Marketing is generally defined as learning what your customers want or need, and then providing it. It is different from advertising, or promotional strategies. However, both advertising and promotional efforts are important parts of marketing.
If you have done your homework, you have already identified your target audience, and have a detailed understanding of their needs and wants, and used this information to design a variety of program options that they can attend. If you have not done all of these things, then we recommend you continue working on your program planning. If you have, then you are in an ideal situation to market your programs to your target audience.
“Promotions” are the integrated communications efforts to get the word out about your programs. Promotional efforts will need to identify your “product”, i.e., the specific program you are offering and why it is relevant to the target audience. In addition, promotional efforts will need to identify the time, place, cost and how to register.
The tools used to promote your events are dependent on the target audience and their preferred methods of communications. Needless to say, thinking about specific communications efforts should be an integrated part of your program planning efforts and should not be an “add on” at the end of the program planning.
Effective implementation of your program planning will be the core of your marketing efforts. Again, marketing is understanding what your customer wants or needs and then providing it. Designing a program that meets the needs of your potential participants is the essence of your planning efforts. Having accomplished this, it is now time to let your potential participants know what is available.
The following resources will help you fill your seats with ideal participants.