Actually we’re not talking about the WW2 German missile here. In aviation V2 refers to the speed an aircraft must reach in order to take off. At anything less than V2 it will not leave the ground. Continue reading
There are no magic potions or pills (!), just a few strategies that can get your list growing in no time. Continue reading
This isn’t the advice you would expect from an email-focused business like us, but it’s true. No businesses can rely on just one marketing mechanism. As a matter of fact the number ‘one’ is a pretty dangerous number Continue reading
by NewsBusiness senior consultant Anna Day
1 Free publicity from stand organisers
The trade show organisers will be looking for news items to promote their show to pull in the crowds. So as soon as you agree to participate, contact the organisers’ PR person and start pumping out stories. They will then promote your stall for you for free. You should also be promoting your own stories in the media, so you need to be prepared at least a couple of months before.
2 Position and size of your stand
It is better to have a small stand near the entrance or the pathway to the catering or bathroom facilities, than to have a large stand that is in an area that the crowds file past. It is also better to spend money on promoting you stand than on the size of the stand.
Top tip: Provide free coffee and tables and chairs ? people linger and sit because it?s hard work visiting a tradeshow.
3 Collect people’s names and contact addresses
Your primary aim is to collect contacts. This can most easily be done by collecting business cards. The number of these can be increased by offering a a prize for those who leave their cards. That prize can be drawn at the trade show two or three times a day – not just leaving it until the last day when everyone has gone home. The organisers will generally offer you free use of the microphone to announce the prize winner, but there might be a fee. Every time you announce the draw and winner, it is a free plug for your business.
Warning: If you ask people to write down their emails you will cut down the number you collect dramatically, as you’re unlikely to be able to read their hand writing – so write it yourself.
(editor’s note: some conferences and exhibitions now issue coded passes to all visitors; for a small fee you can rent a scanner and just scan details into your database – much quicker than writing contact details down)
4 Offer something for free that keeps on coming
Don’t just fill up people’s show bags. Offer people a free newsletter that will provide information they want to receive. That way you get to be in contact with them every month. I once offered doctors a newsletter on research into vitamins. They signed up in droves, helped by a prize of a bottle of great wine for one lucky person.
5 Wear a promotion polo-shirt – with a hook to your stand
Most people have shirts with tiny print that you have to squint to read. Print your company’s name large and on the back offer a hook to pull them into your store. That way when you are walking around looking at everyone else’s stand, you are promoting your own.
6 Think outside your stand
Be creative. I know one chap who never paid for a stand. Instead he’d walk around pulling a bag on wheels full of information sheets and product samples, wearing a t-shirt promoting his company. That’s not ethical. But if you do have a stand you might do something similar.
7 Pull people into your stand with your smile and chatter
This is not the time to be shy. You should be greeting everyone who passes your stand, asking them questions, offering them something free, or anything else that comes to mind. Be a showman – or woman, even if it is against your nature. If you can’t, make sure you have someone on your stand that is.
8 Follow up, follow up, follow up
Over the next week your task is to follow up all the people you met. Most people don’t. Get stories in the media saying how successful you were at the show. Also, tell the PR person working for the show organisers – they need success stories.
About the author
Anna Day has been a PR person for several tradeshows from the mining industry to medical conferences and even childcare shows. She has run several highly successful stands and sold a vast array of products from apple juice, to peak industry organisation memberships and snake oil – well almost!
Every day we are assaulted by hundreds, if not thousands of marketing and advertising messages. They are in the newspapers and magazines we read, on the television and radio and on our favourite websites. We are called by telemarketers, we get direct mail and email spam. We have learned to filter 99% of this out.
Word-of-mouth marketing still works. Word-of-mouth can be a recommendation or a referral from an existing customer or a friend, or it can be a review on an online forum or a blog, it can be an article in a magazine or newspaper or something on the television.
The one thing that links all these things is that they are comments from (trusted) people who have no financial interest in the purchasing decision. A recent Nielsen poll showed that 93% of Australians trust recommendations from people they know, 70% trust consumer opinions posted online and 69% trust editorial content. TV advertising was the highest scoring advertising medium at 62%. See our other blog post for more on this.
The internet has changed everything
Today, people who are interested in buying your type of product or service have a wealth of information they can consult on the internet before making any buying decision. And since they’re filtering out most of your traditional marketing, now is the time to start doing Public Relations Marketing instead.
(if you think you might have read this before, you’re right – this used to be the text on the NewsBusiness home page until we changed it recently – we think it’s worth recycling)
David on Google+
Have you been following the progress of the proposed law to extend the Do Not Call Register to business? The register, originally set up to allow consumers to opt out of telemarketing cold calls, is due to be extended to protect businesses as well. This move will severely hamper those businesses that still rely on cold calling to generate leads and sales.
The Council of Small Business of Australia (COSBOA) and the Australian Direct Marketing Association (ADMA) are lobbying the government to abandon, or at least amend, the proposed legislation, saying that it could cost companies up to $108 million in the first year, as they?ll have to spend time and resources checking who is and isn?t on the register.
COSBOA also claims that the law will unfairly penalise small or new businesses that do not have already established customer databases. The government is pushing the bill to go through, in the words of Communications Minister Stephen Conroy, to stop ?unwanted calls and faxes… wasting valuable business resources.?
The new legislation is expected to cover telephone calls and faxes.
In our view this type of ?blanket bombing? marketing is a very inefficient way to drive sales, and the legislation is probably good news as much for the companies that are (or were contemplating) using it as it is for the people it has been designed to protect. Cold calling telemarketing (and your author has done his fair share of this in his time!) has always been very much a numbers game and probably the worst example of ?pursuit marketing?. ?Attraction marketing? (ie PR Marketing) is generally much more effective and, dare we say it, more enjoyable.
I?d be very interested to hear your comments on this.
David on Google+
This is my iPhone. It won’t get mixed up with anybody else’s, and nobody is likely to want to steal it, as you can probably see the shattered screen where it fell on a sharp rock when I dropped it. Over six months ago.
I was pretty cheesed off when it happened and when I picked it up I didn’t think it would be broken, but I’d forgotten that Apple makes the touchscreens out of glass. Real glass.
My first thought was to switch it on and make sure it worked – and it did. And it still does.
If I’m trying to read something on the screen it’s sometimes a little hard, but apart from that and the obvious lack of aesthetics, it functions exactly the same as it did before.
The case you can see on it did not stop the screen from smashing, but it did come with a little clear plastic film to put over the screen, and the only modification I’ve made since is to use one of these to stop getting shards of glass in my ear.
Nice story, but what has it got to do with marketing or public relations? It’s all about the brand. I am a late convert to Apple and, after getting a MacBook couldn’t wait to get the phone, even though I knew it didn’t have all the bells and whistles I wanted.
That the iPhone has turned out to be the massive success it has is (in my opinion) down to two things:
- Apple’s ability to appeal to people’s sense of style (many of whom are already their customers – and avid fans) and
- To a vast population of programmers who have developed little programs – ‘apps’ – to work on the phone. These are either free or can be bought on iTunes for dollars and cents, and do all sorts of things you never knew you needed on a phone. And quite a few things that are really useful indeed.
Apple have leveraged their brand so that their customers just ‘want’ one, despite the fact that there are, out there, technically, better featured phones.
I’m still, on balance, ‘happy’ with my phone and choice of the iPhone. As and when I get a new phone I’m just thinking of upgrading to the new one. I’m also happy that the phone still works after being smashed, and in a funny way I think this is a credit to the brand. Although I’d have preferred it not to smash so easily, I’m pretty impressed that it still works, half a year down the track.
The moral of the story?
How can you build your reputation/brand so that people just ‘want one’? You must provide something (that people want) that nobody else can provide. And it doesn’t harm to have a customer base of ‘raving fans’.
(Reading time <3mins)
David on Google+
News Equals Business becomes NewsBusiness
After much umming and ahhing I/we/the team @ News Equals Business have decided to change the name of? the business. It’s not a big change. We’re just going to drop the ‘equals’ and call ourselves NewsBusiness.
We could have a marketing campaign along the lines of ‘NewsBusiness – no equals’ but unfortunately nobody would get it. A little like that car hire company that has the slogan ‘No birds’. I’ve still not worked out what that means.
I’m a little sorry to see the old name go, as it really did sum up what I thought at the time (and still do!) – that news really can equal business. But News Equals Business is such a mouthful – I’ve lost count of the number of people on the phone who say “Who?” or “Musical business?” that it’s just getting silly. So NewsBusiness it is from now on.
Thankfully the logo does not have to change and neither does the business web address – it’s always been newsbusiness.com.au. So the process of changing everything is laborious but not overwhelming or particularly expensive. About an hour changing everything over on the website and blog and about the same changing various listings on the web.
From a PR perspective, a name is very important – if you don’t think so just look at the hullabaloo here in Australia when Kraft wanted to launch their new Vegemite and cheese product with the name iSnack 2.0 (see this article from The Age). Personally I don’t think they ever really intended to call it that – call me cynical but I think it was a PR stunt – and if it was it certainly worked – Kraft got a huge amount of coverage for their new product, regardless of what it will actually be called.
I wouldn’t be surprised if their in-store marketing – when it does launch – has iSnack 2.0 crossed out with the new name next to it (you read it here first).
The name change for us is logical and straightforward – but this is certainly not the case for bigger or more established companies. In fact in many cases the sheer cost of a change of name and the dilution/eradication of the previous brand name has to be really worth it.
A (long) while back I worked for a subsidiary of one of the largest global publishing companies. Shortly before I joined, the business changed its name, in theory to reflect more accurately what it did. In practice it led to a huge amount of confusion and for many years – despite its best efforts – many of its customers still didn’t associate the old company with the new name. I’m convinced that the confusion did not help the brand and probably dented its profits as well.
How surveys can drive your business – giving you news material for your PR and allowing you to make better business decisions.
A number of internet-based services now make conducting a survey either free or very low cost, and very easy to put together. If you’re not familiar with the tools, check out SurveyMonkey or Constant Contact.
And it’s also pretty straightforward to send an invitation to take part in the survey via email, or to invite visitors to your website to participate. These online tools also collate the data for you, so you can access results instantly, without having to laboriously compile a report.
So – what’s a survey good for and how do you maximise your chances of getting a reasonable response rate?
What’s a survey good for?
- find out what your customers really want
- find out what your customers really think of you (you might be surprised)
- find out what influences your customers (eg what media they consume – great if you’re wondering who to target with your PR efforts and news releases)
- share the results of your survey with your clients/your mailing list/the media
- set a benchmark against which to measure the effectiveness of your promotional activities (and run the same survey afterwards to measure the effectiveness of your promotion/PR)
- use survey results in your marketing/PR to promote the need for your product or service
Maximising response rates
If you’re persuaded it’s worth running a survey, how do you make sure you get a reasonable response rate? After all, if you’re planning to announce survey results to the media you’ll probably need more than 1,000 responses to be statistically valid if it’s a national consumer survey, or at least 100 if it relates to a local, niche or specific business sector.
Here are a few ideas:
- keep the survey short (eg less than 10 questions) and state how long it will take to complete the survey upfront
- be open about the purpose of the survey
- state clearly what’s in it for them if they complete the survey eg ‘go into a draw to win…’ and/or ‘all participants will receive a copy of the final survey report’ – this one is particularly important if the survey findings will be useful to those businesses/people surveyed
- make the questions as clear and unambiguous as possible (this will minimise survey abandonment)
- minimise the number of questions where you ask participants to write anything – give them the option if they want but make as many questions as possible ‘tick the box’ type (again for survey abandonment reasons)
- if you are looking for honesty in the answers (eg you want to find out true market perception of your product or company) consider using an outside agency* to conduct the survey – guaranteeing anonymity to participants
- state when the survey will close, odds of participants winning the prize (if you offer one) and send at least one email reminder a day or two before the survey closes
- if you are primarily inviting business people to participate via email, send the invitation out early (eg 7.35am) on a weekday morning
Even the best crafted surveys don’t often hit response rates greater than 5%-10%, so make sure your list is big enough to get the number you need.
Do you have any survey tips we have missed?
*it would be remiss of us not to mention that NewsBusiness offers this service to clients!