by: David Polinchock

Two reports out this week seem to indicate some very good news for us folks toiling away in the land of alternative media.

Seems like maybe we're really mainstream after all! I used to use the following quote from Confucius on my business cards: 

Tell me and I forget, Show me and I remember, Involve me and I understand

And although Confucius said it 3000 years ago and we were saying it 10 years ago, the advertising world is just getting around to realizing that we need to involve the audience, not simply speak to them. And that’s what creating great experiences allows you to do. We’re starting to see many companies step into the experience space (see our piece on Experience Manifesto: Evian Launches Pop-Up Spa) because it’s the best way to communicate to your audience. SO take a look at the numbers below and see how experiential marketing can help you reach your target audience!

ON-ADVERTISING-BASED FORMS OF MARKETING - especially newer sectors such as branded entertainment, event marketing and experiential marketing - have emerged as the fastest growing segment of the media economy, outpacing advertising, as well as consumer and industrial spending on media. The finding, which comes from the 2006 edition of the Communications Industry Forecast being released this week by Veronis Suhler Stevenson, comes as strong evidence that U.S. marketers and their agencies are shifting spending into forms of marketing that have tangible measures of ROI associated with them. It also suggests that Madison Avenue's shift from conventional ad-based media planning toward marketing-based communications planning is also having an effect, and that the definition of media is expanding well beyond traditional formats like TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. Perhaps most significantly, much of the shift toward new forms of marketing spending, especially the kind of experiential marketing aimed at active young adults, is a sign that marketers need to find new ways of reaching some important consumer segments. (Emphasis mine)

"A lot of the marketing services sectors in the new marketing area are really targeted toward the 18- to 34-year-old. That's where we see the growth in dollars really going forward," says Leo Kivijarv, vice president-research at PQ Media, which helped VSS compile the report. Kivijarv says the new "vehicles" include things like "guerilla marketing, word-of-mouth, experiential media, branded entertainment, product placement and some of the smaller things like mobile marketing and webisodes." 

Link: MediaPost Publications - Marketing Outpaces Ad Spending, Money Follows Shift To ROI, Pursuit Of 18-34 Demo - 09/11/2006.

And over at Experience the Message, Max has another report about the future of experiential marketing as well.

  • Spending in this area is set to grow as marketing budget holders now believe that it offers considerable advantages over other marketing tools, especially in building brand loyalty and encouraging word of mouth recommendation amongst consumers.
  • The majority of respondents (80 per cent) described experience-based activities as being important within their marketing mix, accounting for around one third of their entire marketing budget; a percentage set to rise in the future.
  • But a lack of training or suitable measurement tools is holding the discipline back causing it to be seen more as a tactical tool rather than a strategic activity. And there is still a clear need to clarify and define the media options that sit within this discipline.

    Nothing new here for us XM'ers. Here's a bit of new numbers, tho: 

  • Many respondents (43%) felt that experiential marketing had not realised its potential due to a lack of training amongst marketers and the majority (80%) welcomed more guidance in this area; perhaps from external service providers or professional bodies.
  • A greater use of case studies would help drive the industry forward.
  • 43% of the respondents anticipate increasing their marketing budgets over the next two-three years with only 12% foreseeing a decrease.
  • The future for experiential marketing looks bright; with 62% agreeing that it will be "one of the big growth areas in marketing over the next five years".
  • Around half anticipate growing their experiential marketing spend, both in real terms and as a proportion of budget.  
  • Max also has the link to download the full report, so make sure you check out his blog!

    Link: Experience the Message: NEW XM RESEARCH...THE MOUSE ROARS.

    Original Post: http://blog.brandexperiencelab.org/experience_manifesto/2006/09/mediapost_publi.html

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