How to convince your CMO to invest in the corporate event management software?
More and more companies choose to invest in corporate event management software. The Chief Marketing Officer is the one who usually decides about the allocation of marketing budgets for particular tools. One of the most important CMO challenges is the selection of such tools that will bring the greatest return on investment. How to convince the CMO to such a solution? Learn how to prepare for a conversation and how to approach the biggest and most common objections.
To convince the CMO to invest in enterprise event management software, first, you need to do your research and be prepared for the conversation. List and justify all “pros” and try to predict what will be the biggest objections of your interlocutor. Reach for research and examples of well-known companies to show in detail how effective marketing strategies use events and well-chosen corporate event management software to complete marketing goals quickly and effectively.
Will the CMO be willing to invest in corporate event marketing software?
Gartner, the American leading research and advisory company, recently published CMO Spend Survey for 2018-2019. In this survey, we can read, that CMO’s martech (short form of Marketing Technology – term that covers marketing software of all kinds) budget allocation grows from 22% to 29%.
According to Gartner’s researchers:
Marketing technology has accounted for an increasingly significant share of marketing expense budgets in recent years. In 2018, this march of martech shows no signs of slowing down. Up from 22% in 2017, martech now accounts for a whopping 29% of the total marketing expense budget, making martech the single largest area of investment when it comes to marketing resources and programs.
As you can see, the trend is in your favor. CMOs recognize the need to invest in software. This is great news for a company and for a marketing manager. Tools of this kind significantly enhance marketing performance and ease the event management process and coordination. If the person in charge of marketing dollars leans towards this investment, soon you can put your hands on the software that will grant you the competitive advantage in your area.
A cutting-edge event management software, like Eventory, becomes the standard in larger companies. Soon they will become a must also in the smaller ones.
How to convince your CMO to invest in corporate event marketing software?
As for any important investment talk, you should also be well prepared for this one. Make a thorough research on the software possibilities and market trends. List all the marketing goals you will be able to complete with the chosen tool. Be aware of all the pain points of your CMO to address them in advance. For example, the scenario of such a conversation may look like this:
- Outline the issue
- Present the solution (Enterprise Event Management Software)
- Show the benefits of the solution and the benefits that its implementation will bring
- Go through possible threats and how they can be prevented
- Show specific products, a cost statement and a return on investment estimation
How to present the general market context to your CMO?
In the first place, you should outline the general market context to your boss. For this purpose, you can use, for example, the quoted Gartner’s Survey. It will help you explain that investment in martech is a strong trend that is going well on the market and it is worth considering. Root your request in the solid data. Show that the reasonable allocation of marketing budget leads to tangible marketing results and enhanced efficiency of marketing specialists.
You can also operate numerous examples of well-known companies from various industries that successfully apply event marketing in their strategy. Such examples could be the use of software while organizing complex events such us the Yacht Racing Forum, or PowerUp! Another well-recognized company that rocks at event marketing is RedBull. They use it for brand/product promotion, and build the whole community with their events. You can learn a lot from the way Red Bull uses events to nurture and maintain customer relationships.
How to introduce the enterprise event management software to your CMO?
First, remind him of the essence of the event marketing. You can use some of our tips on how to explain Event Marketing meaning to COO.
Two short sentences will allow you to make the right background for further discussion about the solutions supporting event marketing. These sentences are:
- Event marketing is not about promoting events.
- Event marketing is a tool for achieving marketing goals, the same as for example content marketing.
Changing the perspective will help you justify why you need corporate event marketing software. And here’s why…
This content-event analogy goes like this:
Content marketing has been in use since two or more people were able to tell stories and exchange goods. Think about all messengers with invitations or extra crispy news! Sales pitches were present ever since. People always used words to sell and advertise their products.
For years, content was just one of the means of reaching the audience. It worked, but no one had the tools (or idea) to measure its performance. Then suddenly, tools for content managers started to spring up like mushrooms. The result was amazing. Content managers gained the new, well-deserved position in the company’s marketing landscape. The major shift came from the fact that they were finally able to measure, manage and control content properly.
A similar scheme can be seen in the case of event marketing. Over the years, events have been present in everyday life – since two people were able to gather and do some public shenanigans together. The main measure of their effectiveness was the number of participants or tickets sold. Unfortunately, these statistics are not enough to properly evaluate an event and may bring some confusion. Back then, nobody even thought about analyzing anything more. It seemed impossible to measure this whole, complex process.
But then the change came…
Until suddenly someone saw a niche, which was a need to examine an event thoroughly and measure its effectiveness on various levels. At the moment, technology was developed enough to make it possible. This need forced the creation of appropriate tools. Currently, the awareness of companies using event marketing regarding the need to use this data and dedicated software is growing significantly.
In this old shot, the software can be useful only at ticket sales and check-in. In a new, complemented approach, the software will be used to clear data and their subsequent analytics. It will also help determine realistic and relevant KPIs and determine ROI.
What’s more, the martech for events will improve the coordination of work and communication of the team involved in the organization of the event. This was used, for example, during the organization of the last year’s HackYeah hackathon. HackYeah is the biggest stationary hackathon in Europe. To stay on track and manage such a huge event, the organizers had to stay constantly in touch with all the team. With this example, you can show to your CMO how important it is to secure these areas of the event organizers and win some extra points in your discussion.
It is also worth mentioning that, according to Gartner’s research, martech and analytics belong to the group of vital marketing capabilities. In Survey, we read that:
Despite the focus on CX [customer-related capabilities, including customer-analytics], capabilities around customer retention and growth have lost some ground, falling behind others such as marketing technology, digital business transformation, and innovation. And customer acquisition fares even worse cited only by 16% of CMOs as a top three capability.
What are the benefits of event martech and how to present them to CMO?
Enterprise event management software changes the work quality of every event manager and marketing manager. However, in order to convince the CMO to purchase a new technology supporting event marketing, you have to reach for solid arguments.
First, saving and optimizing marketing spendings
The implementation of corporate event marketing software gives specialists and managers a powerful tool for analyzing the behavior of the target group. It can measure the entire spectrum of behaviors – from the way people move around the venue, through activity on lectures and interactions between participants, to picking the best stand of the event. Access to this data helps to consciously choose partners, speakers and select event activities that will attract and engage crowds. This, in turn, allows for wise investment in marketing dollars.
But it is not all. A good recognition of the needs and profile of the target group leads to the better promotion of the event. For the same money, you can reach more people potentially interested in the event and what will be presented at it. Long story short – in every aspect, you can make sure that your marketing dollars are spent in an efficient way that will bring tangible results.
Secondly, getting better partners and sponsors
The analytical data packed in the report after an event makes an excellent basis for renegotiating the prices of sponsorship packages before the next edition. Based on real data, you can show the sponsors how many leads they gained during the event and make them aware of the true value of being its co-creator. With this set of information, CMO can also reach better and more attractive companies and pitch them to become event sponsors. It will contribute to the bigger revenue from the event marketing.
The proper preparation of the report is in this case paramount. See what should be included in such a report!
Third, an increase in profits
The ideal situation would be to invite only potential hot leads to the events. With analytics of customer behavior, you can try to create a persona for event marketing. Preparing the ideal customer profile will help you choose the theme and event logistics to attract those who will quickly and easily bring the organizer closer to the goals.
Furthermore, event buyer personas ease targeting the promotional campaigns and thus optimizing costs (again). If you want to start creating a profile of your model customer, check our buyer persona for event marketing 101!
Fourth, effective marketing strategies use events
As I have already mentioned in the article Why the best business strategies can’t afford ignoring events?:
Competitive business strategies are created in consideration of the companies’ individual values, goals, and aspirations.
Marketing strategies assume the implementation of various marketing goals, such as generating leads, strengthening employer branding, or promoting a specific brand image. To achieve these goals, strategies involve a variety of tools. Of course, as long as they stay aligned with core values and the brand’s image.
Events are one of the most effective marketing tools that allow you to complete different goals. They are an extremely popular form of promoting both company and its products. According to American Express, Conferences and tradeshows account for one-fifth or more of planned meetings activity in North America and Europe. It is hard to imagine that a multi-layered marketing strategy bypasses such an important group of tools.
So if your company aims at the omnichannel, multi-dimensional marketing strategy, bare in mind to include such an important marketing tool in it. Otherwise, some areas of interest (i.e. marketing goals) may not be fully covered and addressed.
What are the main objections and concerns of the CMO regarding investing in martech and how to overcome them?
It is obvious that during your conversation a multitude of objections will arise in the CMO’s head. After all, it is, among other things, one of the CMO challenges to filter the information, including those regarding various investments and verify if they are relevant. You can wait for the CMO to ask you questions, or – in advance – put the answer to the most common objections in your agenda. So what are the most popular CMO objections and how to overcome them?
Objection 1: Costs
Software costs, it’s a fact. But so do Facebook ads, office equipment or Microsoft Office licenses. However, these are expenses that nobody quarrels with. Why? Because they are considered indispensable for the functioning of the company. They have grown into the culture of the organization to such an extent that nobody even thinks about planning corporate monthly expenses without taking them into account in the budget.
How to deal with this objection?
First of all, show event marketing as a vital part of marketing strategy and one of the basic marketing management tools. Then, remind that the event marketing will be the more effective the better you will be able to measure it. Show what data you can get thanks to the appropriate enterprise event management software. Also, show what financial and non-financial benefits will bring such a change. It would be good if you could already show the estimation of investment development at this stage. Include in it elements such as:
- Investment cost
- Income in the following months
- Additional benefits in the incoming months
- Saving specialist work time (also converted into profit)
- The simulation, after how many months the investment will be returned
Be precise in your research. This will help you break through the first, most obvious doubts of the CMO.
Objection 2: No one will use this software
The second popular blocker of software investment is the statement that no one will use it. There is this deep and justified concern that the investment will be misguided and will bring losses to the company and frustration to the employees.
It is easy to understand. Many technological innovations are too complicated and unintuitive. Employees do not see the benefits of using them and are continuing with their proven methods. Any attempt to enforce reliance on the purchased software will be associated with an increase in their frustration and dissatisfaction.
How to deal with this objection?
Even while choosing a software, check which one is the simplest and best suits the flow of your organization. To test different solutions, invite your team, especially those directly responsible for organizing the events. Such baptism of fire will give you an idea of whether the software is functional and will work well in everyday use. Also, prepare a plan for what actions you will use the chosen software. Pick KPIs for them and show how will you implement the software step by step. If you have a ready plan in your mind how to use the enterprise event management software, then your CMO does not need to be afraid of whether someone will use it.
Objection 3: You will need to buy a lot of add-ons to make the software work
Many solutions available on the market are not complete products, not to mention their trial versions. Often when you pay a lot of money you can get a very basic version of the product. Unfortunately, to discover at least half of its potential you need to buy several modules and add-ons. It is not surprising then that the CMO will pay attention to this aspect.
How to deal with this objection?
Above all, aim for a product that is a complete ecosystem and does not require a lot of additives to work the way you need. Familiarize yourself with the list of features of the tested platforms. Think about what marketing goals you want to complete with the help of events and what types of features you will need for it. Divide these features into groups.
A must is the base functionality for your plans. Without them, you will not realize your plan.
Basics are still functionalities from the core group. However, these can be generated to some extent in your tools.
Nice to have – these are functionalities useful for your purposes, but not necessary for their implementation.
Razzle-dazzle – this is the last group – there are the ornaments that you will not use.
On the basis of these criteria, you will be able to choose from the market offer these event management tools that will allow you to achieve your goals and will not require expensive development. Show them to your CMO with a brief comment.
How to present selected software for event management CMO?
You already know more or less what kind of information you want to include in your summary. Many of them will cover with financial aspects, some will concern management issues and some will be connected to the professional development of specialists. A list of selected solutions is best shown in the table. This allows you to easily view all the pros and cons of each solution and immediately look at their market context.
Some elements of the list are almost mandatory.
- The first of them is the price. You must show the prices of individual solutions.
- Then it is worth comparing the most important features of each tool that is available in the selected package.
- Another element should be areas that software can help you handle with. Think about whether it will be used only for marketing events, or whether you will use it also for recruitment campaigning, improving the employer branding image, or the office Xmas party.
- Also, pay attention to the ease of use. Together with your team, give the points for the chosen tools and add a brief summary of the test period.
- In the end, show the pro/con summary of each tool and indicate your favorite.
Choosing the right event management software can cause many unexpected bumps. There are a few differences between solutions available on the market. Some of them are subtle, yet significant in a bigger picture.
When preparing for a conversation with the CMO, remember to carefully examine the solutions available on the market and choose the one that will be the best for the goals of your marketing department.
During the conversation, try to stick to a certain pattern. This way, you will not get lost in the argumentation and you will move smoothly between successive phases of the conversation. What’s more, you will be ready to discuss all possible objections of your CMO.
Remember that your interlocutor is a very busy person. Make your best to help them decide and show how corporate event management software will help meet the company’s needs and address CMO challenges.
Do not be afraid to conduct a simple investment simulation to assess when it will pay back and what profit it will bring in the future. This will be valuable information for everyone. It will set the time frame for achieving the next KPIs, and employees will gain the new motivation to fully use the chosen tool.
And finally, remember – CMO is also a human. If you want to convince him to invest in event marketing software, talk to him with passion and infect him with the idea of a modern approach to event marketing.
Do you agree with our list? Let me know in the comment!