Havas Street: Five Tips to Surfing through Your Next Activation

Thought Leaders
Cover image for  article: Havas Street: Five Tips to Surfing through Your Next Activation

In today’s evolving world, consumers are constantly bombarded with information from brands. Whether it’s at retail or in their Instagram feeds or while reading their favorite blogs, consumers are receiving messages from brands fighting for their attention. For marketers, this poses a new challenge: Not only do you need to think of something unique and clever that stands out to your savvy target consumer, but you also must make the engagement last and have greater impact. Event marketing is an excellent tool to engage consumers and provide them with an experience that connects on an emotional level; however, the best campaigns tell a story that amplifies the activation with greater newsworthiness and socially sharable content.

As a Southern Californian, I can’t help but relate the amplification approach to surfing. If you’ve spent any time surfing or watching others, you know that there are several steps to riding the perfect wave, including identifying the right wave, timing when to catch the wave and what you do with the wave that makes the ride truly special. Below are five steps explaining how surfing can help you form the best integrated campaigns so your brand can ride a wave of its own.

1) Recognize the Wave. Recognizing the wave when it appears is half the battle. Before you can amplify an event, you must determine the opportunity for your brand. You also must identify a collective goal or message that can be used as a filter of success across every marketing channel through various executions. Once the opportunity and overarching goal is set, the strategy can begin to form and you can set your sights on which wave is the right one for your brand.

2) Pick the Right One.  After recognizing the wave, you must learn how to pick the right one so you don’t fizzle out with a short ride. Ideating with experts within an integrated team is the best way to come up with an idea that could extend to all parts of the marketing ecosystem. You will need a campaign that is telling a broader story, so you need to agree on the right story to communicate through various channels. For those in event marketing, it is important that you don’t settle for the first decent-looking wave to come around, but ask yourself, “Can I handle this one?” and go for it!

3) Stay in Your Lane.  When out in the open ocean you need to observe the right of way and not drop in or snake a wave from someone else. One reason an integrated campaign is so effective is because you often have experts from every channel doing what they do best. To amplify a program, everyone should stay in their lane and focus on how they can best influence positive results. Planning should be collaborative and communication should be ongoing and consistent to ensure everyone stays on track to catch their own wave.

4) Get Up on Your Board.  Sometimes catching the best wave is not what makes you successful; it’s what you do with the wave you’re riding that makes the difference. Once planning has happened and frequent check-ins leave everyone feeling confident about the campaign, trust that each key stakeholder will execute their portion to the fullest. For those event marketers, put as much effort as you can into flawless execution because if the activation falls flat, there won’t be much content for the amplification to be successful.

5)  Ride the Wave as Far as You Can.  If you follow the above steps, you can benefit from the wave’s power. If executed in one location, your event activation will possibly touch a few thousand consumers -- but it could reach millions through social shares, digital ads and PR impressions. Make sure you collectively review the results and compare against the goals set forth at the start to see what type of wave you want to go after next!

Whether you wear a power suit or a wetsuit, remember to take the time to stop and think about how you could amplify what you’re trying to accomplish. If you follow the five steps above and stay patient, you just might ride the most awesome wave yet.

Photo credit ; The Watch Judge

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