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  EVENTS IN THE MARKETING MIX  
   
 

Event marketing is defined as the "practice of promoting the interests of an organization and its brands by associating the organization with a specific activity"

The unique appeal of event marketing is the sponsor's ability to blend its message into a gathering that engages consumers. Message and media elements are "inextricably linked and imagery is delivered by association with particular activities and events"

A sponsorship may relate to an activity or to an organization. Event marketing often involves sponsorship; but this is not always the case.

Compared to sponsorship, which involves payment for the association with an activity, individual, or organization, event marketing refers to the staging of an event and/or efforts by a firm to associate with another entity's event with or without paying a sponsorship fee.

The skillful sponsor inserts its message into the medium while engaging the consumer during and after the event. If the sponsor carefully plans and implements the promotional activity, consumers may view the sponsor's message as part of the event rather than as a marketing-oriented communication.

Event marketing offers an additional advantage, in that it actively engages the consumer with the brand and its personality. Firms investing in event marketing have the means through which they may create a hands-on experience for their target market.

The event attendee decides whether, when, and how this interaction occurs. By contrast, using traditional media the consumer passively receives a firm's message.

Marketers are increasingly under pressure to measure return on investment (ROI) from marketing activities.

Event marketing often offers better ROI than any other marketing communications medium. In terms of ROI, face-to-face event marketing outperforms public relations, internet advertising, sales promotion, direct marketing, and print and broadcast advertising...

Event marketing often occurs within the context of a sporting event... which is an important method of promotion.

Sports marketing mirrors that of sponsorship and event

  marketing in many ways, with key developments that include:

» Exposure

» Fit with the image of the sporting event

» Objectives for engaging in sports marketing... not just for    "image-building"... but to seek measurable "bottom line"    results

» Evaluation of bottom-line objectives

Engaging the Consumer

The role of event marketing in an effective integrated marketing communications strategy is increasingly important. In lieu of their customary supporting role to traditional promotions such as advertising and publicity, events have assumed a key role in the contemporary marketing mix.

Event marketing is earning respect both at the managerial table and with consumers.

Event marketing is a tool for experiential marketing that focuses on consumer experiences, and treats emotionally and rationally driven consumption as a holistic experience.

Experiences often involve "sensory, emotional, cognitive, behavioral and relational values that replace functional values".

Communicating through events involves promotional activities designed to communicate with attendees and add value to the consumption experience; events provide an opportunity to engage the consumer with a company, its brands, and the community. Events create a social setting for attendees and help raise attendees' involvement level; therefore, attendees are apt to be more receptive to marketing messages and images associated with the event than they are to those presented via other methods.

This result is true regardless of whether the event is proprietary (staged by the company) or not (sponsored by the company).

Specifically, the following questions need to be addressed:

» How does an attendee's knowledge of, enthusiasm for, and    activities related to the type of event influence his or her    desire that the sponsor be involved with the community?

» How does an attendee's perception of the sponsor's
 
 
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