Digital Revenue Generation Guide - (Page 9)

MARKETING STRATEGY [By Susan Pascal Tatum] ESCAPING THE MONEY PIT Stop settling for sub-par trade show leads ore business technology marketers use trade shows to generate leads than any other marketing tactic. According to a 2007 CMP survey, over 75% of respondents use trade shows for this purpose. Yet the inability to generate enough leads for the sales force is the biggest problem these marketers face. B2B companies invest enormous sums of money on trade shows, yet are rarely satisfied with the results. Why is this? Are they using the wrong tactic or are they simply not doing it correctly? The answer could be both. Trade show participation is an expensive undertaking, but most companies spend far more on exhibits and show services than connecting with prospects and customers or nurturing prospect relationships once they return to the office. As a result, trade shows often fall flat when it comes to measurable ROI. The good news is that with proper preparation, and by adding a lead-nurturing component to the back end of trade show initiatives, marketers can turn questionable trade show expenditures into solid demand-generation investments. The single biggest reason why trade show participation fails to deliver desired results is that marketers view trade shows as stand-alone events rather than elements of an integrated marketing process. For B2B companies, a trade show is more likely one of many interactions customers and prospects will have with your company prior to making a decision to buy your product or service. As such, it must be preceded and followed by other marketing activities including a pre-show traffic-building campaign, a well-organized and executed follow-up plan and a mini Web site that speaks directly to the show’s attendees. So, how do you ensure your trade show investment pays off? It starts with the following: M tomers and prospects over generating brand new leads. Pick the right show(s). Many companies make the mistake of selecting a trade show based on the conference title, without regard to who will actually be attending. This results in an empty exhibit with no exposure to buyers. To avoid this, make sure the trade shows you consider will actually attract people central to the buying process in your target market. Ask your customers and prospects which shows they currently attend. When considering specific trade shows, ask show management about expected participants. Trade show audiences change over time. Even though a particular show worked well last year, don’t assume it still will. While you’re talking to show management, it’s also worth asking what they are doing to encourage attendees to visit the exhibit hall. Some shows serve lunch or cocktails in the hall. Others plan the layout so that attendees must past through it to get to keynote speeches. Beware of any trade show lacking such a plan. Invest in pre-show marketing. Just being on the show floor isn’t enough to ensure a steady flow of prospects to your booth. The trade show organizers will conduct a marketing campaign to build attendance for the event, but even that won’t necessarily drive the right prospects to your booth. That’s your responsibility. Like any other marketing assignment, reaching trade show participants has become more challenging, and Web 2.0 has changed the way many of your prospects communicate. In the past, the most successful companies marketed their trade show participation through email, direct mail, telemarketing and press releases. Today, it also makes sense to invite attendees via Set the right objectives. Achieving and maintaining visibility with prospects is one of the most important lead generation tactics for a B2B company. Trade shows are an excellent way to do this. But lead generation should never be the only reason to participate in one. Trade shows are great places for face-to-face interactions with customers and prospects. They also provide opportunities to connect with media, industry analysts, investors and suppliers. Many companies approach trade shows primarily to connect with existing cusMARCH/APRIL 2008 14 SALES &MARKETING MANAGEMENT istock photo

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Digital Revenue Generation Guide

Digital Revenue Generation Guide
Multiple ROS Positions
Gate Fold
Flash Belly-Band
Flash Animation
Flash 360
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Digital Revenue Generation Guide