Why events should be a part of your marketing plan
The idea of using events for marketing is not necessarily always top of mind when it comes to our annual marketing strategies and customer engagement planning. We are though, constantly hearing about the importance of engaging with our audiences, and how the success of our content and marketing strategies ultimately effect our bottom line. We spend a significant time building our online communities, brand perception and followers, and while channels such as Instagram play a huge role in reaching and interacting with our audience, the need to engage with our clients in a tactile, real and authentic way is becoming increasingly important – this is where events should be a part of your marketing mix.
You might be thinking, “Why should I bother?”. Granted, events can be a lot work, however the reality is that all brands, products and services alike, need to provide a robust experience for consumers, and with the rise of social media it is more important than ever to provide our audiences with a multi-faceted marketing experience that extends from the very moment they find you to the day they say goodbye. I emphasise experience, because the way consumers interact with our products and services both online and in the real world is what ultimately makes or breaks a consumers perception or your offering.
Think about your own experiences with a brand for a moment. Have you ever followed someone online with the perception that the product and customer service was going to be of a certain level, only then to walk into their shop and be completely underwhelmed? I think it’s fair to say, we have all been in this situation at some point.
So, how can events and activation’s help to promote your offering, solidify your brand and build lasting, real connections with new and existing audiences?
As i mentioned above, experience is the key. Events are an ideal way to create real, tangible and immersive experiences where the best of your brand is on show. This includes everything from the reason guests were invited, how they were invited, what they perceive the event to be prior and what they actually experience once they are there. Events give your audience a direct insight into how your staff interact, the quality of your offering, they way your brand is translated through design elements and what your business values in its interactions with clients. Most importantly, immersive experiences should create an atmosphere that is reflective of your vision and brand values.
Three things to consider before you plan your next brand or corporate event:
Define your objective – why have you chosen to host this event, what is the purpose and how does it tie into your annual marketing plan? Whether you want to showcase a new line, launch a product or celebrate achievements, understanding your ‘why’, is key to defining the event itself.
Define your audience – who would you like to invite and why are they the best fit for your event? Think about the outcome you would like to achieve. Is it to increase sales revenue, generate buzz around a new product or to thank clients for a great year? Defining your audience will help you to achieve the best outcome for your event and also help your attendees understand why they should come. Many of us are time poor, so in order to actually receive RSVPs we need to provide a purposeful ‘hook’ for why our chosen audience should take the time to attend.
Define your ideal client experience – Once you have your objective and audience mapped out, take some time to really consider what you would like your audience to experience and how they will interact with your brand, team and other attendees at the event. Once your audience is there, you will be wanting to make sure their experience lives up to their expectations. This is where and when you should consider working with an event planning company who can create concepts and map out how the experience will be implemented to best suit your objective and audience.
By having a clear understanding of the above, you are setting your event and planning team up for success so that everyone can work collaboratively with a common purpose and goal in mind.