With the recent increase in digital and hybrid events, event professionals and marketers have been faced with a number of questions as they map out their strategies for the year ahead. How do you truly personalize an attendee experience when the event goes digital? And how can you offer each individual attendee some semblance of the energy and momentum that comes from connecting with people face-to-face?
In a recent webinar, event marketing leaders from Certain and Engagio offered their own experiences applying an account-based marketing (ABM) strategy to execute digital and in-person events, and discussed why including ABM in your events strategy will be key to success in future events.
Shifting From In-Person to Digital
It’s become apparent in 2020 that there is a growing need for human interaction, and digital experiences have played a key role in keeping people connected throughout this time. With the collective need for companies to transition their in-person events to digital this year, people have been reevaluating their strategy as a whole. Many are realizing that they need to go beyond your typical web-based event to offer a truly an engaging and interactive experience.
But how do you create engaging digital experiences that help achieve your marketing and sales goals? The answers to these question varies, but there’s a strategy hiding in plain sight that most event marketers and professionals can easily tap into while mapping out their digital and hybrid events.
ABM is defined as “a go-to-market strategy that coordinates personalized marketing and sales efforts to land and expand target accounts.” While there are many account-based marketing tactics that can be used, the most popular include direct mail, human outreach, account advertising, web personalization and above all: events.
Sophie Stanley, Senior Marketing Specialist at Engagio, shared a few ways her team sets their events up for success using ABM strategies:
- Align Go-To-Market Teams: Weekly meetings with the go-to-market teams allow time to align on target accounts and brainstorm ways to keep in touch with key stakeholders before, during and after the event.
- Utilize Strategic Partnerships: Working with customers, partners, or individuals can help extend reach into target accounts
- Focus on the Attendee Experience: From beginning to end, it is important to focus on the attendee experience. This could include sending personalized messages and invites from people who have strong relationships with prospects and customers, sharing relevant content that matters to your target audience, or even sending out direct mail gifts that tie into your event theme.
Benefits of ABM for Events
“Events are a catalyst for bringing sales and marketing together – both to help generate demand and deepen relationships with customers.” – James Huddleston, VP of marketing at Certain
It’s no secret that account-based marketing and events go hand-in-hand. Whether you’re hosting, sponsoring or attending, events provide sales and marketing teams with key insights that can help establish and deepen relationships with prospects and customers. Using an ABM strategy for events allows you to focus your time and efforts on engaging with a set list of priority contacts within your target accounts while providing a meaningful attendee experience.
With events bridging the gap between human touch (digital and in-person) and technology, incorporating ABM into an events strategy can lead to go-to-market team alignment, positive customer experiences and engagement, and ultimately drive pipeline acceleration and increased close rates amongst target accounts.
ABM For Future Events
“The future of events is hybrid. There is a lot of opportunity for event professionals and marketers to include ABM strategies and hyper-personalization across both in-person and digital experiences.” – James Huddleston, VP of marketing at Certain
ABM will, without a doubt, be a huge part of future events. We have already been seeing multiple large enterprise companies implement ABM strategies into their digital events.
For example, one Certain customer tailored their registration process and event content to enhance the attendee experience from the start. When planning the digital event, they chose to create sessions and content that were tailored to individual personas and attendee types. As these sessions were promoted through a robust session catalog, the customer was able to capture important attendee data in real-time as people registered. Capturing intent data throughout the entire event process gave our customer the ability to not only hyper-personalize future events and content, but enable their sales teams to follow up with attendees based on their individual interests and have meaningful conversations moving forward.
Another customer has found a way to leverage Certain’s Touchpoint event app to execute an on-the-go digital event. As a large national health care provider, it was important to keep constant communication with their network of healthcare partners. They utilized Touchpoint as an engagement hub that provided opportunities for engagement such as surveys and live-polling to better understand the needs of each individual attendee. As many of their attendees were healthcare professionals with varying schedules, they were able to push relevant, timely content available to view on-demand through their event app, making content accessible for the varying needs of their guests.
Tips & Best Practices
Here are a few tips and best practices to follow when applying an ABM strategy to your event:
- Stick to smaller, hyper-personalized events or series of events that focus on target accounts or personas
- Stay aligned with your sales team. Schedule meetings to discuss your event audience, goals, topics, and follow-up plans throughout your event process.
- Focus on a tailored, meaningful attendee experience. Some tactics include:
- Direct mail and human outreach from your sales team
- Creating custom sessions, agendas, and topics to deliver your message, educate, and strengthen your relationships with prospects and customers
- Providing tailored experiences that blend larger broadcasts with account-specific meetings within a single event
- Keep your partners and customers involved; they can act as your biggest advocates.
- Hyper-personalization and meaningful engagement can lead to stronger reputation, relationships, and increased revenue
Interested in finding out how Certain can help implement ABM tactics into your events strategy? Contact us today to speak with one of our event experts.