Covid19 has brought an onset of changes in our lives as we knew them at the turn of the 21st century. If we were aware that information technology and artificial intelligence were slowly eroding on all of our normal, everyday processes, it was clear that this would be the case too with respect to online sales, marketing and business in general. The advent of e-commerce giants pushed the tenet of online commerce, making the world wake up to a new way of exchanging goods and services. If digital marketing was already a thing, Covid19 sealed its fate into our way of doing business.
Trade shows, large exhibitions and other events held in major cities at knockout venues have been the norm for a variety of industries. This was practically annihilated as the spread through 2020. With events cancelled and marketers faced with physical restrictions limiting interactions, there was a need for them to ramp up their efforts online. Pressure now is to speak more directly to leads, despite traditional exhibitions going virtual. Digital Marketing may no longer be an option for some.
Although there is little that can replace the human interaction which is what sells trade shows and marketing events, digital marketing can bridge the gap the pandemic has caused. Recent surveys indicate that marketers have upped their social media content creation by over 50%. This includes content, blog and video production. Social media has taken on a new role in creating the platform for businesses to meet their clients virtually and sustain these relationships.
There is a certainty that once the crisis generated by the pandemic is over, few will need to go back to the ‘old ways’. Experts agree that digital marketing is an economical way of generating leads. Businesses who have been savvy at creating a digital presence, brand and voice are therefore poised to quickly join the coveted ranks of household names.
The difference between marketing events and its digital counterpart is that there is no persona or measurement available. This means that you may very well receive over a thousand visitors at your booth on any given trade show day, but whom have you effectively reached? This is where digital marketing has an edge. You get to know your audience: where they live, how old they are and their gender identification. This helps you understand whom your market is and how you can better tailor your product to suit that segment.
But the market analytics isn’t the only convenience. Forget follow-up calls on leads and all of the tried and tested methods. Digital marketing provides tools to seamlessly continue talking to your leads, refresh your calls with a better understanding of the audience and also have the possibility to talk directly to those with the decision-making power. Strategy is no longer trial and error. You can design it based on solid data, information and proof of your tactical efficiency.
What’s more, exhibitions cost a lot of money. Official figures report over 25 billion dollars spent on optics, travel, logistics and all that trade shows entail. Many companies spend large portions of their budgets on these events, but don’t necessarily have the desired ROI. Networking may be the only advantage to attending marketing events. However, the pandemic, carbon footprints and high attendance costs render these occasions less appealing.