“You Can’t Handle the Truth!” Those infamous words were delivered with spite by Colonel Jessup in the 1992 movie “A Few Good Men.” The same words and his speech on the courtroom stand ultimately lead to his conviction. Today we’re going to take a hard look at “the truth” and event promotion advertising spend. Because it’s paramount to your event’s success! You need to be able to handle the truth.
Let’s start with a question. Are you and your team being truthful about your event promotion results? Because most event organizers can’t handle the truth. It's like ripping a scab off - it isn't easy, and it hurts like hell!
It’s with absolute conviction that I tell you that most event advertising and marketing is a TOTAL WASTE! In some cases, 75% or more – completely useless! Before you get upset with me. This is not my opinion, it is what the data clearly shows. Unless you’re able to deal with some pain, you’re just wasting advertising and marketing dollars – plus your time.
Here's an excerpt from my upcoming book to illustrate the point. From “The Ultimate Event Marketing Machine: How to Create, Automate, and Leverage the Most Powerful Event Promotion Asset in the World and Skyrocket Your Revenue!” …
Don’t Spend Your Advertising Budget Blindly
Years ago, a West Coast event organizer confided to me that he didn’t know their most effective form of advertising. All he could do was guess. The same organizer bragged to me that they spent almost $250,000 USD each year on advertising. To be fair on the braggadocio, it was Vegas, and there was alcohol involved. I asked them, "Why are you doing that?" (Spending $250K a year.) His answer, "Because that’s what we’ve always done!"
Here’s the terrifying part: When asked, most event organizers can’t identify their most effective form of advertising. Hardly anyone knows what advertising works. At best, it’s a complete shot in the dark. Countless advertising dollars are lost. Forever!
It is imperative that you look at the “truth” of what advertising works and what doesn't. Ask yourself, “can we prove with hard data that this advertising is selling us tickets?” If not, stop doing it. Having gone through the process with clients for years, it is going to be painful. If you can bear through the pain, you’ll be far better off – I guarantee it!
Here’s a positive story to balance out against the angst above …
To their credit, one client conceded to the truth about their billboard advertising. They were spending approximately $27,000 USD a year on billboards. It was an all cash buy. And not a single ticket sale could be tracked to their billboards. (Tracking could have been implemented for as little as $50 USD.) They were challenged on billboard effectiveness and answered, “we don’t know!” To their credit, the client dropped all billboards and changed their marketing approach.
It was difficult for them. There were people on the client’s team who were really pissed at me. I don’t blame them. Their world was being turned upside down, and it was my fault! Thankfully, they stuck it out.
Here are the extraordinary results. Without billboards and using a different marketing approach to their event ... gross ticket revenue increased over 35%, year over year. Their new approach also put them over a million dollars of online ticket sales. Absolutely fantastic! Without questioning and challenging their plan, that never would have occurred.
Are you and your team willing to handle the truth? Because if you are able and committed to finding solutions, victory awaits you!
Image Credit: A Few Good Men, Columbia Pictures, 1992
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