Marketing Automation

When you think about marketing automation it's perhaps not easy to see the link with events. And yet marketing automation holds quite some promise for event organizers.

Kevin Van der Straeten
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When you think about marketing automation it’s perhaps not easy to see the link with events. And yet marketing automation holds quite some promise for event organizers.


Hi Carlo.


Hi Kevin. How are you?


I’m fine thank you. Welcome to the studio. We are going to talk today about marketing automation. What has it to do with the event industry?


Well it’s a wonderful technique. It’s a method to really attract customers or event participants to our events in a way that it is basically automated. Automated by seeing what’s really happening online. We identify the persons who are in line, and what really the interests are. And how they are relevant for our events. In that way we can send them directly the right mail with the content they really like. Whether you like classic music, or heavy metal we can really send you the right mail at the right time.


But is it just about personalization of the mail or goes it a lot further than that?


It’s a lot more than that. It’s identifying the person online so we can really attract him with the right messages. In that way, by identifying him, we can also send an email if they abandon their ticket sales.


Yeah, but how do you identify them in the first place?


Well in the first place… If you just have a visitor on your website, you don’t know who it is.Well, when you first receive an email, you already identify when you go to the website. Or, if you fill out a form, or when you bought a ticket before you already identify it yourself. We will keep that identification by a cookie. So we can re-identify you the next time you are visiting our website. Both on your smartphone as on the website. So it’s only once that the identification needs to be done. And the next time we can really deepen our relationship with you. Okay, and it already start changing the content you’re showing and things like that. Absolutely. Our content can be changed, based on your interests, based on sales before based on what we know, based on your visits before.

And what you really liked. So we can basically know whether you will buy a VIP ticket or a basic ticket.


But also doesn’t that become For example, if I once bought a ticket for classical music for my grandma because she likes it and then I come on your concert website and every time I get classical music I don’t like classical music myself. How do you make sure you don’t end up in that pitfall?


Well, there is more than just the one classical music ticket you bought. There is every visit you did on a page. So you went to visit that one ticket once for your grandmother, but at the same time you had visits 100 pages of rock concerts. So, okay, you really track everything. The amount, I really check everything. So basically we can change that content too. But it’s more than that. It’s also knowing which campaign on Facebook really works, which Google AdWords leads to ticket sales. And how we can enlarge this way of working together. And see what actually works. - See what actually works. Your Return On Investment will be higher. We will attract more leads at your website convert them faster and enlarge the relationship with you. You went to see our website you’re not sure your girlfriend could join you this weekend, so you went home again. Well, then we can send you an email just ‘did you check the date already?’ or ‘We have a promotion for you’. Or for last minute tickets. We already know who went to see our events in former months, but didn’t buy the ticket. Well at the last minute we can sell those tickets faster and efficiently.


That’s indeed very smart. If you look at all the automation processes it’s a lot about technique, capturing data, analyzing things. But isn’t the difficulty to come up with the right campaigns? Like you said looking at who already visited the page that didn’t buy and then send the last email. You need to think of all these things.


The computer only knows to account. So we really need to have people who create a creativity in how to use it. And make the campaigns, make the nice pictures make the videos you need, make the enlargement of the event. Well, that’s the same thing in marketing. You have to find out what’s the real strategy that will capture the heart and the mind of someone else.


Okay. I’m thinking already because I see opportunities, if you’re tracking people, and you know for example, that they are wealthy, that they have a lot of money you could try to raise the price for them.


Well, of course, but whenever there is a technique there is someone who will abuse it.


Yeah, in airline tickets they are already doing it. Depending on where you live you get a different price.


Yeah, but the real truth of course is that only honesty will give you a longer way of doing business. And it’s the same thing online. Even online it’s even harder because people will correct you. People will give you comments when you mislead them. So I think that self-correction online is maybe harder than the law can reach.


And what about privacy. Especially in the European Union that’s a hot topic.


It’s a hot topic, yeah. A lot of things will change because new legislation will come in 2018. And basically already the legislation today is very strong. But it’s always the same. We need to find the way of helping our public to have a relevant message. So legislation we will find a way to accept the terms. That’s what we do every day. Every day on a website and when we enter a room, we accept the terms of Wi-Fi. We accept the terms of Facebook. We accept the terms of LinkedIn. We all do. So that’s the way we will find a solution for the privacy legislation. But if I really want to reach you

I want to reach you by your heart, I have to send you a relevant message. And whenever it’s relevant it’s not spam. So there’s the real magic about the Internet. You are deciding.


Maybe as a last question… we have a lot of event planners looking at this show  




What should, in your opinion, be their quick win to implement right away?


Knowing really what their customers are doing. Knowing where you can reach your Return On Investment. It’s such a magical thing if you just can track what’s happening, you will learn so much to change in the next time. And of course, making some progress in automation of your emails, follow-up, sending them the traffic instructions just before sending them a questionnaire afterwards. So you can track all those information in one basic system.


Okay, Carlo. Thank you very much for this inspiring talk.


Thank you, Kevin.


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