In the not-so-distant past, it was a straight-forward task to report the business value of a marketing campaign or program. Oftentimes, ROI wasn’t even expected to tie all the way back to revenue as marketers could easily attribute their investment to “brand building” or “impressions.”
Today, marketing automation platforms have improved ROI calculations by tracking prospect behaviors and engagement over time and tying them to sales. Now we have a sophisticated system for identifying the “first touch” and following prospects as they move their way along the buying path. We can see what’s really working and what’s not.
It’s now expected that you can measure every marketing program.
Unfortunately, as many areas of marketing have evolved, events have largely been left out of this “measurement” mix. So while marketing and sales teams believe events bring them closer to customers, it’s important to be able to deliver clear business impact.
The Business Impact of Events
Here are three places you can look to demonstrate the positive business impact of events:
- Show how events play a role in speeding up the buying process
When done right, events can be used to target an individual’s role and stage in the buying process and deliver sessions and connections to take them to the next level. This can be done far more quickly at events where face-to-face conversations can ensue. Knowing where an individual is in the buying process both before and after the event gives marketers clear indicators of successful progress.
- Demonstrate your events have improved sales and marketing follow-up efforts
Data captured at events can be used to improve sales and marketing follow-up. Tracking the sessions an individual chose to attend and the types of appointments they created at the event, combined with other profile and engagement-related information from the event, allows marketers and salespeople to better target their follow up activities to individual interests. This can result in higher conversion rates and faster sales pipeline velocity. When done correctly, all of this can be measured.
- Tie event activities back to revenue
Clearly the most powerful way to keep any item off the budget chopping block is to prove its direct value in driving revenue. Events are especially promising as avenues for turning later-stage leads into sales. When these later-stage leads can be identified early-on and guided to the appropriate content, sessions, and connections, events can become a place where sales are solidified.
Making it happen
How can you deliver these measures of business impact? How can you reliably tie events back to revenue? The answer lies in integrating event management and marketing automation systems together. With integration, you have the ability to clearly show how activities at an event move an individual further along in the buying process; demonstrate a more successful marketing and sales follow up process; and tie events to real revenue.