Your venue marketing strategy defines your marketing goals and is the foundation of your venue’s future growth. It’s the document used to create your marketing plan which provides the roadmap filled with venue marketing tactics to reach those goals. Without these two documents, you’ll waste time and money paddling along with no idea where to go or what your final destination should be.
The good news is you can follow the link to learn how to create a venue marketing strategy. It’s not difficult, but it does take time and a lot of thought. Before you sit down and actually start writing, it’s important that you consider the five things that are most often missing from a venue marketing strategy. Simply putting your goals down on paper isn’t enough if you’re making one of the mistakes discussed below.
1. Your Marketing Budget Is Too Small
There’s an old saying that goes like this, “You have to spend money to make money,” and it’s valid for all types of businesses and promotions, including venue marketing. If you’re not spending enough to promote your venue effectively against your competitors in the current marketplace, your investments will go unnoticed and won’t drive the returns you need to reach your goals.
Don’t worry if you don’t have a marketing budget or your marketing budget is very tight. If that’s the case, you need to think of creative ways to stretch your budget as far as possible. For example, social media marketing, content marketing, and email marketing don’t have to be expensive but can be extremely successful for venues.
2. You Let Distractions Take Priority
Your venue marketing strategy sets your goals, so you can build the business you want in the near future. If you’re continually distracted by low-hanging fruit opportunities, you’ll waste time and money that should be invested into reaching the goals identified in your venue marketing strategy.
Yes, an important part of your venue marketing strategy is recognizing new opportunities as they arise, but you need to evaluate the low-hanging fruit to ensure it’s the right place to shift marketing budget dollars. Always ask yourself if low-hanging fruit opportunities can actually help you move toward achieving your venue goals or if they’re just distractions.
3. You Have the Wrong Team to Get It Done
If you don’t have the right people on your team to reach the goals identified in your venue marketing strategy, then it doesn’t matter how amazing the marketing plan that you create to carry out those goals is – you won’t be successful.
You need to have the right talent, experience, and knowledge on your team to execute the marketing plan that supports your venue marketing strategy. If you don’t have these people on your team already, then you need to have the budget to hire them or outsource the work to the right people. It’s that simple.
4. You Have No Way to Measure Success against Goals
The first step to being able to measure your success against your goals is to write SMART goals, which are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. In simplest terms, you should create goals that you can actually track your performance against. The University of Virginia’s human resources team offers a handy worksheet you can use to write your venue’s SMART goals, which you can find here.
The benefit of writing SMART goals is that the measurement process is built into the goal. You need to define when the goal must be achieved and how success will be evaluated within the goal, itself. That means accountability is baked right into each goal!
5. You Focus on Sales without Service
Your venue marketing strategy sets the marketing goals that can generate sales, but what happens after leads are moved into the sales pipeline? What happens when clients hold events at your venue? What level of service do they receive from the very first contact with your venue all the way through their event and afterwards?
You need to think about customer service and effectively communicating your brand promise consistently through every client interaction starting with your marketing communications and leading through your sales and delivery processes. While not technically part of your venue marketing strategy, this is so important that I’m including it here.
Therefore, make sure customer service support is available through your website and by phone, so potential clients can get answers to questions quickly. Train your sales and customer service staff to always deliver amazing experiences that are consistent with your venue’s brand, and when events are done, send post-event surveys to learn how your venue and team can improve for the future.
It takes just seconds for a dissatisfied person to spread the word about their negative experience on social media and review sites like Yelp and Google. Once those negative reviews are out there, it can be very difficult (if not impossible) to remove them or bury them. You don’t want to be in that position, so always prioritize service first.
Your Next Steps to Create a Killer Venue Marketing Strategy
Creating a venue marketing strategy that works is the easy part. The harder part is turning that strategy into an actionable marketing plan and then implementing that plan without making the mistakes discussed above.
Be prepared to spend some money, ignore distractions, hire the right team, measure your results, and deliver best-in-class customer service through every client touchpoint. Only then does your venue marketing strategy have a chance to be as successful as possible.