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As the end of the year creeps ever nearer, we can't help but focus on the future. For last month's Event Marketers Live Event, we kept the focus on 2024 planning and how some of our favorite event marketers are preparing for the year ahead!
As usual, the discussion was hosted by Goldcast's Head of Events & Community, Belinda Joseph, who spoke with Rebekah Bingham McAdams, VP of Global Field & Channel Marketing at Varonis, and Ghazwan Almoazen, Director of Global Events Demand Generation and Communication at DocuSign.
This was a super interesting conversation, not least of all because we had representation from both the event side and the demand gen side—two teams that, as well know, have to work closely together for events and programming to turn out smoothly.
Read on to discover:
📺 Rather watch than read? Catch the entire episode here!
Ghazwan quickly pointed out that video marketing will be a major force next year. Well-done video cuts through the noise and gets the message across quickly, which is important with people's dwindling attention spans.
"Our audience's attention span is getting shorter, and people are only getting smarter now." - Ghazwan Almoazen, Director of Global Events Demand Generation and Communication, DocuSign
Repurposing content will continue to be critical. Whether it's blogs, white papers, ebooks, or something else, marketers should create complementary content across channels to continue engaging with people. Remember to always modify the copy to fit the channel so that you're appropriately talking to that specific audience.
Ghazwan dropped a super hot take next; this one deserves its own line!
"We always say content is king, and data is the queen. We have to analyze everything we're doing. Everything needs to be tracked." - Ghazwan Almoazen, Director of Global Events Demand Generation and Communication, DocuSign
We love that: Content is king, and data is queen. As you think about next year, are you looking at metrics to back up your decisions and strategy? Throughout the entire journey, from pre- to post-event, across all channels, measure all of your quantifiable results so you'll be aware of what's going well (and what's not).
To be successful, you'll also need to foster healthy, collaborative relationships across teams. Events touch so many other teams—from products to customer success, sales to demand generation—you want to make sure everyone is briefed on your efforts and aware of what's going on. "We shouldn't be traveling in parallel; we should all be intersected and traveling together."
Rebekah also noted the power of using intent data to drive decision-making. Varonis is a 100% channel company, which means that all opportunities are closed through a channel partner.
If you're unfamiliar with intent data, it typically refers to buying signals that gauge a person's propensity to buy. Intent data ranks your leads based on keyword search, website visits, and info like that. As a reference, Goldcast provides 16+ intent data points to help marketers assess pipeline!
In her role, when she's deciding who to target, Rebekah will ask for a partner's current install base list and run that through her intent data analyzer. From there, she can gauge who is actively surging on pain points that Varonis solves for. This is a great way to avoid the "spray and pray" marketing approach, which can sometimes be a big waste of time.
You can even take it a step further and use your intent data to create content around those specific pain points people are looking for help with! For Varonis, this has the added benefit of giving their channel partner a way to strengthen their relationship with those customers—a win-win for everyone involved.
If you're already aware of the power of an event series, let's talk about how you can take an integrated approach to maximize your impact.
Here are some ideas:
PS: If all this talk of series is piquing your interest, check out our Series Masterclass! You'll learn all about why you should host an event series, as well as real-world examples of successful series.
We touched on how building healthy relationships across teams is super important. You might be wondering how, specifically, these marketers recommend aligning with sales to get their support and make sure they have the info they need to succeed as well.
The good news: We've got some answers! First up: Communication is non-negotiable "I don't think you can over-communicate,” says Rebekah.
Varonis has a very large sales organization that's layered in structure. There's a BDR team, sales reps, inside sales folks, regional directors, and an account-based prospecting (ABP) team. That's a lot of people to talk to! To manage, Rebekah tries to tailor communication to the people or teams she's talking to and be sure they're getting information that's pertinent to their role, so they're clear on why this matters to them.
Never assume that people are on the same page as you. Provide context in case people need it, and don't be too modest to promote your efforts. Circulate the big wins you're experiencing! Talk about the impact of your campaigns and events so that people start to grasp the ROI and the importance of your events program.
If you can find a champion within your sales team, that'll help you go far, especially if they're a leader. This is another reason talking about ROI is effective—sales responds to numbers and results, and this might be exactly how you win people over to your cause. If you've got a leader who understands that events result in meetings and eventual conversions, you might get a lot more salespeople opening up to you.
A few questions to be sure you're answering when you meet with your sales teams:
Salespeople are busy, just like us, and event-related information is just one more thing on top of their to-do pile. Make it as easy as possible for your sales team to support you and understand what you've got going on. Meet with them to go over the details, and be sure you've got a field engagement toolkit ready for them to use with social copy, follow-up info, and more.
Finally, don't forget to celebrate! Lift up the people who work really hard alongside you, no matter what team they're from. Those champions are critical to your success, and you never want to lose sight of that.
Before we wrap up, let's discuss some must-dos after an event is over. Most of us know that it's important to follow up in a timely manner, but what else are Rebekah and Ghazwan thinking about throughout the follow-up process?
Ghazwan aims to have the Salesforce report, as well as any relevant follow-up content, ready to go immediately after the event. That way, sales people can filter by accounts and start following up without delay. They've got all the info they need, fresh off the press, so they can reach out to people and answer any questions that were asked while it's still on prospects' minds as well.
At Varonis, Rebekah also tries to provide a talk track for the sales team and let them know how to go after accounts. Her concern is that sometimes, it's all too natural to complete an activity and lob it on to the next person without setting them up for success—if you can do something to make the other person's job easier, that's going to help you down the road, too.
It's also important to check back in on things. Rebekah notes she recently pulled a report on leads that aren't being worked and took some extra steps to add intent data to that report. She then highlighted any high-intent leads and sent it out to the sales team with a note that those accounts were surging and should be followed up with soon. It takes a village to close a deal!
If you're interested in how to turn events into a top revenue driving channel—without burning your team out—tune in to our next Event Marketers Live! Each month, someone from the Goldcast team meets with event and field marketing pros to talk about their hot takes, share advice and tips, and much more.
Sign up to attend the next Event Marketers Live here. We hope to see you there!