It was Aprimo’s way of combining the “traditional” (our annual live event) with the “digital” (a mix of digital channels) –and our efforts in this area are a clear harbinger of things to come. In its recent study; “Hybrid Events – Innovation Trend in Live-Marketing,” Vok Dams predicts, “In the future, no event will be successful unless it involves social media.”
Tweeting, live blogging and news worthy updates are effective ways to generate highly personalized interactions with customers and prospects, but I’d take that Vok Dams’ prediction even a step further.
Successful live events will continue to utilize social media, while also incorporating other real-time opportunities, as well. For example, our Aprimo Offer Exchange gathers attendee preferences in advance and then combines them with real-time social media data to deliver highly-relevant offers to participants while they’re at the event.
Clearly, live events are going to remain solid performers in the marketing mix for most B2B companies. As I’ve said before in a previous post, “Five Ways Marketing Automation Can Help You Leverage Data from Events,” even though digital marketing is getting lots of buzz these days, it’s not time to stop thinking about live events. It’s just time to think about them in a fresh way and the best place to start is by discovering how to get data out, and how to use it.
For some marketing organizations, though, updating a traditional live event is easier said than done. Many are still struggling with:
- Targeting the right audience at the right time. When you’re hosting a live event, targeting matters throughout the entire process: pre-event, on-site and post-event. You need clean data and effective communication tools so you can be sure you’re delivering the right message to the right person at the right time. After all, you don’t want to miss the chance to encourage a key prospect to visit your booth, and on the other side of the spectrum, no one wants to be thanked for coming to a meeting they never attended!
- Consistency across events. If your messaging varies from event to event, you run the risk of frustrating prospects and customers, missing out on opportunities to engage and quite possibly, damaging your brand. Consistency builds trust and creates a comfort level that’s particularly important at live events. Just as you need to ensure your brand and messaging is integrated across all other marketing channels (whether traditional or digital), you need to stay on point across your live events, as well.
B2B events can provide enormous amounts of valuable data for lead generation and CRM, and they will remain an important part of your tool kit –if you update your approach and have processes in place to incorporate digital and social strategies.
Do these challenges seem familiar? Can you sort through all of the data? If you’re not sure that you’re getting the most out of your events yet, take our survey to find out where to start and see more examples of marketers who have taken their events to the next level!