Magazine article Marketing

How to Maximise a Roadshow' Reach: Location, Duration and Timing Are Crucial to Roadshow Success. (Field Marketing)

Magazine article Marketing

How to Maximise a Roadshow' Reach: Location, Duration and Timing Are Crucial to Roadshow Success. (Field Marketing)

Article excerpt

Field marketing roadshows must have the right level of penetration if they are to meet objectives. But what constitutes the right level of penetration and how can it be achieved within budget constraints? Simply finding the busiest spot is not enough.

"The success of a roadshow derives from venue selection and what you are going to do with it," says IMP Face to Face director David Bailey.

"The process of consideration must start from the concept, covering the most effective and appropriate method of delivering the brand to ensure maximum participation or trial."

For brands and agencies, defining what represents an ideal location requires a combination of science, experience and common sense.

"The first thing that must be done is to boil down the lifestyle of the audience into what they do at work, rest and play. From this we determine key brand-contact points," says Bailey.

While considerable research is involved in identifying the most valuable regions and locations, it should not all be theoretical.

Site visits play a vital part in finding venues with a high concentration of the target audience. While one location may offer greater volume, a better-targeted, lower-footfall environment might deliver higher conversion rates and lasting brand loyalty.

Using target-rich venues

It is then necessary to decide how many of these locations to use. Lizard Productions founder Marianna Fletcher believes there is a lot to be said for using as many target-rich venues as possible.

"The more you see a TV ad, the more brand recognition you will have. A roadshow running for a longer time over more venues has to be more effective," she explains.

When it is simply a question of volume, many roadshow campaigns resort to London and the Home Counties. But successful regional targeting can match a brand to regional and local demographics -- site organisers often provide breakdowns for venues such as mainline stations, exhibitions, festivals and shopping centres.

Intense activity in a carefully targeted location was key to Fox's Biscuits recent one-week roadshow for its Echo brand in Manchester.

"A roadshow can visit every city in the UK for one day and make a minor impact, or it can concentrate its resources on one city and make a major impact that will reap significant returns," says Fletcher.

Aside from the location, Eacho marketing manager Neil Hepplewhite says that the roadshow was planned to coincide with a suitable time of year.

"November is a rather depressing month," he says. "Running the pilot campaign then made sense because we engaged our audience with a theatrical sampling that lightened the mood -- giving them an Echo bar in return for a small 'task', such as asking a stranger what they had for breakfast.

"We addressed our target customers directly -- 193,000 women aged 25 to 45 living or working in Manchester -- but also succeeded in sampling some 300,000 Echo bars."

Road shows in the mix

A growing emphasis on integrated campaigns means the choice of which and how many regions a roadshow should visit -- as well as the timing and duration--is being dictated by above the-line work and tie-ins with retail promotions.

The relaunch of Walkers Lite in January, targeting female lunch-makers over 45, will see roadshows at 32 supermarkets over five weeks. …

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