PleaseTech blog

We aim to provide useful, pertinent and sometimes fun insights into the world of document collaboration and the workings of a technology company

The PleaseTech exhibition booth guide…we tried, we tested, we concluded…

Posted by Sarah Edmonds on 29. April 2014 10:23

The other half of marketing... Google


By the end of this year, PleaseTech will have exhibited at 13 conferences across the US and UK.  The eternal question we ask ourselves is, “is our booth working as well as possible?  Are the messages still correct, is the stand eye catching, is there anything we can improve?”

Budget is always a key factor, and making changes to a perfectly good stand is hard to justify, but recently the decision was made for us when the x-banner started to look faded and the panels on the table top started to break.

So it was with great excitement (well for the marketing department) that we embarked on a project to research new ideas for our stand.  We looked at everything from booths with in-built TV monitors, projectors to ping images of live demos, and other clever gizmos.

And there are so many options out there; most of them costing way more than their anticipated ROI.  However, what these sales promotion companies fail to consider time and time again, is how the average business is supposed to ship these exhibition booths and all the equipment that goes with them, from both a cost and logistics point of view?

Go to any show, and you’ll generally find one or two people manning a booth.  Unless they work for a really big company, those manning the booth are responsible for the set up and break down of all the kit.   

Big organizations employ companies to take care of this for them, but for businesses such as ourselves, once the conference is over, you’ll find our colleagues dragging the booth kit to the nearest UPS store for shipping back to our US storage facility.  And there’s a limit to how much you can drag or carry, not to mention how much you want to spend on shipping costs…

So where did we end up?  We’re currently re-doing our table top display to reflect new messaging and we’ve bought some nifty iPad stands to enable us to conduct surveys when we’re at shows (a brilliant way to collect data, which we then turn into content and distribute across our social media sites).  A new 22” TV has been purchased, which sits on a round cocktail table and enables us to run our new sales demo movie (if you haven’t seen it, please watch it here).

But the booth is only part of the story. A major factor for us is our use of cartoons.  We use these to bring to life what PleaseReview does, why people might use it and what it can do for them.  Our experience shows that the people who visit our stand genuinely resonate with the scenarios our cartoons depict (email chaos sound familiar, multiple copies of marked up documents?!).   We give away postcards of our cartoons and they are hugely successful in drawing interest and questions about what we do.  We also have a cartoon website, have a look at it here. 

So all of this combined, along with pre-show mailings to conference attendees, cross partner promotions and a great attitude from our booth staff means we’re pretty pleased with how well our booth now functions.  You can see it in operation at the next show, APMP in Chicago, followed by ABA in New Orleans and DIA in San Diego.

Of course, we’re always looking for new ideas…

 

Why does PleaseTech use social media as part of its B2B marketing strategy?

Posted by PleaseTech Guest on 1. August 2013 15:52

Our guest blogger is...


Mary Thomas is a social media advisor to PleaseTech.  She is the founder of Concise Training and the author of ‘Social Media Made Simple’.

The first question we must address is ‘what is social media’? It’s one of those phrases which means different things to different people. A teenager may think of it as Facebook whereas a business professional may think of it as LinkedIn.  As a social media professional, I think of it as a way of engaging with a large number of people in a cost effective and time efficient way.

From a business perspective, it’s another marketing channel and within this social media channel, there are many individual channels which include some of the more famous ‘social networking’ tools as well as other channels that might not automatically spring to mind.  These include Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google +, blogs, video, forums, eBooks / E-articles, image sharing tools, email newsletters, FourSquare, Groupon and QR Codes.  

As a business with a specific target market, PleaseTech, for example, knows that not all of these tools are appropriate to its business and has taken a strategic approach to which channels best support its messaging to the target market and thus its overall marketing and sales activity.  Based on audience, time, resources and content, PleaseTech has picked which of these channels most effectively brings ‘to life’ its flagship product, PleaseReview, and which best supports its communications with stakeholders.  

For example, its YouTube channel (PleaseTechLtd) features an animated movie detailing the problems organizations face when trying to get large teams of people to effectively collaborate, author and review documents. YouTube is an efficient distribution mechanism which is widely understood and accepted, therefore allowing PleaseTech to easily communicate its key messages and product information in an easily digestible format to a large audience.

We all absorb information in different ways and that’s the beauty of social media, that information can be communicated visually, verbally or via the written word.  

Talking about the written word, you are currently reading PleaseTech’s brand new blog, which is beginning to build up a wealth of content through interesting articles on a variety of subjects - such as this one.  This is not entirely altruistic as the objective is to have an active blog which is part of search engine optimization and which, in turn, will increase PleaseTech’s chances of being found by search engines and becoming known as an expert in their field.  Although, in retrospect, if this is the objective it may be better to concentrate on articles on document review rather than social media!  

Building up such content is ‘content marketing’. But what exactly is content marketing? It’s a marketing technique of creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a target audience.  By giving away useful information, businesses become the ‘place to go for information’.  As the brand of the business is developed, it becomes the ‘place of choice to do business with’.  In the old days, content marketing was the advert in the trade magazine which you sent off to get a white paper. Now it’s as simple as having valuable content accessible via your website, blog, etc.  

It’s important to differentiate content marketing to relationship marketing.  If you go to any face to face networking meeting, it is clear that even in the B2B world, many people will select businesses based on relationships.

If you ‘like’ somebody or a brand, you are more likely to trust them and do business with them.  The major brands use social media extensively to convey their ‘values’ and thus try and gain your support for the brand.  

In a B2B context,  it can be used to develop and build relationships with people that you know and more importantly, people you don’t know. PleaseTech is a classic example of a business which has an ‘electronic’ relationship with a great many of its clients. The relationship with such clients and prospective clients encompasses all means of communication, including this blog.

For PleaseTech, many face to face meetings take place at conferences and exhibitions across the US and Europe, but ‘touching’ people before they meet, whether that’s via a newsletter, Twitter, Google + or LinkedIn, and then, for example, supplying them with literature that allows them to scan a QR code, taking them directly to the www.pleasetech.com website, helps to build and nurture both new and existing relationships.  

All this takes both time and thought; it doesn’t just happen by accident. It’s all about strategy, resources, content, tools, audience, aims, review and measurement.  Combine these effectively and your social media will support your business goals.

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