Case Study: Email Marketing for Web 2.0

19 07 2011

A while back I received this great email for the web2.0 conference. It struck me as a great email case study to highlight for conference marketers, it’s an excellent email and a remarkable piece of content tied together into an amazing piece of conference marketing.

The email has a lot of valuable points, but for me the highlights are:

  • The from address is two of the most influential people in the space – You open it ASAP.
  • In case you forgot there’s a photo of them talking to one of the most powerful men in the world in the header.
  • There is a clear call to action – Register Now & Save, repeated 4 times – twice as a button, twice as a link (not too much but just enough).
  • It links to an amazing interactive piece of content, a blog post explaining it and to the conference page. More value and engagement with the audience, past and present.
  • It has the main social media sharing tools and ways to stay engaged (if you want).
  • A strong tie into last year including – A highlight that this amazing piece of content has been updated, and made more interactive, video, slides and photos from last year in case you forgot what an amazing event you attended. And how they are planning to delve deeper this year.
  • Still highlights speakers (with photos – they are real people!) and you can check out how they crowd sourced the event with the advisory board.

The content and the blog post also help drive the engagement:

  • The map (content piece) is interactive, it pulls you in, if you are into the topic.
  • The blog post is informative and also pulls you into the notion behind the event (with some very valuable insight and data).
  • Both are aligned to the topic area, viral, interactive and highly relevant to the topic.

I’m not saying every event needs interactive maps or infographics, but we should be working on remarkable content like this that drives engagement and think about how we communicate our event VP in different formats whilst still driving registrations. Of course, it’s not perfect, there are some improvements I (and no doubt you) would make, but….. compare this to the last email you sent for your event?

The Age of Ruthless Prioritization

15 07 2011

A colleague recently forwarded me this great article by Ron Ashkenas on HBR, entitled “When Managing Complexity – Less is More”. I believe that with the help of social media revolution (and the internet) we have entered a new age of complexity (or just lack of control) in conference marketing. Gone are the days of sending brochures to 10,000 people, finding out which lists work and sending more brochures to these list again, then repeating again and again and again. We now have twitter, facebook, linkedin, you tube, online PR, web analytics, email (and more email), SEO, PPC SEM, PPC advertising, banner advertising, bloggers and multiple other new forms of communication to get our message out. All of which we have embraced, and in most cases, all of which have their own unique form of measurement (or mystery) which is often only loosely tied back to a meaningful impact on our events.

As Ron articulately points out that “The reality is that without ruthless prioritization, smart workers will always identify new opportunities, therefore perpetuating a cycle of increasing activity that is difficult to break”. That’s what all these very smart event marketers are doing! We live (& market) in interesting times and we are in desperate need of ruthless prioritization, as Ron points out we need to do less, not more.

For event marketers, I think ruthless prioritization involves:

  • Developing ‘purple cow’ events
  • Focusing on ‘remarkable’ content tailored to delegates needs and different levels of the advocacy ladder, customer funnel or product life cycle to drive inbound enquiries
  • Developing one delegate acquisition (DA) strategy coordinating all activities and a separate sponsor acquisition strategy
  • Owning our keywords – We have to own our keywords and give great directions to our websites
  • We have to get the entire event team to be more active on social networks
  • Test, Test, Test – Continue what works and abandon what doesn’t
  • Measuring absolutely everything we do!

According to Ron “the number one problem facing managers today is complexity”, how much time do you spend working out what you can stop doing?

The CMO Exchange London

12 07 2011

Thanks to the team at IQPC Exchanges in London I was lucky enough to attend a couple of sessions at the CMO Exchange in London.

I was able to sit in on a session about Aligning Sales and Marketing by Nick Eades the CMO at Psion. Nick’s presentation was the most insightful content I have seen on sales and marketing alignment, since reading this landmark HBR article.

I can’t really do Nick’s session any justice, but he gave some remarkable insights. For me some of the highlights included:

  • Understanding the personalities involved is critical but understanding what motivates the sales team is even more important.
  • A great analogy to understand the “lethal personalities” at play – Think Captain Kirk as the leading sales guy and Dr Spock as you’re a typical CMO and you get a good picture!
  • It’s not that hard – Sales people want to hit their sales targets and marketing love their data (maybe too much).
  • Career marketers (vs accidental marketers) know how to keep it simple and not hide behind complexity. We need analytics but we must keep it simple!
  • The forgotten p – Price is one of the most effective tools we have (and likely least understood) to impact the bottom line and help drive sales.
  • Better lead generation and management is a bigger issue for most companies than they think, and can most likely solve a lot more problems.
  • Functional strength is an important aspect of marketing, you are only as strong as your weakest link!
  • Meaningful objectives – You must have goals that can be conveyed across channels, functions and the boardroom. That means having 100,000 followers needs a little more work.
  • Find simple ways to express simple strategy – Retain customers, grow prospects!
  • Take an account vs product approach to sales and marketing.
  • Profitable growth is the ultimate measure!

Nick’s insights may not be applicable to all businesses, they are certainly more B2B than B2C (for a change), but I think it was one of the best marketing presentations I have seen in quite some time. Congrats to the exchange team and the speakers for a truly outstanding marketing event.