#5 How to profile and segment attendees

August 21, 2013 — Leave a comment

Using social listening and direct communications to profile individuals and identify opportunities.

This one is a bit tricky, but if you can execute it, your sales peeps will love you forever. Essentially, this exercise starts after an individual has registered and is an attempt to profile, segment and quantify their potential in some way so the selling conversation can start the moment they walk in the door. There are 2 ways to go about this: proactive and reactive.

Let’s talk about the second one first. Reactive profiling is just like stalking, only you can do it from the safety of your own desk, without the possibility of getting arrested. Take the information that an attendee has provided on their registration form and then add to it all the information you can find, freely and publicly available, on the internet. You may discover more about that person’s current role from their LinkedIn profile. You might learn which other competing events they have recently attended from their twitter account. Their opinions of brands and products (including yours) might be flowing freely in an online forum, or on the comments thread of a series of articles or reviews on a trade site.

Play detective, and you can learn a lot about someone’s experiences and opinions regarding your brand. Incidentally, this kind of work can still be given to the intern, provided they’re whip-smart and willing to learn.

b2b, events, social, profiling

It can be time-consuming, but you can create quite detailed individual profiles from publicly-accessible information.


Proactive profiling has the same intent, except you ask the attendee in advance to share this information with you – probably at the point of registration. Some will, some won’t. But you can improve your strike rate by constructing a compelling value proposition for the individual – a benefit or an offer or an advantage that can only be accessed by sharing their social profiles.

Ultimately, the point of profiling is to analyse the data to do some scoring and segmentation, so you can identify your best prospects as they walk in the door (real or virtual) of your event. Work with your sales team to build a simple scoring mechanism – allocate points based on job title, previous roles, experience with competitors, opinions expressed and so on. Edit the info into easy-to-read one-sheeters and present a face-book (as its name suggests, it includes pictures) of top prospects back to the sales leads who will be working the event. This is probably the best example of the ‘digital lift’ you can give a live event, by taking intelligence gathered online and applying it to your (offline) live event.

This is the fifth instalment of the series: 10 ways to leverage digital for better B2B events. We recently ran an audit of the various tactics, strategies and recommendations we’ve developed @ Ogilvy for using digital to improve the live event experience (for the audience) and performance (for the marketer) – this advice is a summary of what we found to be true and useful.

< Previously in this series: #4 How to make shareable pre-event content    

> Up next in this series: #6 How to encourage referrals 


About the Author: Barrie Seppings blogs about making things better – for clients, brands, agencies and humans. He is currently Regional Creative Director at Ogilvy Singapore and he likes boards surf, skate and snow. Follow him on the Twitter, connect on LinkedIn, or add him on Google+

About the images: all photographs used with the permission of Martin Ollman Photography. Contact Martin directly for rights and commissions.


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