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The Marketing Edge – An event marketing lesson from the Gilmore Girls revival

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If you’re on Facebook or other social media platforms and have at least a few friends in the millennial generation, you might have noticed that Netflix launched a revival of "Gilmore Girls," a popular television series from the early 2000s.

To promote the reboot, Netflix recreated Luke’s Diner, a fictional café from "Gilmore Girls," by partnering with local coffee shops around the United States, including Maine’s own Coffee By Design. The national marketing event drew hundreds of thousands of people – a quantifiable number because of a Snapcode. Snapcodes, SnapChat’s version of a QR code, were printed on thousands of cups, which were distributed to the locations. The filter the Snapcode pulled up was used 880,000 times, according to Adweek.

Before this marketing event, the "Gilmore Girls" revival would have undoubtedly drawn a huge audience, but Netflix’s marketing tactics, and the generation they targeted, prove an interesting point: that millennials invest in experiences, and that marketing tactics like this are an important way to engage them. The millennial generation has coined an acronym - “FOMO,” or “fear of missing out,” which further drives this point home – millennials crave experiences, and event marketing is an important way to connect with an entire generation of potential customers.

So what’s the lesson here? If the millennial generation is one of your target audiences, extending your influence beyond social media and investing in event marketing can help you better reach them.

According to purecontent, the CEO of experiential agency George P. Johnson, Chris Meyer, said that event marketing was taking off for three reasons: “‘1. A shift in preferences by millennials who not only expect but prefer experiences over any other engagement. 2. Data-driven platforms that allow hyper-personalisation and much stronger metrics. 3. Heightened creative thinking applied to experience design to create unique and valuable interactions. Experiential has finally taken its place at the adult table as it relates to marketing mix and investment.’”

If you’re located in the Bangor area, or a more rural setting, such as Presque Isle, you might wonder how exactly you can create an event that will do what Netflix did. Taking something to that level probably isn’t in the cards, but participating in local initiatives that help market your business is a great way to get started with event marketing.

A good example of this is the Bangor chapter of Greendrinks. Greendrinks is an organization that holds family-friendly, sustainability-focused networking events in Greater Bangor. Greendrinks partners with local businesses who act as hosts. These hosts provide a space for Greendrinks to hold their monthly events, and it also provides a platform for the business to let others try out their products. This is a great example of an event marketing experience that not only helps businesses, but also promotes sustainability and helps a local initiative thrive.

Bar Harbor also holds events called “Business After Hours.” These events provide almost the same experience as Greendrinks, minus the sustainability focus. These networking opportunities allow locals and business owners the chance to comingle, and business owners the opportunity to show off their product or service.

Taking advantage of events that are already in place and simply reaching out to be a host can give your business a nice boost, while also supporting others. The Event Marketing Institute found that “72 percent of consumers have a positive outlook on brands that deliver quality event experiences and content, while 74 percent are more likely to buy a promoted product.”

So take a page from Netflix’s book and memorize it – event marketing is one way to connect with audiences. "Gilmore Girls" showed just how successful event marketing can be. Now it’s your turn – the next great event is just a brainstorming session away.

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