Joint, co-branded events are an effective tool in your marketing promotions mix to help distributed sales channels reach new prospects and close the sale. Events and seminars are excellent opportunities for new prospects to learn more about your product or service, and in-person meetings with current customers can also generate new up-sell and cross-sell opportunities. Co-op marketing events and seminars also provide a means for insurance, financial services and manufacturers, such as building products companies, to get closer to their end-customers while overseeing delivery of the brand message. Here’s your checklist for executing a seamless co-op marketing event or seminar from start to finish.
1. Identify your objectives and develop targeted content. Events can range from social activities to informational seminars addressing your audience’s needs. If the objective of your event is to provide information, then it’s important to make sure the information is relevant and solves a problem you have identified for your target customer segment. Here are some informational seminar theme ideas for the sample industries of Banking, Building Products, Financial Services and Insurance:
- Financial planning
- Identity theft prevention
- Term versus whole life insurance
- Planning a home renovation
- Energy efficient home upgrades
Even if the event is primarily social, such as a golf outing, the face time you’ll have with end-customers is an important opportunity that should not be missed to qualify new leads and provide informational content about your product or service. Here are some soft strategies for incorporating an informational call-to-action into your events:
- Promotional items could include a QR code linking to video testimonials
- Flyers or handouts could include a QR code linking to a calendar to schedule a follow up meeting
- USB drives could be pre-loaded with links to an interactive catalog or a form to enroll in a risk-free trial of your product or service
2. Develop a communications plan and automate communications through a Marketing Resource Management system. Determine which communications channels you’ll use to promote your co-op marketing event. Will you invite attendees via direct mail and/or email, advertise your event, or include a web RSVP component? QR codes incorporated into direct mail or email invites can offer a quick and convenient means for end-customers to enroll in your event or seminar. Marketing resource management systems can be used to develop a turnkey event campaign. These systems simplify the process of developing joint target lists with distributors, customizing event invitations and coordinating event communications and RSVP’s - streamlining your co-marketing event planning from a central technology platform.
3. Co-brand your event materials. Any materials you print specifically for your co-marketing event should be co-branded to visually reinforce awareness of the manufacturer/supplier and distributor relationship. Materials that can be co-branded include: Event signage; Nametags; Informational flyers/brochures; Menus, and Promotional items.
Co-marketing events and seminars provide an excellent opportunity to help distributed sales channels reach more prospects while providing manufacturers with direct end-customer interaction. Marketing resource management systems can be used to create turnkey marketing campaigns to help enroll participants in the event or seminar. Once your marketing resource management system is configured for your first co-marketing campaign, the process can be easily repeated with other channel partners. Best of all, by simplifying the co-marketing process, you demonstrate to your distributed sales channels that you are easy-to-do-business-with and become the brand your distributors know best.
What events have you organized with your distributed sales channels?