Keep Your Head Above Water: An Inductive Study of the Emerging Phenomenon of Marketing Through Events

Giordano Léon Eugénio Makholm & Gesche Franziska Meyer

Student thesis: Master thesis


This paper investigates the emergent phenomenon of small organizations using collaborative events as a marketing tool to increase brand awareness. Recent changes in the business environment as well as evolution in the cultural industries and in the expectations of consumers of cultural products, have all contributed to diminish the value of traditional marketing techniques. Which, in turn, has pushed marketers to resort to creative ways of branding, notably with events, or experiential marketing, which will be defined as small scale, collaborative events with a certain cultural element. In order to stay as close to the data as possible in this new academic field, we had recourse to the grounded theory methodology and performed a series of qualitative interviews in three separate organizations. Both processes of data collecting and data analysis occurred simultaneously, allowing us to follow emergent leads and stray away from our preconceptions. Our findings were structured into two spectrums: event marketing vs. content marketing, new vs. recurrent collaborators, and an overarching organizational identity category. We then analyze these core categories in light of the literature and combine them to create a normative framework of four distinct strategies for the elaboration of a single event, each with their own objectives, advantages, and shortcomings. We argue that organizations resorting to collaborative events as a marketing tool should abide by the recommendations of a given strategy, or risk a less-than-optimal allocation of their resources.

EducationsMSocSc in Management of Creative Business Processes , (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2018
Number of pages188