Event marketing can be a daunting task, if you approach it with a critical mind and data to support your decisions, however, a successful event can provide the means to meet-and-greet potential and current client, and generate awareness and leads for your brand. Whether you’re a retailer with a physical premises, an online-only retailer or a mix of both, we detail several things to consider when determining how to organise the right event for your brand.
The first thing to consider when planning any marketing activities is the budget. Determining an event marketing budget will require careful thought to ensure you yield a reasonable return on your investment, whether that’s for bottom-line sales or lead generation.
The average percentage of a marketing department’s annual budget that is spent on events is roughly 20%; however, your business may have different needs depending on where your sales come from and what you find works best to achieve your business goals and objectives.
Another critical thing to evaluate to ensure you design a lucrative event for your shop is your target market. Are you a toy retailer aiming to appeal to parents or a high-end luxury retailer with a mature adult demographic? If you’ve been collecting customer data then you should already have a good idea who your target customers are and what their interests are, but if you don’t, you’ll need to invest time into pinpointing who your target market is, what makes them tick, and even what they dislike in order to plan a successful event that speaks to your customers.
Determining the type of event you want to host can be a difficult decision to make, but you can take a few calculated steps to make this process run more smoothly. First, determine what you want to achieve and why. How do these goals fit into your business’ greater marketing goals as a whole? Are you looking to promote a new product, introduce a new store opening within a greater franchise of shops or capitalise on a related event to develop a stronger brand identity? Keeping how you will measure the success of the event in mind will give you focus while you’re planning it. Make sure your event marketing goals work toward the overall marketing objectives of your business.
Next, have a look at what your competitors have done in the past, or research the types of events and activities similar retailers in your sector have hosted or attended. You can learn from their successes and failures and draw inspiration for your own plans by analysing what your competitors have done before you.
Now that you’ve completed some groundwork, you can explore whether you want to host, collaborate or sponsor an event and weigh the pros and cons against your KPIs. Will the event be in-store, online or both? Depending on your business’ greater goals, the marketing budget available, and your target market’s interests, these high-level questions can be easily answered with deeper thought put into the finer details of the event and its surrounding activities.
Marketing Before, During and After
Whilst it can feel like a daunting task deciding, planning and organising an event, it’s important to remember the marketing and communications that need to be planned for each stage leading up to, and after your event’s activities. You’ll want to publicise your event whether physically in and around the store or online to generate a buzz that will increase attendance and participation on the day (and beyond!).
Social media is a great marketing tool to use during an event to strike up conversations about your brand and increase engagement. You can start a hashtag for your event, stream live video on-site, and share photos of attendees enjoying themselves on the day. For example, Lush is well known for the in-store events they host across the country accompanied by their video Instagram stories to engage their secondary audience online, as well as their primary, in-store audience.
Additionally, after the event, you’ll want to follow up with attendees and continue the conversation beyond the day. Share recaps of the events in the following days, offer a ‘we’re sorry you missed it’ promotion or even announce your next event while your brand is fresh in your customers’ minds. The post-communications period after an event can be vital for meeting your goals and making your well-earned pounds go further to maximise your ROI.
For best results, combine your social media activities with in-store displays, printed flyers, direct mail and email and digital marketing activity. Only around 8% of social media users log in daily and only a percentage of your customers will visit your store when your campaigns are on display. This is why it’s crucial that the marketing activities around your event stretch across all channels, as you need to reach the maximum percentage of your potential customers and attendees.
If you need help with marketing assets for your in-store event, at AlphaGraphics, we specialise in helping retail businesses run end-to-end tailored marketing campaigns to improve lead generation and increase revenue. To find out more, visit: https://retail.agnortheast.com/