If there is one thing that event professionals today know to be true, it is making meaningful connections with prospects and accounts is a powerful thing. But for several reasons, it is not always easy or achievable to bring everyone together in the same space. The rise of digital and hybrid events has left event professionals wondering how to map out marketing strategies ahead of time. During the unprecedented times brought by the pandemic, ABM campaigns have proven to be an effective medium to target customers and close deals.
This article revaluates event marketing through the ABM lens and is geared to help event professionals incorporate ABM into their event strategy.
What is ABM?
ABM or Account Based Marketing is a marketing technique that focuses on personalized marketing and sales efforts through virtual and hybrid events to land potential leads. It essentially means personalizing the brand’s content, communications, events, and overall interactions for each lead or customer instead of a generalized campaign. Almost 84% of event marketers have reported that an ABM strategy has helped them retain existing relationships and expand their customer base.
Why Adopt an ABM Event Strategy?
ABM events are organized occasions that are usually attended or organized, keeping specific accounts in mind. An ABM event strategy can help event professionals identify, attract, interact, engage, convert, and close deals with customers and prospect accounts. Data analytics conducted by ITSMA indicates that almost 80% of marketers measuring ROI believe an ABM strategy outperforms all other marketing campaigns. With such high stakes, strategically incorporating creative ABM campaigns is critical to achieving sales and marketing goals.
The Shift from In-Person to Hybrid or Digital Events
The global pandemic that began in 2020 made it apparent that digital experiences with interaction are essential to keep people engaged at all times. Companies need to reevaluate their marketing plan and incorporate digital strategy events that go beyond traditional events.
Event professionals can create engaging experiences that tap into leads and existing accounts while mapping digital and hybrid events through Aventri’s fully integrated event management platform. Aventri also offers ABM tools, such as virtual booths that event professionals can utilize to track the activity and engagement of companies visiting websites and digital assets.
Benefits of ABM for Events
When existing and target customers interact with products or services, they always think about how the product can benefit them. Even if you have a great product, it will not convert if your customer cannot make a connection. An ABM strategy allows marketers and event professionals to engage with priority contacts while providing meaningful experiences.
As events bridge the gap between the personal touch and technology, incorporating ABM into the event strategy can lead to team alignment that creates positive customer experiences. Such engagement can ultimately drive customers through the marketing funnel for increased close rates. If executed properly, an ABM strategy can benefit both the customers and the marketers as it specifically addresses the customer’s needs, resulting in long-term valuable relationships.
Event Based Marketing Examples
Event professionals can use online and offline activities to develop comprehensive and personalized campaigns that target individual customers, prospects, or companies. Using a holistic, integrated ABM approach offers various touchpoints for multiple brand impressions and conversion.
Event professionals can tailor the registration procedure and event content right from the beginning to improve the attendee experience. While organizing the event, marketers can create and promote sessions through a robust catalog that captures the individual persona of each attendee. These tailored sessions can help capture attendee intent data in real-time and hyper-personalized future content and events. Following up with surveys is also a great way to focus on each attendees’ interests and how you can have valuable conversations in the future.
Event professionals can leverage personalization and targeting through customized event websites and use engagement hubs such as live polling and surveys that offer opportunities to understand the attendees better. This can help push out relevant, timely content that fulfills the varying needs of the guests.
Key ABM Tips and Tricks for Success
The future of events is undoubtedly hybrid. Event professionals and marketers have an excellent opportunity to incorporate digital event strategy include ABM tactics, in their marketing plan for hyper-personalization across all customer experiences. Here is a list of ABM tactics event professionals can adopt to set their events for success:
Identify Key Stakeholders: After you have decided to incorporate ABM into your marketing strategy, identify key companies you want as clients, identify the stakeholders in the company and map out the organization. It is critical to understand which stakeholders in the company have a circle of influence and how you can dominate this influence.
Stay Aligned with the Team: Event professionals are advised to meet regularly to keep the team aligned on topics, goals, and follow-up plans. Weekly discussions with the team can help you stay aligned on target customers and gives an opportunity to brainstorm creative ABM campaign ideas.
Develop Relationship Well Before the Event: It is recommended not to wait until the event to build a relationship with your prospects and customers. Once you have narrowed down on the individuals and contacts, tactfully strategize your outreach by sending out informational content through monthly newsletters or emails that help build trust and respect the specific reference you are looking to connect with.
Utilize Existing Strategic Partnerships: Work with your existing individuals, partners, customers, and companies that can help expand the reach to target accounts.
Focus on the Attendee Experience: End-to-end attendee experience is important for the success of your online or hybrid event. Invest time and efforts in sending personalized messages and invites from employees who have strong partnerships with prospects and customers. Also, share relevant content aligned with the attendees’ interests and talk about what matters to the target audience.
ABM event strategy may require research, persistence, and patience in the beginning. However, when coupled with virtual or hybrid events it can yield incredible results that other marketing solutions might not achieve. Event professionals need to tap into the ABM strategy while mapping out digital and hybrid events to get closer to achieving their marketing goals.