Some of the examples of marketing communication campaigns – 1. Advertisement Campaign 2. Email Marketing Campaign 3. SMS/Direct Messaging Campaign 4. Telemarketing 5. Sales Promotion 6. Exhibitions or Trade Shows 7. Events.
Marketing communication is a very useful tool.
i. To inform and to educate the prospective customers about our product or service and its benefits
ii. To increase visibility of our brand
iii. To increase our sales and our customer base
Advertising (Print, TV/Radio, Online, and Outdoor), Exhibitions and Events, Emails, Direct Mails, SMS, Telemarketing etc. are different tools for marketing communication.
These tools must be used wisely to have maximum impact. A properly planned and executed marketing communication campaign also helps to build the brand awareness. There are many companies which have built their brands through highly consistent and effective marketing communication campaigns which continue for a long time, sometimes for many years.
For example, some companies give advertisements during certain period of the year every year, in specific newspapers, of specific sizes, at specific positions. Some companies participate in some specific trade shows or exhibitions regularly over a period of decades. Their customers expect them to be there.
To achieve success in marketing communication, a strategic approach is required in executing such a campaign. For that, the extremes of marketing campaign should be avoided.
Here are two such extremes- some companies are very aggressive in their marketing communication campaign for some time, spending a lot of money in communication quickly. The money spent on communication may not result into expected level of customer response immediately. Due to poor response, they get frustrated and stop marketing communication abruptly and completely. This results in wastage of the precious awareness, recognition and buzz that the initial campaign created.
On the contrary, there are other companies, which use no marketing communication at all. True, some companies’ products or services don’t need any advertising or other promotion. If we make monopoly products where there is no competition or if we provide essential services (like water, electricity, and milk etc.) which are necessary for all to buy, we may not need marketing communication. In all other cases, we must plan and execute appropriate marketing communication campaign. Remember, if we open a showroom and then wait for God to send us customers, it may be a big mistake.
Any marketing communication campaign should be done with proper planning. We should not decide to execute any communication exercise in a hurry without careful planning for the same.
The advertisement campaign planning process should include the decisions about the following:
Be clear on our objective behind the advertisement campaign- We may wish to generate some quick inquiries and sales with this communication campaign. We may wish to inform about the new product launch or a discount sale or a special offer. We may wish to increase our products’ visibility to defend against some competitor’s campaign. We may just wish to increase the brand awareness.
Whatever the purpose, we should be clear about the same. A lot of other planning parameters will be clearer if we are clear about the purpose of the campaign.
Decide about the customer segment to which the advertisement campaign is targeted. Keep this as distinct and clear as possible. We should not target too many customer groups in one marketing communication. If we do, it confuses all the customer groups.
E.g., gym memberships- Even though our gym may be targeting both male and female members, they both may have different needs, requirements and preferences. One single communication may not be able to communicate effectively to both the groups.
If we do so, it will confuse both the target groups and our marketing money will not be properly rewarded. In such cases, we should prepare two different sets of communications for targeting two different groups and repeat them for appropriate number of times through the right medium.
Decide on how much money are we willing to spend for this campaign. This should fit well within our overall marketing budget. Don’t release unplanned marketing communication impulsively, unless there is a strong reason for the same. Spread the budget across the year or different parts of the year when our communication is more meaningful (e.g. festivals or sale period).
With the advancement in technology and rapid lifestyle changes, a lot of innovation is happening in the marketing communication arena also. More and more communication media are coming up and the new ones are changing the equations of the existing marketing communication landscape drastically.
Today various media are available for advertising:
i. Electronic or broadcast (TV/Radio)
ii. Print (Newspapers and Magazines)
iii. Outdoor (Hoardings, billboards, banners, wall painting, and vehicles etc.)
iv. Digital Media (Internet, web sites, search engines, banner displays, social media, Email, SMS, mobile apps and other options)
We should select the most appropriate medium which reaches the largest chunk among our target customer group.
There are multiple vendors available for every medium, whether it is TV, radio, print, outdoor, online or mobile. Each option within a particular medium reaches different types of customers.
Depending upon our purpose, budget and the target customer profile, choose the most suitable vendor of our chosen medium i.e. TV channel, radio station, newspaper, magazine, web site, search engine or mobile service etc.
If you observe the particular newspaper or TV channel for some time period, you will easily understand which type of advertisements generally appear on them. That should help as a general guideline to make your selection. The most important consideration is the suitability of the medium to reach our target customer.
A big advertisement in a newspaper which our target customer does not read is a complete wastage, even though we may believe that we are doing a lot of marketing communication activity. Don’t choose the medium based only on the circulation or viewership numbers. Be clear about the target customer group first. If the medium does not reach our target customers, it is completely useless to us, however large or deep reaching it may be.
Also, don’t choose the medium based on price alone. Remember, if we give advertisement in one newspaper, agents of other publications may contact us luring with attractive prices etc. Again, here also, choose the option only if it reaches the right customer group. A wrong publication/TV channel/radio station/web site will result into a lot of wasted marketing money. Choose wisely and objectively.
The advertisement should be in the language understood well by the target customer segment. Also, the language of the advertisement should ideally be the same as that of the publication or channel, i.e. an English language advertisement in a regional language newspaper or TV channel will have a limited impact because most of the readers/viewers will not understand our advertisement communication.
Decide on which days the advertisement will appear. Take into consideration the clutter on the medium on that day and also the suitability to and the convenience of the target audience while deciding the dates. Some newspapers come out with very large special supplements during certain festivals or special occasions.
Just imagine, a daily newspaper which generally has 20 pages, suddenly comes with 60 pages on some day (most additional pages filled only with advertisements), how many readers will see the advertisements? Visualize the newspaper in the customer’s hands and you may realize a lot of things. There is no point in wasting money for being a small part of a big crowd.
The advertisement rates may vary as per the day/date chosen. Check on this, before deciding the dates. There may be some regular special supplements and rates for some specific type of advertisements. (E.g. some newspapers publish real estate or recruitment related supplements on some days and have special rates for that type of advertisements.)
Decide on how many times the advertisements will appear. Our message needs to be repeated enough number of times. If it is an outdoor campaign decide for how many days it will remain on the hoardings etc. One bitter truth to remember is that our customer does not see or remember our advertisements as frequently as we do. So, giving an advertisement once and then waiting for customers to come in huge numbers will lead to a disappointment.
It is observed that any advertisement (Print/TV/Radio/Outdoor) which reaches a customer does not get registered into her head, until it hits at least six times in front of her eyes. This is because of the clutter in the market and the hundreds of brands seeking attention of the customer on a daily basis. To be remembered, we must reach her often.
The size of the print advertisement must match the status of the brand, the position in the medium and the frequency chosen. The same applies to the duration of our TV/Radio commercials. The sizes or the durations of the advertisements by the competition brands must also be considered while deciding the same for our advertisement. We may also have few variants of the same advertisement with different sizes or durations. Take the budget into account, while deciding the size or duration of our advertisement.
For a newspaper or magazine advertisement, decide on which page will it appear? On which side? If it is on TV or radio, decide about when will it appear and during which programs? If it is on an outdoor medium, on which locations our hoardings/boards/banners/posters etc. will be displayed? If it is on vehicles (buses/trains/cabs etc.), in which locations these vehicles will be moving? Keep our target customer and our brand image in mind while choosing the above.
Getting the Content Ready:
Ensure proper design and right content (both for print or broadcast advertisements).
Get the help of professional designers or production houses in preparing the content.
Ensure that fonts, colors, visuals, text and other design elements are chosen very carefully.
Keep the overall brand guidelines in mind and keep the design elements consistent.
Check the spellings and grammar of the text very carefully. An advertisement with language errors is extremely undesirable.
If it is translated in other languages, get the copy matter properly checked by a reliable language expert.
In case of a TV/radio advertisement, take professional help to ensure the consistency and integrity in visuals, audio, brand image, message tone etc.
If there are some government guidelines/restrictions applicable to be followed in the advertisement content, ensure that they are adhered to.
Insist on checking the final release before it is sent to the publication or the broadcast channel.
If we have given phone numbers in the advertisement, ensure that those numbers are really working and somebody is always attending them, at least during office hours. On many occasions, I have called up phone numbers given in advertisements which are not answered by anybody, even after repeated attempts. We should ensure it does not happen in our business.
The same applies to email or other contact points given.
The people who are going to pick up the phone must be thoroughly prepared and trained.
They must be shown the advertisement and explained the purpose and meaning of everything written in it.
These people should know all the probable questions and their answers. If possible, prepare a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and their answers and train them properly about the same.
If our people are supposed to seek any details from the respondents of the advertisement (e.g. names, phone numbers, email IDs or addresses), they must be properly trained in asking the right questions and noting down the details in the right manner at the right place.
Also, guide them to contact somebody senior in case of some unexpected query from a respondent.
If the response is received by mail or email, ensure that there is somebody to read them as soon as possible and give an initial reply, if required.
If we are promising to send something to respondents (e.g. brochure, catalog, price list, samples etc.), make sure that it is sent as per the promise. Make necessary arrangements to ensure that what we promise is delivered in time.
Add the details of the advertisement responses in some database with appropriate headings. If the same advertisement is appearing many times, also note the date on which a particular customer inquiry had come.
Check the details of all responses captured by our team. Note down the actions to be taken by us, if any. Give responsibility to take those actions to the right persons.
Confirm that all the queries of the respondents are replied properly and whatever we are supposed to send is sent in time.
Remember to respond to the respondents as early as possible. Responding to a query after a week without any obvious reason creates a negative impression in the customer’s mind.
If the resolution of a particular inquiry requires more time, please communicate the same to the respondent.
Note that our advertisements may be seen by thousands of people, but those who contact us are the only ones whom we can attend, so attend them properly. Our whole advertisement expense was for these responses only.
Out of the many prospective customers who have called or inquired, we really can’t estimate the potential of a customer or the business volume which can come from that customer until we start interacting with them. So, pay full attention to qualify each customer inquiry. We really don’t know which customer can be a future gold mine for our company. So, begin with an assumption that each one of them is precious.
If the sales team is expected to follow-up with the customers, arrange to give them all the details and the time limits. Make sure that they are regularly checked by the right senior persons in the company about the status of these follow-ups.
Example # 2. Email Marketing Campaign:
These days, communicating to prospective customers is also done using direct communication tools like emails.
Following care must be taken while executing any such communication campaign:
Our company must maintain an active list of email addresses of customers whom we send regular emails. Make sure that the database of the email addresses is correct and updated regularly. If the email database is old, it may have many email addresses which are no longer used by the recipient. Sending emails to such addresses will result into a lot of bounced or undelivered mails. If a large number of emails sent by us bounce, the email service may blacklist us and prevent us from sending emails.
Do not send emails to people who have not voluntarily subscribed to our mailing list. If we send to such email addresses, email service providers may treat our emails as “spam” and send them to “Spam” or “Junk” folders of the recipients. This will result into a failed communication. Use the right mailing services.
There are many authentic (paid as well as free) services available on the Internet, which allow maintaining of email list and designing and sending emails. They also allow for many additional facilities like scheduling, response tracking etc. Based on the bounced emails, get the invalid email addresses deleted from the database immediately.
Prepare the email content in a format which will be received properly by the receivers. Check it on various web browsers, before sending. Also check for mobile compatibility, i.e. how will it appear on mobile phones. Ensure proper grammar and spellings in the content. If we have given any links to our web pages etc. in the email, confirm that they are working properly. Also keep those web pages updated properly.
If possible, do not send any attachments along with the email. People hate unwanted mails with huge attachments. It clogs their inboxes, bandwidths and also wastes their time. Write attractive subject line. It should be short, error-free, meaningful and relevant to the content. Check the “Sender’s Name” that will appear on the receiver’s inbox. Keep it correct.
Either send emails to individual recipients (one at a time) or if you are including more than one email addresses in one single dispatch, put all the names in the BCC, such that every recipient can’t see the names of the other recipients. Remember, nobody likes their email ID being disclosed to other fifty strangers. They will hate us for doing so.
Check the sender’s email ID and “Reply to” email ID and ensure that they are correct. Do not send emails on a Monday morning. People are generally busier that day and have to check a lot of emails. So our email may be ignored. Choose the right day and time. Do not send too many emails, too frequently. Nobody likes spam.
Example # 3. SMS/Direct Messaging Campaign:
With the increasing popularity and availability of mobile phones, SMSs or other Instant Messaging tools are increasingly being used by the companies for marketing communication.
SMSs or Direct Messages (DM) are very powerful direct marketing tools, because they reach directly to the recipients who can’t ignore it. So, it gets the maximum impact. There is no other medium which is so effective.
If sending by SMS, keep the message short, limited up to the specific number of allowable characters. Try to not extend the message beyond this size, because otherwise the receiver will get the message broken into more than one parts, which will not be very effective as it becomes difficult to read. If any web page links are included in the SMS message body, keep their shortened addresses.
The government agencies which regulate the mobile phone industry have been laying down strict guidelines to avoid SMS spam. Hence, we can’t send any bulk SMS to a number which is listed in Do Not Disturb (DND) directory.
There are many bulk SMS services which offer services to clients in which they will allow the sender to send SMSs to the phone numbers which have given consent to be a part of the list. Such numbers get these bulk SMSs even if they are listed in the DND directory.
In case of such a list, the receiver must have an option to opt out of receiving the SMSs. As soon as such a request from any number comes for discontinuing SMS, we must delete that number immediately from the database and ensure that no future message goes to it. While sending an SMS, always mention a number where the receiver can contact us.
Many times, some bulk messaging companies send SMSs on our behalf, but those SMSs don’t have any sender’s number. In such cases, it is advisable to include a number in the text matter on which the receiver can contact.
If such messages are sent by a DM through any messaging App, they may not have restrictions of length and they may contain audio, video content also. But whether SMS or DM, do not send too many messages too frequently. Spamming irritates the receivers and generates negatives reaction among them.
Some direct messaging Apps also may block our phone number and prevent us from sending messages, if we send too many similar messages to a large number of people regularly. We should take care of such a possibility. Also, don’t send too many images, audio or video in a single message. Jamming the receiver’s phone memory may not be liked by him.
Example # 4. Telemarketing:
Telemarketing is a powerful direct marketing tool to reach the prospective customers directly and to communicate to them about our product or service. We all get a lot of calls from companies trying to sell us credit cards, loans, holidays, insurance, mobile phone connections etc. But, most of the telemarketing irritates the receiver and turns negative for the company because of some execution errors which must be avoided.
Some reasons why most of the telemarketing calls annoy the receiver and result into negative marketing for the company are:
i. Their untimely arrival, interrupting the receiver at inconvenient times.
ii. The apathetic or mechanical tone of the caller.
iii. The lifeless and dull way of speaking, lacking enthusiasm.
iv. The rudeness of the caller.
Example # 5. Sales Promotion:
Sales promotion consists of short-term incentives to the buyers to encourage them to purchase a product or service. It adds an element of urgency in the customers’ buying intentions. Sales promotion tries to tempt the customers to buy now. It also inspires the customers to buy more. Companies launch some sales promotional offer to pep up sales periodically.
It is an effective short term sales improvement tool, using PUSH method of marketing, i.e. the product is pushed to the customer, luring him through some monetary benefit to buy it. Discounts, Schemes, FREE Samples, FREE Offers, and Contests etc. are some examples of sales promotion.
[Note- Sales promotion must not be confused with Promotion (as part of 4Ps of Marketing Mix). Promotion is much wider term covering all communication options including sales promotion. Sales promotion is one specific tool in Promotion mix, which is used to boost sales fast.]
Types of such sales promotion are:
i. If the sales promotion offer is for the end consumer, it is called Consumer Promotion, i.e. the end consumer gets the benefit of the offer.
ii. If the offer is for our sales staff, it is called Sales Force Promotion, i.e. the sales team gets the benefit of the offer.
iii. Similarly, if this offer is for the Retailers, Dealers or Distributors, it is called Trade Promotion, i.e. the channel partners get the benefit of the offer.
Benefits of Sales Promotion:
Each type of sales promotion can help a company derive some benefits.
Benefits of a Consumer Promotion Activity:
i. Sales promotion generally gives an immediate rise in sales.
ii. Sales promotion is used to clear out non-moving stock or to clear space for adding new stock in our stores.
iii. It helps against a competitor’s move. When some competitor comes out with a cheaper product or an offer threatening to eat away some of our sales, we can use some sales promotion to safeguard our sales.
iv. Sales promotion helps to protect against probable reduction in sales due to a price rise. An offer immediately after announcing a price hike delays the actual impact of the rise to the customer, making it easier for them to absorb the price hike.
v. It helps the customer in making the buying decision. Sales promotion gives them an incentive to buy our product, because of the immediate price advantage. Some customers wait for festive season for buying high value goods because during that period, many companies announce their sales promotion offers.
vi. Sales promotion facilitates cross selling. When a company introduces a new product, it can push it to the market by giving the new product free (or at a discounted rate) along with some of its existing product.
vii. With offers like Buy One Get One Free, the company can effectively sell more units, albeit at lesser revenue.
viii. It helps in winning other competitors’ customers. If due to our sales promotion offer a customer switches from her regular brand, there are more chances that she may continue buying our product. That is good in the long term to increase our customer base.
Benefits of a Sales Force Promotion Activity:
i. The sales promotion that will help the salespeople to earn more if they can sell more of a product will motivate them to do so.
ii. It improves their involvement in the selling process. They may try to approach newer customers, increasing our overall customer base.
iii. This type of offers may lead to better relationship among the company, the customers and the sales team.
Benefits of a Trade Promotion Activity:
i. The sales promotion aimed at our trade partners tempts them to display and sell more of our product.
ii. The visibility of the product at the retail shelves and in the customers’ homes or offices increases. That automatically reduces the shelf space available to other competing brands, reducing their visibility and sales.
iii. It helps in convincing the channel partners to keep more stock of our product. This will improve availability of the product as well as reduced cost of delivery to the company.
Guidelines for an Effective Sales Promotion Activity:
Just like too much of advertising, today there are too many sales promotional offers going on for every type of product. This results in less effectiveness of the sales promotion activity. We must design some sales promotion which is attractive and meaningful, giving real benefits both to the receiver and to the company.
The sales promotion must have a specific beginning and end date. Some sales promotions run forever. Such offers lose meaning after some time, because the receiver takes it for granted as the benefit is already discounted psychologically.
Sales promotion is expensive. So, it must be handled carefully, weighing in all the impacts and options. Sales promotion must be combined with some other marketing activity, e.g. consumer promotion can be combined with advertising campaign, some event, exhibition or direct marketing exercise etc. Similarly, trade promotion can be used along with personal selling efforts of the company.
We should avoid ridiculous sales promotions, e.g. Buy One Get Four Free. The customer understands that such promotions are not genuine and hence does not believe them. She looks at the product, the brand or the company with a doubt because of such unbelievable offers. Such gimmicks must be avoided.
The FREE offers must be really free and not any play of words to trap the customer. Some companies give free holiday offers to the customers, with some conditions. These conditions mean that finally the customer pays more than a reasonable amount for the FREE holiday, because the conditions make it compulsory for the customer to buy some unreasonably priced fixed rate meals or pay for some exorbitant service charges etc. So, the customer realizes in the end that she was taken for a ride.
Once bitten, she will never trust our brand and will malign our brand by telling others. Such gimmicks end up causing a lot of negative word of mouth and damage to our brand. We must avoid gimmicks in the name of sales promotion. Only a true, genuine and real sales promotion helps the brand and the company.
In the initial days of a brand, visibility and shelf space are more important along with initial sales. For this, trade promotions must be used more aggressively. Remember, the retailer has the maximum opportunity to convince the customer because the customer comes to him and is going to buy soon. If we can win the retailer, our work becomes easy, even if we are new to the market. Some brands use trade promotion so well, that they have made retailers their virtual sales force members. The retailers push the product very well, making it impossible for other brands to enter the market.
The design of the sales promotion should be such that it rewards the customers for buying more and for being loyal to the brand or the company.
The purpose of the sales promotion must be to gain new customers for long term relationship and not for one time sales opportunity.
The final impact of the sales promotion must be visible in the increased value perception in the minds of the customers and not only in reduced price.
Example # 6. Exhibitions or Trade Shows:
Trade shows (Exhibitions) are a direct sales and marketing tool that can help a company in promoting its products. It is an excellent tool to meet the customers face-to-face, show our product and have a conversation with the customers. In addition of presenting our products and services, we get an opportunity to find out more about our customers and their needs. Trade shows help us to carry out valuable market research also. Most of the prominent players in any industry take part in such shows.
These shows are used by companies to launch new products, to make significant announcements, to build brands and to display their own strengths and capabilities. Taking part in trade shows has some important benefits to the company.
Some of them are:
i. Wider visibility and exposure to the company’s brands
ii. Identification of competition
iii. Understanding of industry trends
iv. Market research
v. Strengthening bonds with the existing customers
vi. Reaching to new prospective customers, building a database of prospects
vii. Getting direct feedback from the customers and prospects
viii. Improved networking with different players in the industry
ix. Identification of new vendors
Guidelines for Participating in Trade Shows:
Trade shows are a very effective medium to make a powerful impact of our brand. We must plan and execute our participation in such trade shows properly so that we can derive the maximum benefit from our participation.
Trade shows are an expensive proposition. In addition to the booth space charges, stall design, erection and decoration, publicity, logistics, travel etc. cost a lot of money. So, participation in trade shows should be planned with the overall marketing objectives and budget in mind.
We must be very clear about the objective of our participation in the show. So, decide: Why are we participating in the show? Clarity about the objective makes a lot of things easier in the planning of the show.
There could be many trade shows related to our industry that could be happening at various places around the world throughout the year. Possibly, we can’t participate in all. We must choose the most relevant shows based on our objective, our marketing strategy, the exhibitor and the visitor profile of the show etc.
Once the show is chosen, preparation must start for a planned execution.
Activities to Be Done before the Show:
i. Deciding the size and location of the stall.
ii. Booking the stall.
iii. The layout of the stall.
iv. List of things to be displayed at the stall.
v. Decision on who will stand at the stall on behalf of the company. The booth must be properly staffed, not too many people, not too less.
vi. List of things which will be required at the stall. Out of these, which things will be taken from our office and which will be bought separately?
vii. Booking of tickets, accommodation etc. (if the show is not happening in our own city.)
viii. The dress code for our representatives attending the stall.
ix. What will we be presenting about each thing that we are displaying?
x. There could be four types of visitors to our booth:
a. Existing customers
b. Prospective customers
c. Future suppliers
d. Competitors’ representatives
e. Curious onlookers and others (not relevant to our business)
xi. Decide what would be our approach towards each type of visitors and what literature, inputs we will give to each type of visitors.
xii. Decide how will we capture each visitor’s details and where and how will we note down actions or tasks to be executed after the trade show.
xiii. Plan how the visitors at our booth will be attended. Decide the logical sequence of the interaction.
xiv. Decide whether any eatables or beverages will be served to the visitors or not. If yes, decide what, where and how.
xv. Fix up the responsibility of each person at the stall. Everybody should be clear about their role at the show.
xvi. Arrange how the material will reach the trade show venue.
xvii. Check whether any temporary help resources (Hosts/hostesses etc.) will be required at our stall. If yes, how will we source them?
xviii. Arrange to send invites to our existing customers, vendors and other associates to the trade show.
xix. Prepare the information or press note about our business that will be given to the trade show directory or publication covering the show.
xx. Prepare the total estimated budget for the participation in the show.
xxi. Remember, exhibitions or trade shows are the places where customers come to us, to know about our product or brand. In all other marketing activities, we are trying to communicate to the customer when she may not be ready. Here, the customer is ready and expecting to interact with our brand, so we must make sure that we take full advantage of this special opportunity.
Activities to Be Done on the Days of the Show:
i. The show stall must be ready well before the show opening time on the first day and on all the other days.
ii. All persons present at our stall must be properly dressed as per the decided dress code and must be properly groomed and presentable.
iii. Temporary resources must be briefed appropriately about their work and whom should they contact in case of a query from a visitor that they could not answer.
iv. Attend each visitor properly, with respect and warmth. Take good care of them.
v. Explain product related details to the existing or prospective customers.
vi. If we promise something to a visitor, that must be noted along with the visitor’s contact details.
vii. The stock of stationery, our visiting cards, brochures, leaflets or other printed material must be maintained properly. The same applies to chocolates or other eatables and beverages, if we are offering the same to the visitors.
viii. If we are selling some products at the stall, its billing, stock and receipt entries must be done properly. Carry a credit card swiping machine and other point of sale equipment at the stall, if required.
ix. Collect visiting cards of all the visitors. If visiting cards are not available with them, capture the details of the visitors in a visitor’s book. Write comment if there is some action we need to take after the trade show.
Activities to Be Done after the Show:
i. Make sure that everything that was taken from the office to the show comes back.
ii. Compile all the visitors’ contacts details and store it in some computer database with proper comments.
iii. Post show, send a “Thank you for visiting us” communication to all the visitors as soon as possible.
iv. Check all the To-Do action tasks listed during the show. Execute them as promised. Ensure that all that we promised to different parties is properly fulfilled in time.
v. Make sure that somebody attends to each and every query or prospect that came to the show and qualifies them to decide the further course of action.
Example # 7. Events:
For some products and services where deep relationships with the customers are worthwhile and meaningful, special events involving existing and prospective customers are an effective way to interact with them. Some events also help launching a new brand, creating an excitement around the brand and increase the customers’ engagement with the brand.
Using events as a part of your marketing tool can help you build or maintain meaningful customer relationships. Events allow the companies to strengthen bonds between the customers and the brand. Even though events are an expensive and difficult- to-execute tool, if done well, they can be the biggest promotional tool for the brand.
Here are some examples:
i. Some companies launch new brands at some hotels or banquet halls inviting customers, dealers, distributors etc.
ii. New products are launched at special events within a trade show etc. (e.g. a new car model launch at an auto show).
iii. Some upcoming Movie or TV shows have some customer engagement activities at some public places like malls etc.
iv. When companies are coming out with an IPO, they hold road shows at multiple cities, inviting finance brokers, agents and other influences who can help them in the IPO subscription.
v. Real estate developers hold special launch events for their new projects inviting prospective buyers.
vi. Companies offering products like holiday timeshare, which require detailed explanation, invite prospective customers for an exclusive chat and demonstrations.
vii. Some new brand activations are held at some theaters, malls etc. where customers can see, feel, taste or use the product samples. This helps in generating awareness and excitement around the brand.
viii. Some companies have special celebration events during festivals or special days like New Year night etc. to engage with their customers.
Guidelines for Conducting Marketing Events:
i. We can organize our own exclusive events or we can sponsor some events which connect with our product and our target customer segment.
ii. All marketing events allow a very powerful interaction with the customers and a huge opportunity for word of mouth publicity. But this is possible only if they are executed very well. A badly executed event generates equally negative word of mouth publicity.
iii. Through events, we can show our product or service in a tailor-made setting without any distractions. Using events as a part of our marketing strategy is a very effective way to reinforce our brand building process interactively. So we must carefully design this interaction for maximum impact.
iv. We must keep the number of invitees limited to make sure that everybody who is invited is properly attended. Events allow for a customer’s personalized face-to-face engagement with the brand. Events can develop mutual trust and allow us to build long-term relationship with the customers. If the clients are not attended properly because of a large number of participants, it will adversely affect the relationship.
v. We must take care that the theme and tone of the event match with the personality and image of our brand and the tastes and preferences of our customers.
vi. The event must be relevant to our target customers. If all our target customers are mature individuals, of above 40 years of age, inviting them for an exclusive DJ party will not be effective. Similarly, inviting teenagers for a sponsored 2-hour lecture on spirituality is not a good idea.
vii. We should be clear about the objective for holding or sponsoring an event. The event should match that intent. An event without an objective will remain ineffective, even though it may be well attended and very well executed.
viii. The venue must be chosen with care, to suit the event, the type and size of the audience and the time or day of the event. In fact, the venue should be such that it attracts and ensures attendance.
ix. If we are going to serve food at the event, the menu must be chosen very carefully, keeping the audience preferences in mind.
x. The schedule and timing of the programs at the event must be very thoughtfully decided and executed with the presence of mind to ensure proper impact. E.g. suppose at a product introduction event, we had scheduled a musical orchestra performance of around an hour starting at 7 pm, followed by an hour of our product introduction. After that, dinner was to be served which was to be by 9 pm or so.
Now, suppose the event started one hour late due to some reason. So, by the time the orchestra performance got over by 9 pm, the guests realized that it was dinner time and the dinner was ready, so most of them headed for dinner, deserting our product presentation, for which the entire event was organized! Such mismanagement can be avoided by careful rearranging of schedule as per the situation and ground realities of the moment.
xi. The composition of the invitees must be kept as uniform and homogeneous as possible. We should not mix different types of customers at a single event, unless it is a very large event. If we invite too many or different types of guests, each with different tastes and preferences, some of them may be disappointed, annoyed or feel neglected. We must take care of avoiding such a mismatched crowd. Having one specific audience makes our event more effective and much easier to manage.
xii. Remember, events are live programs, with too many factors and variables which may affect the overall quality of its execution. We must ensure that our event is least affected by such uncertainties and if something goes wrong, we have a backup plan ready to minimize the impact.
Unless we regularly organize such events for our company and we have an in-house setup to organize such events, we should outsource event management to the expert agencies, to avoid any unpleasant surprises. The only thing that must be ensured is that the agency is competent and experienced to handle the assignment as per our expectations.