Your Next Marketing Event

September 10, 2009 — Leave a comment

I’m working on several demand generation events for the fall and thought it might be appropriate to post a few secrets of success.  If you’re not doing this type of marketing, you should be…

  • First, marketing through education is far easier than just pushing your story out through spam, print, and other media.  People do want to learn, but it must be relevant to their world.  If you are planning an event, make sure the content is educational and relevant to the audience you are targeting.
  • You should be inviting people who can make a decision.  There is a place for customer appreciation, and it’s likely you’ll have close ties with IT administrators, but let’s not confuse marketing with customer boondoggles.
  • Inviting your local vendor SE to speak is not marketing.
  • Mail won’t get higher level people to attend, neither will hope.  It takes phone calls.
  • Speaking of phone calls, make sure you have something exciting to say.  Chet Holmes, author of The Ultimate Sales Machine recommends a topic such as, “The 5 Biggest Mistakes Law Firms Are Making”.  Notice technology is not mentioned here, and the event has a clear focus toward education.
  • Leverage your friends.  Invite a few prominent business leaders from your client base first.  Then name drop as you work on new attendees.  Executives don’t want to be surrounded by a gaggle of geeks attending a tech fair.
  • If you plan to continue marketing through this type of event, keep a constant stream of interesting correspondence going out to your prospects.  Your first invitation will likely be met with rejection; the 10th has a better chance.
  • Figure 2 to 5 percent of your cold calling list will respond.  You can’t have a list of 30 people and expect 25 to show up.  Take steps to increase your percentages by working out effective messaging before you call.  Remember, commercials are run over and over before people start responding, and big dollars are spent to make sure the message works before it airs.
  • Plan on attrition, but take proactive steps to minimize it.  I like to pre-order food, letting responders know that we’ve made arrangements for this meal just like a wedding reception.  Put some pressure on those who say yes, to keep their word.  These events aren’t cheap!
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