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5/7/2018 | 3 MINUTE READ

Leverage Technology to Turn NPE2018 Conversations into Qualified Leads

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Smart manufacturers will bring technology innovations from their manufacturing environments to their marketing programs post show.

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Walking the floor of NPE2018, you can feel the enthusiasm as new and increasingly advanced technologies steal the show. And conversations like Industry 4.0, the Internet of Things and Smart Factories remind us of why the plastics industry is so exciting and why this show is such a good one.

But what happens post-show? When the thrill is gone but the tradeshow bills are still coming in? What technologies will you leverage to turn your NPE investment into measurable ROI?

It’s technology that’s also behind today’s successful marketing programs. From small-to-medium businesses to Fortune 100 companies, a wide range of marketing automation software platforms offer solutions for virtually every budget. The goal: to enable marketing to play a vital role in driving organic growth—beginning with the people whose contact information you’re gathering today.

Letting tradeshow leads expire is an issue we all wrestle with. The sales team identifies and eagerly pursues the most promising prospects while the remaining contacts—representing the vast majority of the names you’ve collected—are identified as follow-up opportunities. And let’s be honest, when we send out a post-show, round-up communication, it all too often turns into a futile attempt at inbound marketing. It becomes that ongoing stream of unwanted emails that clog the arteries of our potential customers’ inboxes and are just one step shy of abandonment.

With technology, there is a smarter way.

Start with a marketing automation platform that enables you to manage your database, cultivate leads, simplify the lead generation process, and gather marketing intelligence and insights. This will enable you to learn more about the customer buying journey and what your prospects are looking for so you can personalize your communications and reach them at multiple touch points throughout the sales cycle.

You can start by sending a simple follow-up email that sets the stage for a more strategic email drip campaign, identifying which leads are interested, what their interests are, and how to segment your database moving forward. Separating those contacts who are only marginally interested (and need more nurturing) from those who are closer to transacting enables you to do two critical things. One: create more personalized content based on audience behaviors, testing A/B messaging and providing pathways to relevant, meaningful content for those who need to learn more. Two: deliver qualified leads to your sales organization based on a customized lead-scoring system.

Next, you can follow up your email with a multichannel lead generation and nurturing campaign that leverages digital marketing technologies to keep your company top-of-mind. These marketing automation platforms will allow you to automatically (and efficiently) move prospects through the sales funnel based on their level of interest and engagement, as seen in their behavior. Other ways to nurture leads can be done by utilizing Google Ads or social media platforms like LinkedIn that now allow you to upload email databases to target ads specifically to your contacts.

Finally, make sure your website is a dynamic marketing hub for your program. Optimize it for organic search, make sure it is designed to be viewed across all mobile devices and screen sizes, and use it to reinforce the messages and technologies you are sharing at the show. Embed retargeting codes that enable Google to remarket your visitors with display banner ads after they leave your site. This will provide additional touch points, staying in front of them when they visit other web pages, enticing them to come back and learn more.

Yes, it’s a technology-driven world. The smart manufacturers will be those who bring technology innovations from their manufacturing environments to their marketing programs. These are the ones who will lead the way to new growth and marketing ROI, who will make sure they aren’t outfoxed by digital marketing innovators and who will turn today’s NPE conversations into tomorrow’s customers.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Trefoil Group Founder & CEO Mary Scheibel has more than 25 years of strategic, multi-channel marketing communications experience – with expertise in helping companies develop results-driven communications programs. She holds deep plastics industry knowledge having worked with companies for years across the supply chain. Contact Mary at mscheibel@trefoilgroup.com, or visit www.trefoilgroup.com.

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