Forcing content channel consumption is less of an option for sophisticated B2B marketers. Leverage lessons from tradeshows more broadly.
The primary reason tradeshows are so effective for complex B2B solution companies is the reduction (to use a cooking analogy) of the marketing funnel. A booth attracts and segments, staff qualify leads, and sales can immediately empathize and orient on the nuanced client issues. The process is made much richer and more potent with trained staff and delivery of a brand experience. But why?
One reason is the high degree of control and power afforded the visitor. She makes choices at her leisure (eg. entering the booth, watching presentations, taking literature, asking questions, leaving, or finalizing a solution).
The exhibitor has the resources in a single place to cater to all these visitor choices, amplifying the power of these choices. For B2B client visitors, this state of control is essential for them to effectively gauge the probable impact on their end clients and business.
For this reason, control is a precious B2B client state. It’s very tricky for marketers to deliver effectively, much less impart in other scalable marketing channels.
The problem is, no matter the value of the brand content generated, the precious aspect of control available at a trade fair booth cannot be replicated. Namely, the ability for prospects to control how they engage the best resource, in their physical space, to match a desired level of engagement, at an appropriate depth of information, required at a moment in time.
Every piece of scalable content (ebooks, blogs, videos, webinars) dictates how a user consumes it – this is partially why creators dumb down blogs and presentations. Easy absorption overcomes the lack of control. But then, by definition, we leave out compelling detail that might bore 9/10 readers – but would be perfect to convert 1 potential lead.
Enter the idea of creating a virtual space. To be clear, we’re not referring to a virtual exhibition stands. While extremely useful, they conform to physical dimensions that may not optimize for a virtual experience.
A virtual space crafted to return the control of the experience to the visitor, but in a scalable form.
Quick Case Studies:
A SaaS company offers a backend solution for a digital customer journey. They Replicate the end user experience as a virtual experience. Take the path of client data with and without the company’s solution, side by side, hover over options, prompt success stories along the path driven by a prospect.
The adhesives company has a portfolio of adhesives applied to different products. Help client companies orient on the solutions by replicating the effect on user of the products with their adhesives applied. Windows with sticky notes, bottle labels on a shelf, and a house with woodwork can all highlight the properties of the adhesive used to satisfy the end client.
The Telco Business Support Services (BSS) Company offers “transformative” billing, order management, and customer service solutions. Create a transformative journey for every client – walk the path of a unified billing solution to see exactly where the benefits jump out. Show a “go to market” strategy that is expedited as the user selects a solution.
By placing a B2B client in a branded space, you can return the aspect of control and power for them to effectively discover the ultimate benefit to their customers. As an ultimate goal, this should be #1 for a simple reason: if they can control the benefit to the end-user, the benefit to the corporate client is guaranteed.