Event Marketing Strategies to Gain Competitive Advantage

May 10, 2021
Develop a comprehensive event marketing strategy - do more than competitors

We have extensively explained the importance of the most popular event marketing strategies. Several examples include website and social media strategies, email marketing, partnerships, and the use of influencers.

However, The State of the Event Industry’ research introduced another critical point. According to them, 66% of event planners believe that a low barrier to entry and competition represent significant concerns.

While the event marketing strategies mentioned above hold enormous potential, almost all companies implement them. So, the question at this point is, how can one gain a competitive advantage in today’s global marketplace?

One of the many solutions is using one or a few unique event marketing strategies in addition to the widely accepted popular ones. The focus here is creating a means for differentiation.

In continuance, we present three such options to incorporate in your event marketing strategy.

Cause Marketing

In cause marketing, an entity has a dual purpose. It wants to increase its profitability while improving society. In other words, it’s ‘when a company does well by doing good.’ Using cause marketing as an event marketing strategy will help you raise awareness. And it works both ways.

If you have regular customers, you will introduce them to the societal issue of your choice. Take, for instance, the ice cream company Ben & Jerry’s. In 2016, they introduced a new flavor, Empower Mint, with the campaign “Democracy Is In Your Hands.” Their loyal following got a free education for the social cause or issue.

However, the cause itself has its following. Even though the ice cream flavor was limited edition, the message stuck. Years after, Ben & Jerry’s get increased web traffic during election season.

Event Marketing Tips

If you like the cause marketing concept, you might choose to include it in your event marketing campaign. If so, consider the following tips.

  • Tell A Story

One thing to keep in mind on how to market an event is that there’s always has to be a story. More precisely, it would be best if you found a way to connect your event with the social issue.

For example, if you present your new eco-friendly solution at the event, you might choose to dedicate a portion of the ticket’s revenues to cleaning your local area or planting trees. In turn, this might increase your future attendance because the people would like to contribute to the cause indirectly.

  • Be Authentic

It’s not enough to tell the story. You should also act upon it. If the social goal or issue is not consistent with your organizational goals and overall event marketing strategy, there is no point in pursuing it.

Your brand, the ambassadors, and overall operation should support the philosophy. So, make sure to avoid influencers as affiliates if they don’t understand what you want to achieve, both internally and externally.

  • Use Social Media

Once again, we go back to social media strategy for events. Social media has remarkable power to join and support a cause. One great example is designing a branded hashtag to circulate on different platforms, including Instagram and TikTok.

Hashtag activism might help you raise awareness of the social issue, thus improve your brand reputation.

Relationship Marketing

Relationship marketing focuses on customer retention and satisfaction. It is vital in event marketing strategies because it improves the connection with existing customers.

In general, successful events account for tangible and intangible results. The tangibles include increased sales, ROI, or website traffic. While they are essential in the short term, the intangibles are guarantees for success. Here we can mention the customer’s experience and loyalty.

When a customer is loyal to your brand, they focus on the value you provide, not the price. These customers are also likely to share your brand with friends and family, further extending your reach.

Colleagues sharing experience as an example of successful event marketing

For instance, a past event can serve as marketing for the next one. People trust third parties, thus value word-of-mouth. What’s more, existing customers spend 75% more and cost companies 10% less than new customers.

The most critical issue in using events for relationship management is personalization. More precisely, you should define your ideal customer, also known as a persona. Then, you should find a way to best interact with this imaginary customer and incorporate these practices in your email marketing strategies.

If a customer positively perceives your event/brand, it means you have succeeded. After all, the purpose of event marketing strategies is to reach and maintain a quality and consistent target audience.

Scarcity Marketing

Scarcity marketing capitalizes on a customer’s fear of missing out on something. If you incorporate the psychological principle that people want things challenging to acquire in your event marketing strategy, you might witness a significant increase in visits.

There are numerous ways to spark FOMO (fear of missing out) regarding your event marketing. The ultimate message you want to deliver is “You don’t want to miss this event.”

A person enjoying an event with fear of missing out

For instance, you can post teasers before the event. These images or videos should show the potential customers what they will lose if they don’t attend. However, you cannot use this aspect if you host repetitive, identical events. Each one should be an experience of its own.

Also, you can incorporate promotional discounts in your event marketing strategies. More precisely, you can sell the event at a decreased price until a specific date. Even more, you can skip adding this date and include an ‘ending soon’ phrase instead. Your customers will not want to miss out on the offer and will undoubtedly hurry to purchase.

A Comprehensive Event Marketing Strategy

Not to get us wrong, we are not saying you should prioritize or focus exclusively on the three out-of-the-box event marketing strategies. There is enormous potential on other channels and practices that you would not want to miss. Even so, the cause, relationship, and scarcity event marketing strategies can separate you from the competition. After all, it’s the uniqueness that customers look for and value.

Bruno Mircevski

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