We follow our own marketing communications 'disciplines'—advertising, direct marketing, event marketing, on-line marketing, and public relations. And to confuse the marketer even more, these disciplines have traditionally positioned themselves in a competitive context as 'the answer' to building brands—almost as though the others do not exist—each with a different 'philosophy' or secret of success: advertising builds brands by creating desire. Relationship marketing builds brand through one-to-one relationships. Event marketing builds brands by allowing consumers to experience the brand. All of this is true, but each discipline tends to claim just a little more of the business building credit than it really deserves. (And of course they look the other way when things do not quite work out right.) ("How to Fill the Accountability Gap in Demand Creation," Journal of Advertising Research)Einhorn goes on to find: "Advertising has been a traditional way to deliver brand awareness because of its immense reach and efficiency. But event marketing or sponsorships delivered through mass media can create rapid awareness."
Event marketing has recently gained importance as an integral component of the promotions mix. It is usually confined to two types of events: social entertainment events (sporting events, community fairs, concerts, youth festivals, etc.) and business events (road shows, trade shows, educational seminars, etc). Both types of events are used to create a medieval market-day atmosphere and appeal to a highly engaged target audience.
A 2006 study on event marketing that was published in the Journal of Advertising Research found that:
- An event attendee who is familiar with the event sponsor's products appreciates the community involvement of the sponsor more than those who are unfamiliar with the brand.
- An event attendee who is active in the event's activities appreciates the sponsor's community involvement more than less active participants.
- An event attendee who is highly enthusiastic about the event's activities appreciates the sponsor's community involvement more than less enthusiastic attendees.
- An event attendee who appreciates the sponsor's community involvement more than others gains a more positive opinion of the sponsor's brand.
- An event attendee who has a more positive opinion of the sponsor's brand is more inclined to buy the sponsor's products.
Recent research has proved event marketing to be extremely useful for:
- Accomplishing short-term marketing goals
- Enhancing corporate identity
- Building brand awareness, equity, and/or image
- Relationship marketing
Close, Angeline G., R. Zachary Finney, Russell Z. Lacey, and Julie Z. Sneath. "Engaging the Consumer through Event Marketing: Linking Attendees with the Sponsor, Community, and Brand," Journal of Advertising Research 46:4 (2006).
Einhorn, Eric. "How to Fill the Accountability Gap in Demand Creation," Journal of Advertising Research 44:3 (2004).
Sneath, Julie Z., R. Zachary Finney, and Angeline Grace Close. "An IMC Approach to Event Marketing: The Effects of Sponsorship and Experience on Customer Attitudes," Journal of Advertising Research 45:4 (2005).