A marketing campaign is an aspect of business everyone knows is important but most business owners have difficulty implementing. In order to succeed every business must market to their prospective clients. After all, how else will people know the business exists? Creating a marketing plan is a great place to start. It is easy to write and will go along way towards creating a marketing campaign that is organized and effective.Marketing Defined
Marketing has many definitions. For our purposes lets define it as anything you do that:
1) will let people know WHO you are
2) will let people know WHAT you offer
3) will help you build relationships with:
b. Other Vendors
c. Other DJs
Marketing also includes Sales and Advertising. Because marketing involves building relationships it is a never ending process.
Marketing Plan Defined
In order for marketing to be effective it needs to be:
A marketing plan is the document you will write that allows you to organize your company’s efforts to establish a corporate identity within the community as you build new customer relations.
The 5 Step Marketing Plan
This is a simplified approach to the complex integration of a wide variety of marketing modalities.
5 Step Plan
1) Research – Situation Analysis
3) Define your target audience
4) Select and organize your marketing tools
5) Establish your budget
STEP 1 – Research & Situation Analysis
There are three things you need to Research
1) YOUR COMPANY
Your want an overview of your company as it exists TODAY. Be completely honest
Questions to help you research your COMPANY situation:
1) How would you describe your business?
2) What services do you offer? (features)
3) What are your key strengths?
4) What are the weaknesses or challenges you face?
5) What is unique about your company?
6) Why would someone use your services instead of a competitor’s?
7) Where would you like to see your company in 12 months?
8) What obstacles do you face that may prevent you from achieving these goals?
9) What marketing tactics and strategies are you using right now?
10) Which marketing tactics and strategies would you like to incorporate within the next twelve months?
11) What is the most profitable and least profitable aspect of your business?
12) What is the positioning of my company compared to my competitors? Am I the most expensive, best equipped, smallest, etc.
13) What was our gross income vs. profit?
2) YOUR TARGET AUDIENCE
Knowing something about your target audience is extremely important because it will help you know HOW to market and WHAT to use to market to them.
Questions to help you learn more about your target audience:
1) What do customers enjoy about the products and services you offer? (benefits)
2) What media do they follow (Newspapers, Magazines, TV, Radio)
3) Demographics: Age, race, male, female
4) Income bracket
3) KNOWING YOUR COMPETITION
If you had no competition, marketing would be much easier. You need to study our competitors. By knowing more about your competition, you will be in a better position to design a marketing campaign that is truly competitive and reaches more of the type of customer you wish to attract.
You can divide competition into several categories. Those that compete directly with you, i.e. provide similar levels of service, and those that provide less service but are still successful at earning clients and those that provide more services that you.
Questions to help you learn more about your COMPETITION:
1) What services do they offer?
2) How large is the company?
4) Hours of operation
5) Marketing they use
6) Sales tactics
7) Type of clients they attract
8) How much do they charge?
9) Are their clients satisfied?
STEP 2 – Identify Your Goals
This is probably the easiest step. But still requires thought and honesty. Keep these two things in mind when establishing your goals:
1) BE REALISTIC
Look at the research you did in step one and base your goals on something that is clearly achievable. For example you goal may be simply to enter the wedding market. That’s very feasible but stating that you want to dominate the wedding market your first year may not.
2) BE MEASUREABLE
You goal may be to increase bookings each month but it should include a measurable amount. E.g. Increase bookings by 5 per month in 2004.
Entering the Wedding market is not enough, but increasing the number of weddings in 2004 by 10 is. Having a number you can measure will allow you to track the success of your marketing plan. If you have multiple goals this becomes even more important.
Here are some possible goals
– Increase the number of weddings in 2004 by 15%
– Increase the average contract amount for each job
– Increase the number of referrals by 20 each quarter
– Begin an advertising campaign
STEP 3 – Define Your Target Market
Knowing who it is you want to target is extremely important. Since our customer base essentially includes anyone who wants to have a party, a more effective approach can be to divide the population by TYPE of event. Even this can be further divided into four subcategories.
1) Divide by type of Event
b. Bar/Bat Mitzvahs
d. Corporate Events
e. Birthday Parties, etc
2) Subdivide each by Client Category-
a. Those that require service and are ready to purchase now (hot leads)
b. Those that MAY require services in the near future (warm leads)
c. Past Clients
d. Creating a general awareness
3) You can also subdivide Event type by client demographics;
a. Weddings – Low Budget vs. High Budget
b. Schools – Dances vs. Proms
c. Corporate – Picnics vs. Galas and Awards Ceremonies
STEP 4 – Select the Marketing Tools
There are hundreds of tools you can use and selecting the one that will become part of your marketing plan will depend on several factors that include
What your goals are,
Who your target audience is and
What your budget is (discussed below)
To make this list more manageable lets divide marketing tools into two major groups:
1) Direct Marketing Tools
2) Indirect marketing Tools
DIRECT MARKETING TOOLS
These are tools that gives your client information about your services directly. It puts your contact information in front of them.
a. Business Cards
b. Printed Brochures
c. Electronic Brochures
d. Signage at jobs, on vans
e. Telephone on hold
g. Direct Mails (letters or post cards)
k. Benefits List
l. Music List
m. Promotional Items (pen, pads, mugs)
n. Press Releases
o. TV/Radio Spots
p. Referral Program
q. Cross marketing program
r. Uniforms and Company Shirts
s. Vanity Phone Number
INDIRECT MARKETING TOOLS
These are tools that tell people something about how you operate your business and what they can expect their experience to be like. Many are free or cost very little to implement but can make a HUGE difference to a prospect when deciding to hire you or not.
Here are some examples of indirect marketing tools:
a. Employee attire (suit vs. tux, vs. T-shirt and jeans)
b. Article in a publication
c. Contact time with your customer
d. How you say hello or goodbye
e. Neatness (office, job)
f. Location (convenience)
g. Hours of operation
h. Toll free numbers
j. Marketing insight
k. Speed (call back time, time to get material requested)
l. Enthusiasm and Passion
o. Being easy to do business with (accommodating)
p. Telephone Skills
q. Testimonials / Evaluation Surveys
STEP 5: Establishing a Budget
This is where you determine the cost of your marketing campaign. Research carefully and be sure to include things such as postage, cost of envelopes, etc. As with any properly prepared budget you want to research fees and include as many things as accurately as possible.
Remember that you do not have to do all the marketing at once. You can initially develop a two year plan instead of a one year plan and change the plan as needed. A well planned and executed marketing campaign will bring in more revenue which you will be able to reinvest into future marketing ideas.
Tracking Your Marketing Efforts
Once you set your marketing campaign in motion you need to track its success. The easiest way to do that is with lead tracking. Always ask your customers how they heard about you and write it down. Keep track using a computer or a use a written list but do not rely on memory. You will be surprised at what the true numbers will reveal.
Track your leads by
Where they heard about you
Track your Ads
Which ads generate the most calls?
Which ads generate the most qualified clients?
Which ads generate leads that purchase larger packages from you?
Do some market testing. You can ask brides who come into the office to review your ad and ask them if they saw it or what attracted them the most.
Every year review the numbers. You can then study these numbers and it will give you an accurate picture of what is working and what is not.
Creating a list of buzzwords specific for each event and client type will help reach the correct audience. Below are some words that work well. Remember to use words that target the type of event and type of client you wish to attract.
High Impact Words
Absolutely, Amazing, Attractive, Authentic, Bargain, Beautiful, Better, Big, Colorful, Complete, Direct, Discount, Easily, Elegant, Excellent, Exciting, Exclusive, Expert, Famous, Fortune, Full, Free, Genuine, Gift, Greatest, Guaranteed, Helpful, Immediately, Informative, Instructive, Largest, Latest, Lifetime, Limited, Lowest, Magic, Mammoth, Miracle, Noted, Outstanding, Personalized, Popular, Powerful, Practical, Professional, Profitable, Quality, Quickly, Reduced, Refundable, Remarkable, Reliable, Revealing, Revolutionary, Scarce, Secrets, Selected, Sensational, Simplified, Sophisticated, Special, Strong, Successful, Superior, Surprise, Terrific, Tremendous, Unconditional, Unique, Unlimited, Unparalleled, Unsurpassed, Unusual, Useful, Valuable, Wealth, Wonderful
Action Stimulating Phrases
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Creating Effective Advertising
An advertisement that does not generate calls is a waste of money. So how can you increase the chances of having you advertisement noticed by your target audience?
Make it effective. Your advertisements should include the following points
WHO is selling the product or service – Your Company
WHAT is being offered – DJ and Entertainment Services.
WHERE to get the product, or
WHEN should they contact you
WHY someone should get the product(benefits)
HOW to contact you.
A marketing plan will give you the information you need to create an effective advertisement.
You can arrange the above information using the advertising principle of
A I D A
Attention – Benefit Headline
Interest – Body Copy
Desire – Body Copy
Action – Call to Action
Any of the first three can be replaced by a picture that conveys the same information.
You have a split second to grab their attention and hold it. It needs to be powerful enough to make your reader want to read on. That’s what the headline is for. It should be designed to grab their attention and arouse curiosity. The headline also identifies the prospect. It can also offer a direct benefit to your target audience. It should be short and to the point. (Subheadings can be used to further clarify the main heading)
Remember to separate features from benefits
In the body of the advertisement you want to include factual information about what you offer. Here you will offer details as to the benefits of hiring you to entertain. Keep it positive and avoid the use of jargon. Once again keep your points short.
Call to Action
Will tell them what do and when. You want to create a sense of urgency .e.g. “Call Right Now!!” You can offer a bonus “special discount with this advertisement” Remember that an effective advertisement will generate a response.
You don’t want to forget these. This is where you include things like your contact information, address, company name etc.
What makes a good advertisement?
The headline captures candidates’ attention.
The first few lines are interesting and engaging.
Sentences are short and to the point, providing enough information to interest candidates but not to overload them.
The advertisement avoids the use of words that are difficult to understand.
The advertisement contains some white space and does not appear cramped.
Here are some tips that can help you create a more effective advertisement
1) Use a headline that flags your reader down based on who they are or what their interests are:
e.g. Brides, Holiday Parties, Weddings etc.
2) Remember, specifics sell. For instance, 27 is more believable than 30.
3) Always ensure your promotional efforts are measurable so you know exactly how much “bang” you’re getting for your buck.
4) Identify with their problem or need – use emotional statements. e.g. “There’s no doubt about it. Planning a Bar/Bat Mitzvah is tough”.
5) Offer free information, such as an information pack or catalogue.
6) Tell them to act by making an offer and stressing urgency. Make it a limited offer.
7) Show them proof by giving specific results, such as testimonials. This dissolves skepticism and therefore lowers the barriers to doing business with you.
8) Include your address in the last paragraph of copy, beneath your logo, and in your response device, in and easy to read font.
9) Include a toll-free number in extra large type in your ad.
10) Give lots of options in your response device. These may include getting a report, a free consultation, and a phone call from a salesperson etc..
11) Put in a reference number to make tracking easier and ask the reader for this number when they call.
12) The layout must be easy to read. “Serif” (Times New Roman) typefaces are easier to read than “sans serif” (Arial). Do not mix too many fonts on the same page as it makes it look sloppy and confusing. Use one or two fonts and use size for emphasis.
13) After you have had several advertisements, you can look at them and see which ones have worked the best. (don’t forget to track responses) and then use these elements to build your next ad campaign
Frequently asked questions
What about putting the brand or company logo at the top of the advertisement?
A logo is not a benefit. It serves the ego of the company, not the customer. It also flags to the reader, Warning: this is an advertisement.
What about starting ads with a question?
Questions can be answered with a negative response. Make a statement. It works better
How much copy should be included?
As much as is interesting to the reader. Remember to maintain some white space. This helps draw the reader’s eye towards the important parts of the advertisement. If it looks too crowded, the reader will become confused and move onto the next ad (which could be your competitor’s)
What about using all caps?
ALL CAPS MAKES IT HARDER TO READ. Those savvy with the internet also interpret this as yelling and not proper etiquette.
More Marketing Ideas and Tips
Your Business Card
This is your single most visible piece of marketing material. It is easy and inexpensive to make, and one of the first things people will ask you for when they want to contact you.
Here are some things you can do with your business card that will put it in the hands of potential customers
1) Make sure it is a standard size. Studies have shown that while odd sizes attract immediate attention, the novelty quickly fades when they have to store the cards. If the card is too large it ends up in a file folder instead of the business card holder or rolodex…never to be found again.
2) Do not print your cards on paper and cut them out. Even perforated cards will give a potential client a less than professional image of your company.
3) Use colors wisely. Too many colors can be distracting.
4) Use pictures that describe what you do. Clip art is not as slick looking as using an actual proto…there is not much difference in the price or printing.
5) Use the back of the card. No need to keep it blank.
6) Make sure that all the information is very legible. Do not make your font sizes too small in an attempt to fit more information. Likewise using fonts that are too large do not allow the eye to naturally move around the card to find all the information.
7) Distribute the card to everyone you know.
8) Be proactive do not wait for people to ask you for a business card. If someone compliments you on a job well done, respond by saying “Thank You, here’s my card”
9) Place a business card in every piece of mail you send out. Eventually someone who sees it will use it.
Past clients are an often neglected source of future revenue. They are in a direct position to tell everyone they know about the great services you provide. You will come across some who will refer you to everyone they know even 5 years after their event. These will quickly become your best friend. But most will fade away, many times even forgetting the name of the vendors who took part in making their event a success.
Just because they don’t call you, it does not mean you can’t contact them. There are at least five prime opportunities for contact after the event.
1) Immediately after the event
Your first contact should be immediately after the event. Send them a thank you letter and if you wish an evaluation form. On the form make sure you ask if they know anyone who can use your services.
2) Anniversary / birthday
If the event was a wedding, send them an anniversary card (write a reminder on your calendar). Say something nice and personal. Asking them for a referral at this time would not be appropriate. The goal is to trigger their memories since they are already thinking about their wedding day…and hopefully will remember the good time they had which was a direct result of your excellent performance.
3) Special Holidays – Christmas / New years
This is a happy time for many people and cards are always welcome. As a matter of fact sending current clients holiday cards is not a bad idea either. Just like with the anniversary or birthday cards these are designed to keep you in their minds. Asking for a referral may not be appropriate.
4) At least one time to update them on what your company is doing
This can be done using a newsletter which describes new and exciting things. You can even tell them about all the great things you learned while at the DJ expo.
5) Ask for referral
It would also be OK to just send them a letter asking them if they know anyone who could use your services.
Depending on the success of your referral program, you may want to include incentives. These could be discount movie tickets or gift certificates that you give as a way of saying thank you for the referral. This in itself can go a long way towards having past clients be walking and talking advocates for your company.
These are things you can do to improve your visibility – it lets more people become familiar with the name of your company. This type of marketing combines both direct and indirect approaches and targets people even if they are not ready to use your services right now. It is one way of building brand recognition.
This takes more time but is effective over the long term.
Developing brand awareness:
a. Marketing at Gigs
b. Community involvement
c. Free demonstrations/showcases and expos
e. Participating in Special Events
f. Creating your own events
This handout was created as a supplement to the “Effective Marketing for DJs” seminar presented by Jose A. Gonzalez at the 2003 International DJ Expo, Atlantic City, NJ.
Information contained herein may not reproduced without written permission of the author and copyright holder.
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