When planning your company's marketing mix, one frequently overlooked activity is the event. Entrepreneurs have a tendency to disregard events as effective tools for engaging their target market. But events are a perfect opportunity to bond with customers and deepen relationships in a way that can lead to more sales and many friendly referrals.
Ultimately, the No. 1 reason to consider holding an event is its ability to positively affect ROI and yield long-term benefits for the business. That's why I frequently recommend this strategy to clients.
Full disclosure: One of my companies, MODpaper, creates one-of-a-kind invitations for events of all sorts, and I work with event planners to come up with creative designs that perfectly match their party plans. So I'm naturally biased in favor of events. But I've also seen the benefits firsthand.
Be authentic: Every event should have a theme of some kind. That doesn't mean your event has to be a black-tie-and-ballroom-dancing affair, especially if barbecue and Texas Hold'em is closer to what your business stands for. The trick is to make it suits the needs of your budget and represents the image your company is trying to project. Here are pointers to help you come up with the right theme for your event:
- Write down the main marketing message of your business, or one part of your business in particular that you want to promote.
- Ask yourself what common threads run between your customers, such as gender, industry type, similar needs, known hobbies, etc.
- Brainstorm with your team (include sales and/or customer service, both of which have lots of contact with customers) to determine points of intersection between your marketing message, as well as the needs and tastes of your target customers.