By Iman Ghorayeb, Director Marketing & Communication, EMEA & APAC, at Avaya
As in any industry, my team and I still say “let’s find out” as we navigate this new world of it all. There are many challenges in the B2B technology space. It was only when we were unable to do things face-to-face that we realized how central human contact was to our roles.
Industry events and trade fairs were obviously missing from the marketing mix this year. And if your marketing plan is typically event-based – as many B2B marketers do – with month-long campaigns that leverage a series of touchpoints and culminate in one big show, how does the new reality affect your strategy? And when events are back on the agenda, how would you do things differently?
We learned a lot through our participation in GITEX Technology Week, one of the most popular B2B technology events in the world. Originally scheduled for Fall 2020, the event has been postponed as the UAE proactively worked to get Covid-19 under control. As the case numbers stabilized, there was enough confidence to hold the December event safely. According to the organizer, Dubai World Trade Center, it was the only major personal technology fair of 2020.
We may have attended (and campaigned for) a physical event, but we were still marketing in a new world of work. Here are five things we learned from our integrated campaign:
1 Create a hybrid strategy that delivers across touchpoints
We are a B2B technology provider with a team influencing corporate buyers in Europe, Asia and Africa. Therefore, high quality interaction with our business partners, commercial ecosystem partners and customers is critical to our market launch. GITEX is a milestone in our year-over-year sales movement. We used to have hundreds of our stakeholders in this incredible city and designed a trip based on physical and personal experiences. This year, however, the engagement had to be hybrid and run in two parallel worlds of digital and physical, and each required its own unique journey.
2 For you: the Netflix experience
A standard in-person event needs to have the content tailored to the lowest common denominator of the person you expect to visit your booth. That assumption goes out of the window when you bring digital into the mix. The last thing we wanted to do is take our guests on a virtual journey and not deliver the right food for their individual tastes. A fantastic sales and marketing partnership resulted in the right insights and analysis, as well as a better response to our calls to action.
3 Respond quickly to tactical opportunities
One of the main features of GITEX is the first-class conference program with more than 300 hybrid conference routes over 5 days. When a tactical opportunity arose at the last minute, as the leader in collaboration technology, it was a breeze for us to work with the organizers and let our technology play its part. Just a few weeks before kick-off, Avaya Spaces became the official collaboration platform for the week-long conference schedule. The solution offers a lot more than just video conferencing, but the opportunity to introduce it to the 30,000 spectators who watched the meetings was too good to resist.
4 A new world with new measurement options
It’s an evolved world that not only allows you to measure your success, but also to track your work in real time. Our sales team’s response time was near real-time, doubling our usual SQL score, and our reach and media exposure was the second highest of any exhibitor at the show.
5 Win as a team
New world or not, the fact remains that marketing can only win the game if it plays as a team. The department is not an island and should really be integrated into the goals of the entire company. At Avaya, we’re fortunate to have top-notch teams across the board – from marketing and sales to technology and support. However, the success of an integrated campaign requires that the right teams are in the right place, the right offers are positioned, and the right KPIs are taken into account. Find out who is doing best and where, and prepare you and the company for success.