Over the weekend, a friend of mine told me about an advertising package a local newspaper had (pressured him into) sold him. The newspaper sales person convinced my friend to buy into an expensive advertising contract. The sales pitch focused around the notion of - "if you're advertising - you NEED repetition to connect with your audience." The signed advertising contract NOW ties my friend into an expensive long term contract. This isn't a problem if the advertising works, but if the advertising fails to deliver results . . . He'll have to pay for advertising that isn't doing squat!
How does the example above apply to your event marketing and promotion efforts?
When you buy advertising to promote your event, it's important to be savvy on how you negotiate the deal. You have the right to negotiate advertising terms. More importantly you have the obligation to say, "no thanks" if the advertising deal isn't good for you.
You need to look out for yourself! Here are some simple suggestions you can use next time you talk to an advertising sales person. The suggestions below are applicable to both online and offline advertising . . .
NEVER Pay Rate Card!
First off, NEVER pay rate card for your event advertising! Rate card is the advertiser's rate they've decided to charge to run an ad. It's similar to MSRP - Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price. As the buyer, you can counter-offer the Rate Card. It's pretty simple - tell the sales person, "I'm not willing to pay X , but I will pay Y." Obviously you'll need to finesse your negotiating message a little.
After your counter-offer, it's then up to the advertiser to accept or decline the rate you're willing to pay. The worst that they can say is "No," and that's just fine. Remember it's your event marketing budget. You're going to want to find advertising companies that are willing to get you results!
Using an Advertising Out Clause
Another very powerful event marketing strategy is negotiating a contractual "out clause." An out clause gives you the ability to try an advertising medium BEFORE you fully commit to a expensive or long term contract. There is nothing more frustrating than getting contractually tied into something that isn't directly benefiting your event marketing efforts. Even if you have to pay more for your advertising upfront, explore trying to negotiate an advertising out clause.
Online Event Advertising
Here's is an example . . . Lets say you're buying online banner advertising to promote your event. The contract term is for 90 days of advertising. When you're negotiating terms, you should ask for a 72 hour out clause to be written into the contract. This allows you to buy 3 days worth of advertising to see if it works. If the advertising doesn't work for driving traffic to your event web site or selling tickets, then you can option out of the contract. If you negotiate an out clause, you need to practice accountable advertising (tracking your results). If you can't track that your event advertising is work, why buy it?
Offline Event Advertising
You can also try to negotiate an out clause for offline advertising (television, radio, print.) With offline advertising your out clause needs to be a little long. The length of time is largely depending on how many times your advertising runs. You might need 2-3 runs of your ad before you can deem it's effectiveness. Again, you need to track the effectiveness of your event promotions.
In short, an out clause allows you to TEST and TRACK your advertising, BEFORE you tie yourself into an expensive or long term contract.
You as the buyer of advertising have ultimate say in what you pay or negotiate for advertising. Always try to negotiate the best event advertising deal possible. Don't just blindly spend money marketing your event.
Want to get more great info? Check out the articles below:
- Advertising and Marketing that Sells
- Measuring Advertising Effectiveness
- Simple Event Advertising Tracking with Google Analytics
- The Advertising of Your Event
- Money Saving Advertising Question
- Being a World Class Event Promoter (the P.T. Barnum Way)
- Ride a Winning Ad
- Hold Your Event Marketing Accountable!
- Drowning Your Event Prospects with Advertising Details
- Tracking The Effectiveness of Traditional Marketing with The Internet