Hear how Informa Markets uses event PPC to boost delegate pre-registration and attendance – while decreasing the cost per acquisition by 70 percent.
Each year, Informa Markets produces more than 500 international B2B events and brands. Sophie Prediger leads the digital marketing efforts for nine of Informa’s pharmaceutical event portfolio that span almost every continent. While the potential audience for these events span different job titles, levels of seniority and interests, these events are known for drawing delegates who exhibit real purchasing power.
As many of these shows are promoted as innovation showcases, Informa Markets decided to demonstrate their commitment to innovation in their marketing efforts. The London marketing teams began using event PPC to boost pre-registration and delegate attendance.
To understand more about the growing role of event PPC in the overall attendee and exhibitor marketing strategies for these pharma events, we talked to Sophie about her approach – and the resulting 70 percent decrease in cost per acquisition (CPA) during 2019.
Event PPC as Part of a Multi-Channel Approach
Sophie explained that for these global exhibitions, event PPC is part of a multi-channel marketing approach for both delegate and exhibitor marketing. Besides event PPC, the marketing campaigns include email and web marketing, and for some specific audiences and regions, direct mail.
But she noted that because of precise keyword targeting, other segmenting tools available, and most importantly, higher performance results, Informa Markets has been shifting to more digital-based approaches. “In some regions, we see the results of event PPC and website marketing conversions outpace that of email marketing.”
For example, in 2019, Sophie determined that the event PPC approaches have led to:
- Lowering the CPA by 70 percent
- Boosting pre-registrations by 10 percent
- Increasing visitors who come to the events by nearly 6 percent
- An average ROI of 500 percent!
Beyond the performance result increases, Sophie explained that another part of the appeal to event PPC is the ability to serve up different content that aligns with specific promotional cycles and stages in the buyer’s journey.
She explained, “Typically, we begin an event PPC campaign with targeted content to attract exhibitors and sponsors. Then, as the timeline gets closer to the event, we switch to a delegate-focused campaign, which may first include early bird offers, and then move on to specific event agenda promotions, like the announcement of a keynote or other trending topic.”
Key Takeaways from a Global Approach
After ramping up the event PPC approach over the last year across the global portfolio of events, Sophie shared several key takeaways.
First, “if you aren’t doing event PPC, get started ASAP.” Sophie explained that event PPC “is a powerful way to increase brand awareness because it puts your brand into the advertising flow that people see every day.”
Second, Sophie recommends being prepared to put enough budget into the strategy but understand that allocations may change.
“We allocate a certain ‘budget envelope’ to the strategy, but we aren’t locked in to only spending it a certain way. As one example, we now allocate a larger portion of our overall event PPC budget to our U.S. and European events because we’ve seen higher campaign results from those markets.”
Sophie stressed the importance of remembering that all results aren’t linked to tangible KPI numbers. “When it comes to the awareness goals we’re trying to create for some of our events, we’re in it for the long-term. We understand that some results we’re trying to achieve are intangible.”
Sophie also suggests the importance of working with a knowledgeable agency.
“If you started a new sport without a trainer or instructions, you wouldn’t know the right way to proceed. Same with event PPC – you need an experienced partner to guide you on the right path and show you the process of achieving optimal results.”
She explains that by partnering and working closely and with Tag Digital on event PPC, they’ve offered advice, input and additional strategies to continually fine-tune and optimise Informa Market’s campaigns – which has significantly boosted conversion rates and ROI already in the first year – and a pattern Sophie expects to continue this year too.