Brand awareness is officially the top business-to-business (B2B) marketing objective for 2024, according to a report by Sagefrog Marketing Group. Which makes sense since “a strong brand sets a company apart in an increasingly competitive landscape, fostering trust, loyalty, and premium pricing.” How do B2B brands plan on increasing both brand awareness and lead generation (the second most popular goal)? With event-based marketing.
Event-Based Marketing Delivers Top Results for B2B Companies
Tradeshow and Event Popularity
Tradeshows and other B2B events are back in full swing and are just as popular, if not more so, than ever. According to a previous SalesFuel blog, based on data from splash, only 6% of event professionals planned to host virtual-only events in 2023. 30% were in-person only and the remaining 63% were hybrid.
B2B marketers have faith in in-person events, too. The majority of B2B marketers’ budgets are going to decrease (27%) or stay the same (25%) in 2024. Yet, even with cutbacks, the top area of B2B marketing spend remains in-person tradeshows and events.
“The resurgence of tradeshows and events marks a clear shift towards in-person engagement, showing that face-to-face interactions are gaining prominence,” says Sagefrog. That’s probably because in-person tradeshows and events are the top sales and marketing lead source. 33% of B2B marketers agree on this. That’s more than email marketing.
Popular Event-Based Marketing Tactics in 2024
Even though in-person events are a high priority in 2024, not all event-based marketing will be for such events. According to Sagefrog, B2B marketers event marketing tactics will be split between:
- Attending webinars: 42% of B2B marketers plan to do this in 2024
- Exhibiting at or sponsoring in-person conferences: 38%
- Organizing and hosting their own webinars: 36%
- Attending in-person events or conferences: 32%
- Co-hosting in-person events: 23%
- Participating in panel discussions or speaking engagements: 18%
Overall, 89% of B2B marketers agree that webinars are also effective for brand awareness and lead generation.
Target the Right People
The problem many B2B companies have with using event-based marketing for brand awareness and lead generation is targeting the wrong people. According to splash, 84% of events are geared toward current customers. While this is all well and good for upselling to current customers, whose loyalty shouldn’t be overlooked, it doesn’t help much with brand awareness or new leads.
So, when planning what to include in your client’s portion of the event and who to promote the event to, remember not to overlook potential customers.
How to Target Them
Promoting Your Client’s Event
The same SalesFuel blog mentioned above goes into detail about promoting your client’s event or their presence at one.
Start with a generalized email, social post and/or other ad type to get both current and potential customers’ interests piqued. Then to make sure as many people as possible get interested and take action, promote different things that different people might value. “Highlight different benefits such as the speakers, networking opportunities, and break-out areas.”
As for what event-based marketing media to use, that depends on your client’s target audience. Find out what ad media types they’re most likely to take action because of on their profile on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel.
Choosing Events to Attend/Creating Your Clients Own Event
In order to increase brand awareness and lead generation as much as possible, your client should choose/create events that give them as many opportunities to do so as possible, including:
- Networking Events/Initiatives: Finding time to network between sessions can be difficult. Be sure to include and/or attend events with networking events on the schedule. At these, you know everyone has the same goal: making new connections
- Product Showcases: The best way for potential customers to see that your clients product/service is the right fit for their organization is to see it in action. Whether your client is hosting or attending an event, make sure a product showcase is included in their plans
Follow these event-based marketing tips and your client will have a better chance of meeting their brand awareness and lead generation goals.
Photo by: Alexandre Pellaes