I’d been planning on developing a single page dedicated to the Christian Acappella Music Awards for some time, and so, this is my initial foray into dealing with the strategic aspects of marketing a national program. Having recently decided that my main desire for the Christian Acappella Music Awards is to be a program that is self-managed, I’ve been looking for solutions that will allow such a thing to occur; that is to say, all of the pre-planning that is done in the non-CAMA years lends itself to smooth sailing in the year of each CAMA program. So, while I understand that situations arise that are out of the control of the planners and those who execute those plans, to this point, we’ve been blessed to be able to handle chaos pretty well; and not even chaos, but rather the minor occurrence here or there along the way.
For the Christian Acappella Music Awards, the most important aspect of the operation is the marketing of the program. For a show that moves around for every show, the reality is that we have to run as tight a marketing operation as possible to see that the show will be a success from an attendance standpoint. From there, everything else would flow smoothly as long as the numbers were there.
Pricing the Weekend
One of the biggest elements of the marketing process for CAMA is the pricing strategy for all events and subsequent revenue sources [i.e. souvenir booklets, vendor space]. Now, before we can look at the pricing of the 2010 Christian Acappella Music Awards, there are a couple of things that are important to understand in the management of events. First, you never want to have a price set so as to need to reduce it later on after setting it in response to a lack of sales. It is important that we price the show so that we can live with the result from the time tickets go on sale in Mid-August to show night in Late-November.
We ended on a price point of $67.50 for the entire weekend which basically breaks down into the following:
- The 2010 Christian Acappella Music Awards // $35.50 // 52.593%
- CAMA Friday Night Live // $9.00 // 13.333%
- CAMA Saturday Matinee, presented by Trinity One Studio // $7.00 // 10.370%
- The CAMA Pre-Show // $6.00 // 8.889%
- CAMA Friday Matinee Concert // $5.00 // 7.407%
- CAMA Thursday Kickoff Concert // 5.00 // 7.407%
In terms of ticket prices, our plan is always to run campaigns throughout the year that will allow people to purchase tickets at reduced rates right up to the release of the nominees in Late-August, when our ticket price will officially stand at $67.50. In addition to the reduced ticket prices throughout the first half of the year, we also run group sales for both performing artists and attending parties of 10 or more people.
For 2010, we wanted to try to better understand where sales were coming from. In 2008, we were able to move tickets based on our various ad campaigns that dictated the price of tickets at any given time. For 2010, we wanted to further build upon that strategy by utilizing our ability to marketing to certain segments and distributing discount codes that would allow the customer a reduced rate, while also allowing us to see exactly where our ticket purchases were coming from.
- Campaign 01 // February – Our kickoff campaign. We asked people to input the code “february” at checkout to receive a discount of 40% on their tickets to the 2010 Christian Acappella Music Awards. This campaign lasted from February 5-28.
- Campaign 02 // Spring – Our March campaign. After the
- Campaign 03 // Previous Purchasers – Utilizing our database of past year ticket purchasers, we produced an e-mail campaign that would allow them to purchase their tickets at a flat rate of $40.00 for the month of March.
- Campaign 04 // Ladies Retreat – The code of “ladies” brought a 35% discount at checkout. We printed 500 postcards with this promotional code for the 2010 Ladies Retreat
- Campaign 05 // Rogersville Homecoming – The code of “rogersville” brought a 35% discount at checkout. We printed 500 postcards with this promotional code for the 2010 Southside Church of Christ Homecoming in Rogersville
- Campaign 06 // Summer – Our Summer campaign that we are currently running through the month of August. A discount of 30% on tickets purchased with the code “summer” through the online store. This is the most far-reaching of the all the campaigns as we have advertised this particular code in all of the souvenir booklets for events taking place during the months of June-August.
Marketing is a huge part of any program, but especially so with a program that moves around to different locations, while only occurring every two years. I have been privileged over the past few years to handle much of the marketing of the event and much of it has involved finding ways to develop a report with people, while striking the correct chord that will allow us to accomplish our set sales goals.
In January, we created a campaign to kickoff our marketing efforts in Los Angeles for an Acappella music workshop. We created postcards, as well as a promotional poster for the occasion. The Los Angeles afforded us a unique opportunity to begin marketing the program to a new audience in a new location. I had done some marketing work in Los Angeles in 2004 at the National Singles Lectureship, but the scope was rather small, and we hadn’t geared the campaign towards them. The promotional materials weren’t printed specifically with LA in mind, but rather as a beginning point in our overall marketing program. At the same time we produced the printed collateral, our early-year website was created and an online store was opened for ticket sales.
Part 1a – Our Internet Marketing Strategy
// Website – nacama.com
A rather large part of our marketing strategy is our internet strategy, consisting of our website, our online store, as well as a small social networking strategy to coincide with the website. The website is a static site that houses the archived information of past recipients, audio and video from select shows, as well as information concerning the 2010 weekend.
Campaign Management // Redux
In March we began planning for both the Ladies Retreat and the Homecoming in Rogersville, Alabama. We produced postcards, as well as supplied the promotional video that was played at all events.
There is a whole lot more to be said about CAMA Marketing, so i’ll probably produce another article, but in the mean time, I hope this provided at least a little insight into the marketing practices of the National Academy of Christian Acappella Music Artists