The problem with events is that they cost a lot of money. If you’re flying your SDR team out to a different city, putting them up in a hotel and having some food out together there will be big cost. You’re sponsoring or exhibiting and paying for passes to get everyone into the event. There’s things you have to take with you, free swag on your stand and lots of internal planning pre-event and followup to orchestrate after.
Event marketing does not need to be so much work! We’re going big on one simple way to avoid all of this legwork. We’re going to expose our roadmap to doing it below…
So seriously, if event marketing is a big driver of leads for you… consider how you could work several events during the same week without having to clone your salespeople and send them all over the country.
Stage 1 – Identify events
Stage 1 is the easy part. Research which events are out there. Your competitors may have events, there will be industry publishers and communities that run events. We’re talking everything on the scale from 40 people in a room to DreamForce or Inbound (SalesForce and Hubspot events).
Clearly the bigger ones like Inbound will be a bigger pool of people to market to, but event marketing isn’t all about the larger crowds every time.
It’s worth properly researching all of the events out there, not just listing the ones you know of. A lot of the time, the same people go to the same events year on year. So finding new ones, finding niche events and keeping an eye on them is smart.
Stage 2 – Capture data
This is the key part of the process. Anyone can go into Twitter and follow an event hashtag throughout the day and tee-up conversations with event goers.
Unless you sponsor the event and pay the thousands to get the attendee list (so you can email people afterwards like every other vendor will be doing) you cannot get your hands on the attendee list.
But that’s not true anymore. Intent data captures this.
Specifically, contact level intent data which is capable of tracking social interactions and website engagements.
What this means is, you don’t have to follow the event on Twitter. We have used this tactic to identify who is sponsoring and attending an event without having to look manually – the follow up upon getting this data is down to you.
So after identifying which events you want to track and target, plug them into your intent data system.
Here’s a quick video outlining what data you can find with a real life example…
The video referenced SHRM, check this post to get the a view on everything we found from analyzing the data. We analyzed the SHRM event to understand what the attendance looked like (industries, job roles, company sizes in attendance etc). The data will tell you who went, not just a holistic view of what the field looked like in terms of job roles and companies that were there. We’re talking names and details.
Stage 3 – Review data captured
Once you have the data from an event, you’ll need to review what information you have an use this data for 2 decisions.
1 – Should we go to this event next time?
2 – What campaign intelligence do we have?
Should we go next year?
If you’ve been to many events, sometimes the field is made up of tons of consultants who would never be your buyer (if you’re a B2B software or SaaS company). A lot of the time, companies bring their Sales team and marketers to capture content and have conversations from their stand at the event. This is the most common trend we see when analyzing events, salespeople are prevalent at almost every event.
So if the field is made up of too many people who are not buyers or relevant for you, don’t go. Your results won’t be as you’d like them to be if the field is made up of the wrong people. Wasted money and time as well.
It’s not just that though. Commonly events are filled with micro startups with under 10 employees, which may not be the type of company who are a fit for you. Not many enterprises attend, this is a trend our analysis of many events picks up nearly every time.
Sometimes events have a lot of non-profits in attendance too, which may not be a fit for you.
All of these questions are there just to help you evaluate if enough of your perfect buyers are actually there at the event… and if it’s then worth you being there next time. With intent data, you can capture the crowd and pick out who you want to follow up with. But you cannot do that when you’re in the room.
So, with an idea of which companies were there and which job roles were in the room, you can move forward. You will be able to pick out which companies to target. You can review the event itself and look at what the topics of the keynotes was, check if there was a major product announcement.
Gather intelligence on what context and what targeting you can leverage to deliver a tailored message to the right people at the right time (which is now, they’re at and have been to an event in your industry).
The best case situation is that like many Hubspot events, there is a host of new features of product announcements that get released at the event. Leverage this! If Hubspot release brand new lead scoring models, take this and run with it. Talk to the right buyers who were in that room (via your intent data which tells you who those people are out of the crowd) and deliver messaging to them about why YOURS is what they need to pay attention to.
If they’re excited about the new feature but you already have it, or you’ve got it but better – talk to them. If the new feature is good but the real difference-maker is another feature you have, talk about that and why.
Get all the campaign intelligence you need on your target accounts for free with LeadSift Buzz…
Stage 4 – Campaign creation
A huge difference-maker in any campaign is the asset that you promote. With the context that you have, you’ve got a great chance to create an asset that is SUPER targeted to what the prospect wants.
You’ve got data that they’re in a room learning about specific topics. You have data that they’re a fit for your solution.
Now you need to be creating a lightweight asset to market to them, get them in your funnel using a top of funnel asset. Even something as basic as a “What You Didn’t Learn At X Event” checklist.
The benefit of this type of content is that you’re speaking to them about something they resonate with, offering a unique insight they haven’t got yet and also delivering them this at the right time with hyper targeting. The right people will enter your funnel if this is executed well.
How do you get the message out there?
Contact level intent data gives you contact level details, like phone and email data. Leverage the email data (of course in a GDPR compliant way with regards to EU data). Run Facebook and LinkedIn ads to the targeted audience you have narrowed down and want to speak to.
Stage 5 – Prospecting
The last part of the process is having your Sales team prospect to the leads. But they can do this in a totally different way than most other teams at the event or looking to sweep up the leads will – giving them a huge advantage to get better results.
They already have the trigger event to reference – the prospect went to the event.
But the key difference your team can leverage is that you’re not saying “it was nice to meet you at X event – let’s continue the conversation on a demo”.
Provide some extra value, everyone at an event is looking to pick which keynotes they watch (you cannot see them all).
Use what your Marketing team are creating. Share an insight the prospect did not get from the event. Show them something that is more interesting than the product announcement they cared about at the event.
The advantage you have over your competitors is that you have better context to use and a better hook to bait your prospects on.
The advantage you have over your Marketing team is unlimited follow up with that material. Use that.
Once you have done the process for one event, repeat it. You’ll have a better idea of what type of asset converts best, which messaging is best and generally which events are best to target. If your solution stands up best when you talk about 1 specific part of the offering, target the events that work to that angle. Everything with intent data is a learning process because there is no silver bullet or singular way to win with it. It requires smart marketing, which is why we love it.
Don’t forget to try LeadSift Buzz to get free alerts on your target accounts when they go to an event…