Marketers are no strangers to change. Part of the role means adapting to consumers’ preferences, which are constantly evolving. Furthermore, marketers have gone through a lot of abrupt upheaval in marketing activities this past year, including the cancellation of in-person events.
As returning to all in-person events remain up in the air, there are emerging trends evolving for marketing teams to consider when planning GTM strategies for 2022. This is especially true when it comes to event marketing.
1. Future Events Will Be Hybrid
When the pandemic forced closures and social distancing mandates, marketers faced the cancellation of in-person events like conferences and tradeshows. In their place, virtual events became the new normal for engaging with prospects and customers.
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In-person events will continue to have a sister digital component, and marketers will need to make sure that all engagement and interaction data with both virtual and in-person is passing back to their MAP and CRM systems seamlessly. Also, marketers will need to look into additional messaging platform integrations such as SMS/text in order to communicate event updates and messages to attendees in real-time. Keep in mind that when it comes to event registrations, the easier an experience you can provide the attendee via forms, landing pages, or calendar invites, the better.
2. Find Alternatives in A Cookieless World
While Google has postponed the eventual death of third-party cookies (until 2023), marketers will still need to learn to wean themselves off of third-party cookie targeting strategies. This is why investing in CDP (customer data platforms) will need to be a part of your martech stack. As a side note, you can use tools like Google’s Privacy Sandbox to achieve personalization and consumer targeting without intruding on user privacy. Regardless, CRM tools, surveys, and interactive content will become increasingly instrumental to overcoming the cookieless era.
3. Thought Leadership is NOT going away
Content is still the driving force of many marketing efforts. As you consider what will drive attendance to upcoming events you sponsor or host, think about the topics you want to be known for and how you deliver that content through omnichannel such as social, video, and search.
4. “Micro-Events” versus Big Production Conferences
As a cost-saving measure and to lessen the need for more in-person resources, many companies are starting to scale back those big blowout conferences that take place once a year. Instead, it’s a series of smaller, more intimate events that still deliver the same networking value. For example, a healthcare company could schedule a series of customer appreciation events that includes a wine tasting conducted virtually but the custom wine is delivered to participants. Or, a series of accounts could be targeted based on buyer personas to attend a virtual conference hosted by the company but attendees are sent conference swag as a physical touchpoint.
My colleague and I will continue to explore omnichannel strategies for marketers in marketing technology and operations in our “Beyond Email” series. Be sure to check back into our Marketo blog channel for more content.