Even in our increasingly digital world, there is no replacing the value of face-to-face (F2F) marketing in creating a consistent customer experience. In-person events are considered a top channel for professional education and networking, and 77 percent of B2B marketers use events as part of their content strategy. Sixty-seven percent of B2B marketers even ranked F2F marketing as the most effective marketing tactic.
Why? Because F2F marketing provides a chance to create personal connections with prospects and customers. In fact, EMI & Mosaic found that 74 percent of event attendees reported a more positive opinion about the company, brand, product or service being promoted following the event.
The average event uses five promotional methods. These methods, along with the materials used throughout the event, are a prime opportunity for CMOs to lead the charge in pulling the corporate messaging forward in an intentional and strategic manner, ensuring that customers experience a clear, consistent and compelling message at every touchpoint. Below are three ways CMOs can lead the charge in infusing the corporate messaging in F2F marketing, contribute to successful events and improve the customer experience.
- Build an event-specific messaging architecture. This architecture should be anchored in your Corporate Messaging Platform, and include key takeaway messages that you want customers to leave the event thinking. The event-specific messaging architecture should also feature key messages from the Corporate Messaging Platform that are specifically relevant to the event’s target audience, and include anchor messages that serve as the foundation for all customer communications.
- Infuse messaging throughout event materials. It is vital that the messages customers consume in person align with what they hear in other phases of the customer experience. They key messages established in the event-specific messaging architecture should come to life in all graphics and content, as well as keynote presentations and breakout session topics.
- Engage and train employees. Ensure that employees on-site at the event deliver a clear, compelling and consistent message by investing in messaging training programs. These programs will infuse the event-specific messaging into the hearts and minds of employees to be sure that customers have a clear and cohesive experience every time they interact with your company.
The conference industry is showing no signs of slowing down. In fact, according to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research, 48 percent of event attendees say face-to-face interactions are more valuable today than they were two years ago — and many expect them to increase in value. CMOs must acknowledge these trends and make event marketing part of their overall strategy in order to ensure that customers experience a clear, compelling and consistent story — no matter where the conversation is taking place.