News & Opinions
The latest news and insights from Hanley Wood’s outspoken experts and key thought-leaders throughout the residential and commercial design and construction industry.
The Value of End-To-End Event Services
Warren Nesbitt / HW.com / October 24, 2013
A comprehensive marketing program cannot thrive on digital engagement alone. You have to engage your customers in live settings. Trade shows can often be a bridge to direct access, but you need more personal interaction with a direct connection to your brand and products.
This year, Hanley Wood launched its Executive Services Group, which is designed to meet the needs of building product manufacturers in the area of live events and face-to-face engagement. Warren Nesbitt, a fixture in the residential construction market here at Hanley Wood, assumed leadership of this growth area. He recently sat down with HW.com to explain his vision for the Executive Services Group and how it can serve the marketing needs of industry marketers.
HW.com: Everyone gets that live events can be valuable. What’s the science behind the perception?
WN: For providers of products and services, the crucial moment of truth is when buyers meet sellers face-to-face. At that moment, a customer calculates the value proposition provided by the seller and decides how much confidence and trust that customer can place in a relationship with a new supplier. That’s the moment when the purchasing decision is made – or not.
HW.com: So if a marketer is going to hire someone to execute an event or experience, what’s the priority value proposition?
WN: It has to start with access to prospective buyers. A marketer wants to reach beyond their existing prospect base if the event is going to succeed. And they shouldn’t simply go for cold prospects. They want a partner who can deliver “pre-engaged” event participants – prospective buyers who’ve already demonstrated interest or need for products the marketer is selling.
HW.com: So we’re talking about partners that do more than event planning and execution. What else should marketers consider if they’re going with a full-service event services group?
WN: Since we’ve established that the marketer needs deep audience access, it goes without saying that end-to-end marketing services should be integrated into the offering. A partner with a high level of pre-existing engagement with the audience will have the means to connect with buyers and lead them to attend a marketing event.
HW.com: So if we’re talking about the total package, what about the programming and content for an event? Obviously, a marketer will have its own agenda. But is there more to the story?
WN: Actually, no successful marketing event should rest on pure marketing content. If it feels like a sales pitch, it won’t really move the buyer deeper into the sales funnel. You have to integrate third-party content that will help to validate the marketer’s brand and products. A full-service partner should be able to deliver on that, as well.
HW.com: So now that you have a year of experience leading HW Executive Services, what’s your vision going forward?
WN: We not only understand the dynamic of face-to-face marketing opportunities; we’ve lived it for 30 years through our media-branded events and the custom events we do for individual clients. Now we offer Metrostudy data to target key prospects in active markets, marketing services to generate interest through focused and cycled content delivery, and lead generation derived from those prospects. Then it all culminates with a custom event we design and program around your objectives, to impress and move that potential customer to the moment of truth with your company. We can create the environment and engagement experience best suited for the message you want to leverage with your key prospects, eye-to-eye with your talented executives.
We can do it all for our customers. And most of our clients are repeat customers. The strategy is effective. Essentially, what we do is set the stage that leads the buyer to the answer marketers want to hear at that moment of truth: “Yes.”