I enjoyed working with Steve Kimish, Propolis Hive expert, Execution & Campaigns, while the interviews were with senior executives in/around the B2B marketing event industry, to collect an appropriately deep insight into the topic.
Here is my final chapter entitled simply; “Recommendations”.
“Planning a marketing event calendar for fiscal or calendar 2023 is probably going to be one of the more strategic programmes for many B2B CMOs and marketing directors over the next months. Many in marketing used to see events as nice-to-have vanity driven exercises of corporate PR. In future, it will be an integral part of an overall customer engagement strategy.
Future marketing plans will include both physical and digital events as standard in customer engagement programs; to collect market/customer insights at scale and to maintain a buyer/customer relationship over a longer period than just a buying cycle. A B2B CMO I’ve met recently talked about plans as more of a ‘media strategy’ than a marketing strategy.
I know of several large tech vendors that already have concrete plans into 2024 for large scale, multi-media, highly branded events accommodating thousands of delegates and providing an outstanding conference, networking and banqueting experience for business partners and customers alike.
Virtual marketing events will become part of a new marketing channel, scheduled, and atomised across the whole calendar and much more numerous, impactful, and measurable than before.
The interviews documented in the body of this report contain a series of recommendations for you to take note of, but I would like to add a couple more strategic thoughts as a recommendation. You may not need to do it this year, or even next, but I suggest that you should be at least considering the following initiatives over the next two to five years:
- Recruiting media talent. The largest B2B companies will be creating their own ‘Netflix’ websites with full presentations and atomised videos of the speakers who have featured in recent marketing events, plus further thought leadership and educational content. Over time, the expectation among all B2B buyers will be to enjoy the same type of experience. So, when further recruiting content marketing staff, you should be looking for people with video management and editing skills or providing training for these capabilities.
- Configure event data into your customer data management strategy. As you extend your customer data management (CDM) processes and strategy, ensure that the CDM team can collect and collate event engagement data as well. This requires process design and ensuring that the selection criteria for new event platform software include this requirement.
- Don’t neglect the content expectations of your ecosystem members. While the intent to provide an entertainment and memorable experience in future marketing events is understandable, savvy marketing executives will also continue to generate content that provides deeper information to technical buyers and product or service user/consumer-personas.
The report will publish to B2B Marketing Propolis clients next month and a shortened version to the non-premium members later in the year. Contact me if you would like to get more details.
Always keeping you informed! Peter