This sponsored post is produced by YetiZen.

Before we dive into the article, let me ask you 3 questions:

1) Are you a B2B company whose core customers are game and app developers?

2) Does each closed customer represent tens of thousands of lifetime revenue or more?

3) Is your biggest struggle standing out and getting developer attention since every single industry event is cluttered with competitors?

If you answered yes to the above, you’re hardly alone. At YetiZen, we use the specific event marketing strategy (described below) to help our sponsors with this struggle.

But you can’t launch any event marketing strategy without being clear on two very important things:

  1. The journey your prospects’ take to become your customers
  2. Where events fit in with this journey and what you should expect from them

Take the time to get this straight, and you’ll be half- way there.

Let’s get started.

The journey from prospect to customer

Prospects typically go through four buying cycle stages before they become your customers.

Customer Buying Cycle

In each stage, a prospect is thinking very differently about your company and product:

  • Brand Awareness: In this stage, the prospect is aware that your company’s product exists, they are familiar with your name, and they might be able to name your company when talking about various companies in your industry.
  • Research & Criteria Development: By this point, they are actively trying to understand the criteria used by their peers to select your type of product. What they learn shapes their own selection criteria.
  • Comparison & Evaluation: In this stage, they compare and evaluate your product versus the products of your competitors using the criteria developed in the Research & Criteria Development stage.
  • Purchase: Here they have chosen to purchase your product, they’re negotiating deal terms, and ultimately, they close.

Where does event marketing fit in with this journey?

Event marketing can be used in various ways to help more prospects move faster from each buying cycle stage to the next. Here is how that would look:

GB post table

Where most companies focus

Most companies focus on brand awareness events only. Since everyone else is also doing the same, it becomes increasingly hard to really stand out as different in developers’ minds.

To counter this, every company tries to one-up each other’s events. Each event is aimed at being bigger and flashier than the last — more drinks, more attendees, more shock and entertainment. But even with all this, the actual ROI for such events is low and any wins achieved with this approach are quickly overtaken by a competitor.

Fewer and fewer companies focus on events at Stage 2 or higher. This brings an unfair advantage to companies that do — they acquire more customers faster and with significantly lower cost and effort.

How to stand out

To stand out from competitors, companies should focus on events primarily geared towards prospects in stages 2 and 3 (Research & Criteria Development and Comparison & Evaluation respectively), instead of brand awareness events.

This will allow your company to:

  1. Demonstrate a deep understanding of the customer, the problems they face (and could face).This action will shape their perception of your company, automatically placing you as a trusted partner in their minds.
  2. Give prospects a chance to meet other core personnel in your company, besides your sales team, so that they can get a positive sense of what their working relationship with your company will be like. Even if it’s B2B, companies are still comprised of people and people like to buy from people. Nothing can replace the human touch especially when it goes slightly deeper than just “corporate”.
  3. Change the tone of the prospects’ interaction with your company from that of a seller-buyer to that of a connected partner. This is a very strong and important shift. Making it will fundamentally rise your average customer lifetime value. After all, the event is also their chance to connect with their peers through you.

Quick summary

Excelling in the event space boils down to understanding these three things:

  1. The four main types of events by your prospects’ buying cycle stage
  2. Focusing on brand awareness events will only lead you to struggle to stand out from competitors AND
  3. Focusing events on stages 2 and 3 (Research & Criteria Development and Comparison & Evaluation) will prevent you from this struggle

Next Steps

Now that you know events focused on stages 2 & 3 will help your company stand out from your competitors, you also need to know exactly how to plan a high ROI event. Find out how: Download YetiZen’s step-by-step event planning framework for planning high-ROI events

Sana Choudary is CEO of YetiZen. YetiZen is the host of the world’s largest regularly meeting game developer community. Over 20,000 developers have attended YetiZen since it’s inception in 2010.

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