American Express has been one of the leaders in experiential marketing thanks in large part to Rich Lehrfeld, their VP of global media, sponsorship and experiential marketing. He realized that customers responded to events that they were able to participate in. These events are much more than just the US Open or a golf event. In 2000 Amex teamed up with SFX and Ticketmaster to launch the “Summer Concerts in Blue”. This allowed Blue Amex card members early access to tickets and special experience. This program was very successful and American Express continued to expand new partnerships each year. In 2010 they launch Small Business Saturday to help get people to shop in small businesses the day after Black Friday. It rewarded members who spent $25 in a participating small business with a $25 shopping credit. This program had over 350 small businesses participating in its first year.
The number one lesson Lehrfeld has learned is it all begins with the customer. “It’s not about pushing your brand in front of their face,” Lehrfeld says. “It is about enhancing and benefitting their life, engaging and interacting with them when they are receptive, happy and open, bringing the physical and digital to life in a meaningful way where you create wonderful memories for people that they can share with their loved ones and friends. Focus on the customer and the consumer, and you won’t go wrong.”
Information from Event Marketer