How Brands are Reaching Summer Groupies at Festivals

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Cutting Through the Crowds at Festivals: How Brands Can Reach Summer Groupies
Mike Buttigieg

From Coachella to Bonnaroo to Lollapalooza and Burning Man, music and arts festivals attract some of the biggest artists and crowds all summer long. According to Billboard , over 30 million people attend at least one music festival in the U.S. each year. This gives artists a lot of opportunities to connect with their fans.

It also means festivals themselves and advertisers have plenty of chances to connect with consumers. When fans use their mobile phones to travel to or around a festival, or when contacting their friends on-site, they’re giving brands valuable information about where they are and what they like. And if advertisers know how to capitalize on this data, they’ll be able to identify and reach their ideal audiences.

With festivals offering tons of headline sponsors and hundreds of stalls to choose from, here’s how advertisers can cut through the noise at music festivals and build relationships with fans.

Make Friends at Festivals

With tens of thousands of people gathered in the same place, music festivals are a great chance to make new friends with potential customers. Brands can meet and get to know consumers by recognizing them and introducing themselves to each and every attendee.

One method for this is geo-fencing. This means identifying attendees by collecting device IDs located within the perimeter of the festival grounds. It is important to note that 3/4G GPS data is unreliable at festivals due to their remote locations and bad service. Hence, many festival organizers now routinely offer temporary Wi-Fi to keep their revelers connected. This means the number of mobile devices a marketer can access increases massively when using a location technology provider with the ability to dynamically identify Wi-Fi addresses in real world locations. In a custom study we conducted on this year’s Bonnaroo festival, we proved that any marketer using industry-standard GPS geo-location technology could only ‘see’ 27% of mobile devices at the festival. Dynamically identifying the festival Wi-Fi’s IP Address was needed to discover the missing 73%.

Once advertisers know who’s at the festival, they should strike up a conversation right away. For instance, a beverage brand can deliver an ad inviting fans to enjoy a cold drink when they make their next trip to the bar.

Stand Out From the Crowd

Music festivals are busy places, and consumers are likely to be bombarded with sponsorship logos and advertisements at every turn. So how can brands make sure they stand out from the crowd?

Brands that target consumers using Wi-Fi can more accurately target people thanks to additional behavioral insights. This also means that marketers can advertise using richer media to better engage consumers and stand out among the static ads and logos. For example, brands can offer fans interactive games or videos ads which get higher completion rates on Wi-Fi. These could be tailored based on behavioral location histories, for example showing a clip of the Weekend to someone who recently attended an R&B gig, or a voucher for the vegan food stand to someone regularly seen shopping at organic stores.

They can even get creative. Rather than simply enticing attendees with an image of an ice-cold beverage, a soda brand can offer an ad that’s both useful and inviting: it can give the thirsty consumer a handy map that shows them how they can get to the nearest bar.

Keep in Touch

Festivals like Cochella last a few days and Burning Man a week, but should that mean that an advertiser spending branding dollars on sponsorship should lose touch with those fans and potential customers once they have gone home? Of course not. Once brands have identified device IDs at a festival, they can use that data after the event to learn even more about who those fans are, including demographic and geographic details that indicate where they spend time and what they like to do.

Our Bonnaroo study monitored the devices we saw at the festival for a week and a half after its completion. We determined that the demographic makeup of the audience was 28% business professionals with the top industries indexing in technology, advertising and finance. The remaining 72% were college students, mostly from the University of Tennessee, Rutgers then University of SoCal. In terms of the festival attendee behavioral characteristics, they mostly frequented coffee shops such as Starbucks, clothing stores like H&M and electronic stores such as Best Buy. These insights help advertisers paint a much clearer picture of who their festival audience is so they can target appropriate messages at the right place and right time whether it be before or after the event.

This is the strategy personal care brand Gillette employed to boost sales for a range of Venus products. First, they collected data from female festivalgoers aged 18 to 34. They then delivered ads when the women were near a drugstore that stocks Venus products (compared to at the festival), or when they were at home and could browse Venus’ full product range online. The stores targeted saw a net footfall rate increase of 1.42%.

This targeting strategy to reach the festival-going audiences at the opportune moment drives high engagement rates, in-store traffic, and extends the life of the brand dollars spent on the festival branding campaign.

Assess Your Performance

The last part of our Bonnaroo study tested the impact of a sponsor’s brand awareness campaign to see if it ultimately drove in-store foot traffic and sales. One festival sponsor was one of the nation’s largest quick service restaurants; let’s call it Munchies. We monitored their 27 thousand locations in the United States for 10 days following the festival and found that only 1% of the festival goers visited a store location within the time frame. While low, this begs the question: Could Munchies have made their Bonnaroo sponsorship work harder for them? We wanted to see what the difference would be if we expanded our geo-fence to a two-mile radius around the 27 thousand store locations. This revealed that while only 1% of Bonnaroo festivalers made it through the restaurant door, 30% of them came within two miles of Munchies during those ten-days. A small budget dedicated to sequentially targeting them with a mobile Munchies Ad would have capitalized on the initial Munchies branding at Bonnaroo and provided that final nudge to convert to store, greatly increasing that 1% foot-traffic rate.

Festivals don’t just provide advertisers with a way to reach music lovers while they’re enjoying the event; festivals also give them the time and place to begin forging what will become long and ongoing relationships with this key audience.

You can see the original article written by Michael Buttigieg here.

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Mike Buttigieg Michael Buttigieg is Senior Sales Director at Blis, the global pioneer in location data. Having been at Blis since 2013, Buttigieg moved out to New York in 2016 to help establish Blis’ New York office where he specialises in the sales of Blis’ proprietary technology and platform.
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Question 1: How long have you been at RSi and what is your role?
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Question 2: How does RSi help solve marketer challenges?
Shopper marketers’ biggest challenge is to connect their online campaigns to in-store results. RSi’s Ansa solution provides the intelligence they need, based on daily, store-level POS-data from the largest US retailers in order to plan, target, and measure the impact of their shopper marketing campaigns. Retail Solutions Inc. has partnered with the leading ad networks in Shopper Marketing, such as Blis, to make Ansa’s automated analytics available for the world’s largest CPG companies and their agencies. To measure and maximize their digital ad campaigns, all they need to do is ask for Ansa inside their next campaign.

Question 3: What benefits does the partnership with Blis bring to buyers as well as the adtech ecosystem?
With RSi’s Ansa solution, building, dynamically optimizing, and reviewing attribution measures for every digital ad campaign has never been so simple. Here is how it works:
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For existing products, Blis campaigns using Ansa targeting can reach a targeting efficiency of 2:1 vs. campaigns that do not use Ansa store-level targeting thereby ensuring that every dollar is spent driving sales to your most important retailer locations.

Blis campaigns optimized with Ansa typically identify and heavy up investment around 16% of stores that are trending significantly ahead of the average store during a campaign and identify and decrease investment around 14% of stores that are trending significantly behind the average store, therefore ensuring that your budget is being optimized surrounding stores that are over-performing during a given campaign.

After each Blis campaign, Ansa automatically generates measurement of Featured Item Lift and Halo Item Lift at both the total event and week levels. Results are completed 5 business days after the end of each campaign and allow you to learn quickly and improve continuously, all at an amazingly affordable price.

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Question 6: If there was one piece of content you think every marketer should read, what is it?
(Other than this blog post of course!)

Think with Google and Facebook IQ are two fantastic sources of resources. Articles, trends, case studies, POVs, insights, etc… pretty much everything you need to read to keep you up-to-speed in this very fast-paced environment.

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Meet, Greet and Keep: How Mobile Can Help Brands...

Our mobile devices give us more than just a way to call or text friends and family: Today, they are our maps, books, radios, and miniature shopping malls. We turn to them for news, entertainment and answers. And from dawn till dusk, we keep them at our sides like our most faithful companions.

So it’s no wonder mobile devices have become integral to an advertiser’s ability to reach their ideal audiences at every stage of the sales funnel. Here’s how brands can employ effective mobile advertising strategies to acquire, engage and retain customers.

Win Over New Customers

One of the best ways for advertisers to identify new audiences is to see where they shop. But without access to a competitor’s first-party purchase data or information about their website traffic, how can advertisers find this out?

Mobile devices provide the answer. By revealing where consumers go, mobile location data can tell brands which consumers spend their time browsing similar products at a competitor’s store. Let’s say Target wants to reach out to consumers who usually shop at Walmart. They can use location data to identify—then target—those who frequently visit the competitor yet still live near a Target store.

But brands need to be careful before jumping to conclusions about consumers. Real-time location data provides important insights, but they can be strengthened when paired with historical location data.

For example, just because someone visits a high-end boutique like Chanel, it doesn’t mean that person has the budget to shop there—they could just be browsing. How can an upscale fashion brand find out which of those Chanel visitors are actually potential shoppers? Here, historical location data can help. It can reveal, for instance, which of those visitors go to private airports a few times a month or regularly visit Giorgio Armani or Versace stores. Chances are, these consumers will be a better bet for the fashion brand seeking to acquire new customers.

Keep Them Interested

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning? For most of us, it’s look at our phones to turn off our alarms before checking the weather and scrolling through our Twitter feeds. And throughout the day, we continue to stare down into the faces of our mobile devices: checking the news on the train, sending an email between meetings, or watching videos from our living room sofas.

In order to engage consumers on the devices we use day in and day out, advertisers will need to serve ads that make sense for the consumer depending on where they are during the day. To do this, advertisers must first ask the question: What do consumers want to see on their mobile devices and when? Consumers spend a third of their time online watching videos, for instance, but they aren’t going to watch a 30-second video ad while walking down the street.

To boost engagement, brands can use knowledge about a consumer’s historical and real-time whereabouts to reach out at the time and place that will produce the greatest level of engagement. To effectively grab the attention of a consumer that’s out and about, a banner ad may work best. Later that evening, when the consumer is at home using a tablet or laptop, a longer video on a larger screen may work well.

Inspire Loyalty

How can brands make sure they retain the new and existing customers they’ve worked so hard to gain? They must first recognize and show appreciation for their most loyal customers.

Most advertisers identify loyal customers by looking at newsletter subscriptions and online purchase histories, but they may be missing other valuable customers who prefer to shop in stores. By identifying devices that frequently visit a brand’s store location, advertisers can make sure they are recognizing—and thanking—all their biggest fans. When an existing customer comes into a store a certain number of times, for example, advertisers can deliver a thank-you message—perhaps offering the loyal customer a generous coupon to redeem in-store.

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Retailers’ Golden Ticket to Reviving Brick and Mortar Stores

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Following its decision to buy e-commerce company Jet.com last year, Walmart recently agreed to acquire Bonobos, a retailer with a strong online presence and generous shipping policies. If these moves weren’t sign enough that the physical and digital retail worlds are merging, Amazon’s acquisition of Whole Foods is the ultimate wake-up call.

Retailers everywhere are realizing that while brick and mortar stores are still critical, they’ll need a strong digital strategy to keep them filled with happy customers. Mobile devices are retailers’ golden ticket to connecting with consumers and reviving in-store shopping.

Understanding Consumers though Mobile

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For instance, advertisers can deliver ads to shoppers already in the area to tell them about an in-store sale, or offer them a coupon they can only redeem in person. Retailers can also deliver ads that feature a handy map telling consumers how to find their store.

Sometimes, targeting consumers when they are walking by a store may be a little too late. A QSR wanting to boost its 10 am breakfast crowd, for instance, may want to target consumers when they wake up around 7a and begin planning their day. Otherwise, the consumer has most likely already made their breakfast choice.

While there is no one-size-fits-all solution for retailers looking to connect with consumers and drive in-store sales, a strong mobile strategy is key. As the digital and physical worlds continue to blend, retailers must harness the insights and capabilities of mobile to reach their unique brand objectives.

Tune in next week to read all about how mobile is fast becoming the extension of a retailer’s store.

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