YOU WANTED TO KNOW
Seeing that the school year is practically done and there are tons of students and recent grads (plus those looking for a career change) who are on the hunt for a new job, I thought that I would give them a little help by providing the inside scoop on Event Marketing or, more specifically, Experiential Marketing.
A month ago I met with Nicole Gallucci – a real cool mom who is also the President of BOOM! Marketing, and she graciously agreed to provide me with some info about her chosen field.
Hey, if marketing sounds like a possible career path for you, read carefully and don’t forget to take notes!
What is BOOM! Marketing?
It is a full service experiential marketing company that was created in July 2003.
Experiential marketing? What’s that?
Experiential marketing is typically used for brands and products or services that need to engage consumers and increase their trial and awareness of a brand. Experiential marketing ensures that there is a one-to-one interaction. It is hoped that the experience is relevant and engaging, therefore more memorable and more personal. In advertising you promote on a one-to-many scale and pray that everyone sees your ad. With experiential marketing, we distinguish the brand essence and the characteristics are then brought forward through the staging element, which engages the consumers. This in turn has them coming up to us as opposed to us walking up and interrupting them. We actually like for them to want to be interrupted. With most event marketing, you’re on your way to work, or on you way to the grocery store, so you have a plan in mind. We want you to break stride. So, if we’ve asked you to break stride, our aim is to create staging that makes you turn your head. Our mantra is, “Turn a head, stir a heart, build a brand, and make a sale.” It’s called experiential because you truly experience the brand.
What type of events do you create?
We do everything. We go to consumer shows, to retailers like Loblaws, Shoppers Drug Mart, Wal Mart, and we go to the streets – however, we aren’t guerilla samplers.
We recently helped launch Cadbury Thins. The whole strategy is that there are no regrets, so we created a “No Regrets” beauty bar at LifeFest. In the beauty bar, we gave samples of the Cadbury Thins product, but at the same time participants could get purple streaks in their hair (courtesy of clip on hair attachments), apply purple nail polish and tattoos…all crazy things that you don’t regret. All of these adornments can be taken off. So it ties in with the no regrets message of the chocolate bar.
That’s an example of experiential marketing versus other mediums. If you look at the advertising medium it is communicating “some things you regret and some things you don’t” and the consumer has to go the next step in their mind. We’re actually bringing it to life and unveiling it for them.
What is a typical day like for you?
No two seconds are the same. When we hire candidates, me make sure and tell them that. One minute we could be schlepping cases of product and the next moment we’re preparing presentations or we’re doing an activation (activations are when marketers are physically in front of consumers doing interactions).
We don’t have a typical day. I would say that our strength is that we have yet to do anything twice. It’s a strength because our stuff is very creative and designed to respond to the character of a brand. We truly try to create unique experiences for the brands.
How do you come up with ideas?
Typically, the Brand Manager will brief us about their target market, the brand itself, their objectives and even their budget parameters. We [our team] come up with crazy, bizarre ideas. It comes from bouncing ideas off of each other.
If someone wanted to get into marketing, what are some qualifications that they should possess?
They should possess common sense. The reason that I say that it that shit happens every moment of every day. You have to be able to think on your feet and do a quick evaluation of what the right thing to do is. In the event marketing world it’s show time and something always happens. It’s raining and you need sunshine, or it’s sunny and you need rain. What are you going to do?
The other thing is that you have to manage your ego because you can’t do anything alone in a marketing context. You are a part of a team and at times you’ll be the star and at other times you won’t be, so you need to recognize that true stardom comes from being a team player.
Were you always working in the marketing field?
My number one job is a mom! That’s my most favourite job. I have three crazy kids!
When I got out of school I worked for Nielson Cadbury for about 6 months. I was recruited to Nestle and worked there until my second child was born. I physically left working in the office and managed a joint venture between Nestle and Coke for about three years. At that time, I also launched my own company where I did product launches. My sister worked with me and at times I would work with a consultant. But essentially it was just me. It allowed me to do projects from home and raise my kids. When my youngest kid went into grade one, I decided that I couldn’t be at home by myself all day…I’d go crazy! So I started looking for a job again so that I could come out of my home. I wanted to be in an actual office. This opportunity came up to create a new experiential event marketing company. There was a previous event marketing company here, but it had been sold off. There was no infrastructure and we started from ground zero. We had no database, no clients, no staff. We’re associated with Accumark – a well known communications and promotions company, and they introduced us to some of their clients. Basically, they opened the door for us and we charged in.
What motivates you about your job?
Truthfully, I like working with my team. That’s the reason why I come to work everyday. We’re in event marketing…we’re not going to save the world. But we can come to work everyday and if we can impact each other’s lives every single day, then I’d say that’s pretty good. ¤ Michelle