Data-Driven Marketing for Event Planners

How do you use data driven marketing to get more out of your events? Kevin discusses this with data marketer Kris Vranken.

Kevin Van der Straeten
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How do you use data driven marketing to get more out of your events? I discuss this with data marketer Kris Vranken.


Hi Kris, welcome to our studio. Today’s topic is data driven marketing. But what is it about?


Well, data driven marketing is about optimizing your marketing and communications based upon data, especially insights. Today we live in an era where there’s an enormous amount of data based on behaviors of consumers.

But not only that. There's also a big overload of communication. So the main objective for marketers is to be relevant and to start communication that is more trigger-based. Based upon real needs of consumers in a process.


Do you have an example of that?


Absolutely. Today you go to a website and you’re a first-time visitor, and you leave your email address to receive emails. At that point a company can send you emails, but they do not know a lot about you. 




They do not know your habits or interests and they start emailing you. And perhaps it’s about, three, four emails a week, which is indeed an overload. You start spamming that consumer. The objective for the brand or for the company is then: what are the real interests of that person. So they can start analyzing click-behavior or asking you questions about your interests. And based upon those interests, they can start personalizing emails, but also other communication.


Is it then just about personalization or is it more than that?


Its more than that. Personalization is a way to get the right message, the right content to the right person. But you are not always more relevant at that point. And you do not follow the customer journey.

Customer journey is: what are the interests at that moment for a particular person. The main challenge will be in what stage of the customer journey is a person. And then you start maybe selling or growing interest. Those are all different objectives.


But what has this to do with events?


The link with events is data-driven marketing gets its information out of different sources. This can be for instance a website, or the clicks on an email, social media, but also the guest register in a shop. Invoice files and so on. And events is a very important location where you have face-to-face contact with your final customer, or maybe prospects. A lot of people visits events. And the objective there is to get more information about that visitor.


It’s a source for data capturing.


And it is absolutely a very important source for data capturing.


And what do you capture then on an event? Who is there. But also what does he do or…


It starts with basic information like name, email address, mobile phone number, and so on. But it can be interesting to get more information about his interests, to define whether this person will be a potential customer in the future.


But also in the trade fair, for example. Which booths did he visit? Or is that a step too far?


That might not be a step too far, but it’s difficult to measure which booths a visitor has visited.


Yeah, but with new nearby technology it is possible?


It could be done. Absolutely, yes. But then it’s the event’s organizer that has to install such programs and absent and so on. For the individual brands it is also very interesting to start capturing data.


Does it also work the other way around? For example, I organize several events that based on the data I will decide who I will invite on which event.


Yes. Once you have the basic information, you will start to get more information about their behavior, their interests. And between several or more events you can communicate with these people. You can start communication based upon their interests and building bridges between your events. And then for the next events you can use that kind of insights to optimize your next event. Who are my best customers? Which customers do I want to treat, or to give them a VIP treatment?


More in the case of a loyalty program, then.


For us this is beyond loyalty programs. Because loyalty programs are more like fixed programs, on fixed dates.


You get points and after 100 points you get this or that.


Exactly. The challenge for data-driven marketers is to be creative. To be creative, and to surprise your customers. So you have to dive into the information and do a lot of analytics. Today, big data and predictive modeling is helping us with that.


But isn’t that the real challenge? That you gather too much data and that it’s becoming irrelevant?


Well, the main objective is not to gather as much data as possible, but to understand the data. And therefore you have to define very clear objectives. So a strategy is very important. You have to be a marketer with a vision. What do you want to reach? What do you want to obtain with your customers? And then you start mining information and mining data.


The other-way-around questions, is just what you need.


Yeah. I know a lot of companies, who start with the first part is collecting as much data as possible. Then they have a pile of information. And the next big question that they ask is, what are we going to do with this information?

Well, those are marketers that are focused on gathering information, putting systems in place. But the real question is not understanding behavior of consumers.


It’s acting on it.


And acting on it, yes.


Okay, great. Thank you very much for your explanations.


You’re welcome.


And you at home, thank you for watching our show. I hope to see you next week.