Five Lessons in Managing Big “Moment in Time” Marketing

There have been three, major events so far this year for big brands and brand marketing — CES, the Super Bowl and the Grammys – and Ketchum and its clients have been involved with all three with successful, high-profile campaigns. Having just returned from a week in Los Angeles that included a media day at CAA, a private concert with Nick Jonas and attending the Grammy Awards, it was a week full of exciting events and great learning.

Here are five observations that may help the next time one of your clients takes on a major event initiative:

1. SPECIAL Events Require SPECIALists:
An event like the Grammys (or CES) has all kids of nuances that require both a core client team as well as experienced and knowledgeable specialists. These specialists can bring the right “insider” smarts to any initiative and have become a vital extension of any core group.

2. High-Profile Events Require High-Level Management:
Clients who are engaging in super high profile events are taking on a huge professional responsibility. So much time and money being spent on an event that the world will see raises the interest of C-suite executives and puts our client contacts on a professional stage. Our client teams worked day, night, weekends and every moment in between to provide high-level and real-time reporting updates so our client contacts can effectively manage upwards within their company.

3. Something will Inevitably Not go According to Plan:
With all of the pressure of a big event, each activity is magnified and the team wants everything to move along easily and positively. It won’t. There will inevitably be a few hang-ups and issues along the way. The good news is that our teams are really good at solving problems and almost always find solutions. It helps to set expectation from the beginning (things are not always going to go as planned). More importantly, when an issue does arise, focus squarely on solution rather than wringing your hands.

4. It’s All About the Pre-Event:
The big event itself, whether the Grammys, Super Bowl, CES or others, is all about how to optimize marketing and media before the event (click to tweet). The Super Bowl is now all about marketing “reveals” the week before – with the Grammys, the marketing media happens before the show, with a much more compressed time-frame when compared to the Super Bowl. Success is all about wins in the pre-event time-frame.

5. Big-Time Events = Big-Time Networking:
Whether it’s hanging out with a client, meeting a celeb who could be a future spokesperson or the CEO of a company who could be a prospect, the pre-and post- Grammy parties provided great opportunities to network. I did all three of those things and, along with eating, dancing and star-spotting, managed to have a great time professionally and personally.

Good luck at your next big event, and I hope you take these lessons into consideration during the planning process.