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Why the best agencies earn their fees, research, gut instinct and a pinch of serendipity

by on May 12, 2017 in Business, Latest News, Lead Article, Lead story, News you can use, Retail News, Social Media

Why the best agencies earn their fees, research, gut instinct and a pinch of serendipity

Regular readers of theMarketingblog will be familiar with our reviews of new marketing offerings from media owners. If there is indeed any such thing as new marketing offerings? This is not about the latest marketing tech, it’s about sitting down and talking.

In essence what an advertiser wants to be confident of when planning and booking a campaign or schedule, is, that the placements will reach their target audience, with a relevant message, that will resonate with the target audience. But how can this be ensured?

Let’s look at what the basic objective of advertising is. In most instances it will be helping to achieve more sales. And in most instances sales are ultimately achieved following a meeting between buyer and seller businesses.

Prior to the meeting some information will have been received that makes the buyer aware of the seller. The relevance of that information to the buyer’s business is what will trigger her/his time to consume some or all of the message.

So, a relevant message to an accurately targeted audience, well-crafted and executed, can open the door to meetings and sales. Sounds all too simple but this blog is full of costly examples where this hasn’t been followed. Ensuring your marketing comes into the former category is precisely why the best agencies earn their fees.

Regular readers with a good memory might remember that in Sept 2015 we covered the social media crusade, a series of roundtable events held by a B2B media owner, Hospitality & Catering News.

Well it seems that they have been developing more roundtable events and the results look encouraging. We spoke this morning with Hospitality & Catering News Publisher, Denis Sheehan to learn more.

Will Corry, TheMarketingblog: What is the purpose of the roundtable and what does it achieve for your readers and advertisers?

Denis Sheehan, Hospitality & Catering News: “Hospitality & Catering News reports on what is happening in our industry and in any given time period certain topics are high priority to readers. We prioritise what we report on from understanding what our readers are spending their time reading.

It’s a simple process, we review Google Analytics to measure which content categories are most read, and then identify which pages within those categories get the most reading time. It’s a qualitative as well as quantitative exercise. The ‘basic’ equation is how many ‘unique’ and ‘total’ readers multiplied by the ‘average amount of time’ spent reading. There are lots of variables that we then apply and the results give us our content priorities.

When we have a high scoring content category we then execute social media campaigns testing content engagement. Once we have a combined readership and social media test score level with a content category we start talking.

In most instances we will start the conversation but at the end of last year a very relevant and timely conversation was started with us by Gina McAdam. Gina runs Stratemarco, a marketing agency that looks after many clients in hospitality and catering.

The conversation was on behalf of her client Cyrus Todiwala OBE.

Gina had attended one of our social media roundtables and asked if we would be interested in doing one with Cyrus Todiwala OBE. When we were having the initial conversation Gina explained that Cyrus wanted to explore further what was happening in the food supply chain. Serendipity, our recent content analysis had supply chain in the top three readership categories as it had been for some months.

When we met and discussed the subject, that Cyrus and Gina had thoroughly researched, it was apparent early on that there was a meeting of minds on not just what’s hot content wise but also in how to address the subject. In depth and through considered research.

We then met with two sponsor partners, the Norwegian Seafood Council and Partners In Purchasing. Both had marketing plans in place and running that aligned to what we were doing. Both adopted a similar approach to the project culturally, and both would prove a good fit to working with us.

So we created a survey and wrote up what we were doing. We then broadcast the event and invited people across our industry to contribute. Reads a little too simply perhaps, there were many pages written, and much coverage to achieve the reach we wanted and needed.

The results from those that contributed to the survey then shaped the event agenda. The open answers were every bit as helpful as the structured ones, and open feedback flowed.

On the day we had a 100% turn out from delegates zero no shows, a first.

From our reader’s perspective – the food supply chain became a more regularly reported subject and not just about the roundtable, we found our reporting encouraged and produced more incoming news too. Readers can now request the survey report in full, with the findings reporting on a supply chain from contributors who serve over 2 million covers a month to their diners.

From the sponsor’s perspective – they were associated with a relevant message to an accurately targeted audience. We hope they feel it was well-crafted and executed, and can open doors to meetings and sales.

The message was delivered through content, branding, social media and meeting and talking with their target audience. A cohesive mix of traditional and not so ‘new’ anymore media.

Post event analysis is very simple, the delegates want to attend more, have suggested other associated topics for new roundtables and some have even offered to host an event.

We will be holding the next food supply chain roundtable once again in association with Cyrus Todiwala OBE at Café Spice Namaste on 11th October this year.

The reaction from readers has also prompted us to look at developing more roundtables on a wide range of subjects, some from the suggestions made by the delegates that attended the most recent one.”

It would seem that the balance for readers, delegates and advertisers is a good one and much of the feedback can be seen here.

Going back to the start of this article … for the sponsors of this event, the campaign seems to have reached its target audience, with a relevant message, that resonated.

Our congratulations to Gina McAdam on her application of research, gut instinct and a pinch of serendipity.

We are glad to report that we know a bit more than we are reporting on here right now on the development plans at Hospitality & Catering News. We will be reporting again soon.

Will Corry, TheMarketingblog

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