I asked some of our in-house experts at mdg for resolutions to inspire attendee acquisition marketers in 2020 and beyond.
I will create email narratives, not just campaigns. “Registration is open, here are the keynotes, look at these show features.” Yawn. Think about reconceptualizing your marketing funnel as a narrative with a beginning, middle, and end — with your potential attendee as the hero. Early messages should focus on establishing a conflict — demonstrating an understanding of current and pressing challenges within your industry.
Mid-campaign messages chronicle your hero’s journey by delivering content that teases solutions to these challenges and introduces allies (in the form of thought leaders). And late campaign messages should lead heroes toward the story’s resolution by tying those teases to opportunities at your event — and conveying the ways that attending will elevate them to hero status. Remember that you can use marketing automation to introduce latecomer leads to the beginning of your narrative. —Benjamin McRae, director of web strategy
I will leverage non-attendee event survey data. A key component to effective marketing is understanding what attendees get from your event — and why prospects aren’t coming. This helps illuminate the difference in perception between attendees and nonattendees, informing messaging that speaks to the show benefits and overcomes objections. Instead of asking why they didn’t attend — which usually illicits unactionable data, like “not enough time/budget” — ask nonattendees what keeps them up at night. Build future content around those compelling issues to better address their needs. —Ingrid Thorson, account director
I will design for digital first. When designing new campaign creative, think from a digital perspective first — nothing is lost in the translation from print, and deliverables make an impact throughout the course of the campaign. —Kacia Reilly, director of creative services
I will do more copy testing. There’s no way of knowing if your audience is listening unless you actively assess your messaging. Survey and interview attendees and prospects about their pain points, relevant topics, and reasons for attending, and spend time analyzing the results so you can work them in to the most effective messaging strategy possible. Once you’ve got your messaging plan in place, monitor metrics like open and conversion rates. —Lara Regan, managing copy director
I will be a more agile marketer. In 2020, campaigns need to be an equal mix of proactive and reactive. While you strive to employ all of the best practices in web design, email marketing, and digital advertising, you should also have a built-in methodology to ensure that you’re constantly testing and adapting based on what’s working and what’s not. Agile marketing (agilemanifesto.org/principles.html) is about responding to change and data to improve speed, predictability, transparency, and adaptability. —Kristen Ferrer, director of digital strategy
Kimberly Hardcastle-Geddes is chief marketing strategist at mdg, a full-service marketing and public relations firm specializing in B2B events.