How We Paired Digital Marketing with a Client's Events Strategy to Make Maximum Impact

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Overview

  • In the second half of 2017 we helped our client ClinSmart promote two events they hosted
  • We produced custom graphics for the event and EventBrite pages for online registration
  • The EventBrite pages were integrated with the marketing database and CRM to track lead activity
  • We segmented their marketing database based on a contact’s location to create a local event invitees list
  • Over 470 leads were sent email invites to the events
  • “Smart” follow-up emails were sent based on a recipient’s interaction with the previously received emails
  • The events were promoted on social media
  • Over 200 leads from the database were actively influenced during the campaigns (meaning they interacted with the emails or visited the event-related website content)
  • Over 80 local life science professionals attended the events
  • We wrote a blog post to recap the event and emailed it to event attendees to bring them back to the website
  • The recap blog post received more than 200 views in the first week
  • The sales team nurtured event attendees from companies with qualified clinical trial pipelines
  • As part of these events, ClinSmart raised $2,000 for the local ALS Association chapter

 

The Story

 Hor d'Oeuvres at the event with ClinSmart info in the background

Hor d'Oeuvres at the event with ClinSmart info in the background

ClinSmart is a clinical research organization (CRO) and valued client of ours based in Newtown, Pennsylvania. Their headquarters conveniently sits equidistant from the biotech communities in Philadelphia and Princeton, while the Newtown area itself has a thriving life science community. The ClinSmart team wanted to leverage a local marketing strategy and better position themselves as the CRO of choice for the region.

To execute this local marketing strategy, we helped them with a variety of efforts that included:

  • Adding contacts from local life science businesses to their CRM and marketing databases
  • Publishing content on their blog about the Philadelphia biotech community
  • Posting in locally focused life science LinkedIn groups
  •  Added a “community involvement” page and a “local presence” page to their website
  • Embedding a Google Maps pin of their office on the contact us page, and registering their office address with Google MyBusiness, to improve local SEO performance

In addition to these initiatives, ClinSmart wanted to bring together the local biotech community via two events hosted at their office. These two events were called “Happy Hour Fundraisers”. ClinSmart provided drinks and hor d'oeuvres to guests and organized a silent auction to raise money for the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the ALS Association. The events raised over $2,000, and the feedback from the attendees was overwhelmingly positive. It was a great way to bring the local community together.

To promote the events and collect RSVPs in a streamlined digital format, we assisted them with the tasks outlined in the overview section above.

The sales and digital marketing success of the events came down to three main components:

  1. An EventBrite Page
  2. The Email Strategy
  3. The Follow-Up Strategy

 

1. The EventBrite Page

We evaluated several web tools for promoting events and concluded that EventBrite was the best option. EventBrite allowed us to create a landing page for the event, in an easy-to-use interface.  The page allowed the public to find details about and register for the event or donate to the ALS Association. ClinSmart uses HubSpot as their digital marketing tool and CRM, so we integrated the EventBrite page to their HubSpot portal. This allowed any information collected via the EventBrite page to be automatically synced with the HubSpot database. Because of this, the sales team is able to see activity related to the fundraiser events on lead records within the CRM. Also, ClinSmart was able to use EventBrite activity to trigger marketing emails, such as event reminders.

 

2. The Email Strategy

More than 470 local life science professionals received event invitations via email. ClinSmart has many more contacts than that in their contact database, but we didn’t want to invite contacts outside of the local area to the event. The concern was that an email invite to a contact from somewhere such as California or Florida would likely have perceived the invitation as spam. But local contacts would have a legitimate interest in learning more about the event.

To segment the contact database, we mined both contact and company data. We then built smart lists within HubSpot to create a list of contacts living in Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware.

Three emails were sent to promote the event: three weeks before the event, one week before the event, and one day before the event. Using the EventBrite integration, we suppressed folks who previously registered for the event from additional invitation reminders so as not to bother them.

The day before the event, those who had registered for the event got an email reminder, while those who hadn’t registered got another invite. It was a small detail that made engagement more personalized.

One week after the event, invitees were sent a recap of the event in the form of a blog post, as part of the follow-up strategy.

 

3. The Follow-Up Strategy

During the event, a member of our team took candid photos of the attendees. We put these photos into a slideshow along with a write-up on the details and fundraising efforts of the event and published it all in a blog post. One week after the event we emailed the blog link to the attendees with a call-to-action to see photos taken at the event. This email had a high open and a high click-through rate. Over 200 contacts viewed the blog post within a week of its publication. The value of this follow-up step is that it brought attendees of the event back to the ClinSmart website. It tied the in-person action back to a digital action. The blog post made attendees aware of ClinSmart’s blog. The result was a high volume of targeted traffic clicking through the site, learning more about ClinSmart’s services, and subscribing to the blog.

In addition, the ClinSmart sales team asked both ClinSmart and Bracken Marketing team-members in attendance about positive work-related conversations engaged in during the event. The sales team evaluated which conversations represented a qualified sales opportunity.  From there, they personally followed up with those attendees. This method resulted in the conversion of sales opportunities at a high rate.

We continue to reconverting leads for the ClinSmart sales team from people who were originally invited to the 2017 events. We can see how these people interacted with the email invites or if they registered for the event.  ClinSmart uses this insight to tailor sales outreach.

life science marketing consultation
Elliot Miller