Digital marketing has brought plenty of benefits, providing businesses with more opportunities to engage with their customers and reach a wider audience. But companies shouldn’t turn their noses up at more traditional marketing methods.
In fact, a new report by Certain has revealed that live events are increasingly important for B2B professionals, cited by nearly three quarters of respondents.
According to the 2018 State of B2B Event Marketing, the majority of marketers use events for driving brand awareness, demand generation, pipeline acceleration and boosting customer engagement.
However, utilising B2B events as a marketing tool is not without its difficulties. Marketers are still facing issues in linking performance-based metrics to event outcomes.
Nearly two thirds (62.1%) of marketers are confident in an event’s ability to enhance brand awareness. However, they are less sure about their ability to increase pipeline creation, sales qualified leads, and grow the number of event attendees, which have a negative performance gap ranging from -16% to -6%.
Pipeline generation is seen as a top objective in event strategies, cited by 65% of B2B professionals, but nearly seven in 10 find it difficult to rate its effectiveness.
More than half say events are one of the top five ways in which their company generates demand; however, almost seven in 10 had challenges in determining the effectiveness.
When it comes to customer engagement, three quarters believe events are very important and the overwhelming majority (81%) of these B2B professionals feel its role in driving customer engagement is increasing. Despite this, 60% are struggling to fully reap the rewards.
Tracking revenue generation of an event is also proving to be a difficulty, with more than half agreeing that linking the two is an elusive task. A quarter of companies spend 25-50% of their marketing budget on hosted events, however fewer than 20% make a direct tie to revenue.
Perhaps more worryingly, only a third of the 49% investing up to 25% of their marketing budgets on events find their spend to be used effectively.
When planning and managing their events, marketers use a range of technologies, with CRM platforms (nearly 70%), marketing automation platforms (over 60%) and event mobile apps (more than 30%) the most commonly implemented. However, just 25% find their mix of technologies and resources to be effective, with the majority ranking them as not effective. This can lead to a loss in data around leads, spend and revenue.
So, what can B2B professionals do to enhance event success? While there are a whole host of channels and tools available to marketers to use pre-, during and post-event, it is best to keep it simple. Email marketing was found to be the most common and most effective tactic for both pre- and post-event engagement, cited by almost 90% and over 80%, respectively. On the day, over half implement social hashtags.
Despite our increasingly-digital world, it is clear that live events are still a vital part of the B2B marketing journey. If you’d like help increasing the effectiveness of your next marketing event, speak to Chapman Consulting today.