Thursday, 18 November 2010

Proximity Marketing and Amplifying Live Events

Many brands involved with Experiential Marketing today have been wondering how best to engage and integrate participants as a part of the live event in a meaningful and relevant way?   More specifically, how to leverage and integrate today’s social media and proximity marketing tools with live brand experiences?  The good news is that there are a number of ways to connect to tech-savvy fans today in unique and memorable ways that extend and amplify (on-premise) interaction. 

When branded content becomes technologically invasive (and fully permeates the audience's lifestyle) across multiple forms of media, it is indeed a disruptive, differentiating, unique and powerful tool.  With that in mind, here are some ways you may not have thought of engaging fans on-premise at a live event. 

1.     SMS
Extend real-time interactivity to fans. At home games for example, users might send pictures and/or text messages to the Jumbotron or digital ticker tape to be displayed.  Fans could participate in real-time polls, text short codes to enter promotions or contests. Imagine an autographed item promotion at an event enticing more individuals to text in or real-time fan polling.  It's simple, relevant and contextual. 

2.     Video
Imagine live and exclusive ad-supported streaming mobile content (event highlights, on-demand videos, live broadcasts). 

3.    Mobile App's
Mobile Apps offer another dynamic way extend the brand experience, letting fans compete and earn points by playing a skills game, for example, where results can be shared with peers (and amplified) socially.   Whether player, team, or event information, promotion, or news, apps offer a great way to aggregate associated information.

Mobile's geo-locational features could further amplify a live event by integrating sponsor/partner promotion in context starting with "checking-in" to physical location.  Moreover, promotional add-on's for partner/sponsors could be added to the app for events that specifically extend new features and functionality.  Imagine a GM night whereby an OnStar enabled App add-on allows one fan to remotely start and win a GM car at center ice using OnStar functionality.  Apps are a fun, immersive way to build loyalty and reinforce the brand attributes.  

Online interactions also allow for a natural user engagement hierarchy to be established (allowing us to evidence the most committed fan or group of fans).  This allows us to extend a competitive element to user engagement where fans could compete against each other from game to game (on any number of variables).

4.    QR Codes
Activate displays or print promotions using QR codes. Whether in the event program, a pop-up display, or even on the Jumbotron, fans scan a static QR code and link to exclusive offers and content. 

5.    RFID
RFID-enabled items can hold unique user identification like a Fans Facebook login and password.   It's also a passive technology triggered by a fans physical distance (proximity) from the microchip (with a variance of around three metres).   Therefore, events can be passively triggered  to update status, check-in, or any number of other actions.  

6.    Bar-Code (2D)
To simplify the event entry process, fans could show a bar code (Event Ticket) on their mobile phone when entering event.  This evidences waste reduction, efficiency and makes fans and employees lives easier.   Season ticket holders for example, could receive their e-ticket on their handsets or PDA.  At the security/ entry checkpoint, fans could then simply scan the bar code and enter the venue.  All they’d need is an active email address where their ticket/pass may be sent, and an Internet-enabled mobile device where the 2D bar code can be received.  Simple.

7.    (GPS) Geo-Locational 
When users “check in” at various locations, this event could trigger any number of associated actions leading fans on a supporting event storyline.

8.    Social Media + User-Generated Content (UGC)
All activities and content could be integrated (in a relevant, contextual manner) via all social/ participatory channels with exclusive content and promotions i.e. Facebook "only" events) could be extended along social channels to incentivize where users share content.  Social Plug-in's further enhance the social experience and integration (via FB Connect for example) and could easily integrate with social shopping and gifting). 

9.    (Mobile) Augmented Reality (AR)
Fans easily download an Augmented Reality (AR) application to visualize their existing world with associated contextual information layered on top of the visual.  AR promises to provide for an extremely dynamic, buzz worthy venue experience.

10.  BlueCasting - Bluetooth Proximity Marketing 
As up to 80% of Mobile devices are Bluetooth-enabled, the technology enables brands to activate static content and push messages directly to the fan - whether text, images, audio, video, events, Java Applications, or even games.  Brands such as Coca-Cola, Cadbury, Red Bull and Kraft are running proximity-based mobile coupon promotions targeting consumers with Bluetooth-enabled devices while they are in convenience stores. More.

11.  3-D Projection Mapping
3D projection mapping “is any method of mapping three-dimensional points to a two-dimensional plane.”  It's really amazing and add's significant sizzle to live events.  Expect to see a whole lot more of this moving forwards.  More at

12.  Interactive Billboards 
Today's facial-recognition technology for example allows interactive billboards to displaying user-specific ads.  Digital screens that seem to recognize and interact specifically with fans walking by. Imagine, for example, a large screen showing paparazzi getting extremely excited; jostling and competing for the best photograph of YOU the fan walking by.   

Have other examples of on-premise activation?  We'd love to hear about them.  Please e-mail to or visit us on Facebook.