Landmrk: Putting The Scalable Into Experiential

We’ve learned a lot from all the Landmrk projects to date: how far people will travel for something they love (a long way); what they will do once they are there (a whole lot); and how they respond to the experience (enthusiastically). But one thing that we have always struggled with is how to neatly classify the platform and what it can help generate.

Shakira busks at Washington Square Park, trailing her location on Landmrk

Beyond our own shortcomings of imagination, this may be down to the variety of projects that have been activated on Landmrk. When you have music acts as diverse as Keith Richards and nascent Latino boyband CNCO using the platform to launch new albums, retailers as different as CeX and Tesco’s thinking up smart ways to drive footfall to their branches, and marquee TV series like “Homeland” using Landmrk to effectively turn Manhattan into its own branded playground, it can be hard to find a common strand. Which is why we decided to put more thought into what Landmrk is, what it does and how it may develop in the future.

On the face of it, Landmrk is a geofencing platform. We use GPS technology to create a virtual geographic boundary whereby content is unlocked on entry and resecured on departure. But when these boundaries indicate something more -- in the case of alt-J, a calm, serene space in which the band would prefer their music was first listened to -- then something else can happen. This is not just in the sense that content is being placed in a fresh context, but that a complete experience is being built around the activation, making it more memorable and forging a new kind of connection with your audience. Something which, aligns very strongly with the principles and ambitions of Experiential Marketing.

Experiential Marketing is focused very much on the real world. Often bundled with events, marketers have gained the understanding that the vast majority (as much as 89%) of their audiences respond more strongly and emerge with a sharper understanding of products and services if they are offered a direct experience as opposed to a print, television or banner ad (as per EventTrack). Which, when bundled together with the additional indicators that 65% of brands see these activations as being directly related to sales, and reported ROI ratios of up to 5:1 (according to Factory360), points to such initiatives making an awful lot of marketing sense.

However, real-life activations come at a price. Whether it’s encouraging sampling at a London train terminal or positioning your product at a music festival, costs aren’t insignificant and the experiences are inherently unscalable: if you want to touch more people, intimacy is lost; and if you want to generate intimacy, then raw numbers suffer. What we believe at Landmrk is that there is a way to get beyond this obstacle and it’s via combining the sophistication of mobile technology, the versatility of digital media and good, old-fashioned marketing creativity.

The “Shakira: The Hunt For El Dorado” campaign was activated across 99 countries and nigh-on 1,000 hotspots. Meaning that whether you were in Bristol or Bogota, as a fan you could receive a tweet from Shakira, activate a map showing the closest point you could access what the artist served up -- everything from the exclusive release of album track titles to special album-themed selfie filters to the singer herself playing in Washington Square Park -- and return as new offerings were made available. That sort of scale and variety of opportunity is incredibly difficult and costly to deliver in any other way, and with Shakira’s album performing better than anything she has released in years (topping charts in 31 countries), her team’s focus on a more personal approach has clearly reaped rewards.

We’ll continue to develop this strain of thought around Landmrk over the coming months and share ideas around our nascent understanding of what we’re calling Kinetic Currency -- the relationship between incentivising audience movement and how it balances with subsequent reward -- as we get more of a handle on them. We have a number of exciting new activations in the pipeline and will share results, thoughts and possible new approaches as they unfold. If you’d like to talk to us about any of the above and how we might apply similar thinking to your campaigns or brands, contact us at hello@landmrk.it. We look forward to it.

Jamie Dolling

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