September 18, 2017
Brands must continue to come up with creative ways to market their business and generate interest in their products and services. All of your competitors are probably already using digital marketing, billboards, TV, and radio advertisements, so think outside the box. One experiential marketing tactic that has been incredibly successful for brands is the mobile tour.
A mobile tour involves designing a branded vehicle, truck, or trailer and taking it on the road to reach consumers across the country. Brands can visit college campuses, music festivals, conferences, and many other types of events in these branded vehicles. But, it takes a lot of planning and strategizing in order to make this type of experiential marketing event a success. Here’s everything that you need to consider when planning this type of activation:
It’s important to work with an experienced team of experiential marketing professionals when designing the vehicle that you will take on tour. Designing a mobile tour vehicle is much more than just slapping a logo on a trailer or semi-truck. Of course, the exterior of the vehicle should feature your logo, colors, and the name of your mobile tour so people see it as you drive across the country. But, be creative when designing the exterior. For example, Thomas’ Bagels launched a mobile tour in a 28-foot branded trailer that was designed to look like a toaster. The metallic silver trailer even featured four giant bagels popping out of the top of the toaster-like vehicle.
Designing the outside is not nearly as hard as designing the inside of the vehicle. People who arrive at the mobile trailer should be invited inside to participate in some type of branded activities. Thomas’ Bagels invited guests to step inside the trailer and play toaster-themed games for the chance to win prizes. As guests played games, a chef was busy preparing their custom order bagels. Once the bagels were done, guests could snack on them while playing the games or step outside to sit at one of the branded tables surrounding the trailer.
Space is one of the major issues that you will encounter when designing the inside of the vehicle. You have to create a design that is eye-catching enough to draw people in, but still simple so it doesn’t crowd the space and limit the number of people that can safely fit inside. For more space, consider utilizing the inside and the outside of the truck like Thomas’ Bagels did. This way, guests can enjoy themselves at your activation even if there is no room for them inside the vehicle.
Brands can’t park their mobile tour vehicles and wait for people to show up. In order for the tour to be a success, brands must promote it extensively leading up to the launch. One of the best ways to do this is on social media. First, develop a unique hashtag that can be used across different platforms so users know how to find information on the event. Then, begin developing a strategy for each social media platform. Twitter and Facebook are ideal for releasing basic information on the event. Brands should consider hosting a Facebook live session where they can answer questions about the event or interview influencers who are involved with it.
Use Instagram and Snapchat to build buzz around the design of the vehicle and the activities that will take place on the tour. For example, send followers behind the scenes snaps of your design team finalizing the design of the vehicle or wrapping the vehicle with your logo. Don’t give away too much until right before the event. The snaps should only be used to create buzz and keep people guessing as to what the finished product will look like. Then, the big reveal can be made on Instagram right before the tour launches.
You should also update your website with information on the tour so visitors can easily find the information that they’re looking for. This is especially useful to people who spot your vehicle driving by and do a quick Google search to find out more. If you have room in your budget, turn the first stop on the itinerary into a major event to mark the official launch of the tour. Invite members of the media, bloggers, influencers, and the public to attend the event to get the word out to as many people as possible.
It’s imperative that you select the right brand ambassadors and train them properly. When your mobile tour hits the road, these brand ambassadors will be the face of your brand so they must be knowledgeable about the products and services that you offer. They also must be able to reflect the brand’s image. For example, when Milo’s Kitchen hit the road with their Treat Truck, they had to hire brand ambassadors who were passionate about animals, outgoing, and friendly to project the family-oriented, wholesome image of the company.
Choosing brand ambassadors who are great at initiating conversations is important for any type of experiential marketing event—especially mobile tours. Many times, the mobile tour vehicle will be parked in front of a shopping mall, music festival, or other popular attraction. Hopefully, you will have marketed the tour so people know where to find you. But even with a great deal of marketing, brands will still rely on their brand ambassadors to talk to people who are passing by and invite them to visit the mobile tour trailer. If you hire brand ambassadors who are unwilling to engage with people, the event will not be a success.
Once guests have arrived at the trailer, it is up to the brand ambassadors to walk them through the different activities, giveaways, and sampling opportunities. Guests may not realize they can step inside the trailer, so if a brand ambassador isn’t there to greet them, the guests may miss out on a lot of the fun.
Are you interested in learning more about how a mobile tour can help you grow your business? Contact the team of experiential marketing experts at Factory 360 today!