Home' micenet eMag : micenet June 2018 Contents A
number of years ago I delivered a
speech to the MICE industry in
New Zealand. To prepare, I
collected every advertisement
that had run during the previous 12 months,
in each of the MICE industry trade
magazines. I made a curious discovery.
The MICE industry had a special pun
button on its keyboards. There were four
puns that dominated industry advertising:
The “meet” pun – meet here, meet with us,
meet in style... The “view” pun – a
conference with a better view, get a higher
view at your conference... The “golf” pun for
events at golf resorts – for a conference
above par, you’ll go a fairway at our resort...
And of course the unconventional convention
say no more.
The MICE industry is an interesting one, a
bit like the hotel industry. It loves cliches and
“marketers” often have little external
marketing experience. Many haven’t studied
marketing and sometimes miss opportunities,
or don’t quite understand the role of
marketing messages. One of the obvious
issues is the way the industry tends to sell
features, not benefits. People focus on what
they are selling – venue, facilities, IT, menus
and the like – not what customers are buying.
They don’t understand the adage: One
thing you know about your customer is worth
more than anything you know about your
product or service... As I’ve said in previous
articles, if you know something about your
customer, you have common ground for a
Business event marketers take note.
And that’s no pun intended, says Malcolm Auld.
A LONG WAY
conversation. So if you are looking to create marketing messages, getting an insight into your
customer’s mindset makes it so much easier to communicate. But insights aren’t easy to find.
Most executives mistake observations for insights. You need to do some primary research if you’re
to uncover a useful insight. You have to talk with your customers.
What is an insight?
First let’s state the two things that it’s not. It is not a fact – a fact is something you know to be
true. It is not an observation – this is something you’ve observed. An insight is a fresh
understanding that unlocks an opportunity for connections. It is a new way of looking at
It may not even be new information. It could have been there all the time, just not expressed
in this way. An insight is about “why” not “what”. It is the compulsion that drives someone, the
instincts that motivate them to take action, even though their language can camouflage what
really motivates them.
Here’s the insight for the hugely successful Dove Real Beauty campaign.
Fact: women are self-conscious about their appearance.
Observation: Women are most self-conscious about their appearance after seeing perfect
representations in the media.
Insight: Real women believe that beauty is more than skin deep.
Let’s apply this process to the MICE industry. We’ll make some assumptions, looking at the
problem from the customer’s point of view, given that we are not doing face-to-face research.
Fact: There is always a lot of pressure associated with organising an event.
Observation: People get stressed and anxious organising events.
Insight: People could lose their job if the event fails.
Expressed in the first person – “I’m nervous, my damn career hangs on the success of this
event. Yet typically my boss wants a Rolls Royce function on a Hyundai budget.”
This insight gives you all sorts of opportunities to communicate relevant marketing messages
that will get the customer thinking “you’re talking directly to me”. You don’t have to talk about
your features, as you can talk about how you help this person be a hero, or more importantly,
make their boss a hero. What could you write in an advertising message using this insight?
“They’ll talk about your event for years – for all the right reasons.” OR What your boss says
she wants – “Just organise this year’s conference will you, but don’t let it interfere with your
work and keep it low cost.” What your boss really wants – “I want the best event in the history
of the company that will make me look like a legend.”
Insights are often sitting right under your nose – you just have to find them. m
54 | micenet
MARKETING | MALCOLM AULD
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