Pushing the Envelope, Inc. (PTE) was the agency of record for Zoomers, an indoor/outdoor family entertainment center offering a large assortment of games, rides, and attractions specifically for children 5 to 15 years of age, and some activities for adults or older teenagers. In 2019, Zoomers celebrated its 7th annual Spring Fling event. The event was held around the Easter holiday each year and involved a visit from the Easter Bunny, deals on wristbands (access to the rides) an egg hunt and more. The need for this event to be successful was apparent as year to date, Zoomers’ sales were down.
PTE brainstormed marketing mix strategies to further enhance the staple event and improve its performance in the form of increased sales and attendance. PTE compared the activities from Spring Fling 2017 to 2018 and related feedback from Zoomers’ staff about the best and least performing elements. PTE researched other similar events in the area and also looked for any possible date conflicts with other area events.
Additionally, PTE researched applicable news and family-related publications to submit news to, pitch stories to, and post events to the publications’ website (in addition to those already on the company’s media list). PTE determined that employing all tactics (advertising, public relations, email marketing, mobile marketing, organic social media posts, paid social media advertising, and website updates) would be an optimal, well-rounded approach to ensure target audience awareness and increase event performance.
OBJECTIVES AND STRATEGY:
- Increase sales by 20% or $7,552 for total sales of $22,657 at Spring Fling 2019 as compared to $15,105 in total sales at Spring Fling 2018
- Generate at least 1,200 Spring Fling attendees
- Leverage publicity to generate awareness about the event as measured by two news stories/briefs in local media outlets whose readership includes the target audience
- Leverage Facebook advertising to generate awareness about the event among target audience members (predominately the parents of children ages 5-15) and gain attendees as measured by at least 100 people marked as “going” and more than 500 people marked as “interested” on the Facebook event
- Leverage email marketing to create awareness among Zoomers’ existing audience as measured by an open rate of 9% and click through rate of 5% (both in keeping with recent averages and compared to April 2018)
- Leverage mobile marketing to create awareness among Zoomers’ existing audience as measured by an open rate of 11% (slightly higher than April 2018’s open rates).
For marketing mix strategies, starting with the event concept and marketing partners, PTE confirmed plans with B103.9FM for on-air and online promotion leading up to the event and negotiated an onsite radio remote during the event from 1 to 3 pm. Additional advertising was scheduled on Univision’s radio stations in Spanish leading up to the event. PTE also leveraged existing media buys in local publications read by the target audience to promote the event including Southwest Florida Parent & Child Magazine (in the March 2019 issue), Lee County Family (in the March 2019 issue), and the outdoor digital billboard that was currently under contract. The billboard ran from March 18 and ran until April 20, 2019.
PTE updated Zoomers’ website with event information and created all necessary graphics including an event poster, social media graphics and related advertising designs. PTE coordinated with Zoomers’ staff to get the posters printed in-house and put up on the property.
Another marketing mix strategy was on social media, a Facebook event and corresponding graphic was created/set up on March 13. Content was produced and published on all of Zoomers’ Facebook and Instagram channels. Beginning in March and running through the end of the month, a video Facebook ad began running, directing viewers to the Facebook event where they could obtain more information or mark their interest or plans to attend. Additionally, in early April, the Spring Fling 2019 Facebook event was boosted. The boost ran until the day of the event.
For publicity, PTE drafted and distributed an announcement release about Spring Fling 2019 and posted the event to local web calendars. PTE contacted local media, sharing details of the event and asking them to cover it in upcoming “things to do” and Easter happenings listings. PTE also used Zoomers’ email newsletter to promote the event, drafting and distributing one email to existing audience members (those who’d previously signed up) prior to the event as part of the marketing mix strategy. Capitalizing on Zoomers’ mobile marketing tool, two mobile messages about Spring Fling were drafted and sent on April 2 (save the date) and April 19 (reminder).
All goals were met or exceeded!
- Sales increased by 120% or $18,210 for total Spring Fling 2019 sales of $33,315!
- Zoomers enjoyed 1,668 patrons at Spring Fling 2019
- PTE earned eight pieces of local media coverage in target publications for Spring Fling
- 117 people marked they were “going” and 1,200 people marked they were “interested” on the Facebook event
- The email marketing open rate was 9% and the click through rate was also 9%
- Two text messages about Spring Fling 2019 were sent via Zoomers’ mobile marketing. The April 2 text had a 12% open rate and the April 19 text had a12.19% open rate with the April 2019 average open rate of 14% (compared to 10.65% in April 2018)