Assessing event marketing impact over time

Using Visual Analytics: Part Three



This post is the third in our series on using visual analytics. In our first article, we covered how to measure brand awareness behaviorally using organic search impressions and clicks to your website from brand and services phrases. Our second article discussed measuring consumer engagement when the purchase occurs through another channel.

In this article, I wanted to tackle the challenge of measuring the performance of marketing activity when a purchase may not occur for several months.

How to measure the impact of event marketing

One of the challenges B2B marketers face is measuring the results from their tradeshow budget. There is always some element of needing to be where your customers are gathering. But all events are not equal and drawing the relative performance from individual shows can be difficult when the prospect’s purchase might be as much as 18 months away.

For one professional services client, we helped them refine their event program by measuring prospect engagement for up to 24 months after the show.

The data

We aggregated the attendee lists of the more than 35 different shows where the team presented or exhibited. We then merged this information with data from the client’s email, marketing automation and website to get a view of which shows were most likely to draw in prospects who were interested in learning more about the company’s offering.

The visualization

With the information merged and linked we tracked levels of engagement for the client’s emails. We also monitored whether visitors from the event attendees’ companies were visiting the website and if they were downloading content from the site.


The client used this information to gain a better understanding of where they could streamline their events calendar and focus on higher impact events. They also were able to begin assigning attribution for qualified leads and sales to some of the tradeshows. Marketing attribution can be tricky, but if you have the right connected data and choose the right attribution model it is possible to get to a clear ROI for even the most drawn out buyer’s cycle.

Bottom line, data is only as useful as it allows you to make smarter decisions. By itself it’s just a chart, but when paired with analysis that connects the entire buyer journey it can help marketers deliver lasting impact.

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by Shade Wilson

Director of Digital Strategy for Elevation. Shade has more than 15 years experience in digital marketing, is an active speaker and is a past president of the American Marketing Association - Richmond Chapter. He was also the founder of Scalability Project.

Topics: Marketing Analytics