CONTENT OF THE MARKETING PLAN
Executive Summary. This is a snapshot of the actual content of your event marketing plan, which is written in the present tense. Be sure that it does not overlap with your introduction which serves a different purpose.
- A brief introduction to the purpose of the event marketing plan and its components relative to addressing the event’s overall objectives.
- Event Background. A brief introduction to the overall purpose of the event and the main goals that organisers seek to achieve in staging the event as a whole, and/or any core activities. Note that if these are not particularly clear or need further work, you should write 3 or 4 goals that reflect the event’s long term vision and goals. Where you are using the existing goals, please reference your source. It is a good idea in this section to also indicate the main stakeholders of the event.
- Situation Analysis
- Macro Environment
- Socio-cultural and Demographics.Fairly self-explanatory, but note any specific consumer trends that could impact on your event, changing demographics within the event’s geographic market reach, issues of media exposure/interest of the demographic, ethnic/cultural characteristics of relevance, emergence of sub-cultures etc. (NOTE: This is not a comprehensive list.)
- Economic Environment.Status of economy (could be regional or local, not just national) that impacts on event visitation, sponsorship, staffing, ticketing etc. Any particular shocks to the economy, changes in costs/fees/exchange rates or closure of major sponsor companies etc would be relevant.
- Political and Regulatory Environment. This can include policies and legislation at all government levels and would include the need for permits at the local level that affect the operation and marketing of events. The need to adhere to regulations regarding the performance of music and other works at concerts would also be relevant here.
- Ecology and Technology.Issues of event impact on local environment and the impact of technology on the event’s operation and marketing. For example, consider how technology affects the on-line and off-line delivery of event experiences, the on-line/mobile marketing initiatives of events, plus use of telecommunications etc during events that are now taken up by both the event and its sponsors.
- Competitive Environment. Consider any direct or indirect competition. Porter’s 5 forces (as covered in the lecture) can be a useful tool and maybe some perceptual mapping of your event alongside the competition, based on organiser and consumer feedback.
- Micro Environment
- Current Marketing Strategy. Provide more of a broad overview in this section as you will talk about the specifics as you develop your own strategies from Section 7 onwards.
- Who are the market segments that have been given some relevance by your event, and what segmentation strategies have been applied (e.g., geographic, demographic, psychographic or other). Illustrate with examples to show what you mean.
- Has the event developed a clear position in the mindset of the market? If so, what is that position and how does it fit alongside similar and competing events?
- SWOT Analysis
Review all of the research you have conducted and, demonstrating significant insights, produce a comprehensive list for each of the following elements:
- Key Issues
- Overall Marketing Objectives for the Event. Consider the measurable and specific marketing objectives that your event will achieve in the timeframe. Visitation (maintaining, building, or even reducing in some cases may be relevant), ticket sales, profitability, awareness, intention to revisit, sponsor recall/recognition, volunteer targets, media and sponsorship targets plus various other objectives related to the different elements of the marketing mix are all potential subject matter that your objectives could address.
- Event Marketing Mix(NOTE: You may consider the use of a matrix to organise discussion in this section. Remember to keep strategies broad, give the details under tactics).
5.1 The Event Product Mix (including programming).You will usually consider your ‘event
experience’ in terms of the different properties it delivers, e.g. profiling each of the kinds of events that mix together to create the overall experience at the event. What is the current programming of the event? This dovetails very closely with your comments about product mix, but should focus to a greater extent on the nature of events that are scheduled to meet market needs at different times during the event. You may also need to refer to the linkage between theming and programming here, as this will sometimes influence the design and delivery of the overall event program (as well as marketing communication discussed in a later section).
- Your strategies need to reflect what you have suggested in your marketing objectives for the event, but will indicate the overall direction that needs to be taken with new/different events or enhancements to what exists.
- What are the specific actions that need to be taken to make the strategy happen? Offer your specific examples/illustrations of the kinds of events to be introduced or ways they will be amended. What are the particular actions and guidelines that need to be put into place to make those programming changes/enhancements a reality?
- Sponsorship and Partnership.Partners in the event will usually include media (as sponsors and/or supportive entities), co-providers (several bodies may jointly produce the event), suppliers (vendors that provide food, beverage plus entertainment agencies etc), talent (performers, players) and sponsors (who may be either cash, in-kind or media). How are partner and sponsor relationships established at present, and what are the issues that can be observed? A particular focus should be placed on the event’ sponsors and their sponsorship objectives. Consider also any packaging of experiences with other attractions and services in the geographic vicinity.
- You may have an array of strategies here (to cover different partners), but be aware that the media strategies noted here will only relate to their role as sponsors or broadcasters of event (i.e., specific use of the media for promotional strategies will be discussed in the Promotion section).
- Again, what are the specific steps and actions that need to be taken to build/maintain/enhance relationships and outcomes achieved from these partners?
- Pricing and Ticketing.Not every event is ticketed – some are free entry with certain food/beverage items and merchandise purchased on-site, while others have different levels of ticketing (basic packages of offerings within the event itself). Some may have packaging that includes elements off the event site. You need to highlight the key issues related to the priced and non-priced elements of your event that may be included in the ‘value’ purchased by event attendees. Then consider your strategic approach.
- Considering the STP, what are the appropriate pricing strategies? Offer a brief rationale for your proposed strategies (as you will be doing for other elements). You also need to include ticket distribution strategies in this section (e.g., use of box office, internet/direct marketing, ticket outlet, as appropriate).
- What specific actions will be needed to put these ticket and package pricing options, or entry fees or prices on elements inside the event into place? What actions need to be taken for ticket distribution and selling?
- Venue(s) and Physical Setting (including service delivery process).How is the venue and physical setting currently designed to maximise consumer satisfaction, enhance the impacts of programming and the creativity/delivery of particular events, allow for crowd flows/concentrations, maximise visibility, give value for money based on ticket options or market profile? Consider using some diagnostic tools to analyse the flow of service delivery, potential bottle necks and failure points in relation to the venue layout and design. Make observations that underpin the direction of your strategy that follows.
- Overall recommendations on the venue/physical setting that will impact on the event’s staging and consumer satisfaction. Note that any distribution strategies related to further physical venues for the event experience are incorporated here.
- Individual actions/tactics that are needed, steps to be taken to fulfil the venue related design and distribution strategies.
- Promotion.This is where the IMC mix (integrated marketing communication) for the event should be discussed: current use of PR, advertising, sales promo, internet/social media strategies, direct marketing, merchandising etc.
- Identify your message and media strategies for IMC. Carefully consider your market and sponsors/partners to recommend the IMC directions for the event.
- Specific marketing communication ideas e.g., update website/social media, media releases on ‘X, Y, Z’ aspects of event, competition, particular type of advertisements, posters etc. are all detailed here (remember the strategy section just talks about the message focus and media mix). Here, the specific nature of packages is outlined.
- Evaluation. Measurement and evaluation approaches should be briefly outlined for your marketing objectives – note that this may cover issues of attendance, but could also be examining aspects of satisfaction within the target audience. Measurement might also need to be considered for objectives related to vendors, sponsors, and volunteers as appropriate. A mix of quantitative and qualitative measures would normally be included with some reference to budgetary constraints in prioritising these forms of measurement and evaluation.
- Conclusion.You should includea couple of paragraphs of conclusions/recommendations which sum up the major elements of content and perhaps briefly prioritise the major recommendations for the event organiser.
References. List, using standard APA referencing, all secondary materials such as publications, reports, journal articles, texts and websites used in preparing your strategy, as well as a list of personal communication if applicable.
Appendices.As appropriate for your project.
FINAL NOTE: In order to successfully manage the balance of content across each component of the final project, you should effectively devote approximately 35-40%of the work to Sections 1 to 4,with the remaining 60-65% of the work being devoted to Section 5 onward