The Value of Old-Fashioned Tradeshows Without the Headaches

June 7th, 2011 by Matthew Rosenhaft Leave a reply »

Social marketing is a better bridge between brand marketing and sales than direct marketing. More effective for targeting and qualifying “Likely” buyers than:
• Web Marketing / SEM/PPC
• Lead Generation / Telemarketing
• Marketing Automation /Email Marketing / Newsletters
• Webinars / Tradeshows / Events

Think of Social as the new version of a “Old-Fashion Tradeshow in the Cloud” without the headaches; I can sit in on presentations from experts, I can connect with my peers, I can get the latest news, and I can browse the vendors to see what is new. Buyers used to self-qualify their interest by taking the time and money to attend. Now, you can self-identify based upon what groups you join and how you participate online.

Tradeshows were great (now just ok), but you had to get on a plane and spend a few days to get the value. The web disinter-mediated a lot of this, but vendors got savvy in web marketing which is now killing the value as everyone is creating a huge amount of noise that makes it hard to get good, unbiased information. Now, add email marketing and marketing automation and it takes it a step further; allows them to drop all of their marketing stuff into your email box. As a result, buyers are insulating themselves from all of the noise and extraneous vendor marketing and sales approaches; not answering phones, emails, etc. Some companies are even taking it to an extreme and now banning sales people from calling on them.

Now, with social, the byers are empowered to take control of their own buying process; start with their symptoms, understand their needs, research options, identify potential vendors, and can even validate & fact-check with other buyers prior to receiving the direct marketing SPAM or sitting through multiple vendors’ sales pitches.

Vendors need to align themselves to the buyer’s needs and assist them in supporting their buying process; clearly defining their value and differentiation, aligning themselves with trusted advisors, streamlining the due diligence process, and reducing the amount of miscellaneous marketing collateral they produce to focus on better quality. Also, focus the sales teams on supporting buyers needs through the process rather than gaming the purchasing systems that the organization has put in place to manage the buying process. In complex sales with multiple buyers and influencers, sales people are especially critical in helping each participant to express their needs and to help them understand the impact of the buying decision.

Social, if done right, allows organizations to effectively bridge the brand awareness process through to the sales process and eventually the customer experience. Social allows buyers to self-identify and self-qualify based upon their interest and behaviors. Social then allows buyers to empower themselves to make a better, more efficient buying decision. Finally, social enables customers to better engage with the vendor’s people to affect the outcomes and to share their experiences more readily.

Matthew Rosenhaft

Matthew is a Social Marketing Executive and is co-founder of Social Gastronomy, LLC and the Social Executive Council. Prior to founding Social Gastronomy, Matthew has over 18 years’ experience as an executive in marketing, product management, and sales. Matthew has an extensive background in the SaaS Software, Social Media, Mobile, IT Services, and Telecom industries. He has prior entrepreneurial experience as a founder and executive in several early-stage venture-backed technology companies, as well as, holds several US patents for a mobile marketing technology. Matthew is a prominent blogger and regular industry speaker on social marketing and strategy topics. Matthew’s blog can be found at www.socialgastronomy.com/blog. For more information on Matthew, you can check out his LinkedIn profile at www.linkedin.com/in/rosenhaft or contact him directly at mrosenhaft@socialgastronomy.com.

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