Face to face marketing benefits: The results that show it works

October 18, 2018

Face-to-face marketing is a powerful tool that can easily be incorporated into your everyday marketing strategies. This is not a new tactic but it has taken a back seat over recent years due to a trend of creating extravagant, enormous events over smaller, more intimate ones.

Brands are now waking up to the fact that they don’t need to create a ‘wow!’ event in order to connect emotionally with their target audience.

Face-to-face marketing is a trend set to lead campaigns in 2019

According to the Eventbrite 2019 Guide to Event Marketing, live marketing events are gaining steadily in appeal. There really is no substitute for the power of face-to-face connection and the recognition of this has placed in-person promotions at the top of the list of trends for the coming year.

So why has face-to-face come back round again after apparently trailing way behind digital campaigns? In a word: trust.

Consumers value trust more now than ever before. In saturated markets, knowing which companies will guarantee quality and service delivery is difficult. For brands to establish trust they must build relationships with their target market on an individual level. Customer-to-customer reviews have never been more important, together with transparency and authenticity.

Digital marketing strategies can only ever happen at a distance – ironically, the illusion of closeness through a device is part of their appeal. Yet these strategies, no matter how comprehensive, will struggle to build the same level of trust as a physical interaction. It’s also very difficult for a brand to truly gauge the nuances of engagement with a digital campaign due to the binary nature of ‘like’ or ‘dislike’.

With the face-to-face trend on the rise, and opportunities to include experiential as an affordable part of everyday marketing strategies opening up, all brands can now benefit from this engagement injection.

Essential statistics prove that face-to-face promotions work

Prominent market research organisations love spotting trends. The question of digital versus physical retail has been with us for a couple of decades now, with many businesses convinced one is better than the other. What research is showing us, however, is that the most successful brands are embracing both.

Seven essential statistics you need to know about the power of face-to-face promotions 


  1. 70% of users become regular customers after an experiential event (EventTrack)
  2. 80% of users say live brand experiences and samples help define purchase decision (EventTrack)
  3. 77% of marketers use experiential marketing as a vital part of a brand’s advertising strategy (EventTrack)
  4. Up to 90% of retail purchases still happen at a physical counter in a retail store (U.S. Census data from 2017)
  5. 93% of consumers claimed that live events had a greater influence on them than TV ads (Statista)
  6. 91% of overperforming businesses place a greater emphasis on live events as a marketing channel (Bizzabo)
  7. 98% of consumers create digital or social content at events and experiences, 100% of consumers share their content (EventTrack 2016)

How face-to-face marketing generates better ROI

Qualitative insight gleaned from the data you collect at a face-to-face marketing event can be used to leverage other marketing activities, inform sales teams of new customer intelligence and ultimately shorten the sales cycle.

Even negative feedback means you get a better understanding of both your target persona and brand perception, allowing you to streamline your sales strategy or make product improvements ahead of a major launch, for instance.

Move away from the idea that you need to create a huge experiential ‘happening’. Focus instead on small, regular face-to-face events in the heart of your target market. Where do your ideal customers shop? Large supermarkets, shopping centres and even busy high streets offer fantastic engagement opportunities.

The important thing to remember is that smaller events such as these can be arranged quickly for an affordable budget. Plan ahead. What do you want to know about your target audience? How will you gather this data? What does your brand want to achieve as a result?

Some of the UK’s biggest brands are already using intimate face-to-face opportunities to sharpen their other campaigns. Several gym chains, Tesla and Royal Caribbean use Tesco to create connections with their customers, while Mercedes has been showcasing its latest cars at Bluewater.

These brands know the power of a handshake, of the smell of new car, of meeting the people who will make their cruise of a lifetime so special. And this is why even a very simple face-to-face marketing campaign can boost ROI across your digital campaigns as well. It’s also why face-to-face is proving to be such a powerful trend for marketers in 2019, despite our increasing reliance on digital technologies.
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How your customer feels about your brand will determine what they think of it. This directly influences the likelihood of them making a purchase. 

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