What’s an event’s role in the digital age? It’s the centerpiece of a modern, integrated campaign.
But you know the rules and metrics of success have dramatically changed in the digital, mobile, and socially-enabled world. Getting it right can yield unprecedented conversion rates and marketing spend ROI. But get stuck doing it the same old way – and you may be better off just hosting a webinar.
The Modern Event Marketer Must Evolve Into an ‘Experience Marketing’ Strategist
An important first step is to adapt the way you define what event marketing is, the goals and metrics tracked, and deliberately plan from the very get-go the important role your events will play within your overall integrated marketing campaign. You’re most likely now on the hook for not only driving demand generation and badge scans, but actually delivering high quality leads that demonstrate strong conversion rates and direct impact to pipeline growth. Understanding the new rules and power of successful modern events is a must-have skill that will pay off in spades.
We just published a new white paper entitled The Modern Event is Now a Strategic Marketing Initiative. In it, we review the importance of evolving your mindset from event marketing to what we call “experience marketing.” The paper then dives into a few key planning and execution strategies that lead to success. Here’s a sneak preview to what basically boils down to four key steps:
- Transform from Event Marketing into Experience Marketing
- Unleash Communities and Groups
- Don’t Suffocate Your Audience
- Be Data-Driven Every Step of the Way
All of the above strategies are centered around the philosophy that the era of communicating your message to your audience using a traditional one-to-many methodology is no longer optimal. Modern technology and data-driven marketing enable us to segment our value proposition into more tailored, personalized messages. This provides a platform for much more engaging, continuous two-way conversations among the vendor and their customers, prospects, and partners.
Hey, remember your customers are social human beings too. Your job is now to creatively broker targeted relationships, and engaging discussions that don’t necessarily center around products, but on solving problems and unlocking opportunities.
That’s why social media is such a powerful medium of communication. Incorporating much of what is so effective online with popular sites like LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and bringing a similar experience offline into your event – will be much more effective. You’ll likely even benefit from your customers doing much of the initial selling for you! Want an example of how it’s done? Checkout our client Salesforce.com, and the case study included in the whitepaper on one of the largest conferences in the world – Dreamforce.
Since we’ve already covered a bit about transforming from legacy event marketers into a modern team of “experience strategists”, let’s dig a little deeper into Step #2: Unleashing Communities and Groups.
Check Out a Few Highlights from the White Paper:
First, it’s important to deliver a user-centric journey based on specific and deliberate profile characteristics of your target buyers. Your team will also want to focus on community engagement before, on-site, and post event. Think LinkedIn for example, where users engage with one another that share similar interests and characteristics.
There also needs to be a unique emotional connection created from your event with your attendees. This can be with your brand, your product, a keynote speaker, and so on. This is probably one of the biggest differences between a digital experience and what you can achieve in-person. It’s more difficult and requires careful planning, but the return on this investment and increased likelihood of lead conversion is powerful.
At the end of the day, your customers want an event platform that’s socially enabling, and provides for continuous two-way conversations, not a “sage on a stage” delivering a speech.
If you are interested in learning about additional steps to successful experience marketing, download the free white paper now: