Franchise ATM Podcast – How to Plan Events for Your Store

Franchise ATM Podcast – How to Plan Events for Your Store

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Announcer: Welcome to All Things Marketing Podcast. The podcast that talks all things marketing for both franchise and multi location marketing leaders. ATM is brought to you by Pure Driven, we’ll show you how to turn your brand into a money making machine. Here’s your host, Steve Rockwood.


Steve: Hello, and welcome to ATM. My name is Steve Rockwood, I’m the marketing manager at Pure Driven. Yesterday we talked about the importance of sales and events for your business. So, today we are going to talk about how to plan those events for your store. I’m joined once again by special guest Chris Swanson, the CEO at Pure Driven as well as the head of franchise development. Christ, how are you doing today?


Chris: I’m doing awesome, Steve. Thanks for having me back on your podcast. I always love talking all things marketing.


Steve: Definitely. And we talked about events yesterday quite a bit. So, today we’re really gonna be talking about how to actually plan and use those events for your store. So, my first question for you is: What would you say is the first step in planning an event for your store?


Chris: Well, first of all, one of the things we see quite often, and it’s a major mistake that many retailers, store locations, have made when planning events is that they don’t plan based on the customer’s motives for coming in. The store wants to create more sales and more customers, but the customer needs to get something out of it as well. And what I’ll say to that very simply is, in the first, is just be thinking about the fact that normally in the world of marketing, especially in brand marketing, you’re not necessarily gonna see an outcome right away to what you do. The great thing about events is you will actually see, if marketed properly, things happening in your store during that timeframe.


Chris: So, if the message is right, if it causes that potential customer to stop, causes them to take an action, ie physically walk through your store, in some cases making a decision to purchasing something online, that is a huge deal and what you’re gonna see, again, is if those things are done, that’s gonna ’cause them to actually come in for that event and then from there you can kind of extrapolate after that event’s happened, backwards, what was successful and what wasn’t. And we’ll talk a little bit more about that, I’m sure on this podcast.


Steve: Yeah, definitely.


Chris: But that’s really important to track what actually happened when I have the event.


Steve: Yeah, definitely. And that actually is one of my questions for you so you’re a smart man. Question number two that I have for is how do you utilize the world of social media and online marketing when trying to promote this events or actually using them for your event?


Chris: You know, it’s very important that you have some clearly defined strategy, with very specific targets that you’re trying to hit. That way you can, again, go back and take a look at everything. But statistics show us 49% of organizations don’t have a clearly defined digital marketing strategy.


Steve: That’s a lot of people.


Chris: Yeah, and that information, getting insights, smart information, it’s really a problem if you’re in the world of having a business where you’re trying to create an event to create an action of driving somebody, foot traffic, into your location. Because how you want to strategize, of course strategy 101 says, we figured out what we’re trying to have happen. Obviously increase in foot traffic and revenue in the store, and then you work backwards from that. And that’s what great events are able to kind of look at and do a great job of making happen.


Chris: But we so often see that that fist part’s not even done.


Steve: Yeah. Definitely. And then on that note of successful events, as the CEO of Pure Driven, which deals with a lot of franchising, just what are a few off the cuff events that you can think of that have done really well that you’ve seen us promote here at Pure Driven for our clients.


Chris: Every brand is different, so it’s a little bit of a difficult conversation in that you have to test with events. You have to see what works. If you are a corporate franchise in charge of a brand, don’t be afraid to test some things. But what we’ve seen pretty consistently that works is break the mold with something that’s kind of unique and different that gets,


again, peoples’ imaginations stirred a little bit. Breaks the common traditional, “Hey, black Friday.” We can go on and on. Christmas event.


Steve: Cyber Monday.


Chris: Cyber Monday. I mean, you see some of these things so over that you just become almost immune as a consumer to that.


Steve: Yep.


Chris: So, things like we’ve seen some of our franchisees in particular do little crazy things like pajama Monday where if you come in your pajamas you get like 25% off. The event itself is great because people actually do come in, but bare minimum, again, I now have put my brand in front of people and caused them to go, “Huh, that’s different. I wonder what they’re doing there.”


Chris: So, get a little crazy. I don’t tell people to get too crazy, but get a little crazy with your events. Test them, again build a strategy, and then test them and then work backwards with your information to say, “What happened? Did we get that place in the right channels, digital and social channels?” Some of this requires some traditional marketing and if you see a little bit of traction and success, go for it.


Chris: Just some other examples ’cause you asked a question. We see things like having the all you can put in the bag events have been-


Steve: Ah, the grab bag.


Chris: Grab bag have been successful. We’ve seen different events where it’s more of like a contest type of event. VIP events for opening, I should always throw the grand opening concept in there. What a lot of people are looking to do with their retail location or their restaurant, store, physical location. They want people to come in for the grand opening, but they want it to happen in some what of an orderly fashion and what we can tell you is the way to do that is to set up a VIP structure where you’re inviting people because they’ve signed up early and you’re actually communicating with them and saying, “Hey, just so you know, you got a VIP. You get to come in. We’re gonna have cheese and wine and crackers and these different things and we’re gonna kinda treat you extremely special in terms of who you are. You’ll have an opportunity to buy. You’ll have an opportunity to come back later and so on, and we’ll punch your card so the next you’re in you get 50% off or whatever it might be.”


Chris: Part of that is getting them back in. That’s why I always have kind of a hook. But yeah, there’s a ton of great events out there. Contests as well can be something that drive a lot of people into a store. But try them. There’s a lot of great ideas out there. And then find out what happens.


Steve: Definitely. Well, that’s really good. I only have one more question for you, Chris, and that is after you’ve done all these events, how do you determine the success of the event after it’s finished?


Chris: Well, again we want to take a look at what was the revenue during that timeframe of the event. If we had action, specific action items that we know should be getting taken online, we can track the engagement for that event and then work ourselves backwards and there’s how many people saw the event versus how many people engaged the event and that’s really determining. So, a lot of analytics, Steve. Something that we didn’t have before as marketers. We used to use coupons and different things to try to see what that engagement looked like inside the store. Now we have the opportunity to see multiple steps along the way, what engagement look like and that should tell us if we’re doing the right things or not.


Steve: Awesome. Well, that was super helpful. Thank you for being here today, Chris. That’s all we have time for. So, thank you for joining me and thank you for listening to the podcast, everybody. We will catch you next time right here on ATM.
Announcer: You just listened to All Things Marketing Podcast. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast to catch every new episode every day. Wanna be a guest on the show? Sign up at See you tomorrow here at the ATM.

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