Marketing is a two way street
Most small business operators recognise that marketing should be at the beating heart of any business that has a pulse.
But not the old style marketing: Not the chest beating “here we are…come and buy from us” style of marketing. Not the big 30 second television commercial that is thrown out like a huge net hoping that a couple of fish will be caught. That style of marketing is expensive, rarely efficient and it does not allow for the major shift that has occurred in the market place: the shift from the business being in control of the sales process to the power now resting with the customer – a customer who is more savvy, more demanding, more in control of the marketing process than ever before.
Marketing has become a two way conversation. You have to engage with potential customers, build a relationship and allow them to direct you as to what they want from the relationship.
To do that effectively and cost efficiently you need to understand your market – their values, their views – and then ‘talk with’, (rather than ‘to’) those customers in a way that demonstrates that you recognise who they are and what they want.
Effectively conversing with your customers means using the right tone of voice, visual imagery, and words in all of your marketing activity – your print ads, brochures, web-sites, every communication tactic that you employ from how you answer the phone to the look of your invoices – that screams “I know you, I like you, I’m like you”.
Much is made of exhibitions as the most effective and cost efficient medium for one-on-one, face-to-face marketing and obviously exhibitions are an incredibly valuable marketing tool for generating leads. In fact “Generating Leads” is the number one reason why businesses choose to exhibit at business-to-business trade shows (Number Two is “Generating Awareness”).
But of equal value to building a quality data-base of leads and generating awareness of your business is the feedback that your business receives – the opportunity to hear what the market has to say, to listen to your customers, to find out what they want and to start an authentic and sincere two way conversation.
Your business is dependent on your target market – what they want, where they are, who they like, what is important to them. Exhibiting at business-to-business or business-to-consumer events is true two-way engagement with your market: effective and cost efficient marketing that is vital for the life of your business.
What can you achieve by exhibiting at expos?
De-position a competitor
Conduct direct sales
Launch a new product or service
Motivate and educate staff
Position staff as experts
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