Got a Tradeshow? Don’t forget your Channel Marketing Initiatives!
Depending on the industry you are in, you most likely have a few large tradeshows per year that allow you to meet your current and future customers. For many businesses, this is a critical time to build a sales pipeline for the coming months (or even year). When these customers are part of a sales channel, make sure you highlight all of the channel marketing and sales support initiatives that the customer receives beyond the sale. This tells your customers that not only do you support what you are selling, you support their business in re-selling it - a potential differentiator from your competition!
We all know preparing for a tradeshow involves a lot of work, but here are a few simple things you can do to make sure the publicity of your channel marketing programs don't get swept under the rug.
Get Your Programs in Order. Planning on driving any new initiatives or programs for the year? The time to put these programs in place is pre-show, not post. This allows you to utilize your time to position awareness and highlight these initiatives while selling your product/services at your show - giving you a competitive edge.
Appoint a Stakeholder. Make sure this key individual reviews all new programs and opportunities with your channel marketing partners. Have this person highlight key initiatives provided by your company to the channel. Charge this individual with showcasing your channel marketing initiatives to support your conference or tradeshow.
Prepare Tradeshow Collateral. Provide handouts to validate your programs. Remember, many people scour the floor and read the handouts they receive when they return home. If you don't have this material, your marketing support differentiators may be forgotten.
Train Your Salesforce. Make sure everyone on the floor knows the programs and can speak to them fluently. This brings alignment between marketing and sales, and makes it much easier in helping your customer resonate with your post-show follow-up. With all the chaos leading up to the show, make sure your channel marketing initiatives are highlighted and visible - not an after-thought. By preparing adequately, proper PR can bolster results and help make your show a success.