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Tactical Tips to Maximize Your Trade Show Presence in 2018

12 Dec


Trade show planning for 2018 is in full swing. With budgets and strategy considerations on the table, we’re offering our take on tips to maximize your trade show ROI for the upcoming year.

1.  Technology is (still) king.

It goes without question that technology is a major player when it comes to trade show success. In 2018, trade show technology will continue to try to out-perform itself from years past, as attendees expect information to be displayed in innovative, interactive, and increasingly engaging ways.

Visitors want to be impressed and involved when they visit your display—and you’ll want to continue the engagement long after the event closes its doors. Consider incorporating touch screens, Bluetooth beacons, and artificial intelligence (AI)/machine learning Software as a Software (SaaS) to further enhance the customer experience while delivering your brand’s message both during and after the show.

2. Human interaction is critical to success.

While it is true that trade show tech is necessary for ultimate event success, human engagement is just as important, if not more so. There is no better way to reach your customers than through a good old-fashioned dialogue that allows them to communicate their pain points—to which you respond with your compelling solution. By properly staffing your exhibit with compassionate professionals who are well-versed in your brand story, you’ll facilitate the kinds of relationships that no amount of artificial intelligence can compete with.

The key here is to use technology to augment—not replace—you professional, human presence.

3. Incorporate the sentiment behind your unique selling proposition in your exhibit.

We all want to stand apart from the competition. Your customers have made the trek to the trade show and your exhibit likely because they are looking for a solution to a particular problem, or perhaps they’re looking for your business in particular. By focusing on consistency in your unique selling proposition (USP)—for example, creating a custom exhibit based on your brand’s unique voice and culture along with the environment you want to cultivate—you’ll have a chance to resonate with your customers at a level that increases their engagement, inspires brand loyalty, and encourages them to stay connected long after the event wraps up.

4. Keep your brand consistent across all business environments.

Consumers these days are bombarded with product information nearly everywhere they turn—and much of that information is regarded by the embattled consumer as outright noise.  By focusing on refining your brand messaging for consistency across all spaces, you’ll cultivate a rapport with your customer that allows them to feel comfortable and familiar with your solution. Think in terms of providing a cohesive brand experience by way of incorporating a recognizable color palette, familiar logos, and consistent graphics.

When your business—and thus your brand—is “on the road,” you’ll want to rely even more heavily on familiar visuals to reinforce your presence in an unfamiliar place. After all, a trade show exhibit is a mini-representation of your business as a whole—and you want your customers to feel at home regardless of the venue.

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Is the On Demand Economy Reducing Your Sales?

7 Dec


The on-demand economy is growing exponentially, and the effects of this growth will be felt in every industry. If your business is not ready to change with the times, then you may suffer a loss in sales because of the new ways which business will be done. The now $57 billion on-demand economy is showing no signs of slowing down – as a matter of fact, more industries than ever are switching to an on demand model to satisfy the needs of their customers.

The Harvard Business Review reports that the on-demand economy brings in more than 22 million customers every year. The largest part of this economy is online marketplaces such as Etsy and eBay. People spend nearly $36 billion on websites like these. After this, transportation companies such as Lyft and Uber bring in around $5.6 billion in yearly spending. Third in line is grocery delivery services such as Instacart. Consumers spend almost $5 billion every year on food delivery.

A very telling statistic is that these on-demand services are being used by people of moderate incomes. Around 46% of the people who are using the on-demand economy have an income of less than $50,000. If the industry has already penetrated into the lower middle class, you can definitely expect it to expand far into the future. Savvy business owners are now looking into ways to incorporate the on-demand economy into business rather than fight or ignore it.

How exactly will the on-demand economy affect your sales if you do not jump when this new technology says jump?

First of all, if your business does not specialize in obsessively solving a universal problem for your buyers, you will have trouble making sales. On-demand means a higher degree of specialization. Not only that, but this specialization comes with a high degree of transparency, security, and convenience in the transaction. As on-demand expands into more industries, it will be virtually impossible to find a service that cannot be rendered immediately with a few clicks from a mobile phone or laptop.

Secondly, there will be an increase in the number of single service entrepreneurs. The on-demand economy is giving individuals the ability to scale to the level of a B2B company quickly. It is now quite possible for a single person with the right technology on his side to function just as well as a team of human beings. The customer, of course, does not care who is rendering the service as long as it is done correctly. These entrepreneurs are also highly skilled in very precise areas. If your business is in any way general, you will need to shore up your most profitable niche in order to compete with these niche ninjas.

The increased emphasis on entrepreneurship will also make it more difficult to find top talent for your business. As more people choose to work for themselves, you will not only be competing for customers, but also for talent. Your business will need to market its culture and the benefits that come with working for you in order to attract the human capital that you will need to stay ahead.

Personalization is now the norm. If your service is equal to that of your competitors, but you are able to offer a more personalized experience, you will come out on top 10 times out of 10. However, you will need to work quickly. Companies in every industry are moving towards personalization, so shore up your audience today.

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The Insights You Should Be Following in the 2017 B2B Market

28 Nov


You do not have to wait on the new year to give an assessment of your marketing and business strategies. Technology and business trends are moving faster than ever, so whenever you have a chance to stop and revise, you should do so. Here are a few new insights that you may want to consider incorporating into your strategies for the rest of 2017.

Marketing Automation

The concept of automation was made for B2B marketing. The idea of being able to apply personalized concepts at scale gives business marketers the ability to nurture an entirely new level of leads and track those leads confidently down the sales funnel. Surprisingly, many companies have not looked into marketing automation as a viable strategy for 2017. Do yourself a favor – start automating your initial email outreach or CRM updates and watch how much free time you have for more creative pursuits.

Content Marketing

Although content marketing has been used as a staple technique in the B2B landscape for many years, most companies have not truly incorporated inbound marketing into the equation. We now have more opportunity than ever to share social media and blogs with our prospects. This is also another strategy that you should incorporate as quickly as possible. Many B2B specialists have identified content marketing as a strategy they want to employ; they simply have not found the time to do so. If you are on the cutting edge, then you can expect quicker results for your timely actions.


Prospects demand personalized service. The B2B industry should be taking a page from smaller e-commerce sites and personalizing content whenever possible. For instance, if you are not using dynamic content insertion as a daily technique in your email blasts, you have some catching up to do.

Channel Integration

Going omnichannel is great, but have you integrated these channels into a single nurturing process that is easy to fulfill? It is one thing to collect separate lists of data from social media, your phones and message boards. However, you may be creating trouble through duplicate records, outdated records and unqualified leads. Funnel all of your channels into a single CRM so that you can effectively track your prospects through the sales funnel.

Account-Based Marketing

Combining account-based marketing with marketing automation is a technique that savvy companies are now seriously considering. Look for automation services that also include features of account-based marketing that will make targeting and nurturing groups of prospects easy through the creation of buyer profiles.

Mobile Marketing

All marketers should be looking to move into the mobile space. Google has reduced its mobile first index and will begin giving out penalties for pop up windows. These are both signs that commerce continues to move into the mobile space, and this trend is definitely not turning around anytime soon. Mobile traffic is now over 50% of all web traffic, and no business can be sure that they are being contacted on a desktop or a laptop. Make it a goal to shore up your mobile marketing by the end of 2017 for best results in 2018.


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Personalizing Content to Empower Your Sales Team

7 Nov

Business people working together at coffee shop

Marketing and sales must work as a team in order for your revenues to keep pace with your competition. Just as your sales team has the responsibility of finishing the job on the front lines, your marketing team has the responsibility of making the initial lead acquisition and journey through the sales funnel as easy as possible. If your sales team goes into battle with personalized content, they will be greatly empowered to bring home the bacon.

The modern customer demands personal attention. However, they do not want to be pushed into a sale. The goal of personalizing content is to create a relationship between the salesperson and the customer that will eventually translate into action. Here are just a few of the ways that your marketing team can help your sales team succeed by personalizing content.

Buyer Personas

Your salespeople are dealing with individuals, but those individuals definitely fit a certain psychology. Make sure that your salespeople understand the buyer persona of each customer. Forward them the email threads that go to different personas. Make them understand the differences in marketing to those different personas as well. If your front-line salesmen understand how you have introduced the company to certain people, they will be able to follow up with a much more personalized message.


Is there any reason that the marketing team knows that the big client’s CFO has recently retired and the sales team doesn’t? Is the sales team privy to the latest information about a prospect’s ability to make a purchase? It is very important to let the sales team in on all the real-time information that your customer relationship management CRM program gets from your prospects. This is yet another building block that your salesmen can use to create a personalized pitch when doing business.


The best companies are now opening the doors of their marketing staff meetings to salesmen. No longer is a position on the marketing team seen as a promotion over sales – the two positions are treated equally in terms of determining marketing campaigns, advertisements, and social media rollouts. When the sales team has a say in the way that ads are rolled out, they will be more likely to understand the message that marketing is putting in front of prospects.

Regardless of your industry, your sales and marketing team must work together to create the personalized content that will empower your sales team to succeed. Otherwise, you are basically throwing spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks. Follow the tips above to ensure a close connection between your sales and marketing teams and the personalized content that will work well in the field.


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The Bot That is Getting Rid of Buyer’s Remorse

31 Oct

Business People using the phone at coffee shop

Buyer’s remorse is a phenomenon that any company would be happy to get rid of. It is a highly illogical response that nonetheless costs companies in a huge way by reducing its potential number of loyal customers.

Fortunately for the business community, there is currently an API based bot that may have an answer to some aspects of buyer’s remorse. Many customers who make a purchase and immediately find a cheaper alternative somewhere else may experience buyer’s remorse if they feel as though they overpaid. A new technology that is based on an API from Mastercard makes the price comparison journey much easier for these consumers.

Earny is the name of the app and it is making quite the stir in the B2B marketplace. The main function of the app is to scan the recent purchases of a consumer against inventory that retailers currently hold. Putting these two lists up against each other gives the consumer a quick way to find savings that would otherwise have gone missing. If a consumer is confident that he is getting the lowest price, there is less chance of buyer’s remorse.

Earny goes a bit further than psychological stroking, however. By using the app, consumers actually become privy to the current price of goods and the inventory of competitors in real time. The result is a very real improvement in price comparison technology. The implications of this new technology are massive.

First of all, the market can definitely expect copycat APIs to appear very quickly. With price comparison APIs all backed by the major credit card companies, will there be any room for price differences in the market? Companies will be forced to justify any increase in price, which will certainly make it harder to market on anything except price.

Secondly, apps like this may actually invite an informal type of collusion into certain marketplaces. Consumers are not the only ones who can use Earny and its cousins – companies can use the app just as easily. Savvy companies will be moving their prices in real time to match the best prices on the market. Smaller industries may begin to imitate the future’s market because of the speed with which prices can now be accessed.

Third, companies who try to make profit based upon the ignorance of the customer will have a great deal to answer for. The post purchase communications between a company and a customer are incredibly important when trying to upsell or resell to that customer. Suddenly, the level of communication will become much more sophisticated. The consumer now has the same amount of information as the industry insider.

In large scale markets with low profit margins, the introduction of apps such as Earny represent a changing of the guard. This is why you must keep your ear to the street – to stay ahead of innovations like this. Savvy companies are already shoring up their prices and customer service lines to deal with any backlash from the introduction of this new technology. You should definitely do the same, especially if you have loyal customers that you are planning to keep.

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