Image: Clare Humphreys from Will to Win.
Were you at the Inverness Chamber of Commerce Highland Spotlight event at the Kingsmills Hotel last week? We always enjoy these occasions. I don’t get out much so it is a day away from my desk, and a lot of fun.
We have done Spotlight for a number of years. It was not held in 2000 or 2021 so when it was announced again, we rushed to sign up. However, it’s been a busy year, so we put everything together very quickly just before the event. Having said that, I thought we had a successful day.
This is a marketing opportunity for us and, in particular, for our Inverness office. I don’t like to miss out on these, so I was there for the whole day, setting up, taking down and everything in between. I had help from Vadna Hannah, one of our trainees in the morning, and Heather Train, our Inverness manager in the afternoon.
Our approach to marketing is, as I am sure you will realise by now, a bit different. We bombard you with emails, we produce weekly videos, and we use email, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. You cannot escape us! Our approach to Highland Spotlight is also very different to just about everyone else. One of these days we may get banned, but until then we will peddle our own unique style of marketing. Whatever else, our marketing is always memorable.
Now, a lot of businesses at these exhibitions take a table and fill it with leaflets, edibles, and other freebies. They then stand behind their table and wait for attendees to come and speak to them. Not us.
We have dispensed with the table for the last few Spotlight events. We did take our own small (and I mean small) table. We had a laptop, 2 monitors, a number of pre-recorded videos, 10 plastic bottles weighted with a small amount of water, 2 30w speakers and 2 Nerf guns. Not quite what you would expect.
We then collared attendees trying to slip past our stand with the words, “Are you good with guns?”. During the day we had 35 people take our tax rate quiz (on the pre-recorded videos) and shoot the plastic bottles that matched their answer. We had Nerf bullets bouncing off and going everywhere. Oh, and by the way, when someone was shooting, we played the music from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly” fairly loud.
If the purpose of marketing is to get noticed, I think we succeeded. The quiz (only 6 questions) was about tax rates, which led to some interesting tax discussions with attendees and others. I think we also embraced the Revenues philosophy embodied in the acronym MTD. That is, Making Tax Delightful. We have several phone calls to make to follow up on connections we made, or acquaintances renewed during the day.
At the last Spotlight we set up a Mastermind. We even had the black chair. We used the Mastermind music for the intro and while the attendees answered the questions, we played the music from Countdown, We even had a Countdown like clock. In previous years we used Nerf guns and crossbows, smoke machines and music. Can you see a pattern building up here.
Is our marketing effective? I will leave you to be the judge of that. If you want us to bring our own unique style of marketing to your business event just let us know.
I think the funniest point of the day was just after I had accosted 2 young female lawyers from a well-known firm of lawyers from downtown Inverness, with the words “Are you good with Guns”. Anyway, they came over to try our quiz of 6 questions, the answer to each being a tax rate. Now, these 2 girls were joined by a third from the same firm.
The first question came up on the screens. There was 20 seconds allowed on the video to answer each question. They discussed the first question between them, answered it after the second question came up. I stopped the video so that they could discuss the answer to question 2. I set the video going again but question 3 required a lot of discussion and they only came up with the answer after all 6 questions had finished.
Being the easy-going chap that I am, I gave the 3 girls another chance with the same set of questions. This time the video finished, and they had still only answered 3 of the 6 questions.
Does this give you a glimpse into the legal mind and why perhaps lawyers need plenty of time to do anything? How many lawyers does it take to…. Fill in the blanks.
I have to say that we did have a number of other lawyers take our challenge quite successfully.
The questions were all things like, what is the standard rate of vat or what is the rate of vat on meat and veg or what is the starter rate of income tax in Scotland, or the lifetime rate of IHT. Nothing too taxing!
Great fun and thoroughly MTD.
Not sure what we will do next year, but hopefully we will manage to plan a little more in advance, assuming we are allowed to come back.
Do people remember your marketing?
If you want to carry on this discussion but you are not sure where to find us, please click here.
Alan E Long
The Long Partnership