Email marketing ranks a close second as a useful tool for promoting in-person events, according to a new study by Certain. Of 151 event marketers interviewed, 17.9% indicated email is effective compared with 19.9% for social media.
Next on the list, specified by13.9%, was word-of-mouth. But that was followed by another email tactic -- direct prospecting emails -- cited by 13.2%.
However, email fared more poorly when respondents were asked which tactics were best at driving demand and revenue, for which it was rated fourth behind direct marketing, events and content marketing.
Whatever the channels used, event marketing seems to be a robust activity. Almost 70% plan to increase their spending on the area this year, with 25.2% maintaining existing budgets. Only 5.3% foresee decreases.
Events also seem to grab a large swath of the average yearly marketing spend. Of those polled, over a third are allocating from 26% to 50% of their marketing budgets to events, and 15.9% are earmarking from 51% to 75%.
What’s more, 76.8% give themselves four or five stars for their ability to drive results based on events.
Their biggest challenges? Increasing attendance, then lead capture and follow-up. More than 94% said they are unable to follow up with leads generated at events on the same day. And 56.9% take four or more days to follow up with leads.
This may be explained, in part, by the fact that only 30.5% use a technology solution to capture leads at the events. And that isn’t the only technological lapse: only 49% employ an effective event management or automation software platform.
Still, these marketers are using advanced systems in some areas.
Here are the marketing automation and CRM platforms they are merging with their event data:
Asked to rank important technologies, the respondents mentioned event management/automation, registration management, event & session check-in, lead capture, session polling and surveys and mobile app.