Marketing Genius from Maple Creative


Marketing tips, observations & philosophy, plus a few rants and random musings - from those who practice, preach and teach marketing, research, advertising, public relations and business strategy.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Marketing an Event: What's Most Effective?

October is peak event season in our world. Conferences, annual meetings and grand openings abound. We are working hard and having so much fun promoting an exciting, important event. The CreateWV '08 Conference is right around the corner, Oct. 20-22.

We've had the honor of promoting this event, again for its 2nd year, working with a very talented planning team and an army of enthusiastic volunteers. The strategic, layered marketing plan, which commenced in July, includes the following tactical elements:

  • Earned media - press releases, Op-Eds, feature articles, newspaper tab, radio interviews
  • Direct mail - two postcards and an invitation brochure
  • Social media - blog posts, blogger carnival, Twitter presence, Facebook - event, group
  • Buzz / WOM accelerators - traveling art display of creative cones, "No Misoneism"
  • Advertising - a few targeted program/newsletter ads, banners, Facebook ads
  • Sales offers - early bird special, group discount program
  • Web site, event Web site and blog - all working in concert
The conference is almost sold out, with about 400 attendees registered. The event registration process involves a step to ask folks: How Did You Hear About CreateWV? After 100 days, we've got a good set of data to show what's working to drive such great results:

100 registrations from Direct Mail

50 registrations from Word-of-Mouth/Referral

5 registrations from Media/News

* (the other 200 didn't bother to tell us. we'll forgive them.)

What can we learn from this? In our electronic communications world, marketing messages printed on paper are still important and can be very effective.

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Here’s our market view on American stock market for 10th October, 2008

The stock market has collapsed - since Sept. 19 the DJIA is down 25% and the S&P 500 is down 28% and down 42% from a year ago.

How can this happen so quickly and so dramatically when so many good things have occurred? Oil is down to $82 a barrel; interest rates are very low; the dollar is up; valuation levels are extremely attractive among many blue chip stocks.

What's the real problem? The problem that is killing the stock market is a lack of hope about the future.

Hope springs from optimism that is based on facts and history. Look at the history of America and really all of mankind. Life is full of setbacks and problems - that's just the deal. But this too shall pass, as all scary periods have.

Doomsayers have been around forever and their batting average is zero. Buying stock is based on hope - hope for the future. If one doesn't have hope, they shouldn't be in this business.

So what is the best service we, as professionals, can provide for our clients?

First, discuss the fact that we are dealing with serious problems but it is not at all like 1929. The Federal Reserve and the Treasury Department are doing many things to restore confidence in the financial system. There is global coordination in attacking the problem, which is lack of confidence.

Tell your clients to look at history of our great nation and what has happened since 1776 when we faced very serious problems. The stock market actually rose steadily about six months after Pearl Harbor and until the end of WWII even though the outcome was not at all clear for several years.

No one knows when the stock market will bottom and a new bull will commence. We do know that stocks and mutual funds offer the best values we have seen since Black Monday, Oct. 19, 1987.

Almost all Americans have hope about the future of our nation, but they need help to control their normal fears. Team
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