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Marketing Guide
    Grow your business.
Introduction



Arrow ECS is the technology solutions company that delivers tools, knowledge and value to enable our

part...
Table of Contents



>> Building a Project Plan                                      1
>> Direct Mail:                    ...
Building a Project Plan



When developing any marketing project, it is imperative to develop a plan before beginning any ...
Resources:
List all of the resources you will use to implement the campaign.
Example: Creative Designer:
           Creati...
Direct Mail (DM)



Direct mail campaigns can be a successful means of reaching your audience. First, consider what you wa...
Costs for Direct Mail:
Budgets for direct mail efforts can have a wide range as well. Keep in mind there are many variable...
The quality of your customer and prospect list can make or break the results of your campaign. Many marketers grossly
unde...
6. Return on Investment (ROI)
Return on investment can be measured in a variety of manners, depending on the objective of ...
Telemarketing



Telemarketing is telephone based research, appointment making, confirming registration for an event or so...
2. Secure the Budget
How will you be funding the telemarketing program? Do you have vendor provided co-op or marketing dev...
4. Scrubbing the List
The quality of your customer and prospect list with accurate phone numbers can make or break the res...
>> Offer and Action
    Telemarketing is a proactive way to engage with your target audience. Therefore, you can make an o...
7. Return on Investment (ROI)
Return on investment can be measured in a variety of methods, depending on the objective of ...
Seminars and Events



Seminars and events can be very effective ways to get in front of many different people and compani...
3. Identify the Target Audience
Determine who you want to invite to your event. Make sure your message resonates with the ...
5. Secure the Location and Date
Make sure to leave plenty of time to plan an event. Build out plenty of time to execute yo...
7. Develop the Theme and Creative Elements
There may be several elements to consider when producing the creative for your ...
Tips on How to Increase Attendance at Seminars and Events



1. Marketing Timing:
Seminars and Webcasts: Announcements for...
5. Event Title:
The event title needs to clearly state the value that will be delivered at the event. It needs to be as sh...
Tips for Effective Lead Follow Up



Following up on leads is a critical step in turning a lead into a sale. This step req...
Tips for Managing Your Own Projects



When managing your own projects, it is important to manage the details. Even the sm...
Tips for Selecting and Working with Agencies



Good agencies are sometimes hard to come by, but when you find great ones,...
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Transcript of "Marketing Guide"

  1. 1. Marketing Guide Grow your business.
  2. 2. Introduction Arrow ECS is the technology solutions company that delivers tools, knowledge and value to enable our partners and customers to perform at their best. Arrow ECS is passionate about delivering tools and resources that will help its partners grow their business. Effective use of marketing dollars is essential to driving incremental business. This marketing guide provides a step-by-step process to help in developing and executing results-oriented marketing campaigns using direct mail, telemarketing campaigns, seminars and events. The information in this guide can be used as a resource when developing marketing activities. Note that there are many laws (both U.S. and foreign) affecting marketing activities. This guide does not include any reference to such laws. Use this guide at your discretion, in conjunction with the advice of professionals and in a manner you believe will best serve your organization. This tool is provided to Arrow ECS customers to assist them in developing marketing campaigns. It is not a substitute for hiring an experienced marketing firm that can provide expertise to drive industry average results. This document can assist you in developing effective programs. However, it does not guarantee results as there are multiple variables to executing an effective marketing program. Arrow ECS is not responsible for the direct outcome of any marketing activities executed based on the recommendations in this tool. Be sure to consult marketing and legal professionals to ensure compliance with the law.
  3. 3. Table of Contents >> Building a Project Plan 1 >> Direct Mail: 3 About Direct Mail Creating a Direct Mail Campaign Define the Objective Secure the Budget Identify the Target Audience Create the Message Get Creative Return on Investment (ROI) >> Telemarketing: 7 About Telemarketing Creating a Telemarketing Program Define the Objective Secure the Budget Identify the Target Audience and Acquire the List Scrubbing the List Create the Script Hire an Agency Return on Investment (ROI) >> Seminars and Events: 12 About Events Developing an Event Define the Objective Secure the Budget Identify the Target Audience Determine the Event Type Secure the Location and Date Develop the Content Develop the Theme and Creative Elements Return on Investment (ROI) >> Tips on How to Increase Attendance 16 >> Tips for Effective Lead Follow Up 18 >> Tips for Managing Your Own Projects 19 >> Tips for Selecting and Working with Agencies 20
  4. 4. Building a Project Plan When developing any marketing project, it is imperative to develop a plan before beginning any activities. This plan will establish the foundation for your entire project. It will also be a reference to make sure you stay on track with the goals you wish to accomplish. The plan should include the following: Project Objective: Clearly identify why this project is being executed and define the mission. Example: Adams Systems wants to identify and secure a new customer segment in the storage space. Existing customers do not need this type of storage solution but small to mid-sized businesses do and our goal is to identify end-users who fit this profile. Project Description: List a brief overview of the project. Example: Demand Generation campaign with direct mail and telemarketing to promote storage offering to small and mid-sized businesses and generate appointments between Adams Systems sales reps and potential clients. Target Audience: State the target audience such as the company size, geographic region and contact title. Remember to include as many details as you have available. Example: 1500 small to mid-sized end-user companies in the Northeast United States. Technology or Product Focus: State the product, service and/or vendor being targeted with the campaign. Example: Network-attached storage for small to mid-sized businesses. Return on Investment (ROI) Goals: These need to be quantifiable goals that can be measured. 1. Example: Obtain a 5% response rate from a company list of 1500. 2. Example: Of the 5% response rate, generate at least 30 appointments with Adams Systems sales reps and end-user prospects. 3. Example: Educate prospect list and get 10% awareness of direct mail from telemarketing inquiry to see if prospect remembers receiving direct mail. Tactics and Budget: What tools will you use to create the campaign and what is the budget associated with each? Example: Total Project Budget: $30,000 List of 1500 from ABC Database $4,500 Direct Mail Piece Design and Print $10,000 Telemarketing at 3 attempts each $15,500 1
  5. 5. Resources: List all of the resources you will use to implement the campaign. Example: Creative Designer: Creative Techniques, Judy Smith, 888-999-0000, jsmith@xyz.com Printing Contact: Prints R Us, Tom Jones, 888-444-0000, tjones@zyx.com Fulfillment/Postage Contact: Rapid Mailers, Lucy Kay, 888-555-7777, lsanchez@123.com Telemarketing Contact: Calls to Success, Linda Smart, 888-333-0000, lsmart@yzx.com Timeline: From beginning to end, list all the actions that must take place and link them to specific due dates. Be aware of actions that can not move forward until other tactics have been completed. Example: Action Date Due Completed Owner Notes Get product info. from Create Project Plan January 12, 200x X Marketing Manager vendor Work with Designer January 15, 200x X Marketing Manager Pull list of 1500 January 16, 200x Marketing Manager Set up telemarketing with company January 17, 200x Marketing Manager Creative Comps due January 21, 200x Marketing Manager Approve Final Creative January 25, 200x Marketing Manager Go to Print January 28, 200x Prints R US/Marketing Manager Direct Mail drops February 2, 200x Rapid Mailers/Marketing Manager Telesales begins February 9, 200x Calls to Success/Marketing Manager Leads Come in Ongoing Calls to Success/Marketing Manager Sales Reps Follow Up Ongoing Sales Reps/Marketing Manager Track Results Ongoing Marketing Manager Post Mortem Final Marketing Manager Use this plan to stay on track with your timeline and budget. This will also make it simple to reconcile results at the end of the project. 2
  6. 6. Direct Mail (DM) Direct mail campaigns can be a successful means of reaching your audience. First, consider what you want to accomplish through the direct mail. Will your goal be accomplished by sending out a mail piece or do you need to include other tactics, such as telemarketing, to achieve your goal? When to use Direct Mail: >> Communicating and branding your company Executing a direct mail campaign with no action required may be sufficient to communicate a general message to your customers and target customers. Examples include; a newsletter, press release, or an office relocation notice. >> Driving a response from your target audience If eliciting a response is the goal of your direct mail piece, make sure to use direct mail as one of several elements in your overall campaign. The content will need to drive an emotional response from your audience and include a “call to action” with an “offer” to obtain a response. Benefits of Direct Mail: When used correctly, direct mail can be a great way to get your message across. Announcing your company information to your target audience can be done through this marketing tactic as well. Remember, it may take seven or more times of getting in front of a prospect for them to recognize your company’s logo and message. Regular direct mail campaigns can be a good investment to develop brand awareness with your target set of customers. Timeline to Execute Direct Mail: Developing and executing a direct mail campaign can vary from a few weeks to several months depending on how elaborate your campaign is and what resources you have at your disposal. For instance, to write, print and mail several hundred copies of a press release to a list of 100 companies can be done in about a day. However, a multi-page newsletter or three-phased mail campaign may require 12 to 18 weeks to produce and mail. Make sure you are clear on the type of direct mail you want to utilize and plan your timeline accordingly. Sample timeline: Action Date Due Completed Owner Notes Get product info. from Idenify the objective July 11, 200x X Marketing Manager vendor Identify the target audience and July 11, 200x X Marketing Manager secure the list Secure the budget July 15, 200x Marketing Director Define the message July 20, 200x Marketing Manager Design the mail piece July 30, 200x Marketing Manager Includes 2 rounds of edits Identify ROI Metrics July 20, 200x Marketing Director Print the mail piece August 3-8, 200x Marketing Manager Scrub the target list August 3-8, 200x Marketing Manager Mail piece drops August 10, 200x Marketing Manager Measure ROI August 30, 200x Marketing Manager 3
  7. 7. Costs for Direct Mail: Budgets for direct mail efforts can have a wide range as well. Keep in mind there are many variables when building a program that fits your budget. It could cost a mere $300 to mail a letter on your existing letterhead to a small target audience. Or, it could cost tens of thousands of dollars for a four-color, multi-piece campaign to a much larger audience. Striking a balance between your program objectives and budget is the key to building a successful direct-mail effort. Creating a Direct Mail Campaign 1. Define the Objective The first step in creating a direct mail (DM) program is always to define the objective. Here are some questions to ask yourself or the internal sponsor of your program to define the objective. >> What do you want to accomplish with the DM program? >> Do you want to elicit a response from the audience? >> What type of response do you want to elicit? >> Do you just want to get the company name in front of this audience? >> What is the most important result you would like to see with this program? >> Do you want the recipient to take a specific action? You may have more than one objective to the program, so make sure you prioritize them. This will help to determine the message, type of direct mail and how to calculate return on investment (ROI) for the program. 2. Secure the Budget How will you be funding the DM campaign? Do you have vendor provided co-op or marketing development funds (MDF) to use for this project? Make sure you have a signature or approval number from your vendor prior to spending any money. Once you know how much you have to spend, you will be able to determine how extravagant or simple your campaign can be. If you are able to obtain incremental funding, you may want to consider adding additional tactics to produce higher results. For example, you may want to add telemarketing to your DM piece to have a more comprehensive program. 3. Identify the Target Audience Determine who you are talking to with your mailer. Making sure your message resonates with the audience you are targeting is critical in developing a successful program. Here are some questions to ask about your target audience: >> What level of employee do we want to reach at the end-user? (CIO, Director, Buyer, etc.) >> Are these people decision makers or influencers in the sales cycle? >> Does this audience consist of our current customers, prospects, or a combination? >> What geography are we targeting? Are there any hot issues in this region? >> Are we targeting certain industries such as healthcare, manufacturing or finance? Do we want to exclude others >> Do we have a current list of this target audience or do we need to purchase one? >> Where can we purchase this list? Or, is our existing list in a format that is easy to use – or do we have to do some work scrubbing and organizing our current list? 4
  8. 8. The quality of your customer and prospect list can make or break the results of your campaign. Many marketers grossly underestimate this rule and do not spend the time needed to develop and nurture their target list. Make sure to schedule the time needed to clean up or scrub the list you are using in order to increase the results of your campaign. 4. Create the Message In this step, you marry the objective with the target audience. Creating a message that helps to reach your goal while gaining the interest of your audience is very important in developing your mail piece. Things to consider: >> What do these people care about? What kind of IT problems might they be having that you can help them solve? >> Are they being affected by any of the hot issues such as Sarbanes Oxley compliance, business continuance, and identity theft or security breaches? >> What will entice these targets to do what you want them to do? Is it a free service, entrance in a drawing to win a prize, getting a cool gadget upon meeting with your sales rep? There are many creative and fun ideas to include in the offer. >> Emotion, emotion, emotion – you may be able to elicit a fear or excitement about your topic. >> Be sure to consult with a marketing professional or legal counsel to ensure compliance with the law. To drive better results, make sure to include an offer and a call to action. >> Offer: An offer is something the audience can get by contacting you. It could be a free technology assessment such as evaluating their storage server system or helping to determine if their technology will support their compliance with Sarbanes Oxley rules. The offer must be compelling and strike an emotional cord with your audience. >> Call to Action: What do you want the prospect to do once they receive the direct mail piece? Is there a gift, a web link for a free prize, a link to register for a webinar, or do you just want them to call your (800) number for more information? Whatever the “hook” is, there should be some “call to action.” For example: “Call today for your free storage assessment. 555-555-2424. Offer valid for the first 20 callers.” Be specific and establish a sense of urgency, and you can increase the potential for response. The goal is to lead the prospect to you! 5. Get Creative This is when the creative aspect of your direct mail begins. Now that you have the foundation established including the objective, the target audience and the content, you can develop a creative way to get the message across. Using a theme for one or multiple programs generates another layer of interest for your business to business direct mail. Consider what would make your mailer stand out from the other mail your target audience receives. Some examples include: 3-D mailers, a colored envelope, personalized mailing, hand written envelopes or a creative theme printed on the envelope. If you are including an offer, such as a drawing or providing a gift for meeting with your sales person, you can have a lot of fun with the “give away.” For example, if your mail piece is focused on driving a meeting with your sales rep, you can give away a sleeve of golf balls or tees with the mailer. Let the end-user know that if they attend a meeting with your sales rep, they will receive a golf club at the end of the meeting. 5
  9. 9. 6. Return on Investment (ROI) Return on investment can be measured in a variety of manners, depending on the objective of your mailer. The most common method of measurement for a simple direct mail program is number of responses as compared to the total list size. In this scenario, the average rate of return is typically less than 2% in a business to business environment. Meaning that if you mail to 100 prospects you can expect less than two people to respond. Other ways to measure ROI on direct mail: >> Number of appointments made >> Number of entries into a drawing >> Number of hits to a special website If you want to drive a higher than 2% response, it is recommended to include several other elements to a broader campaign. Other elements may include activities such as telemarketing, e-mail blast or webcast. Important Things to Remember for Direct Mail Patience and Practice It may take several mailers with different offers before you find one that works well for your audience. In the technology space, there are many strategies that can be used for any given marketing objective. List Quality is Critical Take the time, before spending money on an elaborate direct mail program, to determine if you have a qualified list. Then update and manage the list as it can be reused for future campaigns. Ask the Experts When in doubt, ask an experienced marketing agency who has specific experience in the technology space. Leverage the expertise of someone who conducts these types of programs for a living. Track Your Lists Track how you use each list in every marketing campaign so you are not using the same list too often. 6
  10. 10. Telemarketing Telemarketing is telephone based research, appointment making, confirming registration for an event or some other form of information exchange. Some confuse telemarketing with telesales. Telesales is used when an actual sale can be made over the phone. In our industry, sometimes an inside sales team may become skeptical when the marketing department conducts a telemarketing campaign. It’s important to clarify with your sales team the goal of your program and to assure them they will benefit from the process. When to Use Telemarketing Telemarketing is one of the most effective tools to drive results. Use telemarketing to identify sales opportunities, register event attendees, or to conduct research. In business to business campaigns, telemarketing is an extremely effective and critical piece to driving high campaign results. Benefits of Telemarketing Generally, one can expect to generate much higher results through telemarketing than executing a stand alone direct mail campaign. It is a proactive way to engage with an end-user. It allows you to get answers immediately and begin to build a relationship with your target audience. Additionally, telemarketing can be easily modified in the midst of a program to increase results. Costs of Telemarketing Telemarketing is expensive - on a cost per contact basis (because of the labor costs involved). However, it is also extraordinarily effective. This is because it is a live medium, where objections can be dealt with, appointments made and decisions reached, just as in a face-to-face selling situation. This can all be done without the time and expense involved in traveling, not to mention the training and experience which is required to become an effective salesperson. If your budget is tight, but you really want to drive results, you may want to skip the direct mail portion all together and invest your entire budget into an effective telemarketing effort. Creating a Telemarketing Program 1. Define the Objective The first step in creating any marketing effort, including telemarketing, is to define the objective. Here are some questions to ask yourself or the internal sponsor of your program: >> What do you want to accomplish with the telemarketing? >> Do you want to elicit a response from the audience such as set an appointment, register for an event? >> Do you want to gather information? If so, what is the most important information you need? >> What is the most important result you would like to see with this program? You may have more than one objective to the program, so make sure you prioritize them. This will help to determine the questions for the script and define key information you may want to gather. Additionally, it will help you define how to calculate return on investment (ROI) for the program. 7
  11. 11. 2. Secure the Budget How will you be funding the telemarketing program? Do you have vendor provided co-op or marketing development funds (MDF) to use for this project? Make sure you have a signature or approval number from your vendor prior to spending any money. Once you know how much you have to spend, you will be able to determine how many company contacts you can target in your telemarketing program. If you are able to obtain incremental funding, you may want to consider adding additional tactics to produce higher results. For example, you may want to add direct mail or a webcast to your telemarketing campaign to have a more comprehensive program. 3. Identify the Target Audience and Acquire the List Database, Database, Database. This is a critical step to building an effective telemarketing campaign. Make sure to identify who you want to target, and then determine if you have access to an accurate list. Here are some questions to ask about your target audience and database: >> What level of contact do you want to reach at the end-user? (CIO, Director, Buyer, etc.) >> Are these people decision makers or influencers in the sales cycle? >> Does this audience consist of your current customers, prospects or a combination? >> If it is a new target group, such as CXO, are your sales representatives ready to engage with this level of executive? >> Do your sales representatives have the sales tools they need to follow up on the leads generated from the telemarketing campaign? >> What geography are you targeting? Keep in mind the time zones and when the audience may be at work. >> Are there any other criteria you want to add to the list pull? Examples include SIC code, number of servers installed, network attach storage installed or number of employees. >> Are you targeting certain industries such as healthcare, manufacturing or finance? Do you want to exclude others such as government or education? >> Do you have a current list of this target audience or do you need to purchase one? >> Where can you purchase this list? Or, is your existing list in a format that is easy to use – or do you have to do some work scrubbing and organizing your current list? 8
  12. 12. 4. Scrubbing the List The quality of your customer and prospect list with accurate phone numbers can make or break the results of your campaign. Many marketers grossly underestimate this rule and do not spend the time needed to develop and nurture their target list. Make sure to schedule time to clean up or scrub the list you are using in order to increase the results of your campaign. Remember the following points when cleaning your list: >> Conducting a simple list scrub takes less time than executing a typical telemarketing program. However, you will need to make sure to build a week to two weeks into your timeline for this process. >> If you are not confident in the accuracy of a list that you recently purchased, rented, or own, it is worth the extra time and money to conduct a quick scrub of the data. Note: If you find that much of the data is incorrect, go back to the list broker and request a refund for the data that is inaccurate. >> The primary information you need to verify includes: name of company, contact name and contact title (if the person is no longer there, ask for their replacement’s contact information), phone number and address. >> Be sure to update your database with the cleaned data, even if you have to delete several contacts. It is better to have a shorter list with accurate data then to have a long list of incorrect information. >> A list scrub should also be substantially less expensive than a traditional telemarketing program. Keep this in mind when negotiating fees with your telemarketing agency. 5. Create the Script In this step, you write a script that meets your objectives and resonates with your target audience. The script is an essential element to your telemarketing. Things to consider: >> What do these people care about? What kind of IT problems might they be having that you can help them solve? >> Are they being affected by any hot issues such as Sarbanes Oxley, business continuance, storage management? >> Are there scripts available from previous projects that can be leveraged? >> Hiring an experienced telemarketing firm can help with this step. Many telemarketing or marketing firms can edit or even write a script for you. Leverage their expertise to help you drive results. >> You only get a few minutes of someone’s time so be sure to create a script that gets to the point quickly. A typical effective script can’t have more than 10 – 12 questions. To drive better results, remember the first 30 seconds and include an offer and a call to action. >> First 30 Seconds Telemarketing research shows that you only have a few brief seconds to seize someone’s attention, before they “switch off.” They then immediately kick into defensive mode and all they want to do is get you off the phone.Remember, you have a short amount of time to say something interesting and attention grabbing. Establish that you have experience with helping people with their job title, in their industry and with business and technology issues that they are facing right now. 9
  13. 13. >> Offer and Action Telemarketing is a proactive way to engage with your target audience. Therefore, you can make an offer for the action you desire and get an immediate response. It is much easier to gain solid results by including this in your script. For example, if your objective is to set an appointment for your sales rep with the end-user, you can offer to have your sales rep bring a portable DVD player with him as a thank you for giving an hour of the end-users time. (This offer needs to resonate with your audience and be in line with your budget.) 6. Hire an Agency There are marketing firms and telemarketing agencies that focus solely on the technology industry. It will be of enormous benefit to leverage their expertise to execute your telemarketing project. Interview and get quotes from at least three marketing and/or telemarketing agencies. Here are some questions to ask an agency and things to consider: >> Do you have expertise in the technology space? If so, who are some of your customers? >> Do you have technology references we can speak to? (If they do, take the time to actually call the references.) >> Ask about pricing. There are a variety of ways an agency may price projects – price per call, price for entire project, price per lead. Make sure you are comparing apples to apples. >> How do they provide leads and how do you want to receive leads? Some options include: Excel, Salesforce.com, database applications such as Access or simple comma delimited format. >> How does the agency define a lead? *Make sure to get a common definition of a lead so that both of your expectations are met. >> What kind of reporting do they provide? What kind of reporting do you want and at what frequency? >> How will you track ROI? Do their reports provide the data that you need? >> Do they help with writing scripts? >> Can you listen to their calls? This will help to determine how the script is working. >> Can you make changes to the script in the midst of a project if it’s not yielding the desired results? It is not recommended to use your internal telesales group to execute a true telemarketing campaign. The reseller telesales group is focused on closing sales and is paid to do so. Use telemarketing to do the preliminary discovery work rather than frustrating your internal telesales team. Most telemarketing programs are the first phase of identifying a sales opportunity and more work is required to get the end-user further along in the purchasing cycle. 10
  14. 14. 7. Return on Investment (ROI) Return on investment can be measured in a variety of methods, depending on the objective of your telemarketing. The most common method of measurement for a telemarketing program is the number of leads as compared to the total list size. In this scenario, the average rate of return can range from 3% to 5% in a business to business environment. Therefore, if you call 100 prospects you can expect three to five contacts to turn into a lead. Other ways to measure ROI on telemarketing: >> Number of appointments made >> Number of registrants for an event >> Number of hits to a special website >> Number of people wanting additional information >> Number of conversations held >> Number of conversations converted to leads Note: A clean list is essential to driving good results. If you have a list that hasn’t been updated in some time, it may be difficult for the telemarketing firm contact people. If your list isn’t in great shape, measuring the number of conversations held can be an effective way to gage results. If you want to drive more than a 3% to 5% response rate, it is recommended to include several other elements to a broader campaign. Other elements may include activities such as direct-mail, e-mail blast or webcast. 11
  15. 15. Seminars and Events Seminars and events can be very effective ways to get in front of many different people and companies in one setting. Rather than going from office to office and giving the same speech over and over again, you have the opportunity to present to a captive audience at one setting. When deciding to host a seminar or event it is important to first determine your objective. This will help you determine what type of event will best meet your goal. Developing an Event: 1. Define the Objective The first step in developing an effective event is to define the objective. This is critical and will help you determine what type of event to host. Here are some questions to ask yourself or the internal sponsor of your event: >> What do you want to accomplish with this event? Why? >> Is it important to be physically in front of the audience, or will a virtual event work? >> Do you want to promote a specific product or service? >> What is the most important result you’d like to see with this program? You may have more than one objective to the program, so make sure you prioritize them. This will help to determine the message, type of event and how to calculate return on investment (ROI) for the event. 2. Secure the Budget How will you be funding your event? Do you have vendor provided co-op or marketing development funds (MDF) to use for this project? If you’re hosting a large event, you can secure funding from multiple vendors. Make sure you have a signature or approval number from your vendor(s) prior to spending any money. Once you know how much you have to spend, you will be able to determine the type of event you can afford to produce. 12
  16. 16. 3. Identify the Target Audience Determine who you want to invite to your event. Make sure your message resonates with the audience you are targeting in order to entice them to attend. Here are some questions to ask about your target audience: >> What level of employee do you want to invite? (CIO, Director, Buyer, etc.) >> Are these people decision makers or influencers in the sales cycle? >> Does this audience consist of your current customers, prospects, or a combination? >> What geography are you targeting? Will this event be local or will people need to travel to get there? >> Are you targeting certain industries such as healthcare, manufacturing or finance? Do you want to exclude others such as government or education? >> Do you have a current list of this target audience or do you need to purchase one? >> What is the ratio of males to females that may attend? >> Do you have an existing list in a format that is easy to use – or do you have to do some work scrubbing and organizing your current list? It is typically easier to get existing customers to attend your event. Depending on your objective, you may want to consider inviting both existing customers and prospects to make sure you get solid attendance. 4. Determine the Event Type Once you have your objective, budget and target audience, you can determine which type of event will be the most successful. Below is a list of possible events you could host or attend as a sponsor. These can be conducted as a stand alone event or combined for a more elaborate affair! Seminar Round-Table Discussion Trade-Show: exhibit, speaking opportunities, other sponsorships Team Building Fun Event: sporting activity, games, dinner Webcast Partner and Customer Events Advisory Councils Things to consider: >> Is the topic of a serious and business nature? >> Do you want to gather open or candid feedback? >> Is this audience fun loving? (Work hard, play hard mentality?) Or, are they very serious and focused on just the business? >> Is it critical to be face to face, or would a virtual event meet your goals? >> What is the size of the target audience? What type of space will you need? >> How much time is required to reach your objective? An hour? Several hours? A few days? >> Is the audience technical, sales, or executive focused? 13
  17. 17. 5. Secure the Location and Date Make sure to leave plenty of time to plan an event. Build out plenty of time to execute your event, or it will negatively impact the attendance and results. Get a range of dates that may work for the event and consider the time you’ll need to invite your guests (see example timeline below). Then, secure a location. Things to consider when finding the venue: >> Make a list of at least three hotels, office locations, restaurants or conference centers that you would be interested in hosting your event. >> Is it convenient to get to and from the airport? >> Is it in a location that’s convenient for the attendees to get to? >> What will the weather be like during that time of year? >> What are your meeting space requirements? (keep in mind the size of your attendee list) >> Is the property conducive to the size of your group? >> What is the reputation of the property? Does it meet the standards you want your company to portray? >> Is it easy to work with the property staff? Do they have reasonable policies and procedures? >> Does the property offer catering or will you need to hire an outside caterer? Consider the image you wish to portray, not just during this event, but as a company. Make sure the venue you choose matches or exceeds that image. And remember, timing is everything. It’s critical to build out a generous timeline to execute an event, no matter what type you choose. 6. Develop the Content Now you can spend time working on the content for your event. Consider the following when building and content: >> Are you launching a specific product or service offering? >> Is there a hot topic in technology or business that you can leverage to gain interest? (Such as business compliance, storage management, identity management) >> Are you reaching a milestone in your company, such as a 10-year anniversary? Are you celebrating something special? >> What kind of sizzle or exciting draw can you create around your topic? >> Make sure to include the theme throughout your event, but remember simpler can be better. Once you know what your primary content will be focused on and you develop an overall theme, you can move on to the creative aspects of your event. 14
  18. 18. 7. Develop the Theme and Creative Elements There may be several elements to consider when producing the creative for your event. Using a theme for your event provides an enticing way to gain interest and attendance for your event. Make sure to think about what creative elements you will need to develop to invite people. You may need to use several mediums to get the word out about your event. >> Develop the theme. Some examples of themes that can create a lively environment include: Mardi Gras, 70’s Night, Harley Davidson Theme, Scavenger Hunt or sports. >> How will you invite people? Do you need to mail a hard copy invitation? Or, will you send an e-mail invite? >> Will you provide premium items to our attendees? What types of items can you purchase within your budget and that go with the theme? >> Will you need to produce an agenda? How elaborate does it need to be? >> Do you need name tags? >> Are there functions that need creative décor and ambiance? Such as a 70’s night? >> Consider adding food and beverages that are consistent with your theme. Be sure to allow for plenty of time to create any theme related pieces in your overall timeline. 8. Return on Investment (ROI) Return on Investment can be measured in a variety of manners, depending on the objective of your event. The most common method of measurement for an event is attendance level. There are many other ways to measure the success of an event. >> Measure attendee satisfaction through a post event survey >> Number of good leads obtained from the event >> Measure sponsorship satisfaction through a post event survey >> There are many less tangible types of ROI with events including, but not limited to: attendees are excited about the event, attendees want to know about the next event, people want to be on the invite list Remember to tie the ROI metrics to the objective of the event. Event management is an extremely detailed process. To put on a good event, attention to the smallest detail is critical. Therefore, when hosting an event, it’s highly recommended to obtain the resources of professional event planners. There are organizations that specialize in the technology industry and have great relationships with a variety of venues, speakers and décor companies. These organizations can save you time, money and a lot of headaches. 15
  19. 19. Tips on How to Increase Attendance at Seminars and Events 1. Marketing Timing: Seminars and Webcasts: Announcements for generating attendance for a one to two-hour seminar are best done about three or four weeks in advance. Rule of thumb: the shorter the seminar the shorter the event announcement lead time. Multi-day Events: Invitations for events that are several days and in a different city require more time to plan. For an elaborate destination event, plan on sending invitations out at least two months in advance. It’s a good idea to send a “save the date” postcard out four months in advance. 2. List Targeting: Before you send out one piece of mail, make sure you have a reasonable expectation that the people on the list will be interested in your topic. 3. Marketing Response Expectations: Easy math: number of names times response rate equals attendance. The formulas below are extremely conservative in order not to overstate the expectations of attendance. If you are targeting existing customers versus prospects, the attendance is typically much higher. Remember, there are many variables to obtaining good attendance at your event. >> Seminar or Webcast Prospects 2%-5% of original list size or, 2,000 names X 5% = 100 attendees Current Customers 5% to 10% of original list size, or 2,000 names X 10% = 200 attendees >> Advisory Council (Typically consists of current customers and/or partners) 60% to 85% or, 100 names X 85% = 85 attendees >> Multi-Day Customer and/or Partner Events 500 names X 30% response = 150 attendees Remember, if you’re targeting prospects, the response rate may be much lower. Also, many people who register may not actually attend. Fifty percent of the registrants may drop off and not attend the event at all, particularly for a seminar. If you’re going to be an event marketer, forget about wondering, “What percent of our mailing will come to our event,” and start thinking about how many per thousand might attend. 4. Methods to Track Attendance: There are several ways to obtain attendance registrations. With today’s technology, some of the easiest and least expensive ways are through e-mail responses or an event web registration site. These tools can dump the data into a spreadsheet which makes it easy to share attendance records, create name tags and track overall registrations. Some of the more traditional methods for obtaining attendance R.S.V.P.’s include telephone registration, a mail-in form or a fax-in form. These methods require manual data entry and are require more time for both the registrant and the host to execute. 16
  20. 20. 5. Event Title: The event title needs to clearly state the value that will be delivered at the event. It needs to be as short as possible (but as long as needed), and appealing to the reader. 6. Timing: Consider the time of year. Hosting an event at quarter end or year end will negatively impact the attendance. Additionally, hosting too close to a popular holiday will also reduce attendance. Keep these things in mind when selecting dates for your event. 7. Event Description: Be sure to include a brief description about your event in addition to the title. This needs to explain the benefits and value in attending the event in a powerful but short manner. 17
  21. 21. Tips for Effective Lead Follow Up Following up on leads is a critical step in turning a lead into a sale. This step requires the cooperation of the marketing and sales teams to make sure each opportunity identified from the campaign is contacted. 1. Timing is Everything! Get a hot lead to your sales representative A.S.A.P.! The more time that goes by from the identification of an opportunity, the colder the lead becomes. Focus on distributing the hot leads first – the others can wait. 2. Information is King: Your sales rep needs to know how you identified the opportunity and as much information about the lead as possible. A name and contact information is not enough for your sales rep to conduct a thorough follow up. Be sure to include information about the campaign and how the contact answered questions in your script. BANT criteria is critical information to share with the sales team. B = Budget A = Authority (the contact is the decision maker) N = Need T = Timeframe 3. Train Your Sales Team: Include your sales team in the campaign development. Train them on the marketing campaign prior to the launch of the program. Then, they will be expecting leads and will have the understanding about the program objective. Provide them a sample of the mailer, telemarketing script and any other information related to the campaign. 4. Set Expectations: Be sure to develop a common language between marketing, sales and your vendor. How do you define a hot lead, warm lead? Make sure your marketing vendor obtains the BANT criteria. This criteria can be used to determine if there is an immediate or future sales opportunity. 5. Get Executive Sponsorship: Request the sales leaders’ support. If you have their support and they require lead follow up from their team, it will help you track R.O.I. for your campaign. It helps to get the sales leadership team to participate in the program development, rather than only feedback upon conclusion of a campaign. Including them in the process can give you valuable insight from a sales perspective. 6. Require Feedback: Throughout the campaign seek feedback. Feedback is necessary to evaluate the current campaign and future campaigns. Questions to ask: Are the leads valid? Do sales reps have enough information? What could be done differently? Were the vendors professional and easy to work with? Consider building into your program a requirement for the sales reps to provide you frequent feedback on the leads in order to receive additional leads. Your executive sponsorship should help with this. You could even include a sales incentive program with your campaign to create a fun and competitive atmosphere around a campaign or multiple campaigns. 18
  22. 22. Tips for Managing Your Own Projects When managing your own projects, it is important to manage the details. Even the smallest details if overlooked, can be detrimental to a project. Below are some useful tips to help you stay on track and focused on your marketing project. 1. Always create a project plan with a budget. 2. Create a detailed timeline. Include every item that must get done for the project on this timeline. Be sure to have a “complete” section to track progress on the action item list. 3. Interview 2-3 reputable agencies for any marketing program tactics you need to outsource such as design, printing, fulfillment, telemarketing, event services, etc. 4. Plan enough time in advance for glitches. If you cushion your timeline, you will save yourself stress and headaches so you can reach your goal. 5. When in doubt, ask the experts. Sometimes it is easier to ask the experts rather than trying to do every task “in house.” This will save you time and, in the long run, money. 19
  23. 23. Tips for Selecting and Working with Agencies Good agencies are sometimes hard to come by, but when you find great ones, you will want to keep them! The agencies you choose should treat you like you are their last client on earth, no matter how big or small your budget is. Below are some useful tips when selecting and working with agencies. 1. Get referrals! It’s always harder to start from scratch when looking for a new agency. Utilizing referrals around you will give you a jump start in the process. 2. Interview 2-3 reputable resources for any program tactics you want to outsource such as design, printing, fulfillment, telemarketing, event services, etc. 3. Do a pro and con list on each agency on what is most important to you. Is cost your most important factor? Or is creativity? 4. Set reasonable expectations with each agency selected. Put together a timeline and budget for each agency so they know what your goals are and they can be direct with you if they cannot meet your due dates or budget. Upfront communication is crucial to a positive working relationship! Arrow ECS, a business unit of Arrow Electronics, Inc. [NYSE: ARW], provides enterprise and midrange computing products, services and solutions to value-added resellers, system integrators, and independent software vendors. Based in Englewood, Colo., Arrow ECS connects its customers to the world’s foremost technology suppliers, including HP, IBM, Sun Microsystems, EMC, NetApp, Hitachi Data Systems, and other leading storage networking, software, and security suppliers. Arrow ECS reported $2.5 billion in worldwide computer products sales in 2006. Visit us at www.arrowecs.com. 20

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