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How To Increase Market Share In Spite of Recession With Trade Shows

Feb 27, 2008
Recession is the buzz word in the headlines almost every day now. Certainly we have been through recessions before, and most of us have weathered the storms. How marketers view this time resolved itself in one of two ways. They can either enhance their company's cache of customers, or merely attempt to hold onto what they have.

When talk of a recession commenced last year, Wayne Hurlbert posted a blog dated February 28, 2007 - Recession Marketing - Winning Market Share. In it he shared this idea:

"Should there be an economic downturn, the prudent course of action is to see an opportunity where everyone else sees a crisis. One of those expansion opportunities is through increased market share.

While other business owners and managers enter into a contraction and retrenchment mode during a recession, the contrarian business person thinks in terms of expansion. When other businesses cut back on marketing and advertising, they are surrendering potential market share. There is no better opportunity to pick up new customers and increase your company's profile in the marketplace. When other organizations are cutting back, it's time to claim their abandoned market share."

These are wise words to companies who enjoy a solid marketing plan. And there are many companies who will proceed with deliberate action to capture a good market share.

Do you have a trade show in your plans?

If you have a scheduled show in the next few months, now is the time to go over every detail of just what you will be doing there. Naturally, there will be potential buyers who will pay their own expenses and come to the show to hear your sales presentation. Honor that commitment of time and money so that every visitor knows you are taking him seriously.

Bill Sell of Advisor Communications, a veteran of many marketing cycles, offers this advice for your show planning:

"2008 looks to be a somewhat slower market than the past couple of years - and this is actually when face-to-face marketing can make all of the difference. Customers are slowing down with their purchase planning and looking around more - and trade shows are ideal for this type of behavior. Exhibitors should focus on demonstrations in their booth, case studies showing results past customers are getting, and even have a few fact sheets or white papers to distribute. The trick is to become part of the customer's evaluation process, make it easier and faster for them, and not to go overboard on the extras.

Design exhibit booths to be functional and include a small conference table to have that deeper discussion opportunity. Focus on the basics of your product and spell these out with your graphics and signs. You need to help the attendee - the buyer - feel you understand their concerns for value and budget."

Utilize your tradeshow presence through other marketing devices that outreach to those who were not able to attend. Capture the theme of your show booth and extend it in various mail pieces, or email communications to let them know the value your product or service and what you have to offer them. Even in a tight economy a potential customer may be able to see the worth of your products or services and the value add to their business by coming onboard.

If there is to be a White Paper given out at the show, make sure non-attendees have it ready at their fingertips. These can be sent electronically or mailed with a note from you letting them know how much you value them and want to keep them in the communication loop. Make them feel that special, personal touch that includes them even though they were non-attendees.

Effective and comprehensive marketing communication can keep you in the forefront of the customer mind. So make sure to review your communications strategies that have worked for you in the past and consider new, experimental ones to implement today and in the future. Prospects always appreciate that your company considers their wants and needs paramount to your effectiveness.

Ask yourself: how does what I'm offering solve their problem and save them time and money? Answering that question can position you for additional sales.
About the Author
For 25 years Joyce McKee has helped companies succeed in the trade show and event world.
Keep up with the latest trends her new site at http://www.letstalktradeshows.com
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