Jab, jab, jab, right hook—that’s how Gary Vaynerchuk describes his marketing strategy. It’s an apt description for the “thank-you economy” that Vaynerchuk preaches, one in which you give, give, give, and then ask.
Vaynerchuk started his rise to fame by hosting Wine Library TV, a video podcast featuring wine advice and reviews. From there, he’s gone on to write four books and launch VaynerMedia, a social media marketing firm. He’s never strayed from the belief that in order to receive you have to give.
“A funny thing happens when you give value up front,” he recently said in a New York Times interview by David Segal. “You guilt people into buying stuff.”
That sort of guilt can be applied by trade show exhibitors, too. Rather than push information onto a passive audience and hope they respond, exhibitors must engage with people. They must offer content that is usable and often immediately practicable.
One strategy is speaking at educational events. In a recent Center for Exhibition Industry Research report, 71 percent of exhibitors participate in face-to-face learning sessions as part of their onsite marketing plan. In fact, 86 percent of exhibitors said that speaking at an educational seminar or workshop was effective or highly effective in supporting their marketing objectives.
“Marketing activities that give an exhibiting company singular attention achieve higher effectiveness scores, with speaking at educational seminars/workshops and holding private events outside exhibit hours the most effective ancillary marketing activities,” the report stated.
There are some other good nuggets in the findings.
For example, the top three reasons for exhibiting are to build brand awareness, reach new customers, and to meet with current customers. Also, 80 percent of “exhibitors with annual revenues of $100 million+ find sponsorships of an exhibition special event or session effective as do 74 percent of organizations that participated in 20 or more exhibitions in 2012.”
After reading the report, please let us know how you’re getting out the booth and into the minds of customers. Or better yet, how’s your jab and right hook?