Everybody is talking about it: Deemed one of the most important up-and-coming marketing trends to stay, “SoLoMo” is one phrase no marketer can afford to ignore.
SoLoMo represents the conjunction of using social, local and mobile media, most commonly in the context of smart phones, tablets, or other mobile computing devices.
For marketers the trend of SoLoMo means a significant shift in how they use advertising: instead of using mass marketing channels such as television or print ads to push messages to users, the advertising message is triggered by consumers based on their location and social networking activity.
So far so good. But with SoLoMo being a digital marketing phenomenon, how is it relevant to experiential marketing?
The answer lies in the development of technology: While the first phase of the Internet was about constructing a virtual world that was isolated and apart from the real world, the current phase, driven by the move to mobile devices, is all about meshing together the virtual world with the real world. So with the Internet moving off the desktop, out of the office and into your pocket, it now comes into the street with your consumers – everywhere they go.
And this is the point at which experiential marketers cannot afford to ignore the SoLoMo-trend. Put bluntly, there are two possible outcomes for the future of experiential marketing and SoLoMo:
Either SoLoMo, which is much more quantifiable and measurable, will take over huge parts of many big brand’s marketing efforts and budgets, making it harder for experiential marketing to get onto brand’s radars
Or experiential marketing will start to integrate SoLoMo. If experiential marketing and the SoLoMo trend become an obvious part of each other, we are looking at a rosy future for both marketing disciplines.
In today’s marketing industry, we are moving between brands that are consistently looking for new ways to connect with their customers and consumers who expect highly personalised marketing and shopping experiences. This is good news for both, experiential marketing and the SoLoMo movement, as they are both built on and profit from these trends. A partnership between these forms of marketing therefore seems obvious.
As such the only question remaining is this: How can an experiential campaign integrate SoLoMo?
1.) The Social: Integrating social networks into experiential campaigns is no new idea. Integrating social networking sites the SoLoMo way, means using them to guide consumers to your brand’s events based on their social media preferences and their location:
• Announce your experiential roadshow locations on Facebook to allow people to participate in any of your brand’s events local to them.
• Let people “check in” on social networking sites online when they are participating in your experiential event
• Tie in rewards schemes to encourage them to use social networking sites to share their brand experiences with their friends and followers.
2.) The Local: Tying the local aspect of SoLoMo into an experiential campaign is the obvious one: Let people know exactly where they can find your brand or product after experiencing your promotion.
Due to their highly localised nature, most experiential marketing and PoS campaigns are already exploiting this by choosing a promotional space close to the relevant shop or display. But this can be taken even further: Think about possibilities like using mounted touch screens or I-pads in your experiential marketing activity, allowing people to type in postcodes to see the nearest distribution points to their chosen location.
3.) The Mobile: Many experiential marketing campaigns are already experimenting with the integration of mobile. Why not collect people’s phone numbers (and consent!) during the experiential event and send them text message updates, vouchers or maps? But beware: If you do decide to go down this route, it is vital to ensure that any messages you send are HIGHLY RELEVANT to the receiver. Irrelevant text messages are considered the greatest advertising offense known to mankind by many consumers, so make sure you get the content and timing of this marketing opportunity just right.
Love it or loathe it, the SoLoMo trend looks likely to be around for a while. The best way to deal with this new trend is to embrace it. (Now we don’t suggest you jump on every trend, but this one seems worthwhile.)
Marry your experiential marketing campaigns with the SoLoMo approach and you will find your campaigns have instantly improved both their reach and their relevance for your target audience.
If nothing else, you’ll appear knowledgeable to the brand manager at the opposite end of the table. Not a bad start at all.
Written by Miriam Kuhn, Marketing Coordinator