking with people about what they do or don’t like about it. It’s amazing the information you can get – even just standing back and watching. “
Steve said “bad consumer insights” were often a major mistake.
“And that is why experiential marketing is not as simple as putting on an event or handing out some samples. It’s about understanding the target audience and how best to communicate with them, across a myriad of channels.”
In 2009 Chieftain Communications opened its door to the Australian market – a boutique award winning independent agency based in Sydney and Melbourne, creating memorable brand experiences, through the use of experiential marketing, event management, and digital/social media.
For more information, please contact:
Steve Fontanot - Director / Creative Director
e: firstname.lastname@example.org t: +61 (0) 2 9699 6880 w: chieftaincomms.com.au