May 22, 2014
[highlight bg=”#FF6600″ color=”#FFFFFF”]Aspect One: Type of Marketing.[/highlight]
When it comes to my employer and the different types of marketing, my favorite to use is social media. Why? We’re able to constantly update our attendees and participants with any changes, any helpful last minute information, and post real time photos during the Festival. The following video was something that I put together in the early morning of this particular event in about five minutes to just remind our online community members things were underway and show them what they were missing. This way, they still had time to bring their kids down for a day of fun. This would not have been conceivable through traditional forms of media.
With traditional marketing, it is nearly impossible to do anything within minutes of it happening because of the cost and planning that is involved. Typically, our first ad roles out in November and includes very general information–we call this our “Save the Dates!” campaign. As time moves forward, we have about one or two publications that we run an ad in for the month of December as a reminder that the events are coming up quick and application deadlines are approaching. When January hits, we begin pushing hard with numerous ads in what feels like almost every local print media available. These ads are turned in sometimes over a month in advance so communicating general information is our goal. Social media has allowed us to broadcast more than just ordinary material; it’s allowed us to get personal. Is one way better than the other? That’s a hard question to answer. Many of our community members have celebrated in this tradition for over fifty years so they are typically not as socially savvy. For them, it is of substance to have a physical copy of an ad in front of them so marketing to them through traditional forms of media is key. I personally answer the majority of the telephone calls that we receive and the constant complaint that the older generation has is that they, “do not do the internet and Facebook.” We have to take that into consideration because we do not want to make them feel excluded–that would reflect poorly on us. What we began to do, as many other companies do, is incorporate our Twitter, Facebook and website information (sometimes this also involved a QR Code) on our print ads, inviting the community to connect with us. Staying relevant with all demographics is important for us in order to be around for an additional seventy-six years.
This is a sample of one of our general ads that I created about a week ago. In fact, it hasn’t even been printed yet. We will be using this for a map that the Chamber of Commerce is putting out for two consecutive years, ending in 2016. Our ad has to stay timeless.
It’s also significant to note that as a non-profit organization, it’s so essential to have resources in social media available because we cannot afford to blanket our city and the neighboring areas with ads in print, or on television and the radio.
I’d like you to just take a look at the top part of this image. It really brings everything into perspective when you look at how much money can be spent (obviously by a wealthy company, but let’s pretend this is all very generalized) versus what you can potentially get for free. My employer is no Lady Gaga, but the conclusion is the same: you can reach a large audience through social media for a fraction of the cost of traditional forms of media.
[highlight bg=”#FF6600″ color=”#FFFFFF”]Aspect Two: Scope.[/highlight]
With the classic marketing style, your advertisement reaches the specific markets that you purchase. If you are extremely localized, that seems like it is a hit. Our radio, television and print ads don’t span very far; they reach only the greater Fort Myers area (from Naples to Punta Gorda). Many of these people do participate and attend different events each year, so that scope is great. However, we are in need of reaching our out of town guests who make the trip every year. We have dedicated event goers that come from Canada, Minnesota and everywhere in between. Our Facebook Insights also lists people from Germany, United Kingdom, Columbia and beyond. Through advertising in our market, we are unable to reach them. Social media is optimized for the entire public so it has given us the opportunity to connect and reach out to our out of towners so they are aware of event dates and helpful information just like everyone else who attends from the Fort Myers area.
Normally, our souvenir program book is printed and distributed to over 5,000 people during the Festival. This year (2014), we offered a digital copy of the program that was linked on our website, Facebook and Twitter accounts. More than 1,500 people from around the globe accessed it in the two month time frame (January and February). This made it easy for parents to send a copy to grandparents and friends if their child’s photo was in there from the previous year, or they just wanted an additional copy for themselves.
To dive a little deeper into our particular scope, unlike many brands, we do not target a specific audience. We aren’t looking for tweens who have a disposable income; we want everyone. We market our events to the entire public so everyone is welcome regardless of their social status, economic background and age. Sure, certain events may tend to teeter toward something that seems more specific. Let’s take Day of Discovery, for example. “DOD,” as we call it, is an interactive day focused on educating children and their families about STEM. The great thing is, even if you don’t have a young child, the event is still FREE and you can explore different organizations that are really interesting! I, myself, as an adult found it really exciting to walk around to the different solar powered cars that were there as well as looking at different creepy swimmer-bug-things (pictured below). There was even an alligator! It’s about learning and promoting education to everyone about the field of science, but in a way that makes it enjoyable for kids. Maybe, as an adult, you can learn the benefits to owning that solar powered car that you think looks really cool.
In the case of scope, it’s imperative to utilize both traditional media with social media. Not only is it more cost effective, but you’re able to reach the people you want to reach on two different levels.