As everyone adjusts to a post-COVID world, companies and marketers have to assess their strategies.
They want to know if virtual meetings and remote work will be the norm, rather than an extraordinary exception.
Marketers are also assessing whether or not it makes sense to invest in in-person marketing strategies, or if they should spend the entire marketing budget on digital marketing.
About 95% of people believe that you can develop stronger business relationships through face-to-face meetings.
Does that mean that offline marketing is still important? Will people return to face-to-face marketing? Read on as we go over the importance of in-person marketing and what the future holds for in-person events.
Why Is In-Person Marketing Important?
Business relationships are built on trust. Credibility and expertise are other factors in the buying process.
You can do this online, but you can also do this in less time in person.
In-person marketing allows you to look customers and prospects in the eyes. You can develop an immediate connection with them and earn their trust.
That condenses the sales cycle from months to weeks in some cases. For large sales, in-person sales help you meet with multiple stakeholders at once.
It makes it much easier to develop rapport, answer questions, and show your expertise.
In-person is great for brand awareness, too. If you have a marketing goal to expand your brand or launch a product, you need to invest in in-person networking as well.
What if your business is an eCommerce company? You’d still invest in only online marketing tactics, right?
In-person marketing events give your eCommerce company an edge. It creates a bond between your business and your customers.
For instance, you can host pop-up events for customers. If your customers are concentrated in large cities, a pop-up event tour gives them the chance to interact with you in person.
Online businesses can do the same for vendors. You can meet reps in person and solidify those relationships. The vendors will be able to relate to you instantly and go further to provide excellent service.
These small things develop loyal customers and vendors. Without that connection to you and your brand, they’ll find it easy to leave and go to a competitor.
How to Develop an In-Person Marketing Campaign
You simply can’t ignore in-person marketing. What does it take to build a successful in-person marketing campaign?
Start with your company’s goals. These need to be specific and measurable.
For instance, to increase brand awareness by 10% in ten months. Another example is to increase revenue by 5% in six months.
It’s possible to have several goals. If you do, prioritize them.
Is it necessary to have specific goals? It is because the clarity lets you know if you’re successful or not.
Let’s say that you tried several in-person marketing tactics. You experienced an increase in brand awareness, but without measuring, you don’t know which tactics performed the best.
You’re left with no choice but to invest in all of the tactics.
When you set your goals, decide how you will measure success. Take baseline measurements to see where you’re at now. Then take measurements throughout the marketing campaign.
Pick Marketing Tactics
What are the types of in-person marketing you can do? Networking events, presentations, public speaking, trade shows, sponsorships, and experiential events are some examples.
Keep your target audience in mind. What are your clients most likely to respond to?
Ask yourself what marketing messages you want to convey. Decide what forum is best to get those messages out there.
This allows you to choose the best marketing tactics to accomplish your goals.
Create a Budget
You might have picked three to five tactics that work for your business. Your financials will determine if you can do all of them or if you have to stick to one or two.
Create a budget for each tactic. Make sure you include staff time and materials.
Some marketing tactics require a lot of lead time. You’ll need to plan ahead as much as possible.
Trade show marketing often needs between six and nine months to plan. You have to design your trade show booth, know what kind of brand experience you want to create, and set goals for each trade show.
If you’re looking for trade show experience inspiration, Rockway Exhibits and Pinterest will give you plenty of ideas for your booth.
Don’t go for the prettiest look. Go for the idea that best represents your brand and what you want people to remember about your company.
You need to research different trade shows to make sure you’re reaching the right people. You then have to decide who will attend the trade show and who they should set up meetings with.
In-person networking events require as much planning. Research the events to attend and come up with a clear and concise introduction.
Integrate With Digital Marketing
The best marketers know that in-person marketing and digital marketing don’t happen in silos. People refer to both in-person and digital experiences when making a buying decision.
You want to have a plan in place to integrate your digital and in-person marketing tactics. For instance, if you’re going to use trade show marketing, create a hashtag for attendees to use to post about your booth.
You can turn that into an online contest to get the best results.
Do you plan to have a sponsorship or attend in-person networking events? Use them as opportunities to cross-promote your marketing channels.
In-Person Marketing Works
After being stuck at home for over 18 months, many people are ready to get back to normal. They want to attend trade shows and return to in-person marketing.
You can jump on this trend by getting a plan together. You’ll end up with loyal customers and more sales because you’re able to establish trust quickly.
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