Demand generation in a time of social distancing

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There is an old Latin proverb — “If there is no wind, row.”

As the COVID-19 virus sets in and we all hunker down, many businesses have realized they have to be their own wind. No one will create opportunities for them. If they want to succeed, they have no choice but to muster the will to make things happen.

Many of our clients’ tradeshows are being postponed, canceled or shifted to virtual-only. Their choice is simple — throw up their hands and say it is out of their control, or reallocate those dollars to have a meaningful impact.

There are strong business reasons to do the latter.

Events are essential drivers in a company’s sales and communication strategies, driving awareness, leads, sales, new product launches and press. According to SiriusDecisions 2019 B-to-B Buying Study, 23% of respondents attended a conference, trade show, forum or seminar. While events may be postponed, our clients were counting on the outputs from these events to meet their yearly goals.

A quick worksheet can help you quantify those outputs.

Loss Worksheet

Event Name
Expected # of Attendees
Expected # of Leads
Expected # of Sales
Press/Announcements
Planned Impressions
Speaker engagements
Money Saved: $
(Floor space, booth/graphics, labor, travel, entertainment, staff, resources)

After you’ve calculated what they would have been, why not start developing a plan to replace the opportunity with other approaches? Such a plan may include:

Creating New Thought Leadership

Many of those tough-to-nail-down subject matter experts at your company, or even outside your company, may finally have some time to be interviewed now. Let’s use the technology we already have in place to engage our audiences with their knowledge. Start by publishing relevant and timely communications — Q&As, video interviews, podcasts, etc. — to fill the gap of what they would have seen at your trade show exhibit and what they would have heard from your keynote speakers. Use an omnichannel approach to reach your audiences with this valued content.

Generate New Business Virtually

Need to fill the sales pipeline with leads? Offer one-on-one demos between your experts and would-be show attendees. Virtual meeting scheduling can automate this task and put your SMEs in front of your customers all over the world to engage in genuine 1:1 conversations. Use your social channels and event email lists to promote scheduling a demo.

Focus On Customer Retention

Trade shows are not all about new business — they offer the opportunity to personally meet with existing customers to strengthen brand loyalty and achieve other selling objectives as well (see table below). In the absence of shows, retention marketing campaigns focused on your existing customer base can fill this gap. The goal is to create repeat customers and increase both their frequency of purchase and the average order volume per purchase.

According to Bain & Company (in conjunction with Harvard Business School), a 5% increase in retention can improve profitability by as much as 55%. Similarly, utilizing reactivation campaigns can help deliver new messages to past customers who are no longer engaging with your products or service.

Now Is The Time To Row Together

Movéo is 100% operational and has the production capacity to support our clients. We may run off the cloud for now, but that doesn’t mean our head has been in it — we’ve invested significant resources over the last few years to ensure business continuity from both a process and technology standpoint.

We’ve always been nimble, and this enables us to pivot quickly on the dynamics of this marketplace change — including the rapid reallocation of funds and resources from in-person to digital, from old priorities to new.

Things have changed, but marketing is still about making smart investments in channels and tactics that customers are consuming at a growing rate. Movéo is both prepared and committed to helping our current clients and new ones adapt and deliver on marketing’s mission, virus or no virus.

Contact Movéo to develop a custom demand generation plan.

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