For any event professional over a certain age, letter writing, direct mail, the landline phone and good old-fashioned face to face communication were the tools of the trade – and it all worked perfectly well. With only four or five television channels, and when the internet was still being talked about as a passing fad, we were still bombarded with marketing and communication messages on a daily basis but television ads were water cooler subjects and outdoor posters were something we glanced at as we drove or commuted to our client and business meetings.
Jump forward to 2018 and the phrase ‘new media’ is now outdated, there are more TV channels than you can shake a stick at and everyone feels completely bereft if there is a lack of Wi-Fi or mobile phone signal which means you can’t work online or answer emails. Whilst many would argue that technology has allowed us all to work in a more productive manner, the sheer amount of emails and marketing communication messages we all now get on a daily basis can seem completely overwhelming.
If you have ever wondered how many emails are sent per day around the world (especially if you look at your own inbox) then it’s a scary statistic – and even harder to make your own emails stand out from the crowd.
Projections show that by the end of 2019, we can expect to see around 2.9 billion worldwide email users (which is over a third of the global population) and figures from 2017 show that 269 billion emails were sent and received each day in 2017 so this figure is set to grow. Just to reiterate that figure 269 billion emails each day. Personally, I get around 200+ emails a day, and the average is around 120 a day for most but I don’t feel remotely special at being above average in this particular case!
GDPR has stopped some of the spam and some of the completely irrelevant emails hitting my inbox, but if I were to be honest, I don’t think it’s really made much of a difference. Realistically only 25% of the emails I get every day are worth opening, and factor in social media and other necessary communication platforms, and it’s easy to see why marketing messages can be completely missed.
Social media has certainly allowed us all to extend the reach of our marketing communications, but depending on your audience, even this can be a minefield as the popularity of some platforms change and the options to stay in touch increase. We have one client who will only communicate with us through LinkedIn and another who prefers WhatsApp so staying connected is important for us in terms of client accessibility – at least for now through these channels.
In the last few years, all the major social media platforms have expanded their in-app messaging capabilities as this is more personal and for business, far more effective. Stats show that messaging apps boast an open rate of 80% and a click through rate of around 30% which compared to email marketing services like Mailchimp, is a no brainer with the average email open rate being just 20.81%, with an average click rate is 2.43%.
So how do we all communicate effectively? Messaging apps certainly make it easy for you to quickly respond to customers, and although we all work in an industry that is far removed from just being a 9-5 business we all need a little down time which is where Chatbots are worth looking at. You may have noticed them on Facebook, as they have been part of the Facebook Messenger platform since 2016. The predictions are that by 2020, half of all medium and large businesses will use this type of intelligent automation tool. Event professionals and venues can’t afford to be left behind especially as chatbots allow you to respond to potential clients instantly even outside of business hours. They also enable you to connect with multiple people at once through an interaction that feels personal to them.
Will this make venue and event marketing easier and more effective? I honestly don’t know, but anything that reduces my inbox to only relevant and essential reading gets my vote.