Trade Show Workshop Secrets

Trade show workshopI am presenting a Trade Show Workshop created to help Sales and Marketing Professionals exhibit at a trade show with the best sales results called “Trade Shows: Secrets for Sales and Marketing Professionals” on Saturday January 9, 2016 from 9:30 – 11:30 am at the lower level conference room at the Braewick Professional Buildings, 2108 Braewick Circle, Akron.

If you are responsible for your company’s trade show activities and are local to Northeast Ohio, you may want to learn more about this workshop.

Attending a trade show can bring positive results, new contacts, added customers and increased market share for a company. Exhibiting at a trade show can be intimidating, expensive and a bit overwhelming. This workshop will guide sales and marketing professionals to confidently achieve their best trade show results.

In this workshop, marketing and sales professionals will learn:

  • How to cost effectively create an inviting atmosphere for their exhibit
  • How to leverage the existing materials to multiply your marketing effectiveness
  • How to use 3 of the highest impact tools of the show that are available to everyone, but exhibitors rarely use them
  • How to smoothly introduce yourself, your company, and your new products to attract new customers

Trade Show Workshop

Attendees will find that they’ll be able to attract, influence, persuade, connect, and ultimately convert that prospect into a customer.

The trade show workshop includes a workbook with frequently asked exhibitor questions, a trade show attack plan and a checklist.

I feel so strongly about this, I’ve created some powerful tools to help trade show exhibitors. In my book, SIMPLE STEPS, BIG RESULTS, I devote a whole chapter to Trade Shows. And now I’ve pulled out part of that chapter and developed a workbook to pair it with this two-hour trade show workshop where I will share all the secrets of a successful show.

Whether your goal is to introduce a new product, connect with potential customers or simply reconnect with existing customers… this workshop will help you to confidently have your best trade show.

Space is limited. Click here to sign up before the end of the year to get a 15% early bird discount.

Pantone’s 2016 Color of the Year

As a marketing professional, I like to follow trends and color is certainly important in marketing. So I subscribe to Pantone’s email and look forward to learning about their new color announcement each year.

This past week the 2016 color of the year is actually two versions of blue and pink:

Pantone color of the year 2016

First impressions for me revolve around a baby’s room. Then I remembered back to the colors of the 70’s when dusty rose and cornflower blue seemed to be everywhere.

The color is certainly not as vibrant as the teals and florescents … or even the emerald shades that have been selected in other years. Whether you like it or not, you should be aware of it in the selection of your marketing colors.

You need to be aware of color trends in many situations: If you are adding skus to your product line If your product is needs to coordinate with other products as an accent. If you’re developing websites and need to be on trend. If you’re reviving your brand and updating the colors for a fresher more contemporary look.

Other articles about colors:

Your thoughts? Please leave a comment below.

Preparing Your 2016 Marketing Plan

2016 marketing planHave you been keeping up with your 2015 marketing program?

Perhaps your plan called for posting weekly in social media for your company and sending out a press release quarterly.

Are you on track with the plan… or did it get derailed?

I’ve seen companies put together a very aggressive marketing program at the beginning of the year with many trade shows, print ads, keynote speaking engagements, and other expensive or time intensive tactics.

Much like many January New Year’s resolutions, those over-achieving plans can get derailed when reality of the day-to-day, month-to-month workloads take hold.

And just like those resolutions, you shouldn’t just throw in the towel because things haven’t worked out the way you wanted them to. Now is the time to take stock of your 2015 marketing plans, get done what you can for 2015 and update your plan for 2016.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • What worked? What didn’t get done but would have worked?
  • Do you need to have your 2016 marketing budget set? Now is the time to get quotes and estimates for next year.
  • Does your 2015 marketing budget disappear if you don’t use it? Don’t waste the opportunity to get your business off to a strong start in the New Year.

Take time today to review the 2015 plan. Look for the activities that will set you up for a strong 2016.

Preparation now will provide rewards down the road.

Minorities are Becoming the Majority of the United States Demographics

Photos courtesy
Photos courtesy

Here’s a riddle.  When is the minority, the majority?

I’ve written about the boomers as the huge demographic impacting the US consumer spending.

For many years, the focus of many consumer marketers was on the baby boomer generation.

Don’t get me wrong, there still is a huge buying group of boomers, but now it’s definitely time to shift focus to the millennials… and the group that is actually younger than the millennials!

The boomers (born around 1950 to 1965) are retiring at the rate of something like 10,000 people a day. And millennials, also known as the internet generation, are coming into the workforce and making a huge impact. But it is the next generation that are really changing the face of the U.S. Demographics.

Yes while the “Millennials” are a huge demographic.  Born in the 1980’s/90’s and 2000’s they are the internet generation. And it’s the partly the millennials, and also the next generation that are becoming the new majority demographic.  The majority this group are minorities.

Minority groups account for 50.2 percent of U.S. residents age 5 and under, 47.8 percent under the age of 20 and 46.4 percent under the age of 30.

In contrast, only 23 percent of those age 60 or older are from minority groups.

This may seem obvious to some people, but I continue to see very few minorities represented in many of the major consumer brand advertising and marketing.  When you look at demographics in the US, this shift is something that marketers must do more than just consider when selecting photos for websites, brochures and casting for videos.

The descriptions of minority and majority will blur for marketers with regards to the United States Demographics.

The answer to the riddle is the melting pot: The minority is the majority if your target market’s birthday falls after 2010!

I’m not really sure what this group of people will be called yet. Generation Z?  (I’ve heard “Homeland generation” but I don’t think that name is going to stick. ) Maybe this group seems a little young to worry about this now, but the time to look at your marketing is now!

So if you’re promoting a consumer brand, particularly if it’s a consumer brand focused on American under 30 years old, take a good hard look at your marketing visuals.

Do the visuals reflect the changes in the US Demographics and the marketplace?

What Does Your Meta Description Say About Your Company?

If you are a marketing professional in charge of the branding and marketing messages for your company, you’re probably acutely aware what your meta description says about your company.

You probably argued various versions with the “powers that be” and cajoled them into selecting a message that resonates with clear, compelling and memorable words.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Uh-Oh! Better go “google” a key phrase for your business and take a look.

Below is a screen capture of some meta descriptions. I’ve googled the phrase “chris brown marketing” and circled the meta descriptions in red to show you what I mean.

Google Your Meta Description

I’m talking about the 2 lines of copy that describes the webpage that was returned in the search results.

It’s the verbage that people read to decide if they should click on it or not.

I’ve also found that it can be very revealing for marketing positioning and when starting a online competitive review for a new client, I often start with a quick look at the competitor’s meta descriptions.

Don’t get me wrong. The title shown in blue, is very VERY important. You’ve probably set it up as the main keywords for your business… and for your business website, it’s probably your business name. But the title beyond the title is the meta description.

For the home page of a company it’s often what you’d want people to think and say about your company. Certainly what you’d want to tell them to get them to come visit your website.

Usually they only see these words when they search for information. But if you don’t conscientiously add a meta description, it automatically picks up the first 70 characters or so of the content on that page.

I recently tried it for “universities in Ohio” in preparation for a speech, I will be giving about creating positioning in branding for universities.

As you know, It’s a very difficult task to change the branding of a university. Alumni have strong feelings. Current students and faculty do too. And it’s often the potential students and their parents that are most strongly considered when the goal is to increase enrollment. However if the goal is to increase donations to improve the endowment, the positioning may be different.

Take a look at this 2 page PDF of the meta descriptions from universities in Ohio. Many of the descriptions are what you would expect, however as a marketer, I find it eye opening.

  • the use of the word “best” or “top”
  • Did one university forget completely about the meta description being a key online marketing media… and let the programmer write the description?
  • Maybe the cheering squad at the football game wrote one of the descriptions?
  • the role one university will play in about 12 months in the USA political election?
  • One university’s focus is the jobs it brings to their region

I’ve said it before. You can try to create your own brand positioning… but if you’re off target, you’ll find that the public will create the position without you. It’s hard to know what to keep and what to throw out.

So if you are a branding and marketing professional, your mini marketing homework for today is to check out your company’s meta description. Is that what you want it to say? Does it speak to existing employees? Potential customers? Or was it written by the programmer and says something like “don’t forget to enter the meta description here.” (Don’t laugh, I’ve seen something similar!)