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Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Event marketing is the best way to promote your company, launch a new product, and attract new customers. But just like any other marketing campaign, you need to make sure you have all the pieces of the puzzle. Fit them all together, and you have a completed image that screams success.

The key to any successful B2B marketing campaign is to get into your customers’ mind. What are they looking for, and what are their deal breakers? Essentially, you need to know what makes them tick. Marketing at a trade show is no different. Here we look at five strategies for effective B2B marketing:

Pre-Show Marketing
Pre-show marketing is an essential part of any strategy. Having a well designed and memorable exhibition stand is important of course. But if you’ve not done the ground work, how will your clients and customers know where to find you? How will they know if you’re there?

1. Social Media
Free and easy to use, social media is one of the best marketing strategies to implement before attending a trade show. And with so many sites available, the possibilities are endless. Firstly, with Twitter you can use a particular hashtag to find people who are attending a join in conversations. Holding a twitter chat is also a great way to network before the event, and build a buzz around your brand.

You should also join Facebook and LinkedIn groups, relevant to your niche and the event. Promote the show, as well as your attendance. A great way to add some mystique and allure to your brand is to upload a YouTube teaser advert. Make sure it is interesting. Make people want to visit your stand to see what you’re launching or promoting.

2. Direct Mail
As well as reaching out to prospective clients, don’t forget about past and present ones. Open up your mailing list and send postcards or flyers to the people who have already brought from you. In B2B marketing, building relationships is vital. By keeping these connections alive, you can often secure a repeat purchase.

Make sure your mail shots are personalized and feature your corporate branding. You don’t want your marketing efforts mistaken for spam or junk mail. If your budget doesn't stretch to direct mail, implementing an email marketing strategy is just as effective. Some companies may wish to do both.

On-the-Day Marketing
On the day of the trade show, you still need to be in marketing mode. Just because you've attracted a crowd, you shouldn't feel like your work is done. By integrating the following marketing strategies, you can boost your B2B trade show success:

3. Face-to-Face Networking
We’ve mentioned the importance of relationships in B2B marketing, and this is where you need to put them into action. Take the time to visit other stands at the exhibition, and hand out business cards. If you’re interested in others, they will reciprocate and see what you have to offer.

Make sure you have a private meeting space to discuss sales with your customers. They’ll appreciate the chance to talk away from the busy event, and are much likely to sign on the dotted line. Have in place everything they may need, to make the decision quick and easy for them.

4. Freebies and Giveaways
B2B companies are always looking for something that makes day-to-day proceeding quicker and easier. One of the best ways to show customers what you can do for them is to give it away for free. Have you written an eBook or whitepaper? Giving visitors access to them for free at your stand is a great marketing technique.

You should also consider offering a free service for people who attended your stand. Whether this is a free audit or something similar; businesses will appreciate the gesture. If you can show what you can do, and give them something for nothing, customers are much more likely to pay for further services.

Post-Show Marketing
The final part of your B2B marketing strategy needs to take place post show. Converting leads to sales is perhaps the most important part of your marketing campaign. But are you following up in the best ways?

5. Following Up
Integrate all of the methods you have previously implemented to seal the deal with ‘on-the-fence’ consumers. The key though, is timing. Don’t chase up the very next day as email inboxes will be full and messages will get lost. Don’t leave it too long, otherwise you’ll be forgotten.
Extend the offer on your giveaways to entice fellow businesses to check you out online, and make them want to work with you. By following up enquires post event, you can increase your chances of making a sale. Not everyone will buy on the day, but this is a great marketing strategy to encourage them to work with you in the end.

Special thanks to RB Design & Displays for today's guest post.  RB knows that the key to trade show success is a great exhibition stand. Visit the website to find out more about custom built exhibition stands for your business.


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