CRM + Event Marketing = ROI
In a world led by buyers empowered with social media, marketers are learning to take advantage of every opportunity to develop relationships, generate goodwill, and earn the trust of customers. The modern buyer is attracted by pre-purchase interactions and the need to gain a sense of the company’s focus, customer-orientation and personality before parting with their cash. A well-balanced marketing mix that includes event marketing is critical to connecting with as many potential customers as possible. Whether you are hosting a webinar, a product launch or a workshop, event marketing should be treated as an integral part of the overall demand generation mix. From a glitzy bash fit for celebrities or a local business exhibition aimed at SME’s, properly planned and executed events can generate buzz long after the event has ended.
Events offer an unparalleled level of customer engagement, with an opportunity for personal interaction that builds loyalty. Plus, every marketer knows that companies can generate the biggest ROI on their budget by retaining and growing their existing customer base. The challenge is to gain the attention of your customers amid the distractions of daily work. Events provide you with the chance to upsell customers by introducing them to new products or services they may not already know about – or may not realize they need. It’s also a great opportunity to connect with your customers and gain insights into their current challenges – valuable feedback for the sales, customer service and product development teams.
While planning events may sound like a fun job, it is time consuming, resource consuming, costly and relies upon the effective coordination of multiple parties. From delegate registrations, to supplier coordination and budget control, managing events can be complex and expensive, especially as there are many moving parts involved.
Event Management and CRM
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is an essential part of event management; your event is your product, and your delegates are your prospects and customers.
To successfully plan, execute and manage an event, you first need to understand your audience and develop an event experience that delivers to their needs, wants and expectations. Understanding your audience is crucial to creating the right experience for the right delegates.
Traditional CRM software and customer management systems are generally not able to manage the full cycle of events so businesses will often use other tools alongside their CRM system to manage the entire process. Many companies are starting to think of CRM as more than just contact management for storing customer names, phone numbers, and history, and CRM software vendors are starting focus and capitalize on the potential CRM has for transforming into more of a business efficiency platform. Microsoft has begun pushing the idea of XRM, i.e. “Anything Relationship Management”, resulting in technologies expanding to cater for more than the initial intended use, for example, Microsoft Dynamics CRM has recently developed an event management module as part of its offering. By utilizing a CRM solution that incorporates event management, you can easily define your target segment based on the abundance of demographic and behavioral information that you’ve previously collected, transforming your target segments with finely qualified attendees.
CRM software can not only simplify your event management activity, it also makes your event highly effective. By using a CRM solution that incorporates event management, you can benefit from historic customer intelligence to help you drive attendees to the event, develop relationships with registrants, and report on your successes to prove your event marketing ROI. This integrated approach can maximize the event management process by enabling you to easily promote events to your CRM database, ensure efficient follow-up calls are made by the sales teams and providing detailed integrated reports to demonstrate ROI.
Executing a successful event relies upon creating a memorable experience for delegates, methodical planning management and ultimately delivering on event objectives such as a specific ROI, attendance levels, post-event feedback and lead generation. While marketing events can be fun to plan and execute, as with any marketing activity you need to prove the value of your event, a healthy ROI and that investing in event marketing drives opportunities, pipeline and sales so that budget can be allocated to future events. By taking an integrated approach to event management and CRM, you can spend more time planning how to “wow” your delegates with innovative entertainment and less time juggling admin and multiple management systems.
Tags: Event Marketing
Author: Gareth Cartman