The link to this report by Marcia Yudkin arrived in my inbox with the subject line, “Is Marketing Evil?” Well, as a marketing consultant, that definitely caught my attention!
Yudkin, author of numerous marketing books, makes some excellent points in this 12-page report, “The No-Harm Marketing Manifesto.” While it was written for an audience of consultants and trainers, the lessons are very on-target for trade show exhibitors as well.
Her first point is to focus on aligning your products to the audience and honestly discourage people who aren’t a match. Tell me, how often have you seen an exhibitor who is so busy filling a fishbowl with names of people giddy to win the latest tech gadget (which that company does NOT sell) that they miss making a genuine connection with a serious buyer? Not exactly the smartest way to gain qualified leads.
Point #4 encourages appealing to positive values rather than fear or negativity. Sadly, I’ve seen this technique used by exhibitors with scare tactics or vague threats of “if you don’t buy now ….” Closely related is point #7, which warns against deception. (Yes, I’ve even caught exhibitors in the middle of an out-and-out lie!)
The bottom line is tucked in the middle of her list at point #6: don’t view customers or prospects as mere numbers. I completely agree! That’s why when I work with exhibitors, I always stress quality leads over quantity. Wouldn’t you rather have 50 solid leads vs. 350 worthless pieces of paper with names on them?
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With experiences as both an exhibitor and a show organizer, Marlys Arnold has a unique perspective on trade show exhibiting. As an exhibit marketing strategist, she travels the country consulting and training on how to create experiential exhibits that produce significantly higher numbers of qualified leads. She’s led workshops for events ranging from local consumer expos to some of the largest trade shows in the U.S. She hosts the Trade Show Insights
blog/podcast, and is the author of Build a Better Trade Show Image
, the Exhibitor Education Manifesto
, and the ExhibitorEd Success System
. Exhibit Design That Works
(the first book in the YES: Your Exhibit Success
series) debuted in July 2017. She’s also the founder of the Exhibit Marketers Café
, an online education community.