Blog for Building Materials Manufacturers

Trade Show Money Wasters

  |  Posted in Trade Shows

Trade Show Money Wasters

Mailing out postcards to building materials trade show attendees is a big waste of money. You might as well throw your money in the trash as they offer a very poor return on investment.

This is usually the result of having no strategy, just some money and an objective.

A typical reasoning is: “Let’s get more traffic to our booth,” which is a good objective. The bad part is when you don’t stop and think to develop an effective strategy but immediately jump to the tactic of, “Let’s mail out a postcard!” And lets have a really compelling message like, “Stop by our booth.”

A better solution would be based on a sound strategy.

An example would be, “Let’s get the right people to our booth.” Ask yourself, what would it take to get them there. Start by assuming the worst case, that they are really busy and don’t really care about your product or visiting your booth.

What would be a really compelling reason? A great place to start is by understanding their pain points. What keeps them up at night and how could your product, help solve that problem.

Another way is to offer something very desirable, like a Corvette. Or something very new that has just come out or is hard to get, like a brand new Apple product. Giving away an IPad a year after they were introduced only shows how behind the times you are.

If you have selected the right people, you should have a relatively small number on your list. Probably no more than 300. Ideally no more than 100. These aren’t just names out of a hat but prospects who are large enough to warrant your attention.

The final part of the strategy is how to reach them. As you can tell, I’m not a big fan of postcards.

If you are going to mail them something, make it three-dimensional.

Everyone loves getting a package. The open rates source through the roof when you send a package rather than something flat.

Yes, there are times when your strategy should be to reach more people than you can afford with a package and you don’t have their email addresses.  You still may need to cut the list down as the most effective postcard campaigns have several mailings combined with a compelling offer.

Postcards are also used by people who should get fired.

The objective of this person is, “We have some money left in the trade show budget, and lets spend it. Let’s send out a postcard.”

Stop wasting money with marketing programs that don’t have a well thought out strategy.

Finally – find a way to make the results of your program measurable.  How much did you spend?  How many of those people visited the booth?  Or how many more people visited your booth because of this program?  How many of the booth visitors are now customers and how much do they spend with you, annually?

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About The Author

I am the leading sales growth consultant in the building materials industry, I identify the blind spots that enable building materials companies to grow their sales and retain more customers.  As I am not an ad agency, my recommendations are focused on your sales growth and not my future income.

My mission is to help building materials companies be the preferred supplier of their customers and to turn those customers into their best salespeople. Contact me to discuss your situation.