So, you’ve got an event coming up. Chances are, you’re looking for ways to effectively engage your audience or ensure attendees remember your brand long after the last session. Here are five questions to ask yourself as you prepare to effectively brainstorm marketing efforts, design your booth, order your swag or create collateral.
Who is my audience? Can I categorize them? Assign a persona? Put yourself in their shoes and imagine how you would react to your marketing.
What do I want them to take away from my event? A particular item? An idea? The brand? An experience? This question is key. If your goal is to showcase a new product offering, consider a unique demo experience and make your audience feel like they’re getting an exclusive VIP opportunity. If your goal is simply to “get your brand out there,” try to select swag items that are relevant to your market, useful and unique. (You don’t want to be one of 12 booths offering branded fidget spinners.)
When do I want to start the marketing process for my event (how much lead time)? If you’ve got some time before your event, think about a direct mail piece to drive awareness/attendance. These days, everyone is receiving less mail, so a well-designed print piece could get more eyes than an email. If time is not on your side, make sure all your email correspondence has brand consistency, along with short, scannable content. Try to be original and thought-provoking when writing your subject line.
Where do I want to meet my audience before and after the event? In their office? In their home? In their car? This question could have multiple answers depending on how you’ve categorized your audience. For example, maybe you’d like to start building awareness one month prior to your event. If you are marketing to C-level industry leaders, a relevant sponsored podcast or well-timed radio ad on NPR could be of value. Or, if you’re seeking to increase brand recall after an event and your audience is comprised of younger techies in a startup, a customized/branded food truck visit to the office could be most effective. Obviously, cost is also a factor here, and Merritt Group can help provide unique marketing ideas for all budgets.
Why invest in marketing materials? Why do I care about my audience? If you’ve properly answered all the preceding “who,” “what,” “when” and “where” questions, your investment will most certainly pay off. Your audience, if armed with the proper knowledge and tools, can become your greatest brand ambassador. We live in an age of instant sharing and gratification. If your collateral or marketing tactic is on point, your audience will share it on social media. All their friends, family and colleagues will get instant visibility into your marketing efforts.
If you’re interested in enhancing the effectiveness of your marketing collateral, and ensuring audience engagement at your next event, contact Merritt Group today at firstname.lastname@example.org.