• Hayley Gibson

Event experiences: Tapping into the millennial market

Millennials are a difficult generation to engage with. With notably low attention spans, traditional methods of advertising aren’t making an impression. Even digital marketing is starting to lose their interest; with so much online advertising, they are bombarded with messages on an hourly basis and are becoming apathetic to it.

As the most influential generation of consumers, brands need to focus on a personalised approach to create affinity with millennials. An effective way of capturing this is through event experiences.

Also known as experiential marketing, these events provide consumers with a memorable experience, something they can personally interact with. Millennials are spending an increasing amount of time and money on events, inspiring brands to follow suit.

A recent survey of consumers found that 72% positively identify with brands that provide quality event opportunities and experiences. Furthermore, 74% said they would be more likely to purchase the promoted products after engaging in an event experience.

The benefit of this approach is that brands form authentic relationships with their audience, generating a natural purchasing process.

Pepsi are a recent example of a brand who cracked this concept. In June, they tapped into experiential marketing to promote their new product Pepsi Max Vanilla.

With an aim to drive awareness and connect further with their key demographic, Pepsi hosted ‘The Vanilla Kitchen’ – a pop-up dining concept in the heart of Sydney. Teaming up with some of Australia’s most renowned culinary talent, guests were treated to a vanilla-inspired menu, which subliminally referenced the latest Pepsi product.

With more than 700 visitors over three days, the event was particularly attractive to millennials that are shifting their budgets and seeking authentic experiences. And for those that still wanted to be a part of the event without actually attending? The Vanilla Kitchen partnered with Deliveroo who delivered meals to people’s homes along with free samples of Pepsi Max Vanilla.

There are many other success stories out there; this is a continuous trend that shows no signs of stopping. Millennials are craving experiences and interactions. From a digital perspective, brands are still getting the online exposure as millennials attending events will share their experience on social media. This establishes a genuine and organic relationship between brand and consumer, encouraging interaction and increasing brand awareness.

So what should brands do if they want to incorporate experiential marketing into their campaign strategy? First of all, listen to your audience and focus on their desires and needs. Millennials want experiences that will build lasting memories and help shape their identity. Secondly, give millennials something to talk about – in a society where life events are continually shared online, the fear of missing out motivates millennials to attend and get involved.

And finally, don’t be afraid to get creative – 80% of millennials want brands to entertain them. Embrace experiential marketing and start building customised relationships with millennials. They are the future in Australia. All 5.7 million of them.