Just Released: Results from ‘State of B2B Event Marketing 2014’ Survey by Regalix

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Report reveals - B2B Event Marketing continues to be viewed by most marketers as a critical thrust area of a company’s marketing mix

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Palo Alto, CA: Regalix today announced the findings from its recent survey on the State of B2B Event Marketing 2014. Of the marketers surveyed, a vast majority (91%) state that they invest in Event Marketing. And as many as 57% marketers indicate that Event Marketing is extremely significant in accelerating lead generation and growing the sales pipeline.

While 46% marketers indicate that they currently allocate about 10-25% of the overall budget to events, about 64% hint that their Event Marketing budgets will increase in the next 12 months.

The new research analyzes the current Event Marketing perspectives, practices, and priorities. The report also promises to equip organizations with actionable tips and essential recommendations that will help them carve out a unique niche for their products or services in today’s highly competitive environment.

Detailed findings:

Event Marketing is a high-priority activity

Marketers believe events are a high-priority area in a company’s marketing mix, regardless of whether a company actually invests in Event Marketing or not. Marketing executives are convinced that events significantly leverage a company’s marketing efforts.

  •     Lead generation and brand-building are top event objectives, say 80% executives, while 64% peg customer engagement as key
  •     76% marketers have an annual calendar that features events at least once per quarter
  •     72% marketers manage conferences, while 66% organize trade shows and 55% conduct exhibitions
  •     83% marketers attend webinars and 67% go to conferences and informal get-togethers with professional colleagues

Operational and financial modalities

Relatively few companies view Event Marketing as an independent organizational function, and cost recovery for events is usually a pressing need.

  •     Physical events are the most popular, and 92% executives organize events that are entirely physical or blended with a virtual component
  •     Co-financing is a common approach, 62% marketers partnering with distributors and other third parties in hosting events and 80% soliciting sponsorships
  •     70% respondents recover event costs through exhibition booths and 60% through attendee fees
  •     68% marketers sponsor events, with 94% sponsoring 10 or more events annually

Attitudes towards marketing and promoting events

The accent seems to be on spending as little as possible. Prior to events, a high-spend mix of online and offline channels fuels attendee expectation, creating anticipation and driving registrations. However, during and after events, marketers seems to switch to low-cost options. One-on-one contact with prospects is lacking, particularly in the post-event phase.

  •     To market events, 84% executives send emails and 68% use web and social, with 27, 16, and 11% marketers using direct mail, telemarketing, and print media, respectively
  •     During events, 91% marketers use social media, 82% and 80% use mobile apps and mobile messaging, respectively, 70% use live tweeting, and 68% use social community content
  •     Post-event, 72% marketers use email, 66% executives blog, and 64% provide attendees with presentation decks, seminar videos, session podcasts, etc

Key benefits

Across the board, companies invest in Event Marketing because they see several key benefits:

  •     Reaching prospects fast, according to 85% respondents
  •     73% marketers believe it helps position the company as an industry thought leader
  •     69% executives state that Event Marketing generates buzz around products and services
  •     Event Marketing opens doors for future sales calls, report 61% respondents

Metrics for Event Marketing program effectiveness

Marketers who use metrics to measure ROI tend to enhance their companies’ commitment to Event Marketing. This survey’s data shows 80% marketers invest in physical events because that delivers higher ROI although 60% marketers in organizations that are yet to invest in Event Marketing believe that virtual events promise better returns.

Practitioners need to give Event Marketing a re-look

Respondents’ general opinion appears to indicate that marketers often follow a run-of-the-mill, ad hoc, or shortsighted approach to Event Marketing. Currently, many marketers appear to lack insights that will enable them to systematically exploit the potential of the specialization, using out-of-the-box thinking and a broad range of telling metrics.

  •     Today’s marketer uses 12 channels for online promotion for every 7 channels for offline promotion
  •     The most frequently chosen online channels are email (according to 97% executives), web (as per 92%), and social (according to 87%)
  •     The corresponding offline channels leveraged are direct mail (according to 50% respondents), and telemarketing and print media (according to 47% marketers for each option)
  •     Of more than 17 types of components used in typical events, respondents say the elements they use most are presentations, exhibitions, conferences, and private meetings – staid, formal categories

Challenges faced

Organizations that invest in Event Marketing cite four key challenges:

  •     64% executives report three major challenge areas as being access to adequate budgets, driving the desired number of registrations, and creating uniquely positioned events
  •     48% marketers state that the lack of resources is a significant challenge
  •     40% say their hurdle is the lack of a strategy for conversions
  •     32% respondents find event monetization an issue

Event Marketing budgets

80% marketers have separate budgets earmarked for Event Marketing. Of the remaining respondents:

  •     89% subsume their Event Marketing budget under the Marketing budget
  •     6% apportion part of their Product Management or their Corporate Communications budget to Event Marketing

Overall:

  •     46% marketers state that Event Marketing forms 10 to 25% of the company’s overall Marketing budget
  •     For 21% respondents, the above mentioned proportion either rises to the 50-75% level or drops to 0-10%

Overview

The survey was conducted by Regalix Inc., and respondents included CMOs and mid-level marketing professionals from leading B2B companies.

The State of B2B Event Marketing 2014 was compiled using the survey results and covers the latest Event Marketing trends, tactics, metrics, and challenges in the B2B marketer’s arena in today’s dynamic market environment.

To download the complete report, please visit http://bit.ly/1y2etJG

About Regalix

Regalix is an award-winning Global Co-Innovation company that leverages technology and marketing to help companies grow. They create successful ventures with clients through co-innovation and idea-driven frameworks that inspire companies to think differently. Founded in 1998, Regalix is based in Palo Alto. For over a decade, we have provided complete marketing services – Social, Mobile, Content, Multi-channel Campaigns, Technology Development, and Analytics – to companies such as CA Technologies, Citi, Apple, eBay, Cisco, VMware, NetApp, Cypress, LSI, Keynote, and Wipro Technologies. For more information, please visit http://www.regalix.com

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Annie Gupta
Regalix
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