IMC Intuition

Thinking out loud about all things IMC

The Truth About Trade Shows is That They Work – Is Your Plan Ready?

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SECO/WARWICK Corp. Booth at the 2015 ASM Heat Treat EXPO in Detroit

Trade show exhibitions always beg the management question – where is the return on investment?  Particularly when that investment grows into the 4, 5 and 6 figure category, trade show costs can be a considerable drain on company resources.

Here’s the bottom line:  People buy from people they know, like and trust and the best way to gain that trust is by meeting in person.  Your digital and direct marketing lay the foundation, but particularly with high dollar purchases, trust and credibility are the values that matter most.

I found a New York Times article by American Express Small Business that says it best: “according to the Center for Exhibit Industry Research, it costs 62% less to close a lead generated from a trade show than one originated in the field.”[1]

When trade shows are included in your overall business strategy, they can make a powerful addition to your bottom line.  Statistica[2] has published data that says that approx. 49% of trade show attendees plan on making purchases.  Is this an audience you can ignore?

Done well, trade shows are a priceless asset.  Trade shows with no plan, on the other hand, are hit and miss.  Can anyone afford that?  This is a perfect time to make sure your plan is in place.  Be sure your plan includes pre-show promotion and post show follow up.  If you have any questions about “how to”, let’s talk.

Links in this post:

[1] New York Times (includes a how-to on effective trade show planning) -, retrieved 12/8/2015

[2] Statistica, retreieved 12/8/2015


Written by Beth Ryan

December 31, 2015 at 9:32 pm

Digital Strategy 101 by Bud Caddell

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This says it all.  Loved the Brief and Tools at the end.  Brilliant!


In Contempt of Clutter

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Clutter is everywhere on the cyber landscape.  Everyone thinks they need a Facebook page, but they don’t know why, they have no plan for the daily attention it requires or measurement metrics in place.

In Gerry McGovern’s email this week, he muses about how marketing and communications people, educated to create content, end up creating a muddled mass of clutter for users to navigate.

Really, how much content is useful?  The most common question that people ask me is how to create content, how to expand into social media and how to budget for non-traditional marketing.  What they really want are tactics without a strategy because it looks good and after all, it’s free, isn’t it?

My answer is to ask more questions:

  • Who are your customers?
  • Who are your prospects?
  • Do you have profiles for them?
  • How big is your market?
  • Where are they located?
  • How old are they?
  • Male, female or both?
  • What are their values, attitudes and lifestyles?
  • Do you have a segmented database for customers, prospects, suspects?
  • What does success look like?
  • Do you use analytics?
  • Do you have your eye on operating systems, mobile and click maps?
  • What has worked well in the past?  More important, what has failed?
  • What are your customers and fans telling you about your inbound marketing compared with your competitors?
  • Have you analyzed your competitor’s inbound marketing?
  • What resources can you commit in terms of staff and budget?

You really have to know all of this before you can begin to create any type of  effective inbound marketing strategy.  If strict maintenance is included in the tactical management portion of the plan, clutter will be kept under control.  It takes research and thought but people really respond to a clean design that is easy to navigate where transactions can take place quickly.   They really hate it when you don’t, and that tarnishes your brand.

All it takes is a strategic integrated marketing plan.

Read Gerry’s post, he is a usability expert:




Google’s Rich Snippets

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Hubspot had a great blog post shared today on LinkedIn that was a primer on creating rich snippets.  I personally love how they render with such clarity due to their relative size and use of white space.

Check it out, a must read for anyone with an interest in SEO.  The article is entitled “How to Breathe New Life into Your Google Search Results with Rich Snippets”: 

Totally cool.  TGIF!


Hubspot, Inbound Marketing Software,

About Rich Snippets:

Google Rich Snippet Tool:


Content Marketing for Small Business – It Can Be Done

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A small business owner asked me recently how he can create a digital strategy, pick platforms and develop content.  Value, on any digital platform is built on content and even a small business with no budget or staff can build an affordable digital marketing plan.  The place to start is at the beginning, by understanding customer’s needs.

To build brand, the company must communicate those things that are remarkable about their company.  This, however, is a double-edged sword for most B-toB companies with complex products or services.

Provide too much information and risk losing competitive advantage because any content online is being analyzed by global competitors.  Provide too little information,  and risk losing that stealth customer who is looking at the website right now and not getting the answers they are looking for.

Think about each step of the buying process.  When making sales calls, what questions do customers ask?  What magazines are on their desk?  Are they using a Smartphone?  Write all of this down.

Talk to good customers.  Ask them what kind of information they want on the website; what will make their lives easier?  Can their Administrative Assistant access your website in less than a minute?  If they cannot, write it down, it’s an obstacle to sales.

Get Google Analytics and see what people are clicking on, it is the best way to know what’s working and what’s not.  How long does it take the pages to load?  Any broken links?  No links?  Anyone visiting the site on mobile?  Google will reveal if it is a Smartphone or tablet, model and operating system.  The Google Analytics package is free, but the information that you get is priceless.  It’s always a surprise.

The end result of this research is a list of content that needs to be added, improved and if it’s not performing, deleted.

Once the research is complete to find out what your Buyer needs are and where they hang out online, it’s time to create a prioritized content list and begin evaluating social media platforms.  This planning process will enable you to create a budget and timeline.  It can be done.


You don’t have to be a rock star guru to have a great experience in Google+

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What the Plus!  Google+ for the Rest of Us, Guy Kawasaki

Make the time to read this informative and entertaining book!

Last year Google shocked me when they announced that they were going retire iGoogle and replace it with Chrome.  I gasped.  I took a glancing look at Chrome and dutifully created a profile on Google plus, thinking all the while, “I don’t have time for this!”

More news.  If you or your organization want to be relevant in search, you need to be active in Google+.

What the Plus?

So, you can see  I had to buy Guy  Kawasaki’s book,  “What The Plus!  Google + For The Rest of Us.”  Yes, he’s the organic search guy, not your typical social media guy, but as he says Google+ is to social media what Apple is to computers, simply the best place for topics people are passionate about.

The book takes you through a light and humorous journey through Google+ with guest chapters for women and just regular users-you don’t have to be a rock star guru to have a great experience in Google+.

While you’re there – circle me!

Guy’s website –



Simply Brilliant – Olivari’s “One Year of Little” Campaign

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As a rule, I am not impressed with consumer product cause marketing programs, because the cause either doesn’t resonate with me personally, or connect to the brand specifically.  While couponing on Sunday, the Olivari “thanks.” headline caught my eye, and immediately drew me in.  It has it all:


"One Year of Little" Campaign from Olivari Mediterranean Olive Oil

Clipped from the Sunday, March 17, 2013 Erie Times NewsCampaign theme lends itself to multiple messages and platforms

  • One word headline
  • Engaging copy
  • Clear line of vision from the message that little things matter to the primary product attribute of quality
  • Direct response coupon in the Sunday paper
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • You Tube (videos went a bit far afield for my taste)
  • Visual website as hub

It’s all in there.  You can clearly see strategy, timeline and audience analysis.



Olivari Mediterranean Olive Oil website:

“One Year of Little” Social Media Campaign: