Event-less Data vs. Data-less Events

Are you treating data and event marketing separately?

If you approach these two elements as separate lead generation tactics, you’re missing out and wasting resources. Don’t see it? Let’s discuss.

Scenario 1: You purchase data but have no plans to attend an event.

Armed with good intel, you know your audience. You know their behavior, preferences, habits, and can most likely predict their future purchase needs. This knowledge is the basis on which you should build your strategic initiatives to put your company’s product and/or services in front of them. MIT research found the direct correlation between data and success, saying that injecting big data and analytics into company operations are proven to be more productive and profitable.

With that said, identifying your audience is a crucial step, but only the beginning of your efforts… Data is only valuable if you can make money from it. (For more on that, see the lifecycle breakdown.)

You must use that data to reach this perfectly refined target audience. If you stop here, you’re essentially a data-voyeur. Now as off-putting as that sounds, it’s true; merely knowing and watching is clearly not enough for an ROI. You’re missing the engagement and most importantly, the conversion.

What better way to get in front of your potential customer than to be where they are? As in, literally get some face-to-face time with them. Events are one of, if not the most, personal and long lasting impact you can make.

“72 percent of visitors say the show itself influences their buying decisions; 87 percent of attendees will pass along some of the information they obtained at the show, 64 percent will tell at least six other people about it.”  (full article and citation here)

Be it huge industry trade shows or more intimate custom events, this is the time to connect. And you know what this message should be because of the data you had the foresight to acquire in the first place.

Scenario 2: You’re attending an event but have no idea who will be there or anything about them.

You’ve got a prime booth location, killer new graphics,  compelling collateral material, and feeling good about your presence. So, what are the demographics of the show? Any purchase or behavior indicators? Do they even know who you are?

What’s that? You don’t even know what legitimate leads might be there?

Essentially, you brought a knife to a gunfight. You’re ill-equipped and your message is more than likely not appropriate for the audience surrounding you. This is where data comes in to save the (hypothetical, wasteful) day!

Richard Fleck, Responsys Vice President of Strategic Services, states, “Without data, we don’t know where certain phases of the customer journey begin and end. We can use data to identify certain points in time. Data also reminds us that everyone’s journey is different.”

This is not limited to event presence, of course. This is for any and all marketing efforts. A Harvard Business Review article reports that “the more companies characterized themselves as data-driven, the better they performed on objective measures of financial and operational results. In particular, companies in the top third of their industry in the use of data-driven decision making were, on average, 5% more productive and 6% more profitable than their competitors.”

Moral of these scenarios? Don’t expect purchased data alone to bring you customers. Quite the opposite really… Data delivers you  opportunity. Reaching this audience and forming these valuable relationships is on you.