Use events as a core marketing strategy to monitor analytics of your customers
As a business owner, you can learn so much about your customers by simply throwing more events. But the focus is not just the events and event day. Try to focus on everything that happens before, during and after each event.
So many individuals, small businesses or major brands spend so much money, time and labor on just two things:
“Advertising” the event before the event day and “Managing” attendees or the event flow on the day of the event, both mostly with a “monologue” one-directional approach. How can we benefit valuable data for growth, yet have a memorable event that will enhance future attendance and customer advocacy?
Through the entire course of the event cycle, there is so much opportunity for event companies, businesses or major brands to interact and engage consumers effectively. Not just for the purpose of providing a memorable events experience, but to gather substantial analytic data to enhance their products or services to these customers. Due to the more positive mindset of event attendees when invited to events, it is a much better approach in comparison to random surveys, expensive R&D staff or consultants, and other methods currently used and ignored by a large percentage of receiving consumers.
You can integrate the following into the marketing material and messages used “before”, “during” and “after” the event:
- inquiries about better services or enhancements to your product(s)
- further segment your consumer demographic by acquiring exact ages, gender, race, location upon signing up/RSVP'ing or registration (be very careful with this one)
- inquiries about competitive products and services preferred by your customers
- understanding other needs or wants expected by customers – it is important to always measure and understand the expectations of your customers and attendees to provide the best offering over the competition
- knowledge of poor performance or deliverables
- loyalty measure of your customers as attendees per event
- loyalty measure of your customers as consumers per product and/or service rendered
I once stumbled upon an outdoor event in the United Kingdom early this year with live entertainment, different refreshments and outdoor cooked food sampling. I later realized that this was an event that occurred seven times a year and brought out customers of a not-so-popular soap and hand care products company. At this point, I realized that all the food being served had to be eaten with your hands. I bumped into their regional marketing director at the park. He gave me a tour and exposed their strategy to me. They had the most delicious neighborhood cuisines catered by nearby partner businesses and restaurants, but selected the meals that needed your hands to get a little messy while you ate. There were cleanup stations set up throughout the park for you to wash, clean and lotion your hands with their upcoming new soap and lotion products. This is how they finally selected their next soap or lotion to bring to market. In these cleanup stations, people could fill out little survey cards for a chance to win Gift certificates to one of the restaurants, a scented gift set of soap/lotion products, and other relevant prizes that seemed attractive to attendees at the moment.
These quick short cards simply contained:
- checkboxes to select the type of attendee (Mother, Father, Single man, Single woman, Tourist/Local)
- check boxes to pick your favorite of the three highlighted products,
- your current favorite soap and lotion brands and the store(s) you purchase them
- your favorite store to have these soap and lotion products sold in your neighborhood
- a small take-away sample pack sampling each product
While in the moment, attendees are able to sincerely provide data and in return are excited for the rewards. This company injected product development, research and brand awareness into an emotional part of the event experience, during the event. They successfully gathered data that could assist critical decisions costing hundreds of thousands of dollars over the next year.
Before Event -
The Marketing Director mentioned to me that months leading to the event, they had their products in the bathrooms and sinks of all the partnering restaurants and small hotels nearby. With the packaging of the products displayed, they had an invitation to the next upcoming outdoor event coming up. Many people that attended the event attended as fans of the restaurants. They also experienced the great smelling hand care products as a memorable experience. Then after the event, they mailed out the winning sample to all attendees, thanking them for their decision and made them feel like true decision makers for the next line to be seen in stores. This strategy sells their products so much faster than previous methods of advertising, he mentioned. They gathered so much data 7 times a year and planned to hold much more.
Such a gesture strengthens the bond between brand and consumers. Advocacy at its finest! Can you imagine what the customers of this company say to others when they stumble across the products in a store? The events were tactically used for product development and to strengthen the bond between their company brand and its customers. Now with the integration of an effective mobile and web marketing strategy, they could additionally gather this data in real-time and probably also reward customers or attendees in real-time as well. Saving themselves so much in operational costs and labor time.
Well, all that wouldn’t matter if this story were fictional right? Wrong! This story was totally fictional, but would have been an ingenious idea if it were real.
Many businesses are struggling to understand analytics – the numbers that tell them everything about their customers, but with simple methods like these, they could simply get it.
Have more events, track and monitor all your analytics like an addiction and build your strategies based on these numbers. Then see the difference you make for your bottom line.
Save money and time by applying some Web and mobile applications for events marketing to create and monitor the event and attendees.