An Integrated Marketing Communications Recommendation and Overview prepared for the Florida Kids and Family Expo-a labor of love from the folks that brought you My Central Florida family. This blog is for educational purposes only as the final project for MMC5006 Introduction to Multimedia Communications.
COMPANY ANALYSIS – My Central Florida Family
All successful businesses begin by identifying a need and filling that void. My Central Florida Family #MyCFF sprung from this philosophy. Three entrepreneurial women with personal experience seeking-and often missing out on-exciting experiences to share with their children leveraged their quest to benefit their community. Together they created an online resource for parents, guardians, and others in Central Florida seeking opportunities to entertain, educate, and enrich the children in their lives.
My Central Florida Family delivers a tremendous variety of opportunities for all income levels and ages, via their website MyCentralFloridaFamily.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, an opt-in Newsletter (with Weekly and Daily Platforms), and a blog. The target audience is broad – people with kids in the Central Florida area interested in “services and products that will enrich (her) children’s lives and make her family experiences more fun and exciting”. Current demographics are families with children ages infant to 12+, split equally between women and men, with 33.5% in the age range of 25-34, and 15% over 55, with the rest between 35-54 years of age.
A second line of business is the Florida Kids and Family Expo #FKFE2015. This inaugural event will be held August 29th-30th 2015 at the Orange County Convention Center, providing Central Florida families an “opportunity to come face to face to meet companies that provide services and products for families in the communities in which we live” proclaiming the event to be “…the best gift you can give yourself and your kids!”. Through this platform My Central Florida Family will combine their years of event planning business experience with their passion for family fun to deliver a unique platform bringing business and families together. For this event they hope to have over 150 exhibitors and 15,000 attendees. My presentation will be a proposal for the Florida Kids & Family Expo including:
- Review of current Integrated Marketing Communication Initiatives
- Recommendations for additional opportunities to grow the event
- Sample Marketing Themes and Creative for Facebook, Twitter, Blog, and SEO
- Event Marketing Activities Before, During, and After the Expo
IMPORTANT CONSIDERATION: DUAL FOCUS
This business really has two customers they must serve well to realize success. Businesses and Families must both be considered in all branding, marketing, and event planning. The Florida Kids and Family Expo must attract the target 15,000 relevant attendees in order to meet the expectations of the sponsors and exhibitors, AND both parts of the business need great exhibitors and sponsors to fund and perpetuate both the Expo and the My Central Florida Family site. For this presentation I will focus on generating attendees to this year’s expo, which can later be leveraged to add exhibitors, etc. for next year.
Once this Expo is over, I would recommend a concentration on quantifying both the Expo attendees and any growth in the base of “members” at My Central Florida Family post event. This analysis will be critical in determining direction for next year’s Expo, particularly regarding target sponsors, key exhibitors, best activities, etc. to maximize key learnings and increase year over year attendance and revenues.
My Central Florida Family and the correlative Florida Kids and Family Expo have three distinct areas of strength going in to their first event:
- Strong Leadership- The experience in Event Planning, the passion for the product and the connections they appear to have within the business community give My Central Florida Family a strong foundation for hosting a successful Florida Kids and Family Expo. The National Sponsors they have in place, as well as the list of Exhibitors is impressive and should be a good draw for their family audience.
- Excellent Product Fit for Target Audience – Parents feel guilty and find parenting hard. My Central Florida Family helps assuage both concerns.
According to a national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Feb.16-March 14 among 2,020 Americans,
- Fully 70% of the public says it is more difficult to be a mother today than it was 20 or 30 years ago, while somewhat fewer (60%) say the same about being a father.
- There exists a widespread belief that today’s parents are not measuring up to the standard that parents set a generation ago. Mothers are seen as having the more difficult job, but they are also judged more harshly than are fathers. More than half of Americans (56%) say that mothers are doing a worse job today than mothers did 20 or 30 years ago. By comparison, somewhat fewer people (47%) say fathers are doing a worse job than fathers did 20 or 30 years ago.
Further, parents feel a struggle with work-life balance, but want to spend more time with t heir children. Activities -like the Florida Kids & Family Expo- that offer fun filled quality time PLUS some access to information and even purchasing opportunities are ideal:
The amount of time parents spend with their children continues to go up. Fathers have nearly tripled their time with children since 1965. Mothers’ time with children has also increased, and today’s mothers spend more time with their children than mothers did in the 1960s. There is still a large gender gap in time spent with children: Mothers spend about twice as much time with their children as fathers do (13.5 hours per week for mothers in 2011, compared with 7.3 hours for fathers).
Both the main business and the Expo offer amazing resources and opportunities to help parents in the Central Florida area find great opportunities for their kids, ways to maximize family time, and introductions to vendors, retailers, and service providers that could enrich the lives of their children.
3. Good Location:
There are over half a million kids in the Orlando MSA, and the highest percentage of adults are in the 25-44 age bracket. That demographic is also growing 12% each year, third strongest MSA growth in the US for working (and parenting) age distribution according to the Orlando Economic Development Commission.
Armed with these advantages, My Central Florida Family need only do everything within their power to get the word out about their upcoming Florida Kids and Family Expo. And to successfully accomplish this task, they will need a strategic, cohesive, and compelling IMC plan.
Need for IMC:
The Business Dictionary defines Integrated Marketing Communications (IMC) as: An approach to achieving the objectives of a marketing campaign, through a well coordinated use of different promotional methods that are intended to reinforce each other.
The Florida Family and Kids Expo is attempting to engage two very different audiences:
- Central Florida Families
- Central Florida, Regional, even National Businesses
This is no easy task and cannot be accomplished via a single marketing channel. The brand will need to employ “push” marketing, to introduce their brand, as well as “pull” marketing to establish engagement with both groups in order to meet their stated goals.
As defined by the American Association of Advertising Agencies, integrated marketing communications ” … recognizes the value of a comprehensive plan that evaluates the strategic roles of a variety of communication disciplines advertising, public relations, personal selling, and sales promotion and combines them to provide clarity, consistency, and maximum communication impact.”
As a small business, The Florida Kids and Family Expo will need to maximize their limited time and financial resources for maximum ROI. In 7 Ways to Create a Successful Integrated Marketing Campaign the marketing experts polled stressed the importance of identifying your Target Audience then ask
- “Which channels do my customers use?’
- ‘What are the channels’ strengths and weaknesses?
- How will they help me reach my business objectives?'”
They further advice: “Be ruthless in selecting (and rejecting channels). It’s better to concentrate on the more effective channels than trying to be everywhere all the time.” These infographics provide some guidance as to where potential Expo attendees can be reached-Facebook and Pinterest for Moms (need a Board for Florida Kids and Family Expo #FKFE2015) and Dads are more likely to be online WITH their kids, and most have friends online so they can be great, often overlooked, parenting influencers.
As a parent who was always on the lookout for ways to spend quality time with my young kids, the My Central Florida Family web site is a wonderful invention which I wish was available in my area when I needed it. The practical time saving element combined with the Social Media sharing and planning potential makes this a very valuable tool for busy parents. The Florida Kids and Family Expo is the arm of the business that will fund the site, grow the base of engaged families, and could ultimately be leveraged for greater exposure, enhanced content, and eventual expansion. Thanks to the experience, energy, and enthusiasm the creators of these entities infuse into their business, their efforts should yield the results they expect. The website is strong; they have a good IMC mix, and have engaged an amazing array of paid advertisers, exhibitors and sponsors. With a few creative tweaks to optimize their existing marketing efforts, increase the reciprocal reach from their business partners, and collect data to inform next year’s event, I am confident this will be the first of many more Florida Family and Kids Expos-in Central Florida and beyond!