The Forward Observer
Sales and Marketing Insights
for Growth-Focused Manufacturers
 

A blog where growth-oriented manufacturers find expert advice on marketing and sales.
Our goal is to help you generate better leads and close sales faster.

All Posts

How To Link Inbound Marketing With Trade Show Success

Would you like to link inbound marketing with trade show success? Keep in mind two things: 1) your marketing goals, and 2) your call to action.

trade show inbound marketing resized 600

Inbound marketing is a philosophy rooted in the idea that people value personalized, relevant content – not interruptive messages.

inbound marketing philosophy

The inbound marketing methodology is about helping brands attract, convert, close and delight visitors, leads and customers through a variety of channels like social media, blogging, SEO and email. In essence, inbound marketing pulls customers to your company instead of shouting at them with interruptive messages.

So can trade shows fit in with that new approach to marketing? They sure can.

For many companies, trade shows have played an important role in reaching their marketing and sales objectives. The problem is that many companies are not making the most of their trade show investments by linking them to their inbound marketing efforts.

A traditional trade show marketing mentality persists with some companies that exhibiting is the main event. And that most of the work happens once the trade show starts. But the reality is that most of the trade show work should take place leading up to the show in the planning stage.

Planning for a trade show doesn’t start a month in advance. It doesn’t start two months in advance. In fact, it can take anywhere from six months to a year of planning to do it right.

Trade show marketing is a very strategic process. You have to come up with your strategy and messaging, and make sure everything relates back to your business goals.

This includes all your online and offline promotions, any handouts and even the giveaways you distribute. It is no simple task and not every trade show is the same, but if you take it one step at a time you can have a successful inbound trade show that achieves high return on investment (ROI).

Most important, once you figure out how the trade show can meet your business goals, figure out if the cost is worth it. Will you make up for the money you spend on trade shows on new customers and increased revenue? Figure out the ROI of sending your staff to the trade show. Could they be doing something else that is cheaper and more effective to generate leads?

importance of business goals

Your inbound marketing efforts should help your business achieve specific goals and metrics. Trade shows are no different. Trade shows present an opportunity to get quality leads, spread brand awareness and meet other objectives.

The goals of a trade show can include:

  • An increase in new leads and sales
  • An increase in organic and direct traffic
  • An increase in social media following
  • An increase in email and/or blog subscribers

As you set your goals, make sure you have access to metrics that will enable you to track progress. Ensure that your marketing system can measure these channels and provide evidence to management about the performance of your event.

Once you set your goal and decide what metrics you will use to track progress, you will need to figure out how to get there. What will be the means of achieving your goals?

While you are creating your strategy, make sure you are thinking about what your call-to-action (CTA) will be. Your CTA should be integrated into every aspect of your strategy because, ultimately, it will be the key to reaching your goal. Consider the CTA’s role in everything, including your signs, landing page, booth, goals and metrics.

trade show marketing goals

In trade shows, as with inbound marketing, the call-to-action remains the key element connecting your goals with the means of achieving them.

 

photo credit: ljlphotography via photopincc | graphics courtesy of HubSpot
Douglas Burdett
Douglas Burdett
The Principal and Founder of Artillery, Douglas Burdett is a former artillery officer and Madison Avenue ad man. He also hosts The Marketing Book Podcast, where he interviews authors every week about the latest in modern marketing and sales.
SUBSCRIBE

Related Posts

How to Find More Qualified Sales Prospects and Stop Chasing Your Tail

Not all sales prospects are created equal, and the better you’re able to quickly spot the differences, your prospecting and sales efforts will become more efficient and pay greater dividends.

Of the 3 Sales Prospecting Attitudes, 2 Guarantee Failure. Which One Do You Have?

The number one reason for failure in sales is the failure to prospect. And the most important ingredient for success is having the right, realistic, practical attitude about prospecting.

Your Customers Are Calling You. Are You Picking Up?

  In today’s world, there are many easy ways to connect with others -- you can text, email, or video chat someone on your phone all with a click of a button. Even with all of these easy ways to communicate, old habits die hard when people want to reach a company. Believe it or not, people still pick up the phone and call companies ... but not all companies have someone there to answer their calls.