This past Saturday I had the pleasure of attending “Financial inclusion through digitization of Microfinance”- a public meetup event hosted by Southtech (one of my marketing consulting client) to enable an open dialogue on the changing landscape of MFIs in the country and how automation can further enable financial inclusion.
Southtech also launched their whitepaper on financial inclusion -“SOS Signals from Six Areas That Financial Inclusion Could Rescue’ at the event.
Such industry meetups are just one example of “service marketing” that businesses engage in. Trade shows, conferences, and webinars all fall under the branch of service marketing.
So why do businesses go about this seemingly laborious task of hosting an event and is all the work really worth it?
Here are 5 Reasons why events are important for yoru service marketing:
1. Exposure, exposure, exposure!- increasing brand awareness is an objective at the heart of any marketing activity and events do wonders in improving brand awareness.
Apart from coverage by newspapers and television channels and the company’s own marketing activities surrounding the event, a lot of buzz is generated through the social media activities of the attendees.
Just think of all the check-ins and photos uploaded on facebook and instagram profiles of the attendees!
Add to that the tweets and snapchat stories and you have generated quite a buzz on social media that too through people who aren’t directly to your business.
This helps to immensely increase brand awareness and generates positive exposure for the business.
2. Lead generation- even if you cannot convert attendees to sales at one go, you do uncover a lot of potential customers and leads.
If you are a B2B business, industry meetups are the perfect service marketing for you because it gives you direct access to your target audience and that too in a disguised manner.
Just look at this Southtech event- Southtech is a software company with a focus to bring sustainable technology solutions to MFIs and undoubtedly most people at the event were in one way or the other involved in the microfinance industry-meaning Southtech had the opportunity to directly engage with their target audience and identify potential clients.
3. Networking- networking is something we are all high on in the 21st century and event management for something like this mean meeting people and people mean conversations and a chance to build an interpersonal connection which can down the line translate into business for your company.
Just think about it like this- you need to develop an app for your business. Whom are you more likely to call- Miss X from Southtech whom you met at the event and actually enjoyed speaking to or a random software company whose ad you saw on Facebook?
Of course it’s the first option and that’s why such face to face interaction with your target market is invaluable for the growth of your business.
4. Locate the opportunity!- good event marketing isn’t just about selling the products you already have. It is also about finding new product categories and ideas which cater to the unique needs of your target market and events give you an opportunity to do just that.
If you keep your ears open and listen carefully to the dialogue that goes on in such a space, you would receive a hoard of information on the problems faced by your target market and the type of solutions they are looking for.
You may even find your “Eureka” moment right on the spot and come up with the next big win product/service for your business. It’s all in the dialogue-you just have to filter through!
5. Leave a lasting impression on your clients- lastly events give businesses a chance to interact with their clients and present themselves not as just the products they are selling but rather as the people, ideas, vision and the why behind the products they are selling.
It’s an effective way to show the human side of your business and to connect to people in tandem with your values.
All in all events are a great service marketing tool and should be leveraged by businesses to enhance sales and strengthen industry relations.
Bonus pro tip for hosting a successful event- Don’t forget to include food! 😉