Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A Winning Formula for Trade Show Success

For most companies that sell a product or service, Trade Show participation is a necessary part of the marketing mix. Big and small, there is a lot of work and preparation for success at and with a Trade Show and all the expense that goes along with these events can be rather significant regardless of the size. The big association shows you are looking at upwards of $10,000 and the small Chamber shows are “only” around $500.00 if you can use last year’s banners.

Data indicates that 73% of marketers state that "gaining qualified leads" is the key success metric for these events. I might ask what about actually sale contracts signed at the show? Yet, 60% of these marketers aren't pleased with the actual ROI achieved from the considerable expense of these shows. Are you? Seriously are you

Additionally, Ruth P. Stevens, author of Trade Show and Event Marketing, Plan, Promote and Profit; stated the following, "don't spend one penny on a trade show unless you have a lead management process in place!"

Think back to the last show you participated in. If you are like most companies, and I'll bet you are, your company representatives are standing around in the booth waiting for prospects to wander into your booth or worse yet looking down at their cell phones. If you are the lucky few, your team members are actually attempting to start a conversation with attendees (as they walk down the isle), to find out if they buy what you sell and if so, are able generate enough interest that they join you in your booth to learn more.

Sound familiar?

If you aren't pleased with your Trade Show & Event Marketing results, there is an approach that is proven to be more effective. In fact, I'll go as far to say it could be a game changer for your company and will help transform Trade Show participation into one of your top performing, revenue producing marketing activities.

So what's this approach to Trade Show success?

To begin with, it's an actual program that incorporates all three of the critical phases for Trade Show success:
  • Pre Show Marketing
  • Show Time Marketing
  • Post Show Marketing
The program creates multiple levels of engagement with targeted attendees and past participants. It creates an opportunity for the target audience to learn valuable information about your company and services prior to the show, as well as at the show.

An effective Trade Show Marketing Program targets several levels of attendees based on your needs. For example, some companies target the following groups:
  • Attendees
  • Non-attendees
  • Customers
  • Other exhibitors (Why? They might just may need your product or service)

The list will vary by event, but you don't want to ignore your customers at these events and engaging them for meetings at the show is an important aspect of the Trade Show opportunity. In fact, customer meetings at the show are scheduled to better understand what else you can do to help them achieve success. These meetings are always fun and productive and lead to new business opportunities as well.

Pre Show Marketing
The key to success with the Trade Show & Event Marketing Program is the multi-channel, drip-marketing program that connects with potential and actual attendees to the show.

The program identifies the attendee's interest areas, gathers marketing intelligence and missing contact information, and provides an opportunity to schedule meetings in the booth for specific presentation and technology discussions.

Companies leveraging this approach have actual scheduled meetings throughout the day for both customers and prospects. Successful organizations, regularly achieve 90+% completion for all scheduled meetings during the show. What this means for your company is no more standing around waiting for prospects to find you!

Show Time Marketing
The next key phase of the program is the Show Time engagement activities. Each day a series of emails, texts and social media engagement go out to all show participants reminding them of the activities taking place in your booth for the day.

It might be hourly solution overview presentations, or a special presentation by a guest speaker, or a VIP party that you are alerting everyone to and providing them with a reason to show up in your booth should they not already have a scheduled meeting.

Ten to Fifteen minutes before any special presentations, text messages are sent out to attendees reminding them of an important, upcoming opportunity in your booth.

Post Show Marketing
Once the show is over, the next important phase kicks in, Post Show Marketing. During this phase, every attendee, booth visitor, completed appointment and customer receives a follow-up email letting them know it's not to late to learn more about your company and solution.

Special show offers are extended to the recipient, as well as an opportunity to learn more by downloading valuable content about your customer success, solutions and special programs.

This step provides another opportunity to engage attendees that may not have visited your booth. It also creates additional opportunities with attendees you may have spoken to but really didn't move the visit to an opportunity stage.

Finally, this program offers comprehensive tracking and measurement on all critical marketing KPI's for the program. Imagine having a complete picture of the number of visits, working opportunities and next steps for all attendees in your show data -base.

Additionally, you will be able to identify which channels delivered the highest conversion results, as well as the show activities that achieved that helped drive engagement.

Another wonderful aspect of the program is the ability to send all of the collected data directly into your CRM. This helps insure that the right follow-up will take place as well as a having the captured data exactly where you want it to be for future use.

At the end of the day, it's all about the ROI and actual revenue creation as a result of participating in the event. That's the best part!

Companies leveraging this approach are achieving exceptional revenue results and in many cases, this marketing activity has become one of their top lead sources for new revenue creation.

If you are looking for improved results for your Trade Show & Event Marketing, this Three Phase Program is exactly what is needed.

Larson Notes & Satire:
 The hard work of getting new clients will not stop there. Getting good sales results is a hard, process. We have ways to make it happen for you. There is no one size fits all. You are unique 

Howard Larson
Larson & AssociatesTarget Marketing & Telesales Professionals for new account
Making good businesses great and great businesses even better847-991-1294howard@larsonassociates.wshttp://www.larsonassociates.wshttp://larsonassociates.blogspot.com

Today's Marketer -­‐ Getting to Sales Ready

Marketers are always looking for new, innovative approaches to deliver improved results to their organization.

What if there was a program that could fundamentally shift your sales results and significantly improve your marketing ROI?

Well believe it or not, there is a program that will significantly improve your results and lead to a higher return on marketing investment spent on opportunity development.

If you are like most marketers, the lion share of your marketing budget is being invested in new customer acquisition programs. Yet, for this critical area of opportunity many marketers continue to focus on leads and responses when they should be focused on delivering marketing qualified leads (MQL's) to your organization that continue to be nurtured to Sales Ready.

The reason for this shift will be discussed in more detail below, but the key outcome of this approach is more revenue per lead generated and an overall reduction in the sales cycle.

Isn't that a key deliverable for all of your marketing activities?

This is an important consideration for all marketers because not all leads are created equal. Today, many of the leads you deliver to your sales organization are simply looking for more information to start their assessment of you as a potential provider or they are simply researching information on a potential area of opportunity for the future.

Yet, many marketers are sending these leads directly to the sales team for follow--‐up.
Does that makesense? Is this the right approach given the negative impact on sales productivity?
Let's take a quick look at some of the data that suggests this approach may not be the best course of action.
According to industry data there is a huge gap in the quality of leads marketers deliver to their sales organization. Henry Bruce, President and Founder of Rock Arnard Group said it best, "When I reflect on the state of Marketing automation, three stats paint a very ominous picture."

• 70% of the buy cycle is complete before sales engages with buyers
• Only 50% of a typical sales team achieves quota
• Only 10%-¬‐15% of new leads are considered sales ready

Think about the data reported above...if 70% of the buy cycle is complete before your sales team engages with potential buyers, your ability to convert those leads drops significantly. Additionally, if only 10-¬‐15% of the new leads are sales ready, we are wasting the sales teams time by engaging them at this point in time.
These types of leads need to be nurtured further before sales engagement with these early stage opportunities.
Follow--‐up on leads of this nature will also negatively impact you Marketing ROI and provides a false assessment of your opportunity funnel. Most organizations are blaming sales for their inability to convert leads to sales rather than digging deeper to really |understand the root cause for the results. Since much of a prospects time is spent researching online before they ever contact a prospective company, you need to have an ongoing, lead nurturing program  that starts a dialogue with these prospects well before they realize they are ready to invest in your solution.
As part of your nurturing program, you must leverage all of your marketing response channels in order to connect with the prospect to gain an understanding of why they are inquiring and what information they would like now. By taking this step, you have an opportunity to provide the prospect with high value content and start the nurturing process for future engagements.
Through ongoing engagement with each prospect, you are building their trust, confidence and awareness of your capabilities as a potential provider. As you continue your engagement activities the prospect has an opportunity to guide you on what they are interested in through their actions, such as, the download of high-¬‐ value content, or requesting a free trial. This process, ultimately leads to sales ready lead status.
The  days of one and done marketing programs are gone. Replaced by ongoing, lead nurturing programs that step the prospect through a cycle of high value opportunities to learn more, and provide you critical insight on their current and future needs.
 Once you have built a nurturing and scoring program, you will be able to deliver high quality leads (sales ready) to your sales team and you will be on your way to improved marketing and sales results in all areas.
By taking your existing program and leveraging technology in a more strategic and focused manner, you  can transform your overall program results.
The data suggests that this approach is significantly more effective and as a marketer, it's our responsibility to seek optimized results for every aspect of our marketing. In fact, in a study developed by Forrester Research, they found that companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-¬‐ready leads at 33% less cost.
Which leads me to one of my favorite quotes, "effective marketing doesn't cost more, it costs less"
 If you are looking for more information and insight on how to achieve this approach for your organization feel free to contact me at
by Joseph Manos, Executive Vice President, Mind Fire Inc.