Follow up after a marketing event to gain more insight

AUGUST 25, 2011 – Organizations seeking to get a better handle on their target audiences would do well to be persistent, especially after a marketing event, BtoB magazine reports.

Events are a valuable asset when trying to reach out to new and existing customers, yet a study from the publication revealed that the use of market research tools such as emails and automation that backs up event marketing is “spotty, focusing primarily on email notifications before an event rather than managing and nurturing leads afterward.”

Marketing automation’s main selling point is the ability to measure event return on investment, according to 58 percent of marketers surveyed by BtoB and Marketo. Additionally, 47 percent of respondents said they appreciated having the ability to personalize communications and 46 percent valued the benefit of increasing attendance before an event.

“I think what’s happening here is that marketers work their butts off for these events, but it can fall apart after that,” Maria Pergolino, Marketo’s senior director of marketing, told the news source. “They know there’s value on the floor. I feel we’re entering a time when marketers will finally be able to prove their work on events is good.”

What these advertisers lack is the ability to take advantage of an event and gauge its success after the crowds have gone home, the study indicates.

Less than half – 48 percent – of marketers who responded to the survey said they have implemented an event ROI metric. Only 21 percent of respondents use automated lead scoring and 19 percent have a nurturing program, despite the fact that half those surveyed claim to use a marketing automation tactic in the follow-up of an event.

While personal touches such as a goodbye handshake are a good way to improve the client-business relationship, using technology can give marketers a better idea of how to turn prospects into customers later on.

As Marketing Profs points out, marketers also need to be able to measure the event ROI in order to prove to clients or other departments in their own companies that the effort and expense are worthwhile.

The source notes that selling the leadership on the program requires more than simply justifying the event.

“Event marketers need more predictive information to help them make key strategic and tactical decisions that will lead to smarter allocation of budgets and improved performance – performance improvements that will lead to optimization of bottom line results,” according to the news source.