Following this week's announcement that NZME had established events and experiential divisions and since Fairfax made a similar move last July, StopPress contacted Mark Pickering, the chair of the Experiential Marketing Association of New Zealand (EMANZ), to share his thoughts on how these moves might impact the Kiwi experiential market.
What role does EMANZ play in the industry?
EMANZ represents the interests of experiential marketing agencies and other organisations for whom experiential marketing is a substantial part of their business. Our main objectives are to raise awareness of experiential marketing to clients and brands and demonstrate the value of the channel via showcasing local and global best practice, to set and maintain the highest of industry standards via awards and to represent EMANZ members with statutory bodies and organisations such as local government, event organisers and site owners. The hard work the EMANZ executive committee has done in educating brands and agencies over the past six years on the effectiveness of experiential marketing is finally bearing fruit with this type of announcement [by NZME].
What do you think about Fairfax and NZME launching experiential departments? Is it good for the industry?
Both organisations have been doing events and sponsorship leverage activations for a while now, so these announcements are more of a confirmation that the businesses as a whole has now recognised the value of the channel and are wanting to invest more time, budget and effort in developing effective brand experiences for their clients and consumers. It is very good for the industry. We have been waiting for the wider media, advertising and marketing world to wake up to the effectiveness of this channel and with these announcements it shows that New Zealand is finally catching up to the rest of the world in putting experiential at the forefront of their thinking and planning. As with other 'new media' channels such as digital and social, the bigger media players and ad agencies will always look to ring-fence some of the increasing budgets that clients now want to spend in the field, so we are seeing the usual movements on the part of the bigger agencies and media owners to consolidate and set up their own experiential and event offerings internally.
What do you think they'll bring to industry?
Most importantly, we'll see more experiential activations out there for consumers and brands. Mike Lane [the recently appointed head of NZME Experiential] is a great operator and has global experience in this field, which will benefit their clients greatly. But additionally there is a real opportunity to show how experiential can be integrated with other media that NZME and Fairfax offer to amplify specific brand activations. These channels can also be used to measure activations, providing tangible ROI for brands and clients. EMANZ has been working hard with CAANZ and clients to develop the correct methodology for this and we are currently coordinating with AUT to provide a world-first benchmark toolkit for experiential effectiveness measurement.
Have either NZME or Fairfax collaborated with or shown interest in collaborating with EMANZ?
Yes. NZME work with a number of EMANZ member agencies and we are currently in dialogue with Mike [Lane] to become members in the future. The EMANZ executive committee have done a number of presentations to the NZME marketing team on experiential creative development and measurement tools.