We are living in exciting times. The concept of traditional marketing is being challenged every day. Fresh waves of ideas are consistently hitting the shores. The blogosphere is inundated with articles describing the fact that brand equity cannot be linked to actual firm equityor any other recognized financial metric. There is a huge uproar that in a world infused with social-media madness; "traditional marketing and sales not only doesn't work so well, it doesn't make sense." A lot of speculation rolls around the market place as to what is going to replace the old medium; new possibilities of peer influence-based, community-oriented marketing hold much greater promise for creating sustained growth through authentic customer relationships.”
In the past, marketing would decide how they want their brand to be perceived amongst their potential buyers and then the message would be forced fed to people via advertisements. Now, the dice has rolled in favor of the consumers! Consumers have more and more technologies like DVRs, caller ID, and spam blockers that enable them to avoid unwanted advertising and messages. This means that, in order to get their attention, you have to earn their permission.
How do you earn it?
One such method is being skilled in the Art of Enticement! Not often used in our everyday vocabulary, enticement is a key factor in trade show marketing, media, public relations as a means of persuasion. Persuasion leverages the art of enticement to achieve a set goal. Your booth design is a perfect setting to do so.
Focus on your goal. In our case, decide on why are you going to trade shows. Often, I am told by clients that procuring leads is only one of the factors that dictates them to exhibit. Increasing brand awareness and sustaining brand memorability are some of the dominant factors that urges them to engage in this sort of face-to-face marketing.
Enticement starts at the beginning of the design phase. Design your booth with flow, lighting and augmented presentation. Highlight a concept product. Ask for viewer feed back as to how they will improve on the design (to give an example). Have them participate in your social media channel and digitally carry the conversation beyond the venue. As you do so, always keep in mind marketing is always about them (your clients and prospects), not you.
You always offer your prospects an enticing factor to pay attention to your marketing. The enticement may be a prize for playing a game as simple as: turn the wheel and you get something. It could be knowledge about your industry that prospects consider to be valuable. Perhaps it's membership to a privileged group such as, once a month session with the CMO of your company or an entry into a sweepstakes. It might even be a discount coupon from one of your partners. All you ask in return is permission to market to these people. Nothing more.....
The secret sauce. Give people something great to talk about your brand. At the end of the day, you have to figure out a way to turn your clients and prospects into your most devoted brand advocates.
And, trade shows are great venues that give you the oppurtunity where you may access each person as a node. Your realtionship shuld not end there. Keep them aggressively engaged in your brand pursuit, making them co-collaborators and finally challenging and shaping your brand un a fashion that gives more meaning to them, your cusotmers.