When closely aligned, field marketers, event managers, and sales teams can produce events that serve as excellent sales tools, increase their pipeline, and move prospects through the funnel.
Event marketing is relevant and imperative at every step of the funnel, from making a good first impression in the Awareness stage to furthering the conversation after the Decision stage.
By knowing what kind of event to host, how to host it, and in which stage of the funnel to host it in, sales and marketing teams can work together to create events that will drive pipeline through the entire funnel.
Stage 1: Awareness
In the Awareness stage, your audience is often hearing about you for the very first time. They may not even realize they have a challenge your product can help solve. So how do you get them to register for your event?
It’s imperative that your event is well planned from the beginning. If you understand your prospect’s pain points and what they are searching for, you can optimize your landing page and be found easier online.
The Awareness stage is an excellent opportunity to host an in-person or a virtual event that brings in new leads and introduces your brand. Additionally, you’re given a chance to strut your stuff and show off your industry knowledge.
Large events provide an atmosphere for a wide range of interest levels, and virtual events allow for your brand to reach a large audience, regardless of location.
Use your Awareness stage event to form a solid first impression with as many quality prospects as possible.
Stage 2: Consideration
The Consideration stage is about showing your prospect how your solution can help solve a problem. They’ve heard of you and are presumably aware of what you do—now you need to convince them of what value you can add to their organization.
In this situation, you may drive your prospects through the funnel with a small event, giving them a closer look at your product while networking with customers and peers who share the same challenges.
For example, SurveyMonkey’s recent event, Curiosity Conference brought prospects to a small conference with the goal of educating them on the benefits of data utilization in the production of business events. This gave SurveyMonkey a chance to show their findings, demonstrate their solutions, and convince their clients of the necessity of those solutions—cleverly using data to drive the conversation and actively demonstrating the need for its solutions.
Take advantage of the collective knowledge and skills of your sales and marketing teams by hosting small, discussion/presentation-based events to further conversations and educate your prospects.
Stage 3: Decision
The Decision stage offers an opportunity to demo a product or service as the prospect has now sought you out for more information.
At this stage, your prospect has shown interest and it’s your job to facilitate that interest and help it grow. Various event types can be effective at this stage, but one-on-one engagement is what will make the biggest impact. Meeting with your prospect in-person will make you stand out from the crowd. It will also give your prospect an opportunity to ask any final questions they may have.
A successful event at this stage will be tailored to its audience and will facilitate further conversation.
Lunch & Learn
Consider hosting a Lunch and Learn with your prospects to address their pain points and discuss solutions you can provide.
A Lunch and Learn also provides an easy segway to furthering the conversation as you can have your attendees sign-up for another event or webinar—live or on-demand!
Engage your prospects personally and continue to stoke their interest.
Executive dinner or roundtable discussion
Field marketing events have been shown to continually increase sales; and at this critical juncture in the sales funnel, it’s necessary to engage with your customers face-to-face. Because events hosted in the final Decision stage are geared towards prospects with purchasing power, consider hosting a smaller event like an executive dinner or a roundtable discussion where you can engage in-depth one-on-one.
A small event creates an atmosphere for more than just locking down the sale. By sharing a meal with your customer and getting to know them, you’ll begin building a professional relationship that may be retained beyond the sale.
Additionally, you’ll increase customer retention by hearing their concerns and establishing a feedback loop, which can facilitate follow-up conversations.
Strategic implementation of marketing events at the Decision stage will help you secure your prospect and close the deal.
Stage 4: Delight
Just because the prospect has become a customer doesn’t mean your job is done. Sometimes the biggest challenge is keeping them happy and engaged after the sale.
This is where you might host a user conference to update them on your product or service and possibly expand their account. Most importantly, make sure your customers are happy and plan to return.
Create an event molded to the customers/clients you’re bringing in. Gather your marketing and sales teams and lay out clear SMART goals.
In addition, customer events encourage loyalty, boost social proof, and allow you to engage with your clients while providing an opportunity to foster new leads through your existing clients. Remember, the funnel doesn’t end after the purchase.
Increase the Pipeline with Events
Nothing offers your company the same level of exposure to prospects and existing clients as marketing events do. A recent case study found that through efforts to create buzz and secure high-quality event registrations, Banzai has generated over $1 million in ThoughtSpot pipeline.
With collaboration between sales and marketing, your organization can craft tailored, in-depth events that will increase ROI and drive pipeline at every stage of the funnel.