If you prefer to read instead of watching our short video, here is the transcript:
Mike Gilvar: Thanks everybody for joining this session of The Bottom Line with TTG. I’m here with Malcom Gilvar right now, and Mal I want to talk today about the typical marketing objectives for event managers and kind of look at those event managers who are specifically going to the show to garner maybe a half dozen or a few more, a few less, really Highly Qualified Leads. A lot of us think the trade shows as these opportunities to come home with two or 3000 leads that everyone’s going to follow up on, but so often, especially those companies that have a really high dollar sale are just looking for a few highly qualified leads.
I want to talk a little bit about how those types of companies approach shows and then maybe somehow during this kind of pivot into what they can do when they’re not going to shows. So can you talk to me a little bit about what The Trade Group recommends companies do pre-event when a company is going to a show specifically to garner that handful of really highly qualified leads.
Malcolm Gilvar: Well, the first thing, obviously, whenever you’re trying to set your goals and objectives for a show, in this particular case, you’re talking about six or seven highly qualified leads. Our recommendation would certainly be to do something from a strategic marketing standpoint. What I mean by that is, to, if you know the people that you’re not doing business with today that you want to do business with, you specifically target them with a, we tend to want to use a piece that they have to look at, they have to open. So again, if you’re trying to get six or seven really high quality leads, if you were to send out 30 of these higher end packages that they would have to open, we would deliver it via Federal Express. It would plop on their desk and they’re going to open it up and take a look at it, and hopefully that would have a call to action that would have them either reach out to you via phone or in the case of a trade show, show up at your exhibit to take a look at what your offering is.
Mike: And when you say call to action, can you elaborate on that a little bit? Is a lot of that, having them come to the booth to get the second half of the gift or something? Explain that a little bit.
Malcolm: Exactly, I can give you an example of one that we did that is exactly what you just described. We had a customer called Stephen Arnold Music, and Stephen Arnold created Sonic Logos. If you’ve ever listened to ESPN and you hear that “dana dan, dana dan”, that is what Steven Arnold does. I am available for hire, if you need me to do that, so that’s a… It’s pretty good. But these are logos just like people pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to create a logo for IBM, the same is true of the Sonic logos, they’re really important for these customers. So, Stephen Arnold wanted to reach out to very high level executives, Program Directors I think for the most part and bring them into the exhibit and they wanted to bring in 20 to bring in to the exhibit. So we created for them, we took a fire alarm, the little box fire alarms with the glass on the front, and we put some text on the glass that said in case of falling profits, break glass, and inside that fire alarm, we put in a mock-up, a little phone mock-up, graphically portrayed, of an iPhone with an actual pair of headphones. And what was really cool about it, we then had a little written piece saying that, talking about what the benefits of working with Steven Arnold Music is and we said, “Come to our booth at the ABC show and pick up your iPhone.”
Malcolm: Obviously, if you get something like this in the mail, you are going to come to the exhibit to collect that piece of equipment. And they actually received 19 out of the 20, and the 20th person was actually sick and requested that they get their iPhone. They also closed a whole bunch of business as a result of that. It was extremely strategic, brought people in, did exactly Mike what you had talked about.
Mike: Yeah, I remember that case study, and it was very much a high level decision makers that they were targeting.
Mike: That’s super interesting. Well, now that companies can’t go to shows, at least for a while, hopefully that’ll all change soon, but can these types of campaigns, in your opinion, still be effective and how do they work now that we’re not going to shows.
Malcolm: Honestly, I think they’re every bit as effective as they used to be and the whole point is, is that if you can’t go to these events, you really need to still reach out to those people that can help generate revenue. That’s what you need. So if you know who those customers are, and that’s the key, you have to put together a really strong list. The list, if it is the correct buyer and they’re not the person that you are doing business with today, hit them up and if you hit them up with this and that your call to action is, “Place this phone call and you’ll receive X, Y or Z.” Same thing is true, people are going to be willing to have that 10-minute conversation.
Malcolm: But it has to be with something that will… Look a lot of the folks that you’re dealing with, who are C-level executives make a lot of money. They’re not going to call you for a Koozie. They’re going to call you if it’s something that is a true call to action that gives them something of real value.
Mike: Aren’t we’re doing something similar to that right now at The Trade Group with our hand-sanitizer dispensers?
Malcolm: Oh yeah, we have a couple of different things we’re doing from a marketing perspective. One thing that we’re doing is to our very top level prospects, we’re going to give them one of our custom-made hand sanitizer stations along with the dispenser, and then what we do is we drop that off, and the salesperson follows up the next day and says, “What do you think?” They go, “It looks great.” The sales rep then can bring over a couple of bottles of hand sanitizer and say, “Hey, just thank you for giving us the opportunity to show this to you and your team. Let me know if we can help you with some more of these things.”
Mike: That’s great. So now what’s the bottom line for companies that would like to be exhibiting but they can’t right now, and you know what, they are looking for ways to engage with their target buyer. Well, what’s the bottom line?
Malcolm: Yeah, the bottom line is, we all have revenues we have to generate and trade shows are a big part of those revenues. So if we can’t go to shows, if we can still selectively attract the buyers that we want to do business with, strategic marketing is probably the best next thing to doing that. We can provide them with something tangible that’s really cool, that provides a call to action and can create the next step in the sales process, which is what we’re always looking to do.
Mike: Awesome. Thanks Mal, thanks everybody for joining in, and we hope to see you on our next session of The Bottom Line at TTG.
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