If you're still thinking of events as large, lavish ordeals that happen only once or twice a year, it's time to update your mindset.
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Anything can be an event, insists Airmeet CMO Mark Kilens—from podcasts to community meetups. Such micro-events should take place often, in different formats. And it's important to pivot that way, because in a vast sea of online content, events can also be a brand differentiator.
"You can't stand out with content anymore," Mark says.
But it's tricky, as he explains in our latest Marketing Smarts episode, because the traditional, film-once-and-watch webinar is basically dead. Dynamic event segments are a must for audience engagement. Think of micro-events as TV broadcasts, Mark says: program, commercial, live segment, new program, Q&A. Pull attendees into a place where they can have conversations and a unique experience.
Much like in Marketing Smarts Episode 489 with Mia Masson, there is an emphasis on how events have become community-driven. "You're not trying to build a community for people, you're trying to build a community with people," Mark says.
The podcast also covers focus, a framework for event-planning, finding your hosts, and the importance of flexibility.
Listen to the entire show now from the link above, or download the mp3 and listen at your convenience. Of course, you can also subscribe to the Marketing Smarts podcast in iTunes or via RSS and never miss an episode.
This episode brought to you by Semrush and Casted.
|Semrush is an online marketing platform that helps businesses of all sizes achieve their goals. With Semrush, businesses can expand their presence online, attract new customers, create social media campaigns, manage advertising, and more. Try Semrush free today and get your business growing.||Casted is the B2B Podcast and Video Platform used by some of the best B2B marketers from companies like Salesforce, PayPal, HubSpot, Drift, and more. Casted's platform empowers you to activate, amplify, and attribute audio and video content while increasing brand awareness, driving lead generation, and bolstering customer engagement.|
George Thomas: You know what time it is. It’s time for me to be excited. Today, depending on where your brain goes and how long you’ve been listening to the Marketing Smarts Podcast, you might think about video, you might think about live video, you might think about being different, you might think about all of the things that we’ve historically talked about, and today I feel like many of them might come to a point. A point where we talk about events as a new strategy for your B-to-B marketing.
First of all, who are we talking with today? We’re talking with Mark Kilens. Mark Kilens is the CMO of Airmeet, a leading virtual and hybrid event platform. He oversees Airmeet’s global marketing team responsible for brand, demand, lifecycle, and product marketing. Airmeet helps organizations discover, engage, and grow customers using event-led growth, a new way to create immersive and integrated events across the entire customer journey.
Mark Kilens previously was the VP of content and community at Drift, where he led the brand, content, creative, and events team. He oversaw Drift’s community, Drift’s Insider, which was 50,000+ members, and Drift’s Flash, rev growth and hyper growth events. Prior to joining Drift, he served as VP of marketing and founder of the HubSpot Academy. As a former customer, Mark joined HubSpot in 2010, where he spent two years working with thousands of HubSpot customers to scale their inbound strategy. From there, he went on to build HubSpot Academy from the ground up, and in doing so educated and certified millions of people and helped grow HubSpot to more than $600,000,000 in revenue.
When he’s not at Airmeet, Mark enjoys plenty of steak and lobster, a round of golf or two, and loves being on snow or in the ocean. And he really loved being on this episode.
Without further ado, Mark Kilens, event-led growth. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s get into the good stuff…
Mark, you didn’t know this one was coming. I sent you some starter questions, but now that I officially have a CMO on the Marketing Smarts Podcast, I’ve been waiting to ask somebody this question. As a CMO, what keeps you up at night?
Mark Kilens: My new baby.
George: I love that answer, but I’m leaning into when you go into work, when you’re doing business, when you’re thinking about marketing for a company, as a CMO, not a dad, what keeps you up at night?
Mark: Fair enough. Focus. Focus is everything in life, especially in business. In marketing these days, so much is coming at you as a marketer, and then there’s so much going on in the lives and minds of your customers, your potential customers, that you just have to be super focused, and you have to pick your battles.
That’s what keeps me up at night. Is my team focused enough? Are we focused enough in what we’re doing internally and externally? How are people perceiving that? Can we adjust fast enough when we might lose focus? So, the simple answer is one word, focus.
George: I love that answer, too. When I reached out about this interview, you sent me a link to an article. I read the article. As I was reading the article, I was like oh my god, I’m not as a marketer doing this right now.
All of these 500 questions came to my head, just like the B-to-B marketers who are going to be listening to this and watching the future YouTube show for Marketing Smarts, there is a going to be a bunch of questions that will come to their brain. Historically, if you think about most marketers – not all of you, because some of you are like unicorns, anomalies, use what word you want to, but most marketers – they’re like I need to be on YouTube, I need to be on Facebook, I need to do content marketing, I need to make sure I’m paying attention to the comments, I need to do a podcast, and it’s the opposite of focus.
As we move into this interview, I want to use that word focus, and I want to talk about this, what I’ll say potentially for the B-to-B marketers that are going to be listening to this might be a new strategy, might be a really new smart focus. With that, let’s lay the foundation. For the B-to-B marketers who are just trying to get up to speed, they saw the title and they’re just trying to get up to speed on this conversation, what the heck is event-led growth?
Mark: It’s a thing that came out of my days at Drift and a little bit of my days at HubSpot. The simple answer is it’s a way to help you discover, engage, and grow your customers using events. Using specifically events across the entire customer journey. If you unpack that, you have to first think about why would you even consider doing an event, and you have to first strip away from this idea of an event being something that you do in person, you do once or twice a year, and that’s it.
I’ll pause here and actually ask you a question. When I say what is an event, what comes to your mind?
George: This is where my next question actually comes into play. Immediately when I was reading the article, I went into is this a small event, is this a large event, is this a virtual event, is this a hybrid event, because God knows the last couple of years has changed people’s perception to what an actual event is. I was reading the article thinking about you as a human, knowing where you came from, and was like I think I could actually do this on a very small size, but then there was this aspirational part of me going with what I’m learning, could I build something grandiose.
So, I’m going to turn it back onto you and say when we use the word event, what the heck does that even look like? Kind of what we’re talking about. Some might envision these as huge virtual events with multiple speakers and tons of moving parts. Is that what we’re talking about here or is it something different?
Mark: It could be that. If you Google event, it is literally defined as a thing that happens. You could say that this thing that we’re doing right now is an event. I think we have to get a little bit deeper than that. When we say event, especially when I say it, as Airmeet thinks about it, it’s a thing that happens when you’re trying to get people to join together, to meaningfully connect in some way. That could happen in person, that could happen online in a virtual way, that could happen hybrid. It could be small, it could be big, it could be short 30 minutes, it could be long three days.
At the end of the day, what I feel strongly based on my experience at Drift with events, including webinars, driving 50-60% of our pipeline every quarter, and what I’ve seen with our customers since I’ve joined Airmeet, events, if used in the right ways, can be a true differentiator for the brand. And we can get into that. Meaning you have to stand out someway these days. You can’t stand out with content anymore. I’m just going to say that right now. I’m a huge content guy. George, you know this. You just can’t stand out with content anymore.
You need to create a deep-ish, if not really deep connection with customers and buyers, especially if you’re in B-to-B. You need to always be adding some new thing to that journey that you’re taking them along. It doesn’t have to be every month, but every quarter or every six months. You need to be engaging with them at the end of the day.
If you’re trying to find a new thing that goes outside of just the traditional content you’ve been doing, if you’re trying to find a new way to engage and stay relevant with your customers and buyers, and if you’re trying to find a way to amplify something, something being an event, and turn that into a lot of assets in the form of content or in the form atomizing the content from an event or the experiences from an event into different channels, then something like event-led growth might be for you. We’re just trying to create a better way to do all of those things, while also trying to keep it simple for the marketers.
At the end of the day, what is one of the core things that marketing is trying to do? It's trying to create some type of belief within someone. When you try to create that belief, or as you try to create that belief, one of the most powerful ways to create that belief is to have other people help you create that belief. That’s very much what is core to an event.
George: It’s interesting because you referenced good fit, that you might be a good fit. We’ll get back to this good fit or bad fit for an event-led growth, but you literally unlocked something in my brain as you were talking. I’m like if no other person that Mark Kilens, I should ask this question.
That is the word that kept banging in the front of my cranium was community. You’re like you have to go past content, you have to create this deep-ish, and I wanted to scream, but not interrupt you, community. When you hear the word community, where does your brain go as far as a CMO , as far as this event-led growth, as far as this idea of changing the mindset, building a movement? Unpack community and the importance of that for us for a little bit.
Mark: The first thing you have to realize is that you’re not trying to build a community for people, you’re trying to build a community with people. That’s a super important thing to first understand when it comes to you trying to build a community at your business. How do you build a community with people? I believe it starts with just having conversations with them.
It starts with pulling them into a place, either in person or online, where they can have conversations, where they can learn from each other, where you can add some value, where you can share your thought leadership and point of view, where you can debate that with them, where they can meet new people, where they can have a unique experience for either 20 minutes or 30 minutes. It’s all about building it with people. So, depending on how you’re thinking about community, that ultimately is where it starts.
If you’re thinking about community in the sense of you’re going to build a Slack community, or build some type of forum or something, you might need to, but the ultimate thing that you have to ask yourself is why are you even trying to build those things for a community. If you do it with people, and you start with the why you’re trying to build a community with people, it will be much easier at the end of the day because you’re using the community as the source of growth.
A lot of people try to go off and start it and not involve other communities that are already out there that have that same audience. That’s probably the number one thing you should do these days when you are trying to jumpstart some type of movement, if you will. Like with event-led growth. We’re not building an event-led growth community. We’re just going to the places where there are already communities happening, discussions happening.
MarketingProfs is a great example. MarketingProfs is a great community. I’m so honored that I am on this show right now chatting with you about this. Hopefully, because MarketingProfs community is an audience that we think is going to be a beneficiary of event-led growth, this resonates and we can have a conversation about it. I want to learn what people think about it, what they like about it, what they don’t like about it, what could be better about it.
That’s how we’re trying to build community at the end of the day. We’re not trying to build it for someone. We’re trying to build it with someone. We’re trying to go to those places where the community and those people already are having those conversations and already know each other.
George: I love that so much. One of the things that my brain just inherently does is it tries to simplify the complex, it tries to boil things down. I’ll tell you what I heard when you were talking. If you try to build a community because it’s a marketing strategy, it’s going to be super difficult. If you’re building a community out of caring, it’s going to be super easy.
Let’s go ahead and get back to event-led growth and the interview that we’re having on that. Thinking of all the different types of B-to-B marketers in the world, who do you think is a good fit or a right fit for event-led growth?
Mark: I think it could be almost anyone. The way that we break it down through this idea of using events to discover new accounts, introduce new people to your brand, to your business, or it could be to engage prospects and buyers and your customers, or it could be used to grow your customers, grow your community of advocates, grow your super customers, your promoters. Depending on who you’re doing an event for…
So, we’ll unpack this four-part framework. You know me, George, I love frameworks. Who you’re doing an event for and getting really specific with that will dictate who in the business is helping put on that event. Again, an event could be literally a 45-minute online experience that has three different segments; 15 minutes of content, 15 minutes of speed networking, and 15 minutes of open mic Q&A. There’s the event, and it’s specifically for people who are trying to learn a bit more about event-led growth. You’re literally using an event to help them discover something new and help you discover a bit more about them. That’s the event.
Instead of everyone thinking that it has to be a two or three hour long virtual event, or it has to be a half-day thing, or whatever, it’s not that. We need to change our definition of event. It all starts with who are you trying to get to this event. It could be customer marketing, customer education, trying to educate customers. It could be someone on the demand-gen side trying to discover and pull some new buyers into the funnel. It could be someone on the field event marketing side who is trying to do a field event, both in person and online.
Depending on who it is, that will dictate who at the business should be involved. I really believe the best marketers always start with the who. From an event standpoint, you always have to start with who are you trying to get to register, attend, and engage at this event.
George: To listen to you talk through this, what I love about this is it’s flexible. The reason I love that is because where I think a lot of B-to-B marketers – and I can say this because I’ve gotten stuck there before – is we kind of fall into these paint-by-number scenarios. Facebook is 357, Twitter is 136, gray, black, blue, whatever. I like that you’re painting this as it depends who is going to be involved, depending on who you’re trying to help, and also what you’re actually trying to do in that time that you’re allowing them to help.
When I think about this, though, it feels like for many this is going to be a new thing. I’m trying to figure out why now is this happening in the space, why is there buzz around events. I’ll just go into the question, and it’s not that I’m necessarily saying do it, so pay attention, listeners, there is one key word that I added into this question after I wrote it the first time. Why is now the right time for marketers to leverage, or at least (here’s the word) test event-led growth for their B-to-B marketing efforts?
Mark: I appreciate the question. It’s an important question. Let’s go through a few of the reasons that I think are most important. One is we have gone completely into this new world because of this massive thing that has happened over the last two and a half years, we all know that’s the pandemic.
When you think about just the traditional event idea, always in person, done one, two, three, maybe four times a year, if you’re lucky, expensive, complicated, big carbon footprint. Great times, typically, at these events. George and I have had a lot of fun at past Inbounds that HubSpot hosted. We had a ton of fun at those events. Don’t get me wrong. That’s a once-a-year event.
If you ask yourself now because my habits and preferences and just overall lifestyle has changed because of two years or so of big disruption, am I going to just only go back to in person events? No. Because the amount of efficiency – efficiency is more of a business-centric word, but it is efficiency, the efficiency gains that have happened because of the shared lived experiences we’ve had with virtual events are just too great. Way less traveling, or no travel. Way more flexible. Way more accessible and inclusive.
There are major problems with virtual events, and we have to solve those, and event-led growth hopes to help solve some of those. They all feel the same, they feel empty, very little innovation. There’s a massive potential for these online virtual events. Just going from the old world to this new world that’s very much hybrid and in person.
It’s not just the event space that could disrupt it. Think about sales. Sales has fundamentally changed. It is now, according to McKinnsey, Accenture, everyone, going hybrid. Instead of on-premise face-to-face sales, it is more inside sales than ever before, it is more hybrid selling than ever before, and we’re not really going back. The channel adoption has dramatically shifted over the last two years. Meaning people value having six, seven, eight, nine different channels to interact with a business. Events could be one of those channels, because it’s in many ways a real-time type of channel.
Another stat, if we just shift away from old world to new world, if you look at the amount of interactions and engagement you have to have with someone to turn them into a customer, according to Forrester – they do this survey every year, they haven’t done it in 2022 yet – in 2021, they found 27 engagements or interactions were needed before someone became a customer. In 2020, it was 19. I think it was 15 in 2019. It’s only going up. If you think about an event, an event you could have a few engagements before the event, during the event, and post-event. Right there, you might have five, six, seven interactions, engagements with a buyer all because of you doing an event, big event or small event.
When you think about how an event could be used to nurture or guide a buyer to the point of them saying, “I finally want to talk to sales,” or, “I want to really consider this,” it’s a really strong thing.
The third point that I made before around content is super true. Content is really hard to be successful at these days because there is so much saturation, there is so much sameness, there’s just so much of everything. For you to use content to stand out, you need to really invest in it. If you take an event and use that as your content, this idea of using experts and thought leaders that you have at these events as the source of content and repackaging that into different content formats across different channels, I like to think of this as amplified marketing. You just got a great source of content without having to write it.
I think about this old world, new world, how to engage buyers is changing, and then the content being just super undifferentiated these days, how do you stand out, how do you be different? I think events is a great way to do it. Granted, there’s a lot of things we have to teach people about how to put on good events, both virtual and in person, but those are my top three right now.
George: So good. I’m sitting back here, hidden, listening to you, thinking I’m sold. This whole idea of a content hub based on experts that you can then divvy out, TikTok, Instagram, Stories, YouTube, Shorts, Facebook, your blog, wherever, but it all comes from an event.
Ladies and gentlemen, if you haven’t listened to the Andy Crestodina episode where we talked about collaborative content creation, it goes hand in hand with what Mark just said. By the way, we have reached officially the rewind point. I want you to rewind that last section, listen to it again, get your notepad out, your iPad, your dry erase board, chalk and your wall, there’s a lot of notes in that section.
What was screaming in my brain was this is where people are going to get stuck. How do I get started? Is it Zoom, is it Streamyard, is it Riverside.fm, does the starting even have to do with the platform? You’re Airmeet, obviously. But does it even have to do with the platform? Maybe it’s mindset. How do you believe in yourself enough that you would ask these experts and they would say? I could keep going.
Mark: Hold on. What you’re doing right now could be an event. Here’s how I would do this event. I would do this event in front of a live audience. I would have three segments, and in between the segments, because it would be easier for you to repurpose this into a podcast and then YouTube, I would have live Q&A on stage. You could invite people who raise their hand onto the stage, they could be on video or just audio, and ask you and I questions, rapid fire.
During this event, you could also have five minutes of just open networking, or you could have it be structured networking through speed networking, and you could match people through similar interests. You could set up a virtual lounge and have predetermined tables with different leaders from the MarketingProfs community at these tables hosting discussions for five minutes, and then we pop back into this discussion.
This right here could be an event that lasts 45 to 60 minutes, maybe even a little bit longer. I’m just throwing it out there as an example.
George: It’s kind of a two-by-four moment. I feel like Mark just pulled a two-by-four out and smacked me against the forehead. When you said that, where my brain went is I’m here going how can people get started, and what I hear you saying is they’ve already started, they just need to pivot or transition what they might already be doing into this thing that is event-led growth.
Mark: Yes. Right now, this is the perfect opportunity to think about how, I’ll just say bad, or maybe dreadful, watching paint dry a webinar type experience is these days.
George: It’s terrible. It just is. Let’s continue down this road. We don’t want the paint drying, if I have to see them put the same thing in the chat pane one more time, this just got really salesy, crap. If we’re going away from that, and if we’re saying it might be something that we’re starting new, or it might be something that we’re transitioning or tweaking, here’s where my brain goes.
What are two or three things that B-to-B marketers should be focused on when doing event-led growth? You even alluded there’s a lot that we could fix about this. What are some of those mindsets that would help us fix these things?
Mark: We’ll start with two things that you should do right now to fix what you’re doing today and how to use more events in your marketing mix.
One, have or identify one, two, if you can do three that’s amazing, or four hosts. These do not have to be people on the marketing team. A great event, think about when you go to an event with your friends or family, an in person event, and a host. The key to an online event, if we’re talking online, you have to have a great captivating host. George, you would be perfect for this. People should hire you to be their event host. Just saying, that could be a whole other side business for you, or maybe that’s a service that you offer. I digress. You need to focus on the host.
The second thing you need to do is really dynamic segments. A webinar that’s 30 to 45 minutes of content, that’s dead, never do that again. You can have 30 minutes of content, but you have to break it up into segments where there’s five minutes of content, then something that you include the audience doing, then another seven minutes of content, another point of inclusion for the audience. Maybe you play a game with a service like Cahoot. Then some more content, but it’s a different speaker this time. You’re almost running these events, especially these micro events, like 30-minute or 60-minute TV shows where there’s some programming, then there’s a commercial, then there’s different programming, then there’s a different set of commercials, so you’re always creating variety in the event.
It’s almost impossible for someone to get that same experience, or it is impossible for someone to get that same experience if they just watch the recording. When you do package up the recording, you package it up in a way that is not just the 30 minutes of content packaged up. You do it a more dynamic differentiated way. That will require some tooling, unless you can do it on your own with customization with WordPress or HubSpot. But just putting the recording up there, from a video standpoint, is so old world, not new world, when it comes to using events to really drive demand creation.
At the end of the day, all this event-led growth stuff is demand creation. Some of it, yes, you’ll be able to use for demand capture and demand monetization, but so much of what we’re talking about right now is just being better and more savvy at creating demand so when they’re ready to go and they visit your website and engage with that chat experience or fill out that form, you are ready to help them and they are super educated and excited about maybe doing business with you.
George: I love that. It’s almost like you’re reading my mind on the questions that I wanted to ask you for this podcast. Again, you sent me over the article. I was digging reading the content on it, which by the way, we’ll make sure the link is in the show notes of the podcast episode. As I was reading it, I was like I have to at least pull this one piece out and ask Mark to go a little bit deeper.
You just used the word dynamic, dynamic versus old school. This idea around three acts of event-led growth. You mentioned in the article things like creating excitement, the main event, what happens after. Can you just take a little bit of time and dig into that for the Marketing Smarts listeners of this mindset around three acts of creating that event-led growth?
Mark: That’s why it’s so valuable to probably do some events throughout the year that are both in person and online, because an event gives you these three acts. A piece of content gives you one act, typically. People see it, they read it or download it, and then that’s kind of it. With an event, you get to engage with your audience before the event actually happens, and there’s a lot of different things you can do with that.
For example, I’ve seen a lot of people use Cameo to get a celebrity, it could be a really amazingly famous celebrity, it could be someone who is a little less famous, doesn’t really matter, a celebrity that ties into the event’s theme or the company’s brand to promote the event. That is a brand engagement interaction right there. You could get your speakers to do some simple 30 or 60 second commercials for the event. We did this at Drift, and we’re doing this at Airmeet. More engagement, more content.
Then you have the event itself. We just talked about that. That’s basically such a great moment to learn more about your audience and get them to really feel your brand. At the end of the day, how do you get someone to feel the energy? I can feel the energy of MarketingProfs right now because of George. I can feel that energy, I can feel that excitement. That’s what you want to do these days. You don’t want to just leave it up to chance or some of your content. You can get that energy to feel itself through the videos you maybe do, but live event, human-to-human, networking, it’s so good.
After the event, it’s just repurposing that, like we talked about. Content confettization – that’s probably not a word, but the content confetti, turning your content into confetti is what you want to do after the event. Using all of those engagements, all of those things that are said in the chat, the answers from the games you played, the quizzes, the discussions that happened, that’s just a wealth of knowledge for you, your product team, your marketing.
The data that can come from these events is so unused right now because it’s hard to action it. That’s a whole other thing that we’re trying to solve at Airmeet is how to take event engagement data during act one, act two, and act three, and use that as a way to help you continue the journey for the buyer and make it so, hey, this is the next thing we should get them to maybe go do.
It’s delicate, you can’t be too forceful with personalization these days, people sniff it out pretty hard. If you have a really nice tailored follow up from someone at your company that ties the experiences together, that event experience plus that follow up, that’s a stand out type of interaction that not too many people are going to forget.
George: I love the idea of content confetti. There’s just something visually. You can say repurposing all day long, but you say content confetti, and that sounds fun, I want to do that, I want to create some confetti. The other thing is I love that you said you can’t leave it by chance, you have to have a strategy, you have to have a plan.
One of the things I love to do on the Marketing Smarts Podcast is diagnose those hurdles that people can watch out for. As they start to do event-led growth, as they start to build these special events, as they start to wrap their mind around this new or tweaking strategy that they might be doing, what are some hurdles that they should watch out for along the way?
Mark: I think don’t do long events. You don’t need a half-day event. Let’s unpack the framework really quickly. This is how you can avoid some mistakes, some hurdles. It starts with the who. Who are you trying to do an event for? Then it quickly goes into why. But the why is not about why you’re trying to do the event. Yes, that matters, but the first question you have to ask yourself when thinking about the why is why would someone register, attend, and engage at this event? It has to be those three things.
It’s almost like those three acts, but it’s really the first two. Why would someone sign up, show up, and participate? The ultimate why, by the way, is why would they recommend this event after the fact? That’s harder to measure, but that’s the ultimate why, the recommendation. Then it goes into why is your business doing this event. We talked about a few examples. You could use events for almost anything inside your business, to launch a product, to do customer onboarding, to do training, to give customers some love, to do an investor event. There are so many types of events. That’s the reason I love them, because it’s just a matter of getting people together, but I digress.
Who, why for the attendee, why for the business. Then it’s about the how. How are you going to design the event experience and theme to help you and the audience of this event achieve its collective goals together? A lot of people just jump to the what, they think about the who, the why, and what type of event they need. No. The what type of event you need is at the very end.
You might say I’m trying to get new marketers who just are getting their first one to two years of marketing experience to come together and learn some of the ways that they can grow in the next five years. That’s the who. The reason why they would show up and attend is they are so excited and want to learn about how they can keep progressing in their marketing career. For you, you’re trying to add more members to the MarketingProfs community. Simple. You can get more specific than this, but that’s that.
Then it’s about we can do it an in person event or a virtual event. No. Now you have to ask yourself how do you want them to experience that event, feel that event, how do you want them to go about learning things at the event? Then you can start to talk about what type of format, what type of event, and maybe even where should the event be. So many people miss that how. A great event is a story that’s unfolding, that’s helping you feel something. It kind of repeats itself sometimes over and over again, but most people don’t pay attention to that.
Even for a 60-minute event, you should do that. A three-day event, you should do that. You should spend the time understanding that. What we do is we put all of these elements, the who, the why, the how, and the what into just a master event brief. We’ll be sharing a template out soon on Airmeet’s website to help not just event people, but just marketers overall, just people overall to better plan events.
My point is to avoid those hurdles do the proper planning and spend some time thinking about those four things and do them in the right order.
George: So good. The words that you said, a great event is a story unfolding over time. That’s a tweetable moment. Somebody use the hashtag #MPB2B, make a cool graphic, tweet it out, Facebook it, LinkedIn, something. If you do, then I’ll be using it as a spotlight in the Marketing Smarts Youtube Live show. Just tag me in it, too.
Mark: You kind of owe me because I just gave you two ideas for MarketingProfs during this podcast. One is to turn this into a live event, and one is to do an event for up-and-coming marketers. I’m just saying.
George: We’ve already cut the check and sent it to you. In a minute, I’m going to give you a chance if people want to connect, if they have more questions, where you’ll want to send them. Believe it or not, we’ve already added almost 30+ minutes of value around this topic of event-led growth. I always like to ask this final question and see where people’s brains go.
What are some words of wisdom that you would want to leave the Marketing Smarts Podcast listeners around event-led growth, being a great human, being a CMO, whatever, you can go any direction, but what are some words of wisdom that you want to leave the community?
Mark: I’ll say for the marketing side of it, we already talked about focus, I’ll mention reflection. Spend enough time with your teams and with yourself reflecting on what happened and learning from all of the effort you put into something. I’m guilty of this as well from time to time, absolutely. People undervalue and just don’t spend enough time reflecting and learning. That’s just society overall. It can help us avoid a lot of problems.
It can help us avoid so many things personally with our health, with our happiness. Then when you have a team and you’re trying to do a ton of stuff, if you just slow down to speed up, and it starts with reflection, it can solve a lot of pain. I’m going to leave it just at that. That’s a lesson for anyone, no matter if you’re a marketer or non-marketer. I’ll just stop there.
George: So good. If we take what you’ve talked about, you started with focus, you talked about execution of these events, and now you’re saying reflect, it’s almost like this beautiful cycle of focus, execute, reflect, and this is how you’re going to get 1% better each and every day. Mark, if people have questions, if they want to reach out, where do you want to send them?
Mark: LinkedIn or Twitter. Just Google my name or Google event-led growth, and you’ll find it. Just please connect with me. I would love to chat with you. If you think you might have an opportunity to co-host an event together, I love co-hosting events. I think MarketingProfs and us are going to do this at some point down the road, we’ll co-host an event at some point. I’m super excited about that.
George: What an amazing episode with Mark Kilens. Marketing Smarts listeners, did you take lots of notes? What is your one thing, your number one execution opportunity after this podcast? Make sure you let us know either in my inbox or on Twitter using the hashtag #MPB2B.
I also have to ask are you a free member of the MarketingProfs community yet? If not, head over to MProfs.com/mptoday. You won’t regret the additional B-to-B marketing education you’ll be adding to your life.
We’d like it if you could leave us a rating or review on your favorite podcast app, but we’d love it if you would share this episode with a coworker or friend. Until we meet in the next episode where we talk with Kipp Bodner from HubSpot about a privacy-first world and how it won’t hurt your customer relationships but it will transform them, I hope you do just a couple of things. One, reach out and let us know what conversation you’d like to listen in on next. Two, focus on getting 1% better at your craft each and every day. Finally, remember to be a happy, helpful, humble human. We’ll see you in the next episode of the Marketing Smarts Podcast.
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Published on July 21, 2022
Mark Kilens, CMO of Airmeet, a leading virtual and hybrid event platform. He oversees Airmeet's global marketing team responsible for brand, demand, lifecycle, and product marketing. He previously was the VP of content and community at Drift. Prior to joining Drift, he was the founder and he served as VP of marketing at HubSpot Academy. When he's not at Airmeet, Mark enjoys plenty of steak and lobster and a round of golf or two, and he loves being on snow or in the ocean.
LinkedIn: Mark Kilens
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