How to Build an Event Marketing Channel — And Why Marketers Need Events

As a marketer, if you’re asked to develop an email marketing campaign to help your company achieve a specific goal (more leads, MQLs, and/or pipeline, for example) and show how that campaign performed, you’d probably feel comfortable doing so. That’s what marketers do, after all, and you’d likely have plenty of data and tools you could leverage to help you develop a strategic campaign.

Imagine, on the other hand, that you’re asked to do the same for an event. Would you feel as comfortable developing a targeted campaign that would help you achieve specific business-related goals? And would you feel as confident in your ability to track the event’s performance?

Probably not. Event marketing campaigns are much more complex than most online campaigns, and event marketing technology is relatively new compared to other martech solutions. It’s understandable that marketers would feel less confident in their ability to carry out and track an event campaign.

Consumers, however, are inundated with online and digital marketing campaigns. In-person events might not have the same widespread reach as their digital counterparts, but the touchpoints they do create are much deeper and more meaningful. If marketers are to remain on the cutting edge of their profession and retain the attention of their audience, they need to embrace events as an integrated channel in their overall strategy. Here’s why:

Event marketing is extremely effective at driving business results. 
In the age of social media, consumers are drawn to in-person interaction. Events may require more time and resources than a typical online campaign, but they’ll also attract the attention of your audience and — importantly — drive business results:

  • According to a Regalix Report, 91% of marketers invest in events
  • 57% of those marketers report that events play a significant role in accelerating lead generation or growing the sales pipeline for their organization
  • 46% of those marketers allocate big portions of their budgets (10–25%) to events.
  • Not all marketers track event ROI, but those that do track ROI see impressive results: 48% receive an ROI of 2–4x from their event campaigns, and 29% realize a ratio of 9x or higher

You can now prove the results of your event campaigns. Perhaps one of the reasons that some marketers don’t track event ROI is that they don’t know how. That’s understandable — events are complex and difficult to measure.

Click here to watch a webinar that walks through everything you need to know about event marketing measurement.

Event marketing technology, however, is seeing the same kind of rapid development that marketing technology saw in the mid 2000s as companies like Marketo and HubSpot entered the scene. Event technology solutions like Event Farm’s will not only help with event logistics — like email invitations, registration sites and check-in — but will also help track your event campaigns and prove results.

Events will help make your overall marketing strategy smarter. Events provide the perfect opportunity to learn more about your audience. Whether you’re using experiential technology to track the activations to which your audience is the most drawn, or your sales reps are taking notes about conversations they have with prospects in-person, you can use events to uncover your audience’s needs and identify their pain points.

Click here to watch a webinar about Event Farm’s Salesforce integration.

You might (finally!) achieve marketing and sales alignment. The ever-elusive goal for any company, successful events require collaboration between your marketing and sales teams. Your marketing team should be tasked with finding the venue, sourcing catering, hiring speakers and any entertainment, and should also ensure that event tech solutions are in place that will allow you to track each touchpoint throughout the campaign.

Your sales reps, on the other hand, should play a crucial role in driving attendance. Sales reps have knowledge of — and the best relationships with — your high-value prospects and customers. Marketing should closely collaborate with the sales team to coordinate how and when sales reps will personally reach out to high-value prospects and existing customers.

You’re probably thinking that all of this sounds great (it does!), but you’re likely also wondering how you might go about achieving it. We’ve got you covered — here are our top tips on how to build your event marketing channel:

Work with event pros. When marketers started leveraging blogging, email marketing and other mediums that require high-quality writing and design, they hired writers and designers. No one can do everything, and events are an art form in themselves. If you’re going to incorporate events into your marketing strategy, work with a group of people internally who have experience planning events, or specifically hire someone to help you plan them.

It may seem like a big investment as you begin to adopt an event channel, but once your organization realizes the kind of business results that events are known to drive, it’ll be an investment that is well worth it’s while.

Use event marketing technology. Without event tech, it’ll be difficult to manage the logistics of your event (email invitations, registration websites and on-site check-in), and it will also be difficult to track the success of your offline campaigns. If you’re already investing a lot of time and resources in your events, you’ll undermine your own efforts if you don’t give yourself the tools necessary to streamline and track them.

To learn more about which event marketing platform is right for you, check out our eBook that gives an overview of the top seven solutions.

Integrate your event data with the rest of your marketing data. It’s critical that you’re able to understand how your events perform compared to other marketing channels. If you use an event tech solution to help you track that data, it’s crucial that you’re also able to integrate that data with your system of record. That way, you’ll be able to compare apples to apples and determine which campaigns — whether online or offline — give you the most bang for your buck.

Lean on your sales team to drive attendance. As mentioned earlier, your sales team will play a crucial role in getting the right people in the room. This point is worth repeating — if you think about it, this is the crux of your event campaign. If your team puts a significant amount of work into sourcing a venue, setting up a registration website, and implementing all of the tools and processes that will allow you to track your event’s success, you’re undermining all of that hard work if the people who show up to the event are not qualified buyers. Work closely and diligently with your sales team to make sure they’re actively reaching out to prospects and encouraging them to attend your event.

Setting up an event marketing channel requires diligence. With the right tools, processes and perspective in place, however, you’ll develop a data-driven and successful event strategy. Not only will events help create a smarter and more robust marketing strategy, they’ll also attract the attention of your audience, help engage with them in a meaningful way, and drive business results that neither you — nor your boss — will be able to ignore.

Originally published at