A-Z of Experiential Marketing – I for Insight


Our A-Z of Experiential Marketing series continues this week with ‘I’ for Insight where we talk to 3 Line Up experts about what insight means to them.


We hear the word insight batted around by marketers, clients, creatives and everyone in the communication sector and beyond.  Yes, insights are important and a vital building block for engaging experiential work, but it is how you use them, or in some cases choose not to, that really counts.

So what is insight?  Wikipedia offers us: an understanding of cause and effect based on identification of relationships and behaviours within a model, context, or scenario’.  That seems a pretty accurate definition to us and one that fits perfectly with the processes that we go through in order to ensure that our projects benefit from ‘agency insight’.

It would be useful and time-saving if we had a cupboard full of insights that we could just pull out as and when they are needed.  But that is not the case, each campaign is different, each audience has different needs and desires, each time of year allows us to explore different solutions.  The vast amount of variables means that being insightful takes some work.  It may comprise of experience, focused research, understanding, intuition, expert knowledge, intelligence, empathy, wisdom… we could go on.

So to illustrate how we use our agency insight, we’ve asked 3 of Line Up’s senior management team to share some of their thoughts.

Rupert Cheswright, Head of Experiential

On employing consumer insight in the experiential field

 When it comes to experiential marketing it is consumer insight that provides the key to engagement.  Ask what is the consumer’s relationship with the brand right now?  What are their habits and where can we reach them?  When?  How?  These are all the questions we need to answer to effectively create that much sought-after, truly relevant connection between brand and consumer.

Samsung used consumer insight well when promoting the S4’s eye-tracking feature on a busy station platform in Switzerland.  Understanding the target consumer and knowing that they’d be receptive to a potential high-value freebie, as well as their willingness to engage in a ‘game/reward’ situation, enabled Samsung come up with a witty, engaging campaign that didn’t just capture the imagination of Swiss commuters, it also spread to thousands through online sharing.  No accident in my mind, with this well crafted video that has all the trademarks of a well conceived viral campaign designed to be shared.

Samsung got the mechanism right by asking consumers to work for their reward with a fun, disruptive and engaging challenge.  Hooking neatly onto current marketing trends but standing out as a great individual piece of marketing.

In the world of experiential it pays to apply your insights wisely and match your mechanic carefully against consumer motivation and expectation.


Neil Thompson, Creative Director

Sharing creative insights that engage audiences

You can be inundated with all the consumer insights that market research can throw at you but that doesn’t mean that you’ve instantly got a standout, creative solution.  It’s the interpretation of this useful information that results in the ideas that stay in consumers’ minds, get picked up by the press and live on virally though social media.

I think that great marketing creativity is about standing out from the crowd or taking a slightly different direction when everyone else is moving towards the obvious.  Insights can and should help inspire the creative shape of a campaign, but they shouldn’t restrict creative thinking. We often find that when we give people space to use their imagination and make connections for themselves, our intended messages resonate much better and sit deeper in mind.

For example, when briefed to create a desert island environment for the Abu Dhabi Tourism Office at WTM, I knew that creating something obvious consisting of sand and palm trees would not maximize the potential exposure. In a location where people are seeing hundreds of vendors, standing out by crafting a unique experience can really make a difference but the art is in making the experience different, but mainlining a high level of engagement and relevance – a potent mix.


So I devised a shimmering mirage from hanging strands of nylon, which visitors could interact with.  This was lit alternately with bright oranges and reds from which one could almost feel the intense heat and contrasting sea blues and aquas.  This walk-in environment became an oasis of tranquility and a genuine refuge from the busy exhibition as evidenced by the number of visitors and the time that they spent there.


Sometimes it is better to imply a situation or evoke a feeling or memory.  Audiences like to use their senses so we should try to appeal to all of them – not simply perform to the expectations of a research group.

Rob Leach, Managing Director

On sharing consumer insights to create sales in the automotive sector

In our business, we’re often asked to create events and experiences where our clients can share their valuable insights with employees and other stakeholders.

At Line Up, for example, we have years of experience arming automotive dealers from all over the world with the tools they need to sell cars to consumers.  The way we deliver our clients’ insights is key to this information being well-used and, in turn, used well.


I find that a lot of marketers talk about ‘lifestyle’ – in my mind that’s an overused and hackneyed term – why not talk about personal ‘interests’ which are a key driver when it comes to car purchase?  By inspiring dealers with insights on the ‘interest-triggers’ of target consumers you can help create a connection that will hopefully lead to a sale.  The more engaging these ‘mindset portraits’ are, the more dealers are likely to use them and translate what they learn into useful sales stories that will appeal to the consumer.  This can mean the difference between trying to sell the features of a vehicle versus selling the benefits of those features in a way that will be meaningful.  This is big area where real insight can make a real difference.


Insight is a crucial ingredient in experiential marketing, as these three differing perspectives make clear.  But there’s a common thread that underpins insight – and that’s the importance of always starting with the audience.  What do we know about them that may determine our solution?  What do they think and feel now?  What do we want them to think and feel?  Once we’ve worked this out we can create an audience journey that will take them from mindset A to desired mindset B.  The journey that will ultimately facilitate the audience transformation that clients are looking for.

Want to read more of our A-Z of Experiential Marketing posts? You can now download and keep A-N as a PDF ebook.

Or select another of the posts from the series to view online:

Audience | Brief | Content | Digital | Engagement | Fun

Global | Hindsight | Insight Journey | Knowledge | Logistics

Mobile | New | Old | Product Launch | Q&A | ROI | Social Media

Target Market | User Experience | Venues | Word of Mouth | X for X Factor | Y for Youth | Z for Zeitgeist

a-zilineupebookDownload our ebook!
You can now download the first part of our A-Z of Experiential Marketing series as a ebook to keep for reference or read on the daily commute!
We are well on our way to Z, but in the meantime click here to get hold of the A-N ebook!

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