Event marketing

5 Ways to Build Customer Loyalty with Event Marketing

Guest contribution by Thomas Davey, Content Manager at Eventtia

The emphasis is on event marketing to attract new customers, but what about your current customers, don’t they also deserve special attention? After all the effort you’ve put into turning your leads and prospects into paying customers, it’s all too easy to spread all of your effort into the other areas of the funnel or just forget about them altogether.

Yet, customer retention is usually much faster and costs much less than acquiring new customers. After all, when you think about it, you’ve already done the hard work getting your customers through the funnel.

Building customer loyalty is a faster, more effective way to increase revenue and the good news is that at this point customers should already be a big advocate for your brand. But it’s up to you to maintain that momentum, and it forces you to create a set of initiatives that increase customer value, encourage new purchases, and promote your business as a brand ambassador.

Experiential marketing, through events, plays an important role in this process of keeping your customers engaged with your brand. The object of the game here is to create special experiences that keep your customers coming back for more.

And the proof of its effectiveness speaks for itself. A recent Marketo report found that “events deliver high levels of customer engagement, which helps retain and grow customers and enables marketers to realize greater ROI.” While the same study showed that “95% of business professionals say that face-to-face meetings are essential for nurturing and maintaining long-term business relationships”.

Obviously, events can play a major role in creating happy customers. So, without further ado, we’ve come up with five ways you can leverage event marketing to retain your customers and give them the attention they need.

Exclusive access to new products

Launching a new product is big business, so it’s only natural that it generates buzz. After all, this is the first opportunity to introduce your product to the world. It’s the result of all the hard work you’ve put in and it’s up to you to show it off in all its glory. The exclusivity of these events shows that you are ready to invest in your customers and that you really appreciate them.

This goes a long way in showing confidence and how much you rely on them to grow and improve. Customers should be encapsulated by this and provided the event is a success you will have a loyal group of advocates vouching for your business.

Analyze ways to improve your product or service

Branded events are an incredible platform to listen to your potential attendees and understand their real needs. So what about your existing customers? Do you think you know all about their challenges? Are you sure your products or services offer great value? Or maybe your current customers have developed a new set of problems and questions that you could address and resolve?

Build brand loyalty by showing your current customers your concern and interest in going further and understanding their current issues. Take the opportunity to bring your current customers together at your event and discuss with them ways you could improve your products and services.

Invite VIP speakers and offer your guests the opportunity to network with them

Have you asked your customers why they attended your event? The answer is going to be the speakers, who are always the main pull factor for attendees. For this reason, VIP speakers and business leaders are the most prized products of an event and it is essential that you use them to their full potential.

A great way to do this is to provide your clients with the opportunity to network with VIP speakers. This can either be at an event with a special session dedicated to your customers, or it can be an event designed specifically for your customers. For example, if your company develops digital products for early-stage startups, during your brand event you can schedule a B2B matchmaking session between your loyal customers and potential investors.

This gives clients the opportunity to get information from experts and industry leaders, which is often difficult to organize or very expensive to do. By doing so, you will demonstrate your commitment to the success of your clients as well as your intention to support them on their path to growth.

Provide exclusive branding elements

From the last point, you can also offer exclusive branded items such as helicopter trips, dune car races or banquets. It’s a real opportunity to surprise and delight your customers with a unique experience. Don’t forget to add some surprise elements. Everyone loves receiving unexpected gifts. And it’s those little surprises like in-room gifts and personalized experiences that leave a lasting impression on your guests.

It’s the perfect time to spoil your customers and show you how much you appreciate them. These exclusive branding elements should be something completely unexpected and should really show how much you value them as a customer.

Set up a social program exclusively for your current customers

How about incentivizing your attendees? Invite your existing customers to a cocktail party, an exclusive guided tour or a unique concert. Show them your loyalty and appreciation and make them feel special. Plan your event around their brand perception and think about ways to provide a truly extraordinary experience.

Doing so will encourage them to associate your brand with positive memories and enthusiastic feelings. This hint of exclusivity will not only show your allegiance to your current customers, but also encourage their sense of empowerment (and perhaps pride) in being part of this select group.

Key points to remember

  • If you’re really serious about your business, you should never forget your existing customers. Build brand loyalty by tailoring your events to their needs and continuously adding real value to their professional or personal life.
  • Customer retention is a great way to generate revenue without having to go through the lengthy process of generating leads through the marketing funnel.
  • The best way to do this is to create a set of initiatives that increase customer value, encourage new purchases, and promote your business as a brand ambassador.
  • Experiential marketing is king when it comes to creating special experiences that keep your customers coming back for more.
  • You can do this by offering special access to new products or by giving away exclusive VIP branded items. Remember to keep it special and show how much you appreciate your customers.