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How to Maximise Exposure at Exhibitions


How Integrated Marketing Maximised Trade Show Exposure for Speedprint and Europlacer in Nuremberg.

You’ve probably heard the term ‘Integrated Marketing’. It’s an industry buzzword that’s a bit ambiguous. Or open to interpretation, at least. At Swordfish, we prefer clarity. Our interpretation goes something like this: “knowing how to make different elements of a marketing project or campaign work better together than they would as separate initiatives.”

We don’t always get the chance to deploy our ‘integrated marketing’ exprtise. Sometimes our clients just need us to deliver a single element or initiative. A brochure, perhaps. Or an email campaign. Maybe a website. That’s fine, but often our expertise is needed on a much wider scale where the deliverables – the communications initiatives we create – are part of a bigger project. That’s where integrated marketing can kick in; often we do this without even realising it.

 

How does this work in reality?

PRWhat it means in practice is scheduling a series of initiatives, being intelligent about that schedule, creating the content and making everything work seamlessly together. Colours, images, logos, layouts: all need to be consistent across all marketing channels. The tone of voice will change depending on the marketing medium, but the proposition (or promise) has to remain consistent, compelling and – if you can pull it off – desirable.

Few cases illustrate this like a trade exhibition. And none more so than the recent SMT Hybrid Packaging event in Nuremberg that serves the electronics manufacturing industry. As technologists and marketers, we’re pretty clued-up in that sector.

 

Two clients. Two new products. One exhibition stand.

What was special here was that two Swordfish Marketing clients, Speedprint Technologies and Europlacer (independent businesses but part of the same group of companies) both chose to launch significant new products at the show. Luckily, trade events give you plenty of forward vision. We knew this show was happening. And as the marketing partner to these businesses, we had been advising on the marketing aspects of both products throughout their engineering development, well ahead of the launches.

Thanks to this, we had time to comprehend the detailed technical and commercial benefits. We need that to do a great job in creating all the marketing content. Knowing the sector well, we figured that both companies required conventional printed materials as well as digital promotional collateral. So we had a raft of promotional material to design, create and write.

 

What, when, who and how.

Now we were looking at a series of creative initiatives. We knew what to say. We knew when the reveal would occur (16th to 18th May in Nuremberg). We knew the demographic of our target audience. Now we had to plan – and doing that well is the bit that makes the difference. It demands strategic thinking.

A marketing strategy starts with a plan. In the process of planning, you’re dealing with a timeframe. That’s the opportunity to define how everything works together and how the message might change over a period of time. Consistent imagery builds a picture in the minds of the recipients in the weeks leading up to the event. Defining the message-to-market positions the product against its competitors and serves to heighten the appeal. One marketing initiative supports the next initiative across the same channel to add to the recipient’s knowledge. Or it supports another marketing channel to reinforce the message. PR, ads, email Direct Marketing (eDM), blogs, website content, banners, exhibition graphics, video content – all must portray the correct ‘look & feel’ and convey the right message.

 

Know the outcome you want right at the start.

graphicsWe had a range of marketing objectives to achieve with this project. Or with both launch projects, to be precise. Speedprint revealed a piece of technology that improved the increasingly critical process of traceability in electronics manufacturing. Europlacer unveiled an all-new component placement machine. We wanted to generate broad awareness of the new products among electronics manufacturing professionals across the whole of Europe. Ads, press releases and eDMs were deployed to achieve this, in English and German language. We also encouraged industry professionals to attend the event; with the show in Nuremberg, the most likely audience would be German electronics engineers, so we created smart eDMs in German language and sent these to the appropriate database, in the usual intelligent way, offering each recipient a personal demonstration on the exhibition booth. 

Other marketing tools included datasheets for Speedprint and Europlacer, pitching a careful balance of technical detail and promotional promise. On top of this, we also created the graphics for the exhibition booth. One happy convenience is that both businesses had elected to share a stand, so we were able to use the display space to reinforce graphic images for both new product launches. And during the show, we scheduled visits to the stand by all the key editors from the sector to meet Mark Brawley, the President of Speedprint, David Kammerer, the German territories Sales Manager for Europlacer, and Andy Jones, the Global Marketing & Business Development Manager for both companies. There’s nothing quite like face-to-face meetings on a smart booth over a coffee – or over a Weiss beer (this was Germany, after all)!

 

Top people on site? Get some video! interview

The final challenge to complete our integrated marketing jigsaw was to seize the opportunity of having all these key client people in one place. We arranged video interviews with David Kammerer in German and English, using one of our industry contacts, Kim Sauer of WNIE TV, to provide that resource; Kim is fluent in English and German. We added equipment-side video interviews right on the booth with Mark Brawley and David Kammerer extolling the virtues of their respective products. We briefed and partly scripted this, of course. That gives us powerful content for our post-show publicity initiatives. Embedding video clips in our client eDMs typically increase the open rate by a factor of ten. We’re working on that post-show stuff now.

 

Got a promotional project that needs intelligent integrated marketing?

We’re always happy to talk to prospective clients with a single initiative that needs executing brilliantly. We’re up for that. But by combining our design skills, planning expertise and 30+ years of strategic marketing experience, we can deliver bigger projects that are unique and compelling. We use our innate understanding of how integrated marketing works to make that as effective as it can possibly be. Pick up the phone or send us an email if you’ve got something on the starting blocks.

 

TALK INTEGRATED MARKETING TO US

Written by: Steve Chapman

stevec@swordfish-marketing.com