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Published in Branding category on (11/06/2015)

How to Harness the Awesome Power of Brand Advocacy at Your Next Event

Jim Williams, VP of Marketing at Influitive, Discusses How Brand Advocates Can Help Drive Event Marketing Results

jim williams

Interview #4 in the Making Rain with Events Series

Just showing up isn’t enough if you’re looking to deliver phenomenal results from your event efforts. In our latest interview with Jim Williams, VP of Marketing at Influitive, you’ll hear real world stories of creative innovation harnessing brand advocacy that have really paid off at events like Dreamforce and SiriusDecisions.

Jim and I also discuss the power of involving your advocates in event branding. Advocates are loyal influencers and fans who can help you throughout your event marketing efforts. Advocates can help recommend speakers or potential new customers prior to an event or assist with onsite activities that might even include having some of your best customers spend time in your booth sharing their success stories (one of the most powerful sales messages of all). They can also help post event feedback, which includes making recommendations on how to improve future events, and help in your follow-up efforts to build more meaningful connections and community.

We also talk about the power of events as a marketing tool. In the age of digital marketing, we tend to forget just how powerful it is to actually look someone in the eye and have a conversation with them. In the world of B2B marketing, we’re increasingly using more sophisticated tools, but these tools are actually helping us to reach out and touch more people through digital channels. Because of the human connections they create and build, events will always be an essential component of your marketing mix.

We can always learn something from those who have gone before us and achieved success.  In this Making Rain with Events podcast series featuring event and marketing leaders, we hope you can learn critical tips to help you develop more successful events and better marketing results.

Listen to the podcast here:

Scott Ingram: I want to start by talking about this idea of advocacy and how it can be connected to events to drive outsized results, and then I want to talk a little bit about some of your own event marketing efforts because they really do stand out. I think there’s a lot that this audience can learn based on some of those campaigns you have run. Why don’t we make this even more real, can you talk about how you use your own advocates in your own events Jim?

Jim Williams: Sure, I’m happy to do that and give you some examples. I actually think it probably helps to set the stage a little bit about why advocacy is so important at events. A couple of words on that, and I’ll give you some examples.

First of all, I think, just in general. You know this, I know this, but the audience may tend to forget. In the age of digital marketing where everything is measured by clicks and conversions and A/B tests, response rates, and everything else, we tend to forget just how powerful it is to actually look someone in the eye and have a conversation with them. We tend to forget about that in the world of B2B marketing because we’re using all of these really sophisticated tools to reach out and touch people through digital channels, and I think that’s why events will always be a really really critical part of your marketing mix.

Sometimes we tend to get distracted with events when you look at it by the numbers. You kind of squint and say “Wow that’s a lot of money we’re spending.” Twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty, or in the case of Dreamforce north of one hundred thousand dollars to participate in this event. But then when you look at the results, you realize that the reason why the engagement from those events is so much better after the event is over is because there was a personal connection made. It’s a type of interaction you just can’t replicate digitally. So events are incredibly important for that reason.

Listen to the full interview here:


 About Jim Williams, VP of Marketing at Influitive

jim williams

Jim Williams, VP of Marketing at Influitive, is a veteran marketer for early and growth stage tech companies that loves bringing new concept products to market. Before joining the Influitive team he held marketing leadership roles at Eloqua, Unveil Solutions, Lernout & Hauspie, and several PR agencies. Even though he loves startups, most of Jim’s energy is directed towards ensuring that his two kids have a fantastic and memorable childhood.

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