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Hedgehog Hall of Fame: IAS b2b Marketing - IAStival

14th August 2013


Company: IAS b2b Marketing Campaign: IAStival Category: Event of the year  - North - WINNER Internal Communications Campaign of the Year - North - Shortlisted Objectives • Encourage IAS employees to exercise new skills that might not get used day-to-day • Visibly improve internal structures, enabling departments to work more closely and align with one another • Secure 80% attendance for the 500 person capacity event • Increase spend of existing clients by 30% by marketing our own skills and abilities in PR, events, social media and marketing overall • Generate 10 new business enquiries • Receive 3,000 visits to our IAStival website, verifying our strength in website building and ability to drive traffic to it through PR, social media and other means • Achieve proactive responses from invitees via the DM/EM invites • Build engagement around our social media activity, including replies to tweets, ‘likes’ on Facebook and comments on blogs and Facebook too Strategy & Target Audience Our goal is to become the very best at what we do – the greatest integrated B2B marketing agency. While this sounds like an audacious challenge, we understand the diverse and ever changing market and appreciate that it is a target that is constantly and rapidly moving. To hit that moving target we have to keep evolving to develop a new client offering, to match the demand for new techniques and to exploit new technological capabilities. However, it must start internally with continuous development within our own structures and processes. This requires training, all the time, while working to the high demands of the job and continuous self-marketing. This is why we all stick to, and are appraised on, the values we deem necessary to become the best B2B marketing agency in the world: Courage, Learning and Courtesy. It’s one thing to evolve your offering and another thing to inspire and energise your people to deliver it. So, we take an annual approach to improving and training our employees; 2009/10 was the year of immersion in digital, 2010/11 was the year of emergence in creativity and 2011/12’s mission was the integration of departments and merging of disciplines. It’s hard to establish the mutual respect and trust needed to collaborate across disciplines when experience and expertise divide you. What we needed was a great leveller, an internal initiative to get everyone living the integrated brand promise and improving internal communications. So, we decided that we would combine a marketing initiative with a training initiative. And so, the IAStival (musical festival) was born – a world first for an agency. The training angle was that if we all worked together on something completely out of the ordinary, we would press the reset button on our working relationships. The marketing angle was that if we’re asking clients to do things they’ve never done before (our new offering), we have to demonstrate our courage to do the same, by fulfilling this agency first. We established the essential ingredients you need to organise a genuine music festival and to tackle the project, we formed groups with a good departmental mix and put in charge those who weren’t used to being in charge. Action • PR – A constant stream of PR was required to maximise the ‘buzz’ around the event and raise awareness. PR activity included: -  Production of PR/social media strategy - Ahead of the main event, we arranged a ‘Battle of the Bands’ (BOTB) competition, giving local bands/singers the chance to take part for a place on the festival bill. We promoted the event around the local area, through newspapers and social media. - Press release production – BOTB, preview and review - distributed to all relevant trade - PR, communications, marketing and business - and local press - Weekly internal briefings/updates with one representative from each group - Launch of event with IAStival trailer, distributed to all press and invitees - Liaison with the press, before, during and after, to raise their awareness and invite them to the event, keep them up to speed with the latest festival updates and maximise PR opportunities • IAStival Website – An online ‘hub’ featuring all IAStival activity. Including: - Line up – updated regularly with new bands and cultural performers - Information - General event information, including food and drink, entertainment, field layout and festival ‘do’s and don’ts’ - Events – Information on the BOTB competition, which we set up before the IAStival - Gallery – Bands, staff, BOTB and post-IAStival images too - Videos – Promo, IAStival trailer and post-IAStival documentary -  Blog – With submissions from IAS employees, bands, and IAStival attendees - The website also acted as a company intranet, encouraging engagement and communication • Design – IAS’s junior designer developed the logo and the artwork for all on/offline promotion (website, newsletter, stage background, collateral) • Marketing – -  D-mail and E-mail invites sent out to invitees, including press - Fortnightly e-newsletters were also distributed to the entire invites list to keep them informed of all IAStival updates, including BOTB, competitions, line up information, videos, images and more • Social Media – Set up and managed social media channels, regularly updating the Twitter/blog feed and Facebook statuses/posts, before, during and after the event • Video/photography – Film footage/photos taken and used for post event campaign purposes including social media Results The event was a great demonstration of harnessing our values, to improve our skills, to live up to our offering. The year of the IAStival smoothed the way for a silo-busting restructure, allowing employees the trust to let each other into their areas of expertise. One of our Account Executives – Russell Suthers - even took the opportunity to harness his natural creative skills and make a permanent move into the creative department, where he has flourished ever since. • Every ticket was taken for the 500 capacity license (target: 80%/400) • 90 of the 100 invited clients attended and 30 of the 100 invited prospects • Retained business is at 100% post festival with 60% of attending clients increasing spend in 2012 (target: 30%) • New business enquiries came from 20 of the attending prospects with Atos awarding a €400K project, which vs the £50K investment (production costs) which is a healthy initial return (target: 10) • 5,352 visits to the IAStival website (target: 3,000) • 21,378 website page views • 740 responses to EM/DM campaigns • 24 blogs • 592 visits to Facebook page a week • 352 Facebook users per month • 138 Facebook ‘likes’ • 336 tweets about IAStival Following the successful development of our internal communications, the investment into our new integrated client offering has also received notable results, with IAS winning many market leading international brands including Atos, Kuehne+Nagel, Air Partner, TalkTalk Business, Houghton, Infineum, Amundi, Trelleborg, Siemens and Iron Mountain. IAS’ 2011-2012 financial year saw an on-going revenue increase by 17% and net profits 9%. And the revenues from global work have reached an unprecedented 67%. Via a staff survey, the agency has now been ranked as one of the Sunday Times ‘Best Companies to Work For’. URLs Click here for the festival documentary video to get a flavour for the experience The PRmoment Golden Hedgehog Awards 2014 are now open for entries. Here are this years updated categories.

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