In my last blog post, I discussed the mindset necessary to be a successful marketer of radio frequency identification at the current stage of the technology's adoption life cycle (see The RFID Marketer's Mindset). Now, I will highlight some successful tactics I haveseen RFID companies use to find and sell to businesses most likely to invest in RFID technologies today. If you haven't yet read that blog entry, as well as my editorial Understanding the Decision to Adopt (or Not Adopt) RFID, I encourage you to do so before reading further.
Since RFID Journal LIVE! 2015—our major conference and exhibition, taking place in San Diego, Calif., on Apr. 15-17—is just around the corner, let's start with tactics at an RFID event. If you've decided to exhibit, you've made a smart move, as the existing and potential end users at the conference are clearly there because they are interested in deploying an RFID solution. These are your prime targets.
However, it's not enough to simply show up at an RFID event and put up your booth. If you haven't done a lot of advertising, end users don't know your company or what you offer, so they are unlikely to just stroll into your booth and write a check. What's more, an RFID event is likely to attract attendees from multiple industries. So you might offer a solution for, say, health care, and visitors from retail and manufacturing might wander in. They aren't the folks you want to talk to.
The solution? Preshow marketing!
The most important thing you can do to have a good event is to reach out to the attendees in your sector, tell them briefly how your solution can help their firm and invite them to your booth. Most events offer tools enabling you to do this. Attendees at LIVE!, for example, can view all companies sending representatives by visiting the event site's See Who's Coming page, and then log in at RFID Connect and search for those firms. They'll get a list of attendees and be able to e-mail them via RFID Connect. The few exhibitors that have done this in the last year or two report that they obtained more qualified leads at the event. (Many attendees use RFID Connect to request meetings with exhibitors and other attendees, showing they are serious about finding an RFID solution).
The e-mail you send to attendees should not look or read like spam. These individuals are, after all, seeking a solution to their problems, so if you have one, they will be eager to see you. It is important to tailor each e-mail to a specific company, so that it doesn't sound generic. The more personal the message, the more likely you are to get a response.
If you don't get a response, don't be disappointed. That person might make a note to stop by your booth, or might just stroll by and recognize your company name. He'll know what you do from your e-mail, so he might stop in.
Other preshow marketing strategies that have proved effective include sending e-mails to your prospect list, encouraging them to come see you if they are attending the event, issuing a press release about a new product being unveiled or a customer speaking at the event, and advertising on the event website, if possible.
The important thing is to understand that you must draw your best prospects into your booth for a conversation. And the way to do that is to be proactive during the weeks leading up to the event.