Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Promotions that Work in a Down Economy

Here is a good article to read up on the trends for 2009 on the Promo Magazine. Read the article here.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The business of "events" and their current relevance to brands.

Influencing audience mind-share by way of events is increasingly becoming tough. Reasons are many, however; ubiquity of sponsored events is the primary reason. There is a huge clutter of “events” which address the same targeted audience, be it a youth or a decision maker in a corporate. This huge exposure to events (aided by additional exposure to worldwide events content via the media & internet) has made the audience more demanding and selective of events which they are willing to engage in.

As the audience gets choosy, the brands are increasingly looking at events either to enhance or alter strategic positioning of the brands or/and to generate business leads.

The events need to be relevant. Forums which have something special, fresh and unique be it fun / knowledge / networking for the audience tend to work. Also events, by their nature are one on one interactive forums, they should not be viewed from a mass reach out perspective – there has to a special reason for engagement for each audience.

The brands need to spend a lot more time and effort on pre-research to address the changing levels of sophistication and exposure of the audience. The “newness” of the initiative goes a long way in making the impact. Content is critical to events – why should the audience choose an event over another. It is not enough for the brand to be a logo at the event.

Events which are restrictive to the audience at the venue will find the going tough due to the huge per audience acquisition costs. Events will need to be amplified and will need to touch a much larger audience base, be it by traditional media, ground level activation or interactive media like the internet or mobile, while ensuring a personalized engagement at the audience front.

Co-ownership is increasingly going to be the way to go, where best of breed partners will take the event experience to new levels and each partner will gain in their own unique manner. In a lot of cases the audience will tend to be a partner as well and contribute in terms of content.

Way forward is to open up the format by engaging the audience within the content creation and to co-create events with the audience participation.

Relevance of "hosted interactions / events" in a slowdown.

Here is a very good and a crisp article on "face to face" customer events and their relevance in the current economic conditions. Focused events are a great way to ensure a good ROI for certain categories of products / brands.

There is however a need for caution. I am of the strong view that brands need to re-examine their exposure to events which are done purely from a brand awareness perspective. Some of these events have very limited and questionable ROI. More on that later in the next post.

"Events should be a critical component to converting your prospects into customers. Before launching one, however, you should rank and score your potential attendees based on several factors including: how close they are to purchasing, their individual purchase authorities, the size of their budgets and other technical and product factors unique to your market or industry.

Once leads are in your pipeline, a content-rich live happening is a great way to move them along the buying process." writes Gordon Plutsky. Read the full article here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Changing Asias - the new blog.

Bates141 has launched a new blog which focusses on looking at the changes which are happening across Asias. Some good stuff here and more to come.