To some, event marketing is just investment in expensive, glorified parties that take away dollars that could be spent on initiatives that give a clearer ROI.
To others, it is a sure-fire way to connect with your customers in an effort to build relationships, communicate your brand directly to your customer, and to build brand loyalty.
But what exactly is event marketing and why is it important for your business?
Event Marketing, More Than a Party
In simple terms, event marketing varies from in-store displays, to conferences, to webinars; spaces where in-person engagement can be utilized to its fullest potential. However, many companies overlook event marketing, as it is usually associated with the stigma of being expensive, complicated to plan and hard to track ROI in real time.
What companies need to remember is that the ROI of an event depends on the purpose of the event.
Defining clear goals and measures of success upfront will ensure the event planning, budget and execution delivers true value. Are you looking to increase your number of leads? Increase sales? Followers on Twitter? Ask yourself these questions before you hit the ground running with planning your event.
Still don’t know what your end goals are? Check out these four different reasons developed by Marketo for including events in your marketing mix:
- Brand Awareness: Whether hosting them or sponsoring them, use events as a way to enhance your share of mind with your customers. Hosting events provides a great opportunity to grab the attention of your customers and create memorable experiences that they can take with them and associate your brand with. Sponsoring an event can lead to great opportunities to build off popular brands or worldwide events.
For example, imagine what being a sponsor of The Academy Awards could do to your brand. (Sure it may be a farfetched idea, but you get the point.)
Depending on time, space and physical gathering restrictions, ask yourself whether you can still achieve brand awareness via virtual events as a sponsor or a host. The landscape has shifted, and people are much more accepting of virtual gatherings as part of the status quo.
- Lead Generation: Think of networking events and how helpful they can be to generate leads. You can host an event, inviting prospects as well as current customers that you know will be interested in the topic at hand and have the whole room (physical or digital) to yourself to showcase your products or solutions and how you can help your customer.
- Customer Engagement: Events offer a great way to reach customers directly – you don’t have to compete with daily distractions when you have your target audience choosing to be at an event you’re hosting. It’s the perfect time to share knowledge about your brand and your products.
- Education: Think of the product launch events that Apple does every year to highlight what the newest addition to the ‘iFamily’ will look and function like. Events can be great to share knowledge or drive your brand forward as a thought leader in your respective industry.
Educational events are quite easy to translate into a virtual forum, as well. Think of how to creatively display your product via video or other digital assets. Could you offer a ‘show & tell’ type lunch-and-learn?
Use these four reasons to guide what you’re trying to achieve with your event and ensure you have the proper metrics in place to track the necessary data to measure performance and effectiveness.
If you’d like to learn more about event marketing or would like Crew to help with the strategy behind your event, drop us a line, we’d love to hear from you.