2. Enabling focused sales and communication to a captive audience:
In an event, atmosphere channel or web surfing is not possible. The audience is more or less bound to witnessing one particular event. In such a situation, it is very favorable for sellers to put forth their presentations without any diversions. Such a situation is very valuable given the ineffectiveness of traditional modes of communication in holding on to the attention of the audience.
Especially in a rural setting, any event that is jazzy and filled with glitterati will not only be a crowd-puller but also a captivating tool that can be used for marketing communication.
3. Increasing customer traffic in stores:
Sometimes newly opened venues, showrooms, retail outlets, etc. need to attract the attention of their target audience and entice them to visit. Events can be conceptualized to increase customer traffic.
They can be customized to make available, concepts ranging from retail store specific events organized on a small scale to an in-between link connecting an increase in customer traffic with a mega-event such as a one-day international cricket or a music concert using tickets or passes for the event as giveaways.
The Nescafe 3-in-l treasure hunt in 2 or 4-wheel vehicle, cosponsored by McDonald’s, is a prime example of a combined effort in increasing the customer traffic as well as increasing the awareness among the upper classes of the existence of the new McDonalds’s outlet. The treasure hunt involved touching base at a host of exclusive outlets of the sponsors and a variety of prizes such as music systems by Samsung awaited the winners of the event.
4. Enabling sales promotions:
It is a fact that events have a say in almost every type of marketing decision that a company takes. Sales promotion is a very significant gainer from the benefits that events offer.
As part of a well-planned, optimized and economized strategy, a newly launched timeshare concept vendor affiliated to the RCI group tied up with theatres in the plush locales of Mumbai. Cine-goers to movies such as Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, in Liberty Theatre, were given questionnaires upon entering the hall.
They were enticed to fill up the form immediately with the promise of a lucky prize. The questionnaire basically requested for personal information such as age, marital status, and monthly income from the respondents. The lucky draw was just a formality.
The resort wanted to segment and target specifically couples in the age group 28-60 years and who had a combined monthly income exceeding Rs.20, 000 per month.
The spending patterns holidays were also scrutinized. Couples falling into this segment were then invited for an organized hard sell consisting of educating the potential customers on the concept of time-shares an instant discount of 25% valid for only that presentation was also dangled in front of the potential customers with this exercise and shift in strategy to events, the timeshare vendor had increased its hit rate from 5% to 15% overnight.
They were meeting 480 couples and that too qualified leads everyday for the duration of the event as compared to an average of 100 unknown couples in the entire duration of their sales promotion exercise earlier.
Thus, using a variety of delivery systems-direct mail, sampling programs, newspaper inserts, point-of-purchase displays, in-store coupons or in-pack flyers and other such micro events woven together-can help develop and deliver the promotion message to the right audience. 5.
5. Helping in relationship building and PR activities:
Practitioners of this marketing function believe event marketing campaigns have the ability to create long-lasting relationships with closely targeted market segments, a role that it is increasingly expected to play in the years to come.
Relationship building is not restricted to end user customers; most events are also targeted at enhancing distributor and sales representative relations.
Taking dealers on foreign jaunts and honoring sales reps with visits to overseas exhibitions such as the K-98 exhibition in Germany is a well known way of using trade events for relationship building. Musical concerts, international star tours, road shows, and corporate meets all qualify as PR events.
Another set of events that certain companies religiously sponsor is specific focused events organized by prestigious colleges. These need not be youth oriented product or service companies, but companies looking to attract and recruit some of the best and talented minds in their business.
Past sponsors here invariably have had the objective of establishing their relationship with the Institute and ensuring that an image of being interested is created and nurtured. There are definitely other objectives that can be associated with such events by sponsors. For example, Techfest’98, the first such event, had AMD (Advanced Micro Devices) as its main sponsor.
Not just that, AMD actually made an entry into the Indian market through the medium of Techfest, taking the market by storm. Other main sponsors over the years, such as IBM have given excellent post-event feedback and have promised that the association with Techfest would only grow in the future.
Selectica Configurations, the main sponsors of Techfest 2000, too found Techfest the most suitable medium to venture into the Indian market. Other sponsors over the years have included TCS, Wipro, Cypress Semiconductors, Netpilgrim.com, Schlumberger, Enron, i2 Technologies, Planetasia.com, Oracle, PCS, Texas Instruments, VSNL, MTNL, GE Capital, SAS, Cadbury India, AT&T, Siemens, MBT, Informix, Onward Novell India, Radiostar, Pepsi, and The Indian Express Group among others. Techfest has also had media sponsors like Express Computer and their sister publication IT People.
6. Enthusing and motivating the sales team:
The need for interaction is not restricted to external customers only and end consumers are not always the focus of live media exercises. Sometimes, events are used as a platform to kick off a product within the company.
Glitzy launch conference events go a long way in enthusing the company’s sales team that has to sell products to demanding customers.
This is especially popular amongst pharmaceutical and other FMCG companies who have a whole army of sales representatives on the field at any given point in time and who need to be kept at their peak performance levels.
During the cricket World Cup’99 held in England, the Hong Kong & Shanghai Banking Corporation (HSBC) introduced a scoring system on the pattern of the game of cricket.
A certain amount of runs were awarded in place of points for particular performance criteria. This event was also used by HSBC to convert almost all of its employees into sales persons instead of relying on the more traditional structure of a separate sales team.
7. Providing an avenue to affirm presence:
After the restructuring of its relationship with Proctor & Gamble, Godrej Soaps Limited needed to send out the right signals to the world that it was still in good shape and ready to bounce back into the market with renewed vigour
It needed to assure its investors as well as customers of its strong presence and resolve to continue business as usual. Thus, to affirm its presence in the minds of its stakeholders and the general public, Godrej sponsored the Miss World contest in 1996, thereby sending out strong and healthy signals.
8. Generate immediate sales:
Most events let firms install an exclusive booth and give the permission to exploit the opportunity to merchandise. Events such as the annual limited period discount sales from Wrangler and Van Heusen are authentic stock clearance and seconds sales aimed at generating immediate sales.
Similarly, food and beverage stalls at events, especially at college events, are also aimed at the direct profits generated by sales in the duration of the event.
9. Generating instant publicity:
An event can be designed to generate instant publicity upon the implementation of a marketing strategy. The e-commerce start up Half.com, which wanted to sell products such as CDs, books, movies and games over the Internet was up against major and strong competition.
This example explains how an event can be designed to benefit all the strategic partners. You might ask, what does buying CDs, books, movies and games have to do with the town of Halfway, Oregon. Well, the answer is absolutely nothing.
The results of this publicity stunt started the ball rolling towards getting this company purchased by eBay for more than $300 million. The Oregon city of Halfway got into a partnership with the suburban Philadelphia- based Internet Company Half.com. The city renamed itself as Half.com for the year 2000 only.
They thought the change would spark tourism and help the economy, but it hasn’t had the complete effect they had hoped for. Though, the company Half.com did benefit from the instant spike of stardom that it achieved due to this event.
Recruit new distributors and sales representatives In events such as trade shows and exhibitions, a sort of industrial courtship can also be seen in that, firms are constantly on the lookout for new distributors and sales reps in newer territories.
This is especially so when overseas business partners are sought. The fact that the visitors to the event are authentic, coupled with the opportunity to interact over a period of time, lends credibility to this exercise.
Contacts made during shows can lead to long-term business relationships commercially beneficial to all. Again using the IT industry and the Banglinux 2000 event as an example, the sponsors listed below wanted to show their affiliation to the new movement, i.e. the open source and free operating system of Linux.
By building products and platforms based on Linux, the sponsors can at least ensure that new business partnerships and strategic re-seller agreements that can be arranged and attracted during the event, consider them, i.e. Linux as a first option.