Instagram for Mobile Experiential Programs

A few weeks ago in a “Travel Tuesday” post I shared a few of the mobile apps that Josh and I can’t live without. Well this list didn’t include any social selections. I wanted that post to be more about the things you might not have on your phone. We both use Facebook throughout the day for entertainment but the first thing I check in the morning (well after Lululemon for any new sales) is Instagram. We follow friends, a few interesting users and even some brands. Most of us subscribe to the marketing emails of some of our favorite brands and online stores, Instagram is nice for those and maybe a few that you just enjoy. I don’t want my inbox clogged up with direct marketing emails, well you could almost call it leafleting. Unless it is a store that I am actively thinking about purchasing from or the subject really draws me in, they get deleted. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve deleted an email from Athleta but then noticed on Instagram later that there was a sale I wanted to check out.


Instagram is engaging and brief, a great place for brands to create impressions. My own firm has recently started in Instagram account to reach a new audience. While all the content flows through one of two employees for posting, it originates from all employees.   We are encouraged to share images that speak to more than just the events we do or the day-to-day work. We as employees at times have to fight to be seen by clients as more than just a figure when calculating logistics. Being field staff can be a struggling in having a life outside of work, the Instagram account helps not only to put a face on the brand but also for recruitment. I just shared an image of Josh and I visiting the Alamo on our day off. We are Texas residents and were grateful to have the time off for exploring some Texas history. There are many marketing firms who use Instagram in this way, sharing moments of their staff working with client brands. While others publish their finished works as more of a resume. Both then become available as prospective clients seek out this information after seeing one of these programs in the field.


There is one more way that Instagram is becoming an integral part of the mobile experiential world. Programs and events are using it as part of the brand message. Jack Daniel’s recently did this for their Motel No. 7 campaign. Accounts where created for different team members of the program, acting as characters. Each accounts featured teasers before the event and images during, appealing to different consumers and creating a whole story. These account reach far beyond the actual program to consumers across the globe, all messages were carefully chosen to showcase selected brand attributes. What makes this mobile platform so useful to experiential programs is that by capturing something great in the moment then it can be easily and instantly shared with consumers, and across other platforms. Brands with mobile experiential programs are encouraging their field staff to find ways of catching these engaging moments and shaping then with context to push the message. The project I am currently on is not for public consumption but on past programs I have enjoyed this part of my job immensely. Not only does Instagram help the brands but it can also be a link to employees outside of the office.


**For my regular readers this post has a slightly different format, as it is part of my coarse work for SNHU.


Keller, K.L. (2013) Strategic brand management: building, measuring and managing brand equity. Pearson Education, Inc. Fourth Edition

O’Loughlin, S. (2016, January 4). How Jack Daniel’s Motel No. 7 achieved record social sharing. Event Marketer Magazine. Retrieved from:

Streatfield, B. (2015, December 23). “Rise of a tech giant: the history of Instagram”. The Telegraph. Retrieved from:



Experiential Impact

Last week I chatted a little about how hashtags and QR codes can be used on the actual surfaces of marketing vehicles, but where are they pushing consumers and why? In the mobile experiential world there are few programs that have the goal of only reaching consumers attending that event. There are exceptions to the rule, but for most it is to create public relations buzz and word-of-mouth sharing. The trouble is deciding which tools to use in moving a message forward. When a program like Coffee-Mate’s Ohio State University finals week campus invasion was being planned, the marketing team wanted a way to engage students who were outside the footprint of the event space. Not only were students using the designated hashtag given branded premiums but there was also a way to have coffee delivered around campus. By searching the hashtag on multiple social platforms, a branded coffee cart delivered to students in need. Participants were encouraged to try and talk about the flavored creamers. This program focused efforts on the message and not the platform; however Jack Daniel’s recently took a different approach. Instead of gathering impressions from multiple platforms they build the campaign from a single source and directed consumers to that platform. Like many tasting events there are a limited number of guests who will have the full experience but there is no limit to how far you can reach via the right channels. Jack Daniel’s created Instagram profile for different “characters” associated with the campaign, drawing users to the imagery even if they aren’t attending the tastings. These accounts each took on an aspect of brand attribute reinforcement.


Experiential marketing has the goal of creating an emotional response to brand attributes. Social media outreach that connects with these type of marketing activities isn’t necessarily seeking an emotional response but instead to convey those same selected attributes. When Lean Cruising added an experiential element to their “weight what matters” campaign their purpose to let consumer see themselves in the statements of others. These contributors were blogger who represented different members of the brand’s target segment.


There are many platforms and methods to social media marketing within an experiential campaign but what is going to work. What is going to have a lasting impact are those whose goal is focused on specific attributes.


**For my regular readers this post has a slightly different format, as it is part of my course work for SNHU.


Keller, K.L. (2013) Strategic brand management: building, measuring and managing brand equity. Pearson Education, Inc. Fourth Edition

Kirkpatrick, R. (2015, November 23). Lean Cuisine scales new messaging with an art wall. Event Marketer Magazine. Retrieved from:

Kirkpatrick, R. (2016, January 7). Coffee-mate fires up finals with social media deliveries. Event Marketer Magazine. Retrieved from:

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.

O’Loughlin, S. (2016, January 4). How Jack Daniel’s Motel No.& achieved record social sharing. Event Marketer Magazine. Retrieved from:

Schaefer, M. (2011). The tao of Twitter. Lexington. McGraw Hill.

Hashtags and QR Codes

Josh and I recently had a conversation about his love of QR codes. He has been an advocate for years to include QR codes on the external wrap of trailers. One of the first things we teach new road staff of the mobile experiential firm we work for, is that the job doesn’t stop when the show ends. That trailer is a rolling billboard and you are always representing your client, even at an interstate rest area. This has fueled his passion for the QR code. A quick snap and we can direct the interested party to any platform desired, a micro-site, a blog, or likely a Facebook Page for the particular campaign.

LOC - Washington, DC - 09.25 (14)_edited-1

A Facebook page for marketing tours has a great deal of value without putting huge resources into it. This one social media resource can house schedules, tour descriptions, and be a source to push forward other information. We have been a part of numerous businesses to consumer projects that gave away a coupon; a tour’s FB page can also link to that same promotion. Interested consumers are engaged to ask questions and leave comments. By gaining that precious “like” the brand has the opportunity to share elements from other social media outlets on the powerful platform. I can’t tell you how many YouTube videos, Vines, and Instagram photos we have shared on a project’s page. As part of the management team for tours it is my job to seek out these gems. My favorite tool for doing this is hashtag searches. This little device originated as a part of programing and has now become a part of most social media platforms. Brands can use these to draw users together, while users can implement one to make a message reach farther. The hashtag is flexible and accepted on multi-platforms. Unlike a Facebook page that will only reaches users who are subscribed, a hashtag can find consumers outside your network.


While Josh likes a QR code I am a custom hashtag advocate, these multi platform functions gives you so many options. A QR code would be the flexible half of this duo. Our client’s have the option to choose where they want to direct traffic. Whether it is a Facebook page, a Twitter account, or my favorite a Tumblr micro-blog; QR codes put users where a client wants them. While traditional blogs and other micro-blogs have their benefits, Tumblr is designed to blend original content, multi-platform posts, multi-media post, and the all too useful re-blog. When I worked with Smithsonian Institute on a program called Animal Connections we would feed in posts that included the guest veterinarians, a little about them and their clinic. There were also many opportunities to grab the content created by guests to the traveling exhibit via a hashtag search. Like the QR codes posted throughout the exhibit there was also an official hashtag. We could grab images off of Instagram, tweets, and Facebook shares for the Tumblr feed. There was also the option to then let these items auto-roll to the Facebook page. The actual Smithsonian micro-site for the program featured a feeder of the Tumblr page. This platform allowed us to add real-time content like you would with Twitter but unlike Twitter the re-blog life is much longer. When we are in the program development phase of a tour these are always elements we work out. Hashtags and QR codes while very different search functions both can build and direct consumers. The QR code puts them on the right path while the hashtag opens a whole new one.


**For my regular readers this post has a slightly different format, as it is part of my coarse work for SNHU.


Bennett, S. (2014, September 2). The history of hashtag in social media marketing. AdWeek. Retrieved from:

Keller, K.L. (2013) Strategic brand management: building, measuring and managing brand equity. Pearson Education, Inc. Fourth Edition

Kirkpatrick, R. (2013, December 5). How Kia accessed a world stage with a hashtag. Event Marketer. Retrieved from:

Li, C., & Bernoff, J. (2008). Groundswell: Winning in a world transformed by social technologies. Boston, Mass: Harvard Business Press.

Schaefer, M. (2011). The tao of Twitter. Lexington. McGraw Hill.


Walter, E. (2012, January 13). 10 creative ways to use qr codes for marketing. Mashable. Retrieve from:

Of Two Generations

Family (1 of 1)

I am entering the final term in pursuit of my masters degree in marketing.  Understanding demographical information about particular market segments is a topic covered in each coarse taken.  Marketers looks at every aspect of consumer lives to better understand buying habits and possible interest levels.  As I have worked on projects one item I come across again and again are the generational distinction we use in the US to group together age groups.  This is particularly fun for me because  Josh and I are of two generations.

Josh is at the tale end of Generation X, while I am the first of the Millennials.  There are small differences that shaped how our childhoods were, even though we were raised in similar socioeconomic households.  We watched different TV shows, saw different movies, and were even part of different musical movements.  As adults we have different interests, however after 13 years there are few that don’t line up.

There was a computer in my 1st grade classroom, I had an email address is 7th grade, and MySpace was the greatest thing EVER.  Had my first cell phone at 16.  I’m not saying that Josh is not tech savvy but Millennials are able to embarrass the advances at a faster pace.  Technology is just the tip of the iceberg, there are also cultural differences.

Josh grew up with the hope and believe of change, a chance to make the world a better places.  Faced with a culture becoming quickly globally aware and accessible; they are the ones who felt the keen need to take part.  On the converse Millennials are disenfranchised, the recipients of participation trophies and parents who “only want the best”.  College is a right, not a privilege.  I graduated High School in 2000 and quite a fuss was put on that.  We were all supposed to do something and for many high expectations of what we would accomplish in the world came.  I just expected to graduate college, be handed a job, and be an executive in five years.  As you know that is not how things are going for Millennials.  I can’t really speak to this personally.  Upon graduating University in 2003 I did get a job immediately.  That initial experience and maturation made me a desirable candidate as I have worked forward in my career.  I have been given opportunities that someone five years younger will never see.

How can two people born so close together, or even those who graduated just a few years ahead of behind me be facing a different world.  Makes me feel privileged to work in marketing and know that my job is understand the people around me.