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To truly leverage The 3% or LESS Rule, you must couple targeting with tracking. That means that every single advertising, PR, or marketing piece for your event can be tracked to a quantifiable result via hard data.
What are results? The result needs to be a click to your website, an online lead generated, or somebody purchasing a ticket to your event. Media impressions don’t count!
Any event can use tracking to eliminate wasteful ad spending. If you cannot track marketing or advertising spend to a certain result, don’t engage in that activity. This might seem like a harsh recommendation. It doesn’t matter if it’s an offline or online medium. Over the last 18 years, I’ve seen millions of dollars and countless hours wasted on ineffective event marketing. As an event producer, you need to answer the following with absolute certainty: “What’s our most effective form of advertising? And can we quantify it with hard data?”
Even You Social Media Efforts Must Be Tracked!
Here’s an example: Last year, an event client posted over 343 posts on their Facebook page. That’s more than one post a day. Consider the amount of time required to create all those posts. Of the 343 posts, NOT ONE could be definitively tracked back to a ticket sale. That isn’t to say they didn’t sell tickets. But if you can’t track it, it does count. We helped the client develop a sophisticated Facebook campaign built upon targeting and tracking. The result? Just 2 Facebook posts drove more web traffic and over $70,000 of ticket sales in just nine days.
Two posts versus 343… That’s the power of targeting and tracking! Every client we work with is put on a strict diet of direct response marketing. That means that they can precisely track a dollar spent on advertising to ticket sales to their event.
Tracking the effectiveness of marketing used to be extremely challenging for most event. Today, there are easy to use tools that allow you to track both traditional and online marketing efforts. Make sure that you design every piece of advertising and marketing with a built-in tracking device. It can be as simple as a unique web address tied in to a Google Analytics campaign. A web address costs about $15 a year for registration. If you’re going to spend thousands of dollars, in many cases tens of thousands of dollars, on advertising isn’t it worth $15 to track its effectiveness? Yes, tracking can literally be that easy and inexpensive.
One client used tracking and Google Analytics to eliminate billboards from their advertising budget. They gave up approximately 3 million local advertising impressions. But it allowed them to put almost $30,000 back into their bank account while increasing their web traffic by 34.35% and generating record advance ticket and total event revenue.
What About the Other 97%?
You’re probably asking, “Shouldn’t I try to target outside the 3%?” Yes, but please understand that the amount of ad spend is prohibitive for almost every event. It isn’t a matter of spending thousands of additional ad dollars; it’s more like millions or tens of millions of advertising dollars. Most events don’t have that kind of money to pour into advertising. If you decide to target outside the 3%, you must carefully track advertising effectiveness!
In 2016, two event clients ran carefully targeted and tracked online marketing campaigns. Both campaigns showed that the cost of capturing people’s attention outside of 3% becomes astronomical. In the test, the same advertisements (design and copy) were served to two different local audiences, the 3% audience and the general population.
The advertisement served to the general population was displayed three times more, at four times the cost, while generating 86% less revenue than the 3% campaign. That’s an astonishing result.
There are no “if, ands, or buts …” track everything relentlessly! Once you do, you’ll take most of the guess work and waste out of your event marketing and advertising.
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