Live Events: Most effective marketing tool for SMB’s

As a marketer, I know too well how the digital revolution and online marketing has bolstered the marketing toolbox and over the past decade we’ve seen companies scrambling to improve their online presence and digital touch points.

While online advertising, social media and smart phones have all presented marketers with incredible capabilities; reach vast numbers of highly targeted audiences at much lower cost, access endless data streams and the ability to track and measure campaigns, why wouldn’t you be a total convert?  But have we overlooked one of the most important tools in the marketing arsenal?

According to research conducted by North American Content Marketing Institute 75% of B2B marketers surveyed voted In-person events as the most effective marketing tool. So if live events are not included in your marketing mix, here’s our top 3 reasons why you should.

Brand Exposure

Live events play a special role in gaining exposure to your brand and in my mind there’s no better place to give your customers some wow-factor with a slick seminar presentation or glamorous product launch. Events create lasting memories, encourage positive associations to your brand and get customers talking. Live events also provide an opportunity to promote your brand without direct selling. The study presented by Momentum Worldwide shows that live event experiences drive 65% of people to recommend a brand and 59% to make a purchase.

Lead Generation

What business doesn’t want to find new customers? Marketing tactics have taken a shift in recent years. Buying leads from list providers, cold calling and mass email blasts are seen as bad practice. Instead marketers are opting for more focus on being found by customers.

Your company website, content marketing and search campaigns are all great tools for lead generation but let’s not overlook the effectiveness of live events.

Industry events bridge the gap between online and offline marketing, it gives potential customers a chance to experience your products or services without the hard sell, live events provide your sales team with a captive engaged audience, willing to engage with your brand and learn about your latest products and services. Live events are also effective for servicing middle of the funnel leads (MOFU), that are not yet ready to buy. Perhaps a series of speedy breakfast seminars could be the catalyst to convert that lead into a loyal customer.

Relationship Building

The Eventbrite Pulse Report 2017 reported that SMB’s rank networking and relationship building as the top reason why to include live events in the marketing mix. We’ve all heard the term, ‘People buy people, not products.’ Businesses simply can’t compete with competitors on product alone. Live events allow customers to meet the face behind the brand and encourage customers to develop a more personal relationship with your brand – they get to see, touch and taste products.

Live events also support customer retention strategies rewarding your most profitable business partners with an awards night and gala dinner is a great way to show your gratitude. Live events are also effective for building two-way communication and gather immediate feedback from your customers making live events the perfect platform to launch new products and services as it allows you to address questions and issues in real time.

Planning an event?

BREC’s expert team are ready to chat to you about your next event. Ready to find out more?