GoForMike Event & Festival Hullabaloo. Words by Mike Mauer.

Q & A: Zen & the Art of Positioning


How to beaT the competition: Positioning

The following is an excerpt taken from the excellent Festival Marketing Facebook group.  I plan to elaborate on my answer soon, but want to post this snippet in the meantime.

the Question:

Good Afternoon everyone,

Had some quick questions and all feedback is appreciated:

What are some solid marketing/promotions strategies for events in areas that have a competitive entertainment market?

Are there any engaging ways of grabbing the attention of potential event-goers and stand out more in the community?

Thanks in advance!

My answer:

The best thing to do is to position yourself in a way that you’re not competing with them. The last thing you want to do is to go head-to-head on marketing dollars since no one wins.

To position your brand think about WHAT makes you different? Then ask WHY is that better? Once you hit on a differentiator that’s a real advantage you have, hammer that message consistently so that it becomes part of your brand.

The last thing you want to do is to go head-to-head on marketing dollars since no one wins. You need to know what makes you different and why that’s better.

For Tortuga, we had a ton of competitors, both Live Nation (before Tortuga was sold to them) and AEG. Florida Country Superfest, Country 500, Runaway Country and more were all competing with Tortuga (not to mention national fests like Stagecoach). They all had bigger marketing budgets and often better artists.

So what did we do? We found our difference — the beach. Tortuga was the ONLY country festival that was directly on the beach, so we pummeled it in our positioning — “Country’s Biggest Beach Party”, “Drink in Hand, Toes in the Sand”, images of fans in American flag board shorts and bikinis, aerial shots showing the beach + ocean, etc.

We focused on acts that aligned with the lifestyle — e.g. getting Kenny Chesney as a headliner every other year, Jake Owen, etc

Because of that positioning, we didn’t have to compete with the crowded marketplace. Why would you watch someone in an arena or glorified parking lot when you can be on the beach sippin’ a Corona and singing along drunkenly with all your friends?

You have to really think about how you are different. Is it an advantage to fans? If no, think of something else. If yes, distill it to its core and just push it as your main positioning every chance you get.


Can you think of any other ways to stand out from the competition? Comment below.

READ MORE: 4 Simple Marketing Tricks to Beat The Competition »

About the author

Mike Mauer

👋 Hey there! I'm a marketer of 12+ years that's been helping produce and promote events across North America for just as long. In 2019 alone, I handled events totaling 1,250,000 tickets. I've been lucky enough to be featured in Billboard, Pollstar, and earn recognition from FlyCon as the "Most Data-Driven Marketer."

I also have a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Hope you enjoy my random musings about events, marketing, and anything else that pops into my head.

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GoForMike Event & Festival Hullabaloo. Words by Mike Mauer.

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