Natalia Dmytrenko: about event marketing and the mall's birthday

On December 1, “Prospekt” shopping mall celebrates its 5th anniversary. The day before, Malls Club spoke with Natalia Dmytrenko, CMO of Arricano Real Estate Plc, about the mall's event marketing and birthday party as its tool.

What challenges do event organizers meet in modern shopping malls?

The events in shopping malls have changed significantly in the last ten years. The development of the real estate market has influenced the concepts of thematic entertainment and weekend holidays - their content, nature and orientation.
Even so, no matter what is the scale of the event in the mall, its objective is to create an atmosphere that inspires shopping and, accordingly, boosts sales in the facility's stores. The marketers of the mall initiate different events, each of which attracts the attention of different segments of the target audience.

What are the best practices for your shopping malls, for example, for “Prospekt”?

On December 1, “Prospekt” shopping mall will be 5 years old. During these five years, we have tried different formats of events, told hundreds of stories about why it is worth coming to the shopping mall, why this or that holiday is useful, carried out dozens of workshops, online broadcasts, lectures and workshops.
Cases of “Prospekt” shopping mall demonstrate which types of events were the most effective, which have been marked in the professional community, which the visitors enjoyed the most. 
Event marketing should be diverse to motivate guests to visit the mall as often as possible. We use a variety of event formats - entertaining, educational, motivational, charitable, mix of formats.

How one can choose the format and the concept of an event?

Events may be associated with calendar holidays, retailers’ and mall’s holidays, such as birthdays, store openings. As for the tenants, an event may involve all tenants, retailers of a specific product segment, or a brand. Each event is focused on a specific target audience - a holiday for children or teenagers, for women or men, for the whole family.
The type of customer’s involvement may be also different - a compulsory promo with a must-buy, two-level communication involvement - online and offline; contemplation activities - when one can observe and feel the atmosphere of an event.
I’ll give you an example how to mix the target audience of guests and tenants, formats, topics, types of visitors involvement.
Calendar holidays, such as Christmas and New Year, can be used to organize events, supporting a specific product segment. To organize an atmospheric motivational event where the families can have a great time in the mall: watch the action feeling the atmosphere of a holiday and buy what they need.
In this typology the mall's birthday is one of the most cost-effective events. Traditionally, this is not only a busy period for the whole team to prepare and select a headliner, but also a responsible day for all partners.

What are the essentials of a birthday party as a marketing tool?

First, a holiday concert with a headliner. The star is one of the traditional components, because celebrity marketing allows attracting attention of different segments of the target audience. Who is to be invited - depends on the positioning of the event and the mall itself, on financial opportunities, on the concept of the event. For example, we worked with Jamala, Freedom Jazz, this year with Serhii Babkin. The image of the performer always corresponds to the nature of the event, enriches it emotionally, gives the holiday a special meaning.
Second, discounts, promotions and great deals. They give brands rational arguments for attracting attention. After all, profits always attracts buyers. We inform our customers about discounts both in the mall and online - on the official pages in social networks we place promo with several information waves.
Third, a stimulating promo. The purchase of a good with a certain price threshold allows a customer to participate in the drawing of gifts. This year the concept of the birthday party of “Prospekt” shopping mall is “Give a high five” to mark the fifth anniversary, so the purchase threshold is symbolic – UAH 555. The holiday partner, “Allo” shop gives 5 gifts – a TV set, a smartphone, a scooter, a tablet, a robot vacuum cleaner.

What marketing communications channels do you use?

In the last 3 years, Arricano has changed its approach to choosing channels of communication. We are focused on digital media and audience involvement. Online channels allow us to increase communication time, more accurately identify need for information and content, establish contacts with our target audience and build relationships with the target audience in a smartphone. In addition, our online consumer has an opportunity to make a bookmark, save and send important information.
Next year, we plan to connect new digital channels that will allow us to interact with new customers and more accurately communicate with them.

How do you estimate the effectiveness of event marketing? What KPIs do you analyze?

The retailers' traffic and the turnover are the key KPIs. We estimate the traffic growth, based on data of our tenant partners, we estimate sales growth on the day of marketing activity. The efficiency of the event is estimated by the number of participants in the promotional steam, involvement to online activity (the number of likes, reposts); additionally we track the PR effect: how the posts about the event are read, how many post-publications appeared, what is the viral effect of the activities (User generated content - content generated by the audience of the complex).

What do you need to know to organize an efficient event?

By generating a creative idea, it is not necessary to divide the task - the opinion of each team member is important, regardless of his/her functional tasks. That's how interesting concepts are born. An efficient event requires clarity: a detailed program, a clear plan, reliable contractors, observance of deadlines, artist coordination, well-thought navigation for guests during the event. Each efficient event needs a huge work of people - hundreds of agreements and dozens of contracts, hundreds of texts and layouts, dozens of videos, editing, sound, light and security are necessary.
For our team Birthday Party is not a beautiful picture that our guests enjoy, but a coordinated and responsible work. Even work of an intern who is responsible for a small part of the process is important. The success of the event always depends on each member of the team.