Marketing is a very precise process which, if done right, can be the difference between an event company that barely scrapes by and a hugely successful company.
On the other hand, if done wrong, you can pigeon-hole your events business with an image that holds it back from realizing it’s potential.
It’s crucial that simple fundamental errors are avoided when crafting your marketing scheme, so that you don’t lead your events business in the wrong direction in terms of public image.
Let’s discuss some of the most common mistakes event companies make with their marketing.
Failing to define a target market
Marketing without a UVP
Advertising your events business as the budget option
Disregarding the quality of images used
Neglecting their website
1. Failing to define a target market
You can’t skip steps in marketing, and there are a few things you need to identify before launching, or even crafting your marketing efforts. The first one is your target market.
Who are you targeting with your marketing campaigns? Or more concisely, who are you trying to sell to? If your answer to this question is something along the lines of “anyone”, then you may want to take a step back and narrow it down.
If you don’t hone in on a specific market that you want to appeal to, your marketing efforts will be too broad, and they won’t particularly appeal to anyone. It’s much better and easier to be successful in a niche market than to be a bottom feeder in the broader events industry.
The more specific you get with your target market, the better. This will enable you to refine your marketing efforts and make them more effective among your target audience. It also allows you to effectively choose who your customers are, which is huge. Going as far as creating detailed buyer personas will allow you to visualize your customers and figure out exactly what they need and how you can help them.
With a target market, you no longer have to shoot around blind. You know what you’re aiming for, and you can figure out how to reach it with market research.
2. Marketing without a UVP
Once you’ve identified a target market, you need to figure out how you will draw them in. What about your business will appeal to them? How will you address their needs and identify yourself as the right choice for them?
A UVP, or Unique Value Proposition, is your main selling point that differentiates you from competitors. It is the primary reason why your customers should choose you over any other option they might consider.
The purpose of crafting a UVP is to ensure that your efforts are focused on what will actually bring in customers. You’re not just shooting shots in the dark hoping to hit something.
By identifying what it is that makes your company unique and appealing to your target audience, you now know what your message is to your potential customers. Without this step, knowing your target market won’t do you much good, because you won’t have a plan to leverage that information and capitalize on it.
To learn more about UVPs and how to find yours. Read this expert article here!
3. Advertising your events business as the budget option
If your first thought when attempting to find your UVP had to do with your low prices, you should seriously reconsider. While this may seem like a strong selling point that will appeal to just about anyone, you need to realize that there’s someone down the street (maybe even several competitors nearby) thinking the same thing.
This approach will lead you into a price war with your local competitors that will eventually drive one or both of you out of business as you gradually cannibalize more and more of your profits to maintain your so-called “competitive advantage”.
On top of that, this strategy only appeals to the lowest common denominator clients, those who only shop based on price. These customers are not loyal, and will take their service elsewhere if they can find a better price, which locks you into this race to the bottom the moment you advertise this way. You are practically cutting yourself off from the possibility of securing repeat clients, which is the opposite of what you should be aiming for.
Pick just about anything else, whether it be your stellar customer service, your outstanding customization options, or even your hilarious branding concept. Just please, for your own sake, do not try to compete based on price alone.
4. Disregarding the quality of images used
In The 1-Page Marketing Plan, author Allan Dibs says, “no one knows how good your products or services are until after the sale. Before they buy, they only know how good your marketing is.”
Every time you have an interaction with a potential customer, you are leaving an impression about the quality of your events business. If your images are blurry, irrelevant, or low quality, what does that communicate to them about your events business?
All of your marketing efforts should contain high quality images to assert a good image of your company to your buyers. This includes your social media, your website, your advertisements, and even your logo.
Don’t let one small detail deter buyers from doing business with you. Use high quality images to reflect your high quality events business.
5. Neglecting their website
Have you updated your website in the past few months? Years? If not, it’s probably time to revisit.
There are a wide range of issues that could be on your website including missing information (such as your location, contact information, or prices) that create barriers for clients moving forward with you, broken links that lead nowhere, outdated information that misleads potential customers, or missing items on your products page that prevent you from capitalizing on your inventory.
You may also need to redesign your website if it’s been several years. If this is an area that you know nothing about, consider hiring a web designer.
If low-quality images on your marketing material can cause customers to steer clear of your business, just imagine the negative impact that an outdated or unusable website will have.
Your website is often a customer’s first impression of your business. Give them a reason to take the next step in contacting you rather than scrolling to the next event company’s website. A good website makes an enormous impact when it comes to attracting customers, or at the very least, not losing out on potential customers.
Make your marketing cohesive
Ideally, all of your marketing efforts should work together towards reaching a defined goal. If you don’t have a specific goal, or your marketing efforts are all shooting off in different directions and targeting different audiences, they won’t get you anywhere.
That’s why you need to start by defining your target, then figuring out how you plan on getting there before launching your marketing campaign. That way, your efforts will work in the same direction, and you’ll reach your goals much faster and more efficiently. Plus, once you have a plan, it’ll be much easier to implement it.
Don’t skip steps in marketing. Plan out your marketing efforts, starting with the fundamental concepts. Then build up from there!
Carmen Bodziak is the Marketing Associate for Goodshuffle Pro, a party and event rental software company dedicated to empowering those in the events and decor industry. She also currently oversees the Goodshuffle Blog.