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New agency Playmaker applies science to experiential marketing

Friday March 20, 2015 at 10:24am
Playmaker, a new experiential marketing agency which uses a proprietary scientific approach to planning campaigns, launched in the UK this week. Playmaker is a partnership between two highly successful marketing services providers, Square Melon, based in Brussels, and Tribe Marketing, based in London. The two partners have already been working together in the UK for the past four years, delivering experiential services for Coca-Cola GB and Bacardi Martini. Square Melon has a proven track record in delivering experiential campaigns across North West Europe and the Nordic countries for major brand-owning companies. Tribe specialises in creative experiential activations with a premium staffing offering across the UK and Ireland. Square Melon’s success is based on its proprietary multi-dimensional strategic analysis tool, Channel Data Cube, and a database of campaign results going back to 2002. By inputting its historic data plus data from other sources, such as footfall analysis, into the CDC, it is able both to measure the effectiveness of completed work and to model the effectiveness of proposed new campaigns. It has a particular focus on the use of experiential as a conversion tool, an approach it calls ‘Convertising’. Using CDC, it can demonstrate that relatively small changes, for example increasing the budget for experiential activity incrementally, can deliver significantly higher conversion levels. Playmaker will be the only agency in the UK which has access to this package. Wim Van der Borght, chief executive of Playmaker (pictured), says: “Our database includes up to 600 variables for each campaign, and allows us to explore what happens if you change where your experiential activity is delivered, what time of day it is, what mechanisms you include, the creative treatment and much more. It doesn't just look at what happened in the past, it also allows you to predict with considerable accuracy what proportion of the target audience a planned campaign will reach and what those people are likely to do.” He adds: “Experiential is an amazingly powerful conversion tool. You can turn non-users of a brand into users, light users into heavy users and heavy users into brand advocates.” Van der Borght continues: “What Playmaker can offer that other UK experiential agencies cannot is the ability to put together media plans like those that marketers are used to seeing in other media channels, such as broadcast advertising, press or digital. Using metrics that are comparable with those other channels will make it far easier to plan truly integrated campaigns and to exploit experiential marketing to its full potential.” Chris Russell, managing director of Tribe Marketing and managing director of Playmaker, says: “Playmaker’s rigorous scientific approach allows us to deliver true strategic planning to the experiential marketing industry in this country and to prove the long-term value of what we do. Experiential marketing in the UK is at a tipping point; we know clients want to spend more on the sector – a recent Pearlfinders report says 54% more clients plan to use experiential in 2015 – but they need proof of its cost effectiveness. We can deliver that proof.”
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