Right People in the Room: Does Anything Else Really Matter?
As a newcomer to the event marketing technology industry, I’ve made a concerted effort to put myself in the shoes of those who use this tech in order to understanding what they value most. I’ve added “bespoke design,” “curated lists” and “run-of-the-show” to my lexicon while wrapping my head around why inventoried registration questions and seating capabilities, among other things, can be “must-have” features for narrow, but important, event marketing technology use cases.
As a sales guy I’ve naturally gravitated towards the revenue attribution conversation—tracking the influence your events have on the entire sales funnel. There’s a bit of an arm’s race as of late regarding integrations (CRM & marketing automation), and many companies are claiming that integrations equal revenue attribution. My feelings on that topic will be saved for another day, but these claims got me thinking about some advice I received early in my career.
I was taught that as you take over a business unit you need to think of progress in three, serial stages: business control, influence over results, and optimization. In the sales world, that sounds something like the following: accurately and consistently forecasting your business (even if below quota), increasing pipeline/revenue through execution and performance management, and extracting efficiency gains through process improvements and specialization with an already high-performing team.
What does this have to do with the event marketing industry? I propose that too many CMOs, and organizations as a whole, are not taking the business control step as part of their events process before moving on to the next steps. Does your tech enable you to put the right people in the room or conversely keep the wrong people out? Does your tech enable marketing and sales to determine the right mix of prospects, opportunities and existing customers for your event type to maximize the results? Does your tech hold your field marketing and sales teams on the ground at the event accountable for interacting with the most important attendees during the event?
There are a number of players in the event marketing technology industry laying claim to their share of the market with talk of a differentiated solution. As a sales professional who strongly believes marketing tech is not just for marketers, I propose you cut through the noise by asking one simple question: are your investments in marketing event technology enabling you to get the right people in the room and hold your team accountable to taking the right actions when those people are in the room? If it doesn’t, I don’t think anything else really matters.