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The Godfather of Gore's killer advice

Herschel Gordon Lewis was known as the "Godfather of Gore." His horror movies launched the "splatter" film genre. (I'll let you use your imagination on that one. Or, your welcome to do a Google search. Fair warning, it's pretty offensive.)

A vast majority of Herschel's film work was considered very controversial at the time. His film style was influential on notable film directors, including Quentin Tarantino, John Carpenter, and Wes Craven.

What most people don't know about Mr. Lewis is that he was an advertising and marketing genius. He was very much the shrewd capitalist. Because he made horror films for the sole purpose of profit!

After retiring from filmmaking in the 1970s, Herschel Gordon Lewis went back to his advertising and marketing roots. He published several advertising and marketing books in the 1980s and owned an advertising agency.

One of the nuggets of marketing wisdom from his books is the phrase:

"If you emphasize everything, you emphasize nothing!"

Do yourself a favor and write the quote above down. Because it impacts everything you do in the marketing of your event! Including television, print, online, email marketing, and social media. Today, more so than ever, your consumer is mired with information overload.

Too much event marketing is focused on the "emphasizing everything" approach. Take for example, an event website. The event organizer wants that website to look pretty, make sure team members have a great picture and bio, tell people how much money the organization has raised, and on and on. Those are all very nice and do next to nothing to further someone attending your next event.

Don't load up your website, marketing, and advertising with a bunch of extraneous information that most readers will either ignore or simply not care about. Focus all your marketing and advertising on one single goal, getting them to your event. Keep it lean and mean.

Want to get more event marketing info? Check out the articles below:

Pick up the effing phone (please)

Fair warning, what follows is a bit of an abrasive rant. My mantra ... if I complain about something, I better provide a solution. There's actionable advice at the end. Ok, let's go!

50 years ago this July, man landed on the moon! And today, it has never been easier to communicate with another person. Yet, there are significant communication issues in business.

Over the last six years, there have been multiple project screw ups, all because people decided to rely on email and text messages to communicate. The screw-ups involved tens of thousands of dollars and serious issues for event clients. One issue almost resulted in a client being suited.

Most recently, a ticketing company nearly borked a client's sophisticated two-year data project. A manager at the ticketing company decided they wanted to play the CYA (Cover Your A**) game.

That manager insisted on using a multiple person email thread, instead of picking up the phone. "But wait, there's more!" One of the people on the email thread was on vacation, and another went on vacation in the middle of the project. Seriously, why even include those people?!?!

My client's tickets went on sale with significant data issues. Thankfully, the client's customers knew no different.

All the stress and useless drama above could have been avoided with a simple two-minute telephone call for business purposes.

My guess is you've probably found yourself in similar situations. You know, those unresolved 25-30 message email threads. Or how about the passive-aggressive text message that you're unclear about its meaning.

I believe that business is best done in person, at least over the telephone, and at worse via email and text message.

So when in doubt, confused, angry, or frustrated ... pick up the effing phone and give that person a call.

In every single instance that I can recall, a polite two-minute telephone conversation was more efficient and effective than any long email thread or series of text messages. A heartfelt telephone conversation also did way more to alleviate hurt feelings and misunderstandings.

"What happens when I get voicemail?" Don't leave a message until you attempt to call some three times. So we're clear, that doesn't mean you should call someone three times in a row and annoy the heck out of them. Try calling in the AM, later in the day, and then the next day. Leaving a message on your third attempt really helps to avoid the telephone tag voicemail game. You call, then they call, then you call.

If you want to be successful at your event or in your business, you need to be good at communicating. When you get good at using the phone for business, it will pay you in spades!


Data's What, When, and Why ...

During an interview with Mike Gastin for his podcast the Currency (you can listen here: 65 Minutes of Outdoor Event Promotion Insight), the topic of data leveraging and analysis was broached. Specifically, the importance of keeping data analysis as simple as possible. My thanks to Mike for the great opportunity and asking thought-provoking questions!

During the interview, we talked about data and how to analyze it. Overall my recommendation is to keep data analysis as simple as possible. Especially when working with clients.

What follows is a bit of an abstract concept and should help you look at your data in a structured way. For clarification, this isn't an attempt to deep dive into mountains of raw data and engage in pattern analysis. I leave that to the experts! The goal here is to keep things as simple as possible.

My recommendation is to think of data in terms of "what, when ... and why?"

Every time a user or customer takes action in response to your marketing or advertising, "what and when" become applicable. Think of an action taken as the"what." e.g., A person visited your website or purchased a ticket to your event." What the user did is a measurable action. That's one piece of your data set.

"When" denotes an exact moment, or during a particular course of time, when an action (the "what" occurs. e.g., After seeing an online banner ad, the user clicks on that ad a 14:23 and is taken to your event website. Depending on how deep you want to go down the rabbit hole, "when" could be sliced in several different ways.

Asking "why?" the user took the given action, at a specific time, is an essential part of your data analysis.

Frame "why" as a series of questions. "Why did a person visit your event website?" Or, "why didn't someone buy a ticket to your event?" In essence, answering why a person or a group of people take action (s) allow you to connect all the dots.

Over time, identifying the "what, when, and why" of your attendees can lead you to some surprising insights about your event. It can also lead you to extraordinarily powerful marketing and advertising for your event.

To be continued ...

Here's some additional info:

This doozy reared its ugly head, yet again

What's the "doozy"? The insidiousness nature of inaccurate and inconsistent data.

Any event's ability to use data, even at the most basic level is predicated on the quality of the data being collected. No data set is going to be perfect. There is also the ongoing challenge of missing data. That said, even a reasonably accurate data set, including a few errors, can be tremendously insightful.

One place where you cannot afford too much bad or even missing data is your ticket revenue reporting. Mainly if most of your ticket sales are generated online.

Yesterday, I identified a potential online ticket revenue reporting problem between Google Analytics and a client's ticketing vendor.

On Thursday, the client's ticket revenue data was under-reported in Google Analytics versus the ticketing company's reports. Yesterday, ticket revenue was over-reported by 30%. Thus far today, ticket revenue is over reported by 5.88% in Google Analytics.

What's worse, are the inconsistencies of the online revenue reporting. It's not under or over-reporting, it's both and to varying degrees.

In case you were wondering, "yes!" the ticket revenue reporting was tested multiple times before tickets went on sale to the public. All the test sales were spot on in both the ticketing platform and Google Analytics.

To make matters worse, it's the weekend, and the ticketing company's department for troubleshooting issues won't return to work until Monday.

Ultimately for the client above, their most crucial reporting metric is how much revenue from ticket sales is ending up in their bank account. As long as the net ticket sales and bank account deposit reconcile. The data is perfect ... and it is pristine at the moment!

Here' today's takeaway ... if you're going to use data to make smart decisions regarding your event, make sure that you quadruple check the accuracy of that data. Stay vigilant before, during, and after your event. Especially when something within the system changes. You're not looking for perfect, but reasonably accurate. Because "reasonably accurate tracking is better than no tracking at all!"

Want to get more event promotion info? Check out the articles below:

Where are your ticket sales today?

Let's start with a quick question, "how often do you check your ticket sales?"

For many event organizers, not often enough. By the time they realize they're behind on ticket sales, it's too late. The "we're behind on ticket sales!" realization comes right before their event. And that's not a good place to be!

Depending on your sales cycle, I recommend trying to check your ticket sales daily. The previous suggestion might not be practical for everyone. That's also a reason for shorter ticket sale timeframes.

Every Platinum client that has gone from a 10-month ticket sales calendar to 4-5 months of ticket sales have seen significant increases in ticket sales revenue.

To be crystal clear, shortening the ticket sales timeframe won't increase ticket revenue on its own. There is a significant amount of strategy involved. But, a short ticket sales timeframe will reduce the overall time you and your team have to be in customer service mode.

When you check your ticket sales, be sure to ask yourself or your team: "where are our ticket sales today?" Specifically, where are your ticket sales compared to the same sales day (days into your ticket sales cycle) last year / the previous event?

Ideally, you should have some sort of ticket sales dashboard to give you easy to access stats. Though it is not perfect, Google Analytics is a great place to start, provided it's properly configured.

For some clients at specific time frames, we look at their ticket sales on an hourly basis. Yes, that's a little bit obsessive. At the same time, hourly checks allow clients to quickly adjust their marketing strategies during critical timeframes.

Last year, a daily ticket sales check showed that a client was headed for some significant shortfalls in ticket revenue.

Fortunately, there was a marketing contingency plan in place. After the contingency place was executed, the client was ahead in year-to-date ticket sales. If they hadn't checked and taken quick action, I doubt they would have been able to catch up on their ticket sales.

If it's not a habit, make checking your ticket sales like brushing and flossing your teeth. Yes, I included flossing … Because it's a giant pain that will ensure you have a great smile. Just like a bank account with lots of ticket sales revenue.

Want to get more event ticket strategies? Check out the links below: