Awards case study: ServiceNow wins gold for 'Best use of live-event marketing'
Now at Work is an annual global ServiceNow event programme that brings extraordinary people together to transform the world of work. The 2019 European leg of the series comprised four events: London, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam.
But events are a moment in time, and the customer journey never ceases. These events were planned to integrate with a customer experience that began months in advance and included a seamless follow-up and nurturing plan.
Journeys were crafted for the audience based upon their area of interest, organisation size, region and role, and were executed across organic and paid social, email, DM and phone conversation. Customers and prospects were taken from engagements at the events through to webinars and live workshops that ran in all four main regions.
The result was over 117% pipeline target and 25:1 ROI within three months of the four events.
About the company
ServiceNow is a platform-as-a-service provider, providing workflow technology to help employees be productive wherever they are. ServiceNow automates manual disconnected tasks and provides business unit and industry solutions to make work flow.
Built on the Now Platform, ServiceNow delivers IT, employee and customer workflows to drive every part of digital transformation. ServiceNow enjoys industry leading customer retention of 97%, by enabling customers to create great experiences and unlock the productivity of their workforce with native mobile capabilities for everyday work across the enterprise.
Strategy – broader business issues the company is facing
According to Seeking Alpha, ServiceNow’s total addressable market (TAM) is limitless. Growth has remained 30+% year-on-year and, as the requirement for digital transformation grows, ServiceNow is uniquely positioned as the platform of platforms to enable this.
Now at Work is an important part of the vision for growth as it provides a milestone in the year for speaking to customers, demonstrating the value of the Now Platform and engaging new prospects.
Objectives of the campaign
Now at Work has two main objective groups:
- Measures relating to the overall event.
- Measures relating to the outputs that the event drives.
The separation of these objectives allows a fair focus on both creating the best event for the audience, with strong content, opportunities for customers to engage and exciting customer speakers, and driving business results at the end. Business results focused on existing pipeline touched by the event, and new pipeline created directly after the event and through the follow-up campaign.
Key to this was to balance volume and value metrics: achieving the right number of attendees, but keeping them aligned to the target audience.
The target audience
The target audience for the event is the extended ServiceNow community: customers; prospects; developers; partners; and analysts.
With such a broad audience, part of the challenge is creating experiences that align with each of them. For the event, partners, analysts and customers were invited using bespoke communications plans and dedicated sessions were run including Partner Summit, Analyst Centre and CreatorCon for developers. Customer sessions were split into four tracks aligned to the three workflows (customer, employee and IT) and the platform story.
Follow-up activity was similarly personalised. Customers and prospects were segmented by size and conversation, and multi-touch, multi-channel comms were used engage them and drive next steps that best aligned to their requirements.
The four live Now at Work events were the primary focus of the first phase. Email comms executed by each region were targeted by customer type and delivered in five waves over three months. Paid and organic social targeted the core target audience, and used static, animated and video formats to capture engagement.
In the UK, a DM watch teaser counting down to the event with a competition was sent to registered contacts to encourage them to share what they were looking forward to. This was so well received that ServiceNow later had a direct follow-up of someone looking for another of the watches, because their daughter had lost it and was hoping another could be sent.
121 relationships were also leveraged, with a programme of social content shared through LinkedIn Elevate to drive pre-event registration and post-event workshop participation.
In Benelux, the team ran a social competition asking people to caption themselves in a photo frame to show the engagement of their teams, which picked up a strong social following.
The event itself included a combination of keynotes, customer breakouts, industry and workflow sessions, developer labs, partner expo, a charity food bank, and presentations on Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging. An interactive Innovation Experience also walked select participants through a series of scenarios to get hands on with the technology.
Post-event, each region ran a series of six different workshops in multiple locations across their markets. Workshops were each aligned to six potential different conversations, and ADRs followed up with each prospect through a combination of email, InMail, DM and phone call. Paid social surround also ran throughout the follow up.
Four content hubs were also created – one for each event. These hubs were an integral part of extending the live experience into an ongoing digital conversation and included a mix of ungated video content from the event, gated supporting assets including white papers and value calculators, and registration links to the workshops for participants to explore further. Content hubs were used as a destination for paid digital display, social and retargeting campaigns, email comms, and as a call to action for ADRs in their conversations with prospects. Web analytics from the content hubs were also used to prioritise follow-up calling and lead prioritisation.
The goal of the workshops was to support sales and account teams moving their conversations forwards with existing opportunities and identifying new opportunities.
Timescales of the campaign
Planning started in Q1-2019 after the wrap up from the 2018 events was completed, but the real detail of programme scoping began in June 2019 after the global Knowledge event wrapped up. Customer registrations opened in late July and the events ran throughout October 2019. Follow-up workshops began from late November and continued through to mid-January.
- 13% increase in attendees YoY.
- 117% pipeline target achieved.
- 25:1 ROI.
Rhiannon Prothero, VP, marketing EMEA, ServiceNow
"Now at Work is always a big activity for ServiceNow, but 2019 blew through all expectations. Registrations, event feedback, brand awareness from the event were all stellar, but what really made the difference is how we were able to take customers and prospects on a journey. This really played back in the pre and post-event engagement, and the pipeline figures that the combined activity drove."