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April 4, 2008
By: Anon

IT WORKS 2: Sarah Farrugia

“The market will happen – the momentum is there – the need is there – driving businesses and brands towards it – the question really is the rate of uptake, how quickly will the curve arrive and how high will the curve reach?

“Clearly if things are made easy and attractive the curve will come sooner rather than later, for instance in the next two years or so. However, if things are made difficult and unattractive then either others will enter the market to make things more attractive, for example other media owners or agencies, or it will be a long slow process and resistance will increase. There is a critical point probably in the next 18 months when we are either seeing significant uptake or we are seeing increased resistance.

“These really are critical times.

“Brands or businesses either have or will have one of four positions:
The Advocates – Love the medium, understand its challenges and work it, understand its benefits and its different value to the marketing mix.

The Dutiful – Believe it is important to have an experiential strand to marketing, but will find it difficult to administer or be unenthusiastic about it.

The Absent – Decided it is not worth investment, able to argue very well about its lack of measures or clumsy nature.

The Guilty – These will thoroughly enjoy experiential, the buzz and the excitement, but be unable to justify it and so will keep going with the medium as long as no one is pressing them too hard.

“The issues for the Dutiful will be about enjoyment of the medium, the Absent will be a two-pronged approach, both proof and enjoyment, slowly, slowly. For the Guilty, it will be about giving them hard evidence to back up their activities when put under scrutiny.

“For the Advocates, they will want to be more and more adventurous and daring with the medium.

“Experiential marketing in my view should be about brand not about sales – that is experiential sales – so while sales are a by-product of exposing your company in the live arena, they are not the driving force behind experiential marketing. It is really important that people understand that there are two forces working at the same time now: brand managers needing cut-through tools and sales teams needing to increase sales. These two forces are different, but can appear to the unobservant the same thing.

“Let’s stop talking and musing, let’s just get out there making allies, building the case, joining up thinking. I am really bored by all the discussions, let’s just get the roles and responsibilities defined and shared out. The ship really is sailing.”


Sarah Farrugia is MD of reasearch and consultancy firm Farrugia Leo

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