Lately, in the marketing world, you hear a lot of talk about relationships. Marketing is all about relationships. Brands don’t know how to have relationships with their customers and so on. One way to develop these relationships is to connect your online world with real life – host and attend in-person events with your target audiences.
This past weekend, I attended a TechGirlz event in which volunteers from MakerBot Industries came down from New York to teach the girls about 3D printing. The volunteers spent travel time, setup time and then three and a half hours of workshop time as generous ambassadors of their brand.
Here’s why this is fantastic marketing: The girls will be talking to their parents about MakerBot and the parents will most likely talk about it with their friends. We live-tweeted from the event and posted photos on Google+. Our tweets were picked up by people with even larger followings and the good word about MakerBot and TechGirlz was spread. Win-win!
Marketing managers, what offline efforts are you using to improve your brand?
At Philly Marketing Labs, we manage Main Line Internet & Social Media Marketing Meetup events and regularly present workshops at Drexel Baiada Center.
Our latest workshop at the Baiada Center allowed us to get involved with the local Google+ field representatives. This is a high-energy team motivated to help businesses use Google+, and because we’re so proactive about teaching in the community, we have been able to learn a lot from this relationship so far and teach much as well.
At our meetups, we meet with business owners and professionals monthly. We don’t get paid to do this, but we hold mini-workshops in addition to our happy hour/networking events. It’s very easy for you to do the same.
Here are 5 reasons to hold in-person events:
1. Spread positive brand impressions.
My experience with the MakerBot people left me with a very positive impression of the company. Not only were the volunteers friendly and generous with their time, but the way they spoke about their company drove this positivity home. And, I keep telling everyone I can about this positive experience.
2. Build a reputation as an expert and thought leader.
By bringing people together and leading discussions on relevant technology and marketing topics, we leave our audience with a favorable impression of Philly Marketing Labs and we become trusted advisors on many topics. A bonus is that by attending this sort of event and participating, you too can be seen the same way.
3. Connect the relationship circle from online to in-person.
Using online methods to attract people to events and speaking in-person with people to get them to follow us online help make our relationships more whole. Interacting online and offline also gives you more to talk about. You learn people’s interests and stories and can relate to them on a much more personal level.
4. Meet other experts to partner with.
This benefit is true for the host and attendees. At any networking event, you’re never sure who you’re going to run into. While sharing stories about your businesses and challenges you may face, opportunities present themselves in conversation.
5. Draw business prospects directly from your audience.
Obviously, this is what everyone wants to have happen. And it will. But keep those four other points in mind too. ROI is not always just about sales. Build the relationships and business will come.