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Awards case study: How Kenshoo closed $252,000 business with its K in the Park festival

Kenshoo's K in the Park festival – with its two giant igloos in central London – created $747,000 in pipeline, and gave the adtech vendor 630% ROI

With digital marketing events 10-a-penny across the UK, and being a relatively unknown brand, how did Kenshoo go about creating a live event experience that would attract enough people to support its revenue and client retention goals?

Enter K in the Park.

  • A one-day festival of marketing, music and more.
  • TED Talk style presentations from some renowned industry speakers.
  • PechaKucha presentations from the world’s leading publishers.
  • Entertainment from Queen and The Killers tribute bands.

...all in two giant igloos in the centre of London.

As far as B2B events go, K in the Park was truly unique. This wasn’t a high production festival. It was an authentic and human event experience that asked digital marketers to challenge the norm and think differently - be that from the environment it took place in right through to the content of the presentations which aimed to develop marketers both personally and professionally.

The results?

ROI of 630%. Very happy customers, prospects and management team - in fact 100% of internal and external attendees said the event exceeded expectations.

About Kenshoo

Kenshoo is an adtech company that equips marketers with tools to automate, optimise and scale their digital advertising across the world’s leading publishers - including Google, Facebook, Amazon, Bing and Pinterest.

Strategy

The Kenshoo management team had ambitious targets for the EMEA region around both growth and customer retention. Executing the ‘same-old’ marketing activity wasn’t going to help us reach those goals.

An integrated marketing plan was developed specifically for the EMEA region that would drive growth - but there was something missing. The vendor needed to do something that would really differentiate Kenshoo from the hundreds of other ad-tech companies in the market.

K in the Park image

Objectives of the campaign

The integrated plan was focused heavily on digital activity. However, Kenshoo agreed that even in the digital age you can't beat some face-to-face time with customers and prospects in order to build relationships and drive new business.

With poor brand awareness across Europe, limited budget and digital marketing conferences being 10-a-penny in the region, the vendor would need to think outside of the box in order to hit the objectives it set for the event:

  • 150 attendees.
  • Brands and agencies who spend significant budget on digital advertising.
  • Heads of marketing, digital, performance, search and social.
  • 80% customers, 20% net new names.
  • Pipeline Goal: $500,000.
  • Within a budget of $40,000 (Kenshoo knew this wouldn’t be enough to do what it wanted so a new goal was set to double the budget with sponsorship funds).

These objectives all supported the integrated plan and growth/revenue targets.

The target audience

In order to attract the target audience outlined above, Kenshoo set out the following strategy:

  1. Ban all mention of the product. This horrified a company where 60% of staff sit within the product team. But in order to attract this particular audience - many of whom would be new contacts to Kenshoo – it needed to focus on topics that were interesting to the masses such as digital trends, thought leadership and even personal development – rather than talking about itself.
  2. Work closely with partners. The Kenshoo brand may not be well known but Google, Facebook, Bing, Pinterest and Snap certainly are among the target audience. Sponsorship packages were developed that partners bought into - not only helping to attract attendees (everyone wants to hear the latest from the publishers) but also enabling Kenshoo to triple the budget available from $40,000 to $120,000.
  3. Dare to be different. This couldn’t be the same as every other marketing conference out there or why would someone come? Kenshoo wanted it to stand out, have its own identity and be like no B2B event anyone had been to before.
K in the Park image

Media, channels or techniques used

A one day festival of marketing, music and more. This wasn’t a high-end marketing/music production. It was raw and authentic - everything Kenshoo values as a brand.

Friday's are usually a big ‘no-no’ in the events world but due to the nature of the event, the brand decided people may be more likely to get permission to attend (and stay for the evening entertainment) if it was at the end of the week.

Fun, festival branding and identity was created - ‘K in the Park’ was Kenshoo's take on the 'T in the Park’ festival. The dress code: Your best festival attire to ensure a relaxed environment with no clear vendor/customer divide.

Renowned industry speakers including the ‘Ad Man’ himself, Rory Sutherland and The Gadget Show’s Georgie Barrat who looked at digital trends and innovations - thus attracting a broader audience.

PechaKucha presentations from five publisher sponsors – the quick-fire format ensured each sponsor got a speaking slot and the audience got to hear useful insights and key takeaways from each of the publishers.

Practical advice focused on personal and professional development - including a fun ‘how to network at events!’ session to kick off the day.

Traditional event booths were banned! In their place we had Google ice creams, Bing face paints, an Instagram wall and Pinterest Lens Gallery to add to the festival feel.

BBQ and music from The Killers and Queen tribute bands.

K in the Park 2017 - highlights

Kenshoo knew it had a great agenda lined up. However, with awareness poor across the region and having no idea what the response would be, it developed a comprehensive multi-touch recruitment plan that included:

  • New data build
  • Email
  • Mail drop
  • Sales blitz days
  • Social media
  • Enlisting some of Kenshoo’s well-known investors, such as Brent Hoberman, to invite their contacts.

Timescales of the campaign

January: Idea formed.

February: Proposal presented to the Kenshoo management who agreed to give it a go.

March: Partner sponsorships secured. Work on the agenda began.

April: Agenda finalised and promotional materials created.

May: Promotions commenced.

June: Ongoing promotions.

July: LIVE EVENT: K in the Park - 7 July, Central London.

July: Marketing and inside sales follow ups.

August - December: Ongoing follow ups and monthly reporting back to the management team on event ROI.

Budgets

  • Venue and Igloos: $50,000
  • Speakers and entertainment: $20,000
  • Catering: $35,000
  • Other bits: $15,000

Results

  • 185 attendees (this could have been double if there had been more space).
  • 25% of the audience net new names to Kenshoo.
  • 84 people watching live online (this was opened up once registrations hit the limit).
  • Additional $80,000 funding secured that enabled Kenshoo to host the event and come in within budget.
  • Pipeline generated as a direct result of the event: $747,000.
  • Closed business as a direct result of the event: $252,000.
  • Return on Kenshoo investment of $40,000 = 630%.
  • Funding secured for K in the Park 2018 - which took place in July 2018.

“As the dust settles - it is time to say an honest, heart, humble - thank you! For caring, for innovating, for passionately executing and for keeping us who we are - Kenshoo. You should all be very proud!”

Yoav Izhar-Prato, CEO, Kenshoo

This submission won the award for 'Best use of live-event marketing' at the B2B Marketing Awards 2018. 'K in the Park' by Kenshoo.

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