What I learned last year – Ben Roth

By christinewatson / / In 2012, I learned that it’s okay to have your own interpretation of the rules, consumers are still KING and if an experience is a meaningful one, it is also inherently worth sharing. 1.You can own the Olympics without the Olympic budget. Our activation at the Olympics caused a media whirlwind, won the hearts of athletes and successfully silenced the IOC; who confirmed no regulations were broken. The experience was well outside the Olympic village, where the rules don’t apply and our client’s checkbook was left far less damaged. Don’t underestimate the power of a good experience. The athletes were happy to get out of the hustle and bustle for a bit and the distance made the experience and brand feel more authentic and sought after. Many publications wrote that we gifted the most prominent athletes with custom product. In truth, we never did. Amazingly, the athletes came to us organically and because they discovered the experience on their own, the athletes felt more connected to it. We believe this is what prompted them to wear the products while warming up, talk them up via social media and send their other Olympian friends to our space. 2. Meaningful experiences are “talk-worthy”. A 2012 pop-up store in Copenhagen allowed consumers to purchase Anthon Berg chocolates with good deeds. How did work? Consumers committed to a good deed like “serve your loved one breakfast in bed” on Facebook through in-store iPads. Each good deed had a dollar value redeemable for store merchandise. It was personal, it meant something and it was all over social media. 3.Consumers are in charge. Still. And more so. We all know that user-generated content has transformed the way we market a brand and its products. But expect more and more brands to not only turn the marketing reins over to consumers, but also the product development. This year Beck revolutionized the music industry when he released his latest album in the form of sheet music only, allowing his fans to create his product (and in turn upload and market it through every social media channel imaginable). Once his followers have had their fun, he’ll likely have a concert and for the first time, provide his highly anticipated renditions after having smartly involved the masses first. Ben Roth is SVP, CREATIVE at MKTG INC.