Community Marketing is it replacing event marketing? When the pandemic hit, everything about how we marketed our businesses, services and products was challenged.
Prior to March 2020, ‘events’ were a marketing cornerstone. Most businesses in the science, technology and engineering sectors relied heavily on promoting their services or products at large scale events such as expos and conferences. Event marketing was all about in-person communication.
However, almost overnight, face-to-face opportunities were halted, and everything had to go online. A very different environment from which to attract and sell.
At an online or virtual event, the organisers have to work even harder to bring the attendees together, contribute and feel part of a shared space. Is this more like ‘community marketing’, where the power of the community (or niche) brings the right people towards you?
According to a Salesforce, ‘State of the Connected’ customer report, more than 84% of customers want to be treated like a person and not a number; and this was an essential aspect of whether they did business with an organisation or not.
A blip or a lasting trend?
Frankly, I’m surprised that only 84% of customers said they would like to be treated as a person. Most people I come into contact with express a preference for being approached personally and with authenticity; as a human rather than a number.
Maybe ‘community marketing’ is smarter, niche marketing with a new name tag?
Regardless, large scale event organisers have had to adjust their approach and are offering to accommodate online and/or hybrid audiences. Sponsors and delegates are even more challenging about what they expect and the best use of their resources.
While it’s true that online events may attract less ‘footfall’ than a large expo, there are advantages to having a more engaged, niche audience at your online event. Rather than dazzling attendees with fancy fliers and freebies, in an online environment you need different skills and tools to stand out before, during and after the event.
Assuming, of course, that your message is targeted to your ideal client and the specific needs of the community of these topical online gatherings. Now, that advice hasn’t changed!
If you would like some help in getting your message right or exploring the best tools so that you stand out within your community, please book a 15 minute chat directly with Su on her Calendly link, call +44 (0)1235 606077 or firstname.lastname@example.org