Harsh – probably, but I am yet again flabbergasted that people waste valuable marketing dollars on half hearted attempts at marketing and sit back and have a pity party wondering why they did not work.

Yes, those who put no effort or quite simply have no idea. They pay for a exhibition stand at CEBIT in Sydney on 12-14th May 2009 and are wonder why they receive no quality leads and people haven’t visited their stands.

How valuable is your brand? Obviously, not that valuable to some. As I walked through what is Australia’s biggest IT expo, I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. There was a good quarter of the exhibitors at CEBIT who put together stands with pathetic banners (you know the ones you use for a seminar) up against the walls, cheap and nasty flyers and poor displays of what they were trying to sell.

You don’t have to spend alot of money to have a great stand. It’s not about the money, its about the effort and the understanding of what the audience is looking to see, feel and hear.

Engage your audience and make them take notice of who you are.

As always, the great displays had the people in abundance queuing to talk to someone to find out more.

And there were others. There were stands that may not have cost a fortunate, but were tastefully decorated and their marketing material was targeted at the audience they wanted to attract.

It costs thousands for a piece of real estate at an Expo like this. Why then would you throw away this investment but not doing a good job.

Even worse is the number of companies that will not follow up their leads afterwards.

They are the ones who have every good intention of doing so, but are swallowed up with the ‘big’ deals or what they think are the hot opportunities for the day, that they disregard those who should be in the deal pipeline.

Followup is integral to the success of your investment.

So, if you exhibited at CEBIT and found that you didn’t get the result you wanted and the effort you put in was not exactly what you had intented to, but at the end of the day, you didn’t have time, money or energy to do any better – then now is the time to redeem yourself.

The delegates have probably forgotten who you are anyway. If your stand and your people were not memorable, then make sure your followup is.

Steps to expo followup;

- Put together a database preferrably in a customer relationship management program (there’s cost effective versions like ACT Today! available on the market)
- Create a marketing campaign – an offer – a reason to do business with you
- Ensure your brand is intact, professionally presented and your website has a landing page with more information that is going to get your target audience salvitating over what you are offering
- Email, direct market, telemarket and followup until you have exhausted your database of leads
- Eliminate leads that are worthless and have no value to your marketing efforts
- Segregate hot, warm and cold leads – and work it baby, work it!

Every dollar you invest in marketing should be worth it. Now is not the time to throw away valuable marketing dollars on marketing activities that do not create greater brand awareness, leads and positioning in the market.

Reinforce to your staff, your clients and your prospects your brand and its value proposition. Repeat it over and over again. They say Politicians say everything 3 times – and in marketing, we say the same.

Get out there and stand proud behind the brand you represent and sell, sell, sell…

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Mellissah Smith

Mellissah Smith is a marketing expert with more than 20 years experience. Having founded and built two successful marketing companies internationally, she is well recognized as a industry thought leader and innovator. Mellissah started her career working with technology and professional services firms, primarily in marketing, public relations and investor relations, positioning a number of successful companies to list on the various Stock Exchanges around the world. She is a writer, technology developer and entrepreneur who shares her thoughts and experiences through blogs and written articles published in various media outlets. Brag sheet: #2 marketer to follow on Twitter (2003), Top 150 Marketers to Follow (2015), Top 10 innovative marketers (2014), 60K+ followers on Twitter with 97% authentic.

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