How Marketing Automation Can Maximize Trade Show ROI And Generate Manufacturing Sales Leads
For manufacturing and other industrial companies, trade shows are a commonplace way to attract new business and reinforce existing customer relationships. However, it’s also common that ROI, or return on investment, is elusive with trade shows.
Besides the booth fees, there are travel expenses, swag or marketing collateral expenses, entertainment and equipment moving expenses. This can easily reach $25,000 or more for each trade show. Of course, you can say that one new order or customer will pay for it, but what if you could say that the return on investment was 5-10x that and that you could prove it?
If you create a trade show plan and use marketing automation and technology you can!
We’ve attended a large number of trade shows, and have also exhibited in quite a few ourselves. This is the winning trade show strategy we follow and recommend:
Create a plan with the various marketing activities
Outline that the objective is to generate new manufacturing sales leads, including new leads from existing customers – and that the show is not just for ‘waving the flag’ or getting lots of business cards
Before going to the show, email customers and prospects that you will be there, and how to find you
Offer an incentive or freebie to make an appointment to stop by (so that you can have their sales rep personally give it to them), thus generating manufacturing sales leads and putting a face to a name.
Rent a badge scanner or have a way of easily gathering contact information
After the show, upload the contact information into your marketing automation system
Email the new manufacturing sales leads as well as the contacts you previously emailed, an offer to follow-up and look for click-thru’s (not just replies)
Store this information in your marketing automation system and assign to sales reps
Have your sales team contact those that have clicked thru on an offer to provide more information
Use your marketing automation system to identify all the leads and companies that have visited your website before and after the show.
With this strategy, you will generate more business, without having to weed out the students and other unqualified visitors that came to your booth for freebies. With both the new customer leads, manufacturing sales leads and business from existing customers, you will answer these questions:
How many leads did we get, and the cost per lead
Which trade shows worked the best (hint: the smaller ones tend to be better)
Which companies and individuals were interested enough to visit our website
Did we identify the ‘real’ leads and contact them?
There’s much you can do to measure the return and make more effective for a trade show strategy using our marketing and automation system.
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About Katie Cross
Katie Cross holds a B.B.A in Marketing, and has paired her degree with hands-on experience in online marketing to promote success within business to business marketing. She has a strong track record of success and achievement in social media, SEO, email marketing, and marketing strategy.