Infographic: Digital Marketing Landscape

24 01 2012 recently published this interesting infographic by Adobe on the Digital Marketing Landscape. You can download it here or view below. Actually there’s to much text to be really called an infographic in my mind, but anyway…Here’s my top take aways:

1 – Tablets are here to stay, we need to adapt the user experience on the web and at the live events to allow a deeper, media rich, highly interactive user experience.

2 – Marketing and the marketers skill set will continue to evolve at a very rapid pace. Change is the only constant.

3 – Marketing will continue to drive innovation. Actually I think the data will, but marketing controls, co-ordinates or interprets much of this data.

4 – Content creation needs to be the foundation of any B2B marketing strategy.

5 – The big data challenge is only going to get worst. Mutliple platforms, mutliple sources of data, with many more variables. Combine this with the need to measure everything and we have a real challenge on our hands.

6 – We need to develop a single view of the customer.  Harder than you think when you take into account the big data challenge.

One thing that I felt was missing from the infographic is the emergence of marketing automation, which to me means the ability to leverage data and customer touch points or interactions into meaningful marketing communications to nurture customers through the sales funnel.  It may be the key to tackling the big data challenge!

Generation Flux

15 01 2012

Fast Company Magazine is a great read if you don’t read it you should. I finally got around to reading this article from the last issue called “This is Generation Flux: Meet The Pioneers Of The New (And Chaotic) Frontier of Business” and it struck a chord.

For anyone starting their career out in the event business I think it has a couple of key messages that can help anyone deal with the rapid pace of change associated with event marketing and management.  Change is the only constant in the event business. And for existing managers in the business I think the article points to a number of challenges we face in finding, developing and retaining talent in this new chaotic world.

In the article Robert Safian defines Generation Flux as more an attitude than an age and it’s an important differentiation. As the attitude is key to survival in this era of fast paced changed. The changes are fuelled by technology (the web, mobile, gaming and social etc) and more access to information than ever before forces us to be constantly thinking and adapting to whats next. How do you thrive when disruption is everywhere? I think a couple of things become more critical than ever:

  • Business model innovation – Companies must adopt innovation in all it’s aspects and create ways to test outside the normal controls
  • Adopt a test, fail, test, fail, test, succeed mentality
  • Embrace team work and a matrix org charts that empowers team leaders
  • Become ‘Skill hoarders” and embrace/develop a four year career path. Set up new employees for a powerful 2 -4 year development and management experience
  • Embrace technology in all it’s aspects, do not limit its access
  • As individuals – Seek a variety of experiences, move into different topics, and different roles

There’s no doubt a lot more to this list, and IQPC addresses many of these problems through our Academy and Leadership Development programmes. We could always do more, and should, and will, but I also think individuals have to realise this new reality and embrace it.

The State of B2B Event Marketing

11 01 2012

I believe it’s a great time to be in marketing and in events. Social media, social networking and the internet in general are driving sweeping changes.

So with this in mind I recently watched a webinar on the State of B2B Event Marketing put together by B2B magazine featuring John DiStefano, Research Director at B2B, and Maria Pergolino, Senior Director of Marketing for Marketo. Unfortunately it was more directed at the potential impact of marketing automation rather than the actual state of B2B events, it would have also been nice to get a few big event sponsors on the panel, but it did raise some good points based on some very good scientific research.

According to the research B2B companies invest in 26 events a year, 14 of their own company led events and 12 third-party events, representing 20% of their marketing budget. Interesting this is versus 5% on social media! Even more interesting in terms of driving results, third-party events delivered 61% of all the revenue from events.

Not surprisingly, the three top goals for B2B companies with their events is lead generation, customer engagement and branding. As a result of the focus on lead generation, the measurement of those leads through the corporate sales funnels is becoming even more important. This is where more marketing automation can kick in.

But more importantly for professional B2B event organizes, we must ensure we are delivering the right level of leads and are driving customer engagement for sponsors through our events. Even more importantly, we need to recognize this new focus on measurement and help our sponsors (or partners) gain more intelligence through the process. As sponsorship revenues become more and more important to third-party event organizers so to does ensuring we exceed their expectations.

I think this means third-party organizers also need to consider more changes:

Creating products that may be designed for sponsors customers at various levels of the sales funnel. Segmenting or streaming events to allow customers at different stages of the buying cycle to have different information and different interactions with sponsors. Creating mini events for existing customers vs new leads. Crafting the content to help drive new engagements or up/cross sell existing customers into deeper engagements. Also providing pre and post event opportunities for enhanced networking both online and off.

From a marketing point of view it may also mean crafting different messages or content marketing to the various stages of the vendors buying cycle. And as always tailoring those messages to different channels.

It also means (capturing and) providing more data to our sponsors, pre and post event. More information on who is attending, why, what they hope to get out of the event, what their budgets are etc. and then helping sponsors with the measurement and tracking of these leads post event. Providing the data and utilizing our social networks to make sure we continue the engagement for sponsors post event will mean more return sponsors.