Brilliant Marketing on the Cheap – Events
Posted by: Lisa Allocca
Dec 15, 2008
I have been reading quite a bit about cutting back on marketing spend in 2009 but instead of pontificating about marketing on the cheap I thought I would show examples of how companies are successfully cutting back and still getting great results. This is the first post in a series.
InforSense is a London-based firm that provides next-gen business and scientific intelligence tools. Although their solutions cross many vertical markets, in 2H2008 they decided to focus their marketing efforts in one area and it has paid off. They have gained strong momentum in the pharma, healthcare and biotech research communities with their Translational Research Solutions. Translational Research is the practice of linking clinical and research data to identify early diagnostics, also known as biomarkers, to improve disease understanding and ultimately enhance patient care. The solution solves a real pain point in research communities and is used by leading edge medical research institutions such as Dana Farber for cancer research and Kings College for Alzheimer’s research as well as pharma companies such as GlaxoSmithKline.
Recently, InforSense held a Translational Research Symposium, essentially a face-to-face seminar with the ultimate goal of lead generation. For previous symposiums InforSense had rented out conference rooms or ballrooms in downtown urban hotels to host the event. The venue catered all the food throughout the day and materials were sent out to be copied and packaged for the event.
For their recent event, InfoSense changed their tactics, cut back on their spending, and focused their efforts on working with their speakers to create compelling content to capture their prospects attention. The results were amazing.
The speakers included an industry pundit, two customers, one prospect, and the Chief Scientific Officer at InforSense. It was a stellar line-up. But what really caught the attention of everyone that attended the symposium was what the prospect had to say.
“We need solutions like InforSense because women are still dying of breast cancer.”
WOW! What a powerful statement. A marketer’s dream. Here is a prospect that can clearly articulate their true pain point. The prospect continued to talk about their research challenges and how InforSense could help address those challenges to accelerate breast cancer research.
So, what can we learn from this?
- Focus your marketing efforts on a real-life application, not a technology. You are more likely to generate highly qualified leads by focusing on an application that solves a real problem rather than a broader-based technology such as Business or Scientific Intelligence.
- Storytelling is very powerful. InforSense’s prospect tells a credible story in a powerful way. Concentrate on really understanding the value your solutions bring to the table and develop content that reflects and highlights your solution’s intrinsic value. This is hard to do when you are immersed in the guts of technology. Focus on the “why” first and on the “how” second. Have your public relations firm help you, they are experts at this and are faced with this challenge daily as they pitch your story.
- It isn’t necessary to produce a fancy, high end event. InforSense rented a training room from a medical research institution. It was based in a hospital, it was reasonably priced and their targeted audience was very comfortable in their surroundings. Look for corporate training facilities, universities, or industry organization meeting facilities that are willing to rent their venues. Everyone is looking to generate revenue these days and there are deals to be found.
- Cater the event yourself. InforSense picked-up coffee and bagels at a local coffee shop. Support local businesses. It is good for your event and also for the community.
- Less is more. InforSense walked away with a few highly qualified leads that are likely to turn into business rather than a plethora of less qualified leads that they would normally generate at a larger and broader industry event.
- Get your customers and prospects to sell for you. Nothing sells like solid testimonials from your customers. Find a few highly satisfied customers and make it worth their while to support your efforts.
According to Nick Goode, vice president of marketing at InforSense, “Although webinars and Internet-based marketing seems to be the way to go in 2009, face-to-face meetings with prospects still yield the best results. You can’t do anything with nothing but you can do a lot with a little.”
Words of wisdom for 2009.