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Summer is the season for live events like concerts, baseball games, music festivals and more.
Previously seen as simply a one-way advertising opportunity, mobile’s ability to facilitate a conversation with consumers has transformed live events into a key component of cross-channel marketing efforts.
This allows for consumers to become part of the event - whether in person or watching it on television. However, just like any program, a campaign built around a live event requires preparation that identifies goals and key messages to ensure it’s a measurable success.
Arguably this summer’s most talked about sporting event is the World Cup.
And, according to a study conducted by Interactive Advertising Bureau on device usage, nearly half of soccer fans worldwide who own smartphones intend to follow the games via their phone.
This season of screens proves to be an opportunity for brands to use mobile to create a direct connection with consumers that is personal, engaging and measurable.
Here are three ways brands can capitalize on the big screen at live events and make it a summer, and even year, of interactivity.
1. Make your audience part of the event
Consumers are constantly using their phone at live events, and often, it’s for social sharing. In fact, 75% of concertgoers take photos of their experience.
This constant connection to mobile phones provides brands with the opportunity to leverage audience members as brand advocates and take the conversation from not only in the stadium but out to social communities.
Having fans upload and share a photo to win prizes is a simple way to spread the word and share their experiences via their social channels.
The Sprint NASCAR Series has done a nice job of extending the passion for racing beyond those in attendance at the track. By using venue screens to invite fans to tweet a question or upload a photo that would be posted to Facebook, they're engaging the attendees at the event, and reaching the fans' extended social community, potentially drawing in more viewers.
2. Capture opt-ins for ongoing communications
You have a captive audience at live events which makes it an optimal time to acquire permission-based mobile and email opt-ins for future communications.
These opt-ins can be used to drive traffic in stores, encourage app downloads, provide exclusive product info and more. The opportunities are endless, and live events are the ideal place to start this rich engagement, especially if sponsorships are already in your marketing mix.
For example, to generate interest in and increase viewership of the Country Music Association (CMA) Awards show, text-to-win programs have been created for the past three years through televised mobile calls-to-action.
By offering prizes, such as a guitar autographed by Brad Paisley, the CMA team saw 56% of fans opt in for continued mobile communication.
3. Turn live events into commerce
Mobile opt-ins like the fans captured by the CMA represent a powerful opportunity for marketers to drive engagement and increase revenue. Subsequent campaigns can be designed to drive purchases through exclusive offers and/or coupons.
The Portland Trail Blazers were looking for a way to bring mobile engagement inside their arena and around the team. To do so, they created contests that combined mobile and social integrations to provide fans with discounts and in-venue promotions on tickets and merchandise.
The results were impressive: as the discounts and promotions sent to fans contributed to the highest grossing sales night of the year.
Brands spend large amounts of money in event sponsorships. Adding mobile to a live event strategy won't make a big dent on a brand's budget, but it will make that sponsorship more impactful both at the event and long after.
As marketers, we talk about how consumers always have their phones with them and the impact of mobile as it relates to the on-the-go consumer.
Live events are the perfect place to turn that marketing talk into marketing strategy.