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Wednesday, 06 February 2013 10:03

After the Show: Tips for Tradeshow Follow-Up

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We’re coming off a month of back-to-back shows in the group travel industry. From ABA to NTA to Go West I’m sure all you want to do is crawl into bed and sleep for about a week. But to ensure you get the best return on investment from your show, the hard work has just begun. While you likely chose to participate in a given show for many reasons—to boost awareness, enhance your brand, and bolster key partnerships—ultimately you are responsible for driving revenue and maximizing ROI from the show. And your lead follow-up process is key to maximizing show ROI. 

A booth visitor could have been primarily interested in your cool giveaway (like the wine openers Serendipity Media handed out this year!) or he could actually have a need for your product or service. Unfortunately, you have no way of knowing who is in each category based on your raw lead list from show. You may also have a set of leads from a reception sponsorship or leads you have swapped with partners. The status of these leads is completely unknown. 

Your follow-up process post-show must ensure you could assess each lead, categorize leads for follow up, and make proper contact with each and every worthwhile lead. 

Assess and Categorize

With any successful tradeshow program, you will walk away with a large volume of leads. While this is a great problem to have, the first part of any leads follow-up strategy is to ensure you follow up with them in a timely manner. You must keep in mind that competitive exhibitors may already be contacting your leads, and the sale often goes to the first vendor who makes contact. You likely already have a process in place for categorizing or scoring your inbound leads. But first, certain information is needed to prioritize any inbound lead. If you don’t have the right information, the tradeshow leads will be miscoded as low-priority, and they won’t be followed up in a timely manner. Next, you need to distinguish the folks who stopped by your booth just for your cool swag from those who are actually good prospects. The only way to gain an accurate assessment of your prospects’ true motivation is to requalify each lead over the phone. 

Maximize ROI 

Tradeshows are still one of the most effective ways for companies to market their business and build brand. But they take work—before, during, and after the show. A great deal of the effort that goes into a tradeshow comes at the front endplanning all of the logistics for the show, deciding on the right message, designing the booth graphics, and actually working the booth. By the time the show is over, most people are just glad they made it through the whole show in one piece. Unfortunately the work is only half over, and it’s this last half that leads to revenue. By analyzing your follow-up process before the show, you could make sure you have the right resources in place to handle your tradeshow leads. And having the right follow-up process in place will help convert that list of leads into sales—resulting in maximum ROI for your show.

Content is king, and everyone is chasing the crown. It’s not enough to just create content anymore. To really stand out, content needs to be dynamic, interactive, and timely.

First you engage, then you convince, and finally you could drive leads. Here are three types of content that could do the job.

Interactive Content

Interactive content might take the form of a poll or survey on an industry trend, or a contest for a new tagline or new product idea. There’s always the promise of participation and feedback. On average, we see an eighty-two percent completion rate for lead generation forms when used with interactive content.

By taking the time fill out a poll or a survey, a viewer naturally wants to see the results. If a person is taking a personality test to gauge how well a product or service fits his or her preferences, an exchange of contact information makes sense. Interactive content creates value in the interaction itself, actively earning the disclosure of lead information instead of passively requesting it.

Collaborative Content

No matter who you are, your content could only go so far alone. The involvement of others elevates it to the next level. With contests it might also be “bragging rights” or the thrill of being a part of something big that drives people to reach out to their networks on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Real-Time Content

No matter the industry or objective, time is always a factor. The faster content could be created to ride the wave of high-profile trend, the greater the overall impact. A thoughtful questionnaire on a trending topic, or a contest driven off of a popular meme, could become front-page material. The key is to be aware of what is trending and the speed to jump on it. Of course ultimately, it’s the ability to quickly deliver content tailored to what people want, when they want it, in the channel they prefer, that gives content marketers a serious competitive advantage.

Source: Article adapted from the blog “It’s All About Revenue courtesy of Seth Lieberman, CEO of SnapApp, a marketing platform used by companies to easily create interactive content to generate leads and drive revenue across the Web, mobile, social and e-mail.

Here are five easy strategies for generating more meaningful results from your current B2B marketing database.

1. Identify the scariest data.

In 2011 alone, more than forty-eight million people changed jobs. With change like that, a lot of really ghoulish information is inevitably lurking in your database.

Instead of letting it scare you, face it full on by conducting a complete assessment that explores what information is missing, what information is wrong, and what information needs to be updated. Doing so could involve flagging and filling in incomplete records, removing dead zombie records, or eliminating duplicate records from some of those forty-eight million people who switched jobs.

2. Quality over quantity.

Having a huge database is useless if it doesn't consist of complete and accurate records from customers and prospects. Good marketing programs start with good data.

3. Maximize with automation.

With the help of most marketing automation systems, you could capture just about any kind of information on customers and prospects, from basic Web-form information to specific information, such as when someone last called the customer support desk.

With such detailed data in-hand, rule-based communications could ensure prospects receive timely, relevant marketing messages. For example, if someone watched a particular video, and that person is already a qualified lead, and he works in XYZ industry, the system could serve a highly targeted piece of content.

4. Target wisely.

If you don't have the right information to know whether to include someone in a campaign, don't guess. You'll just scare them off by sending irrelevant content. But, when you complete steps one through three, your data should be complete enough to allow for proper targeting and segmentation. 

And if you're still not convinced this approach works, consider this frightening stat: Untargeted campaigns cost nearly 3.6 times as much as targeted campaigns.

5. Combine inbound and outbound.

Though inbound strategies are effective and generate leads, treating these leads as a group that needs further nurturing is best. Complement inbound lead generation with outbound marketing tactics such as appointment setting, lead qualification, or e-mail marketing for a more engaging conversation—and for optimal results.

Article adapted from Maribeth Ross, Marketing Profs 

Monday, 14 January 2013 11:59

5 Common Facebook Mistakes to Avoid

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Odds are you've liked a page on Facebook, only to regret it a few hours or days later. Maybe it keeps posting about itself, or there's no relevant material out there. Don't be that page.

Kevin Mullett, a social media and search engine optimization expert and the director of product development for Cirrus ABS, spoke about the biggest mistakes he's seen companies make on their Facebook pages. Don't worry: There’s still time to change for the better.

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