The era of bad marketing is over. Simple as that. Nowadays, marketing departments have access to an incredible amount of communication tools that are gradually changing the game of brand promotion. Moreover, we are witnessing the slow death of faceless and inhuman marketing strategies designed and applied only to tick off a “to do” list of useless brand activities.
According to a Freeman global study, “Today’s chief marketing officers, brand managers, and event organizers are focusing more on in-person brand experiences to engage more with customers and clients to build loyalty.”
According to Chris Cavanaugh, executive vice president and CMO of Freeman, marketers are gradually realizing the importance of running live events as a way of engaging customers in brand experiences. Cavanaugh notes, “Some of the research also showed that the more personalized the event or experience, the more effective it could be and that personalization was something that audiences were seeking out—integrating technology and data in order to make the real-life experiences more highly personable and immersive.”
In other words, by planning and running branded events and using the right digital tools and technologies, marketers are able to generate a more meaningful product or service experience, and not only increasing brand awareness, but also collecting new leads.
How? Here are the top three strategies marketing departments should focus on if they want to plan a brand event that will generate leads:
Strategy 1. Choose connection over communication
In his articleWhy Brand Experience Is the Future of Marketing, Chris Cavanaugh argues, “Brand experiences don’t just communicate—they connect.” When planning brand events, avoid settling for flat, one-sided communication (in which you are the narrator and the audience is the listener).
Instead, encourage your attendees to connect with your brand’s narrative, providing them with meaningful event experiences. Engage them through gamification, collaborative workshops, virtual reality sessions, live quizzes, active participation, or co-creative environments.
This way, you’ll transform your brand event from an inhumane attempt to sell products (your audience is too smart for that and will be insulted) into a meaningful and connecting experience for your attendees (and potential leads).
Strategy 2. Generate personalized experiences
Who is the king or the queen of your event? No, it’s not your brand … it’s your attendee. If you take away just one thing from this article, remember this: you are running brand events to serve your audience, and not to aggressively promote your brand.
Your attendees are your potential leads; thus, your events should focus on their needs, address their problems, and help them accomplish their dreams. How? By generating personalized experiences. This means you need to know exactly who your buyer personas are before you plan an event.
You can’t treat your attendees as one collective unit that is equal in all aspects. Each guest has his or her expectations and motivations for attending your event. So don’t let them down. Use powerful tools such as Eventory and transform every move or action your attendees make into valuable data. Then, segment your guests into different categories and design customized experiences for each group. Be sure that all of your attendees get what they want and expect.
Strategy 3. Talk about your attendees’ issues
Good marketing events will aim to transform attendees’ perceptions, thoughts, and behaviors. In other words, if your intention is to run an event and collect new leads, you must focus on changing the way your guests perceive your brand and create a need for them to purchase your product or service.
You can do this by wrapping the event around different solutions to problems your audience may experience. This way, you’ll encourage self-actualization (through finding practical answers to possible issues), a phenomenon that stays at the heart of transformation. For example, if your brand helps people build online businesses, think about planning an event designed around the challenges that solopreneurs encounter (and how to avoid them).
If you are about to plan a brand event, stop and ask yourself how you can add real value to your attendees’ (professional) lives by inviting or encourage them to attend. Compared to other marketing strategies such as social media ads or campaigns and trade show presentations, running core events requires a higher degree of knowledge and sensitivity to your audience’s needs. Thus, use this incredible tool (brand events) wisely to connect honestly and directly with your attendees (potential leads), talk about their real problems, and provide highly personalized experiences.