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The Secret To Filling The Prospect Pipeline In 2008

Feb 27, 2008
The quest of filling the sales pipeline is of paramount importance for all companies.

B2B Magazine in their December 10, 2007 issue, the article - 'BtoB' survey finds marketers plan to increase budgets in 2008 shared this statistic:

"The primary marketing goal for 2008 is customer acquisition, cited by 62.4% of respondents, followed by brand awareness (19.3%), customer retention (11.7%) and other objectives (6.6%)."

In a recent conversation with Bill Sell of Pulver Media, we were talking about the 2008 trends in audience acquisition and events. He shared the following insights:

"2008 will see an increase in corporate marketing investments in two areas, both designed to make and maintain business relationships and gathering of sales leads. One is event marketing for their own events including road shows and customer or user group type of meetings.

Companies want to control their environment and a custom program is an excellent way to do that. Often these events include partner companies as well, with table top exhibits and conference sessions. They look just like a traditional trade show, but they allow for an extended relationship with customers and qualified prospects.

Another growth area is the virtual trade show - an all-online program with a series of conference sessions run as webinars, and a trade show floor displayed on your computer screen. Every attendee registers just like in a physical event and as the attendee clicks on various booths and information "desks" the exhibitor gets and sees their profile.

Since these events are scheduled for a specific day and time, exhibiting companies have their "booth staff" also online at the same time so attendees and booth staff can carry on an instant message chat session, just like they would have with a physical event. Literature is handed out as a quick download of a PDF file.

In the end the exhibitors get comparable numbers of attendee leads but have saved the costs of travel, exhibit structure set up and printing of materials. The much lower investment of marketing budgets and time will allow companies to actually take part in more events, but virtually."

Regarding this last point, I attended a show, eComExpo in October 2007. It was very interesting to go to these virtual booths and have conversation online with the various booth staff. Since trade show follow up is notoriously bad after a physical show. I was interested to see if the exhibitors would follow up with me.

Only one company followed up! Amy Fleming from, Options Media called. What a refreshing voice to hear. We talked about the services they offer - professional bulk emailing and the how large companies who mail over a million email might require their services. I shared that I was not a prospect for them, at this time. But I wanted to keep up with them over time. And to my delight, she called again to check on me and to see if there could be a project we could work on together.

Acquiring new customers takes time, interaction and follow up. Each one of these steps in important in building the trust between the two, so at the appropriate time the prospect can choose to become a customer.
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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