Tuesday, August 25, 2009
• Encourage response: Part of the allure of Blogging is its interactivity – the potential to engage, post comments and participate in discussions. Munier suggests including this invitation to respond in email communications –and not to expect flood of response, but because including this feature of two-way communication increases the value to the reader.
• Unsubscribe comments positioning: Moving the unsubscribe to the top of the email, while this it would make some marketers nervous, would show you are a “legitimate Marketer, and that you don’t want to email people who don’t want to receive your emails,” Munier notes.
While I won’t reiterate the entire blog here, the post raises a good point: social media, aside from being a different platform/channel (which underlies part of the “buzz”), uses a different communication/tone (which is the unspoken part of said buzz). And it is time to take a look at the voice used in traditional channels.
For example, printed collateral (a.k.a. those direct mail pieces that are just not delivering ROI) has not changed its core components in ages: intro letter, session descriptions, sponsors, registration/hotel info. All of which speak to the recipient, not with the recipient. The same scenario frequently exists with Event-specific emails; although there have been advances in weaving more content into promotional marketing e-mail communications, the overall message remains ‘register for my Event!’
In the face of challenged clicks, opens, and ROI on traditional channels in an integrated Event Marketing campaign, we are not (yet) at the point of cutting these channels from a campaign. Event Marketing leaders are, however, certainly at the point of needing to think through (and test) incorporating key elements driving Social Media, specifically:
• Making it a conversation: Include informational elements to brochures – for example, I’ve done brochure with one page (in a 12-page brochure) dedicated to results and discussion around a pre-event survey on topics, issues and solutions. This could be done in conjunction with a drive-to-Web link to a discussion board or further information on the site.
• Pull, don’t push: intersperse content, insight from White papers, statistics, etc., from the organization that the prospect would find helpful.
• Allow prospects to interact with the event: include speaker Twitter IDs and LinkedIn URLs (easier done in email unless customized); also, share your event Twitter ID, Facebook fan page, and/or LinkedIn Event page at every available opportunity. (Make it easy to communicate and be transparent in how they can find you!)
• Share the organization’s expertise: if you have a free e-newsletter, whitepaper, podcasts, Webinars, etc. let it be known – make mention of it and provide links in your print and email.
• Truncate it!: As Munier suggests, part of the success of Twitter is its brevity. The same can be applied to emails and print: put the 75-100 word session descriptions on the Web. Aside from being green, this will produce a more visually palatable piece.
In regards to print, incorporating the above will and should go hand-in-hand with thinking about covers – moving away from traditional Event/Location/Key Reason to Attend messaging to content points – drawing people to specific pages in the brochure.
And again, these are suggestions and elements to test – I welcome comments from anybody with examples and results of any initiatives taken along these lines to date.
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
With the advances we’ve seen in social media as a channel over the past year (even in the face of - or maybe because of - the economy) the question that needs to be answered is “What do we spend on this 'stuff' in 2010?” My concrete, set-in-stone answer is: it depends. Taking a look at a chart from a MarketingProfs/Forrester Research report, “B2B Marketing in 2009: Trends in Strategies and Spending,” certainly shows that across the board, drive-to-web marketing spend was up in 2009, traditional/branding channels were down. Do note: this chart isn't a guide: how “up” or “down” really varies and is a question to be answered strategically by each marketing group. In the realm of social media spend and the % of marketing budget to allocate, however, I’d suggest centering the answers around a few interrelated questions/points:
1. What are you looking to achieve? Are you looking to use social media as a way build year-round community around an event? Drive-to-web? Lead gen mechanism? “Revenue” is end game; and there are a slew of SM options available (and combinations thereof). But in short, do make sure you have a strategy in place first before starting to think through and detail social media tactics around this. The thought and discussions put into this will pay off in the long run.
2. What sort of infrastructure do you have in place? Social media is inexpensive in the context of marketing channels available – setting up a Facebook page, for example, is free (!) But I think, in the next 18 months, event marketers will be asked to produce more report on the ROI of social media initiatives. Not clicks, not hits, not bounce statistics – lead acquisition and conversion. And to do that you need to make sure your back-end infrastructure is defined and in place. And this may take additional investment – so make sure this maps to item #1.
3. Do you have people in place? Again, social media tactics are comparatively inexpensive. A hidden (or overlooked) expense is, as I’ve noted before, bandwidth. Are there people in place who will take ownership of producing content? Doing content right takes manhours – with today’s lean workforce you need to make sure this is taken into consideration – and ensure this area is properly staffed.
In the context of setting your marketing budget for 2010, this is the time to follow the trend of re-allocating marketing spend from direct mail (being more targeted and, of course, integrating into these other channels) into online marketing. One additional thought, pending your budget process: do establish this spend as an established budget line – avoid entering it in a soft, “testing” category. If the industry is soft and expenses need to be cut, this could be the first money to go – not a desirable result.
Monday, August 3, 2009
While The Event Marketing Insider has been posting for six months now, within the course of recent weeks, I’ve been practicing what I preach and doing more outreach via Social Media channels. As a result, there has been a larger volume of readers and followers with each post (and thanks to all!!!!).
To that end, I’d like to share the earlier posts, when three followers (myself included) was a good thing. While these columns are all in the archives, I do realize and appreciate (if I am a case study) there is not a ton of time and incentive to dig through these unless looking for a specific article. Here, then, are a list of old posts and brief descriptions for easy access.
- One Man's Junk is Another Man's Treasure: A short post on pending state-by-state Do Not Mail legislation – including a link to the DMA Web page providing additional details.
- Corporate Culture: What’s in the Petri Dish?: The culture of an Events Marketing unit in the context of a Events organization.
- More on Culture - Controlling your Reality: A continuation of the culture discussion, this more from a mid-manager’s perspective.
- Don’t Neglect Your (Media) Partner: Why and how to tap into this underutilized channel of outreach in event marketing campaigns.
- Does the Early Bird Get the Worm?: Tackling the question of why Early Bird discounts may not be the powerful incentive they once were – and some alternatives worth considering.
- Developing Win-Win Partnerships with Exhibitors: In a similar vein to enriching Media Partnerships, another low-cost channel a successful Event marketer should fully explore and leverage is partnering with event exhibitors/sponsors.
- This is Not a Test!: It’s a post about testing, specifically email testing. Differences between A/B and multivariate tests and what to best use when in a marketing campaign.
- Susan Boyle and the On-Site Experience: I got caught up in the hype, this is a post on how the success surrounding Boyle was that she exceeded expectations – and ways to do this on-site at an event.
- To Key or Not to Key: Exploring the value of Keynote speakers at an event – what is it and how do you measure?
- For All the Peeps: I stumbled upon Eventpeeps.com, a new, ning.com based event-specific community portal, details are in this post.
- Summer’s Here (Now what?...): Addressing and debating the long-held belief that events should NOT be held over the summer months. Not an argument that it should … just suggesting why it should be explored.
- Is Testing Part of Your Email Campaigns? Survey Says “No”: Recent Forrester research noted a small number of organizations were testing email on an ad-hoc basis. A quick scolding and look at testing options available.
- Readers Comment on “Summer’s Here!”: Some feedback from the earlier blog.
- Social Media & Event Marketing Part I: LinkedIn: Utilizing LinkedIn in an Event Marketing campaign – how to’s and tips. http://tr.im/pDTG
- Metrics, Metrics, Everywhere (Which one(s) do you use): There are a number of articles and questions on Event Marketing metrics. A look at what we should consider in making decisions.
- Social Media & Event Marketing Part II: Facebook: Utilizing Facebook in an Event Marketing campaign – how to’s and tips.
- Social Media & Event Marketing Part III: Twitter: Utilizing Twitter in an Event Marketing campaign – how to’s and tips.
- Social Media & Event Marketing Part IV: Video, Pictures, Presentations: Utilizing other medium in an Event Marketing campaign – how to’s and tips.
And ... this brings us up-to-date! Please do continue read, tweet, and comment on these articles – any insight and feedback is great and appreciated! (P.S. A quick note/reminder: please re-tweet any post from the button in the lower left)