Earlier this year, the most visible technology company in the world announced that it would no longer participate in what is the most prominent technology tradeshow in the world. Microsoft has cut its long-standing relationship with the Consumer Electronics Show. Imagine! The CES without Microsoft touting its next whiz-bang thing-a-ma-jig! What do they know?
Tradeshows have always been an iffy and expensive proposition…travel, shipping, increasingly exorbitant fees, the sales execs on expense accounts in fabulous hotels (ok…or not!). The higher a company’s profile, the more expectation is foisted upon it to be the biggest, the best and the baddest. For what?
It stops making sense to fly a team to far-flung destinations when here in Denver, social media’s immediate access already has the potential to produce several times more revenue than even the snazziest booth, the sexiest spokesmodels and the coolest giveaways.
Here’s what Frank Shaw, head of Microsoft’s corporate communications, had to say:
“Microsoft decided to downsize its role at CES because the company is looking at all the new ways we tell our consumer stories.”
Following Apple’s Lead?
Microsoft is not alone here. In fact, three years ago, always trailblazing Apple terminated its relationship with the major tradeshow dedicated to Apple products, the Macworld Conference & Expo. Incredible! At the time, Apple’s head of marketing Philip Schiller stated,
“Apple is reaching more people in more ways than ever before” and “trade shows have become a very minor part of how Apple reaches its customers”.
Inbound Marketing is for Everyone
Something’s happening here. Let’s make that clear, whether you’re inbound marketing Denver or Kathmandu. Inbound marketing is indeed the new trade show, and successful inbound marketing requires the same strategies that your company would have traditionally employed on the tradeshow circuit: Visual appeal, relevant and original information, timely opportunities to interact – and all at a fraction of the cost!
How does one capitalize on the strengths inherent to social media? Denver’s inbound marketing experts rely on many of the simple fundamentals they’ve already learned in…tradeshows! What’s that you say? You thought this was high-tech wizardry that only geeks trained in esoteric, magically mysterious marketing could produce? No!
Keep it simple in three easy steps:
Step 1: Your New Exhibit Booth – create an attractive website with interesting, informative, educational blog posts that solve your customers’ problems or answers one of their questions
Step 2: Your New Spokesmodel – create an attractive graphic at the end of the blog post that links to your offer
Step 3: Your New Hot Shot Salesperson – create a landing page for the offer with a short explanation of benefits and a short simple form.
That’s it. Try it. Inbound marketing in Denver and everywhere else. It works!
What are your thoughts? Do you agree that Inbound Marketing is the new Tradeshow? What else does Inbound Marketing do better (or worse) than traditional marketing?