There was a time when brand activations were THE thing to do to get mass engagement and strengthen brand loyalty. It was a surefire way to go viral or at least get a lot of user-generated content. Until Facebook and Instagram were born and digital suddenly became THE thing.

There’s no surprise that digital took over as quickly as it did since it provides better ROI, laser targeting and measurement tools. But recently I’ve seen a trend in personalised brand connections. Take it ‘old school’ as today’s digital marketers like to put it.

I predict that brands will move closer towards these old-school methodologies. Why? you ask, simply because digital channels are getting more than crowded. It’s becoming harder to make a quality long-lasting impact and easier to go for quantity over quality. I immersed myself in a brand activation experience today that made me think about how marketing strategies have entered the ‘me too’ zone.

People often assume that I am a digital marketing expert and that I can provide them with these ‘me too’ digital marketing strategies. Think about it, it’s becoming harder to remember specific brands by their ads on TV, Facebook, Instagram, Youtube ads etc. Music seems to sound the same. Websites seem to follow the same structure. Brands and businesses are more focused on what the competitor is doing. Even Apple ads are starting to look like Samsung ads and vice versa. Of course, I’m heavily generalising the industry, but only so I can highlight topline themes and marketing trends.

Today, seldom do you see brands take an integrated marketing approach. It’s become a Red Ocean of marketing strategies. In 2018, we will see brands take a custom approach. One that utilises all marketing channels; online and offline. One such example is the Louis Vuitton activation held in Sydney’s lively Martin Place. Giving away free mango sorbet, polaroids with the #LVKOMBI and an opportunity to interact with the brand’s new¬†Men’s Spring-Summer 2018 Collection. The activation promotes the pop-up store dedicated to hype-up the new collection. The entire experience is offline, encouraging people to share their awesome brand interaction.

This short and simple human experience has a stronger impact on fewer people developing mass engagement and brand loyalty. As compared to a digital/ social media video campaign that has a weaker impact on more people developing little brand connection and loyalty. Online, your video becomes another cool video found online. Don’t get me wrong, neither are impactful on their own (unless you have big budgets like LV). But it’s the customised integration of online and offline channels that delivers great results.

I have proactively told almost everyone I’ve met today, about the LV activation. It’s also lead me to post about it on Facebook, Instagram and now write an article about it. If it was a video I saw on online, I would tag a few close people and then eventually categorise it as another cool video I saw online.

Understanding your brand and market is key to formulating the right integrated marketing strategy.

It’s simple yet not easy. But definitely worth the effort and time invested. Quality over quantity is what 2018 is all about. If you get what I’m talking about and would like to explore what you can do your resources, reach out and I’ll be more than happy to bounce some ideas off you!

Check out what the #LVKOMBI activation looked like below.

* I originally posted this article on my LinkedIn profile.

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