Why the best business strategies can’t afford excluding events?
It’s a well-known fact that the crucial factor of every successful company is its business strategy. Nowadays, with the fast changing environment and variety of customer preferences, the best business strategies can’t forget about implementing experiential methods. As an effect, events are becoming a must-have component of a competitive business strategy for all entrepreneurs.
The best business strategies don’t forget about events
Business strategies should touch a variety of aspects that apply to the company’s performance. Every part of it needs to be well thought through and focus on the specified goals that are going to be achieved with its help. The best business strategies connect different areas of company performance such as sales, product development, human resources management, and marketing.
With the ever-changing environment, there’s a constant need for effective promotion. Therefore, Marketing Strategy needs to emerge and support the goals of other areas’ strategies. Marketing actions should be constantly adapted to the changes in consumers’ preferences, as we live in the times where advertisement became a part of our everyday life.
Why competitive business strategies include events
It’s already confirmed that more and more people are now resistant to the conventional marketing communicates. We witness the phenomenon of “banner blindness” and therefore, now more than ever, to create a competitive business strategy companies need to implement experiential marketing and it’s tool – events.
Considering this resilience to the traditional marketing operations, the best business strategies implement live happenings into its core activities. Now, almost 24% of the company’s budgets are allocated in events. Managers noticed the benefits offered by real-life experience provided to the consumers and start to realize the impact it has on the company’s goal achievement.
What characterizes the best business strategies
Competitive business strategies are created in consideration of the companies’ individual values, goals, and aspirations. Therefore, they vary from each other, focusing on different fields of the business activity. However, the best business strategies have some things in common. We can determine qualities that characterize a good strategy, which would be:
- Simplicity and clarity
The best business strategies are: simple and clear
Business strategy should be the core of every employees’ work for the company. While it may sound like a utopian vision, it’s vital for the team members to know what they aim for in a long term. But, would they know what the strategy is about if it would be knotty and hard to understand? The answer is no. Therefore, the best business strategies are simple.
The simplicity of business strategies means that it should be based on a couple of key elements that are easy to present and describe. It all should amount to the crucial, main goal, which will later determine the company’s tactics.
Why the strategy should be simple
#1 simple strategy means easy communication
The strategy needs to be easy to understand for the company’s, both external and internal, environment. On the one hand, employees need to know what is the core of their operations, why they’re doing the work in a certain way and what is the aim of all the actions. On the other hand, a clear strategy lets potential stakeholders understand the idea behind the company and, in effect, decide whether to invest or not.
#2 simple strategy means better employees’ motivation
When the goals provided by the best business strategies are clear and imaginable employees can set an obvious target to achieve. It’s easier for them to find motivation for work when they see concrete aims.
#3 simple strategy makes it easier to create a structure
With a simple strategy that shows what the company is aiming for it’s easier to plan the organizational structure. Separation of duties and mechanisms within the company leads to the more efficient performance of the whole team.
The best business strategies are: Cohesive
Another thing the best business strategies have in common is coherence. It means that the separate aspects of the strategy correspond and support each other. When you think about it, it’s obvious that the strategy for different operations should combine into one coherent action. Only then it drives the accomplishment of common goals.
To illustrate the idea, let’s think about the Marketing Strategy, which includes different directions of activities. It can be a content strategy, another one for Social Media activity, yet another for outdoor marketing and so on. The first thing to notice is that all components of Marketing Strategy should harmonize within. Then, the marketing plan itself should be prepared taking into account other elements of the general business plan to support it and contribute to its main goals.
The cohesion of the competitive business strategy should be considered also in terms of keeping up with the latest trends in the industry and environment demographic changes. The strategy should correspond with the market needs and characteristics. For example, we can surely notice the improving importance of incorporating CSR to the companies act. It’s getting more popular and desired by the target group, so many companies engage in such actions. This way they get the prospect’s attention which helps, for example, increase the sales value (potential company’s goal).
The best business strategies are: measurable
As I mentioned before, business strategy is based on the goals that a company wants to reach in the long (or short) term. Therefore, as aims, the strategy needs to be measurable.
The ability to evaluate the progress in executing a certain strategy is vital when it comes to determining whether the plan sketched in the strategy works or not. Analytics of the company’s actions are the key to further improvement and it can’t be done without proper data. When the goals are measurable, you can control operations and quickly react when the error occurs.
Also, when the strategy terms are easy to measure and control it contributes to the employees’ motivation. They see the progress and double their efforts. After all, the satisfaction of successfully implemented strategy is the best stimulus.
What are the objectives of a competitive business strategy
After making clear the matter of what are the characteristics of the best business strategies, let’s move to one of its main building materials – the goals. It’s good to remember that a company should focus only on one strategic goal at the time. However, the competitive business strategy can be built upon multiple aims, the thing is to set the priorities clear and determine the paramount one.
Then there’s an issue of how to formulate organizational goals and objectives. Generally speaking, they should be simple (yes, just like the strategy itself). Use the words that won’t create confusion to make sure that everyone understands the meaning.
The goals need to be S.M.A.R.T
One of the most popular method, and also a very helpful one, is formulating company’s goals using S.M.A.R.T rule. The name is an acronym for the qualities that, according to the method, a well-composed goal should have.
Using this rule when setting a goal is the easiest way to make sure that the aims are clear and understandable in every essential level. As an effect, the goal is more likely to be achieved and gives a chance to prepare a list of sub-goals that are a way to achieve the main goal.
So, what are the qualities that create the method’s acronym?
#1 S is for Specific
Like the best business strategies, the best-determined goals can be easily understood. Make sure that the effect you seek is accurately described in the goal. Specific means that the goal is a clear description of what is to achieve, how and in what period of time.
Watch out for:
The vague definition of the topic is a common mistake – make sure that your goal and its definition contains all crucial details.
You feel like it’s too hard to create a short, precise description? It’s the signal that what your company’s aiming for is too complex. In this situation, you can think of dividing the goal into a couple of smaller (and more specific) ones.
#2 M for measurable
One of the most important things to remember while setting goals for your business is whether you’re able to measure the effects. Prepare concrete indicators and set the desired numbers to achieve.
Often, managers forget that the actions need to be measured. Then, after taking a lot of effort to meet the objectives it appears that there’s no way to tell what was the result of operations. Properly chose KPIs of goals leads to easier management and let evaluate the progress and define the goals’ achievement.
Watch out for:
- Wrong KPIs
- Lack (or forgetting) about the control
- Not analyzing the measurability of goals
#3 A is for achievable
It is obvious that people like to set their aims as high as possible. Often, it’s ambition that stands behind the success of the most popular companies. However, when it comes to the best business strategies, the objectives have to be realistic.
While it’s good to aim high and set ambitious goals you need to consider your company’s capabilities. Bear in mind that objectives must correspond with the resources you have. Decide what goals the company is able to achieve with the employees, capital and time given.
Watch out for:
- Making the goals too ambitious, therefore impossible to achieve
- Goals too easy to achieve, that won’t boost your team’s morale
#4 R is for relevant
Another thing that characterizes a well-determined business goal is its relevance. Set the goals that will significantly influence the whole performance of the company. It will give your team a proper motivation to work toward its achievement.
Watch our for:
- Setting an unnecessary goals
#5 T is for time-defined
Last but not least aspect of preparing goals for your company is its time. The proper aim has a specified period of time in which it’s going to be executed. This way you can tell if the goal was achieved or plan the operation towards its realization.
Watch out for:
- Too short or too long periods
- Goals with no deadlines
Organizational goals and objectives examples
Every organization is different and have its own specifics. As a result, the strategic business goals that are included in a competitive business strategy will vary as well. While the details of aims may be diversified there are goals that I would call as universal ones.
- Objective #1: an increase in sales/better incomes
The first universal goal for almost every organization is to boost the sales that automatically, contributes to the income increase. It’s the basic aim of every business individuals. It can be obtaining a specific number of leads, increasing the sale of a certain product over the others and so on. All of those goals can be considered as a financial and are easy to measure with matching KPIs such as the sales value of simply number of transactions.
- Objective #2: boosting the level of customer satisfaction
Another aspect that is being set as an objective in companies is the level of satisfaction. It can be applied to the company as a whole, to a certain product or customer service. Harder to measure than the previous goal, the satisfaction level is a reflection of the customers’ opinion of the brand.
- Objective #3: creating a strong employer brand
Boosting an employer brand is now a struggle for many companies. With facing recruitment problems organizations set creating an employer brand as one of the main strategic objectives for their company.
- Objective #4: increasing employees’ satisfaction
In times when employees have a sea of opportunities to catch creating satisfying working conditions became a priority for managers. Therefore, more often than not boosting the satisfaction of team members is set as an aim for the whole company.
Those are just a couple of organizational goals and objectives examples picked from many other companies’ goals. They’re determined in consideration of the strategic plans for the nearest future as well as in the long term.
What are the tools that can help with goals achievement?
With a variety of strategic objectives comes the variety of methods to achieve them. Depending on a goal’s type the process of its realization will incorporate the work of different company departments. More and more often managers reach for unconventional methods.
An event as a marketing tool
One of the more effective ways to achieve set goals is an event. Managers started to notice that live happenings can significantly support this process and include them into components of Marketing Strategy. They treat an event as a marketing tool. More often than not companies concentrate their work on creating the best event experience possible in order to boost their goal achieving efforts.
If you still need something to convince you to the perks of incorporating events to business strategy – one quick example. One of the most popular company (and one of the best business strategies of time, if you ask me), RedBull organize events and brand-related happenings constantly. They carry regular marketing actions while going wild with events to boost the attraction to the brand. Remember the jump from the stratosphere? Right, and there’s much more, believe me!
The possibilities are multiple. Different types of events (e.g. corporate events, experiential ones or external events) will serve certain objectives differently but the better event the better results.
Why events help with meeting your goal?
The times have changed and more often than not traditional marketing fail when it comes to contributing to the company’s performance. Therefore if you’re thinking about the operations that would help you meet the company’s long (and short) term aims, organizing an event is a way to go.
Launching a company party provides a real experience for your customers. In a real-time, your team is able to work toward the goals and directly influence attendees behavior and perception of a brand. Now, I see at least 3 goals (like building a brand awareness, obtaining sales leads, increase in sales) that could be supported by a life happening.
Events are about the experience. Experiential marketing takes a lead when it comes to reaching the audience. You don’t even need to organize a whole conference to boost the company journey toward the goal. Take as an example a Misereor foundation’s campaign. Their goal was to collect funds to deal with the hunger. However, they realized that it’s hard to achieve in times when everyone uses credit cards.
So, they used an event like happenings – they installed a thing called SocialSwipe at the airports and crowded places. The experiential event was so interesting for the passing by that the goal started to achieve itself:
How to use an event as a marketing tool to achieve objectives?
Misereor is just one example that the live action works with you in terms of meeting goals. What can you do to make sure that every time you launch a party or organize a pop-up event it serves its purpose and have an impact on your goals achievement?
First of all, know your target group.
Almost ever you’ll need their help. Do your research and adjust the event to the audience preferences. If they enjoy it, they’ll be more willing to engage. Know their preferences, just like Misereor did.
Also, it will be easier to gather the right crowd to your event. After all, if you’re aiming at broadening your customer base by 5%, you don’t need to attract crowds not interested in your offer.
Adjust the event profile to your goal
Think about the type of event that will be a real tool in the goal achieving process. Need help? The profile of an event should create opportunities to complete the process’ stages. Don’t throw an internal party when you want to increase the number of candidates that would apply for the position in your company. Think about taking part in job fairs. Need more sales leads? Go with the industry event or a party for potential clients and make sure the event is networking friendly. You have many options, chose wisely!
Plan the attendees’ engagement
Organizing an event while bearing in mind the main goal includes thinking through the ways to engage participants in certain actions. To do so, you can use various technological solutions or ideas interesting for attendees.
For instance, your main goal for this event is to acquire a certain number of potential sales leads. You can organize a QR code game, which will obtain the data about potentially interested prospects. Need an example? During 4Developers organizers asked attendees to scan all the partners’ codes. By doing so and filling the survey participants won a gadget. This way, both sides were content – one with obtained data, the other one with a gift. Also, make your stands interesting and interactive if your goal is to boost brand awareness (and take care of pro freebie bag!).
Launching a recruitment party? Provide networking opportunities that will let you know the candidates. Your goal is to raise the level of customer satisfaction? Organize a happening, make the customers satisfied and use an event to gather information about the real situation.
Events create endless possibilities to show the company’s culture and to attract candidates that will fit in, lifestyle-wise.
How to measure goal achievement at events?
I could go about the beneficial impact events have on the realization of goals for a long time. But the main concern in the matter is whether it’s possible to measure this impact. As it was mentioned, one of the characteristics of the company goal is its measurability. While events, due to their live character, may appear as a field where no hard data can be obtained, now it’s rather the opposite.
Organizational goals and objectives – examples of how to measure them at an event
Thanks to the development of event technologies, events are no longer an immeasurable matter. Platforms, such as Eventory, which often connect with mobile applications let organizers, exhibitors, and participants to gather information about performance at the event and the event itself. The same applies to control of the process of fulfilling objectives. However, it’s crucial to set the proper KPIs for each goal in order to gather suitable information during and after the event.
How to monitor the progress of achieving a boost in sales
With the most common organizational objective, the case is rather simple. The event is full of potential buyers, every promotional stand and interaction with a brand may have an impact on the closed transaction. Keep track of products purchased during the event, it may be done with the help of the basic sheet.
Also, monitor the sales at least two weeks after the event, not everyone will decide then and there so the event may contribute to your aim also after some period of time. Here you can base the evaluation simply on numbers or the whole value of sales.
The same applies when you’re aiming at obtaining new (or more) leads to your business. In this case, count them carefully and don’t forget about determining what means hot, warm and cold lead for you.
How to monitor the progress of increasing satisfaction
Let’s consider the less concrete matter – the goals connected to the increasing level of satisfaction. Events are a perfect opportunity to boost such aspects due to their real experience, but it’s harder to control the effects.
However, with mobile event platforms, you can run surveys among the attendees. To check whether the event helped your purposes – ask participants do a quick open poll ( you can use a mobile app to make it efficient), gather the data. Then, after the event send your attendees a follow-up questionnaire. Compare the results and voila!
How to monitor employer brand goals
Events are one great way to improve the employer branding, you can monitor the impact by following the opinion posted about your company at review sites. Compare them with the pre-event tendency and you’ll get the insight into whether organizing it warmed you employer image.
Also, when your goal is to make the recruitment more efficient, you can use technology to help you evaluate the effect. Scan QR codes of interested candidates during the events, offer your own QR code that will be scanned by those interested. Later, count the number of scans, compare it with the number of new applications.
Another thing to find out whether it was beneficial to add events to your goal achieving strategy is to monitor the length of the recruitment process before and after the event. It may be that thanks to event only really interesting and right candidates apply for the position and therefore the process became more efficient.
There are many methods that allow organizers to measure the progress of goal realization influenced by an event. Platforms, such as eventory provide tools that can gather all vital information in one place, which make data easier to compare. Therefore, the effects are visible immediately.
There’s no surprise that with the changes in our environment came changes in the way we need to manage the business. Nowadays, the best business strategies include unconventional methods to reach new markets and meet goals stated in the strategies.
One of the methods that create a competitive business strategy is including events as one of the components of Marketing Strategy. The experience they provide can significantly drive the process of fulfilling set aims toward their full achievement. After all, an event creates a unique opportunity to directly influence the customers, shape their perception and change their market behavior.
Years ago, when the events couldn’t be measured in a way that provided hard data about its effect, managers were forced to use traditional methods. They needed to think about complicated processes to accomplish strategic objectives. Now, with technology to measure an event’s performance, it’d be a waste of resources not to implement them to the strategy when it can be so helpful with meeting goals.
Do you incorporate events into your business’ strategy? Share your experiences and learn from others – join the Event Marketing discussion group!