MJBizCon is right around the corner and every year it gets bigger and bigger.
With over 1000+ vendors, 20,000+ attendees, and only 3 days to walk the entire floor, most people will be lucky if they’re able to retain half of the information they hear from sales reps.
Not to mention, trying to remember and differentiate multiple companies who offer similar products and/or services.
But, those people are companies, clients and potential partners looking to explore options and compare solutions.
According to a survey by Statista,
- 50% of trade show visitors in the U.S said they were planning to buy exhibited products or services
- 80% of visitors decided to purchase the product/service because they sampled, used or saw a demonstration of the product/service and liked it.
- 57% of respondents stated that better understanding of the product gained during the event was the most influential factor in their purchasing decision.
But, most B2B transactions are high in value and require a considered purchase process which means most of the stakeholders at MJBizCon are aware of the level of financial and/or emotional risk involved with their decision.
They're not going to the conference with the intention of making an immediate purchase and need to be nurtured further down the sales funnel.
This is where marketing automation can help by allowing you to send pre-show and post-show messaging, provide sales teams with insights to create more personalized communications and when integrated with a CRM, it can track and measure the ROI of all of your marketing efforts.
Use Marketing Automation to Nurture Leads Before the Event
Getting users to take some sort of action before the show is key. Include a call-to-action within the email that allows users to make a personal appointment with one of your sales reps to chat or show them a demo.
Just be sure not to make it sound too much like a sales pitch.
The point is to provide them with enough value in return for them to want to come to your booth and engage with you.
Make the Announcement to the Right People
Most businesses already have pre-existing email lists. A good way to drive more traffic to your booth is to let your audience know you’ll be there.
But, segmenting your contacts in to more specific lists will not only make your email marketing more efficient but, it'll help you keep your database clean and organized for sales and marketing teams.
You can divide the lists in a variety of ways: demographics, industry, company size, page views, numbers of emails opened — you name it.
By doing this, you can send the right message to the right people at the right time and create a way better experience for potential leads and customers rather than blasting a 'one size fits all' message to everyone.
Establish a Lead Scoring System
Sales teams often treat inbound leads as hot leads and can become overly aggressive when following up but, a person might just want more information and isn’t necessarily sales ready yet.
With lead scoring, you can develop a qualification framework, define certain attributes and create a scoring system that allows sales to prioritize high-quality leads over low-quality leads.
First, you'll need to create an ideal customer profile which outlines certain characteristics that a person or organization must have in order to be a good fit for your product or service.
For example, do they have to make a certain amount of annual revenue per year, have between 50 - 100 employees or hold an executive title? These are just a few of the many questions you'll want to clarify.
Then, you’ll need to figure out what makes them sales-ready.
Have they interacted on your website, do they open majority of your emails, have they signed up for a webinar or have they recently engaged with you on social media? Again, there might be other questions more specific to your business that you'll want to address.
Defining both implicit and explicit data like this will help both sales and marketing teams filter leads that have a passive interest over a serious intent to buy.
Get Prospects to Take Action in the Booth
With the new GDPR laws in place, every company needs to have the persons permission and explain how they intend to use their data in order to send prospects any form of communication.
Building a landing page with a form that includes a small GDPR disclaimer checkbox at the bottom solves this problem and allows you to remain 100% compliant.
The landing page you build can be anything from an upcoming webinar to an product demo. As long as it's specific to your business and the content you provide is valuable to the user.
From here, you can automatically shoot them a follow-up email that allows users to opt-in and opt-out of receiving certain types of emails from your company which opens the doors for a lead nurturing campaign.
Build a Lead Nurturing Campaign
Shuffling through business cards, manually entering new contacts in a database and following up with prospects after MJBizCon can take weeks if not months. But, not if you have a lead nurturing campaign in place to help guide them through the buyer journey!
Based on the data collected from the form on the landing page you can use conditional logic to build out a series of emails that will help move them further and further down the sales funnel.
For example, you could send a follow-up email that includes a piece of content relevant to their business, then send another pointing out a common problem and maybe another explaining the value of your services or products with the end goal of having a lead book a call with one of your sales reps.
Just remember to keep the content custom to the buyer's journey, use conditional logic for future events and always personalize each email.
Justify the ROI of MJBizCon
MJBizCon is pretty pricey so, it’s important to measure and compare the outcome to your other marketing activities and events to see what investments are more effective than others and provide your company with the most ROI.
With marketing automation, you'll be able to create a campaign and report on email marketing, social media, blog content, call-to-actions, landing pages, form submissions, lead nurturing, marketing and sales funnel metrics.
This eliminates having to spend countless hours analyzing multiple metrics in a spreadsheet and allows you to have 360 degree view of how your inbound and outbound activities are working together.
Stop Living in the Dinosaur Era
If we’ve learned anything about this industry, it’s that people in power aren’t naive. They need to make the smartest business decisions based on the best interest of their shareholders, employees and hopefully the community.
Whether you’re in lighting, extraction, equipment, software, insurance, finance, packaging or any other ancillary business that supports the industry, the aesthetics of in-booth branding and handing out free promo materials for people to remember your company by is not what is going to convert leads into customers and neither will a sales pitch or a demo alone.
If you want to actually grow your business and measure the ROI of events like MJBizCon, you should be automating majority of your sales and marketing processes. Because in the end, automation is the ONLY way businesses are going to be able to decrease cost, increase revenue and create total efficiency within their organizations.