How Artificial Intelligence Can Help You Automatically Create and Enrich Event Leads

Sometimes you hit the sweet spot of being both novel and useful at the same time – something that marketers like myself might consider to be tradeshow gold. And at this year’s Dreamforce, I think we did.

We were showing people this nifty little automation:

  1. Take a picture of their Dreamforce badge
  2. Use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to parse their information
  3. Create a new lead in Salesforce
  4. Enrich the lead with Clearbit
  5. Send a notification with all their information to Slack

All within minutes.

The “wow” factor was certainly there, there’s no greater proof of authenticity than using your subject’s name and company in real-time. But just being “cool” isn’t enough. The reason this demo resonated is that it’s actually useful for each and every business.

Related: The 4 steps you need to take to implement any marketing automation

Events and the Fatigue that Follows

From conferences and tradeshows to roundtables and mixers, events are a great way to meet potential clients, network with existing customers, and cultivate brand awareness. So it’s no surprise that most marketers (80%) believe live events are crucial to their business’s success. And senior leadership agrees; 87% of C-suite executives plan on investing more in events in the future.

At the same time, only 60% of marketers say they’re satisfied with their event ROI (according to a MarketingCharts study).

That’s a twenty point gap, and it means that even if you work your tail off prepping for an event, you’re likely to feel disappointed by the results at some point. Maybe you didn’t earn enough revenue from a conference to offset the cost of production—or maybe you’re just frustrated that you put effort into hosting a great cocktail hour, only to garner a few opportunities.

Often the problem doesn’t come from the event itself, but rather the event fatigue that follows. Everyone is so tired from creating or attending the event, that all the manual work and one-to-one account interactions stand in the way of effective follow-up programs.

If you’re using a lead scanner device to log visitors at the event, for example, you often have to wait a couple of days after the event ends before you can access those leads. (If you don’t have a lead scanner, you’re probably stuck trying to correctly jot down prospects’ info by hand or collect business cards—a real challenge in a fast-paced event environment!)

After that, you still have to cleanse and triage the leads, which can take several days even with all hands on deck. And that’s all before you can move the leads into your CRM or marketing hub app and actually follow up.

This lengthy process means that you’re more likely to forget conversations and important details that could help you close a deal—such as what challenges the prospect is trying to solve. Hot leads often get lost in the shuffle, too; by the time you follow up, they’ve already gone cold. If your business wants to maximize event ROI, you need a better solution!

Related: How automation can help you deliver better events

Intelligent Automation To the Rescue

That’s why this solution was a crowd pleaser. Intelligent automation is not just useful for moving lead data between your apps; it can also orchestrate the lead enrichment and follow-up process from start to finish. By incorporating artificial intelligence (AI) into the workflow, you don’t have to do any manual data entry—and the entire process is completed in under a minute. Here’s how it works:

1) Submit Leads via SMS and Parse Their Information with AI

First, you snap a picture of the person’s identification. This could be a conference pass, a business card, or even a handwritten note.

Next, you text the photo to a designated Twilio number. From there, Workato will pick up the photo from Twilio and pass it to Google Cloud Vision, an AI tool that specializes in parsing images. Google Cloud Vision will extract all the important lead information from the image, like the lead’s name, job title, and the company they work for.

2) Automatically Create a New Lead in Salesforce and Enrich It with Clearbit

Once Google Cloud Vision analyzes the image, Workato will use the information to create a new lead in Salesforce (or the CRM / Marketing App of your choice). Workato runs the information through Clearbit to enrich the lead with extra info like company size or the lead’s LinkedIn profile, then adds the information to the Salesforce profile.

3) Receive Actionable Slack Notifications for Newly Created Leads

Workato instantly sends a notification to you on Slack after the new lead has been scanned, enriched, and entered into Salesforce. These notifications can go to either a direct message or a dedicated channel, depending on how you want to follow up.

As the user, all you did was take a picture and text it to a number. A minute later, you get a text with the information for the enriched lead and a link to their new profile in Salesforce.

The first half of this workflow is a great way to make sure you properly log and enrich all event leads in Salesforce. But you still have to follow up with those leads before they go cold—a challenge in and of itself.

So, you can make the notifications actionable. Using Slack features like buttons and drop-down menus, you can execute a variety of follow-up tasks without ever leaving the chat app. You can send an email, tag a lead as “hot” in Salesforce, and even schedule a demo for later!

Related: A guide to automating your lead nurturing processes

Streamline Lead Follow-Up and Increase Event ROI with Intelligent Automation

This workflow is a great example of how intelligent automation is redefining the way we work. Instead of simply moving data between apps—which is no doubt a useful application of automation—you can orchestrate entire processes that would otherwise involve multiple manual steps.

When it comes to events, automation allows you to execute lead logging, enrichment, and follow-up much more quickly. And the faster you can follow up, the faster you can identify and realize new revenue opportunities!

Want to set this automation up for your organization or learn more about streamlining your Marketing Ops?

About the author
Kristine Colosimo
Kristine oversees Workato's content and works with awesome apps like DocuSign, Zendesk, SurveyMonkey etc. on great automation content.