Interview with Steve Randazzo (S1-E030-01)

If you’ve been following our blog for a while, you know that the importance of data for experiential marketers is one of our favorite topics. There are several reasons for this. Yes, we like numbers but that’s not the only thought. We also believe that numbers are powerful and give experiential marketers the backing they need to successfully present campaigns to leadership teams.

Long story short, in this blog, we take a slightly different approach. Inspired by industry legend Steve Randazzo, we want to talk about the human element behind increasing ROI for brands. We’ll highlight the importance of changing our approach and of telling brand stories through experiences.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Why Change Matters

Look at some of the most successful brands, and you’ll see that they are trendsetters. They’re out there, trying to figure out how to reach more customers by trying new approaches to experiential marketing.

Not all of those new tactics and strategies will work, but the point is that testing things is important. Leading chief marketing officers or vice presidents of marketing don’t stay around if they sit still. So, instead of doing what the brand has always done, they try new things. A great example of this openness to trying new things is duct tape’s decision to print designs on the tape and effectively move from being a B2B brand to the B2C world.

(You can listen to the full episode of the podcast below.)

Change and Storytelling

The reward duct tape reaped was not only becoming known to a wider audience. But creating events like the Avon, Ohio duct tape festival allowed them to tell great stories about their brand.

Why do stories matter so much? Stories create customer engagement and promote long-term loyalty. Long before virtual reality (VR) was even an idea, stories created sensory experiences and triggered emotional reactions. Brands using storytelling utilize this emotional connection to form a stronger bond between the brand and its audience.

In the case of the duct tape festival, the event created great stories. Duct tape animals, people getting creative with the product, and connecting to the company in a whole new way all contributed to the event experience. Plus, the imagery of the event impressions allowed the company to continue telling its story in other marketing channels.

Duct tape tried something new and was rewarded with great stories to tell. Experiential marketing professionals need to remember that every interaction is a potential story. Every interaction field staff have with a potential customer on behalf of a brand is another story field staff are telling on the brand’s behalf. 

Engagement and ROI

Those engagements allow the customer to engage, ask questions, and have a real conversation. This is how experiential marketing moves beyond numbers to building that “aha moment” when consumers truly connect. It’s when they move from awareness to engagement and then understanding.

Where does data come in? Data, for example in the shape of event ROI, can show clearly whether the connection has been established. Long-term data, measured over a year or several years, tells a story of retention and loyalty. This is how storytelling and data connect to each other.

Steve Randazzo is the president of Pro Motion Experiential Marketing and the best-selling author of ‘Brand Experiences: Building Connections in a Digitally Cluttered World’. For more information, visit his Linkedin page or his website

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