Exhibition Marketing vs Digital Marketing
As technical sales and marketing specialists, Scizack has spent a lot of time marketing at exhibitions. As of late, however, there has been a notable decline in attendees to these events; leading us to question the benefits of exhibition marketing in 2017 and beyond.
In this blog, Scizack wants to discuss whether or not exhibitions continue to be an effective approach to marketing. Have more traditional marketing techniques been outrun by technology in the digital era? And how can we best utilise digital marketing in this side of the industry?
The simplest way to analyse this is to look at the pros and cons of both forms of business marketing; exhibitions and digital marketing.
Direct Interaction: Exhibitions allow a direct interaction between seller and client. There is an instant opportunity for networking and building business relationships, giving exhibitions a more personal approach to marketing.
Target Audience: There will be a limited number of people attending exhibitions and chances are that they already have an interest in what you are selling. Exhibitions have already done the hard job of finding your target audience, now you just have to stand out from the rest.
Building Database: When people from your target audience find you, it is easier to collect details of potential leads creating specific databases or expanding an existing database for future communication purposes.
Competition: Exhibitions are a good way of observing how your direct competitors market to the target audience which can help you pick up some good pointers.
Competition: Whilst it is more likely that exhibition visitors will have an interest in your product/services, remember that you are surrounded by your competitors. Exhibitions require you to be able to stand out from the crowd and draw your target audience in; to choose you over the competition.
Expensive: With travel and accommodation costs along with advertising materials and the price of hiring an exhibition stand; marketing at an exhibition can result in spending thousands of pounds.
Hard to measure outcome: With people coming and going throughout the exhibition, it can be difficult to track whether or not this marketing has had any measurable effect on your business. Unless you keep track on specifically who follows up after the event, it is possible you will be unsure of what you gained from the exhibition.
Time-Consuming: From preparation and travelling to following up with contacts after the event, exhibition marketing can be extremely time-consuming. Ensure that you have plenty of time to utilise and dedicate if you’re going down this marketing route, as it’s certainly not a quick and easy option.
Cost Effective: Most social media platforms are free to use and can be fantastic outlets for digital marketing. Depending on your requirements, there are many companies that specialise in all aspects of digital marketing at a reasonable price. Our sister company, Skyzack, can create a personalised strategy to utilise digital marketing in the best way for your business.
Wider Audience: With digital marketing, there is almost no limit as to where and who you can advertise to. With the ease of the internet, your target audience can have instant access to your information. Whilst there is still the issue of competitors, the potential audience is also much wider.
Easily Measurable: Thanks to up-to-date technology, it is very simple to measure the success and effectiveness of digital marketing. Analytics and statistics allow you to gauge realistic and measurable results, allowing you to form successful strategies in accordance.
Instant: Digital marketing can be done at any time, from anywhere (as long as you have a device and internet connection). Whilst a strategy is beneficial, there is no laborious planning of travel and excess expense as there is with exhibition marketing. Digital marketing is also instant from your target audience’s perspective; there is no waiting for opening times or arranging of meetings – information can be found instantly and initial contact can be a simple as an email or contact form.
Futureproof: In business marketing, it is imperative that you stay current. Digital marketing will continue to develop and have a high importance in all areas of business. Strike whilst the irons hot and gain the advantage over potential competitors.
Impersonal: There is the argument that digital media is impersonal and distances your business from your audience. It is important not to become too lost in the digital world and to maintain your business identity. There are ways of digital marketing that can be personalised, such as email marketing, which enables a more direct approach.
Dedication: Creating an online presence can take a lot of time and patience. Building up an audience and portfolio of contacts via the internet can require a number of different strategies and routes. But if you have the patience and a dedicated team, the results are certainly worth it.
For that reason, it is well worth investing into a digital marketing company that can do this for you. They can develop and manage your digital presence, freeing up your time and allowing you to focus on other aspects of running your business.
Overall, Scizack believes that there are arguments in favour of both approaches to marketing. However, in our opinion, the key to effective marketing is to understand what form of marketing your business would benefit most from.
If you wish to take part in exhibition marketing, the question to ask is ‘why’? If networking at exhibitions is the priority, this is a very expensive way to do it; especially when digital marketing can be equally, if not more, effective.
As exhibitions are becoming smaller and more focused, being selective with your attendances will likely have a greater benefit than attending all exhibitions. Perhaps the best approach is to find the right balance of both traditional and digital marketing to get the best of both worlds for your business.
What do you think?
Let us know what you think about exhibitions and traditional marketing vs digital marketing; and how they work for you and your business.
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