The struggle of offline v online presence.
In the opening of a new financial and calendar year, there is an ever-increasing pressure on companies to deliver; to deliver on standards, quality, volumes, activations, strategies, reports and, most importantly, on presence. The demand being placed internationally on every company to ‘be the best’ has been met with extreme backlash (campaigns such as Pepsi with Kendall Jenner and Dove), company liquidation (companies such as Wine Direct and OddBins in 2019) and widespread panic (one word: ‘Brexit’).
So now, more so than perhaps ever before, the importance of marketing strategies is being forced to the forefront. The struggle for the global podium is more real that it has ever been. Take a look at the new Bud Light ‘Dilly Dilly’ advert at the last night’s Super Bowl. Labelled as the “biggest and boldest marketing tie-ins the AT&T Inc.owned cable network has ever orchestrated” (Wall Street Journal) the campaign has become this iconic Marmite phenomenon where consumers are desperate for the adverts to end but equally jump on the bandwagon of merchandise, sing the slogan and watch the very content it is promoting. Yes it may be one of those songs you love to hate BUT the campaign works. Its purpose was to remind you about Game of Thrones’s final season release on April 14th. Its purpose was to remind you of the brand. It succeeded and, as a result, the latest trailer views for GOT 2019 increased by 47% after being seen by an estimated 103.4 million people worldwide.
Some would call that success. Some would call that extremely successful marketing.
But when it comes to strategies, digital, print or sales, you have to look at your brand and your brand’s core values. For many, the focus should not be what is everyone IS doing but more what is everyone else NOT doing. For many brands the focus should be on the personal side of business development: The getting to know the people behind the brand and who they are, what they do, why they do it and ultimately WHY THIS brand. Passion is infectious. Hard-work and optimism are equally so. And for some brands, the importance of trade shows is paramount.
Contrary to some marketing beliefs, tradeshows very much remain an effective and important means of reaching your key clientele and ultimately sourcing new ones. Online marketing has become a world tornado but do not forget about the offline alternative. Tradeshows offer the ultimate marketing tool of presenting your company or product face-to-face at industry events. Whether you are B2B or a B2C, this makes you a B2P (business to person) – probably the most effective marketing tool you can own, especially for smaller, entrepreneurial brands.
These shows are the ultimate space for engagement, activations, networking and making an impact. Whatever happens, do not fall into the trap of making this the arena for your hard sell. These are the spaces for brands to meet the people pleasers, the sample takers, the name droppers, the money makers, the money spenders and the brand developers.
My tips? Plan your strategy, refine your stand, invest in decent POS, staff and tools and never, ever run out of your stock. This is not about bringing in revenue; this is about boosting your bottom line and making sure that everyone remembers you, for all of the right reasons, after their departure.
I will be at Tails Cocktails (Stand E42) at Pub19 (Olympia Kensington) over the next two days, Tuesday 5 and Wednesday 6 February – 10am-5pm. Please come by for a sample (or 3).