It’s Time to Get VIRTUALIZED

To help marketers navigate these unprecedented times, we’re putting on a little summit: VIRTUALIZED. It’s a first-of-its-kind live digital event and certification program designed to ensure professionals like you are educated and skilled-up the latest techniques and strategies that you need to succeed in a digital-first era.

Taking place today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Pacific Time, VIRTUALIZED kicks off with a live keynote webinar featuring leading experts in webinar and experiential marketing. After the keynote, attendees can take a five-part on-demand webinar certification course that will provide participants with the knowledge of how to build digital experiences that engage across the entire customer journey.

Powered by the ON24 Platform, VIRTUALIZED features a line up of world-class marketers to share their insights and best practices in a post-COVID world. Jason Talbot, Managing Director of The Crocodile, will provide a keynote, “The Art of Human Connection.” ON24 VP of Content Marketing Mark Bornstein will host and also deliver a keynote.

Those keynotes will be followed by a decorated panel, whose speakers include: Ash Parikh, SVP of Marketing at Informatica, Steve Arentzoff, VP of Demand Generation, Medallia, Jack Foster, Senior Director of Demand Generation at SurveyMonkey, and Deanna Ransom, Global Head of Marketing & Marketing Services at Televerde.

Attendees can expect to learn:

    • A framework for running ongoing VIRTUALIZED campaigns
    • The set of tactics for omnichannel promotions, from email to chatbots social
    • Innovative production and presentation formats, from virtual talk shows to after-parties
    • How to supercharge live engagement and networking in virtual experiences
    • A playbook for putting engagement data to work

VIRTUALIZED comes after ON24 powered MINDSHIFT in May, a digital event assisting the fight against COVID-19 while connecting and inspiring professionals all around the world.

Want to transform your marketing in a digital-first world? Register today.

Why Digital Experiences Need a Mindshift

Whether you love it or hate it, working from home has its challenges. The Sunday Scaries may no longer worry you, but now every day feels exactly the same.

That’s why, in mid-May, we partnered with Epic Keynotes to deliver an engaging event that helps professionals shift their minds and perspectives while working from home. We called it MINDSHIFT, and it was a first-of-its-kind digital event that helps professionals like you to dream up out-of-the-box ideas all while benefiting the COVID-19 Response Fund.

In two hours, MINDSHIFT connected attendees with ten of the greatest thinkers in business and personal development. However, a new mindset isn’t the only thing that’s changing. How we host events like this has shifted from physical, in-person events to a complete content journey experience ranging pre-, during- and post-event.

Here is how we did it:

Getting The Live Event Going

MINDSHIFT started as a live digital event in mid-May. As with any event, it’s important to promote the event to gain as much attendance as possible.

In addition to an email campaign, we focused our promotions on our three social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. We made sure to tag the event speakers, include event branded images and a link directly to the event page website with an easy registration form. The goal is to make it as simple as possible for participants to say “yes” and sign up. We even streamed the event to Facebook live for maximum engagement:

But the real magic for marketers is the landing page itself. Through a combination of ON24 Engagement Hub and Target, visitors are greeted with an interactive, dynamic experience that’s engaging, branded and, for marketers, data-rich.

An Engagement Hub for Virtual Experiences

With ON24 Engagement Hub, MINDSHIFT registrants and attendees can learn all about the event, its details and register for upcoming sessions. The Engagement Hub also empowers marketers to organize their virtual experiences anyway they see fit. They can guide audiences to tracks and breakout sessions, let attendees filter by speaker or topic and more. For MINDSHIFT,  audiences can stream the entire on-demand event with the click of a single button or explore each speaker’s biography and session by clicking on their corresponding section.

Bespoke Experiences via Target Pages

So what happens when a MINDSHIFT attendee clicks on a speaker’s portrait? They’re taken to a branded Target page that contains additional resources about the speaker and a link to the speaker’s MINDSHIFT session. Each MINDSHIFT presenter, then, gets their own page filled with their own contextual content.

Always-On Content Experiences

MINDSHIFT is an event that anyone can watch at any time, over and over again. It is always going to have relevant information and is something that can be revisited as often as a participant desires. The information on radiating positivity and being open to possibilities will never be stale and is something we all need to remind ourselves about, especially as we get so busy in the day to day grind of work and life.

Because this is infinitely relevant, and we can all use a reminder to be more positive and open to new experiences, MINDSHIFT is the perfect event to live on through on-demand streaming.

One of the best things about digital experiences is the ability to easily scale with an audience’s needs. Attendees could focus and watch a 45-minute presentation in the midst of a busy day or narrow-down on a specific topic, track or theme during a two-day seminar. And best of all: virtual experiences scale. Events can range from 100 participants to 10,000 participants — and you can even use in-person content.

So, when you think about how you can mindshift your day-to-day approach to working from home, think about how you can also shift how your work gets done with comprehensive digital experiences.

Five Must-See Events for Virtual Conference Season

Most physical marketing conferences and events are either canceled or postponed. But a few summits are proving we can still keep up-to-date with the latest strategies and techniques — and even network — from afar. The solution? Turning to virtual conferences.

If you’re looking for a virtual event or two to scratch that conference-season itch, then check out these five summits — all powered by the ON24 Platform — taking place in the second half of April:

Best of #B2BMX

See what virtual summits can do April 13 and 14 as Demand Generation Report showcases the Best of #B2BMX. Featuring the top presentations from DGR’s 2020 B2B Marketing Exchange, this virtual event will empower you with more than 20 different sessions, including live virtual keynotes. Here’s a sample of what’s in store:

  • Discover how marketers are responding to a virtual world with our own Mark Bornstein
  • Learn how to draft killer content with Matthew Altieri and Virginia Mott of Nitto, Inc.
  • Apply the principles of social strategy to content creation with Dave Bruno of Aptos

Powered by the ON24 Platform, this virtual conference will give you the confidence you need to tackle your 2020 B2B marketing plan from the comfort of your own home.

RevGrowth Summit

Tune in to Drift’s RevGrowth Virtual Summit on April 16 and 17 to learn how sales and marketing can team up and grow revenue no matter where they are. During this two-day event, you’ll hear from industry-leading experts, learn how to nurture your sales and marketing peers and drive growth in the WFH era. Here’s what’s in store:

  • How to be a truly social brand in a work-from-home environment
  • Tips on using brand journalism to deliver relevant messaging
  • Your playbook for investing in and enabling your sellers
  • The five skills salespeople should steal from marketers in 2020

And much more. With dynamic, interactive features, you’ll be able to exchange ideas, offer input, seek out viewpoints and learn from community members from across the globe.

Discover MarTech

Business as usual isn’t usual anymore, but that doesn’t mean that senior-level marketers can take a break. In fact, if anything, knowing how to act in unusual conditions is more critical than ever.

Stay up to speed on the latest modern marketing developments and strategies when you tune in to Discover MarTech, a three-day virtual event running from April 21 to 23. During this virtual summit, you’ll learn:

  • Practical advice for vetting marketing technology for your specific needs
  • The roles and responsibility of marketing technologists
  • How you can manage change and uncertainty in uncertain times

Plus, you’ll get access to in-depth educational training sessions directly from solution providers — all from the comfort and safety of your home. Register now to get started.

The Show Must Go On

A lot of things are changing, but one rule remains constant: the show must go on.

Discover how you can keep your marketing machine going and master the shift from physical, in-person events to remote, virtual relationships on April 21 during The Show Must Go On: Integrated Ways to Power the Customer Lifecycle.” During this half-day summit, you’ll learn:

  • How to stay hyper-relevant in an age where everything changes fast
  • Methods for optimizing tactics and adjusting your strategy for agile ABM
  • Tips and tricks for transforming your canceled in-person events into vibrant virtual events
  • How you can build trust and working relationships remotely

And much more. Register now and keep your marketing show going strong!

MarTech Masters Series

Marketo is more essential and critical to marketing than ever before. But what can you do to make sure you get the most out of it?

Tune in to DigitalPi’s MarTech Masters Series on April 30 as experts from around the globe share their tips, tricks and best practices for getting more out of Marketo. Designed specifically for marketing operations professionals, this virtual summit will give you new ideas that’ll help you drive tangible results.

Here’s a sample of what’s in store:

  • Insights into how you can drive conversion through better personalization
  • The skills and secrets you need to know to extend Marketo beyond its limits
  • How to monitor intent data and push leads into highly personalized Marketo nurture programs
  • Tips to operationalize webinars and hook up engagement data to Marketo campaigns

Three Key Tips on Making Your Events Evergreen

For ON24’s next Insight50 session, we’ll discuss ‘How to Make Events Evergreen Digital Experiences’. Sign up for the session to get all the top tips.

There are often times when in-person events are simply not possible – particularly with the issues going on in the world in 2020.

Similarly, with all the investment and effort that does go into in-person events, it makes sense to get the most out of them by creating always-on digital experiences that your audience can dive into long after such events are over.

But how should you do this? Ahead of this month’s Insight50 session, here are a few suggestions.

Record your events and break them up into bite-size pieces

If you’re running an in-person event, whether it’s just a single talk or a multi-day multi-stream extravaganza, taking video recordings can help share the knowledge in the room with a wider audience over a longer period of time.

That being said, it’s unlikely that someone can take time out of their busy day to watch absolutely everything.

To improve the post-event digital experience, break down your recordings into key highlights that focus on the important details with a long shelf life. This increases the chance that your audience will consume several recordings, as they will all be high-value and easy to fit into their schedule.

Look to drive interactivity during the live sessions and as part of the digital experience

Whether they are sitting in an auditorium or watching from their desk at home, providing interactive elements and sharing data can help lift the quality of any session.

Take polls, surveys and questions during both the live event and as part of the always-on experience. Share these results with the audience so they know where they sit.

These engagement tools can both help keep your audience interested and also help you to collect valuable data on what they want to hear.

Bring additional resources into the digital experience

When speakers and panelists refer to interesting content, examples and case studies that they have seen in their work during in-person events, you’ll often see a good share of the audience quickly scribble down a note to look that up when they get back to the office.

The great thing about digital experiences is that you can save them time by embedding or linking to these assets while they watch the presentation. This helps to make the digital experience even more valuable, as well as giving you the opportunity to see which of the viewers are the most engaged and interested.

Find out more tips about making your events evergreen

Whether you’re looking to get the most value out of previous in-person events, or want to stretch the impact of your webinars, make sure to sign up to this Insight50 session on ‘How to Make Events Evergreen Digital Experiences’.

Why B2B Marketers Should Care About Their Brand

For ON24’s next Insight50 session, we’ll discuss ‘How to Amplify Your Brand Across Channels and Audiences’. Sign up for the session to get all the top tips.

For B2B marketers, there’s often a source of tension between long-term goals and short-term wins. Given that marketing leaders often have shorter tenures than professionals in other departments, it can be all to easy to prioritize the low hanging fruit versus goals for the future.

This tension can often be seen in balancing out the importance of brand building versus the constant demand for new leads. So why should marketers keep their attention on their brand? Ahead of the webinar, here are a few thoughts.

Brand matters beyond pipeline and reaches further

As marketers, we can all point to examples where a key prospect has turned into a customer based on their experience of a brand. In these cases, it’s not as simple as attributing all the various touchpoints they’ve had which have led to a sale. After all, it’s hard to measure a scenario where someone says “I got in touch with sales because of a great talk I saw at a conference last year.”

Because there are still plenty of areas of the buying journey where total measurement is impossible — for example, a conversation in a meeting that leads to a purchase — the halo effect of a brand can be particularly helpful in increasing awareness and triggering buyer journeys.

Brand powers sales engagement

When it comes to closing sales, B2B marketers need interactions between sales and prospects to happen smoothly. Having a powerful brand can go a long way to improving the outcomes at this stage.

A study by LinkedIn found that the top factor behind why a B2B decision-maker chooses to engage with sales is that they represent a well-known brand — a factor above providing significant information and even referencing a mutual colleague.

While any kind of sales enablement is done by marketing will help convert more prospects to a sale, the weight the brand carries is a significant factor in whether that conversation will open up in the way it should.

Brand carries the experience everywhere

A consistent brand experience helps communicate the values and quality a company can offer well beyond its own properties. Whether it’s a webinar you are hosting through a third-party site or media partner, or a sponsored white paper appearing on a display ad, having a clear brand helps smooth the experience towards a purchase.

That’s also why ON24 makes it easy for customers to customize their webinar console. When the whole experience is an excellent one, your prospects will feel more comfortable — making sure they come back for more and open up a conversation.

Find out more tips about amplifying your brand

To hear further tips, stories and best practices from marketers that create great brand experiences, make sure to sign up to this Insight50 session on ‘How to Amplify Your Brand Across Channels and Audiences’.

How Marketing Can Make Events Work

As a marketing professional, I hate events. That is a bold statement from someone who personally loves a good tradeshow and walking away with six bags full of free stuff I will probably never use. As a marketing professional, however, they are stressful, time-consuming, pressure-cooker situations that I am happy to do without.

So, is the answer to never do physical events? Of course not. We have to do events as part of the marketing mix, both virtual and physical. People do business with people. It is human nature to like face-to-face interactions and get a feel for the person you are about to do business with.

There are of course some great events out there, such as Webinar World, where you go because you know the people you want to meet are going to be there and it will be well organised. If done right, good events can generate new leads, new business or strengthen existing relationships. So, to correct myself, I love events done right.

Madeleine Bergquist is the Nordics Marketing Manager for Marketo, an Adobe Company and a speaker at Webinar World Stockholm.

Build The Case for an Event


I try to manage my budget so that it never takes up more than 40% of the total. That usually makes it the top or second-most costly activity in my budget, depending on digital media spend. This is still fairly conservative, especially if I look at the B2C side, which often spends up to 70% of budget on events.

But I still want to keep events in check, because contrary to what people outside of marketing think, the event does not start at 9 am on the day of the event and finish by 5 pm that afternoon. It started weeks earlier, and, done well, there will be 4-5 days of follow-up to make sure you get value out of your investment. Putting on a good show does not drive business in itself.

While there are differences between the various types of events, whether virtual or physical, there is one uniting principle behind them all: if they are not measurable don’t do them! If you can’t show the return, it basically didn’t happen. You put on a show, you spent lots of money, you had a great time, but after the event, when Finance wants to know what the return was, you will struggle.

On the flip side, if you are in a situation — like many are these days — where you are being asked to do more with less money, and you are able to bring numbers to the table proving the value of your activities, it will lead to a completely different discussion.

Be clear on why you are going, every event should be measurable

You must start by asking “Why are we going and what are we getting out of it. Be clear on the aim of the event. ‘Because we did it last year’, ‘Sales wants us to go’, or ‘our competitors are there’ are not good reasons to attend an event.

Instead, a good reason would be ‘I am going to meet new people to expand my current database by adding new names in a GDPR compliant manner so that I can market to them, and grow our business’, or ‘I am going to meet my customers and work on our retention, cross-sell and upsell opportunities’.

Establish goals and ROI estimates before the event

Set clear business goals and expected ROI – all events should have a finance metric against it relating to cost, pipeline and/or revenue. Educated guesses are ok when you start out, you have to start with something, but as you go you will be able to be more and more accurate.

If your goal is to increase the size of your database, you can calculate cost-per-new-name-acquired and compare that to other methods of acquiring new names. If your goal is to work on customer retention, upsell or cross-sell, you will be able to calculate the reduction in churn, or added revenue to existing accounts.

Focus on the decisions that improve ROI

Find out what works, what doesn’t work and what you can improve on. The numbers will not tell you the entire story. There is a difference between doing an event that you should never have done in the first place if you had done your research, versus a good event but you executed it badly. It could be for any reason, you got the time zone wrong on your webinar, or your physical booth was not placed where the people you wanted to talk to were. Both are easily solved if you were to do it again.

Have a post-Event follow-up strategy in place

A webinerd and her coworkers discuss optimization

Maximise your marketing activities before, during AND after. It is easy to forget to do the work after an event, whether it is physical or virtual. You need to establish clear post-event processes ahead of the event so that everyone knows who is doing what as part of the follow-up.

Plan your lead allocations ahead of time and prioritise them together with sales. You do not want a hot lead ignored for a week because your SDR’s did not have it as a priority. Timeframes and service level agreements need to be in place with sales as well so all know when the follow-up work should be done. You also need sales plays in place to drive high-quality conversations. Finally, you must force the pipeline conversation – the era of blind faith is over!

Putting Event Prep Into Practise

A webinerd and her community dancing happily in a virtual circle

So how do we do this in practise? Up until Adobe recently bought Marketo, we were a very lean organisation of around 1,000 people. We had to be crystal clear on what our returns were as we did not have the budget to get it wrong.

As a result, we evaluate all our activities based on the following criteria:

  • Our investment
  • The multi-touch pipeline we created (no one will buy your product on the back of one single touchpoint with you)
  • How many opportunities it generated
  • The ratio between investment and pipeline
  • The percentage of activities within each channel that perform above the minimum ratio that we have deemed as a success (At Marketo, the ratio for very successful is above 15, good is 10-15 and less than 10 is seen as unsuccessful)

The last bullet one is perhaps the most important metric. This means, as in the example below from a few years ago, that we can have tradeshows that on average come in above 10, but only 49% of them were above the 10 minimum. That means that we had a few great ones and a few that we should definitely not do again.

If you compare with webinars, they are more cost-efficient and the return for us is very high at around 25 with 70% of webinars performing above the 1:10 threshold.

 

Program Channel Investment (MT) Pipeline Created (MT) Opportunities (MT) Ratio % Above Min (MT) Ratio*
Tradeshow $2,896,619 $30,619,242 644 10.6 49%
Webinar $634,610 $16,095,792 362 25.4 70%

Once you have this level of detail, you can then drill down and identify the specific activities that did not reach your targets.

This information gives you a completely different level of bargaining when you go into your budget discussions with Finance or activity discussions with Sales. You will be armed with all the ammunition you need in order to drive your agenda. Just remember to be clear on why you are going, ensure every event is measurable, establish goals and ROI estimates before the event, focus on the decisions that improve ROI, and have a post-event follow-up strategy in place. The result will be a budget well spent and a marketing department not overstretched.

Register now for Webinar World Stockholm and learn how you can get more out of your events — both physical and digital. For more details on how to run a successful event campaign, download Marketo’s Definitive Guide to Event Marketing.

Four Great ON24 Events You’ll Love in February

When it comes to driving results that you’ll love, there are few tools as powerful as webinars. To show you how you can realize those results, we’ve four excellent events for you to tune into to optimize your operations, integrations, presentations and, of course, brand.

Take a look at the list below to see what ON24 has in store for you this February. One month down, 11 more to go. Here’s what’s in store:

RevOps – Built For Growth: The Revenue Engine Tech Stack

Marketing now shares revenue responsibility with sales. But assuming ownership is more than just saying so — it requires a holistic strategy aligning your revenue operations, and the technology infrastructure that supports it, under a single goal.

Tune in to “Built for Growth: The Revenue Engine Tech Stack” on Feb. 5 at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) as the experts from ON24, Allocadia and Forrester examine what it takes to build a tech stack for growth. Register here.

Ingram Micro Cloud’s Approach to Always-On Buyer Experiences

Sifting through data for actionable insights is a lot like looking for a needle in a haystack: a tedious manual process where you can easily make a mistake. But Sam Ancliff, Senior Marketing Executive at Ingram Micro Cloud, how found a way to make his search for insights easier: automate it.

Join us on Feb. 5 at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) as Sam guides us through how integrates Ingram Micro Cloud’s API and CRM systems to automate data analysis and take his marketing to the next level. Register here.

How to Turn Your Webinar Presenters Into Superstars

Nobody likes a dull webinar. Your content may be great, but if your presenter is boring, your audience will check out.

Join us on Feb. 12 at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) to learn how you can spice up your webinars with great presenters and the best practices for making your existing presenters more engaged and your webinars more fun. Register here.

#AlwaysOn: How to Amplify Your Brand Across Channels and Audiences

According to the 2019 Edelman Trust Barometer, only one in three respondents say they trust most of the brands they buy and use. How can marketing close this gap? By delivering on brand promise across every interaction using content that earns audience attention and builds real connections.

Join us on Feb. 27 at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) as the marketing experts from ON24 and NetLine discuss how marketers can build emotional experiences, trust and connect with audiences. Register here.

Announcing Webinar World 2020: Experiences Everywhere

We’ve heard it all before: Spammy. Creepy. Disruptive. Annoying. Clickbait. Marketing. Since when did marketing become a bad word? Well, ever since marketers decided to rely on marketing technology over audience experience.

It’s time for marketers to create experiences that audiences actually demand, not ignore. To do that, our experiences need to start conversations, surround audiences with information that’s valuable and delivers content in a way that’s entertaining, informative and relevant. 

That’s why, at Webinar World 2020, we’re exploring how we, as marketers, can deliver better Experiences Everywhere. Taking place at the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco on June 15 and 16, this two-day event will provide you with the skills you need to organize, craft, deliver and refine experiences that connect with audiences on their terms. 

Here’s what’s going to happen: 

On day one, we’ll offer you and your team the opportunity to receive the industry’s first and only “Webinar Marketing Certification.” This half-day certification program provides attendees with the skills and best practices they need to organize, produce and refine webinars throughout the entire webinar lifecycle. 

On day two, we’ll host our annual Webinar World conference. There, you’ll learn from like-minded peers and genuine #webinerds on how they create, refine and reproduce webinar programs and content experiences that stand out and drive experiences audiences crave. 

So how can you participate? Simple. Register here and choose whether you would like to participate in our certification program (taking place June 15), our conference (taking place June 16) or both. Then, make your way to Webinar World on June 15 and 16. 

Keep an eye on both this blog and our registration page over the coming months — we’ll update both spaces with conference tracks, tips on making your Webinar World experience great and practical best practices that you can use to make your webinar program shine. 

Let’s make 2020 the year that we stop creating experiences audiences avoid and start creating experiences they want. See you at Webinar World! 

Have a unique, interesting webinar-related experience to share as an ON24 Master? Submit it to our Call for Speakers for a chance to present at Webinar World 2020! Click here for more details.

Three Great ON24 Webinars to Kick-Off the New Year

Happy New Year and welcome to 2020! We hope everyone had a wonderful holiday break and are fully rested, recovered and ready for another 12 months of great webinar guidance.

This month at ON24, we’ve three webinars you’ll want to tune into to make sure your 2020 webinar year starts off right. Here’s what’s in store:

1. How Sage Intacct Makes Webinars the Secret Sauce at their ABM BBQ

 

The last of our end-of-the-year series for 2019, “How Sage Intacct Makes Webinars the Secret Sauce at their ABM BBQ” will explore how you can use webinars to power a variety of initiatives — including ABM. Tune in on Jan. 3 at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) to learn how it’s done. Click here to register.

2. How Walden University Uses Webinars to Attract Prospective Students

Building trust behind an online service isn’t easy. Just ask David Richardson, manager of digital events and webinars at Walden University. On Jan. 15  at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST), David will share how he uses webinars to boost brand identity, enrollment and develop a continuing education program that’s the envy of higher ed. Register for class here.

3. Webinar Marketing Predictions for 2020

 

Marketing is changing. It has to change. Audiences today expect more than an endless sea of spam and SDR calls. What they want are engaging experiences, and webinars will be taking us into that future. And what does that future look like? Join us on Jan. 15 at 11 a.m. PST (2 p.m. EST) as our own Mark Bornstein peers into his crystal ball in Webinar Marketing Predictions for 2020. Register here.