Archive for April, 2011
Please Note: This article was requested by and submitted to Scrapbook Business Magazine for their January 2011 issue. However, due to a change in the publication’s management, some articles were not published. Because I believe in honoring my commitments, and I committed to the Scrapbook Business Magazine readers that I would write an article covering tradeshow/event follow-up, I am adding this article to my blog roll. I hope their readers, and you, find it of value.
In addition, I created a Post-Event Checklist for you:
Post Event Checklist
The Show’s Over – Now What? Part I: Time to Reflect
When we last left our marketing heroes and heroines they were wrapping up activities at their latest tradeshow. Now they’re back home and ready to capitalize on all they’ve done, created, learned, collected and committed to. So, where does one begin?
Let’s start with the primary mission of any marketing effort: building one’s brand. By setting goals around one’s branding efforts prior to participating in events, it’s possible to track the effectiveness of one’s efforts, to see what worked and what didn’t. So, what were your branding goals? Did you set up metrics by which you would be able to measure success or failure? How did you do? What could you have done better and what will you attempt to do next time? How did your event efforts tie into your overall marketing strategy?
Perhaps you announced a contest prior to the event. If so, what was the impact? How many participants did you have? How many of them are new followers or customers vs. previously loyal followers or customers? How many people did the newbies or loyalists tell, and how many of those became followers or customers? Were you able to convert the new followers into buyers as a result of the contest? What have you put in place to track the new leads and their sources from future programs? What’s your process for welcoming additional newbies and converting them? What’s your process for staying in touch with your current and future followers and/or customers, those you worked so diligently to attract? How will you encourage and assist them in spreading the word about your amazing offering? How will you track the success of such efforts?
The Evolution of Marketing – A Lot Like Photography
I was explaining to a network contact how the evolution of marketing is a bit like the evolution of photography when it dawned on me that this might be of value to my readers.
So, here goes.
There was a time when only someone who really understood the fundamentals of photography (lighting, F-stop, shutter speed, exposure, ISO, etc.) could create a great picture AND get it published.
Then, along came cameras outfitted with “automatic” mode and soon digital cameras that enabled one to see, immediately, whether or not the shot they had just taken was any good. No good? Make adjustments and take it again.
This new offering was followed by a proliferation of online photo sites where most anyone can now publish any, and every, shot they take.
How is this like marketing?
I’m glad you asked.
There was a time when one had to have a strong understanding of the principles of marketing in order to effectively market a brand. After all, the costs were high and marketing professionals had to get it right the first time out or risk losing lots of money, and perhaps, even their job! There was also little to no way of measuring “branding” effectiveness, and the chances that a customer would share your business or its products and services with more than a few of their closest relatives or friends was unlikely.
Simply trying whatever was available was not an option. Every dollar counted. Create and send a costly direct mail piece and have it fail? Not an option.
Now, with the availability of “free” marketing tools and accompanying measurement tools, and the ability to provide a platform for your fans to share your offering with others, most anyone can try their hand at marketing, whether or not they know anything about the fundamentals. It’s as easy as crafting an email and hitting send. Or is it?
Just as with photography, most of the time you get what you pay for – free is worth what you paid.
Just as a shot taken by a professional photographer is worth what it took to get the best expression, lighting and/or action, a campaign created by a marketing pro with the knowledge of how marketing works (and doesn’t) is worth the investment. Yes, one can certainly throw darts at the wall in the hopes one sticks, but it’s not ‘free’ as is so often touted. It costs you and your business resources and time. And, it can cost you something much more valuable if you do it badly: your brand and reputation.
Looking to break through the noise and make a good impression? Go back to the fundamentals. Just as a professional photographer knows what to do in situations where the lighting is poor, the environment is a factor or the talent is not exactly photogenic, a marketing pro knows how to help you portray your offering in the best light, to stand out and rise above the ‘noise,’ and make you look amazing.
It all starts with knowing the fundamentals, whether it be the fundamentals of how a camera works or how to use available light to get the best shot, or whether or not a platform like Facebook or LinkedIn are a good fit for your type of business and for reaching your ideal customer.
In the end, you get what you pay for.
As always, I welcome your comments, questions, calls and email.
I can be reached via email at
shackney (at) brandingmasters (dot) com
and by phone at 760.504.8563