On average, 24 % of B2B marketing budgets are allocated to meetings, conferences, trade shows and events, which is unsurprising. Meeting face-to-face sparks genuine and enduring connections. Events are a place where you can turn your prospects into customers, and your customers into relationships, and more importantly into revenue.
The most recent IPA Bellwether Report for Q3 2016 shows events enjoyed the largest percentage increase of a marketer’s budget at 9.9%, followed closely by internet marketing. Despite this, many marketers at best look at events as a mere branding exercise, and at worst don’t consider them a viable, realistic revenue source. The truth is marketers who strategically build events into their plans reap return on investment (ROI) rewards year after year. So how do you turn those amazing experiences into greater success for your organisation? It’s about keeping those connections ongoing, and collecting data and using it effectively.
Marketing leaders are challenged to deliver return on all of their marketing investment. For events, there are two types of ROI: return on the event itself, and return on the investment as
a contribution to the marketing programme as a whole. Compared to other marketing tactics, events can seem like a black hole. However, with an integrated event management system, your event data and results can pass seamlessly to sales and the rest of marketing.
Once integrated, marketers can develop a 360-degree profile of attendees, which in turn enables more relevant and personalised event experiences that accelerate the buying cycle. Marketing can then be aligned even more closely with sales, such as allowing for
the capture and scoring of leads on site, and automatically entering prospects into follow-up campaigns without having to wait days or weeks to get this information uploaded.
Incorporating rich event data into existing customer relationship management (CRM) systems creates powerful intelligence for determining the effect of the event on key buying behaviours. By automating integration, it provides more complete customer profiles to create campaigns, increase conversions and enhance existing customer relationships. Automation makes it possible for marketers to automatically update lead records, associate leads with campaigns, update lead scores, and add or remove leads from campaign lists.
By integrating all marketing systems, data can be passed from event registration, surveys and event email campaigns to contact databases and marketing automation programmes, such as Marketo or Eloqua. Tasks can be created in CRM systems such as Salesforce to alert sales reps to follow up. When attendees complete post event surveys, sales teams are automatically notified to take appropriate action for positive or negative feedback.
So much event technology now offers solutions to marketers for capturing data and in turn delivers valuable insight that can lead to better events and drive increased revenue. Event management technology now allows events to be an integrated part of the new sales and marketing cloud.