Live Events Remain Most Effective and Influential Way to Reach Buyers:
Although digital marketing may capture more online search interest, trade shows and other in-person events remain the most widely used and most effective lead generation tactic for enterprise marketers.
That's a conclusion echoed in several different research studies over the past year. A Gartner study reported in Harvard Business Review also found that direct interaction with a vendor had the highest likelihood for buyers of influencing their purchase decisions.
Such findings may seem surprising at first, but shouldn't. Yes, digital marketing is a vital and growing channel. But it can't match the intimacy and immediacy of live, face to face interaction.
For example, in the automotive sector, digital marketing enables buyers to efficiently search for information about various models, compare specifications and features, and view photos and videos. But only live events such as Ride & Drives let prospective buyers touch the leather, smell the interior, hear the rumbling growl of a V8 (not just a digital recording of it), and feel the rush of acceleration.
Here are six key findings from recent research studies on the compelling and enduring value of live events for demand and lead generation.
1. In-person events are the most-used (by 95% of enterprise marketers) content marketing tactic. (MarketingLand)
2. 16% of companies increased spending on tradeshows and events in 2016, while 61% held budgets steady. (MediaPost)
3. The five most important marketing tactics for B2B businesses are (in order): in-person events, webinars/webcasts, case studies, white papers and videos. (gShift Labs)
4. In-person events are rated as the single-most effective B2B marketing tactic. (Content Marketing Institute)
5. Among enterprise marketers, events (70%) have displaced webinars (65%) as the most commonly used lead generation tactic. (SalesStaff Blog)
6. According to Gartner, the three B2B marketing activities most likely to influence a purchasing decision are direct interaction with the provider, references, and in-person or virtual events (a specific form of direct interaction). (Harvard Business Review)
Enterprise marketers and organizations who properly prioritize in-person events within their overall marketing strategy, run those events effectively, and integrate event marketing with other channels, will maximize the impact of the most widely used, effective, and influential marketing tactic.
Need help with your event strategy? How about event marketing budget allocation? Looking for a better way to organize and manage your events?