Archive for June, 2013

Are You Digging Deep Enough?

Thursday, June 20th, 2013

by Susan Novicki

“Are you going broad enough and deep enough when you landscape?”

This is a question I find that I ask fairly frequently.  Even though everyone knows that there are multiple people with discretionary budgets at most companies, very often we tend to just target the marketing manager.  Many times sellers will research and as soon as they find a marketing person they assume this is “the one” and target just this person.

As we all know, we rarely get a decision-maker on the phone with an initial call or with one email.  As a result, many weeks can be wasted leaving messages and emailing just one individual as that person may not have a budget to fund programs.

It is important to find many people who could possibly have responsibility for some kind of funding within a company.  Many times I will find people who I know will not be my decision-makers but who could ultimately get me to the decision-maker.  These are the influencers and they can be just as important as those that sign the contracts.  If we can get someone within a company to have interest in the solutions that we can bring to the table to help them with their initiatives or with issues they might be having, we have a chance of closing business.

If we continue to call just one person in the hopes that we can connect and that when we do connect that they have money for a solutions-based program, we are living in fantasy with little hope of attaining our revenue goals.

So as you start to work a prospect, or as you look at your current list of prospects, ask yourself “who else in this company could have money to spend?”  “Who else in this company could be an influencer to help me get to the appropriate people and close business?” Start researching broader and deeper in every company you are working – how much more successful can you be with this strategy?

Also, look at your current business; are there opportunities to garner more dollars by finding other divisions to call on?

Always think about working broader and deeper within every company that you make contact with and you will ultimately be much more successful.

Create Compelling, Unique Partnerships

Thursday, June 6th, 2013

by Kathrine Glass

I was fortunate recently to attend two amazing conferences – the IEG Sponsorship Conference and the Event Marketer Summit. Both had a ton of great information presented by fantastic speakers from nationally recognized brands like Miller-Coors, Movember, Under Armor, Cisco and Microsoft, to name a few. Attendees included individuals from the brand side, agencies, various vendors and events/properties.

Across both conferences, there were three main ideas that resonated for me as it relates to events/

properties. Each is important as we look to sell the events/properties that each of our stations have.

  • Know the story. Do you know the “why” behind your event/property? What is your story? If you don’t know what your event/property stands for and what it’s purpose or mission is, define it today. You need to know your story but you also need to know the story of the brands you are prospecting. You will be able to prospect better by looking for companies that align with similar thinking. It can help you look beyond a specific category and look deeper for possible partners. It can also help you stay away from companies that aren’t a good match, saving you a lot of time. Most brands know their story and they try to stick by it regardless of whether or not the decision maker is local or national. Do some research, know the story and build programs that can demonstrate a natural fit.
  • Get connected. It seems like daily we hear about brands utilizing digital and social technology to connect with consumers. If we aren’t offering ways to leverage those channels pre-event, real-time at the event and post-event, then we are missing a huge opportunity. We need to think beyond banner ads, Facebook or text promotions and really understand what digital and social can provide. It allows us a tool to capture data, to understand the brand’s influencers more and to offer our partners more robust thinking around the audience that we deliver. Having a comprehensive plan on the outset can help attendees have an optimized experience resulting in more positive returns for your partner. Think about unique content that you can provide or engaging conversations that you can create.
  • Create an emotional bond. In all programs we do, our end goal should be to create an emotional bond with the consumer. If we can build campaigns that touch consumers at their heart they will then be more inclined to buy and/or tell others about their experience. We need to evaluate all of our event/property assets and help our sponsors to leverage those elements. The better we get at that the more fulfilled the partnership will be.

One of the best quotes I heard during the conferences was “Shift from brand campaigns to campaigning for our brands.” By keeping that in mind you can create sponsorship ideas that are compelling and unique for your partners. Be authentic to who you are, who your brand partners are. Use technology to your benefit and give consumers a reason to love you and your brand partners!