6 Do’s and Don’ts of Reallocating Your Event Budget to Reach Leads
January 26, 2021
Events have been a mainstay in connecting building product manufacturers with home builders — but 2020 hampered their impact thanks to outright cancellations and the need to go virtual. Yet, manufacturers still have goals to meet. Luckily, there’s always a silver lining: with less events, your sales and marketing budget is open to new opportunities.
In this post we’ll discuss the six do’s and don’ts for reallocating your event budget, whether your objective is lead generation, prospect conversion, customer retention or all three.
Don’t: Be a spammer
Without meet-ups, sponsored parties and booth opportunities, it’s easy to fall into the lure of lists. Introducing your brand or solution to hundreds, if not thousands, of new contacts (or at least their email addresses) feels like the perfect opportunity to grow your business.
But purchased lists have drawbacks:
Anti-spam laws: Mass emailing likely means you’ll hit contacts who haven’t consented to receive your email (opt-in). And if you email without consent, it can qualify as spam. The penalties (based on the EU’s GDPR rules, the CAN-SPAM Act in the U.S., etc.) range from being blocked from future emailing to fines for breaking the law.
Backlash: If you don’t get flagged for sending spam, you still open your business to backlash for emailing without consent. If a contact could have been a potential sale, a mass mailing might leave a bad taste in their mouth.
Lost email access: You risk your reputation by sending unsolicited emails. You can also risk damaging your email provider’s reputation. If you engage in spamming, and your email provider doesn’t take action against you, anti-spam laws are broad enough to threaten the provider’s business operations.
Do: Engage with targeted and confirmed accounts
Email doesn’t need to be spammy. Instead of sending a templated email to thousands of generic email addresses, send a personalized email to the right person.
How do you know they’re the right person? By collecting information about them when they’re asked to opt-in to your communications — whether that’s through a sign-up on your website, a special landing page from an ad or etc.
One way to get sign-ups is through gated content or newsletters in which you offer free and valuable information to home builders in exchange for a couple of qualifying questions (for example: “how many homes do you build per year?” or “what brand do you currently install for [x]?”)
By soliciting such information, marketing can segment your opted-in email list for customized email campaigns, while sales can add personal details so the recipient knows you've done your research and aren’t emailing them without reason.
Make it personal with HomeSphere-IQ®
You can also use tools like HomeSphere-IQ's Builder Discovery, which allows you to target builders based on their build type, average price point, estimated homes built per year and location. The tool even estimates the opportunity value of each builder.
And what’s best is that every builder included in the tool has opted in to receive emails from HomeSphere brand partners.
Don’t: Advertise without purpose
Using your trade show budget for advertising may seem like a good solution. But it needs to have a purpose. Consider these key factors before making any ad purchases.
Goal-setting: When building an ad, set measurable goals first. Ask yourself: Am I reaching a targeted audience that wants and needs my product? Do I have a strong call to action? How will I measure ROI?
Set-it-and-forget-it vs. hands-on approach: If you create an ad through Google or social media, you should be ready to check its performance weekly and tweak as needed. If you’re not prepared for that commitment, you could waste thousands of dollars per month.
Customer journey: Print ads are easy to fall for. You know the publications specifically cater to your audience, and you have some brand recognition with that audience. But common wisdom suggests that it takes an average of eight touches to get an initial meeting (or other conversion) with a new prospect. You can still choose print advertising if you think it’s the best option, but be sure to use a QR code or other hook to lead your prospect into a meaningful customer journey. This extra step will allow you to track the ROI of advertising and make smart budget decisions in the future.
Do: Account-based marketing
Rather than blanketing the internet with ads, move to a targeted approach that puts your brand’s content (from ads to product guides and more) in front of the audience you want engaging with it.
Account-based marketing focuses sales and marketing efforts on highly specific targets so that your primary resources go toward the exact kind of home builders who’d make your perfect customer.
That way, you’re not wasting your time pushing your products on a builder who is unlikely to adopt what you're selling (whether it’s based on price, availability or etc.).
You can use account-based marketing to gain new customers, segment existing customers for new products that fit their profile and more.
Getting targeted with HomeSphere-IQ
HomeSphere-IQ offers marketing services to reach home builders who construct more than 27 percent of all homes in the U.S. — more than the top 10 nationals combined.
HomeSphere can help manufacturers with complete marketing campaigns, including:
- Email marketing
- Digital content
- Product launch
- And more
Don’t: Cold call blindly
Many argue cold calling is a dying breed, and the pandemic only heightened that. The reality is "outbound marketing" of any kind interrupts — and can even repel — your ideal audience.
And the varied working arrangements of COVID have added a new wrinkle to calling prospects — hot or cold. Many companies are implementing work-from-home or staggered schedules, which means your office calls could go straight to voicemail.
We know the construction industry is traditional in many ways and that a lot of relationships are built by field reps walking job sites, so we won’t pretend cold calling will completely become a thing of the past. But, if you do cold call, make sure your pitches incorporate the rest of the tips we’ve offered here: keep them highly personalized to your audience, know the pain points of who you’re talking to and focus on the builders most likely to engage with you.
Do: Host (digital) events that make sense
Virtual events still offer a rich opportunity to meet with builders, grow your prospect list and offer value to current customers, and the cost here will be a business account with the video call or webinar host of your choosing (like Zoom or GoToWebinar).
From quick product walkthroughs to Q-and-A formats where builders can ask you questions, hosting your own virtual events could revitalize sales reps tired of not getting out in the field.
They’re also a great way to build and strengthen relationships with your customers, and you can enrich the process by asking prospects and customers what they want to know about your products. That information will also go a long way in the rest of your sales and marketing campaigns.
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