Five Key Factors Are Driving Online Event Popularity, Effectiveness, ROI
A presentation illustrating these emerging market influences will be featured at TRENDS – a half-day virtual conference focused on the latest in B2B marketing and sales, presented by the Marketing Cloud, on July 18, 2013.
According to recent data from Forrester Research, Inc., virtual events or virtual trade shows have become a top vehicle (behind support or discussion forums) for reaching surveyed decision-makers (Forrester Research, Inc., How B2B Marketers Use Social Now, May 2013). Companies are turning to virtual events as an important part of the marketing mix – fueling adoption growth. Increased use of virtual event technology is based on these five trends:
• The creation of persistent marketing environments: Virtual events create much more than “moment-in-time” marketing events like live trade shows. Instead they can become lasting, “always-on” resources. Examples include client briefing centers, product launch events and partner centers. Persistent virtual marketing environments, accessible for an indefinite period of time, increase reach and extend content life, delivering more opportunities to leverage virtual marketing solutions.
• The socialization of virtual events and environments: Virtual events are becoming highly interactive networking events, integrating a wide array of interactive tools and enabling the sharing of event-related content across social networks like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In addition, gamification techniques are being used to increase engagement and informal networking. What all of this means is that marketers can achieve a higher level of engagement with customers and prospects.
• The rise of the migratory virtual event attendee: Virtual attendees are migrating from the office to…everywhere, increasing virtual event reach as well as end-user convenience. In addition, audience behavior is changing as more people access virtual events via mobile devices from any location; this trend has led to increased on-demand viewing of content and repeat viewing. The end result of these changing viewing habits is increased exposure to content.
• Virtual events as multi-touch marketing environments: Nurturing a prospect through the sales cycle from lead to revenue takes numerous “marketing touches.” Virtual events have become a vehicle to integrate multiple content types and marketing touches into a single virtual experience. The benefits include increased content exposure; the ability to deliver focused content or solution tracks; and demand generation program acceleration.
• Behavioral lead scoring: Virtual events provide detailed metrics on attendee behavior, offering data-driven insights into areas of interest. This leads to routing prospects onto appropriate product and solution tracks. The game-changing level of insight more effectively feeds marketing automation and CRM systems and leverages behavioral data to drive customers through the buying cycle.
Overall, these trends are reshaping the world of virtual event marketing. By understanding more about how to leverage these evolving trends, today’s virtual event marketers can increase the reach, interactivity and lifespan of their online events, connecting with high-value sales targets and driving marketing ROI.
“Today’s virtual events are far more than just online trade shows, and these five trends underscore just how effective online events can be,” commented ON24 Chief Marketing Officer Denise Persson. “They have become multifaceted demand generation tools that any company can use, enhancing the value and ROI of marketing programs while providing an unprecedented level of accessibility and convenience to end users around the world.”
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