I was chatting to a colleague the other day when we started to think of the comparison between the personal presence of an exhibition and the way that the apparently more diffuse world of online marketing works, and thought it worth sharing.
It went like this:
Imagine that your website is your exhibition stand ( and your catalogue and your technical data sheets all rolled up into one ) and that at an exhibition your stand personnel talk to people that appear – this equates to sales enquiries – but they also spend a lot of time going out around the exhibition talking to people they meet in the aisles, on stands, in the cafes etc – plus they will have already spent a fair bit of time before the show going round their customer base and prospects inviting them to visit you on the exhibition stand. Not only that but these people will often carry some sales material or a presentation eg on a tablet with which to encourage prospects to make that extra move to visit your stand so they can see the range you have on display and engage in discussion that takes them one step closer to making a purchasing decision.
So isn’t online marketing exactly the same process – with a few small twists – your website ( exhibition stand ) is where you would like to refer visitors – your press releases, directory entries, social media posts and videos are like your sales personnel going out to meet customers and prospects. The first small twist comes that your sales people do not have to go out cold – when they do go out to visit a prospect they have all the ground work done already and are in a great position to provide the personal touch, the physical demonstration and discuss the deal. Oh yes and the second small twist – a show only works for 2 or 3 days a year – online marketing works 24/7.
I am not seeking to denegrate exhibitions which still perform a very valuable role – especially the specialised ones – but I am suggesting that it is quite easy to understand online marketing in sales terms and that it would be a mistake to have a sales team without an online marketing program to support them.
Give me a call on 01462 850040 or e-mail – I’d be delighted to chat.