Julia Manoukian

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June 7, 2018

How to Improve Lead Conversion Rates at Sponsorships, Community Events and More

Julia Manoukian

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Audience size is not an effective measure of how well your event turned out. That might sound counter-intuitive, but bodies at the event is not a measure of customer sentiment. It’s not even correlated to positive brand perception. What total attendance numbers do tell you is how well your promotions team did their jobs in getting the word out about the event.

Once they are there, data collection has traditionally been more difficult. For about 82 percent of marketers, it’s just not possible to quantify attendee interactions at their major events. That’s a big problem because without collecting actionable data about how customers feel during your live events, sponsorships, branch openings, VIP events, etc., you will never really know what’s working and what’s not.

How do you determine how much value your live events are actually providing value for your organization? What is the ROI of your events compared with an email campaign or a digital promotion?

Better Outcomes

New research from Enterprise Events Marketing indicates that software for lead data capture at community events and sponsorships results in 20 percent better attendance at future events, 27 percent greater productivity, a reduction in costs by 20 to 30 percent.

Marketo research found that event marketing tends to return a lead to opportunity conversion rate about 3X higher than email, yet even events are only one third as effective as the top conversion channel: referrals. Fortunately, there are a handful of techniques and technologies that not only help you improve conversions during the event, but bump up enthusiastic referrals after the event.

Here are 5 ways brands are applying data to make the most of in-person events and give their customers with more connected experiences in real world.

1. Personalization in Person

There are plenty of brands using personalization for online interactions in order to deliver more relevant ads and content, but leading brands are seeing more dramatic results with personalization at live events.

Mastercard, in association with jewelry retailer Swarovski, created an app experience where customers placed their own smartphones into a jewel-encrusted VR headset. Consumers navigated through the virtual rooms by moving their heads in different directions. They could then personalize their own virtual homes and purchase decorative crystal. You don't need a stunt app like this, however,  to create a personalized experience for your customers.

2. Progressive Profiling

Taking personalization one step further, progressive profiling eliminates irrelevant options as you learn more about your prospects.

Salesforce outlined how companies can use progressive profiling using the example of a hypothetical outdoor apparel retailer targeting prospects who hadn’t purchased anything yet. They could target those prospects with an email or online popup that asked which destination choice interested them most: the ski slopes of Vail or hiking in the Grand Canyon. Their answers would then up the prospect’s profile in your CRM so they could receive more relevant offers pushed to their phone at a live event.

3. Automation for Pre- and Post-Event Contacts

Keeping customers is far less expensive, and far more profitable, than trying to find new ones.

Bank Austria used automation to track customer interactions in the branch and predictive analytics to determine which actions indicate a probability of customer churn on the horizon. They were able to use that data to automatically send out tailored re-engagement messages and then alert the branch staff to take actions that encourage renewals. Automation can help brands stay engaged with attendees on social networks after an event, strengthening connections and promoting referral traffic.

4. Standardized data collection software

Data ownership and the new policies regarding data collection as required by the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation are on the minds of marketers everywhere.

Financial services firms have been especially sensitive about compliance and regulation issues around data collection because only 40 percent of consumers say that banks currently understand what is most important to them.

That understanding can only come from data, but that data must be collected in a way that doesn’t damage consumer trust. Leading brands have found that a central software hub for data collection streamlines the process of data flow and provides a single source of truth about their customers, without exposing the organization to unnecessary regulatory risk. The dynamic in the banking industry is changing from one of primarily personal in-branch interactions to customer-driven digital first efficiencies.

5. App Building at Scale

In the old days, software was a massive project that took teams of developers months or years to create. Today, financial services firms can create a fully functional app for every sponsorship event.

The app can be built around the nature of the event, including only functions like license scanning for instant registration, CRM integration for tailored experiences and more. After the event, the app can deliver all of your essential event KPIs and analytics to a reporting dashboard for instant sharing with stakeholders.

Greater Expectations

There’s a clear message that both customers and executives can agree on: The successful implementation of marketing tech proves your value to the organization while it provides a more connected brand experience for your customers. Customers have come to expect personalization, data security, interactive event apps, and social connections with brands before, during, and after live events.finserv-marketing-data-events-experiential

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