Despite the amount of attention focused on digital interaction technologies like social media and chatbots, old-school marketing channels like email and (even older-school) live events still perform best.
That's one of the main findings of the 2019 Demand Generation Benchmark Survey published by DemandGen Report. The study reinforces our previous conclusion here that, "It’s possible the increasing amount of time we spend on our screens, consuming digital content, makes us value in-person experiences even more."
Per the DemandGen study, when asked which tactics were most successful in helping to advance sales cycles in the middle and late stages of the funnel, events topped the list, cited by 64% of respondents.
Trade shows and conferences are productive for lead generation and driving demand, as well as later in the funnel. Asked about the top channels for driving demand, live events were at number three, trailing only email and the company website.
Road shows, webinars, sponsored / experiential events, roundtable dinners, and customer events are valuable in the mid to late funnel stages.
Here's the key conclusion from the report:
"In-person events were considered successful channels for engaging prospects throughout the entire funnel. Of the 47% that said it was one of their top-three channels, 46% said it was the most effective at driving early stage engagement, while 44% said it was the most effective at driving conversion later in the funnel. Alongside email, it was one of the most consistent channels throughout the sales funnel."
Half of survey respondents worked in software or technology firms, with the remainder spread across business services, consulting, financial services, retail, manufacturing, telecom, and healthcare. 40% were in midsized to large enterprises ($100 million revenue and above).
While events are often the largest single line item in corporate marketing budgets, they aren't always managed in an optimal way. Given the value of live events across the funnel as detailed in the 2019 Demand Generation Benchmark Survey, it's worth engaging with the right partner and adopting the best technology to maximize the return on event investments.