In my career, or perhaps for my career, I take different online courses (some free, some very expensive) to fill my mind with more information that I think may be relevant to my job and life. I recently finished a course called "Introduction to Marketing" from ALISON and I found myself having a lot of a-ha moments.
For example, marketing is not sales. Many people mix the two up, or even just bunch them together to mean the same thing. Marketing it almost the setup prior to sales; it is the process of getting to know the clientele (identifying their needs, building relationships, solidifying loyalty). This was such an eye-opener because it's absolutely true. One cannot sell a product to a customer without even identifying whether the product is needed by said customer. Or at least without having an idea that the product is needed.
I thought about how this could be applied to event marketing and thought - people who market in Las Vegas have it so easy and yet so difficult. I know in my experience that once a client is set on coming to Las Vegas and choosing my services for their event, the process is basically complete. Because we are such a destination, the bulk of our economy runs from tourism and non-locals (at least close or on the Strip, which is where my career resides). In that regard, it is easy once a client or group is set on Las Vegas as their location. But that is the hard part - that is where the ideas from my course come in.
Yes, Las Vegas sells itself about half the time. What with a hundred conventions in town (and even overflow from other parts of the region like AZ and CA) and concerts galore and cheap hotel rooms, Las Vegas is a great place for people from pretty much any niche to try at least once. But in the event industry, not so much. Unless, like I said above, you plan the conventions, we have to scrape and claw as much as the next person to get that sale.
What's the pitch? Um, we are a better large hotel casino than the hotel casino over there, and over there, and down the street? How are tourists supposed to know that difference in quality between the thousand hotels and banquet rooms up and down the Strip? Well here's the thing - that's not the marketing ploy. That's not what you sell. What you sell is how you are different, how your team is different, how their experience will be different if the choose you.
Like I said before, marketing is identifying you clientele's needs, and when people are coming to Las Vegas for events (whether it's a bride or a corporate representative or an old lady celebrating her 100th birthday), they have needs that need to be acknowledged. In the sea of food/beverage, lodging, and entertainment options, they need to know that they won't be a number. That's the need you cater to.
It's something I've always done subconsciously, as I'm sure most sales people have in this city, but it was refreshing to have it identified and defined (nice job marketing to me ALISON).