In this day and age of digital marketing and mobile everything, do you find it a bit odd that some spa dealers are still committed to the idea of planning in-person events? With all the associated costs and hassles, you’re not alone in wondering if there is still value for the hot tub retailer in hosting special sales events. However, data continues to show, businesses that do events simply sell more spas.
How to Measure the Real Value
Let’s start by taking a look into key metrics of event marketing. Sure, it’s useful to consider the number of conversions or sales closed relative to the cost for each event compared to the cost of bringing a lead in-store. But what about the harder to measure performance indicators further up the funnel? If we break down the retailer sales funnel for these events, each component can be linked to a more specific marketing objective than just achieving increased sales.
- Increase brand awareness
- Enhance product education
- Increase sales
Sales events should be more than just a dollar and cents decision for dealers. And this model supports his argument. The idea is that efforts should be aimed along every part of the funnel to ensure a consistent revenue stream. And events are just as much about future sales as they are about the immediate sale.
According to sales expert Colleen Francis of Engage Selling Solutions, “Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, a lack of consistent revenues — the ‘hockey stick syndrome’ — is caused by a lack of consistent prospecting. A failure to prospect on a regular basis will inevitably result in irregular revenues, and inconsistent commissions.”
Events serve as an ideal way of “filling the funnel” and working to capitalize on customer relationships in the longer-term. And so H2Insider stands with the experts in encouraging dealers to further explore the sales event option, especially as you’re planning budgets and schedules for 2017.
Tips for Using Events to Build Brand Awareness
Having coordinated his dealership’s presence at hundreds if not thousands of events, Shawn Maynard from Bullfrog Spas of Ogden shared his recommendations about using events to build brand awareness.
Maynard’s key points include:
- Product display
If we’re talking about booth space, Maynard strongly believes in the island over aisle floor plan. When set up along an aisle, it’s much easier for attendees to window shop. But when a store has its own island, attendees are more inclined to step into the space to see what you’re all about.
As for tent or parking lot sales, location should be tailored more towards regular traffic than high exposure. Maynard learned from experience that setting up in a suburban grocery store parking lot offers an easy stopping place and at least two touch points since people tend to shop at the grocery store twice a week. Maynard likes to include two weekends to ensure the opportunity for more than one touch, just in case.
Maynard also has found better success when he brings a special attraction to the sale that is not necessarily associated with hot tubs. His store’s favorite is their branded monster truck that seems to be a hit with the whole family. Promotional product giveaways also work well when kids are involved.
Maintain a permanent mobile show event trailer that’s always ready to go!
As noted, Maynard also pays attention to signage, lighting, and product display. Branded tents, banners, and flags make an impression without a lot of transport and setup hassle. Just make sure larger items are tied down on windy days! Even if exterior lighting at your location is adequate, extra lighting should be installed inside the tent to draw attention. He’s had more than one customer return to a tent sale because they got curious having noticed it under the lights after hours the night before.
The fewest number or spas Maynard feels okay showing on the floor of an event is four. Any less may make your dealership not seem wholly committed to the business or event. He also finds it useful to install covers and cover lifters on the display models, so spas are protected and he’s not spending all his time scrubbing product down. Having covers on the spas also allows for more POP space.
Maynard’s bonus tip: Maintain a permanent mobile show event trailer that’s always ready to go!
Tips for Using Events to Enhance Product Education
Aside from product one-sheets and brand brochures, dealers can offer other marketing materials that work to educate the customer. Here are a few tools to take to your next show:
- Since consumers are often compelled by scientific and research-based findings, provide a handout about the Health Benefits of Spas.
- Promoting financing opportunities at the event can make the large ticket item seem more affordable.
- Offer a checklist of potential pre-installation questions.
- One of the biggest challenges to overcome in creating customers is the concern about maintenance; so offer a how-to demonstration to show how easy it can be.
- Display promotional material on accessory options.
- Ask visitors to take a quick survey on how hot tubs may improve their lives (health, family, social, wellness).
Use Targeted Advertising to Promote Events
Events are only worthwhile for turning leads into customers if people show up. So use promotional opportunities to inform consumers of your exclusive happening. Check out these articles for info on media buying, social media, and website design to spread word about your upcoming events.
Implement Effective Lead Follow-Up Systems
Last but not least, every lead requires a follow-up. MarketingSherpa reports that 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales. And lack of lead nurturing is the most common cause of this poor performance. You can gather a lot of leads at events but turning leads into customers requires an effective follow-up system where leads are nurtured along every step of their buying journey. With this and the tips above in place, events are sure to build your spa business.