It’s budget season and for many marketers, a big portion of the budget is spent on events. For many marketing organizations, events are a key tactic for building awareness and for generating leads. From a Revenue Marketing perspective, events are carefully planned to maximize revenue opportunities. What we have seen is marketers building an “Events Capability” as they take the Revenue Marketing Journey. At each stage of the Revenue Marketing Journey, how marketing drives financial benefit from events matures.

Let me do a quick reminder of the four stages of the Revenue Marketing Journey.

Event Capability Descriptions

As you read through the following descriptions, identify where you are today and where you need to be!

Stage 1: Events at the Traditional Stage

In the Traditional stage, there is no holistic strategy based on customer orientation. Marketing is still working in highly departmentalized siloes, both within marketing and across the organization. In this scenario, events are managed by an event team that is responsible for execution. Events are not part of a holistic, integrated, customer-focused strategy. Marketing is not involved with sales around the events and actually does not have a relationship with sales. Technology used is the standard event technology based on an execution mindset. Content is product focused, like the strategy, and metrics or KPIs are focused on activities – how many registrants and how many badge scans.

Stage 2: Events at the Lead Generation Stage

In the Lead Generation Stage, events still occur as an independent activity and are not part of an integrated, customer-oriented strategy. Events are like a legacy system – no one knows why you have to do all of them – “it’s just the way it’s always been done and sales expects it.” The key process is execution of the event and the customer experience, pre-during-post the event, is not part of the plan. While marketing may have some degree of lead generation as part of the event, there is not a substantive relationship with sales. Content is still product centric and key metrics are based on activities with some number of “hot leads” included.

Stage 3: Events at the Demand Generation Stage

Events begin to play a significantly new role in the Demand Generation stage. Marketing is now deploying a customer-centric, integrated Revenue Marketing strategy. This focus on the customer, versus the company, defines all elements of the Journey from this point forward. Events are defined as part of the Buyer Journey and are a single tactic across an integrated set of tactics and programs. In this stage, events have strong pre-during-post customer engagement across multiple channels. Marketing is now responsible for event ROI/revenue metrics such as MQLs, contribution to pipeline, and revenue. Providing intelligence to sales based on digital body language is also a staple of the marketing process of events at this stage. Technology in this stage is focused on creating the optimal customer experience, pre-during-post event across multiple channels. Tools such as marketing automation, CRM, BI, etc., are staples at this stage. Content is focused on messages for key personas and the Buyer Journey. Content is fresh, dynamic and customer-centric.

Stage 4: Events at the Revenue Marketing Stage

As a mature Revenue Marketer, events are used as a key tactic as part of an integrated and customer-centric Revenue Marketing strategy. Events are managed as part of a portfolio of tactics and programs that now have predictable results. In this stage, all key processes are optimized and RPS = Repeatable, Predictable, and Scalable. Marketing may have pipeline goals and may be compensated on achieving those revenue-based goals. In this stage, marketing and sales have a synergistic working relationship, meaning they work as ONE Revenue Marketing team. Event technology is used to create an optimal customer experience pre-during-post the event and across multiple channels. Tools such as marketing automation, CRM, BI, etc., are staples at this stage. Content at this stage is the same as in the Demand Generation stage, with the difference that marketing KNOWS what content works best based on prior experience. Finally, while the metrics and KPI’s are similar to those in the Demand Generation stage, marketing can now actually forecast the revenue impact from an event.

If events are a big part of your budget, as you make plans for 2015, do all you can to make your events revenue generators.

Read more: