A survey released by Attend and Demand Metric at the end of 2015 revealed that customer engagement remains a top goal for B2B event marketers. Additionally, 63 percent use four or more types of events, such as webinars and conferences, to reach out to their target audiences.
We had a chance to speak to Eric Bisceglia, vice president of product and marketing at Attend, for more insight into the survey results.
HOW CRITICAL IS EVENT MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGY TO MARKETERS?
“Event management technology is important, but what’s more important is using events to drive revenue. Event technology should be able to accomplish both the operational side of event management as well as the sales side of events. It’s the sales side where there seems to be a real lack of technology currently. Salespeople are commonly sent to events with no technology to help them keep track of conversations or let them know which of their contacts are there.”
DID ANY OF THE SURVEY RESULTS TAKE YOU BY SURPRISE?
“The most surprising part of the report is that almost 20 percent of businesses aren’t sure of the ROI on their event spend. We think that’s because of the lack of sales-focused event technology. It’s hard to measure event ROI if you can’t track how events are influencing your sales pipeline.”
HOW IMPORTANT IS THE INVESTMENT IN EVENT MARKETING?
“It’s no secret that events are extremely effective. The Content Marketing Institute put out their annual marketing report in which events were ranked as the most effective B2B marketing tactic for the sixth year in a row — and that came from a content marketing study! Couple that with the positive ROI businesses are seeing from events and it’s clear that investing heavily in events is a good strategy.”
WHAT CAN B2B MARKETERS LEARN FROM YOUR SURVEY RESULTS?
“Of the businesses that do measure their event ROI, more than 99 percent are seeing a positive return on their event investment. B2B marketers should make events a key focus for 2016, but they need to make sure they have the right technology to help them use events to accelerate the pipeline.”
ANYTHING ELSE YOU WOULD LIKE TO ADD?
“One trend we’ve started to notice is that businesses are realizing that the ROI for sponsoring huge conferences and trade shows is a lot lower than the ROI for more targeted, company-hosted events. This fits in with the shift that many B2B businesses are making toward account-based marketing and it’s ‘quality over quantity’ methodology. Investment in events is important, but those events need to be highly targeted at the right audience.”
A total of 265 responses were collected for this survey, 202 of which qualified for complete analysis. The findings can be downloaded on the Attend website.