Has Online Marketing Made Trade Shows a Thing of the Past?

4 years ago

Would it be fair to say that online marketing has allowed companies to avoid attending costly trade shows, exhibits and conferences? After all, services like GoToMeeting and Skype allow companies to speak directly with customers, without the added expense of flying to a remote location, paying for a hotel and covering other costly expenses. However, is it really fair to assume that a successful online marketing campaign can effectively replace the benefits that come from participating in a trade show? Unfortunately, this simply isnt possible. In fact, few marketing strategies are as impactful, and as cost-effective, as going to your industrys biggest trade show.

Whilst most companies would love to avoid the high costs of attending these shows, the simple fact remains that there are few platforms as effective at bringing customers and vendors together, the way a conference or exhibit does. There is something to be said for being able to reach so many customers at one time, and in one location. Whilst some companies may rationalise their decisions not to attend their industrys largest trade show, most understand that these shows provide some benefits that their online marketing strategies cant possibly replicate. So can online marketing ever provide the same kind of returns? No, it cant. To explain why, well review two essential benefits of attending these shows that cant possibly be duplicated by your companys online marketing efforts.

Increase Marketing Return on Investment (ROI): Increasing marketing ROI means to increase the number of qualified prospects your company reaches for each and every dollar spent on a specific marketing plan. A trade show is a huge opportunity to reach a larger audience, and its one where your company can easily increase its marketing ROI. No online marketing strategy allows you to connect with as many customers face-to-face. In order to determine the net benefit of attending the trade show, take the amount spent and divide it by the number of qualified prospects and customers you met at the show. This will provide you with your cost to secure qualified leads. Next, compare that to your other marketing strategies. If the trade show is worth attending, then its marketing ROI should be far superior to your other marketing strategies.

Invaluable Customer Face Time: It is one thing to see customers via an online webcam, but its something else entirely to meet them in person. Trade shows not only allow your company to meet customers in person, but they allow you to schedule meetings, discuss proposals, and showcase your companys professionalism with a well designed booth. In addition, your company can preplan conferences and presentations where your best people can present new ideas, strategies, and provide invaluable insight into emerging industry trends. Invitations could then be sent out to those customers planning to attend the show. Bottom line, a trade show doesnt merely allow you to meet customers in person; it allows you to maximize your customer face time. Unfortunately, no online marketing strategy can allow you to do that as easily as going to your markets biggest trade show.

Granted, todays online marketing strategies have grown by leaps and bounds. Theyve allowed small and medium sized businesses to level the playing field with their larger competitors. A company`s online marketing strategies can empower it to reach a larger global audience. Regardless, there is still something to be said for a trade shows ability to bring vendors and customers together under one roof.

Source link: http://www.marlerhaley.co.uk/

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