How many times have you attended an event, had a great booth with an energetic staff, handed out popular swag and collected contact information from hundreds of leads, but still had an underwhelming amount of sales meetings as a result? It's not for a lack of trying, but a lack of context. A huge topic we often discuss here is the need for capturing event lead context, and we thought it would be beneficial to go into some more detail about why that contextual data is so important. To give you some more context about context if you will.
Year-over-year, events continue to be the biggest marketing budget spend for most companies. Each year, the allotted budget grows slightly bigger due to the high-value companies find in the rich data gathered through face-to-face conversations. In fact, these face-to-face meetings are the next best thing to sales meetings. But it’s easy for leads to get lost in the bunch if there are no key differentiators for the sales team to use for personalized messaging.
How Context is Lost
All too often, a salesperson will work hard collecting leads, but just a week after an event, they’re frustratingly trying to prioritize leads and remember the intention behind the notes they scratched down on the back of business cards. It’s a daunting task to understand what each lead needs without any context, and it certainly doesn't make use of the limit time sales gets to follow-up. Collecting contextual data from a lead is so much more than collecting business cards and rough notes. Contextual data holds vital information that helps you form a strong strategy for events, prove event ROI, and improve our efforts across events, year-after-year.
The Benefits of Context
When approaching your face-to-face conversations, consider both the verbal and non-verbal cues. Be sure to note if a booth visitor is asking good follow up questions and clarifying your statements or if they are simply nodding and looking elsewhere. The context captured from your event interactions informs more than your sales team. Context helps your company understand who attends certain events, who your marketing is attracting and more. With the right kind of lead data, your team can better plan for events, follow up with prospects with more personalized messaging, feed your Account-Based Marketing strategy and justify event spend to the higher-ups.
How To Think About Context
Imagine your contextual lead data is a good set of directions to a destination. Think about the difference between driving to an important business meeting at a new location you’ve never visited before using a map, compared to using a GPS with live updates. When you’re using the map, you have to take a guess at what the best route might be without any insight to factor in things, such as, traffic and construction. However, while using a GPS with live updates, you’re able to automatically find the best route and avoid making any mistakes along the way that could cost you valuable time. Those additional directions, updates, and alerts are the contextual data that help you fully understand your surroundings and get you to where you want to go. If your map shows a break in the freeway, and you know you have to turn left, you’ll get into the left lane. But if there are two left lanes, and they each break off into slightly different directions that are not well defined on the map, you might get lost. The last thing your sales team needs is to be thrown off course, delayed or cause you to miss out on the meeting entirely. When we lose context, we lose leads.
Once you have your contextual lead data, using Marketing Automation tools are a great way to make your job easier, and as streamlined as possible for each event. By using your marketing automation correctly, you can funnel context-rich leads in real-time and provide personalized follow-up automatically.