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When shopping in a Whole Foods or a nearby competitor grocery store, your phone may have buzzed with Whole Foods offers and promotions tailored to your locale. The reason? Virtual fences. Set up at their stores and those of competitors, these location-based barriers enable a more targeted customer experience — and with a 4.69% post-tap conversion rate (more than 3 times the industry average), it’s safe to say the campaign has been a success.
While geofencing has proven to be a powerful marketing tool in the retail space, the use cases have only expanded in recent years with the opportunity to target people by specific criteria, in a specific location (what’s known as geotargeting).
Case in point: trade shows. Considering that 82% of trade show attendees have purchasing authority, the ability to get personalized messaging in front of these people — in a time when industry-based products and services are top of mind — is ideal.
Here are examples of geotargeting in practice at various stages to boost trade show ROI.
While some attendees at a trade show may already be familiar with your products and services (and even be customers), others are hearing about and meeting you for the first time. Wouldn’t it be nice if this introduction could happen before the event started? Geotargeting supports this.
Let’s set the scene: It’s the first day of a healthcare packaging trade show. While getting ready or having a cup of coffee at the hotel where the event is being held, they see a Google display ad on their smartphone for your business — a designer and manufacturer of custom medical cases. Sparking their interest, they click the ad and are taken to a landing page that introduces your packaging services, showcases examples of your work, and shares helpful resources.
Aside from the brand awareness this type of marketing generates among trade show attendees, it also creates an avenue for them to have more meaningful conversations with you at the event.
On paper, the fact that the average trade show attendee spends 8.3 hours viewing exhibits seems to bode well for foot traffic at every booth. But that’s not always the case. Whether it’s the number of exhibitors at a larger event or a less-coveted spot on smaller trade show floors, not all attendees may find their way to you — including those who could be the most qualified leads.
While a strong booth design is a part of what gets you this face-to-face time with viable prospects, geotargeting can build on these efforts.
Let’s set a new scene: As an exhibitor at a lab asset and facility management trade show, a freezer temperature monitoring company is offering a product demo on the hour, every hour. Running geofencing ads to a specified audience can further promote this interactive part of the booth to entice trade show attendees to pay a visit. On Facebook, you can set up location targeting by address or zip code to reach people attending the event.
The more foot traffic you can drive to your booth trade show, the more opportunities you have to dish out business cards, yes — but also generate digital leads in real time whom you can continue to market to. This provides a nice segway to the next phase in boosting your trade show ROI…
Trade show marketing has only just begun when the actual event ends. The weeks and months that follow the event are a prime window to continue the conversation with trade show leads and move them further down the sales cycle.
Even after attendees leave the event venue (or geofenced area), you can continue to use that geographical data to serve up relevant content via retargeting ads. If you’re a provider of workplace experience software at a facility management trade show, you might use this as an opportunity to share an industry report about the future of the workplace. Or if you’re a lifestyle therapeutics company at a medical device conference, you might opt to share an ebook around making medical devices work for both patients and doctors.
By making these types of resources available to event attendees, you’ll further prove yourself to be an industry thought leader and offer an added incentive for attendees to reach out and connect.
Participating in a trade show is often a big investment for companies. But when meaningful connections are made with attendees and leads are generated, these events more than pay for themselves in revenue generated. Geotargeting that happens before, during or after an event (or ideally, at all three stages) serves to help businesses see a bigger ROI from these efforts.