The Power of Event Automation for Better Connectivity in Business

Certain CMO Kristen Alexander Unravels Her Strategy on How Event Automation Could Be the Biggest ROI Churner for Every Business in 2018

This year, MarTech Series has partnered with leading B2B marketing and sales conferences around the globe. At each of these events, we realized how marketers love to stay on top of their business by networking and churn valuable insights on ‘what’s hot, and what’s not’! We learned that though marketers use an arsenal of tactics, a majority of marketers still say email is the most effective channel in pre-marketing and post-marketing. However, during an event, the use of social hashtags are the most popular option for day-of marketing activities; followed by personalized emails. This is where event automation comes into the picture.

Certain Software, a leader in enterprise event automation, recently surveyed B2B marketers to identify major issues concerning event marketing; shedding light on measurable business results from events, as well as event tactics and technology.

Kristen Logan Alexander
Kristen Alexander

Following this announcement, we had a brainstorming session with one of the top women in tech and Certain CMO, Kristen Alexander.

Writing on the Wall: Email Remains the Most Popular Event Tactic for Marketers

Preparing Marketers According to The 2018 State of B2B Event Marketing

Certain collaborated with Heinz Marketing to gain insight into today’s event marketers and how they are approaching audience engagement pre, during, and post-event and which event technologies they’re using to engage with attendees.

Some of the most interesting findings we gathered focused on: tracking ROI and how that remains elusive for events, that email remains the most popular event tactic for marketers, and some marketers feel they have an ineffective mix of tools and technology.

The Definition of Personalization in the Modern Marketer’s Context

Personalization is no longer just something to prioritize. Instead, it’s shifted its importance to something that all marketing efforts should be centered around. It is no longer a “nice to have”; it’s now an expectation and a clear “need-to-have.” Marketers who have made this shift and are thinking holistically about personalization can create truly engaging physical experiences, and connect more successfully during the lifecycle of an event, which we see as directly impacting the sales results for their business.

How Can Marketers Monetize Their Events Using Automation?

Marketers Need to Make Sure They’re Not Approaching Their Marketing Strategies in Silos

Kristen explained, “In our survey, one of the key findings was that although the importance of events might be increasing, over half of all surveyed B2B professionals report that tying event spend to revenue generation is an elusive task. In fact, of the one in four companies that spend 25-50 percent of their marketing budget on hosted events, fewer than 20 percent of them actually make that direct tie to revenue.”

Event automation is a necessity for marketers looking to personalize each attendee’s experience.

To address this, marketers need to make sure they’re not approaching their marketing strategies in silos. Kristen said, “It’s easy for marketers to get caught up in the hype of promotional plans, sponsorships, and extravagant press events. However, this could result in losing interest and traffic to competitors.”

Clearly, as Kirsten believes, modern marketers need to plan to harness that “buzz” across all channels pre, during and especially post-event by tracking engagement and creating actionable follow-ups with sales, which can make the connection between attendee engagement and conversion.

Major Causes for the Disconnect Between Marketing and Sales Strategies

Kristen shared, “Too often companies still view marketing and sales departments in silos. Marketing teams create their own marketing content while sales team create their own sales materials and often do not communicate with each other as they both think they are not reaching the same overarching business goal. Sales teams may not have the power to create the right story framework (like marketers do) but they do have an understanding of the customer; which could benefit marketing teams.”

Recommended Read: Interview with Kristen Logan Alexander, Chief Marketing Officer, Certain

Bottom line, the marketing and sales teams need to have the right strategy that sets them up for success and leads them to work as a cohesive team in order to create a high-performing revenue engine. Companies that have the most teamwork between marketing and sales are the companies that win.

The ‘Certain’ Way: Mobile Marketing in Your Strategy to Reach a Global Audience

Kristen said, “In our view, mobile marketing strategies are extremely important, and the findings of our survey back that up as well. Mobile is one of the best ways to collect engagement data during an event, down to which products are of interest at booths and which content is being engaged with at sessions.”

She added, “Interestingly, B2B professionals who use an event mobile app and event automation platform ranked those tools as very effective. One in two respondents found their event mobile app very effective and three in five rated their event automation platform as very effective.”

Why Is Tracking Event ROI Still Elude Marketers?

Certain Enables Marketers to Overcome These Challenges

ROI continues to be elusive, partly because of marketers’ ineffective technology and resources as it relates to events. Even though a company might have an impactful event, without the right technology in place to support data collection and automation, it could still be hard to quantify the impact of that event in terms that the overall business can understand. In our survey, three out of four B2B professionals reported that their current mix of technology and resources is ineffective, resulting in lost data on leads, spend, and revenue.

The Crux of Certain’s Report

  • Tracking event ROI remains elusive: In fact, 1 of 4 companies spend 25-50% of their marketing budget on events, yet over half struggle to tie to revenue.
  • Marketers stuck with an ineffective mix of tools and tech: 3 in 4 B2B professionals report that their current mix of technology and resources is ineffective, resulting in lost data on leads, spend, and revenue. However, B2B professionals who use an event mobile app and event automation platform rank those tools as very effective.
  • Sales Strategies Need Work: About 50% of respondents report their marketing/sales handoff is not effective.

Kristen stated, “Certain enables marketers to utilize events to drive greater pipeline, sales, and revenue results, and uncover the gaps that impede success by offering a “one-stop-shop” for all of their needs. Our tools make it easy for those hosting an event to personalizing each attendees’ experience in the hopes of creating a sales lead.”

Martech Tools That CMOs Should Focus on in 2018

In continuation of our efforts to identify what modern CMOs think and prescribe to fellow marketers in building a powerful automation stack, we asked Kristen ‘How should CMOs build their marketing stack in 2018?’

Kristen said, “Our research shows that marketers are focused on – and, increasing budget – for in-person events. In fact, nearly three out of four B2B professionals we surveyed agreed that the importance of hosted events to their company’s success is increasing. Today’s most successful companies leverage events and technology associated with events to drive brand awareness, demand generation, pipeline acceleration, and customer engagement, allowing their sales and marketing teams to meaningfully impact every stage of the buyer’s journey.”

Leverage Event Automation Technology for Better Connectivity in Business

Event automation is a necessity for marketers looking to personalize each attendee’s experience.

Kristen explained, “Companies exhibiting at an event can pull up real-time data on prospects and customers that shows which sessions they’ve attended, what content they’ve engaged with or which specific products they are interested in, so conversations and marketing touches can be tailored accordingly.”

A top woman marketer in Martech, Kristen said, “Marketers kick butt when it comes to the registration sprint, ensuring they’re enlisting every strategy they can think of to drive the highest possible number of attendees. But it’s time marketers also tap into richer intent data, whether it’s interest by product line, pain point, or where a prospect is in the buying cycle. This type of data can be used to create messaging that’s highly relevant and meets the attendee where they are present mentally, whether it’s used to create a recommended agenda for the next day at an event or in crafting a great next step such as a technical product demo.”