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What's the Real Role of Virtual Events in an ABM Strategy?

October 21, 2021

People often view marketing like a fishing trip: cast your line and hope something bites. 🎣

But as an experienced B2B event marketer, you know there’s a better way — Account-Based Marketing (ABM).

With the rise of virtual events, it’s easier than ever to utilize ABM to convert prospects into attendees, and attendees into customers.

But creating a strong, virtual event-based ABM strategy that will actually transform attendees into real revenue, requires two things most businesses haven’t quite nailed yet: 

  • Access to super insightful event data

Clarity in these two core areas will help you take your event-led ABM strategy beyond selling to the masses, so you can hone in on high-value accounts. Today, we're talking about how to flex your event marketing superpowers and create an ABM strategy fit for the future.

Here’s what we’ll cover:

  • What is Account-Based Marketing, actually?
  • Virtual events + ABM strategy = A++ ‘Smarketing’
  • A++ ‘Smarketing’ = A++ Follow-ups
  • Virtual events: A measurable way to calculate your ABM strategy’s ROI

4 more reasons an ABM strategy needs your event

What is Account-Based Marketing, actually?

As an experienced field marketer, we know you already have the lowdown on ABM. But we all need a quick refresher once in a while:Sounds fancy, right? But, in reality, the concept of Account Based Marketing is a simple one. 


Sales + Marketing + Personalized Approach = Revenue Success

Account-based marketing aims to cut through the noise by speaking to the customer's needs on a personal level.

And here’s what’s on offer when when you take an ABM approach:

Impressive. 

But what role do your virtual events play in crafting the ultimate ABM strategy? 


Virtual events + ABM strategy = A match made in heaven

Before you can understand the real role of virtual events in an ABM strategy, you’ve got to understand the core relationship between marketing and sales.

In fact, sales and marketing misalignment is cited as the #1 reason an organization’s annual revenue stagnates or declines. But even if your sales and marketing teams are already tight, introducing an ABM strategy can help take that relationship from strength to strength. 

Because, by initiating a level of synchronicity between sales and marketing, you empower both teams to focus on the one primary objective they both share: Revenue

Virtual events can boost that ABM strategy by producing results that will have sales queuing up to be involved in your next conference. 

How exactly? By automatically collecting the kind of account-level event data that facilitates better follow-ups (and, you guessed it, revenue💰). 

📝Take action: Ask sales how your event can help with their targets. 

Better event data means better sales follow-ups

Account-level insights are the deep, relationship-driving gems that set your ABM strategy apart from your competitor’s.  

So, what type of account-level insights can a virtual event provide?

Here are a few examples of the granular data a virtual event can bring to your ABM strategy: 

  • Number of times an attendee clicked your ‘Request a Demo’ button — and who they were. 
  • Who spent time in each of your sessions or booths, and for how long.
  • How much traffic went to your networking rooms, who went and for how long.
  • How many times videos were viewed, and for how long.
  • Chat message downloads from your main stage chat, session stage chat, and networking rooms.

This kind of detailed data arms your sales team with exactly the information they need to have meaningful post-event follow up conversations with high-value accounts. 

Instead of the generic: ‘Hey, I saw you attended the event, which sessions did you go to?’, your team can start with: 

  • I know you asked a question on this feature, would a demo help?

  • ‘I saw you downloaded this ebook, did you have any questions?’

  • ‘You stayed for the whole of this session, I’d love to discuss it with you.’

  • ‘Your answer to this poll was super interesting, I had a few questions.’  

With event follow-ups like these, your attendees feel immediately seen. They know you’ve taken the time to do your research and care about providing them with a genuine solution, which is exactly the feeling an ABM approach should facilitate.

Deeper attendee insights mean more personal and productive conversations. And when customers feel valued in this way they are 90% more likely to convert. 

📝Action: Ask sales what data they would like — after all, they’re the ones building the relationships.

Virtual events: A measurable way to calculate your ABM impact and ROI

But event data doesn’t just drive follow-ups, it also gives you a way to quantify your awesomeness as an event marketer. And if you've been in the field marketing world for a minute, you know the pain of having to prove the value of your work.

While other teams have an easy ride measuring their achievements (hey there, sales with your closed-won attribution), event marketing has rarely been able to back their contribution up with quantifiable data. Until now. 

Virtual events offer you the opportunity to track revenue-driving KPIs and finally prove just how much revenue you (and your ABM-friendly event strategy) bring to the table.

So, which KPIs are we talking about?

#1. Net New Pipeline

It’s no surprise 73% of organizations prioritize lead generation — after all, without leads there are no deals to close and no revenue to make.

And with their increased accessibility, flexibility and capacity, virtual events are one of the best ways to drive more leads. By using an advanced virtual event platform you can effortlessly track every new lead and quantify the revenue potential your event contributed to the overall pipeline.

So, how do you calculate the value of Net New Pipeline? 
Registration and attendee numbers mean nothing if you can’t attribute a value to them. By totalling the potential deal size and revenue from each new registration, you can provide your C-suite with a concrete $ amount your event brought to the table. 

📝Action: Integrate your virtual event platform and CRM to seamlessly transfer Net New Pipeline data.

#2. Influenced Pipeline

Not only do events bring in valuable net new leads, you can also track the engagement levels of existing prospects and measure the increased likelihood of them converting as a result of attending your event. 

With Zoom fatigue on the rise, your ABM strategy needs to include a super-engaging and deeply personalized virtual event experience in order to have an impact on Influenced Pipeline.

That’s where your virtual event platform makes all the difference.

Here are the top engagement features to look out for in an ABM-friendly event hosting tool:

  • Polls
  • Gamification
  • Videos
  • Q&A
  • Booths
  • Breakout rooms 
  • Networking capabilities  

By engaging your audience, you’ll not only provide sales with leads but also with warm leads that you know a lot about.

Assigning points to each interaction also allows you to rate the account in terms of attendee engagement level and get an even better reading on their chance of converting. 

📝Action: Not all virtual event platforms are created equal — choose one that makes engagement easy to offer and track.

Virtual Events: The key to successful ABM 🗝

The role of virtual events in the ABM strategy is simple: 

  • They align sales and marketing teams
  • Provide granular data to accelerate conversion
  • Attract impressive, high-value leads
  • Warm up new and existing prospects through engaging content.

Experienced field marketers know the value of good data. But how you acquire, measure and utilize it isn’t always obvious.

By bringing two high-functioning teams together to create the ultimate ABM strategy, you can drive more revenue for your org. And with the help of a smart virtual event platform to provide deep account-level insights, you’ll have no problem convincing sales to forge an alliance on future events. 


Prove your event ROI. Try Goldcast for your next event.

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