There are some great marketing ideas you can borrow from all the Black Friday and Cyber Monday madness. What can you do to get people to take immediate action? The simplest event marketing idea you can borrow is using an irresistible offer to drive advance ticket sales …
Irresistible offers usually come in the form of a deep discount. They include hooks like, "SAVE up to 30% OFF Everything in the Store.” Or “Buy One, Get One Free." Those type of marketing messages drive people to buy. Next time you see some ridiculous offer on television, take a moment to ask, "Why are they doing that?" On the surface, deep discount offers seem ridiculous. Yet, it's most likely a well thought out marketing strategy. Discounts are typically based on average customer value … people come in the store, buy the discounted item, and then spend $X on additional items. It's similar to the old cliché in supermarket shopping, “nobody goes to the store just to buy milk." Consider what happened durring the recent 2011 Black Friday push ...
Best Buy a Winner as Holiday Weekend Sales Surge
"U.S. retailers racked up a record $52.4 billion in sales over the Thanksgiving weekend, a 16.4 percent jump from a year ago, as early hours and attractive promotions brought out more shoppers, an industry trade group said on Sunday ...
Best Buy drew in shoppers by being one of the companies that opened its stores at midnight Thanksgiving night, and unlike in 2010, it focused more on having lower prices for big TVs and other popular items."
Source: Reuters, "Best Buy a winner as holiday weekend sales surge"
Borrowing Retail Ideas for Your Event Marketing
How does this apply to marketing your event? Think in terms of driving advance ticket sales. What can you afford to give up in order to sell an advance sale ticket? In order to make discounting on advance ticket sales work, you need to have knowledge of average customer value (what your customer is ultimately worth).
Can You Afford to Discount Your Tickets by 50%?
Here is an example ... Let's say you discount a $20 ticket to your event by 50%. Some event organizers would argue that such drastic discounting hurts them. That's why it's important to know your average customer value. Are people making additional purchases at your event and does that benefit you? What if your data shows that you make an additional $20 per ticket when people purchase souvenier programs, food, drink, etc. Thus, giving up $10 per ticket actually proves profitable. Here's an article that jumps into deep ticket discounting a little more: Leveraging Huge Ticket Discounts to Drive Advance Tickets Sales.
If you can’t offer a discount on tickets, can you offer something else? Maybe a bonus or some other premium.
Another way to look at this, especially for outdoor event organizers, is opportunity cost. Are you willing to give up 50% of the face value of your ticket (for an outdoor event), knowing that weather is a significant buying factor? Many event organizers would argue that giving such a huge discount will bankrupt their event. It’s interesting to see what happens when those same organizers have to deal with a lousy weather forecast and horrible weather. When nobody up to your outdoor event, because of lousy weather, it’s amazing how much an event organizer will discount tickets.
In order to create irresistible offers, you really need to know your numbers. Unless your event is truly extraordinary, most people won't buy tickets as soon as they go on sale. Use an irresistible offer to get people to buy tickets early. IMPORTANT: If you're going to discount, do so smartly! Just discounting to discount, is a losing strategy ... always think through the process.
Additional Ideas for Marketing Your Event:
- Leveraging Huge Ticket Discounts to Drive Advance Tickets Sales
- Event Marketing Ideas for Advertising on the Radio
- Get Great Ideas from an Event Marketing Field Trip
- Measuring Your Social Media Event Promotion Efforts
- The Importance of Market Research in Planning Your Event