Your marketing plan is your map to how, when and where you are going to let the campus community know about your NCAAW programs. It’s crucial to inform your potential audience about activities as far in advance as possible. You will want to bombard them with information concerning NCAAW, and you’ll have to make your programs seem fun, interesting and more attractive than the myriad of other options available on a college campus on any given night of the week! Your marketing plan must be well thought out before you order that first poster.
Making sure your seeds get sunshine...
Remember - one thing at a time!
1. Target your potential audience.
Identify your target population and brainstorm what type of advertising might capture the attention of those students. Be aware that it is most effective to get the information out by using a mix of traditional and non-traditional advertising methods. Yes, do the flyers, but also chalk sidewalks and use costume characters to deliver your publicity! Have someone parachute into your football game! Consistent themes, colors and logos will help show the far-reaching impact of your week’s events.
2. Identify all the media that you think would be valuable to make use of in getting the word out.
Then find out about deadlines and costs. For example, how much lead time does the campus or local newspaper need in order to run an ad or press release and how much does advertising space and printing cost? Create a calendar with your committee so you won’t miss any deadlines and make sure your promotion activities are in line with your available budget. Make an appointment with the campus graphics and public relations department and integrate your committee’s ideas with their expertise.
3. Determine a schedule and assign specific tasks.
Make sure the deadlines and tasks that you have assigned are reasonable and reachable. Use a backwards planning method of setting up your promotional campaign. In other words, starting with opening date of your week, work your way backwards on the calendar. Be sure if you are ordering educational or promotional materials to distribute that you do so in plenty of time. Then record on your calendar the expected arrival date. By doing this, even if the atmosphere gets very hectic, the details won’t be forgotten. Assign one individual to monitor the calendar on a daily basis.
4. Make sure your supporters are well publicized in your materials.
Be generous in sharing credit for the week’s activities. You might even get an inexpensive banner that features your NCAAW theme and lists the sponsors of your activities. Then, have this banner at all of your events. Remember that each group involved is looking to get some PR out of these events!
5. Stay on schedule.
Assign one individual to oversee each step and make certain everyone follows through with assigned responsibilities.
6. Keep careful records of all publicity ordered.
Be meticulous in approving any artwork before it is printed.