According to the recent NFPA Communications Survey, creating and maintaining a social media presence is becoming more and more critical to our member company's overall operations. In the February Reporter Kari-Lynn will continue to share social media news and updates as well as helpful "tools of the trade" to assist members in navigating the online world.


By Kari-Lynn O'Neil, Social Marketing + Engagement Manager
www.linkedin.com/in/karilynnoneil

With IFPE and CONEXPO-CON/AGG just around the corner, many exhibitors are wondering how to take event marketing to the next level. Utilizing Social and marketing in B2B and supply chain industry has been challenging for many companies. Let’s break this down into to two easy concepts and move forward from there; creating engaging live events requires both empathy and wisdom.



Empathy: We create empathy with our audience by understanding who they are and what they need. Many times businesses start out by addressing their own company goals. This is why they end up creating a booth that feels more like a “sell job.”  Additionally, it is more difficult to create engagement at your booth because retro-fitting an activity or finding a give away that reels in your target customer becomes nearly impossible. It just doesn’t resonate with them.

By defining
a) who you want to convert, and
b) what need you will be filling for them

it will be much easier to brainstorm a way get your audience excited about the possibility of doing business with you.

Let’s say you create custom parts for heavy machine manufacturers, you could give away some gadget with your brand on it and it will get thrown in a bag with all the other stuff that gets handed out at the expo.

OR

You could have a screen with a live feed to your engineering “lab.” Your prospect could type in his or her contact information along with a need they have into a database gathering ipad. The engineering team in the lab can consult with them for a few moments and show them some concepts that you’ve created that were similar and immediately email you (the booth operator).  You download the non-proprietary concept on your company branded flash drive to hand the prospect. That flash drive can be preloaded with other marketing materials as well. More importantly, not only have you captured their contact info to follow up, you know exactly what they need, and what to talk about when you follow up with them after the show.

Wisdom: By now most marketers have heard big data. While big data is useful in visualizing and predicting overall market trends,  “small data” helps us refine what we think we know and understand about specific target audiences. It can also help us make better marketing decisions. By installing tools like QuantCast, ShareThis, Bitly and others, we can see our audiences as social humans. We can watch in real time how they convert, what they share, and further empathize with them based on their “also likes.” (For example, if you know 40% of your traffic also likes apple.com, 37% frequent Ted-ed, you have insight in design esthetics, which can be cross referenced to determine preference in technology preference on Google Analytics) and a openness for online learning.

Refining messaging, design aesthetics and marketing approach by utilizing the data provided by your target audience, you create engaging user experiences that turn web traffic into loyal customers.