Protecting The Nation
In times of conflict or peace, the Royal Navy is key to the prosperity of Britain and the stability of the high seas. The Royal Navy need to recruit a significant number of people each year to meet operational needs and in 2019, after a highly competitive tender pitch process, Identity were appointed as the retained experiential events agency to attract, engage and convert potential candidates through the design and delivery of circa 300 outreach events per year.
The busy programme, which is exclusively managed by an Identity core team of six event experts, has a requirement to be both modular and scalable with events often happening simultaneously. In 2020, as the impact of COVID-19 on physical events became known, Identity pivoted quickly from physical to a bespoke virtual events solution to ensure a continuation of the recruitment pipeline.
Strategy & Delivery
Identity’s relationship with the Royal Navy has very much been that of a shared journey, to continuously evolve strategy and support the client as they move into new territories, ensuring objectives and targets are highly optimised at all times. This involves working closely with multiple stakeholders and each of the fighting arms of the Royal Navy; the Royal Marines, The Royal Navy and Royal Marines Reserves, the Surface Fleet, the Submarine Fleet, the Fleet Air Arm and the Royal Fleet Auxiliary.
The client’s main target audience is 16-24 year olds. This demographic is typically hard to engage with in a competitive market as they are heavily influenced by ‘gatekeepers’, such as parents or guardians. Identity developed a number of innovative approaches for acquisition, based on audience insight gathered through evaluation and data at events. This included a highly targeted, data-driven digital marketing strategy, geolocated and centred around audience psychometrics, with a test and learn approach that improves with every iteration.
Project delivery ranges in size from intimate local recruitment events, through to exciting outdoor experiences for the Royal Marines, up to the production of large scale, comprehensive outreach and engagement stands. The stand at World Skills at Birmingham NEC included a working demo galley with live cooking demonstrations, alongside a host of virtual reality (VR) experiences, including the opportunity for attendees to fly an F-35 Lightning jet and practice their sonar skills within a custom-built submarine.
The Journey Continues
Reflecting the changing environment in the country as in-person experiences were no longer viable, Identity had to pivot creatively at speed, to implement alternative methods of event delivery. For the Royal Navy, Identity developed its proprietary Recruitment Event Virtual Solutions (REVS) platform, enabling events to be delivered within a wholly digital environment so that engagement and recruitment activity could be maintained.
In the context of a dynamic and changing project landscape, Identity used audience insight and feedback captured from previous events, to create and implement a series of innovative virtual events for the Royal Naval Reserve and Submarine Service, alongside several Royal Navy “Showcase” virtual events, each of which highlighted the amazing benefits and opportunities available as part of a career in the Royal Navy.
This approach has progressed further as the future direction of the Royal Navy events programme evolves into a hybrid model of both physical and virtual event solutions to help us engage with the target audience more effectively.
“The Royal Navy have been on contract with identity since 2019 and safe to say it has been an absolute pleasure working with the whole team. Identity have carefully analysed the current suite of event material, offering up new and innovative ideas of how we might improve the look and feel at events and also proved that they can deliver quality from small to large.” – Commander, Royal Navy