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Monique Bouchard Monique Bouchard
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The Marketing Edge - On marketing plans and BBQs

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The Fourth of July has hit and it’s the height of summer! 

You may be wandering the internet as you plan your celebrations for Independence Day and beyond - the time-honored summertime tradition of feasting outdoors with family and friends. There’s often a festival atmosphere and for holiday happenings, the day maybe ends in fireworks. With later summer fun, perhaps an evening swim or a nice campfire.

In many key ways, preparing for a BBQ (on the Fourth or otherwise) is a lot like developing a marketing campaign. 

To have a successful BBQ you have to know a few things: who will be attending, what makes your guests happy and meets their expectations and, if you’re hosting, what kind of budget you have for the party.

The same is true for a targeted marketing experience.

Your guests = Your customers.

● Who are you inviting to the party (those are your customers)?

● What they are known to like and dislike?

● What do they expect from you?

● What’s important to them and necessary?

● What is unnecessary - what can you skip?

You’ll also have to make some choices in the guest list. You can’t reach everyone with the same message and the same content, so consider carefully the people with whom you’d like to connect or to build a stronger relationship through your marketing campaign with your current customer base.

Your menu: Think about what you’re serving them.

● Is it all high-end content that someone else produces for you (think catering!)

● Is it something that you’ve researched (like a recipe) and are doing yourself?

● Do your “guests” prefer gorgeous print ads in a glossy magazine? TV ads on the news? Pretty posts on Instagram? Whatever they like, you want to be sure that you’re serving it to them.

You will want to mix it up - few people want an all-coleslaw buffet - and a good plan offers something for every guest they’re inviting to the party.

Your budget: What it costs.

As with planning any menu, you can go all-out and buy without planning, but it will likely be more expensive and may feel less coordinated. 

You can also go high-end, carefully considering your budget to maximize what you present to your guests and be confident in its quality. 

Finally, you can mix it up -- choosing to go low-budget in some areas (hot dogs rather than steak) so you can be extravagant in other ways (a super-fancy dessert!) that will impress your guests.

Whatever you choose, think about what your customers will like rather than what you, yourself prefer, since ultimately you are spending your hard-earned money on motivating them to have a relationship with your business. If your focus is on your guests and you give them what makes them interested and happy, it’s an excellent way to keep your audience's attention and keep the party rolling even after the last firework has faded away.

(Monique Bouchard is an account manager and content creator for Sutherland Weston.)

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