MARKETING: THE BRAIN
Marketing is the BRAIN of inspiration. It gets its blood supply from the brand (the HEART), but it operates as its own little command center.
The fact is, you can inspire haphazardly (the nature of viral videos, produced with no game plan in mind, is proof of that). But if you’re trying to ensure the sustainability of your event, we recommend something a bit more thought-out.
Connect the Neurons
What makes for a strong brain is a system of well-developed connections among neurons. And to create those clear pathways, you need strategy.
A strategy—organized into a comprehensive marketing plan—is the key to using your marketing to inspire. And we’re not talking about the same old marketing plan you’ve used for two years where you just plug and play dates. We’re talking about one that’s current, robust, self-reflective, and takes into account the way your members want to be communicated to (not the way you want to communicate to them).
Make the Brain Work
When we work with associations, we spend a lot of time upfront setting the strategy, and we are painstaking in our discovery efforts—digging deep and asking the tough questions. We’ve found that the raw material for inspiration is usually found in the answers to those tough questions.
For example, we are working now with the Door and Hardware Institute (DHI) to market their summer convention. The strategy we created for them isn’t just a column of dates and email topics. Rather, it’s a story that begins with a thorough overview of the event, and contains a clear vision of what we want to happen (the objectives), a discussion of what we know about their members (the leverage), an analysis of what we’ll use to craft the message (the raw materials, including the voice and archetype), and careful thought about how we’ll tell the story (the messaging and copy points). The deliverables are last—because the deliverables don’t even matter if the strategy isn’t based on how to move members.
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