Maximising lead generation through event marketing

Published 26/06/2024 / B2B SPOTLIGHT SERIES

Insights from Cosmina Trifan, Chief Marketing Officer at Scaleway.

Cosmina Trifan is the Chief Marketing Officer at Scaleway, a European cloud services provider that helps clients like Datatask and Octopeek to manage their data through server infrastructure and cutting-edge AI projects. 

Before joining Scaleway early in 2024, Cosmina worked for Pentalog, a fast-growing French IT outsourcing company. There, she progressed through a variety of communications, project management, and commercial roles during her 14-year tenure to become CMO in 2015. She helped the company grow from 150 to 1,500 people, raise funds with a private equity investor, and facilitated its sale and integration with Globant.

We caught up with Cosmina at VivaTech 2024 in Paris to chat about the importance of accelerating pipeline through event marketing, how to measure ROI from lead generation, and the benefit of mentorship support during challenging times.

What’s your goal for VivaTech and how do you see the role of event marketing in your overall marketing mix? 

Events offer us the ability to enhance our network, increase brand visibility, and accelerate the maturity of leads within our pipeline. Choosing to be at VivaTech was a no-brainer for us since it’s one of the biggest events happening in France. And it’s an event that can address all verticals. My team collaborated closely with the sales, product, and R&D teams, as well as our 13 partners. The collaboration with partners and teamwork significantly amplified our impact and by consequence the results. 

VivaTech is one of the biggest events that we exhibit at, but it’s not our only one. We have our own Scaleway event on November 7th – ai-PULSE – which will highlight exactly how AI is changing the world, what hands-on projects we are working on, and what the future will look like. The event addresses profiles such as CEOs, CTOs, CIOs, AI directors, investors, data scientists, and it will gather over 1,000 people on-site at Station F and over 4,000 participants online. It will feature panels on AI applications in various sectors, AI investments and risks, as well as highly technical conferences and workshops.

So, lead generation is one of your main goals for VivaTech?

Yes, we’re expecting pipeline acceleration from the event. We have targeted two types of leads: new and existing. At VivaTech, we aim not only to initiate new conversations but also to influence ongoing discussions with leads for the two months following the event.

We are attending VivaTech with a 138m² booth featuring a unique design: a conceptual version of the Avatar Tree to symbolize the power of the ecosystem and the advantages we have with our strategic partners. Our 13 affiliates are showcased in three areas: hardware, technical integrators, and startups.

How do you balance brand and lead generation investment?

Currently, Scaleway prioritises lead generation over brand investment, but balancing the two is challenging. For example, VivaTech is primarily a lead generation event for us, but we integrated strong storytelling to enhance brand visibility too. 

Our presence at VivaTech will enhance our visibility for at least one quarter. Therefore, the messaging and concepts are crucial. Choosing an exceptional story and showcasing our brand narrative through design is essential. A five-metre tree structure, collaborators like HPE, Ampere, NVIDIA, and exclusive immersive VIP experiences at the booth provide unique visibility opportunities for us and our associates.

Scaleway’s stand at VivaTech 2024 in Paris, inspired by the ‘Tree of Souls’ from the movie Avatar.

How will you measure the ROI from Scaleway’s stand at VivaTech 2024?

We will measure ROI in three ways:

Sales support: Using feedback from our sales team on how effectively they were able to leverage the event. 

Lead generation: Collecting and nurturing leads through badge scanning and networking, creating a unified team effort with our partners. 

Brand awareness: Monitoring media and digital coverage, supported by a pre-event press release, professional photography, videography, and active social media engagement by our senior social media manager. 

What would you consider the most innovative marketing strategies to help a brand to stand out?

I associate innovative marketing tactics with performance and intelligent strategies beyond technology. This includes clever influencer marketing, marketing automation, ABM, and recently, immersive event experiences, which have shown significant impact. 

These experiences showcase a human approach, which I think is very important for our customers and helps to communicate our values to them – such as being mindful, transparent, customer-centric, and even disruptive. Marketing strategies are extremely valuable when consistent with your brand’s vision and unique selling points.

The cloud is quite an abstract notion for many people to imagine, so it helps – especially at an event as big as VivaTech – to have an element like our tree, to drive our storytelling and make it more concrete. Plus, the tree is visible from far away from the stand, so it’s great for awareness too!

Finally, can you tell us about a key milestone in your career?

In 2019, with my former company, we decided to look for private equity investors and work with them to support us in our growth. That moment in 2019 and 2020 was crucial because the geopolitical situation – with COVID and the war in Ukraine, for instance – made it more complicated to do marketing. 

So, what the private equity did within top management was to support us with coaches and mentors who would encourage what we were doing in our group. They were there to advise and give feedback at a time when we were constantly challenging ourselves and questioning whether we were on the right track. 

Working with coaches and mentors during this period was extremely enlightening and impactful, and I advise everyone to do this in critical moments of your career.

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