Demos Do It – Keeping it Fresh on the Floor

CES Trade Show Demo

This isn’t your grandma’s “wear comfortable shoes and bring business cards” post about a tradeshow floor! We’ve been logging some miles around the country recently, and have watched two very distinct scenarios unfold. One is an engaging booth that always seems to be full, and the other is the group that puts forth an effort, but can’t hold an audience.

The cause of the breakdown seems simple, but so many often miss it due to siloed thinking, or an inability to listen to their audience. What separates an average booth from a great experience at a tradeshow is the how the demo is done. The exhibitor that has a great booth understands the product just as well as he or she understands the audience and accommodates them accordingly. By asking questions of the attendees and then showing how the product seamlessly fits into their lifestyle or activity will make a fan (and a new customer!) faster than any slick video reel or tradeshow giveaway. Even better, converting a naysayer into a fan by proving how the product can fit into their life is one of the strongest testimonials a brand can get from a show floor.

So, while you’re prepping for your next show, make sure you understand your audience as well as you understand your product and be ready to modify your demo accordingly. And, of course, wear comfortable shoes and bring business cards…

Public Relations & ROI

While some public relations agencies shy away from correlating PR with return on investment, it’s a topic we relish in. Let’s not beat around the bush, virtually every brand hires a PR agency to help reach customers with the ultimate goal of having them purchase services or goods. So how can an agency attach a measurable, financial result to their work?

The most obvious way is to report the comparative advertising value for press coverage that has been generated. Essentially, how much would it cost a brand to advertise during a TV show or appear in a magazine, website or newspaper. The majority of PR agencies provide an inflated “PR value” which is generally three times the ad value. But let’s face it, that’s a fairly subjective measurement – what if the article was negative or if the incorrect URL was published? There is no doubt that PR coverage is typically more valuable than advertising, but we feel its best to provide clients with solid data rather than a debatable, inflated value for press coverage.

The question remains,  “what did a piece of coverage really mean to a client’s bottom line?”

Analyzing web analytics is an extremely useful way to directly correlate the ROI of media coverage. With analytic tools, not only are we able to measure the number of visitors that visited our client’s website but we also see how many of those visitors made a purchase decision. For example, we recently secured a placement on The Today Show and were able to view in real-time the number of visitors and purchases made throughout the morning as the segment aired in all time zones. Watching Google Analytics Real-Time Traffic Data is a guilty pleasure of ours – few things are as gratifying as watching thousands of new customers flood a client’s website!

By the end of the day the client sold thousands of units and was able to attribute all of those sales to our efforts (and to our good friends at The Today Show). Not to mention, all of those customers are now in the client’s database for direct marketing purposes and many have subscribed to their social channels, providing an opportunity to make them customers for life and transform them into brand advocates.

There are a number of ways to connect PR efforts with ROI, but it starts with the mindset of being accountable for sales and marketing goals. Generating mass media exposure is great, but producing tangible dollars from that exposure is ultimately what most brands are looking for.

Tapping into the Home & Housewares market

Americans spend nearly 5% of their income on furniture and household items each year[1]. With the median household income in the United States at $50,502[2] it would not be uncommon for a home to spend over $2,500 per year on household goods.

Competing for the household dollar is challenging and competition between manufacturers is fierce. Staying ahead of your competition with original and fresh products while ensuring those products receive prominence can be achieved with an effective PR and social media strategy.

It’s essential that your agency is using the correct tactics for the job and identifies the right contacts and media outlets. The popularity of social media platforms varies between demographics, so selecting the right platforms, specific to your targeted audience is essential.

For example, over two thirds of Pinterest users are female and aged 25-34. Over a quarter of Pinterest users have an annual household income of over $100,000. Needless to say, this is a prime social media channel to reach affluent buyers of home & housewares and should play an integral role in your strategy.

Using social media also allows customers to search for reviews in real time and most importantly, post their own. Potential customers are using social media to investigate a product before purchasing; they want to know the experiences of their peers with a similar lifestyle who use the product. They’re not only interested in their peers’ assessment of the product but are also looking for the unique way their peers interact with and utilize the product.  Consequently, monitoring your reviews is an essential practice and any negative reviews must be immediately addressed with a replacement or something else of value to the client.

Online communities encourage people to share their story and inspires collaboration. Customers offer peer-to-peer recommendations by illustrating how products improve their lives and encouraging others to make the same purchases. Customers with negative experiences use online communities to warn their peers about unreliable products and often express dissatisfaction and contempt and warn their peers to stay away from a particular product. Strategic and constant monitoring places you in a proactive position allowing you to address negative feedback directly and instantly.

Though there is no substitute for a world-class design team, social media should also be used to tap into the existing customer base and ask their input on how to enhance current products and which type of products should be produced during the next design cycle.

Gaining market share in the home & housewares space requires influencing key stakeholders: the media & the consumers. With an integrated PR & social media strategy, a capable agency will set a brand apart from the competition and capture more of the consumer’s household spend.


[2] 2011 Census.