It’s no secret that in 2023 we are living in the digital age, with an abundance of digital marketing entering our lives through almost every device we own.
Combine this digital marketing with traditional print media and we are bombarded with marketing messages all day every day.
Research suggests that the average person in the UK is exposed to between 5,000 and 10,000 marketing messages every single day, yet you’d probably struggle if I asked you to tell me 10 marketing messages you saw yesterday. We’ve become completely desensitised to the standard forms of marketing. Communication channels that were once revolutionary have become the norm and the once alluring marketing messages are now just ‘there’.
It’s simple really, people don’t like being sold to, particularly by machines. Without a real person delivering the message, it appears impersonal, even intrusive, and often fails at building any sort of relationship between the brand and potential customers.
Companies will need to get back to basics if they really want to build strong, long-lasting relationships with their customers, and that’s where live marketing comes in.
What is Live Marketing?
Live marketing is the oldest form of marketing, defined by face-to-face interactions between customers and brand representatives. Before the internet, TV, radio or even print, there were market traders drumming up business with just their voice and personality; face-to-face with customers, building real, personal, trusted relationships.
Live marketing introduces a human element to brands, which all too often fall into the trap of being just the recognisable name and logo of an otherwise expressionless organisation. People do business with people, and live marketing is how you associate your brand with the people behind it.
In 2023, the most common live marketing takes place at industry exhibitions. These events are where the real people behind companies gather to show off their brand on an exhibition stand, share knowledge, network, discuss industry developments and, most importantly, build real, trusted, face-to-face relationships.
The benefits of exhibitions for your business
Build trust face-to-face.
One of the most important benefits of industry exhibitions is the opportunity to meet your customers face-to-face and show them the human side of your business. A study by Oxford Economics found that face-to-face meetings are the most effective way to strengthen relationships with both new and existing customers.
Not only are these face-to-face interactions more personal than other forms of marketing, but customers are also more likely to be receptive to future marketing messages when they have met the real people behind them, which could lead to increased business, while also cementing your company as the go-to option to meet your customers’ needs.
In this face-to-face setting customers are also more likely to provide valuable feedback on your products and services that can inform future developments in your business.
Marketing messages often fail to capture the attention of their audience because it reaches them when they’re busy. Exhibitions present a rare environment in which your audience is highly engaged and genuinely interested in hearing about your products and services.
Visitors will sometimes have even paid an admission fee to be there, showing just how engaged they are. With an eye-catching, professionally-built stand you’ll encourage this highly engaged audience to interact with your brand message while they are in the mindset to listen – an opportunity unique to live marketing.
Meet directly with decision-makers.
Decision-makers are notoriously hard to reach. Through most marketing methods, trying to reach a decision–maker requires somewhat of a “shotgun” approach of sending out enough messages and hoping to reach the right person at the right moment.
Exhibitors Survey Inc states that over 82% of exhibition attendees have buying influence, meaning the decision-makers are right in front of you and have made a conscious choice to come and listen to your message.
While you’re meeting customers you’ll also have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with the other professionals in your sector and build a network of useful business partners.
Exhibitions are where an industry gathers, and the best place for you to find other businesses capable of solving the problems your business faces. Networking face-to-face with your industry peers can offer vital business opportunities and connections that you might not have come across otherwise.
Level playing field.
Marketing is often dominated by the companies with the biggest budget, but exhibitions are one of the few marketing environments where everyone has the same access to their target audience. Your larger competitors may have a bigger stand but with the right strategy, you’ll be able to attract just as many visitors as they do.
Ross Pike, Operations Director at Exhibition Stand Designers Quadrant2Design, said “With the right stand and the right strategy, companies of all shapes and sizes have a unique opportunity to stand out from the crowd! Great visuals, eye-catching features and a consistent message before, during and after the show will make sure that your stand is the one visitors remember”.
This makes exhibitions a valuable opportunity for strengthening your brand and getting your voice heard within the industry.
Exhibitions are also a fantastic way to stay up-to-date on developments in your industry, with opportunities to learn new techniques, get ideas from your peers and explore innovative products that could help your business in the future.
They offer excellent educational opportunities, with presentations, workshops, seminars, and lectures delivered by industry experts, that will help you understand the latest trends in your industry and adapt them to your business.
All of these exhibition benefits show that live marketing presents opportunities that other forms of marketing simply cannot match in 2023. It is for this reason that any business looking to build strong, long-lasting relationships with their customers and business partners should be including live marketing in their strategy for 2023, and moving forward.