Marketing has evolved to become the voice of the customer, business strategy and growth. The CMO role itself is expanding to encompass the roles of chief experience officers, chief growth officers, and even chief digital officers. Every marketing channel is being transformed by this evolution and expectations are high to deliver the best possible customer experience, connected by data, in order to detail the customer journey from the very first touch all the way through to a cultivated, long term relationship.
Events stand out as the channel where marketers can not only flex their muscles in providing an outstanding experience, connecting customers to products, knowledge experts and peers, but also the channel where data is abundant. So what does it take to be an event marketer that is also a data ninja, who sees the opportunity to mine event data and can strategically decide how to enact that data to drive revenue results? Here’s a useful framework to think about how to put data at the core of every event experience in 2020.
1. Center your event marketing strategy around capturing intent data
Events provide abundant data, from the very first event awareness campaign, to the registration form to session check-ins at a conference – marketers have a playground of data to connect the customer journey to content, product, sales and customer success teams. As Microsoft CMO Chris Capossela says on CMO.com, “Companies today need to put the customer at the center of not just storytelling, but also in the products that the organization builds and each of the touch points with the customer. This includes everything from the marketing touch points to sales, support, product, and more. I think marketing has become a louder voice in that customer obsession and is working to ensure that organizations are thinking about those touch points holistically.”
Event marketers can stand out as business strategists by ensuring their event data powers not only the event experience, but the customer experience that follows the event too.
2. Map event interactions to the revenue funnel
Events small and large contribute to pipeline creation, acceleration and revenue. Whether the marketing team is running field marketing events or the company’s large annual conference, it’s important to understand very early on in the planning cycle all of the touchpoints where customers are interacting with product content and people throughout the company that signals intent. For example, when a customer attends conference sessions, event marketers usually capture session check-in data. However, marketing teams can now take that a step further by tagging every session by product and by funnel stage, to help inform the next best actions for the sales and product teams. By doing that, event marketers are helping tie the experiences they create directly to revenue results.
3. Supercharge data flow
One of the scariest moments as an event marketer is to know you are capturing valuable data from your customers, but don’t yet have the resources or technology to move that data throughout your organization to power the wave of next steps that generate pipeline. Having data sit stagnant and not be enabled to drive future actions is one of the biggest issues event marketers face. If event marketers can put data into action to inform the next steps not only in marketing, but throughout the sales, customer success and product teams, they will prove event ROI to the business. Easier said than done! One way to accomplish this is to invest in technology that enables event data to seamlessly move from system to system. Certain Signal is one solution that delivers that kind of mobility.
4. Make your marketing ops team your BFF this year
The need to capture and enable data from events is what makes having a killer relationship with marketing operations a key priority. Relationship building should be constant, and way in advance of event execution. The key is to work with marketing ops early to map out how data can be used during and after events to make next step recommendations. Marketing operations today is operating as the backbone of marketing, ensuring technology is enabling the flow of data throughout a company. As Siddarth Taparia, senior vice president and head of strategic ecosystem marketing at SAP says in CMS Wire, “a big piece [of the evolution of marketing ops] is a change to a performance-driven, data-based culture that uses technology to remain competitive.” As a result, marketing operations, “offers an opportunity to drive the future of marketing.”
5. Stay on top of data regulations such as CCPA
Another reason why marketing ops should be your BFF this year? Data regulations. The last two years have had marketers aflutter complying with data regulations including GDPR. This year there’s another regulation being enacted called the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) and it goes into effect at the beginning of 2020. Similar to GDPR, this regulation enables customers and prospects who are residents of California to control their data more closely, whether that is through accessing, deleting or opting out of sharing or selling their information. Ensuring event registration forms and event data is in compliance with CCPA, similar to GDPR, will be important this year.
Need help getting started with your event data strategy for 2020? Certain can help by sharing some of the best practices customers like Microsoft, Rockwell and National Instruments have enacted. Set up a time with us and we’ll make recommendations that are relevant for your business.
Here’s to making event marketers data heroes in the New Year!
By Kristen Alexander, CMO, Marketing Advisor