What is the number one skill for business owners and marketers in this new post-pandemic environment?

FLEXIBILITY. 

Many businesses have been reliant on face-to-face marketing, such as traditional trade shows to build brand awareness, launch new products, find suppliers and customers, and network with others in their industry.

Until we can once again enjoy the lively excitement of booth-lined exhibit halls, we’ll have to get creative. Fortunately, we have new ideas and new technology to pick up the slack.

Here are five ideas to start working on now that will help you pivot to a sustainable new strategy:

 

1. Fuel your digital strategy

If you haven’t been focusing much on digital marketing, now is the time to switch gears. Adapting to change in 2020 means online lead generation is taking the reins, and some businesses are scrambling to play catch-up.

So where do you start? Our advice is to begin with engaging content, like the blog you’re reading right now. The goal is to provide value to your audience in exchange for brand awareness.

Here’s an analogy. During a trade show, you attract visitors by creating a visually appealing trade show booth and offering freebies, games, convenient features, or useful information. What can you offer digitally that will bring some traffic to your website?

These types of content work well to attract leads:

  • Tutorials and how-tos: Show your audience how to do something that is typically challenging or confusing.

  • Explainers: Break down a complicated issue in your industry or dig into an important subject.

  • Video podcasts: Record discussions and interviews that interest your audience.

  • E-Books and white papers: Provide in-depth instructions, research, or thought-leadership on relevant topics.

     

2. Humanize your digital marketing 

When face-to-face marketing isn’t on the table (or in the booth, that is) you’ll need another method of demonstrating the human side of your business:

  • Digital storytelling: The story of your brand or product can be told across many mediums. For example, we love to tell stories using exhibit design. In digital marketing, you can tell a story using images, text, video, animation, and sound. 

The key? EMOTION. Use the digital tools at your disposal to evoke emotion from your audience, such as joy, pride, nostalgia, excitement, etc. Emotion humanizes your digital marketing. 

  • Go behind the scenes: Event marketing gives your audience a chance to form a personal connection with your brand by visiting your booth and interacting with your team. 

Give them the same effect by taking cameras into your offices, production floors, etc., to see the people and processes behind the products. 

 

3. Form partnerships to reach new audiences

Adapting to change is easier with a partner! 

Strategic alliances give you a chance to drive down costs while increasing opportunities to be competitive. You may also find that it’s easier to scale in a new market as the result of mutually beneficial partnerships. In addition to strategic benefits, you’ll have access to a new pool of leads to market to.

 

4. Create new solutions

We are in unprecedented times. Like explorers in a new land, we have no map. In fact, we’re here to draw the map ourselves. You know your business better than anyone. What skills do you have that can benefit your existing leads—or a whole new group of prospects—in the emerging business climate? 

Here are some examples of businesses pivoting to new functionalities:

  • A toy company reconfigured machines once used to manufacture “thinking putty” to create hand sanitizer for hospitals.

  • Rather than shuttering during the pandemic, the Leon restaurant chain in the UK has turned its locations into mini supermarkets, even providing delivery services to bring food and goods to customers.

  • Here at Exhibit Options, we offer social-distancing-friendly innovative trade show, and environment solutions, such as digital booth rendering for virtual events, interior and furniture design and fabrication (including safety and hygiene enhancements) for offices and restaurants.

     

5. Get a good CRM

Without a surplus to choose from, each lead becomes particularly important. If you’ve been operating without a CRM, it’s time to get a good one. Look for customer relationship management technology with segmentation tools that allow you to target leads based on their behavior and interactions with your brand. 

Feeling more confident about adapting to change in an unfamiliar business territory? We’ve got your back! Whatever your virtual trade show needs are, we can whip up a digital booth that will make your leads feel like they’re strolling the exhibit halls once more. Reach out to the gurus at Exhibit Options to get started.

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