No Business Like Show Business…

Heard on the street in mid-town Manhattan: “There wasn’t anything new at that show, nothing that I couldn’t have seen anywhere else. But, I did get the day off.”

Sitting in a sidewalk cafe, a few guys were enjoying a beer. One guy still wore an attendee badge around his neck. It was obvious they came crosstown from the big trade show at the Javits Center. You could tell from their conversation they weren’t going back.

To companies exhibiting at the show, these guys are worth millions of dollars in sales. Yet here they were, totally unimpressed with the biggest trade show in the industry. If they didn’t get the day off and some expense money to come in, they probably wouldn’t have come at all.

Marketing managers hate hearing this. According to one report, B2B marketers spend as much as 39% of their annual budget on trade shows. The cost of displays, shipping, and entertainment is skyrocketing. Yet, attendance is flat or declining. The trade show investment delivers less each year.

Customers expect to see everything there is to know about a company simply by visiting its website. Since some companies are accustomed to posting everything, that works fine for them. Not so for companies with little or no web presence.

A few short years ago, companies used trade shows as a primary medium for news announcements. They presented things that couldn’t be seen anywhere else. Everyone would get excited: the attendees, the media, even the other exhibitors. That practice rarely happens now. And, as much as show organizers try to set the stage, there seems to be little innovation from exhibitors.

If a marketer wants to make their trade show appearance worthwhile, they have make the effort to show something that can’t be seen anywhere else. If they feel it isn’t worth the effort, they have no business exhibiting.

Posted originally on Media Focus, a blog with observations and opinions about the most important aspect of marketing and sales – the expression of ideas. If you like what you’re seeing, please share it with a colleague.  

Posted on August 29, 2014 and filed under Campaigns.

Going Mobile…

Americans now consume more digital content on mobile devices than on desktops, according to comScore. In May 2014, smartphones and tablets accounted for 60% of all digital media time spent. Oddly, many prominent B2B marketers do not make it comfortable to view their websites on a smartphone. Especially since most out-of-the-box website software solutions have responsive web design built-in.

Today, B2B marketing managers have (or should have) transcended the idea of offering visitors basic information on their products and services. The current vogue is to design web experiences that are more attractive and interesting, especially since attention spans are short and getting shorter. With a feast of compelling content available on the web, there is much at stake.

Every day there is another report of an upstart company ‘disrupting’ the status quo with a better idea. Companies that have dominated their markets for years are under attack. Vice Media, which started in ’94 as a free magazine, is now valued at $1.5 to $2.5 billion, while the NY Times is suffering from very visible technology pain. Success and change can happen quickly.

A website provides the look and feel of a B2B brand – it may be the ONLY thing a customer sees. When business leaders understand the importance of that interaction, they'll support efforts to build a memorable and attractive web experience. And, the tools are available.

I post observations and opinions about the most important aspect of marketing and sales – the expression of ideas. If you like what you’re seeing, please share it with a colleague. Or, let me know at choag@kenyonhoag.com

Posted on July 3, 2014 and filed under Design.

A simple plan…

Nearly 60% of the respondents in a recent survey said they prefer using ecommerce for purchasing laboratory supplies. It's faster and easier to search for, learn about, and compare products using a well organized website. That's good news for distributors. The potential casualty: company brands.

Posted on February 25, 2014 and filed under Campaigns.

Wait…who am I again?

Business leaders want marketers to help create measurable sales and create a memorable identity. It’s difficult to make sure your posts are consistent with your emails, print ad campaigns and trade show theme. If the message is weak, it’s just more noise ~ and the world is getting noisier every day.

Posted on October 30, 2013 and filed under Campaigns.

20 seconds

Inspiration is the currency of the creative profession. In ways that are often abstract, creative people apply their talent and skills to influence others. And the world responds – we all love a clever turn of phrase, setting of a mood, shock and tenderness.

Technology provides new outlets. In the example here, the Miele Professional logo is manipulated in a number of entertaining ways. Click on the graphic to start it - it's only 20 seconds long. You'll find it entertaining. 

 

Posted on October 21, 2013 and filed under Video.

What you see…

It was around Y2K when my father went blind, and as was typical for him, he acted pretty cheerful about it. I knew he was deeply depressed, but he tried to hide it from his kids. In talking about it he managed to drive home a concept in his own unique way…

Posted on September 1, 2013 and filed under Design.

Upon Reflection…

Far away from here, in a tiny rural town is a life sciences company I call on for business. The office used to be in a trailer on a field that was always muddy. To get in, you had to scramble up a wooden gangway. Inside was cramped -- I would balance my briefcase on my knees during office meetings, and since the bathroom had no acoustic insulation, other arrangements had to be made.

Posted on July 10, 2013 and filed under Design, Campaigns.

Establishing Your Voice

When a company is determined to raise its level of awareness, a simple, highly effective practice is to generate and distribute a continuous stream of outgoing communication. Before updates and blog posts, the primary method was to regularly issue press releases to the media serving your customer base.

Posted on June 19, 2013 and filed under Press releases, Media.

What You Should Know About Video

The statistics are incredible, we’ve been hearing about them for months, even years. 72 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute; 4 billion videos are watched each day. Video works. Right now you may be thinking, “Just because video is everywhere, doesn’t mean it's valuable to my business.”

Posted on May 15, 2013 and filed under Video.