Is your event marketing process diminishing your brand? It may be.
Throughout the year, I receive hundreds of email invitations for webinars, conferences, Chamber events, social gatherings, networking events… from friends, providers, and local businesses.
I have observed that many of these sending companies chose to utilize a free online event management platform, or a social networking website to promote their event. You probably use several of the same social networking sites for the typical reasons we all do — it’s fun to find friends that we have lost touch with over the years, or to share interests with others and follow the comings and goings of our community members.
In a few circumstances, “free” can be a good thing, especially for when operating a business on a small budget. But if you are a small business or organization looking for the best way to promote your events, what does “free” really provide you?
Image is everything, but especially for a small business
While there are many free event planning services, in the context of this conversation, free usually results in a lack of functionality, little to no customization, and forced branding. In essence, you get less and are required to be the service providers advertising medium. Sure, free online registration tools and/or social networking sites may be a good way to stay in touch with casual contacts, and some may even offer attractive design templates and some decent, albeit basic, RSVP management. But most of these free services force advertising support, lack the ability to brand or customize, and were built primarily for social gatherings. Some even require your customers to sign up.
Small businesses have a greater need to look professional than a big company does. The right perception will garner credibility and trust, and contributes to faster acceptance from the target audience. That results in more “buy” decisions going your way.
There is a benefit to being professional
Sadly, too many small business owners think with their wallets before they think strategically! Small businesses, and nonprofit organizations, should place a greater focus on the value of their brand and strive for professionalism when communicating with their customers and prospects. A tool designed for professional use offers the best solution, functionality and aligning of customer perception. The right platform will meet the branding demands every company should strive to present. Ask yourself: is using a free tool worth diminishing your company’s image? In my opinion as a marketer, this is the line in the sand – free simply costs too much.
It takes a comprehensive, diverse, well-designed, and thoughtful process to ensure the success of any event. The use of a professional event marketing tool will provide a stronger set of features that are expressly designed to promote events, capture online registrations, and capture online payments, while providing you with reports on the progress of the event.
Your event marketing solution should:
- Project a professional image for your company
- Be intuitive and easy to use
- Help support your goal in building strong, lasting customer relationships
- Cost a reasonable amount of money but not be an investment
Is your event marketing process diminishing your brand? Now you know why in many instances it may be. The arguments made here, while directed primarily at event marketing, also hold true for email and/or content marketing. If you aren’t certain how your current process compares with an integrated marketing platform (we use and recommend Constant Contact® and are a Certified Solution Provider) contact us and ask about a free trial or an assessment.