If you practice event marketing, be sure to have a strong plan in place to maximize ROI through lead generation. Follow these tips to produce sales ready leads at your next event.
1. Clearly define your success metrics
If you’re focused on event or experiential marketing its important to come up with a solid strategy to ensure that you aren’t wasting your budget. Before you can do that you should define your success metrics. Are you focused on just capturing email contact data for your attendees or are you looking for more than that? Maybe you want to reach 2,000 email contacts with demographic data? Once you have assigned a target number and a budget you can begin to determine if your cost per lead is within your accepted range.
2. Location, Location, Location
Pick a high-traffic location, nothing can ruin an otherwise well planned event like poor location. Are you capturing leads at an auto show or at a trade show? Placement in the back, away from main traffic flows can lower the number of consumers you see in your space. On the other hand, being right at an entrance can lead to heavy congestion, often obscuring your booth property and messaging. Instead look for space in busy corridors of traffic that serves as main arteries to the rest of the show floor.
3. Choose the right technology partner(s)
Not surprisingly we think this is the most important part of your lead capture strategy. We are past the time of paper lead capture surveys. You can waste your time and marketing investment with inaccurate, incomplete surveys and questionnaires. Not only are they often full of inaccurate information but they are almost never uploaded into a CRM or other database in a timely manner. Try to find an event/experiential marketing technology that is reliable, flexible and compelling. Electronic surveys allow you to have logic branching, which gives you the chance to quickly rule out non-targets or further refine demographic data. Furthermore a modern lead capture technology will allow for real time data uploads and CRM integration. Finally, make sure to find an experienced partner that has seen it all and can act as your technology consultant, making recommendations to improve your strategy.
4. Security and product/network reliability
In today’s digital world network and software security has never been more important. You’ve made the big investment in experiential lead capture marketing, the last thing you want is to have a security flaw or program instability cost you your data. Instant, automated data uploads can also be an important part of your lead capture plan, you don’t want to lose valuable data to a technical malfunction.
5. On-site technology
Be sure that your technology partner understands your target metrics and your expected audience. Being able to plan based on goals allows you to understand how much technology you need to have on-hand. If your goal is to capture 2,000 leads in 3 days and the survey takes 3 minutes to complete, then one iPad or mobile device could capture roughly 180 leads per 9-hour day. With this knowledge you know you will need a minimum of 4 devices plus any backup systems you need. Other recommendations are ID/Driver’s License scanners for faster and more accurate throughput and offline data collection option for events where Wi-Fi or broadband aren’t available/reliable.
6. Training & staffing
You don’t want to send in an unprepared staff to an event to be the face of your organization. Proper training should take place on not only the products or services being promoted but also the technology on-hand to collect attendee data. A clear understanding of how the lead capture technology works is important but it’s also critical that staff knows what to do in the off chance there is an issue with the technology. Hopefully you’ve chosen a technology partner with a strong client support plan in place. Even the best technology faces hiccups from time to time, did your iPad freeze or did a staffer accidentally drop it and crack the screen? You should have solid plans in place to deal with all possible issues and your staff should know how to react to problems.
7. Engage your attendees-draw them in
Your target audience won’t go out of their way to give you their contact information and demographic data; you’ll need to work for it. If your technology has the capability, fun games like slot machines or scratch-off prize games are will draw interest and give you the chance to engage your attendees. Another fun way to get attendees engaged is to provide a photo feature such as a green screen booth with the ability to share the images via Facebook or email. This ability to share images will increase the accuracy of contact information collected (not to mention the brands social media amplification). Another way to ensure accurate email information is to offer coupons or some other benefit via email as a follow-up.
8. Timely post-event communication
A quick response to your new leads is critical, especially if you have offered them an incentive such as a discount code or coupon. Depending on your technology partner, this could be in the form of an email, text message or both and it’s recommended that you reach out to your new contacts within 24 hours of their event attendance. You’ll also want access to all marketing metrics like open rate, click-through rate and bounce rate so that you can quickly judge the quality of your new lead list.
9. CRM Integration
It’s important to have enterprise level automation when it comes to your experiential lead capture technology. One of the most critical aspects to any lead capture strategy is how you integrate your new data into your existing CRM. Some technology providers offer automated, real-time integration offering your sales teams quicker access to data. This automation of the process can lead to shorter sales cycles and less duplication of records.
10. Use the available data to analyze and adjust
Once your leads are captured, uploaded in real-time and automatically sent to your CRM it’s time to review your strategy and make adjustments. A debrief of the on-site staff management is a good place to start. Was there enough staff? Was the technology easy to use and functional? Did the giveaways entice people into your space? How many leads did you collect and what was your opt-in rate? These questions and more are important to understanding the success or failures of you event. Don’t miss the chance to use event data you have captured to refine and improve your event lead capture strategy.