LOUISVILLE, Ky.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oct 25, 2021–
Generation Z and younger millennials are notorious for being the toughest demographic for marketing efforts to reach, and the founder of a renowned Kentucky festival says there is a secret sauce to reaching them. Forecastle Festival and Forecastle Foundation founder J.K. McKnight has launched Art of Impact – an experiential agency helping companies “reach unreachables” through festival consulting, experiential marketing and nonprofit partnerships.
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J.K. McKnight has launched Art of Impact – an experiential agency helping companies “reach unreachables” through festival consulting, experiential marketing and nonprofit partnerships. (Photo: Business Wire)
Most marketers agree that traditional marketing efforts are not effective in reaching Gen Z and young millennial customer segments — generally categorized as those born in the mid-to late-1990s. Research shows that experiences are the key, as 78 percent of millennials would choose to spend money on a desirable experience or event over buying something desirable.
With respect to digital marketing, more than two-thirds of Gen Z thinks digital ads are disruptive, more than half have installed ad-blocking technology and over a third have never purchased anything from email marketing. That said, the Gen Z audience will represent an attractive $33 trillion in purchasing power by 2030 and surpass millennials by 2031.
“This audience doesn’t want to be sold. They want to experience. They also want the brands they invest in to reflect their values. This represents immense potential but you have to be willing to engage differently. You can’t approach them with your product or service the way you have in the past with older consumer groups,” McKnight said.
McKnight’s new consultancy, Art of Impact, leverages two decades of experience producing critically acclaimed festivals, partnering with national brands and launching global nonprofits. He grew the Forecastle Festival from zero to 75,000 fans and worked with industry leading event management companies like AC Entertainment, producer of Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Big Ears Festival, High Water Festival, and more.
Through these festivals, McKnight partnered with hundreds of national brands on engaging experiential marketing campaigns, festival brand activations and immersive experiences. Research shows experiential is up to 17 times more effective than traditional advertising.
“Festivals are where you can reach these hard-to-reach audiences, and experiential marketing is how brands connect with them on-site,” McKnight said. “Nonprofit partnerships close the loop by connecting the brand, customer and community, deepening and anchoring the new relationship.”
On that note, Art of Impact also will advise companies on how to bridge divides, better lives and enhance communities, reaching beyond cause marketing and corporate social responsibility to year round corporate nonprofit strategic partnerships. This aspect of Art of Impact builds on McKnight’s prior consultancy, Man of the Land, which helped companies align a social mission with their business goals.
“Gen Z and millennials want brands to be fun, authentic, and purposeful. They are very particular about who they want to do business with, and they are going to gravitate toward companies that care,” McKnight said.
Art of Impact is currently working with clients across Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina and more, with plans to continue growing and expanding nationwide. The agency recently engaged London-based Sound Diplomacy to spearhead the first culture economic analysis of culturally-rich Eastern Kentucky, with plans to develop impact-minded festivals and build permanent infrastructure with corporate partners.
About Art of Impact
Art of Impact is an experiential agency helping companies reach unreachable audiences. The firm focuses on a three-tiered engagement model through festival consulting, experiential marketing and corporate nonprofit partnerships. Social entrepreneur J.K. McKnight established Art of Impact in 2021 following more than two decades creating and scaling renowned music festivals, partnering with hundreds of national brands on impactful experiential marketing activations, and building and growing a global nonprofit. McKnight has been named a Global Visionary by the World Affairs Council and in 2017, was named Southerner of the Year by Southern Living. For information, visit ArtOfImpact.com.
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PUB: 10/25/2021 10:00 AM/DISC: 10/25/2021 10:00 AM
Copyright Business Wire 2021.