Recently the Bellevue Breakfast Rotary Club had a recap meeting following our very successful fundraising event, the All in for Autism 10K-5K run and walk. One of our members wondered what we have to do to breakthrough our participant plateau, as we’ve been at about the same number for years.
One of our event consultants from Orswell Events told us we should be happy and proud about what we’re doing because at most post-run meetings these days the organizations are asking, “We’re down 500 people, what should we do>?
So, we’re putting on an event in a saturated market (runs, walks, bike rides, etc.) and holding our own when others are struggling. Something to be proud of and concerned about.
What should a business do when facing the same situation? Let’s look at what we did.
- We rallied around a cause, in our case, autism and the autism community. A business can’t grow as easily via a non-profit connection, but they can create a community of loyal customers, do things for those customers, and help solve their problems. (I do see more and more companies mentioning how they give back; one new restaurant has a saying, “You Dine – We Donate.)
- We really picked it up on the social media marketing. While we still had posters and rack cards around town, we also used email blasts, Facebook, Google AdWords, and more to constantly be reminding people about our event. In other words, marketing consistently and constantly.
- We promoted teams with our sponsors, beneficiaries, and the general public, especially the autism community. And those teams will be featured in future marketing.
I’ll compare the last bullet point to a business growing by acquisition. Team organizers went out and got others to join them. A business can grow market share, even in a stagnant industry, by buying other companies or their customer list.
And if you’re not in a stagnant industry, do the same things. Create a community, market, and acquire.
“You can have friends or you can correct people’s grammar.” (Author) Mary Norris