Multi touch point marketing is rapidly picking up momentum in the B2B events industry, and your event sales team need to get on board.
Your B2B customers have high expectations and want to be engaged via the medium that best suits them, at their own convenience and in a way that is tailored to their every need. Just as importantly, your sponsorship clients are demanding much more for their hard-won buck. As a consequence, your sales team need to add value for sponsors at the same time as offering a more integrated and personalised experience for delegates across multiple touch points.
What do we mean by ‘touch points’?
A touch point occurs whenever your brand interacts with a prospect or customer - before, during and after a transaction. This could happen at any point along the B2B buying cycle.
A touch point that engages the customer through inbound marketing tactics is the most elegant way forward as it enables conversation with your audience. This happens through social media, printed media, SEO, online blogs, value add content, and this approach nurtures relationships for all involved. Particularly when marketing events, it adds value and drives revenue.
On the flip side, some organisations are sending between 18-25 emails to their prospects as well as making numerous phone calls AND sending follow up emails from telesales teams. These also count as touch points, but damaging ones, as they kill responses, annoy and reduce revenues.
Add value for your sponsorship clients
Be warned, your sponsorship clients also want to get in on the inbound action. They too are looking to get more involved with the ‘community’ aspect of your communications.
But listen up sales teams, you can turn this demand to your advantage and add value to your sponsorship packages. With a multi touch approach you can offer wider coverage for sponsors throughout the year as opposed to event by event. Your sponsorship clients can benefit from your inbound tactics and you can add marginal revenue to your bottom-line. They also have quality content to share and leads to generate.
It’s all about the customer
At its heart, touch point marketing revolves around the customer. As such, it should be timed around their behaviour rather than driven by your conference schedule, sponsor demands, sales cycle or budgets. (Yeah right, what about my bottom line, you might say).
It is essential to acknowledge however, that customer behaviour is not static and, especially with the rise of mobile, customers will be consuming your content in all manner of ways, day and night.
Are you integrating your approach?
Benefits of integrated and multi touch point marketing
There are many benefits to a multi touch approach. By delivering your messaging across a range of media you can significantly increase its impact. Different channels have different strengths so be sure to consider this in your multi touch strategy. For example, email campaigns can be used to directly link through to additional content and video can visually demonstrate the quality of your events.
Online communities, like these ones, can play a huge part in your multi-channel strategy as your value add content will be sitting in your blog: this is the beginning of realising return on investment for content driven strategies. The more engagement you have with your community and those interested in becoming part of it, the more appealing it will be for your sponsorship clients, and these benefits should be highlighted when selling sponsorship packages.
Tips for a successful multi touch approach
Use analytics to see which channels are working for you. Not all channels will be worth the effort, but you won’t know until you try.
When you come to evaluate your campaign, credit all touch points as a package rather than just the first or last one in the sequence that generated the sale.
Wherever possible invest in a marketing automation platform for an integrated approach and robust tracking.
Add value for your sponsorship clients by involving them in your inbound tactics, and by spreading coverage with a multi touch approach.
What is your multi touch point marketing strategy?
The story we most frequently hear from event companies, is that their organisations are sending around 20 emails to prospects, calling on numerous occasions and following these calls up with emails from telesales teams. This approach can be hugely damaging for all parties concerned, because it fatigues the channel, kills responses, damages your reputation and has been clearly shown to reduce delegate revenues.
On the flipside, we’ve also seen examples of organisations with a multi touch point strategy that engages the customer or prospect through inbound marketing tactics, and subtly progresses the conversation towards a sale. This approach nurtures relationships for everyone in the value chain, adds value overall and drives revenues.
What is your current strategy? Are you annoying customers or are you elegantly progressing them through a multi touch point communication strategy? Would love to hear where you stand.
Let us review your current marketing approach free of charge, and receive immediate advice on how to drive better engagement, and ultimately revenue. Book your free assessment today to start seeing results.
Image credit: J E Theriot