Marketing Mindset

Is Event Marketing For You?

Are you considering hosting a customer event? Not sure of the potential benefits or reasonable motive for organizing an event campaign. Often when we ask people why they host customer events is “to sell stuff” and while from a very base perspective that may be true, there a number of other more nuanced motives that can help you decide whether a customer event is the right strategy for you. Here are five considerations that may help you decide whether event marketing is right for you.

  1. Do you have an event idea that will be a memorable or educational experience? Keeping your customer’s interest and needs in mind organize an event that will be informative or provide a solution not necessarily tied to your products or services. Putting their interests first will position you positively in their minds, building the customer relationship and, hopefully, their loyalty.
  2. In the past have you relied entirely on one or two forms of marketing campaigns? Whether they are successful or not a little change in your marketing formula can jumpstart your customer’s engagement and lure new customers. Events are a dynamic way to present information and build your audience’s familiarity with the people in your company.
  3. Is your sales team tiring of the usual routine? Giving your sales team the project of organizing and executing an event can help them gain a new perspective on their customers and the sales process. New opportunities can blossom from employing a new approach.
  4. Are demonstrations or examples a central part of your business? If you plan an event that incorporates a demonstration or samples in a unique way benefits will be more memorable and, in some cases, unanticipated opportunities might arise. Additionally, with more people watching a demo or receiving samples a customer may be more likely to be influenced by their peers. Events can be a more direct and influential sales strategy.
  5. Do you ever see your customers face to face? For a lot of people a little face time can do wonders in building their comfort with a company’s products or services. Often, that comfort will lead to sales and, if the relationship is maintained, a long term loyal relationship.

Of course, there are more factors you will need to consider once you’ve decided an event is something your company could benefit from like budget, theme, delivery etc. Hopefully this list will get your thinking about the possibility of event marketing.

Marketing's Many Meanings. Beware Of The Why, But Help With The How

How do you define marketing? Go ahead, think about it? What is marketing and what does it mean to you? What does it mean to your customer and even more importantly…their customer?

Marketing has many definitions it all depends on who you ask. I found two I want to share with you. This one is from Diego Rodriguez is short, to the point, and gets the basics out there: “Identifying desirable experiences, then delivering them.” But this one from Harvard Business School’s Marketing Unit really made me think: “Marketers concern themselves with acquiring and retaining customers, who are the lifeblood of an organization. They attract customers by learning about potential needs, helping to develop products that customers want, creating awareness, and communicating benefits; they retain them by ensuring that they get good value, appropriate service, and a stream of future products. The marketing function not only communicates to the customer, but also communicates the needs of the customer to the company. In addition, it arranges and monitors the distribution of products and/or services from company to customer.” There’s a lot in this definition. How much of it do you do now for you business? Are you aware of how your customers are doing this for their business? Can you help your customers get new customers or keep the ones they have? How unique is your help?

Marketing isn’t like it used to be. In the old days money, at times BIG money, was spent to buy TV ads, radio ads and lots of print in magazines, bill boards, letters, flyers and so much more. Rarely did it get measured for effectiveness but that’s just how it was done.

Today the BIG money isn’t being spent like it used to be and marketing isn’t being done the way it used to be. Today the critical dollars that do get spent on marketing need more than an average to measure the investment. Real time information that proves the time and money spent was worth the effort is where success is being defined. It’s possible to do it with today’s technologies (direct marketing, variable information, PURLs and more), but it’s hard to get people to try it because it means they have to change. Change’s big roadblock is rarely not knowing “how”…it’s the fear to try something that’s unknown.

The usual marketing methods are still in play: Advertising, Direct Marketing, Guerilla Marketing, Positioning, Public Relations, Relationship Marketing and even Viral Marketing are still going on. But there are new ways to get the job done. It’s worth the investigation into seeing how your customer currently markets to their customers and see if you can’t research ways they could do it differently while enabled by the products and services you represent. You will surely set yourself apart from most of your competition that still believes as long as it’s faster, cheaper and quality capable then they should get the business.

Understand the different “whys” your customer may want to change then show them “how” to get it done. Products and services are tactical ways to get something done…but understanding the strategy of where someone is and where they want to go can bring you to a whole new level of a relationship with your customers and potential customers and get them to see the value in a relationship with you and your company. In and of it self, that is a different way to market you and your services. Take some time to answer the questions here and share them with your customers. The experiences in answering the questions is oftentimes more valuable than the answers.

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