If you own a B2B company, or are in charge of marketing for one, that is looking to grow, it may be time to consider the addition of event marketing into your overall strategy. If you haven’t yet begun taking advantage of this strategy, you are probably already losing out to your competition.
In fact, in a 2019 survey, 76% of B2B marketers named in-person events as their most effective top-of-the-funnel engagement tactic. 64% identified in-person events as the most effective strategy for converting leads in the middle to late stages of the sales funnel, as well.
If your B2B company is considering adding event marketing into your overall strategy, here are a few things you need to know to get started:
What is B2B event marketing?
B2B (business-to-business) event marketing is an in-person strategy aimed at creating and nurturing relationships between companies. As with any marketing strategy, how your event marketing is structured will depend on more than one factor, including:
- Goals and KPIs (key performance indicators)
- How you plan to measure ROI (return on investment)
- Target audience
Where should B2B businesses start with an event marketing strategy?
1. Identify goals and KPIs.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in any marketing strategy is starting without identifying your goals. Each action you take should correlate clearly to your overall business goals and how your event marketing strategy will contribute to the completion of those goals. Once you’ve identified your goals, you can start to determine what kind of event will most effectively achieve those goals.
Additionally, identify which KPIs will determine success. For instance, if your goal is to “generate leads,” a good KPI may be the amount of contact information secured from interested businesses. You can then follow up with that business in the hopes of converting the lead into a sale.
2. Quantify ROI
Any marketing strategy, and especially event marketing, will require that your business determine a budget. Further, how do you plan on measuring the ROI of your event?
While events can be useful for making sales, your event marketing goals should strive to be a little more long-term than one-off sales. B2B event marketing, in particular, is meant to forge long-lasting relationships with businesses who will be repeat customers. Don’t sell yourself short by quantifying ROI based on one-time sales alone.
If sales are a key goal of your event, make sure you are setting a plan in place for measuring future sales that were a result of leads generated at the event. For instance, if you gathered loads of emails at your event, segment those addresses in your list, and name the segment something like, “B2B Event Leads.” Form a specific email campaign for those addresses, and keep a close eye on analytics. A time-sensitive event goal, such as “increase sales by 15% over the next six months” can measure ROI based on the sales converted over six months from leads generated at the event.
3. Understand target audience
A complete understanding of your target audience will help you plan a more effective event. What kind of event will get their attention? What sort of sessions will increase audience engagement at the event and therefore, motivate attendees to do business with you? Put simply: what does your audience want?
None of the above considerations exist alone; in other words, your target audience should directly impact the goal-setting of your event marketing, as well as the way you plan to measure ROI, and vice versa.
B2B event marketing, when done right, can provide impressive results for your business goals. These tips will help your business get off to the right start.
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