When given the option between a week at an industry conference and root canal, nearly 80 percent of marketers and sales professionals chose the dental procedure.
OK…I fabricated that statistic, yet it is totally believable, right? That’s because a dirty secret in marketing and sales is that most of us despise trade shows.
They are expensive and unproductive. They generate names (not leads) that are never followed up on. And when we do return to the office it takes days to catch up on real and meaningful work.
Today’s trade show is soul crushing like mid-day traffic, bad sushi or smug broadcasters who have two first names. (Just kidding, Anderson Cooper.)
So, why do them? I called a group of industry friends last week with that very question and here are a few of the answers:
“Because our competitors are there.”
“Our CEO likes to play golf in Orlando.”
“We spent a lot of money on our booth and should probably use it.”
“We have always attended shows.”
While these reasons are understandable (especially the golf one), smart marketers recognize the dissatisfaction with events can be mitigated through a leverage of their company’s content, social and digital programs.
Here is an example: during the past few weeks Strategic Communications Group (Strategic) has virtually attended, reported on and promoted conferences hosted by sales and marketing automation leaders Salesforce and Oracle/Eloqua. Starting tomorrow, we’ll be online for Marketo’s Marketing Nation conference in Las Vegas.
By leveraging the Modern Marketing Today site and community, Strategic raises its profile, attracts and engages new readers, identifies sales prospects and generates inbound leads – all at a fraction of the investment required to trudge to each event.
Admittedly, trade show participation and attendance will continue to occupy a line item in the marketing/sales budget. There are events a company must attend to be seen as a player in their segment.
Yet, the content and social option has emerged as an alternative. It’s an approach that is smarter, more effective and less costly.
And there is no Novocain required!