1. Vendor-Focused Trade Shows
There are only two reasons to attend a trade show: 1) to generate sales leads or 2) to close existing opportunities. Both goals are impossible to achieve if neither customers nor potential customers attend the trade show.
For example, I know a guy who spent $100,000 for a booth at a trade show and got only 132 “sales leads.” And all but 22 of those “leads” were people from other vendors who were looking for a new job.
- Smart strategy: Insist that every trade show investment be matched by a reasonable financial return, in the form of sales leads that eventually generate revenue. If you’re not confident the trade show will more than pay for itself, don’t attend.
2. Brand Awareness Campaigns
Your brand is important. However, unless you’re selling a mass-market consumer product and willing to spend many millions on advertising, it is your products and services that will create your brand–not your marketing activity.
The truth is that brochures, websites, videos, and advertisements aimed at raising “brand awareness” are usually a waste of money. There’s just too much “brand spam” floating around for anyone to take notice.
- Smart strategy: Set goals for and measure every marketing activity by whether (and how well) it creates sales leads or shortens the sales cycle. In other words, treat marketing activity as tactical, rather than strategic.
3. Bogus Market Research
Market research can give you an accurate snapshot of what your customers are thinking and feeling, providing that research is quantitative, statistically valid, and independent of a hidden agenda..
- Smart strategy: Rather than waste money on custom market research, compile and contrast publicly available data that’s gathered without a specific agenda–such as government statistics or market research aimed at a broader vendor audience.