Archive for category Marketing Communications

Planning For Success

Riddle me this: How to do you convince 500+ cyclists to join a ride that’s only in its third year of existance?

I believe the answer has to do with sound strategy and flawless execution of the plan.

Last time, we explored a strategy for attaining a sponsorship goal of $8000.

(It appears that we’re going to crush that objective – although there’s still work to be done within the strategic framework)

With 100% of rider registration fees going to support the YMCA of Central Virginia’s Community Support Campaign, our emphasis is on building ridership.

So, what’s the plan? Read the rest of this entry »

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Why Does Marketing Always Want To Talk About Strategy?

This is about the time when most folks begin to roll their eyes, fidget and get impatient. There’s a launch or initiative to support and the damn marketing dweeb starts talking about quantifiable objectives, buyer personas and strategy?

C’mon and stop wasting time… Just run some ads and print some brochures. Oh and maybe do a press release and send an email blast. Or, of course, publish a self-serving NEWSLETTER.

Whoa! Bad dream… Thankfully, we got over this last year in preparing for Storming of Thunder Ridge, the bicycle ride on May 20th that raises funds for the YMCA of Central Virginia. Although it took a leap of faith from the event director to agree to go through this process. Read the rest of this entry »

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Your Call Is Important To Us…

It’s been a while… I’ve had an uplifting post in mind. Really.

Unfortunately for you, I’m a bit cranky, so you’re stuck with a rant in which I’m going to channel my inner David Meerman Scott.

(This is not to suggest that Mr. Scott is cranky – I don’t know him. But, in Real-Time Marketing & PR, he calls out those horrible automated phone attendant systems about which I’m going to bend your ear.) Read the rest of this entry »

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Etiquette for Promotional Posting on Facebook

Is it cool to promote your event on another Facebook site?

Before everyone shouts, “Hell, yeah!” let me provide some background…

Recently, a friend posted about upcoming bicycle races on the Storming of Thunder Ridge Facebook page.

Our event is over, so there’s no conflict. And the promotion dovetails with our audience who are, obviously, cyclists.

But the poster didn’t ask permission.

To be honest, I’m not sure where I stand. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cooperative Event Marketing

One of the key ways we promoted Storming of Thunder Ridge was to leverage connectors and their networks to spread the word about the event.

The reason was twofold: (1) we sought to extend our reach beyond our local market and (2) we didn’t have budget to spend on advertisements.

For the most part, our strategy worked. While some targets balked, most agreed to help.

Which demonstrates the importance of cooperative event marketing. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Great Event Has The Right Vibe

In my last post, I concluded that in order for Storming of Thunder Ridge to grow into a larger cycling event that attracts new and repeat riders each year, it needs to strive for greatness, not perfection.

But what makes a cycling event great?

Some would say the course. Or rest stops. Or SAG support.

Those are good answers. But I think it’s more subjective. It’s the vibe of the event. Either it has a good feeling or not.

What’s great to one rider may not be great to another

I recently rode in event that’s given me a lot to think about.

It was a chipped (timed) ride on a criterium course (closed route with multiple laps). While it was billed as a ride and not a race, many of us (hint, hint) approached it as a race.

Worked for me. I won a gold medal. But what about the casual rider?

What sort of vibe was it to have a bunch of geeked up cyclists buzzing by and screaming, “On your left!” and “Hold your line!”?

And would those casual riders consider registering again next year?

A fine line

Most event organizers recognize that cyclists of varying abilities will register.

The real challenge is creating an atmosphere that engages and stimulates each type of rider.

When we started working on Storming of Thunder Ridge, we knew that we wanted to attract both casual cyclists and enthusiasts.

We created buyer personas to understand how to reach these cyclists and convince them to  participate.

For the most part, I believe we were successful based upon our feedback and survey results.

What we don’t want to do is alienate either the casual and enthusiast tribe because both are vital to the growth of the event.

That’ll be a focus – among other things – for next year’s event.

Not just cycling

Clearly, having a good vibe is a vital ingredient for other events. A corporate kickoff meeting. An industry conference. A cocktail party.

The best ones find a way to make all participants feel welcome while catering to special interests.

How ’bout you?

Have you been to events – sporting or professional – that have a good vibe? Or that cater to one group and alienate another? Tell me about it.

Thanks for reading!

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Greatness Versus Perfection

Since Storming of Thunder Ridge, the charitable cycling event I marketed the first half of this year, I have been exploring ways to take it to the next level.

I’ve sent out surveys and engaged those riders who had issues and complaints.

I’ve brainstormed how to promote the event more effectively and geographically wider.

The event director and I have even ridden several organized rides including Mountains of Misery, Tour de Greene and Air Force Cycling Classic Crystal Cup to see how other events stack up.

I’m starting to conclude that we need to spend less time pursuing perfection and more time seeking greatness.

There’s a big difference. Read the rest of this entry »

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