Infocational Support Marketing in the Global Exhibition Industry
The Actual Marketing Situation
The marketing game has changed significantly. Fortunately most of our competitors did not really understand this paradigm shift until now.
The reality is that the internet has transformed the buying and order process. For consumers and business people. Worldwide. Your prospects actively hunt online for solutions to their business problems. Of course also for new suppliers to build their next trade show booth. They are better informed and more educated about exhibition stands than ever before.
Today, your role as a marketer and sales man is similar to a publisher. You must produce and deliver valuable and easy readable content when and where your prospects need and require it. What works is focusing on your prospects problems and desires. What fails is force-feeding facts and messages about your services.
All it takes is simple change in your perspective on prospects to position yourself as an exhibition industry authority, deliver higher returns on your marketing investments, and reach larger audiences with less effort.
If you want your marketing to deliver different, better, and more sustainable results, you must be willing to do something different.
Are you ready for this?
How to Make Exhibitors Come to You
There is a misconception in service businesses that your marketing’s most important function is to promote what you do, or in other words, your contracting services. We hear dozens of tradeshow contractor executives answer the question “What differentiates you from your competitors?” with “Our designs and services, of course.” Some have superior workshops or more beautiful rental furniture and more creative stand designs, and a few have the willingness to take risks and provide very creative services to exhibiting clients.
But the fact is; high-quality services are available at most of your competitors. Marketing should not just promote what you do; the most important function of your marketing should be to establish that you are knowledgeable, capable and can be trusted.
Most people don’t do business with people they don’t trust, especially when it comes to buying any kind of services. When they order your exhibition services they are, in fact, buying the talents, skills, and personalities of YOU or your team of professionals.
Even if you have the lowest prices, if your prospect doesn’t trust you, it will be difficult to win him as a new client and “close the sale.”
Sell or infocate ..???
You have two choices when you select a marketing message. You can choose selling based marketing, in which you take on the role of a salesperson and deliver a sales message.
Or you can choose Infocational Support Marketing (”Infocation” stands for information + education), in which you take on the role of a consultant and inform and educate prospective clients about their problems and the solutions you can provide. Selling-based marketing is built around a sales message, sometimes called a sales pitch. The sales pitch is often delivered using methods that reach out to prospective customers, such as telephone selling, direct mail, and door-to-door sales.
Infocational Support Marketing is built around an educational and informing message, which replaces the sales message. This infocational message is commonly delivered to prospective clients through educational means. These include written materials, media publicity (articles and interviews), advertising, seminars and webinars, newsletters, audio messages and video clips, and Internet websites.
Frankly, you can infocate your prospective clients using any method through which they can properly receive your information and advice.
To enforce this infocational strategy we suggest adding an additional supportive service to your core “stand design & construction” proposal. This add-on should be in close relation with your main service and must be unique as well as helpful and valuable to the exhibitor but it will be different from country to country and depend on the type of exhibitor clients.
Infocational Support Marketing is a powerful marketing strategy that establishes trust and credibility using educational messages combine with unique, valuable add-on support. It is the direct opposite of traditional marketing, which uses selling-based messages.
People are tired of hearing worn-out, old sales pitches. All over the world. Barriers shoot up the moment you begin delivering a sales pitch. In contrast, people sit up and listen when you share important facts and expert information that help them make a good buying decision.
One fundamental difference between infocational support marketing and selling-based marketing is the issue of control. Selling-based marketing tries to wrest control away from the prospect. Then, through key questions, the salesperson dominates and manipulates the prospect until the prospect makes the desired commitment.
Infocational support marketing does the opposite. It gives up any attempt to control the prospect. Instead, you help your prospect understand his problem through education and solid information and solve his problem through services. You always make sure your prospect knows that the decision to hire you is his — and that he is always in control.
Infocational support marketing treats prospects the way you and I like to be treated, with dignity and respect.
For more details and a better understanding of the important differences you can request here a free download link for the complete comprehensive White Paper “Successful Infocational Support Marketing“.