Thinking like a B2C marketer can help you create motivational and emotional connections with your clients – connections that will distinguish your brand from its competitors.
Marketing leaders in the B2B space drive hyper-growth by bridging the gap between the corporate office and the field. If you are investing in field events, and not generating desired outcomes, consider thinking like a B2C marketer. To do this, you need to differentiate the experience. Nothing replaces the value of a person-to-person interaction, motivates attendees to act and inspires buyers to advance the buying process.
What kind of experience will your team create to achieve this significant interaction? This is where thinking like a B2C marketer enters the arena. It’s an opportunity for your field events to be differentiated and memorable.
Gasp – think like a B2C marketer? But this is B2B! Don’t panic! You have already started the process by completing segmentation and targeting your buyer personas. Take it a step further.
Successful field events don’t view the event experience from a group perspective. They view the event at an individual persona level. No two people are exactly alike, which means no team’s business challenges are exactly alike. Therefore, the path leading to your solution is… not… alike. One size does not fit all in terms of product, so carry that thread through into your field events.
1. Brand Experience
You know your brand better than anyone, so start there. A field event is an opportunity to bring life to the inspiring story of your brand. Consider every factor in the overall look-and-feel for any event, regardless if it’s in-person or virtual. What is your brand’s look, sound, and feel? How do you want the audience to experience your brand in a way that resonates with them individually? People will tell others (their buyer decision team) about a phenomenal brand experience, whether created by a toothpaste brand or an interaction with a SaaS company.
- DO create a brand-complementary, custom experience.
- DON’T create a generic experience. But at the same time, don’t try to create something not representative of your brand.
2. Client Engagement
Time is a person’s most precious resource. If people spend time attending your event, they had better receive value. Exchange value. For their time, ensure they receive valuable insights mixed with a level of entertainment. While we are selling B2B, we must still approach people as human beings and consumers. How do we make the experience engaging and create an impact? How do we create an environment that is a safe haven for learning, yet also an emotional experience that speaks to them on an individual level? Make them laugh or make them cry, inspire them, do something that connects your brand to emotion.
Get to know your attendees ahead of the event and be prepared to speak to their challenges. Individually, do your research.
- Are there imminent trigger events?
- What is the account management stage or point in their customer life-cycle?
- Do you know something personal about them?
Hosting an event addressing a common topic obviously highlights group interest, on the surface. How do you dig deeper to find the intricacies of their individual issues as they pertain to the main topic? Remember, these are people giving up their time. Treat each person like a rock star. This is a cross-functional effort across your company.
- DO treat people as individual rock stars.
- DON’T give a cookie-cutter experience for a group.
3. Set Crystal Clear Goals
Your goals for the event must be crystal clear. Recall the scene in the movie A Few Good Men, where Jack Nicholson’s character says to Tom Cruise: “Are we clear?” Cruise’s response: “Crystal.”
Your goals must be completely transparent and easily understood across all levels of the organisation. Also, map the attendees back to the sales process.
Define what success looks like, and be specific. If the goal from each attendee is an appointment, then define a qualified appointment. What is the persona, company size (ideal customer profile), time frame, location, and the desired outcome?
There may be different goals for each attendee, depending on where they are in the buyer’s journey. Internally, communicate the goals before, during and after the event so that everyone is on the same page.
Develop a roadmap and metrics to get from point A to B. Have your roadmap ready to execute at the event, and a design for post-event follow-up.
- DO have a clearly defined, well-communicated end goal for each attendee.
- DON’T assume the event team is clear on the purpose and outcomes.
Seek to Impress
At the end of the day, you and your executive team want to see results justifying the spend for field events.
A sophisticated buyer is going to evaluate your products and services based on merit. In addition, their event engagement is an insight to the customer experience they can expect with your company.
A field event provides a prime opportunity to knock their socks off, and for marketing to drive revenue growth.