Integrated marketing communications: The best party starts with an invite

Click here to view a larger version 

If you want your reputation to spread like wildfire, as the greatest party planner of the 21st century, then your invitation needs to extend across multiple platforms.

Therefore, every marketer should be brilliant at throwing social events. Of course, that is if they practice integrated marketing both at home and in the workplace. Here at Armitage Communications, we’re all talented hosts and hostesses. But a recent request from a client set quite a challenge.

Do the locomotion

To organise a seminar encouraging manufacturers to buy industrial robots, and ensure the event was nothing short of a manufacturing party was quite a challenge. But we immediately began planning how we could optimise all the relevant platforms, with the right marketing techniques to maximise PR.

We began with the go-to of communications execs since 1906, the press release. Simple yet effective, a 500-word piece set the tone for the event and ensured that many targeted industry magazines would circulate the news in both print and digital formats. The next stage was to create a landing page, where those who wanted to attend could confirm their booking. A CMS in which this was possible allowed us to integrate the campaign with other websites, social media being the central focus.

The press release almost acts as the anchor for your planning. Once established, social media can be used to make your event go viral. A digital format allows the details to be instantly relayed between invitees, in an era where online communication reigns supreme. I don’t know the last time I saw a paper invite.

Respondez, s’il vous plait

The difference with personal social media invites is that your friends are already invested in you. With B2B marketing, the challenge is to convince the target market to invest their time in your client. For this reason, the landing page we designed included case studies to communicate the client’s ongoing success, just as your own Facebook event probably includes photos from previous rip-roaring parties you’ve hosted.

We also included a sign-up form so that visitors could register directly, but aware that some manufacturers might take longer than others to commit, we ensured the page included many links to our multiple social media platforms, where the message was reiterated through tweets, blogs and LinkedIn posts. As discussed in our earlier blog ‘A courtship with content’, drip-feeding personable, entertaining snippets of information is a great way to lead customers back to the source, and get them nibbling on those corporate vol-au-vents in no time.

We also wanted a landing page which was mobile compatible. As any marketer in the 21st century is aware, much internet browsing now takes place on mobile devices (in fact this year it’s reached almost 40 per cent). This again facilitates sharing over on to social apps, integrating the campaign further still. But we didn’t stop there. Encouraging physical interaction through a QR code on an advert placed in industry publications, we linked manufacturers straight onto the mobile landing page where again, a direct booking could be made.

What’s more, any experienced socialite knows that taking advantage of other successful events is a must. In the B2B marketing world, it’s the same.  Making use of industry functions throughout the year is vital. We ensured our campaign was given as much exposure to the target market as possible by having flyers (including the aforementioned QR code) distributed to delegates who attended a leading processing and packaging event just a few weeks before our seminar was scheduled. Exhibitions, conferences and industry shows should be considered as invite opportunities - have you ever had a group of friends together at dinner, and thought that was an ideal time to ask them if they could make your do? Of course you have. The right audience are present, an audience that likes to be entertained.

Pull them in like Hansel and Gretel

Finally, we took the slightly more traditional approach of emailing invitations in the form of an e-shot to a number of mailing lists, some of which were provided by our client. Others were supplied by target industry magazines and enabled us to reach those who would be most interested in our client’s event. Ultimately, the e-shot wound up in the same place that every other trail of marketing content breadcrumbs we left ended up, the campaign landing page.

Through assembling a collection of communications, we were highly successful in promoting our client’s robo-centric reception. By tying the various delivery tools together, we created an effective integrated marketing campaign that meant the puff pastry tray was stripped bare in no time.

We're hiring...

Are you a cocktail-shaking connoisseur of blending marketing tools? Then you'll be pleased to know we're looking for a talented new executive to join our team. To apply simply email and attach your C.V along with 200 words about why you'd like to work in technical PR.  


No detail too small....

We always like to go to town when it comes to making our clients look good. And what better way to promote the use of your client’s products around Central London than an open-top bus tour of the capital itself?

This is exactly what we did as part of ABB’s recent Capital Markets Day event, which brought journalists from around the world to London to find out more about the company’s ambitions for the next five years.

Taking our idea from the popular open-top tour buses that are a ‘must-do’ for any tourist, we put together our very own whistle-stop tour of our client’s major reference sites.

Here’s a quick look at how we quite literally put our client’s products on the map.

From brainstorm to bus stop…
Did you know that buses are prohibited from travelling down the Mall? Or that there are 26,000 streets within a six mile radius of Charing Cross?

These were just some of the things we discovered as we put together both the route and the double-sided map that would be the focal point of the tour.

DID YOU KNOW? The Routemaster celebrates its 60th anniversary this year?

The destinations were easy enough to choose, but it was allowing for road closures and traffic congestion which proved a challenge.

Just in case Plan A went awry, our MD, ever the perfectionist, cycled the provisional route two weeks before, duly noting the details of every road work, one-way street, prohibitive by-law and anything else that could affect the route.

Making the map
That being done, a route was finalised and a map painstakingly produced, drawing on a variety of sources for its inspiration. For several days, our studio was awash with maps including the famous London A to Z, London tour guides and Dorling Kindersley pictorial books, trying to fit as many details as possible into the A2-sized format.

Capital Markets Day tour map
Click to view large version

The design team’s contribution didn’t stop there, with invites also made to ensure that the journalists were clear on how to get to the bus stop on the morning of the tour. These featured the iconic Tower Bridge image for both consistency and effect.

Next stop: The tour
Starting at The Gherkin, where ABB switchgear controls the dual power supply, the tour took in a variety of some of London’s most famous landmarks where ABB equipment has been installed, including Tower Bridge, The Shard, the Tate Modern, Trafalgar Square and the London Eye. Of course, no tour of London is complete without a tour guide, who was able to give chapter and verse not only on the sights of London, but also information about the ABB equipment featured in each one. We also made sure to film the whole experience to communicate the diversity of landmarks that ABB serves.

The day wasn’t limited to the Routemaster itself, as journalists were treated to a midmorning tour of Imperial College London. Recently voted as the world’s second leading university, Imperial College London is home to a new carbon capture pilot plant, which uses ABB drives, motors, instrumentation and automation to give students a truly hands-on experience of operating a real-life process facility.

After such an exciting start, journalists were then treated to a delicious lunch at Claridge’s, a hotel renowned for its timeless luxury. Not that this was the only consideration behind the choice of venue - ABB variable-speed drives also feature in the restaurant’s kitchens.

Because everyone loves a souvenir...
Finally, as a final touch to a brilliant day, the toy London bus, complete with ABB logo, was placed on each of the journalists’ tables at Claridge’s. The journalists were delighted to receive this reminder of their experience.

With cautious planning and great attention to every component of the day, the Capital Markets event achieved its objective– securing a great impression of our client’s business – providing automation and power technologies to the world’s most treasured landmarks in London.