Talk to any person who does event marketing, and you’ll quickly learn that putting an event together is extremely hard.
I’ve often heard marketers express their uncertainty about the event marketing process as a whole. How do you get the most out of your event marketing investment? How do you make sure that the leads you collect at an event aren’t going to waste? If you’re like many B2B companies, you’re funneling a good bit of money into event sponsorships, booths, speaking gigs, and more. You want to make sure you’re getting out at least as much as you’re putting in.
[Tweet “The biggest event #marketing challenge is getting people to respond to invites. @Hubspot “]
Let’s take a look at a few ways you can maximize your event investment by creating awareness before the event and by streamlining the follow-up process using account-based marketing.
Pre-Event Awareness Using Account-based Marketing
One way to optimize your time at an event is to use account-based marketing campaigns to set appointments prior to the start of the event. The traditional approach to event marketing is send out at least one email blast to your entire database announcing that you will be present at a given event. Most of the time, the only thing that is accomplished through these blasts is annoying your prospects and customers. The majority of them are likely not attending the event and will not appreciate you interrupting their day. Luckily, there is a much more targeted approach to generating awareness about an event that reaches your audience on their terms.
Often, the organizer of the event will provide an attendee list from either the previous year or the current year. Or both, if you are really lucky. With this list in hand, you can begin targeting decision-makers within those companies and driving them to a landing page where they will be prompted to set an appointment with you. Because this approach is highly segmented and reaches only people who are most likely to attend the event, your chance of getting more substantial results increases greatly.
[Tweet “Event #ProTip: Use attendee lists to run account-based campaigns & generate awareness.”]
Account-based Marketing and Events: A Case Study
Let’s say that over the course of a several-day event, you speak to 100 people. Typically, there are one to two people per company present, so you assume that you now have about 50 to 75 companies on your list to follow up with. Most companies immediately input these into their CRM system and begin following up via phone or email the following week. Hot leads typically respond well to this and you can see an immediate ROI from your event — but what about all of the other leads generated from the event?
Well, in order to ensure no leads get overlooked during the follow-up process, Pardot does things a little differently. Just like their parent company, Salesforce, they thrive on ways to get better ROI on marketing initiatives, and events are no different. Once Pardot receives all of their leads from an event, they place them on targeted email nurturing programs.
[Tweet “.@Pardot maximizes ROI on event marketing leads through #ABM campaigns & #email nurturing.”]
In addition, they run account-based advertising campaigns that help them create awareness not only with each single lead, but also with other decision makers among their target companies. This level of sophistication really drives engagement at all levels of the company and builds incredible trust between sales and marketing.
Ryan Johnston, Demand Generation Manager, adds, “Using account-based marketing takes our event marketing efforts to a whole new level by putting our message in front of key decision makers following the event.”
[Tweet “Using #ABM takes our event marketing efforts to a whole new level. — @ryanejohnston”]
Ryan Johnston is the Demand Generation Manager at Pardot, a Salesforce company. He is an insights-driven marketer always looking to get the most out of data and technology.