An interview with the Tyra Jones-Hurst, Account Director at Reef Agency
Why do you think events are such a great opportunity for brands?The world and its consumers are constantly bombarded with options and variety. There are a million things that do the same and the clutter can make it difficult for consumers to pinpoint what works for them and why. With experiences, brands are able to make valuable connections with their consumers and set themselves apart from their competitors. Consumers are also more likely to remain loyal to brands they have an emotional connection with. If we can make those connections for brands, we can help increase their value and help them gain leverage with their consumers.
What kind of events do you look for, for your clients and why?It depends on the client. It’s really important to make sure we are matching brands to events that are relevant and authentic their missions so consumers can create and establish true and valued connections that resonate. Consumers are smart and can see through when brands are getting involved in festivals and event just for the sake of it, or for publicity, compared to when it makes sense. The more accurate we are, the stronger we can help brands be.
How do you get your ideas/how do you make sure that your clients stand out?A large part of it is understanding the brand – what is their aesthetic? What is their vibe? What are they looking to accomplish? Once that’s done, it becomes easier to remove personal preference and approach new ideas from a fresh perspective. Our process begins with a briefing with our client to learn about their company and what their goals are for a new marketing campaign. Next, we research the company itself and the competitors to learn what is going on in this industry with regards to marketing. Then, we take into consideration our client’s previous events and analyze what worked, what didn’t and where we can improve their reach. Lastly, we look for current trends in their industry. This will help us get to know the client’s audience, and how they like to interact with this type of brand. With all this information in mind, we seek events to fit the brand and their customer base.
What does it take to pull off a successful activation at an event?Teamwork and an undeniable path leading directly to the client’s objectives and key performance indicators (KPI’s.). If you can provide the rationale for every decision in the planning process with how its a building block laddering up to the KPI’s, you can’t go wrong! Events also demand that you “expect the unexpected” and remain flexible. If you have a team that is aware of that and are always solution-oriented, roadblocks become less terrifying and strategy skills increase.
Where do you see brands going wrong with activations at events?We always encourage our clients to stay true to their essence when developing an activation. Sometimes our clients will see a campaign another company executed and then want the same things, but it isn’t a natural fit with their brand. We also see clients execute the same style of activation over and over again because it has worked in the past. Unfortunately, their customers get bored of the same event activations every time, so we try really hard to encourage our clients to try something new that’ll improve their current marketing efforts. Along the same lines, clients are hesitant to change up their marketing efforts in their not collecting quantifiable data. We completely understand the value of hard numbers, but we also want our clients to know the value of qualitative data.
What are some of your favourite brand moments?I truly love any brand moment that makes a customer feel special and can directly relate an emotion to a brand. For example, our H&M program during the holidays incorporated an embroidery station for custom gifts. To this day, I still hear feedback from customers about how special it was to be able to provide their loved ones with a gift that was made just for them. The sentimental value not only elevated the perception of H&M to them and their family but had them coming back for more in-store seeing what else was going on in the store that showed appreciation and helped celebrate their customers.
Working alongside Tyra is a team of experienced experiential marketers, events experts and creative strategists who have developed and executed hundreds of successful experiential marketing campaigns. When you’re ready to break into the events scene with your brand, trust the experts at Reef Agency for high-quality activations that yield serious results. Contact Reef Agency today to learn more about integrating event marketing into your next marketing campaign.