If there was one trend that defined events in 2018, it may have been hyper-local event marketing. From cause marketing initiatives to festival experiences, brands across the board tweaked their event campaigns to reach micro-communities and drive local impact. It’s not hard to see why the approach is gaining so much traction. Hyper-local event campaigns need a hyper-targeted approach. Brands need to understand the community in question – its needs and its pain points. This in turn, leads to deeper engagement. Additionally, executing smaller-scale campaigns is far less overwhelming on the brand’s marketing team, and often, on its resources. Check out these insights on how to build a hyper-local campaign that drives big results.
Make it Feel Local
To make a splash among micro-communities, brands need to make their hyper-local campaigns authentic. In other words, you can’t talk the talk, you’ve got to walk the walk. Noting the area’s businesses, colloquialisms, stereotypes and even weather patterns can help brands make more genuine connections with—and earn acceptance from—the community.
Incorporate the Community
One of the best ways to connect with a super-targeted group is to incorporate them into your hyper-local event program. It’s the strategy Uber leveraged over the fall along its Uber Radio Live music festival tour. Instead of rebuilding the same experience at each festival on its circuit, the brand catered its activations to appeal to the local community. A key piece of the strategy for Austin City Limits involved tapping local Uber drivers who doubled as musicians. The drivers had the opportunity to play their original music for a crowd heading to the festival. Meanwhile, Uber riders voted on which song an Austin-based cover band would play between festival sets. The four local bands chosen to take part in the activation were each discovered through Uber’s driver messaging app, which polled the brand’s driver community to find musicians interested in sharing their tunes, bringing the hyper-local campaign full-circle. Agency: Manifold.
If you’re activating a hyper-local event campaign, chances are you’ve got reams of data on each area you’d like to hit, and the people who live and work there. Use it to your advantage. Spotify did as much with its “Thanks 2016, it’s been weird” campaign. Although it was a global program, the brand connected with micro-communities by leveraging location and listening data it collected on its user base. Vibrant billboards across the world, along with banners on Spotify’s digital dashboard, offered quirky insights into the users in the local area. Memorable messaging included “Dear person who made a playlist called: ‘One Night Stand With Jeb Bush Like He’s a Bond Girl in a European Casino.’ We have so many questions.” While the campaign wasn’t focused on hyper-local marketing at a physical location, Spotify highlighted its virtual community by showcasing data that was sure to turn heads and make its brand more memorable. Agency: Spotify In-House.
Support Local Organizations
A surefire way to earn brand love from the locals is to support their charitable efforts by helping to spread the word. MINI took the approach with its #DrivingHope campaign, which took over the five boroughs that comprise New York City. The brand built a hyper-local mobile tour as part of a cause marketing program benefiting NYC’s Sing For Hope, an organization that benefits arts and music programs in the city’s schools. Sing For Hope placed 50 colorful pianos in public spaces across the five boroughs, inviting passersby to pull up a bench and play. To help the organization drive awareness, MINI erected a 51st piano in the back of one of its vehicles and popped up throughout the boroughs with impromptu concerts. The campaign delighted and surprised locals in a variety of local destinations – from a firehouse in the Bronx to workers waiting to buy lunch from food trucks in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn. Cause marketing meets hyper-local tactics? A win-win. Agencies: Pereira O’Dell NYC; Universal McCann NYC.
The effectiveness of hyper-local event campaigns all comes down to how much a brand knows about the areas and the people it’s trying to reach. Like any marketing campaign, ensuring authenticity is a critical component. Today’s consumers can sniff out bogus marketing tactics as they’re executed, so due diligence is the name of the hyper-local game.
Check out some of the top brand activations designed and produced by Sparks.