Driving marketing-to-sales alignment for international event success.
marketing qualified leads
of dollars in opportunities generated
Merkle is a global data-driven, technology-enabled performance marketing agency. For over thirty years, Fortune 1,000 companies and leading nonprofit organizations have partnered with Merkle to build and maximize the value of their customer portfolios. Merkle’s Global Events program is a key driver for lead generation and opportunities within the organization’s larger marketing strategy.
For their expanding global events program, the team needed a technology solution that would assist in scaling their program success. “Merkle’s events program is robust,” notes Jaclyn Sass, Director of Global Events and Marketing. “We participate in or host about 135 online and offline events annually, and it is also the largest lead-generator and opportunity-generator for Merkle.” The team knew integrating event technology into Merkle’s larger marketing tech stack would increase efficiencies, create automation streams, and develop greater sales-to-marketing alignment.
Bridging Data Gaps
Prior to integrating event technology into their MarTech stack, Merkle relied on inefficient manual processes. “Before partnering with Cvent as our event marketing and management tool, we primarily managed our events program offline using Excel, email, and spreadsheets. It was a pretty low-tech world for us,” notes Jaclyn. The Merkle team sought to automate its processes including email marketing, as well as optimize the onsite experience for greater attendee engagement. They also wanted to upgrade their outdated event management process to create data-driven insights for the organization. “There was really no integration between marketing and sales when it came to data flow as far as new leads were concerned or opportunities that were created,” adds Jaclyn. “There was no way for us to show any data behind the value that our events drove for Merkle.”
The team was also tasked with managing Merkle’s growing suite of international events, mirroring the success of the US program. “As our program and organization grew, we were asked to be a center of excellence for the organization,” explains Zoe Fernandez, Director of Global Events and Marketing. “We now have a footprint in APAC and EMEA so we’ve been asked to create consistency throughout the organization. That includes event processes, event data flow, management, campaigns, messaging where appropriate, and best practices.”
Creating a Seamless Dataflow with MarTech
Events play a critical role in pipeline acceleration at Merkle. Jaclyn explains, “As an organization, we have identified a handful of KPI’s or metrics that we are measured against annually. Those include new to database, marketing qualified, sales qualified, and opportunities - number of opportunities, or value or dollars.” Zoe notes that these KPI’s are mirrored in their international regions as well.
Zoe believes that digital transformation is the key to their success, particularly as event marketers. Personalizing the attendee journey yields more valuable data points that provide important insights for the Sales and Marketing teams. “Digital transformation for us in the event marketing arena is important because we're able to customize how we communicate with our attendees or potential attendees,” she explains. “We can develop customized experiences for them, and we’re representing our brand in a meaningful way.” Cvent’s Event Management and Marketing solution allowed the team to create unique experiences for sponsors, partners, and clients. It also automated the flow of data between their registration tool, CRM, and marketing automation tool. OnArrival allowed the team to create key efficiencies with the onsite check-in experience and tracking attendee data. Using CrowdCompass has provided the team with communication tools for a seamless attendee experience. They are able to use push notifications to handle last-minute changes and updates. They have also been able to eliminate the need for a paper agenda and benefit from organic social marketing through the activity feed throughout the event lifecycle.