THE GLOBAL TRADE NARRATIVE
The Open Markets Institute, an anti-monopoly think tank, released data on June 2019 showing an increase in market concentration in a wide range of US industries, from makers of dry cat food to adult websites. "In many cases, a handful of firms control more than 50% of the markets. More neutral sources also estimate bigger firms are taking up a larger share of America’s economy."
In many markets for goods and services, there are fewer domestic producers. So instead of going to the local pharmacy, we now go to a chain store. There are fewer airlines, insurance companies, and companies that operate hospitals. In newer industries created by advances in technology there is also lots of concentration. We buy most of our books from Amazon, network socially on Facebook (which also owns Instagram), and have a cell phone contract with one of a few providers.
Bottom line, your competition is few, but fierce.... What are you going to do about it?
Are you looking for a way to bring your brand directly to the forefront of your niche market?
FIRST, DEFINE YOUR UNIQUE SELLING PROPOSITION — GIVE THEM A REASON TO DO BUSINESS WITH YOU.
NOW, .... READ ON....
Why incorporate a trade show exhibit into your current marketing mix?
Modern live exhibiting allows businesses in every industry to seamlessly blend traditional components, like banner stands, giveaways and brochures, with cutting-edge innovations, like social media, video conferencing and Internet resources.
Together they deliver a perfectly balanced promotional approach. Participating in even a few trade shows per year can help your company establish relevance and industry expertise. It also keeps your brand in front of a live consumer audience, which is a win-win-win situation for any organization.
Despite the many benefits offered by live encounter events, some business owners still feel reluctant to move forward with implementing this type of marketing approach. If you are still contemplating whether this type of promotional plan makes sense for your business, you should know about some distinctive advantages that this tactic offers.
HERE ARE 5 REASONS WHY YOUR BUSINESS CAN DO MORE WITH TRADE SHOW EXHIBIT
Every marketer knows it’s not about the quick spikes in attention from a targeted demographic; it’s about building sustainable marketing momentum. An event display helps you engage and connect with your audience in a memorable way, effectively building long-term brand exposure.
If you are a startup and want to try creative avenues of marketing your products, trade shows might be an answer.
To make a sustainable creative impact, bring clarity about your offering to your target audience. Answer these questions.
“WHO AM I?”
I am totally unknown to them. Why will they speak to me? Do I want to trap them with a gimmick for short term gain or, is my product a game changer?
— Does not matter what your product is. What matters, is how you connect your product with the contemporary culture.
“I SOUND IMPRESSIVE AND I HAVE A COOL PRODUCT”
They haven’t heard of me, but, do I seem like someone they’d want to know. In other words, is there a market for my product?
— Backing your product with transparent value system is a merit that is worth cultivating.
“MY RESEARCH SHOWS THAT PEOPLE KNOW ABOUT ME BUT I DON'T EVOKE ANY STRONG OPINIONS”
How do I use the venue and the audience and craft an experience that will help create an impression about me? I need to do this consistently for few years before I can make a dent in their psyche. What do I need to do, to get a 3 year plan down.
— Perception about your product is more important than the product itself
“PEOPLE LOVE ME. I HAVE BIG FOLLOWING ON SOCIAL MEDIA. HOW DO I TAKE THE NEXT LEAP?”
Get customer focused.
Get 360° view of the customer. Go through the digital interactions and derive some anlalytics behind it. Create a platform for predictive forecasting and response using social media. Get a pulse on real time customer sentiment — devise a cross channel integration. Then devise a need based customer segmentation... This is not an easy exercise. But, once you go through it you will see a pattern that will help you take the next leap.
Then your job becomes to formulate a show specific offer.
— Reward your brand advocates. Tradeshows are excellent venues to do so.
ABOVE VISUALS ARE EXAMPLES OF THE SAME PRODUCT. THE IDEA HERE IS TO LURE DIFFERENT MINDSETS.
MORAL OF THE STORY — IF YOU HAVE A CLEAR MESSAGE, LIKE-MINDED PEOPLE WILL SEEK YOU OUT.
Learn and Outgrow Beyond Conventional Face-To-Face Opportunities
Beyond the obvious face-to-face product pitch opportunities within the booth itself, a live event also offers other crucial ways for your business to connect with consumers.
Hosting webinars during the function, (this will help the include your social media followers to be participate in your event), offering live product demos, and even offering to be a keynote speaker can help propel your brand in a meaningful way.
Spike up the energy of your space with groups of people who will rotate through out the day in your exhibiting space. These people are your brand advocates. They are there to spread the reason as to why you are better.
IF YOU ARE PLAYING THE 'SAME BUT BETTER GAME', tell your audience why you’re better: We’d all like to think our products sell themselves, and it’s tempting to think that once your products are on display, they will. Give yourself more visual proof by supporting your products with graphics that make your products’ benefit obvious. Do your products last longer? Do more, faster? Cost less over time? Take less energy? Tell your products’ story with graphics and/or AV tech.
Unparalleled Lead Generation (our research shows this is the most popular reason for trade show exhibiting)
Building your consumer base means consistently generating leads for prospective new business. Scraping up new names and leads can be a challenge you’re when sitting at the office.
— Unless of course, if you are a giant in your industry.
Setting up a trade show exhibit allows your leads to come to you. You can set up contests where participants have to enter their contact information to participate, create QR codes that link to your social media pages to encourage attendees to follow your business, and encourage booth visitors to leave their business cards to ensure you maximize and leverage every lead opportunity available.
— All the technology with QR codes and artificial intelligence will fail to do the job for you if you are not mindful of those keen observers staring at from the isle.
Level Playing Field
If you’re running a small to mid-sized business, you already know firsthand that going head to head with your biggest competitors isn’t an easy process. For many entrepreneurs, it’s hard for them to find enough of a foothold in their industry to compete with larger, more established businesses.
A trade show exhibit changes all of this. Simply showing up to the function demonstrates to your prospective clientele that you have what it takes to run in the same circles as your competitors. No matter what the size of your company, you can instantly level the playing field to command attention from any other players in your industry.
However, if you are exhibiting, please be mindful of your presence and the the perception of your brand.
— If you look bored and unsure of yourself, you can be assured that your brand projects the same vibe.
Close Deals and Meet Decision Makers
Here is the biggest reason why your company needs a trade show exhibit. Not only will you enjoy extensive networking opportunities throughout any event, you will also have the chance to actually close deals during the function. Every transaction handled means you’ve generated revenue; this is the ultimate achievement at any live marketing forum.
Also, Economist Jay Ritter argues that it is no longer economically viable for small firms to grow into big firms. It makes more sense for smaller, more agile firms to innovate and then be bought by big firms, which can take the products to market on a global scale. This is often how innovation works in the bio technology industry, where small start-ups come up with new treatments which are snapped up by big pharma.
Where do you think you will meet so many buyers who might be interested in buying you out?
"According to Bloomberg, 8 out of 10 entrepreneurs who start businesses fail within the first 18 months. A whopping 80% crash and burn." Do your research. Make exhibiting at trade shows a worthwhile investment.
To find out other reasons your business needs to exhibit at trade shows and how your peers make the most of their exhibiting investments, request your free copy of the What’s working in Exhibiting white paper.
Image sources: Worlwide Web. This article first appeared in www.skyline.com in a constricted format.