People are doing more talking then ever before. You can thank the internet and cell phones for this. They are not just talking with their mouths. They are writing, blogging, and social networking. These words and conversations are what is influencing decisions and moving product.
As event and entertainment marketers we should not only use these marketing methods, we should also listen and read what they are saying. A lot of our marketing decisions can be made based on what our customers tell us. So often we forget to listen to our customers. It reminds me of the Verizon fios TV commercial where the cable guy asks “why are we listening to customers, seems dumb”. Customers tell us everything we need to know to be successful. So many times we just tell them what they want and need.
One the best and cheapest marketing methods: strike up a conversation. This is really easy to do. You know who your target market is, so go to them. On the internet find out where they hang. What social sites do they use? What blogs do they read? Read what they are saying. Ask them questions. Don’t be scared of the negative. Use this for positive change.
You don’t have to use just the internet. Meet them live, face to face. Go where your customers are. This could be at your venue. Instead of walking around with a clip board, invite them to a table or booth. Give them a gift for their honest conversation. We are always doing contests with text messaging at events. Why not have them text you their opinions? If you market a sports team, why not go to youth sports games? Talk to the kids. They are your future.
I am a firm believer in having a finger on the pulse of our customers. Two way talk will do the trick.