Shows and Showrooms

If you were in the business of selling digital, mobile and social media marketing communications tools, which marketing channels might you use to sell those products?

The answer is not as obvious as you might think.

I was at a key marketing industry trade show recently, a place where the country’s marketing managers go to seek out new and better ways of communicating with their audience.

There was a time when such a show would have been crammed with design companies, Ad agencies, printers and promotions companies, but not these days. By far the greatest number of exhibitors were promoting their latest digital, mobile and social media marketing wizardry.

The irony of them choosing to do that at a traditional exhibition, face-to-face, was intriguing. The fact is that digital communication channels do many things well, and other things not at all.

For maintaining a dialogue with a mass audience of existing and prospective customers, nurturing their brand affinity and discussing products, they can be terrific.

But there’s a lot of traffic, so your message had better be interesting, and quick, if it’s to have any chance of getting noticed.

If, however, you need a bigger visual platform to catch a prospect’s attention, and time to explain and demonstrate the benefits of a complex product, there is not yet any satisfactory substitute for what we now call ‘facetime’.

The two other busiest areas of this particular marketing show covered exhibition stand services interactive in-store displays.

Digital communications undoubtedly have their uses, but shows and showrooms will be around for a while yet.

Robin Petherbridge