August 1, 2018

Event Strategies

The Best B2B Marketing Strategy: How to Use Events to Turn MQLs into SQLs

By:

Sergei Dolukhanov

Field marketing events are effective in turning MQLs into SQLs. Here are nine reasons why events create a unique opportunity to connect with prospects.

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When selling your product, it is integral that the marketing and sales teams work together to turn a marketing qualified lead (MQL) into a sales qualified lead (SQL). It is through the coordination of these two teams that a potential client will show genuine interest in buying the product. Successful B2B marketing strategies use a variety of marketing channels that can move this process along, one of the best being a B2B marketing event.

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10 Reasons to Incorporate Events Into B2B Marketing Strategies

1. Increase brand awareness

An effective event marketing strategy drives brand awareness, helping your leads and customers become more familiar with your brand. Events are an opportunity to build relationships with your audience and position your company as a thought leader within the industry. B2B marketing is all about moving prospects through the funnel, and events are a great way to introduce qualified leads to your brand and drive top-of funnel activity.

2. Increase competitive intelligence

B2B marketing events can showcase a product and allow prospects and customers to ask questions and get answers in real time. As an event sponsor, prospects can walk through the sponsor pavilion and compare a product directly to its competitor. This is your time to shine! Have product experts and sales representatives ready to demonstrate how your product solves your customers problems and be ready to schedule follow-up demos on the spot.

3. Direct communication with potential customers

Effective event marketing create the opportunity for companies to meet and directly interact with leads and potential customers. Events enable a two-way interaction, where attendees can ask the company questions and get immediate answers. This early face-to-face interaction sets the tone for the relationship moving forward and helps bridge the gap between MQLs and SQLs in the buyer's journey.

4. Create personalized B2B marketing experiences

Based on the scale of your event, you can personalize the event experience to different audiences types or funnel stages. Create personalized touches through event outreach, the event's landing page, event content, and final event follow up. By talking directly to your prospect at their needs, you're establishing your brand as a trusted resource.

5. Get direct product feedback

One of our favorite B2B marketing tips is to use events to get real time feedback from your audience. Companies that host B2B marketing events often send their top sales reps to pitch their ideas and move leads through the sales funnel. What's better than having your sales rep demo your product at events? Getting direct feedback from your prospects and customers on your product! Events allow you to hear directly from your audience and can help your team:

  • Better understand customer pain points
  • Create more effective messaging
  • Prioritize product updates

6. Greater coordination between sales and marketing teams

In order for B2B marketing strategies to work, sales and marketing teams need to be aligned. When it comes to events, it's important that sales and marketing work together to target the right audience and deliver a message that resonates and advances prospects through the buyer's journey. Without strong alignment between the teams it is nearly impossible to see event ROI. Events foster an environment of team work and collaboration.

7. Events are memorable

It’s easy for people to forget the different ads they scroll through on their various social media accounts or on the different websites they browse in a day. By physically or virtually attending an event, a lead has bought into your brand. If the event goes well, you have begun establishing a potentially profitable relationship and have laid the foundation for turning an MQL into an SQL.

8. Event speakers can share your brand story

No matter the format of your event, influential and thought provoking speakers can set your event marketing apart from the pack. Speakers can include executives, industry titans, or thought leaders. Another one our favorite B2B marketing tips is to utilize your customers as speakers. They are able to share their first-hand experience with your brand and prospects can envision how your product might work for them.

9. Establish a community for your audience

B2B marketing events are the one place where your past, present, and future clients can physically gather to connect with one another. This creates a community dynamic for your clients and prospects, improving your business image and creating a place for dialogue around your brand. An interactive community creates a self-sustaining pool of potential opportunities and is a vital part of any brand retention strategy.

10. Event marketing powers relationship marketing

Since the B2B sales cycle can be so much longer than B2C, each sales rep and marketer goes through hours of preparation and research just to land a meeting with a potential client. Establishing meaningful relationships is critical to moving a lead forward in this cycle. From the beginning phases of subscribing to content in a marketer’s pipeline to closing deals at the end of the sales pipeline, face-to-face meetings accelerate every phase of the lengthy B2B sales process.

Events are the best way to connect marketing teams, sales representatives and prospects in a face-to-face setting, laying the foundation for an impactful and successful relationship. Using B2B marketing events to strengthen relationships is one of the best way to turn an MQL into an SQL.

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