As we enter the trade show season - all 11.5 months of it - here's something to think about: what are you doing with your marketing? You spend here and there on this and that, maybe you track it (maybe you don't), maybe you just look at the sales numbers to see if IT is working or not.
In my RSS feed, many (many) bloggers have given up. They haven't written anything in over a year. They tried it (or so they say), but it wasn't worth the effort - or so they say.
In this article, Mitch Joel talks about how social media CAN be engaging and useful, but much of the content sucks! Consumers "want moments of connectivity, delight and communication." Think about some of the best marketing assets - whether that is the old AT&T long distance commercials (Reach Out and Touch Someone) or Coca-cola Christmas commercials or a great social media contest or the way M&M owned the Super Bowl last year with its SM team. Each of those is an isolated marketing asset at work - a tactic if you will. Along the way, each brand tried numerous other tactics that probably sucked (or were less memorable at least).
What I see most is that companies don't have a strategy for a trade show. It's like a marketing outlier. Last year, TelePacific used a couple of trade shows to spotlight their new branding message of C-C-C (Connectivity, Cloud, Continuity). AireSpring has used its booth to further its marketing campaign, notably the Just SIP It. But most telecom and IT companies don't.
They don't drive traffic to their booth. They don't tie the booth into real life (you know, after the trade show).
If you do a number of trade shows, couldn't you treat it as 18 holes of golf? Or 9 innings of baseball?
All these tactics - social media, email, trade shows, newsletters, contests, trade journals, blogs - should be integrated into one brand message. Each tactic should be telling the same story, just in a different way.
When you go to a trade show? What would make that trade show a success for you? What's the ROI metric? Is it realistic? Or do you really have no idea? i hear people tell me that they have to booth at certain shows just because they have to have a presence. Really? And that's enough for you? Turn it around - and have a presence a different way or give them a big reason to notice.
PPP - product, people, press - are what trade shows should be about for a big bang effect. Product launch, talent showcase (hey meet our new CTO!) and press releases (which today should be about case studies or something granular).
Again are you tying this altogether?
Mitch Joel writes, "No matter how great the content is, it needs a meaningful distribution strategy behind it to convert into something truly valuable." That goes for the product or company too.