Marketing to event professionals is unique. One off ads or cold calling will not get you the results you want. The traditional drivers, such as promotions, sales, time sensitive offers or discounts often do not apply. The event itself drives the decision and that may come tomorrow or six months to a year from now.
So how do you effectively market your brand, product or service to people who plan events? By staying connected to your market and being visible.
To market to planners, you need to approach your business development like a courtship rather than a one night stand. Think long term and choose solutions that are comprehensive, incorporating multiple platforms, products and live events to help you keep your brand out there. Consider industry associations as a way of connecting your brand to planners who are the most active in their industry sectors.
Use content as a strategy to create engagement. Remember though, the type of content you are offering is important. You can be funny, offer an interesting anecdote, ask questions, or offer helpful suggestions, just don’t brag about yourself or there won’t be a second date. Another great way to fine tune your content strategy is to ask your current clients what they would like to see in terms of ideas.
Financially, focus online, sponsorship and in person first, then consider including select print into your plan for raising visibility to your target audience. Choose print for highly focused issues or special editions, but as a rule, avoid monthly print advertising because its insanely expensive and the ROI is not there. Unless its a book or keeper issue, print has a limited shelf life.
Very few success stories happen by accident. It will take an active effort to design an over all strategy that incorporates many different touch points. There are no shortcuts to growing your business but there are strategies that work, and those that don’t.
Work with a qualified expert who specializes in marketing to event planners who can help you develop a cohesive and effective plan.
Jason Koop, National Sales Manager, CSE Media Group