Trade fairs are increasingly connecting the digital and the real world. Henric Uherek, Coordinator Messe Frankfurt, explains the challenges that this development poses for exhibitors and trade fair organizers and what’s up next for digital trade fair marketing in 2017 and beyond.
Artificial intelligence (AI) may sound scary at first. It conjures up images of robots that outpace us intellectually and eventually dominate us. But we actually come into contact with AI on a daily basis. And we are increasingly gaining an appreciation of the convenience it provides. So how can we take advantage of intelligent self-learning systems in marketing?
Predictive analytics promise to help us predict the future – a capability that has always fascinated mankind. In the world of marketing, data analysis that enables forecasts of the future, would be a powerful instrument for using budgets in a targeted way and optimizing the success of campaigns and measures.
Digital Marketing is transforming the tools of traditional trade fair marketing. This results in more multimedia and mobile applications. Jan Kluge, Coordinator of Online Sales at Messe Frankfurt, explains which marketing services the trade fair provides to trade fair exhibitors and how the marketing mix of organizers and exhibitors is changing due to digitalization.
According to a study on trade fair communication, social media hardly played a role in trade fair success until a few years ago. Today, Facebook channels of trade fairs like Heimtextil are clearly demonstrating that social networks have become indispensable service, advertising and communication platforms for networking with one’s community and make target groups aware of one’s trade fair presence.
Digital marketing is booming. Nevertheless, “analogue” face-to-face contact at trade fairs is irreplaceable. For many exhibitors, trade fair visitors consist almost entirely of their most important target groups. Nowhere else do they have such a concentrated opportunity to reach prospects, customers, partners or suppliers. In addition to this, trade fair stands provide an opportunity to present products, position oneself as a competent trusted provider and employer, and answer questions in detail. It is not rare for projects and large orders to be acquired in this way. Nevertheless, the success of a trade fair can be increased considerably using digital marketing measures. What can exhibitors do in preparation to increase the number of visitors to their stand?
Face to face contact with visitors is made at the trade fair stand, but digital marketing tools such as digital lead generation systems or mobile technologies like augmented and virtual reality (AR/VR) are opening up new opportunities to extend trade fair stands into the digital world and provide visitors with an emotional and direct experience of one’s own company and product world.
The idea of the customer journey is hardly new: Getting to know each customer individually from the first contact and then accompanying them, responding to their interests and fulfilling their wishes. However, it is gaining new meaning due to the variety of data sources available to marketers today. Bernd Wagner, Regional Vice President Salesforce Marketing Cloud, explains how data-driven marketing works and how companies can gain a 360-degree view of their customers.
How can companies accompany their customers at every touch point, whether digital or analogue? Where do our customers come into contact with our company, our brand and our products? These touch points can best be sketched out on a map. The customer journey map is used to depict the entire customer experience from the very first contact to the long-term customer relationship. What is required for this?
Trade fairs are inherently primary touch points between companies and their customers. But as an organizer, Messe Frankfurt itself has a variety of analogue and digital touch points with different target groups, which are outlined here as examples for the personas exhibitors and visitors.