Advocate Marketing

How to Really Drive Your Marketing ROI

How to Really Drive Your Marketing ROI

Want to really understand your marketing ROI and drive radical growth? First, consider the number of touchpoints the average customer makes before a purchase -- some say seven, others say twenty. This is made even more complex by the constant evolution of omnichannel marketing. Last-click attribution allocates 100% of conversion credit to the last ad seen in the consumer journey, regardless of whether it actually played a part in the conversion funnel. Focusing on just one touch point of the consumer’s click journey fails to take into consideration the entire purchasing story.

The end of last touch attribution has been disputed for the last ten years. The unreliability of last-click attribution has been repeatedly reported on, yet many companies still rely on it. The pitfall many marketers fall into is emphasizing bottom-of-funnel activities while ignoring marketing initiatives at the top of the conversion funnel. Marketers who put too much value on the last click limit themselves in understanding where their efforts had the greatest effect, ultimately making the framework of their marketing approach unpredictable and unreliable.

In recent years, marketers have recognized the errors of last-click attribution, prompting the generation of more accurate, multi-touch attribution (MTA) models. Advanced MTA models determine attribution by analyzing all the media touch points in a consumer’s path. This in-depth approach is meant to give fair credit to all efforts along the conversion funnel while showing marketers which components in their campaigns are really driving conversions. Marketers are then able to understand how different marketing initiatives perform along the various stages of the funnel, not just the end. Not only does MTA allow marketers to gain better insight into their consumers, but it reveals which channels are outperforming others and exposes any gaps within their marketing plan.

Discovering the best MTA method for your organization is vital for keeping up with competitors. In basic terms, marketers must understand the mind of the consumer to understand their behavior. Anyone who’s purchased something online should be able to understand the multi-layered purchasing process. The journey to buying a product, signing up for a service, or registering at an event begins long before the final purchase. When a purchase depends upon hundreds of earlier clicks, it’s impossible to solely gauge success on the last click.

The great news is that whatever your last touch acquisitions are, you’re probably getting a ton of engagement and interest prior to the last click that you aren’t aware of. Acquiring MTA for each of your channels will open up a world of new marketing opportunities and audiences who will be more open to your initiatives. Appealing to influential people begins before the last click, so you want to make sure the efforts at the top of your conversion funnel are strong. One important method for strengthening the first stages of conversion is word-of-mouth. With thousands of marketing tools to sift through, it’s impossible to stay on top of them all. You can, however, emphasize word-of-mouth marketing, a method that is becoming increasingly important as the industry becomes more digitally oversaturated.

A recent study showed 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influencer in their purchasing decision. The same study shows that millennials are 115% more influenced by word-of-mouth than traditional advertising. Consider it for yourself. When debating to make a purchase or to sign up for an event, are you more influenced by emails and ads scattered across your computer screen or the recommendation of a trusted friend or colleague? When you empower those at the top of your funnel by using word-of-mouth-marketing, you’re able to advance their journey and everyone they influence to the last click. Eventually, they will click on an ad or a marketing email, but you’re more likely to get them there when you influence them via word-of-mouth.

The Event World Changed Forever Last Week - “Now They Know”

The Event World Changed Forever Last Week - “Now They Know”

Last week, something happened that changed the event world for ever.  200 events successfully used InGo’s attendee intelligence feature, called Network Notifications, to notify their attendees and exhibitors which of their friends and customers were coming to the event.   This technology will change every aspect of event economics from why events sell-out, to whether exhibitors decide to exhibit at an event.  For the first time in event history, attendees and exhibitors will be notified (90 days before event, then fortnightly afterwards) who they know at an event. If you understand human nature and the business of events, you understand the seismic ramifications of this.

Donald Trump Vs. InGo

Donald Trump Vs. InGo

Who Drove More Social Media Influence in 2016? 2016 was the year of the influencer. The year in which traditional media was (excuse the phrasing) trumped in so convincing a fashion as to send pollsters and ad makers into hiding, witness protection, or the nearest therapist couch.  Whether it be Brexit or the election of Donald Trump, no one in what should now be referred as “legacy advertising” saw this coming.  And everyone on social media did….


Boost Your Social Post Engagement

Advocate Marketing is a great tool to increase social engagement for your event, but how do you keep your event posts from getting lost in people's news feeds? Follow these tips to optimize the effectiveness of your InGo posts. 

Note: Click on each image below to see more detailed descriptions of each tip.

1. Your Image

Your image is so important to getting noticed. It should be clean, colorful, and clear. 




ad:tech New Zealand did a great job with an eye-catching image.

  1. Your image should be brand specific and if possible include the dates of the event.
  2. Clean and simple images get the best response.
  3. If you can, incorporate a person into your image.
  4. Use bright colors. 




InGo images should be 1024x512 pixels. It is best if text can be centered on your image. 


2. Your Advocacy Text

Your advocacy text should proclaim what makes your event different and keep your audience in mind.

  1. Mention whatever sets your event apart. 
  2. Phrase things differently.
  3. Use special codes, contests, or giveaways to increase engagement.
  4. Keep your audience in mind: is this something they would want to share or just something you'd want to share?



BDNY mentioned what set their event apart. What makes YOUR event stand out? 




Use simple and personal advocacy text.


Because Twitter will sometimes remove your image, you want to make sure your text is simple and clear on its own.


Advocates do more than just grow an event; they reach millions of people in a trusted, personal way. Make sure to empower your advocates with posts that create the best engagement. 

InGo Offers Full Access Free Trial; Introduces New Pricing to Serve Events of All Sizes

Arlington, VA/London, UK - (June 14, 2015) - InGo, the award winning Advocate Marketing platform growing events all over the world, today announced its new pricing structure. Recognizing that all organizers are looking for a way to grow their events, but that these events and organizers come in different shapes and sizes, the new structure is designed to allow events of all sizes access to powerful word-of-mouth marketing powered by social media, and pay only for performance.

InGo’s Software Suite helps brands inspire and enable their community to become Advocates. Empowered advocates do more than just grow an event; they reach millions of people in a trusted, personal way, creating unparalleled brand affinity by connecting their personal brand to the event’s brand, turbocharging all marketing campaigns. InGo’s new performance pricing is based entirely on how many Advocates are created.

For full details on the new pricing or to order online, click here.

In addition to performance based pricing, InGo has also unveiled a Free Trial. Now event organizers can see for themselves the amazing growth and buzz created by Advocates by trying InGo FREE for 30 days. The trial includes the full InGo Social Marketing Platform and unlimited Advocates. InGo has always offered an interactive demo but this trial will break the barriers to entry for many potential clients who can now see the results on their own events before purchasing the product. 

For more information or to start your Free Trial, click here.

“Advocates are the most powerful way to build your brand and grow your event, and our results bear this out,” said Michael Barnett, InGo CEO. “Our confidence in our product made offering a Free Trial and pricing based solely on performance a natural fit. We are so excited to take another step towards empowering Advocates at every event around the globe.”

The Advocate Effect: ADIPEC

The Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC), organised by dmg::events, Global Energy, took advantage of the seamless integration on InGo Partner Info Salons Group. Download the Case Study to see the full results, including how they used an InGo Advocate Marketing campaign to generate over a million social impressions and engagements.

“We saw thousands of our attendees organically sharing about our event and inviting their friends and colleagues to join them. The result was amazing attendee growth and engagement and we are looking forward to a repeat performance in 2016.”
— Nour Soliman, Senior Marketing Manager at dmg::events ME

New InGo Demo Shows Advocate Marketing In Action

Boost every marketing and sales campaign with word-of-mouth marketing

Arlington, VA/London, UK - (April 21, 2016) - InGo, the world’s leading social media Advocate Marketing company, announced today the release of its new demo to allow users to see the power of Advocate Marketing in action. This new demo, which takes less than one minute to complete, means that everyone can experience the deceptively simple but astoundingly powerful tech that has been exponentially growing events across the globe by creating Advocates who generate word-of-mouth marketing.

The InGo Suite of widgets have a track record of best-in-class results enabling word-of-mouth marketing and building event attendance. This product saves organizers an average of 65% on attendee acquisition costs, simply by tapping into the power of the “social” in “social media marketing.”  Attendees are encouraged to become advocates for the events they’re passionate about by being able to see and search who is coming, and are empowered to share their passion by posting to their news feeds and sending personal invitations to their most relevant personal contacts.  This unlocks the unmatched power of social networks “word-of-mouth” potential, and produces astounding results in the areas of growth, engagement, conversion and cost.  Best of all, this route to attendee acquisition is brand-enhancing, not brand-deteriorating. 

“It’s well understood that “word-of-mouth” marketing is the most effective marketing out there, bar none. The problem is you can’t buy it,” said Sean Garvey, InGo’s President. “Our new demo shows how you can tap into it by giving your community the means, motive and opportunity to advocate for your event.”

“InGo Advocates were an integral part of our marketing plan for ad:tech Australia 2016 and helped us set a new record for total paid conference passes – the most sold in our 10 year history,” said Daniel Elder, Global CDO of High Tech Events at Comexposium. “Any event looking to amplify all their marketing efforts should try InGo.”

About InGo –InGo is the world’s leading social media Advocate Marketing company, empowering event organizers and attendees to exponentially grow their events using InGo’s unique socially-smart search algorithm. With offices in the US, UK and Italy and partners on six continents, InGo serves the largest event companies in the world such as Comexposium, Reed Exhibitions, Emerald Expositions, Fiera Milano and UBM.  It has been in business since 2013 and has served over 500 events on six continents.  Discover how InGo can grow your event at  


The Advocate Effect: Money 20/20

We often get asked, “It’s easy to see how InGo can build attendance at free events, but does it really work for paid events?” The inaugural edition of The Advocate Effect answers that question emphatically in the affirmative, revealing the success that Money 20/20 achieved using an InGo Advocate Marketing campaign to increase attendance and achieve an exceptional ROI.

Download this quick and easy read to see all the numbers and see why Sanjib Kalita, Chief Marketing Officer at Money20/20 says,

“We saw an amazing return on our InGo Advocate Marketing campaign. Not only did it provide value in building registration and attendance, but pre- and post-show engagement was better than ever.”

Who sells your event to your EXHIBITORS?

by Steve O’Keefe, InGo COO
After I published my recent article, “Who sells your event?,”  I received calls from a few of InGo’s most successful customers. The theme was, “Nice article Steve, but you missed the most important part of the story.”  Not a little taken back, I asked what they meant.  “You focused strictly on audience building and ignored the exhibitor aspect of the event.”  

Turns out, one of the reasons these are our most successful customers is that they’ve trained their sales team to send all prospective exhibitors to “Who’s In” when they’re making the decision on whether to exhibit or not.

  • One of them said that he had expanded space sales by $500K over the last 3 years by doing this!!!  
  • Another said that he had 15 exhibitors on the fence because they were not sure his show had the type of buyers their company was looking for. He sent them all to “Who’s In” and viola!  $150K of more exhibitor space sold.  

Talk about missing the point.  After having been humbled by my customers knowing more about InGo than me , I am back to share the rest of the story.  The customers all agreed on three points:

  1. Real  - Exhibitors have become wary of sanitized attendee list circulated in the traditional booth sales process.  It seems like some bad actors have been known to fib a bit in supplying this list.  InGo’s “Who’s In” is real people really attending.
  2. Personal – One Oil and Gas industry customer dedicates a page on the event website to “Who’s In” and it calls it “Who’s Coming.” His sales process encourages each prospect to go to that page.  Time after time, these prospects select the Linkedin filter option and call right back saying, “Wow, you’ve got this customer, and this customer from my network coming.  Sign me up.”
  3. Most Valuable -  A fashion customer told me that when he walked the show floor this year asking exhibitors about their experience, many of them said, “It’s been a great show.  I checked “Who’s In” up until the day of the show and had many of my important meetings schedule ahead of time.”

Who sells your event to your exhibitors?  Same answer.  Your attendees do.  Advocate Marketing best practice has a new #1 – Make “Who’s In” part of your exhibitor sales process.

To learn more about how to increase value for your exhibitors, click here.

Who sells your event?


by Stephen O’Keefe, COO, InGo

Bill Lee, in his 2013 Harvard Business Review article, asks the seemingly obvious question “Who sells your products or services?”  Although most event organizers might answer “we do,” as Lee states and InGo heartily concurs, it is increasingly your customers (HBR, “How to Create True Customer Advocates.“ April 2012.) Event organizers have been historically trained in the school of command and control marketing and thus have not recognized the realities of the modern consumer. Instead of understanding the seismic shift that is social, they have increased their spend on the one-directional, mass marketing of the past, which had been declining precipitously in effectiveness for the past 15 years, or have brought these same one-directional tactics to their new efforts on social. This has been very costly as attendance at these events have declined, or at best held steady, despite a sometimes 100s of thousands increase in marketing spend. The ironic tragedy is that the increase in email, print, and ads, are likely contributing to the decline. The modern consumer wants to participate in the brand making process and the increased volume of mass marketing she receives now makes even the best campaign feel like SPAM. 

In this article, I follow on Sean Garvey’s piece in Exhibition News (click here to read), showing how leading event organizers who have recognized this paradigm shift have used InGo to radically change the way they build attendance at their event. By following InGo’s Power Ranking or best practice to create an advocate marketing campaign, they have given their attendees the “means, motive, and opportunity” to turn the event’s brand into their own personal brand. 

This is the heart of the matter. Mass marketing sceams “DO THIS!” Advocate Marketing asks, “Isn’t this part of your brand?  Shall we help you promote it?” (Many modern brands like Uber are excelling at this and their results are amazing.)

So, what is this magic formula that creates advocates to enable the most valuable marketing around? Here’s the six steps to getting the most out of your advocate marketing campaign.

Power Ranking Phase #1 - Engage the Prospects 

The first engagement an attendee, especially a new one, has with an event is usually the website. The topic of the event, if it is of relevance to her, is most likely the most important determining factor in her decision to register so should, of course, be front and center. The other factors in the decision of the attending the event are personal. Does she know anyone at the event? Are there experts and colleagues beyond the speakers whose company she covets and whose opinion she values?

The team at Comexposium’s ad:tech Brand do such a brilliant job with this type of engagement.  Their clean and inviting opening to the registration process allows a prospect to determine who from their network is going and who else of interest might be there. InGo’s “social widget” is prominently displayed, inviting maximum interaction and the attractive display invites the attendee to be engaged in the event from the first interaction.

   Possible Power Ranking points (5):  Ad:Tech Australia: 5


Possible Power Ranking points (5):  Ad:Tech Australia: 5

Power Ranking Phase #2 - Simple Sign-On

Now that the attendee has determined the event is relevant and she knows and respects the people who are going, she is excited and ready to become an attendee. The key aspect of this part of advocate marketing is to make a tedious activity as friction-less as possible and to focus the prospect on the positive part of the activity. As social has grown and matured, more and more people, especially millennials, have decide that they only have one identity online, their LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc. profile. The pain of remembering many logins online and the awareness that the are already “sharing” with every google user most of what they post has lead to increased demand for social as a single sign-on. With the move to social sign-on, they've come to expect the speed and ease of auto-fill. (“All of this I’ve made available on LinkedIn; why are you asking me again?”)

The Emerald Expositions marketing and operations team highlights this experience here with their serial award winning and Fastest 25 show, ICFF.

With a clear call to action and the words everyone likes to hear, “easier and faster,” Emerald always gets the highest adoption rates and least drop off. These best practices pay off big time -  ICFF has doubled in size since moving to advocate marketing as their primary means of marketing. 

   Possible Power Ranking points (5):  Emerald’s ICFF: 5


Possible Power Ranking points (5):  Emerald’s ICFF: 5

Power Ranking Phase #3 - Social Widget Prominently and Seamlessly Displayed

While the attendee is working her way through the registration process, InGo is busy analyzing her social network to find the most relevant and trusted peers and friends in her network to invite. This is the heart of the InGo solution: selecting for the attendee the exact people who she wants at the event. There have been other “find a friend” or “invite a colleague” solutions before, but like the music player before the iPod, the use case was onerous and awkward. The attendee should arrive at confirmation to the faces she knows and respects, pre-selected, and ready to be invited.
CeBIT, the largest and most internationally represented computer expo, does a great job of seamlessly moving the attendee to the invite screen, not surprising for a marquis brand. The confirmation page saves space for what the attendee cares about.  The preselection of the top six most relevant people based on InGo’s multi-dimensional, social search algorithm invariably produces the top hits for the attendee. Organizers like CeBIT see multiple invites per attendee due to best practice layouts like this.

    Possible Power Rank points (5):  CeBit Australia: 5


 Possible Power Rank points (5):  CeBit Australia: 5

Power Ranking Phase #4 - Social Emails

Now the core InGo platform is up and running. The login widget is the only call to action to start registration, “Who’s In” is prominently displayed, the social widget is as inviting as a wood fire in the winter on the confirmation page. What’s next? Social Emails.

Although social usage is large and growing in every region of the planet, for many the inbox is where they live.  The challenge here is the entering the quagmire of dismal returns which is email marketing and bringing the prospect into the world of advocate marketing.  The answer is the same one that makes advocate marketing so much superior to traditional one-direction marketing - make the email about the person.  

InGo has a suite of 5 social emails which are sent during the course of the 4-5 month leading up to the event. In this instantiation of the social email, the call to action is “Find out who’s going” demonstrated below with Fiera Roma’s gorgeous event logo, Cavilli A Roma (Horses in it should be).

For the passive social user, one who views but doesn’t interact much, this gives them a clear motivation - events are more fun with friends - to act.  

   Possible Power Ranking points(10): Cavalli A Roma (10)


Possible Power Ranking points(10): Cavalli A Roma (10)

Power Ranking Phase #5 - Incentives

If you’ve done all of the above, you are going to have superb results on your advocate marketing campaign. There are two final ways to get the most out of the campaign: incentives and other paths on your event website, such as the exhibitors portal.

You have to careful with incentives when it comes to advocate marketing, as the attendees want to advocate already. The wrong incentive or one that’s poorly worded makes them feel like they are your mouthpiece rather than promoting what they perceive as their brand (an event they love.) We recommend the incentive lean more towards gamification than direct pay for press.  The folks at Fiera Milano, not surprisingly given their position as the mavens of style, do this extremely well.

   Possible points(2):  Homi Milano (2)


Possible points(2):  Homi Milano (2)

Power Ranking Phase #6 - Exhibitor Paths

Every major event website has multiple paths for exhibitors, different languages, VIPs, etc.  It stands to reason you want every stakeholder possible to advocate for your event. The most important path beyond the attendee path is the “exhibitor path.”  The exhibitors have the most keen idea of who they want at events.  If you give them the tools, they will ensure your event meets with their seal of approval.

ASD, one of Emerald Expositions’ jewels in the crown, is the one of the largest retail shows in the US, attracting ten of thousands of buyers. They mix gamification in with their outreach to the exhibitors to spark some friendly competition to see who is the most influential or InGo speak, the “Top Advocate.”

   Possible Power Ranking points (3):  Emerald Exposition’s ASD (3)


Possible Power Ranking points (3):  Emerald Exposition’s ASD (3)


Advocate marketing is the gift that keeps on giving as it is both brand enhancing (unlike email, ads, and telemarketing) and, when following best practices, is statistically on a different planet when it comes to results versus traditional marketing. A well done advocate marketing campaign will have a 10% acquisition rate (not open, or click, etc. - acquisition) on the low end compared to below 0.005% for email, print, tele-marketing, social media marketing, etc. Give those spam filters and voice mail machines a break and enjoy sharing your brand with your customers. They’ll love you for it.

Why Social Media Marketing Is Not Delivering on Its Promise: Part 3

by Sean Garvey, President, InGo

Last week, in part 2 of the series, I talked about how the majority of marketers, both in the events industry and outside of it, feel frustrated and disappointed by the reality of trying to produce and measure the ROI of social media marketing. This week, I’d like to conclude this series by revealing how I believe we can change our approach to marketing on social media and better unlock its potential.

One of the implicit promises of social media is encompassed in the word social.  Social media, for all its current disappointments as a marketing vehicle, has shown many examples of the incredible cultural power it has: overnight YouTube celebrities, virilization, ice-bucket challenges, etc.  There is no doubt that there is dynamite in social media.  However, the way social media marketing has been adopted to date is with an emphasis on the marketing and a lack of emphasis on the word social.

Everyone knows intuitively that word-of-mouth marketing (trusted resources freely recommending a product or brand to other interested, potential buyers) is the most powerful type of marketing, and all the studies bear that fact out.  But that’s because it really isn’t marketing per se, at least not in the traditional sense.  Marketing is essentially an activity that brands undertake, to get their message in front of as many of the right consumers as possible, and they pay very handsomely, both to craft that message and have it delivered to the right consumer at the right time. The presence of a monetary incentive and the lack of trust in the relationship, make it a subtly but inescapably adversarial one: the brand has a vested interest in convincing the consumer to buy, and the consumer knows this.  Word-of-mouth marketing - ‘person-to-person’ not ‘brand-to-consumer’ - circumvents and cuts through all of that native distrust and natural skepticism.  The only problem is, it can’t be bought.  

In fact, to buy it is to neuter it….  

So therein lies the oh-so-frustrating rub; a technological advancement that enables word-of-mouth marketing on an unprecedented global scale, that isn’t purchasable or obtainable by brands via the traditional approach.  To square this circle, a change in thinking and a different approach is required. 

The first step is to recognize how social media is different than any previous technological advancement.  Unlike TV, email, even the printing press, it is not unidirectional (brand speaking to passive consumer.)  It is bidirectional and even multi-directional.  On social media, the “consumers” have a voice, and they love to use it.  And that leads to our second insight.  

The people on social media are not ‘consumers waiting to be marketed to.’  As noted above, they have a voice, and they are talking, a lot.  What are they talking about?  Themselves, their opinions, the things they are passionate about and want the world of their friends and colleagues to know.  Consciously or unconsciously, they are engaged in ‘brand promotion’: the brand of themselves online.   

The last insight, is to notice our own behavior on-line. None of us click on the top returns from a Google search, because we know they’ve been paid for. Yet many of us pay for them.  When logged in as ourselves, most of us are completely unaware of the “suggested posts” on Facebook, but again, many of us marketers pay for them.  

Once we’ve discovered these three insights, we can change our approach to marketing on social media and better unlock its potential.  My audience is not peopled with consumer targets; it is full of potential co-marketers.  Rather than finding more and better ways to target and track ‘consumers’ like they are game, we can turn our efforts to empowering them to market on our behalf.  This is what we call ‘advocate marketing.’

This change in approach is counter-intuitive, and takes intellectual discipline to implement thoroughly.  However, when done well, the results show beyond the shadow of a doubt, that our most powerful marketing asset is already in our possession - our audience. 

Ready to tap into your most powerful marketing? Get started by clicking below!

Why Social Media Marketing Is Not Delivering on Its Promise: Part 2

by Sean Garvey, InGo President

Last week, I talked about innovations in marketing and the fact that social media seems like a marketer's dream. This week, let’s drill down further into this promise, the reality of social media ROI and its perception among marketers. 

In a 2013 study of 750 companies across a wide-spectrum of industries, 88% said they “didn’t feel they could accurately measure the effectiveness of their social media campaigns. Fifty-two percent said that dealing with social media ROI was their biggest frustration.”   With regard to the events industry in particular, a recent Lippman study stated that, while social media is the fastest growing portion of marketing budgets, it is “perceived as providing the worst ROI for events,” right alongside print advertising.  How can this possibly be?  A worse return than direct mail?  Than telemarketing?  Email?  It seems unthinkable, and yet there it is.

One school of thought posits that it is simply a measurement issue; it’s having an effect, we just can’t measure it very well.  But that is difficult to square with the amazing instrumentation that is part of the social media marketing package.  The impressions are tracked, the clicks and click-throughs, more and more sophisticated algorithms measure the trends and eyeballs, and calibrate the “value” of digital advertising space on a moment to moment basis, and yet the sales impact still seems at best vague, at worst, non-existent.  The best we can do so far is to track meta-measurements, counting likes and retweets and followers; what is called “social media engagement.” If the sales results were there to back it up, then no doubt meta-measurements of a campaign’s engagement would be enough to quiet the perception of social media marketing providing the “worst ROI,” and we would rest easy with the explanation that “it’s working, we’re just not sure how.”  But we don’t, and the perception persists, even as we increase our spend.  And the most likely explanation is that the results are not there.

A conclusion one might come to is that what is required is more and better instrumentation.  And based on a whole hatful of emerging companies and their product offerings, it seems many have already concluded this. Re-targeting, digitally driven consumer profiles compiled real-time, social network and behavior analysis, all tied to more and more perfectly timed message delivery capabilities, indicate that this is the answer in vogue.  But can we reasonably expect dramatically better results from this wave of improved instrumentation?  Given the nature of the case, we might rightly expect incremental improvements, but it is just as likely that this trend may result in “digital stalking” legislation, and no indication that it will produce returns in line with our current expectations of social media.  The answer isn’t more technological capability to improve the same dynamic.  The dynamic itself needs to be changed.  But how? 

Join me next week as I answer the question by revealing how we can change our approach to marketing on social media and better unlock its potential. READ PART 3

Why Social Media Marketing Is Not Delivering on Its Promise: Part 1

By Sean Garvey, President, InGo

In the long history of technological innovations that have impacted marketing, social media and the promise it holds seems to be unique. Never before have there been such massive expectations, coupled with a growing sense of under-performance on those expectations.  
Earlier innovations, going as far back as the printing press, or telephone, or more recently email, brought with them significant expansions in reach, and significant reductions in cost. For brands looking to reach consumers with their message, these technological advances provided large boosts in marketing activity; they were able to reach more and more people, and at lower and lower cost.  In the early days of adoption, these technological advances were correlated with boosts in sales, and it seemed that all that was required was to adopt the technology and “spray and pray.”  Over time however, as each new marketing channel reached a saturation point, its effectiveness plummeted, as the “noise” factor spiked, showing that the correlation might have been better understood as “early adopter advantage.”  Ultimately, the “noise” got so bad that civilized societies began to legislate and regulate them in order to protect the consumer (see the TCPA, the CAN-SPAM Act, as examples.)

Besides reach and cost, another aspect of these historical technological advances has been ‘targeting’ – the ability to reach the right consumer, not just any consumer, with one’s message.  Over time, marketing advances have attempted to include greater and greater audience and demographic specificity.  The evolution of television advertising illustrates this well. At first, advertising on broadcast TV was enough; no matter what time of day or which program, you knew you were reaching the more affluent demographic.  As TV became a standard household appliance, certain times of day were designated “prime time” viewing, and certain shows could be relied upon to attract certain ages and sexes of the population.  The advent of cable TV, with its local capabilities and plethora of content-specific options, enabled advertisers to pinpoint zip codes and lower the price point so that smaller, more regional advertisers were able to advertise on TV.  It’s not an accident that beginning every evening at 5pm, the Golf Channel runs ads for erectile dysfunction cures on heavy rotation.
However, throughout these advances, as reach increased and cost decreased and as targeting capabilities got further and further refined, return remained fuzzy at best, and low at worst.  The return on dollars spent by marketing channel remains a highly dubious pseudo-science, with the result that most marketing spend decisions are driven primarily by tradition - “because we have always done it that way.”

Social media marketing seemed like it would solve all that.  Here was a marketer’s paradise: consumers freely sharing the most exact and intimate details about themselves, and not just demographic detail like sex and age, but likes and dislikes, interests and hobbies, etc.  Social media itself had the added benefit of being highly addictive, so people were spending gobs of time on their social network of choice. Add to that the unparalleled instrumentation that digital technology provides, and it is no wonder social media marketing had out-sized expectations.  Never before had there been such a powerful intersection of knowledge about, and access to, the target.  Marketing on social media should literally be like shooting fish in a barrel, except in this case, the fish help load the gun.

But it’s not…..  

Check back next week as we delve further into social media ROI and how it is perceived by marketers. READ PART 2

Social Media Marketing With Fully Measurable Results

You’ve probably heard us say that InGo provides something that other social media marketing can’t: fully measurable results. Sure, most analytics track posts, views, clicks, etc., but how do you calculate ROI based on information about how many people may have seen a post about your event? 

Our award winning Advocate Marketing software not only provides best-in-class event growth, these results are proven and measurable. Our detailed reporting system is full of useful, ROI-centric information, from how many registrants advocated for your show, to who the best connected people at your event are, to exactly how many attendees came in through the InGo channel so you can calculate a precise cost-per-acquisition. You can even calculate the pre-registration to on-site conversion rates and the percentage of net new attendees among these acquisitions. 

Sound like a marketing fairy tale? Not so. In fact, InGo results are available instantly in a constantly updating infographic for each of your events. 

We thought there was no better way to explain all the rich data you get in our results infographic and how to read it than with another infographic. Want this type of data (and unmatched growth) for your next event? Get started now.

The Secret to Social Media Marketing is . . .

There’s no question that your audience is on social media.  Billions of people are already using social media and that number increases every day. And companies are responding; the fastest growing marketing budget item is social media. But the returns don’t seem to be there yet: only 21% of event marketers say their efforts on social are “effective,” and amongst event companies, social media enjoys the lowest perceived ROI, along with print advertising.

We believe this is because social media represents a different type of opportunity, which requires a different thought process and approach to attain, and our results bear this out.  Compared with traditional marketing channels, the people on social media are not just a ‘targeted audience;’ they are, in a sense, personal marketers themselves, looking to connect. As such, old fashioned, blunt-force tactics appropriate to other marketing channels will drive disappointing results.

Instead of paying for placement, SEO, and clicks, event marketers have the opportunity to use social media to spark the most effective and brand-building marketing there is: “word-of-mouth” marketing created by Advocates.

Here’s an infographic covering why we believe the secret to social media marketing is ADVOCATES.

5 Ways to MOBILIZE ADVOCATES for Your Event [Infographic]

Growing an event is not easy, and in many ways it is getting more difficult. Traditional tools, like direct mail, email blasts and telemarketing, while never perfect, are struggling to provide even the results they used to. Good lists are hard to find, and the best lists are over-used. Social media seems to hold lots of promise, except many find the results disappointing when compared against the potential. We believe that Social Media is a massive opportunity, but only if approached the correct way. Social media, unlike the other mediums such as print, email and the like, is a bidirectional activity, and as such, social media marketing needs to encompass that reality. This means that people on social media need to be approached as “active co-marketers” not simply “passive consumers”.

When done well, this approach allows event organizers to build a relationship with their attendees, empowering them to share their excitement with their network. This is what we call Advocate Marketing. Empowered advocates do more than just grow your event; they reach millions of people in a trusted, personal way, creating unparalleled brand affinity by connecting their personal brand to your event’s brand, turbocharging all your marketing campaigns.

So, how do you create these valuable advocates? We’ve created this infographic to share 5 ways to mobilize advocates for your event.