Event-marketing as innovative marketing communications: Reviewing the German experience

Markus Wohlfeil, Susan Whelan

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As a result of significant changes in their marketing environments and in consumer behaviour, marketers are confronted with the decreasing effectiveness of their classic marketing communications (Kroeber-Riel 1984) and, consequently, in need of new ways to position their brands in consumers’ minds. Because nothing is more convincing than personal experiences (Nickel 1998), event-marketing creates new brand-related realities by staging marketing-events with which consumers interact. This would result in an emotional attachment to the brand (Zanger and Sistenich 1996). However, while event-marketing as an experience-oriented marketing communication strategy has become very popular among German marketing professionals and academics, researchers and marketers in English-speaking countries have widely ignored this innovative communication strategy so far due to a different understanding of the term (Cornwell 1995). Nevertheless, some European companies have successfully launched in recent years their first event-marketing campaigns in Ireland, the UK and the US, suggesting a much broader appeal than previously recognised. Thus, this paper is introducing event-marketing to an international audience by outlining its constitutive features and discussing its role in marketing communications, based on the lessons learned from the German experience, that are presented using mini-case studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)181-207
Number of pages27
JournalJournal of Customer Behaviour
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2005


  • event-marketing
  • experiential marketing
  • Brand Lands
  • experiential consumption

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