How to Motivate Your Most Valuable Audiences

Look up the verb motivate in the dictionary. It means to provide someone with a cause or reason to act. Clearly, companies must motivate customers if they're going to get business.

For any marketing moment, your success depends on the response of your most valuable audience. To do that successfully, you have to understand who they are and what they want.

Thanks to intuitive event management platforms, powerful analytics tools, social media networks and online surveys (check out the Event Technology Landscape to dig into all of this), you can not only pinpoint your most valuable attendees but also their unique needs.

Once you know what your most important audiences want, you can craft a customized strategy to motivate them and build lasting relationships. Here's how you do that:

Create an emotional experience with your audience

You definitely don't want the initial interaction to be too "salesy." That turns potential customers off like nothing else. Take your product out of the spotlight — and demonstrate your brand value through an experience. This helps create a deeper connection with your brand and motivate attendees to explore your company further.

A great example is Lean Cuisine's #WeighThis campaign. For this campaign, the company set up an installation asking folks to write down how they wanted to be weighed. One woman responded with how she cares for 200 homeless children each day, while another discussed going back to college in her 50s.

These powerful responses reignited a brand that had experienced declining sales for the first half of the decade, as there was a 33 percent increase in positive brand perception and 428 percent increase in social mentions. It also connected Lean Cuisine to feeling happy and healthy — something the brand aims to do with its products.

Motivate your audiences to act and buy

Every purchase is either a decision made from a place of aspiration, or is seeking to solve a problem. Show how your product or service remedies a specific pain point or is an improvement over your customer's status quo. This can be done by doing the following:

  • Think about what 'right' looks like. What is the ideal situation for the potential customer?
  • Illustrate how your product or service makes that vision of satisfaction a reality. What does the right situation look like?
  • Make your pitch value-based, future-focused, and aspirational.

There are many innovative ways you can do this at an event. A solid approach is to combine conversation about the product with an actual experience that shows how you stand out and will get your audience to where they want to be.

For example, Guinness, the "Beer Made of More", found a unique way to get customers to pay attention to their product. The beer-maker teamed up with Tesco in the UK, offering grocery shoppers a virtual reality beer-tasting experience. Using visual and audio cues, flavors and smells were brought to life, and people experienced an exciting way to try new Guinness beer offerings.

Through this activation, Guinness connected to an important customer base. Those currently looking for a better beer-drinking experience — one that would take them beyond the ordinary. As a Marketing Dive brief notes, this campaign enabled Guinness to "enhance a sensory product experience that could help drive sampling efforts" and then sales.

Motivate your audiences to share

According to a Nielsen Global Survey of Trust in Advertising, more than half of consumers state real-life situations resonate most in advertising. That's a testament to why you should be using experiences to market your product.

Also, you can't underestimate the power of word-of-mouth. 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from family and friends more than other forms of advertising, and 89 percent believe customer testimonials are the most engaging content.

In-person event marketing is considered the most effective form of marketing, according to a Content Marketing Institute report. Face-to-face experiences hold the power to not just convert valuable audiences into buyers, but also make them advocates and promoters for the brand. Just be sure to offer those guests an easy way to share the event on social media and other platforms.

Even airlines have found creative ways to get valuable audiences to share. At a Ted conference in 2015, Delta Airlines commissioned an installation, Stillness in Motion. This installation required visitors to sit in a spa-like room alone as biometric sensors monitored their heartbeat. As you relax, the room would make the experience calmer and cleaner.

Needless to say, Delta's installation left an impression, and 95 percent of the approximately 800 visitors tweeted about their experience. This led to an estimated nine million Twitter impressions. Moreover, the experience aligned with Delta's service mission: to provide a seamless and enjoyable travel. The activity made the struggle to sit still and relax on a plane fun.

Building fruitful relationships with your most valuable attendees

You want to generate more than just a one-time buy from the event. It's about establishing a relationship where customers benefit from your product or service so much that they not only come back but also promote your brand.

You can build such a relationship by first understanding who your most valuable audiences are, and next, discover what they really want. Then, deliver an enjoyable experience that connects to those needs and motivates them to act, buy and ultimately share.

If you nurture those relationships and those needs after the event, you will build an audience of powerful advocates.

Experiential Marketing Trends

Explore 18 new trends from our collaboration with Event Marketer.

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Jonathan Ronzio

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