Joe Davy is the CEO and co-founder of Banzai, an event marketing automation tool. Banzai’s technology empowers marketing leaders by driving high quality leads to field marketing events.
Restore the Human Connection with Marketing Events
New marketing-tech companies are popping up left and right, vying to help you capture, convert and close new leads. The 2018 Martech 5000 Technology Landscape Supergraphic grew 27 percent in the last year, to 6,829 solutions. Think about your marketing channels for a minute: advertising, social, video, email, SEO, retargeting – your team probably uses dozens of tools.
The new tools are great, but a negative trend is also developing – marketers are becoming disconnected from their leads. According to Hubspot, 52 percent of marketers believe they are the best source of leads for their sales team, but sales reps surveyed rank marketing dead last in terms of lead quality.
How can your team avoid this trap of sinking lead quality? Simple – remember that leads are people, not records in a CRM or lines on a spreadsheet. Focus on creating real, human connections with leads. Events are a tremendously powerful tool for that.
Here are a few best practices I have learned for producing successful events that connect you with your prospects at a more human level.
- Content is King
Just like online campaigns, events succeed or fail based on the value of the content. An engaging agenda draws registrants to your event. In the end, your other metrics won’t matter if your attendees did not find the event valuable. Instead of doing a typical sales pitch, bring in a customer to speak, moderate a panel of local experts, or host a roundtable discussion. Find out what matters your prospects and provide content that is relevant.
When is the last time you showed up for work truly excited to be there? If it was today, that’s great, but realize that many people need a little spice in their lives. Events can be a great way for your customers and prospects to cut loose and have some fun while learning & building their professional network. Plan an event that encourages networking and provides a unique experience for your guests.
- Clear Strategy
In the end, marketing event programs need to make money. The best companies are meticulous at measuring the ROI of their event programs. Decide up front who you want to target, what your goals are, how you’ll measure return, and when you’ll evaluate success.
For example, you may set up an event program to engage customers, measure your return through upsells, and evaluate success in six months after some deals have closed. If you’re more focused on demand generation, you might target enterprise prospects, measure return through new sales, and evaluate success in a year or more depending on your sales cycle.
Finally, one bonus tip – remember that your event ROI is driven by the number of leads you generate, and that means registrations and attendance. Think about your strategy for driving registrations up front and do events where you can drive the attendees. Otherwise your efforts will be wasted on an empty room.
If you do them right, events can be one of the most rewarding ways to get to know your prospects and customers on a personal level and provide the best ROI for the business.