By James Huddelston, Sr. Director of Product Marketing, Certain
With their recent launch of ABM Essentials, Marketo has highlighted the growing need for marketers to deliver the kind of account-based experiences (ABX) that both build relationships and drive business results. Combining the power of ABM and customer experience management, ABX is really the next evolution of account-based marketing—the focus of ABX goes beyond targeting and procuring new customers, to how you engage with them throughout their customer journey.
As marketers, we understand just how important it is to provide a cohesive and wonderful experience for your customers throughout. And as consumers, we value how brands engage with us and the experiences they offer. A great example of providing a terrific experience through both online and offline channels: I recently walked into a relatively boutique clothing shop with whom I had purchased from online. Armed with a tablet, they checked me in and were immediately able to access my purchase and browsing history so they could get a quick sense of the style of clothes I tend to like. They were then able to take me directly to the kind of clothes I was looking for. This in-person, offline interaction was still catered to my interests because the retailer did a great job of capturing my digital intent signals and arming their employees with this information.
Events play an essential role in this new paradigm as they are the way that you can get face-to-face with your most important prospects and customers. It’s arguably the most critical channel for building and solidifying relationships and offering new, exciting and hands-on experiences.
The Essential Role of Events to ABX
Deploying great offline and online experiences for your customers extends to B2B as well. Events play an essential role in this new paradigm as they are the way that you can get face-to-face with your most important prospects and customers. It’s arguably the most critical channel for building and solidifying relationships and offering new, exciting and hands-on experiences. And providing memorable experiences can have a material impact on the bottom line—as Forrester notes, “Events offer the rare opportunity to meet customers in the flesh. But nearly two-thirds of event management software users don’t personalize the experience. Reversing this trend leads to higher-quality and more memorable experiences, with marketers tuning events to attendees’ unique preferences and objectives.”
So how do you incorporate events into your ABX strategy? Below are some ways to incorporate an ABX strategy and provide a greater, more personalized experience for attendees at your events:
1. Pre-event registration
First impressions are important! As you promote your event, make sure the registration process is easy and tailored to that individual. Build registration forms that pre-populate the information you already know about that attendee as they reach the page. Use logic in your forms to tailor questions based on their role, geography or other information that caters the experience to them.
If you include a session catalog for your event, make sure you are recommending sessions relevant to your attendees. Promote sessions based on other sessions they’ve registered for or other demographic and psychographic info you’ve collected during registration.
2. Event check-in
As your attendees check in for your event, look for ways to greet them personally. One way to do this is by making sure you have a check-in app that can notify members of your team when VIP guests arrive. With your team alerted, they can come to greet the guest personally. With an integrated check in app you can also do things like automatically invite certain guests to a VIP happy hour or 1:1 meeting with your executives immediately after they check in.
3. Tailored mobile notifications
Events can be overwhelming for guests. What session should I go to next? When is lunch? When do I leave and how do I get to the airport? With tailored push notifications via your event mobile app, you can create a truly personalized experience for attendees.
Send individual guests recommendations to sessions occurring that day based on sessions they attended the day prior. If they’ve included their travel itinerary in your event app, notify them of flight changes or transportation updates to provide peace of mind. Your guests will appreciate the personal touch.
4. In-event content
Get content to your guests that is relevant with how they’ve engaged with you during the event. Automatically add guests to nurture tracks based on the sessions they attend at your event. Send them offers that tie to content they’ve seen while at your event and is tailored to their role, interests and engagement.
5. Connect attendees
Facilitate connections between your guests and other like-minded guests, your partners, or key stakeholders within your business through the mobile app or email. Attendees consistently mention networking as one of the key reasons of attending in-person events, so they’ll appreciate you connecting them to others who can provide value.
6. Real time follow up post-event
Post-event, ensure your sales, customer success, and marketing teams are following up with your attendees in a timely and personalized way. With a strong event management software integration with marketing automation and CRM this shouldn’t be a problem. Ensure the digital engagement post-event ties back to sessions attended, conversations conducted and experiences had.
You’ll see a greater flow of leads, retention and loyalty from your customers when you treat them personally.
In today’s B2B marketing arena, events are a standout opportunity to not only collect the valuable insights needed to fuel your ABM strategy, but to bring ABX to life by putting you face-to-face with current and prospective customers.
When applying ABX methods to your events, you’ll engender greater loyalty from your customers and generate more pipeline from target accounts. And with events being one of the largest investments for most B2B enterprises in 2019, you need to ensure you are using every solution at your disposal to create a personalized experience for your attendees.
Certain is a Marketo LaunchPoint technology partner.