How to Pivot Your B2B Event Marketing Strategy and Still Hit Your Numbers

As events continue to cancel and the coronavirus mandates remote work, many are wondering, in a climate of uncertainty, how can we pivot our marketing efforts and still stay on track to hit our numbers. Whether you’re relying on conferences or a traveling roadshow of dinners and lunch-n-learns to hit your OKRs, there are steps you can take to mitigate the abundance of cancellations to come.

Here are a few tips to calm the nerves and include in your presentation to leadership. (Because you know, your CEO will ask, if they haven’t already, to put together a deck outlining your event contingency plan.)

Tip 1: If you are a conference sponsor, get creative and work with the conference on a virtual engagement plan.

Conferences are a critical component to creating awareness, building your contact database and, ultimately, lead generation for your sales team. If you have invested in sponsorship, you are all in and expect to see ROI. On the flip side, conferences need us right now as much as we need them. They need us to stay loyal, keep engaged, and do everything we can to help avoid attendance numbers nosediving when they can finally reschedule.

Contact your conference liaison and ask if they have are open to creating a virtual engagement alternative like a webinar, email marketing series, or social media campaign. You can still leverage the attendee list, provide quality content, and have a CTA matching your quarterly objectives. Remember, you never know until you ask!

Tip 2: Begin to reallocate funds to video and (prospective customer) contributor content.

Video is consumed 4x more than any other content. If you have the ability to reallocate funds to video content creation this is the time to do it. Depending on your current customer journey needs, it may be time to beef up that product video, create compelling customer testimonials, or conduct a series of thought leadership interviews with prospective clients.

If you have the inclination to start bombarding your leads and prospects with more phone calls or lunches, don’t. Every other company has the same inclination and your leads’ already overflowing inboxes will become saturated with salespeople. To stand out and get your emails answered, try a different approach — ask your future or current customers to contribute to your content. Put them on your podcast, interview them for a video or blog. The goal here is to keep everyone engaged and much as possible so the sales cycle doesn’t stall.

Tip 3: To all of my marketers, support sales as much as possible.

As a marketer, I know the pressure to pivot and still perform in this climate is daunting. You have to find a way to supplement mass awareness and speaking engagements with digital marketing efforts. This is why I emphasize, realign yourself with sales and understand what they need to keep going.

Look back at your campaign and content performance data and come to the table with what works and, more importantly, what doesn’t. Understand your sales team’s expected event metrics and figure out what you can produce to help move them virtually move the needle. Support may come in the form of more case studies, sales decks, smart content, more sophisticated and targeted email drip campaigns, or more engaging webinars with longer live Q&As. Whatever it is make sure your copywriters are well caffeinated, graphic designers are on call, and MarTech is up for the challenge. This is the time when marketing automation needs to thrive and start working like a well-oiled machine.

[Bonus tip: If you haven’t developed a Channel Partner marketing strategy this may be the time to do it. Channel partners need more specialized content and support than ever before.]

Please comment and contribute! Let us know how your company is pivoting and the steps your marketing department is taking to keep sales stable.