November 1, 2011 by Jeff Hurt
“It’s all just a numbers game. There’s not a secret to increasing event registration. You just sell more,” says your boss.
“You want to increase your sales? Just talk to more people. Pick up the phone and call more potential attendees. Send out more emails. Create more direct mail marketing pieces. Get more eyeballs. That’s how it works,” says conventional wisdom. Or your employer.
“Sell more stuff”–in this case registrations–is not the answer most of us seek. We know that a good event sells itself.
Author Olivier Blanchard talks about learning the FRY method while working at Microsoft in his book Social Media ROI. According to Blanchard, the FRY method breaks down organizational silos that hinder sales and brings together business development, customer service, marketing, sales and for event registration the meetings department.
The FRY Method separates the sales process into three categories:
The FRY method raises the bar on awareness, desire and preference. Instead it focuses on specific types of consumers and their purchasing triggers.
F stands for frequency or “buy rate.” It can also mean frequency of interactions.
When we talk about frequency, the “register now for our event” becomes “buy from us more often, not just once a year for this event.” This forces everyone working on the annual meeting to see customers’ purchases within a larger cycle of purchases. The event no longer becomes a stand-alone product that only happens annually.
The organization’s team has to think differently about the event from a holistic point of view. They also have to think strategically about how all of the organization’s offerings fit together. Likewise, they have to identify customer segments for targeted marketing.
No longer can they only think about one-size-fits-all messaging and push marketing of the onetime experience. Instead they are thinking about how to change customers’ purchasing habits. That means they have to discover reasons for their customers to change their behaviors.
Does your organization know which of your customers buy from you once a year, quarterly or more frequently? Do you know how many people each company brings to your events? Do you know which customers came to your conference two out of the past three years? Do you know which markets have the greatest potential to increase your registrations?
If the answer is no, then you won’t be able to influence frequency or buy rate if you don’t know who to target with specific messages. You need to establish a baseline so you can measure changes in your customers purchasing habits.
In social media, frequency might be engagement rate of customers and potential customers.
How many interactions does it currently take for you to remind someone to make a purchase with you and they follow through? Ask your marketing department.
Can you influence a potential customer to transact with you more often if you interact with them more often? Increasing interactions between your company and its customers ultimately increases bandwidth and mindshare.
Try it. Post relevant conference content in various social networks to serve as a catalyst for more interactions. Monitor it and see what happens. Some companies have mastered this into a science. They know how many interactions a week it takes to result in a transaction.
On the contrary, ignoring social media channels means less opportunities to remind customers and less transactions.
The next post will explore Reach in the FRY Method and how social media affects reach.
What are some other tangible ways social media can be used to increase frequency of interaction leading to transaction? What types of social media interaction have a more positive impact on the customer?
Filed Under: Attendance Marketing
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