Event marketing

Want to know more about event marketing? You need intent data

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B2B marketers know that event marketing is a great way to introduce themselves to the right customers. That’s why more than half of B2B organizations spend more than 20% of their marketing budget on events.

But what happens when event marketing campaigns don’t produce the results your team wants (and needs)? With the average event sponsorship costing over $20,000, you don’t have much room for error.

For 68% of B2B marketers, events are about generating leads. However, generating leads is not enough to generate real returns on your investments. If you’re looking to get the most out of event marketing, you need to make your campaigns more targeted – and that comes down to having the right data at your fingertips.

Event Marketing Mistakes That Hurt ROI

With so much noise to go through with digital content, in-person industry events can seem like the perfect opportunity to get in front of the right people and stand out from the competition. If only the marketing world was this perfect.

The reality is that generating engagement with event marketing is far from a sure thing. If you make any of the following mistakes, you may not achieve the high ROI promised by successful event marketing:

  • More promises, less delivery: We spend so much time worrying about event attendance. How are you going to maximize signups to generate enough leads? To generate more leads, you work to energize the event and generate registrations. But what happens when the actual event doesn’t meet the expectations you set? Instead of focusing on pre-event hype, ROI depends on being able to drive registrations without setting expectations so high you’ll never meet them.
  • Poor tracking of events: Your job isn’t done when the event ends. Post-event follow-up is equally important if you want to maximize ROI. Your goal shouldn’t just be to reach out and thank people for participating. You want to strengthen the relationship you started at the event by sharing relevant next steps and useful information that will align with overall sales goals.
  • Poor site planning: When talking about in-person events, location means everything. You don’t want to spend months planning an event just to find that your target attendees aren’t in the right zone. Of course, people will travel for industry events. But if you can identify a specific location where there are a large number of ideal attendees, that’s where you want to hold the event.

These are just a few of the mistakes that lower event marketing ROI. Even when everything is perfect, event marketing can be time consuming and expensive. That’s why you’ll want to offset the impact of these mistakes (and others) by taking the guesswork out of the planning process.

With third-party intent data, you can gain insights into your ideal audience that improve marketing effectiveness before, during, and after the event.

How Intent Data Impacts Event Marketing

Intent data is most commonly associated with account-based marketing. Vendors explain benefits in the context of understanding total active demand, engaging with target accounts in the market, and enabling sales to close deals.

But the insights you can get from intent data also apply to event marketing. If you want to maximize the ROI of your events, leverage intent data at all three stages of the process:

  • Before the event: During the planning stages of your event, you can use intent data to better understand your most valuable target attendees. Your goal shouldn’t just be to blindly generate as many leads as possible. You want to generate the right leads, which means segmenting lead lists in the market to align them with the topics your event will cover. When your pre-event marketing focuses on attendees who are more likely to become customers later, you’ll set yourself up for a better return on investment in the future.
  • During the event: When it comes to industry conferences, the relationships you build in person at the venue can make all the difference in event marketing ROI. Don’t just follow the moves and browse the event agenda. Let field marketers leverage intent data to have more personalized conversations with attendees. The more your event team knows about individual attendees and accounts, the easier it will be to engage potential buyers while the event is in progress (without being disruptive or pushy).
  • After the event: Whether you’re hosting your own event or sponsoring an industry conference, generic follow-ups are the easiest way to derail all the work you’ve put into a campaign. Intent data provides attendee insights that help you customize email follow-ups to specific stages of the buyer’s journey. If a participant is earlier in the buying process, you don’t want to follow them with a hard sell. Instead, take the opportunity to build the relationship by sharing helpful content or possibly scheduling other preliminary product demos.

As common as event marketing is, insufficient data can put you at serious risk of wasting money. Intent data fills the gaps for any event marketer to understand the best ways to achieve key objectives without as much risk.


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