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march 26, 2020

Marketing in the Midst of the Coronavirus with 4 Great Plan B Ideas

Tony Treadway

Marketing in the midst of the coronavirus.

Trade shows and conferences cancelled due to the coronavirus has marketing teams scrambling for alternatives to pressing the flesh with hundreds of potential target customers this year.

For manufacturers of industrial or consumer products, the time and costs of cancelling booth and equipment shipments, hotel rooms, and flights, has meant a disruptive mad scramble since the first of March. The dollars saved from these cancellations should be directed to other forms of marketing that can build sales, like these 4 ideas:

  1. Increase Your E-Marketing with High Value Premiums – Look into offering higher value premiums in your e-marketing, such as free samples or white papers via gated sections of your website. By capturing names, phone numbers, and more with a few insightful questions, you can drive users more quickly down the sales funnel. For one of our clients, 60% of potential targets answering these types of questions to receive a free sample become a new customer.
  • Host or Sponsor Webinars – Let’s face it, those who truly go to trade events to learn new things or find new products will be even hungrier during travel bans because of the virus. Push out free webinars via e-marketing or become a sponsor of a webinar developed by one of your industry’s top publications. Webinars require participants to register so you will have their contact information afterwards for follow up. During the webinar you can also provide expert insights and engage with participants.
  • Consider Dimensional Direct Mail – Dimensional direct mailers offer something that e-marketing can’t. The tactile interaction a person has with creatively produced, in-hand materials can spark an emotional response. Your sales team should follow-up with a phone call within a few days of the estimated arrival of the mailer. Also, since QR code readers are now built into smartphone software, you can include one that allows the recipient to easily respond to the mailer via digital to increase your responses. To encourage this interaction, you could even consider offering a Starbucks card or other premium for replying via the QR code.
  • Is This The Year You Build A Great CRM For Your Sales Team? If you have been kicking the automated CRM system down the road, this may be the year you should take your unspent trade event dollars and build it out. Our SharpSpring license allows us to help clients build and maintain their marketing automation and CRM system easily. This could potentially be your best spend of those dollars.

Looking for additional ideas to repurpose trade event dollars? We will be happy to share more information on the best options. Just let us know.