Data is a powerful marketing tool, especially when it comes to producing great events. It has the power to influence the type of events you produce, your target audience, content, and more. Marketers often get stuck when it comes to integrating data collection into their organization’s overall event and marketing strategy. It can’t be an afterthought, but instead, it needs to be a part of your process from the very start.
Always be Curious
The value of data in marketing was made even more apparent during SurveyMonkey’s event series, Curiosity Conference. The San Francisco event titled, “How to Influence Everyone from the C-Suite to your Customers” was an interactive panel discussion and networking opportunity for marketers and data-driven leaders. The impressive panel of experts included:
· Leela Srinivasan, CMO, SurveyMonkey
· Tolithia Kornweibel, CMO, Gusto
· Mary Winfield, VP of Customer Experience and Trust, Lyft
· Marissa Kraines, Director, Social & Content Marketing, Strategic Events, Salesforce
· JoAnne Baldwin, Product Marketing, Pitchbook
Together, they shared how they utilize data to support tough conversations, develop programs, drive big decisions, give a voice to the customer, and more. The common theme among all the panelists was that data was at the core of everything they did. One of my favorite lines from the evening was that a statement not supported by data is just an opinion.
The discussion was followed by a brief case study from SurveyMonkey on how they utilized research and their own product to quickly develop an international branding campaign. Their ability to survey their audience and collect valuable data points informed every decision around the campaign. The marketing team was able to go to their stakeholders and explain their messaging and branding with the data they collected, eliminating a lot of the debate and back and forth that often surrounds a marketing initiative.
Incorporating Data into Your Events
So how do you incorporate data, both collection and reporting, into your events? At Banzai, we often include data points in a presentation and then follow up an event with a survey. After attending the Curiosity Conference, I realized there is so much more we can and should be doing.
From the start of the event, the team at SurveyMonkey was using data to drive the conversation. With QR codes, CMO Leela Srinivasan, polled the audience of 50+ attendees, asking about how we utilize data at our organizations, challenges we face as marketers, and even what we wanted the signature cocktail to be during networking (my vote was for the mango margarita). She then shared the poll results and used them to generate some final conversation.
SurveyMonkey did more than just collect data during the event. Leela's brief presentation was built around data. Everything she shared was supported by a stat. I felt that I was listening to someone trying to help me become a stronger, more influential marketer, not someone trying to sell me a product.
Attending SurveyMonkey’s Curiosity Conference reinforced that research and data needs to be a part of everything we do as marketers. By making it a priority, we are giving ourselves the tools to produce more impactful events, influence strategy, understand our customers, and create better products and services.
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