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.