Monday, October 03, 2005
Leveraging an Event Through Multiple Channels Gets Unexpected Results
Every so often I like to include real case studies of multi-channel marketing and ROI at work. Despite a typically more expensive price tag to particpate, Conference and Event Marketing can have some of the highest ROI in marketing, especially where big ticket products and services need in-person interaction to push a sale over the top. In this example, the type of "return on investment" wasn't what I originally expected, but proved valuable nonetheless.
The company CEO was due to moderate a high-level industry panel with plenty of visibility. As part of the event marketing team, I wanted to maximize lead generation potential from the event and position the CEO and company as a thought-leader in its space. However, due to the nature of the event, an overtly promotional message would have been inappropriate for the audience.
The Multi-channel Solution
To make the most of the conference, the following tactics were employed:
- Conference handouts were developed to provide information resources and tools to attendees
- Permission was obtained to videotape the CEO's panel discussion, providing video content to develop into additional attendee tools
- An informational CD-ROM was developed based on the event
- A Microsite was built to capture traffic from multiple calls-to-action as well as to provide a home for online content linked to the informational CD-ROM
Through several different calls to action on both printed materials and the online microsite, we attempted to provide enough educational content to create a favorable impression of the company and hopefully generate leads.
The microsite received many visitors, however, actual qualified leads were elusive. This might have been disappointing except for the fact that each microsite visitor who requested the value-added CD-ROM was required to complete a detailed online questionnaire about their market needs and experiences. These questionnaires allowed us to gain valuable insight into the buying behavior of the market. In addition, the effort of developing the CD-ROM eventually paid off in being able to modify the content minimally to use as a pull-through offer in other marketing initatives. We also found a good deal of "accidental" traffic to the microsite from search engines.
A flood of viable new business leads would have been ideal, however, as the Rolling Stones said "You can't always get what you want." And once in a while, even in marketing, you get what you need.