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April 29, 2005

Brain Dump

My aggregator is clogging up with stuff I'd been meaning to comment on over here.  So following are some thoughts on five interesting posts from earlier this year that I didn't get around to:

1. GodinNo shortcuts.  We have more tools to market our shows with than we did a dozen years ago.  But make no mistake, marketing is more difficult than ever.  There are more choices for relevant content, more ways to receive it and more willingness to tune out marketing messages. 

Attendance is no longer built by simply acquiring mailing lists or doing more ad barters.  It is built on a combination of messaging and relationships.  Every message needs to have viral appeal, even if you never intended on doing a viral campaign.  It's about "Hey Bill, look at this!", which can be an ad, a mailer, an email or whatever.  Doesn't have to be an expensive Flash presentation.

Successful attendance campaigns are built on a series of incremental gains.  The fat snails are under the rocks.  Which means you'll have to get your hands dirty and lift.

2. Church of the Customer: Creating Customer Evangelists (pdf)

(Via Brand Autopsy).  Six steps to getting your customers to happily do word-of-mouth-marketing for you.  Of course the first step is create a GREAT product experience.  Otherwise you're wasting your time. 

All the more reason for marketing to be involved in every facet of show development: conference content, speaker recommendations, operations (those internet kiosks better fly and the food better be good, etc. etc. if you're aiming for a GREAT experience).

If your show is sales-driven or operations-driven, someone will come along and start eating away at you.  The only way to create a higher barrier to competition is to be marketing-driven.  When the competitive going gets tough, only the marketing-driven organization will have a customer base willing to cut you a break.  Once.  But that one more break than the alternatives.

3. Dana VanDen HeuvelEverything Is Built on Expectations.

Or more appropriately, "How to Keep Your Job".  Dana's post has less to do with marketing a specific event than it does surviving in your organization (unless you're the top person, natch). 

Personally I abhor this stuff.  Especially the "how".  The "how" is usually obvious to me but not to everyone else.  But I was never the best at spelling it out.  If it weren't for the fact that I make people enough money so they're willing to put up with me when I inevitably start doing my own thing, I be working aisle 9 at HomeDepot about now.

So I have to remind myself of the things on this list.  Maybe it comes naturally to you, but I thought I'd share anyway.

4. BrandAutopsy: 13 Rules for More Effective Advertising

This one is from all the way back in January.  Don't know why I didn't get around to it.  All 13 rules make complete sense.  No further comment needed.

5. Brand Mantra: Space for Change

Jennifer lists her top 25 of 43 suggestions from Bruce Mau's "Incomplete Manifesto for Growth"

Another one from back in January when I was too busy to post.  Mau has compiled a terrific list on which to build a career and a company. 

I've practiced 24 of these tips in one way or another most of my career.  But Process (#3) has been a bugaboo.  Never liked it until we started the coffee shop last year.  Now I understand.  Even your weakest people have to provide a terrific experience.  And you only get that by instilling the importance of process.

I still embrance the other 24 daily (or at least when I have the time).  Although lately I might have become too enamored of #25, which isn't always as beneficial as Mau thinks.

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I still have a boatload of stuff on copywriting from Nick Usborne and Bob Bly that I'll hold for now.  A lot of the other posts I've held are now past their usefulness date.

Will be out at Coverings all next week so posts may get even spottier than they've been past few weeks.

10:35 PM in Trade Show Marketing | Permalink

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