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« A Persuasive Design Example for Promoting Your Event | Main | How to Execute a Publicity Stunt to Near Perfection »

“Where Should I Advertise My Event?”

by Eugene Loj

Where_should_i_advertise_my_eventOne of the most common questions event organizers ask is, "where should I advertise my event?" Instead of getting into a long protracted article about event advertising, I am going to focus on the simplest, yet most powerful, advice I could give you.

The information below might seem overly obvious, yet it gets ignored all the time. In the process, thousands (sometimes hundreds of thousands) of dollars are WASTED on ineffective advertising.

When it comes to your event advertising ...
Do your message and market match up?


Message to Market Match
Marketing great, Dan Kennedy, introduced me to the concept of “Message to Market Match.” Kennedy created a marketing triangle which focuses on the THREE critical aspects of your marketing “Message, Market, and Media.” The Media component of Kennedy’s triangle marketing involves select the right advertising medium on which to advertise.  In short, regardless having the correct (possibly perfect) marketing message, you must advertise on a medium where your target market will see that message. Failure to use the right marketing media (medium) usually results in spending a ton of foolishly wasted advertising dollars. I can tell you first hand, this happens often, even with “smart” event organizers.

Don't Advertise Where Your Target Market Doesn't Look
In order for your promotional and advertising efforts to work, you must advertise were your target market is looking, listening, or watching (Print, Radio, Web, or Television).  Don’t be tempted by the “too good to be true” marketing campaign. Watch out when a salesperson says things like this … “We can get you 10,000 Facebook likes for just $997.” Or, “we can get your advertising message in front of 10,000 people a day." It's not about how many people see your advertising … It's ALL about how many people see your advertising and take a desired action. Instead focus on where you will get the most bang for your buck. In short, this means advertising in places that your target market is predisposed to seeing your message.

Know Your Target Market
In order to effectively market your event on the best advertising medium, you must intimately know your target market. In this case, "where are their eyeballs spending time?" This involves doing a little market research. Below are some questions that will help you in deciding where to advertise your event …

  • What publications do they read (Newspapers, Magazines)?
  • What television shows or specific channels do they watch?
  • Do they frequent certain web site?
  • Do they use Facebook or Twitter on a daily basis?
  • What a radio stations do they listen to (AM or FM) and when do they listen?
  • Where do they shop most often?

By answering the questions above, you'll have a much better idea of where to spend your marketing dollars. There is no need to invest in advertising, if your target market isn't paying attention.

The “Repetition” Argument
As a side note, if you think that repetition can help “get your marketing message out there,” you're headed for an iceberg of disappointment. I've seen event organizers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to change people’s minds, it simply doesn’t work. For more details on repetition and marketing, check out this article, “Don't Fall Prey to "Repetition" When Advertising Your Event.”

Ultimately, you want to make sure that your advertising is delivered through the right medium (media).  Before you sign your next advertising contract take some time to answer the questions above. It could save you big bucks on advertising and ensure your event is successful.

Here are some additional ideas to help you determine where to advertise your event:

 



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Comments

Eugene Loj

AJ, Thanks for contributing!

When it comes to "people not listening" ... I feel your pain. I'd recommend going back to the data/results of previous marketing campaigns. It's hard to argue with results.

Your event advertising needs to be viewed as an INVESTMENT, not an expense! The only way that can happen is by tracking your results and reviewing them constantly.

In terms of your team members, if they want to spend your money someplace, have them justify it with quantifiable data. "Just because," doesn't cut it!

You also might want to consider testing various advertising mediums. Start small then ramp up spending ONLY after a given medium has delivered. I hope that helps.

All the Best,

- Eugene

AJ

Thank You for your insight and appreciate that you care about the industry and the rest of us who are working in it. My staff wastes a lot of money because they don't do the research. They think: "Oh, we'll put a radio ad out and people will show up!"
And guess what? We lost money because the event was marketed on a country western radio station, as opposed to the Pop/Rock station. Their reasoning: "It was cheaper." What do you do when nobody listens, or lacks the reasoning skills to think outside the box when it comes to event marketing?

Eugene Loj

David,

Thanks for the comment and insight!

You're definitely spot on regarding tracking the effectiveness of your advertising. That can make a huge difference if you have a recurring event and constantly buying advertising.

Thanks again,

- Eugene

David Alger

It is extremely important to track the how people found out about the event.

My experience as someone that puts on events on an ongoing basis at Pan Theater is that you need an integrated approach.

Flyers, posters, Facebook, print and related methods all add to create a bigger impact than using a single element.

When you do it correctly you'll create buzz (word of mouth) and people will be telling other people about your event.

Don't assume online is best or cheapest. There are some amazing deals on traditional advertising and the space is less cluttered than it once was.

For smaller events the people in directly involved in the event are the best advertising. Arm them with postcards, links they can share and unleash their passion for the event.

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