Your event marketing campaign is an important record of the activity you plan to implement to market your next show. This simple two-page template includes the objective, challenges, key messages, target audience, budget, what marketing channels you'll use and when you plan to activate them, as well as tools you'll use to analyse the success of the campaign.
Your objective should clearly define exactly what you want to accomplish or how you plan to measure success? It needs to be realistic and measurable. Usually the main measure for event marketing is ticket sales or attendance. For example; Achieve a box office target of 200 tickets or 60% of the venues capacity.
List any challenges you need to address in your marketing. For example perhaps you've never marketed a children's show before. Or maybe the show is on the same day as Melbourne Cup. Keep these challenges at the top of mind and make sure you address them when planning your key messages and channels.
You will need to think of creative ways to address these challenges. For example; if you have no experience marketing a children's show... pick up the phone and talk to the producer/artists about what might have already worked elsewhere, phone another venue which has presented the show or other children's shows. Or, if the show is on the same night as a huge event like Melbourne cup - perhaps promote it as an after party to Melbourne cup, offer discounted tickets or combine the events so the show is pre entertainment.
What are the critical messages you want to communicate that will draw in the audience. For example; does the show have a high profile actor or director; is it a world first performance; perhaps it covers real life stories from your region, or it has just returned from a sell out overseas tour.
Your target audience can be defined by geography, demographics and psychographics. For example; they might men and women aged 60+ and love classical music. OR Time poor mothers looking for engaging school holiday activities for their children. You might have a primary audience for example 60+ classical music lovers and a secondary audience of high school aged children studying piano.
So now that you know exactly what you are marketing and who you are going to market it to, you need to decide how you are going to reach them. Review all channel options and identify what the best vehicle of communication is for your audience. There is no point using street press if you need to reach 70 years olds or talkback radio to reach 16 year olds.
Here are some channels - there may be others available to you!
Digital - Website, social, enewsletter, blogs, adwords
Print - Posters, flyers, direct mail
Advertising - Print, radio, TV, outdoor & poster sites
Media - Local, state, national, traditional and street press, online, radio, TV, blogs
Cross promotions - Local businesses, libraries, schools
Advocates / ambassadors - People in your community who can advocate and spread the word. They might be a group of uni students, hair dressers, cab drivers.
Generally you should be working on a 6 to 8 week campaign. It sounds like a long time when marketing to a late buying audience but you need to reach them a couple of times. Repetition builds familiarity, trust and credibility.
Ideally you want to aim to have something in market each week and be sure you are supporting each channel - for example if there is a media interview be sure tickets are already on sale and easy to find. Allocate a small budget to a google adwords seach campaign to capitalise on this free publicity.
You might like to aim for something like
- 6 weeks out - tickets on sale, brief media, stakeholders and advocates
- 5 weeks out - direct mail out - include announcement in regular enews
- 4 weeks out - print distribution around town, advocates activate word of mouth
- 3 weeks out - social media kick off, email specifically about the show
- 2 weeks out - media coverage, social media continues
- 1 week out - media coverage, email reminder
- event day out - stunt in main street of town at lunch
How will you measure the impact of your marketing activity? If you are selling presale tickets, it's a good idea to record your sales each week of the campaign and then you can identify which activity influenced sales. You may also like to survey your audience - how did they find out about the show? What made them buy a ticket?
If you have any questions about putting together your marketing campaign be sure to contact arTour.