Marketing is not just about publicity. It is about understanding your audience, catering to their needs and having a conversation with them.
A full marketing plan is based on the 4 Ps of marketing – product, price, placement and promotion – putting the right product in the right place, at the right price, at the right time.
Having a marketing plan will help you focus on what you are offering, where, whom it’s for, is it good value and how you will let them know about it?
You can have a better conversation with your market if you know something about your customers first. Therefore market research is a useful thing to do, before you go ahead with your project. You probably have a rough idea of who would like your project – your target market, but it is better to have evidence rather than guess-work. You may be pleasantly surprised when you find it has a wider appeal than you first thought, or have to adjust your plans if it’s not as popular as you thought it would be.
Market research is about asking questions to help you understand your market/audience. It will give you confidence or a wake up call.
Techniques can include
- Focus groups
- Internet research
Examples of things you may want to know
- Is there a type of person who likes your idea?
- Why do they like it?
- Can you persuade new people to try it out?
- Can they afford it?
- Do they have to come to you or can they participate online?
- How do you find them to tell them about it?
When asking people questions, they need to be asked in ways that give useful information that is easy to interpret/analyse. Here is more advice on writing a questionnaire.
Your brand is more than a logo. A logo is how people recognise you, but your brand is how people think of you. It’s about reputation and image. Branding is important if your project will last for some time or you want to continue with other projects that will build on the reputation of previous work.
Judgements about quality, excitement, customer care, reliability, integrity and good value are the sort of things that affect a brand. If you get this right, you can create brand loyalty and future business.
A logo is part of your visual brand. It is a visual language that communicates your values. It is useful to have a simple yet distinctive design that quickly identifies your organisation or project with any publicity, packaging, merchandising etc. It should be clear enough to be recognised if it is small, e.g. on a business card, letterhead or flier, and effective if scaled up in size e.g. for a banner, large poster or projection. It should also work in electronic media.
If your brand is good and people recognise your logo, people are more likely to read the rest of the information in front of them – curious about what you are offering now.
A good way to think about the viability or your project is to do a SWOT analysis. This is about looking at your team, your idea and your market and identifying your Strengths Weaknesses Opportunities and Threats. Market research will give you a lot of information that can be used in a SWOT analysis.
If we think of the gig example used in the Budget page, a SWOT analysis may result in something like this:
- Market research shows strong interest in the event
- Your audience is easy to reach through social media sites
- You have an enthusiastic team to help you
- You know where to get advice if you need it
- Not much experience in putting on events
- Not confident with some of the skills needed such as managing money
- Not much money to seed the event
- Nothing similar is happening in your area – fill a gap in the market
- A chance to get some experience and get better at doing projects
- A choice of venues to put on the gig
- Potential audience is young with little money to spend
- Much of the audience has to travel to the event which could put them off
- An excited audience could be rowdy and disturb neighbours – affects your brand reputation
With the knowledge you have gained from market research, you can start to think of ways to use your strengths, strengthen your weaknesses, take advantage of opportunities and minimise threats. E.g. you could minimise threats by offering discounts to under 18s or student card holders and ‘early bird’ ticket buyers, see if there is a demand for a minibus that could be filled from neighbouring towns/villages, have polite notices at the entrance or on tickets asking for consideration of neighbours and have stewards that keep an eye on the audience inside and outside the building, especially at the end when people leave.
To find the list and links to all B Sharp’s posts about event and project planning, go here: Ideas into Action
Links to other music resources, compiled by B Sharp, can be found here.