How B2B Marketers Capitalize on Event Marketing Opportunities [Interview]

event marketing, b2b marketingB2B marketers are still investing in conferences and tradeshows to expand their reach, but a survey conducted by Certain found that their post-event follow-up is lagging.

About 73 percent of marketers claimed that they still rely on manual data capture at events. Post-event, 81 percent said they still seek further information on leads. For more insight into this research, we spoke to Kristen Alexander, CMO at Certain.

Why do marketers appear to be slow to automate data capture?

“From the results yielded by our recent survey, we’re seeing that the lag in automating data capture is due to a lack of tools, resourcing and capabilities, which the vast majority (89 percent) listed as the main reason for delayed follow ups. While several enterprise companies, like National Instruments, CA Technologies, and Microsoft, have integrated event automation into their marketing stack, there are still a number of marketing teams that are in need of an update. “

How could marketers reduce the lag in following up with leads post-event?

“With the help of advanced event automation solutions, event follow ups require much less manual work. Our survey showed that 66 percent of marketers are tasked with reaching out to 50 or more leads following an event, and more than half reported that these follow ups can take a few hours or more to make leads ‘sales ready’, so it’s clear to see why marketers are running into delays with follow ups. However, with the use of automated data capture throughout an event, all of the necessary information needed to follow up with leads is already captured, and marketing teams can trigger real-time campaigns to begin nurturing.”

How is budget playing a role in the event automation technologies marketers are using? Should marketers maintain their budgets for event marketing?

“While budget is a factor in adopting updated event automation technologies, studies show that many companies are actually increasing their spend on events. A previous survey we commissioned earlier this year found that 70 percent of U.S.-based senior marketers plan to increase their marketing spend on events in 2017, with more than half reporting that they plan to participate in 50 or more events per year. This shows us that many companies are clearly seeing the value and ROI from in-person events, but may be an indicator that budgets may need to be evaluated to ensure money is also being invested in the automation that can make events even more of a success.”

How do you see marketers’ event strategies changing in the next six-to-12 months?

“In the coming year, I see marketers more focused on driving more measurable business results from their event strategy. They’re getting more pressure internally to make their events clearly connect to pipeline generation and that’s what will accelerate the investment in automation technologies. From ditching the dated methods of paper registrations and Excel scrubbing to introducing real-time recommendations, we’re going to see a bigger push into technology that advances a personalized customer experience before, during and after events.”

What was the most interesting statistic/finding to you in the report?

“The stat we found most shocking was that more than 73 percent of marketers are still using dated methods to capture contact info, data, and leads during events. Considering that most professionals are constantly plugged into their tech and devices at all times, with events being no exception, it was interesting to find that many marketers are still relying on traditional (and ineffective) tools like pen and paper sign ups or business card exchanges to capture conversations during events.

“With most marketers meeting dozens, if not hundreds, of new prospects and potential customers during the course of an event, updated event automation solutions, that can be accessed through iPads, tablets, or app sign ups, can really help to streamline the follow up process from the start. Not only can you access all contacts easily in one place, but it also allows marketers to make quick notes regarding specific interests or key messages that can better tailor each individual follow up, and increase the likelihood of conversion.”

Click here for the full survey results and participate in Certain’s follow-up research.

ABOUT KRISTEN ALEXANDER

marketing, event marketing

Kristen Alexander leads Marketing & Product at Certain, the market-leading event automation platform that drives measurable marketing and sales results for the world’s leading enterprises including Microsoft and Oracle. Kristen’s experience spans enterprise and consumer, inside both Fortune 100 companies and high-growth startups.

Prior to Certain, Kristen led Marketing at Aviso, a leader in predictive analytics for sales and Agari, a cybersecurity leader named to the Forbes 2016 Cloud 100. Prior to Agari, Kristen held Marketing & Product leadership roles at The Walt Disney Company. Kristen holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from New York University.

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