Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Not-So-Unlikely Marketer

When Liana Veda was growing up, she knew she was destined for a career that involved music. Inspired by her parents, music and dance were a given in Liana’s life, including multiple cultures and genres. To say that Liana’s professional career has variety would be an understatement. She is a dancer, choreographer, make-up artist, ZIN (Zumba Instructor Network) Jammer, international recording artist, instructor, ......and marketer.

Yes, that’s right, marketer.

And I am pretty sure that when she was a child bouncing around the house with a microphone and belting out bilingual song lyrics, Liana did not tell her parents that she aspired to become an event and product marketer, but that is exactly what happened.

Liana is a living example of the true value marketing brings to a fitness event. After all, we can create the world’s best products and services, but if nobody knows about them and, more importantly, if nobody demands them, they never see the light of day.

Liana has the shrewd business sense that makes her an artist who is also a pragmatist. She focuses on the creative elements, and pays close attention to the people who will enjoy and appreciate them, addressing their main drivers and product requirements. That’s marketing.

When she set out to spread the word about the 3rd Annual New England Master Zumba Class (which became better known as “Zumbafest”) on March 20, 2011 to benefit the Autism Speaks Organization, Liana identified her target market. starting with a group of loyal enthusiasts- on whom she could rely to make the message viral. Yours truly was in this group. That’s marketing.

She made these early adopters part of her promotional team and identified additional market requirements (in this case, requests for certain Zumba Education Specialists (ZESs) and Jammers to be included) from others in their classes and networks. That’s marketing.

Liana created informational brochures (marketing collateral) and made ample use of her own broad social networks, which included people from all professions--current and former clients, friends, colleagues, students, etc-- and kept the excitement alive through frequent interactions on fan pages. Her constituents fueled this energy by conversing among themselves through the same forums and inviting their friends, clients, etc. to participate. That’s marketing.

As producer for the event, Liana created content and an outreach plan that highlighted the ZESs and Jammers for their unique qualities (in other words, product features and benefits) and communicated with contagious enthusiasm. Liana understands that her product is not a ticket, but that she is instead selling an experience that would be tested and evaluated subjectively in the market. Her personal brand is so powerful that she is able to sell out charity events and create an affinity of followers. That’s marketing.

And finally, once the sold-out event had concluded, she sent a special note of thanks to her supporters, keeping them engaged and continuing the conversation through additional touch points after the event ended. That’s marketing.

In closing, it is also considered marketing when an independent blogger plugs your product in an opinion piece. So if you like latin rhythms, be sure to check out Liana Veda’s premiere self-titled album, Liana, on iTunes. Oh, and Zumbafest was a blast. Spread the word.

Photo credit: Liana Veda