July 23, 2015

Amazon Prime Day’s Event Promotion

Congratulations Amazon on your 20th birthday!

prime dayWe would be lying if we said we didn’t use Amazon Prime for A LOT of last minute event needs and even to buy Advil and paper towels when our office is too busy to even step out for a quick Target run.

Although Amazon took a hit for their Prime Day, it was a good lesson for marketers and the trending social media was definitely entertaining (to say the least).  Don’t worry Amazon, we still love you.

Let’s use Amazon’s Prime Day as a case study.  We focus on hosting events in person, but who is to say that an event can’t be online? Looking at Prime Day we can see that an event doesn’t have to be in person to have a significant impact on your brand.

Here’s what us party people and event marketers learned from Prime Day:

1. It sucks when you don’t meet customers expectations

We’ve had our fair share of whoopsies in the events world, so we know first hand that when an event doesn’t live up to what you’ve promised, you are going to hear about it. Amazon discounts were deceptively minor or SO good that they sold out by the time you had a chance to click on the product.  Another issue was that there were not enough products to get excited about.  Many consumers referred to the sale as a garage sale, or like cleaning out stuff from under your kitchen sink.

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2. Devil is in the details

The Prime Day landing page that displayed current deals, discount availability timeframes, and how much inventory was left was inaccurate.  The page that promoted upcoming discounts was outdated, so it was promoting sold out merchandise.  No bueno.  One of the most important things in events is making sure everything is accurate.

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3. Be prepared to communicate

Any big event is going to have social media coverage, whether positive or negative.  Do what you can to make it positive.  Have your social media tweeters ready to engage and make the most out of the situation.

4. Keep tabs on your competition

Amazon’s Prime Day was matched by retailers including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, so people who lost interest in Amazon’s sale could find what they were looking for with no membership required.

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As event planners, promotion is a huge part of executing a successful event.  With Amazon marketing Prime Day the way they were, people were obviously let down – Black Friday is a pretty high standard.  Social media beat up the online retailer and hashtags were trending like #UnhappyPrimeDay, #AmazonFail, #GoBackToSleep, and #PrimeDayFail.

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We hope Amazon has a good sense of humor and found some comical value in many of the tweets.  We would be lying if we said we didn’t. As you can see we’ve included some of our favorites.

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What did we learn?  How an event, whether in-person or online can have a huge impact on your brand.  But you know what they say – there is no such thing as bad publicity as long as they spell your name right.

Looking for a company that has the marketing expertise to take your event to the next level? Contact us today and let’s get planning!

Thanks to Fortune, CNN, and Tom’s Guide for compiling the tweets (photo credits).