4 Steps for A+ Event Data-Mining

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It’s never been a perfect process. Marketers have typically used data-collection as a reporting aspect. Leads are turned over to sales and reporting is difficult. It should be a closed-loop scenario. Only by collecting data and applying the right analysis can marketers understand and enhance the performance of spends. Here are four steps to creating a thorough data-mining process:


1. Data Definition


Begin with the basics of identifying targeted buyers, the event dollars it will take to reach them, and how to appropriate the right spend against reaching buyers. Map out a timeline against the internal decision progress and identify what products and services need to be promoted, what issues and opportunities exist, and what barriers prevent a lead from converting to a sale. Rank current agencies and vendors on a scale of one to five to see if they are truly best-in-class partners. Develop a set of data-mining questions against which all data will be aggregated: Is this a relevant buyer, do they want a follow-up? When are they likely to buy? What is required to convert? Is this event a catalyst for converting them?


2. Data Mining Tools


Develop tools that will be used to collect and analyze data. Collection solutions include kiosks, tablets, handheld devices, and wireless data-entry. Analysis tools include event management software, intranets, CRM software, and verification tools. The U.S. Army historically used paper lead forms at events; attendees filled out carbon-copy tickets, with one copy sent off to a data-mining shop and the other taken by local recruiters back to H.Q. for immediate follow up. No more. Paper has been replaced by laptops. At the end of each day, staffers upload data to servers at Recruiting Command at Fort Knox. The servers move data to a CRM system and within 24 hours, leads are segmented by ZIP code and sent to recruiters. Leads include a tag that describes how the data was collected, so the recruiter can begin the conversation in a relevant way. “We’re at a tipping point,” says Sparks chairman Jeff Harrow. “CMOs are relying on data like never before and are finding ways to slice, dice and enrich what they’re collecting.”


3. Portfolio Alignment


Use the data to learn how the different assets in the portfolio are performing. There are fewer buyers attending events these days, which means brand managers must use data to follow the bread trail and learn which events in the portfolio attract the greatest number of buyers. Use the data to identify new and emerging customers who can purchase products and services and to identify the quantity and quality of leads. Consider an analytics person/team to track/report/analyze data. It’s not a standard role in most companies—hence the common disconnect between marketing/sales and reporting. This role could be more than justified in the sales made through better management of data.


4. Proving Value


No element of the event continuum helps prove the value of spends better than data. Develop management reports, portfolio performance graphs, expense reviews and event generation data reviews. Use data to show that an event dollar returns specific revenue and that a live engagement can facilitate a purchase funnel action faster than any other marketing investment. Consider an analytics person/team to track/report/analyze data. It’s not a standard role in most companies—hence the common disconnect between marketing/sales and reporting. But it could be justified in the sales made through better management of data.


Posted by Kristy Elisano | Request as a Speaker

Caffeine dependent Jersey girl. Northeast powder hound. Inspired by creative risk takers and underdogs. VP Marketing, Doodle owner and cocreator of my daughter.