For any organisation, building and strengthening relationships with your target audience should be the ultimate end goal of your marketing strategy. It’s through these relationships that the organisation meets other goals such as sales, repeat product or service use and brand advocacy.
An essential step in this relationship-building journey is regular dialogue. The fast pace of society often leaves organisations in the position of having to carry out that dialogue digitally. Audience outreach is achieved through the implementation of advanced content strategies that incorporate social media and digital storytelling. Much time and money is spent on website optimisation, digital advertising, email nurture programmes, and the list goes on.
However, to shore up the trust factor and create a personal touch with your prospects, face-to-face interactions, aka live events, remain the most tried and trusted marketing channel.
According to a study by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services, around 93% of companies consider live events for customers and prospects as a priority, with over 50% holding the view that events are the most effective marketing mode they employ.
For example, the latest iPhone or Google Pixel is launched through mega keynote events; not mass email or a blog post or an Instagram update. Apart from their flagship products, they also showcase their platform software updates at these events.
Additionally, these tech behemoths organise week-long sessions such as WWDC, Microsoft Business Applications Summit and DevFest where developers, customers and partners converge to focus on the latest industry trends, attend training, and capitalise on shared opportunities.
Despite being the biggest names in technology, they understand that humans are social beings who like to mingle, talk, laugh and share thoughts. The personal imprint at their events is a huge factor in creating loyal customers and a legion of fans who swear by these brands.
Similarly, for other B2B businesses, the value of live events for a company’s overall marketing mix cannot be overstated enough. You can articulate and control your brand narrative in the clearest terms, engage with customers on a deeper and personal level, and create compelling experiences that last a long time.
3 distinct benefits of live events to your marketing strategy
Generators of expressed interest: When attendees spend hours or even days away from their office, often spending hundreds or thousands of pounds in the process, their investment level is high. They ‘vote with their feet’ in the sessions they attend, appointments they have and stands they visit.
Because of the significant investments the attendee and their company make, chances are high that they are very interested in your product or service.
Lead accelerators: When you send out content-based ‘drip’ campaigns, also known as nurtures, months can pass before a sale is made. At an event, you are face-to-face with leads, allowing you to define customer pain points quickly and clearly, thereby giving you opportunities to present solutions on the spot.
Trust builders: According to Harvard Business Review, people are 34 times more likely to make a purchase in a face-to-face interaction. Despite the explosion of digital channels to reach and engage customers and prospects, at the end of the day, people buy from people they trust.
Live events have a direct impact on helping you achieve your marketing goals. Whether trying to prove the ROI of your events to your organisation or your wider marketing team, there are key benefits that help you to justify your spend, time and overall investment.
Live events help you…
Build brand awareness: A well-executed event can help you and your sponsors reach thousands of people who could be your likely target audience. The greater the level of engagement at your event, the more eager attendees will be to share their experiences and amplify your brand through different social channels. This engagement can include picking perfect gift for your attendees or implementing various creative sponsorship ideas to boost your brand’s visibility.
Provide unique lead building opportunities: By collecting attendee data before, during and after the event, you can create more targeted digital marketing campaigns and relevant email workflows that are aligned with the content preferences of attendees. This helps refine your marketing strategy and capture better qualified leads for sales and marketing.
Build stronger relationships with prospects: An in-person meeting significantly boosts the chances of closing a deal with prospects. Live events not only act as lead accelerators but also as sales accelerators, as the trust factor goes up significantly during face-to-face interaction rather than through emails, phone calls or even video conferencing.
Live events are a gold mine of information about your attendees. At every touch point, they leave digital breadcrumbs that provide crucial insights and data. Read how you can leverage this data and “Learn to Drive More Hot Leads at Live Events”.