How to Choose an Event Marketing Agency, Part 2: From Point Solutions to Platform

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In case you missed Part 1 of this post, check it out here!

INTRODUCTION:

Point Solutions. It’s a term that sounds actionable and positive. In practice, however, it can be the primary cause of a fragmented event marketing program.

PC Magazine defines a point solution as “solving one particular problem without regard to related issues. Point solutions are widely used to fix a problem or implement a new service quickly.1” The key words in this sentence are “without regards to other issues.”

We'd like to examine how they hinder instead of help the agencies that work on your business of event marketing, and why enterprise-wide technology systems in your event marketing department can overcome the problem. 

How to Choose an Event Marketing Agency



Many Chefs, Too Many Tools:

As an event planner, you know there is an advantage to having multiple agencies on your roster. The more “chefs” you have working on your business the more ideas they can cook up. While this is a good thing, there is also a tendency for agencies to work with their own “utensils” which can get messy fast.

A classic example of this might be an auto manufacturer that uses a staffing agency for regional car shows that utilizes its own lead capture software, relies on another agency for its test drive program with another technology system, and yet another for its new model showcase.

While each agency it hires might be “best of breed,” this point solution approach makes it difficult to standardize and share data between themselves and your enterprise, hindering their ability to capture and analyze it with any consistency. Sure, enterprise CRM can certainly help in this effort, but CRM’s priorities are usually not 100% aligned with the Event Marketing Department. Event Marketing Departments benefit immensely from data that helps them measure and manage their own activities and align with enterprise goals, not just simply pump leads into CRM. Therefore, an enterprise-wide sophisticated lead capture system can help the Event Marketing Department leverage its investment into activities while simultaneously standardizing and channeling the valuable data that CRM wants. As the saying goes you can’t manage what you can’t measure.2

Just think of what drag this point solution approach can be for great event marketing agencies who are always anxious to prove their impact. This doesn’t have to be.

 

From Point Solutions to Platform:

Many event marketers (perhaps without even knowing it) work with some form of an event marketing platform to gain efficiencies and economies of scale. This type of platform is well implemented at a national level but remains under-utilized for regional events and activations.

While this is a huge step up from using point solutions to solve every problem, it is still not that useful in determining the contributions of various agencies to enterprise goals because it does not leverage “big data.”

Event Marketing Departments benefit the most when their event marketing platform enables them to centrally manage and measure the impact of all agency partners, vendors, other resources and activities.

 

Big Data = One Big Solution:

The biggest and best way to overcome the problem of point solutions is to implement a true data-driven approach to event marketing at the enterprise level. Standardizing the enterprise on a single event marketing platform helps you analyze the impact of each contributor to your program. In short, you can make decisions based on “big data.”

The disadvantage of point solutions is that they fix things without regards to other issues.3 Congregating and analyzing data from international, national and regional events and analyzing it allows you to measure relative performance and R.O.I. 24/7.

An event marketing platform like EventCENTRAL from G2Planet can not only help you assess the relative ROI of each event and activation on a quarterly basis but it also can help you showcase the impact of ideas “cooked up” by your creative agencies-and helps you validate who gets a little more budget next quarter. It can even help you isolate the impact of certain competencies you may need as you expand your agency roster.

Furthermore, because a cloud-based event marketing platform can slice and dice data in the smallest increments and can integrate fully with your CRM, you can track the Lifetime Value of a Customer or L.T.V.C on a granular level.

And that’s big-time talk for boardroom discussions when it comes time to “tin-cup” for budgets in 2017.

 

Read Part 1 of this piece on How To Choose an Event Marketing Agency

 

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References & Further Reading:

  1. http://www.pcmag.com/encyclopedia/term/49447/point-solution
  2. http://tomtunguz.com/suites-point-solutions/
  3. http://www.mfauscette.com/2016/07/data-integration.html


 

Topics: Running your Event Marketing Department Industry Observations