While marketing tactics like social media and blogging are becoming more prevalent in the B2B landscape, a recent study from Content Marketing Institute and MarketingProfs shows that a greater percentage of marketers believe that in-person events are the most effective marketing tactic than any other marketing effort.
67% of B2B marketers view in-person events as highly effective. Events edged out case studies (64%), which won the silver medal and webinars (61%), which took the bronze. Compare these figures to the fact that less than half of the B2B marketers surveyed cited social media as effective. This is especially interesting since the same study shows that more B2B marketers are using social media (87%) than any other form of content marketing, including event marketing, which is only being utilized by 69% of marketers.
So does this study prove that in-person marketing unilaterally offers better ROI than social media, ebooks, videos and case studies? Heck no! At the end of the day, it’s a matter of metrics and B2B marketers don’t all use the same ones. While more and more companies are adopting an ROI culture, there are still companies that focus on soft metrics like clicks, likes and business cards acquired. For example, there are many marketers out there who would think that since 1000 people signed a list at an in-person powerpoint presentation, that the event was more successful than their Facebook campaign that only got 20 likes in the last month. But the only way to truly determine which efforts are the most successful is by tracking which ones generate the most revenue. Just one of those 20 prospects that liked the business on Facebook might end up driving ten times as much ROI as all 1000 of those in-person leads combined.
Tracking the ROI of every effort is the only way to get an apples-to-apples view of your marketing efforts and see which are truly most effective. And if your business is closing any deals over the phone, then it is impossible to attain a 360 degree view of marketing ROI unless you track call metrics in the CRM tool where your sales data lives. Using a call tracking solution such as RingDNA with a CRM like Salesforce.com gives you the power to see which efforts are worth investing in and which aren’t. You might find that that conference you went to, that seemed like a win was, at the end of the day, not worth the investment. It might also confirm that in person events are actually far more effective for your business than social media marketing.
Want to know the best ways to track event marketing ROI? Check out these tips.