Getting value from face to face marketing

Getting value from face to face marketing

Live marketing can be time consuming and expensive. It begs the question, in this era of digital marketing, can events still have a place? When it is so simple to create email, web and social media campaigns.

Yet, like much marketing activity, if face to face marketing is planned carefully, with clear objectives then in can provide value and a strong ROI. And with new phrases being coined such as FOMO (fear of missing out) there seems to be a need for personal interaction in this digital age.

if you look towards studies on activities such as gaming, there is evidence that those absorbed in a virtual world are increasingly craving more face to face social interactions. This, backed by research showing that Millennials value ‘experiences’ above anything else”
Catherine Caplis, Managing Director, CIB

It is clear that a meeting in person makes your brand or product more memorable. And where the decision-making process is complex, such as the many considerations when specifying building products, a face to face discussion with a product expert is invaluable. The research from Competitive Advantage Consultancy has found that decision makers appreciate the opportunity to be briefed on new developments and also recognise that problem solving can be more effective face to face. So what should be considered when planning your attendance at an event or exhibition?

Plan your message

Competitive Advantage’s own research, the 2017 Construction Media Index, shows 56% of respondents attended at least one event in the last 12 months. However, with ‘learning about new products and services’ and ‘being updated on current thinking’ almost on par when it came to reasons for attending, there has certainly been a shift as to the role these events have to play. So it is important to think carefully about the message you are taking to your audience. As not only are you sacrificing time from your busy schedule, so are the visitors to the event. It must be worthwhile for all concerned.

Take time to position your brand, make the benefits of your product clear, so that visitors can instantly understand your offering.

Consider your objectives

Make sure staff are fully up to speed with product information and understand the objectives of why you are participating at the event or exhibition. Set targets and work as a team to make the event a success against your chosen objectives. And remember not to lose momentum once the live event is over. Put in place actions to ensure you follow-up leads in a timely fashion and turn marketing leads into sales, validating your ROI.

And remember that as well as generating sales leads, the event is also a valuable marketing opportunity. As well as reinforcing your brand by having a presence at an industry exhibition or event, it is also an opportunity to gather valuable content, that can be used in your communications.

Optimise your attendance

Use the event as a launch pad for further marketing. Interview or survey your customer base, gather opinions that you can include in blogs. Consider taking a camera crew to product videos to place online after the event. Record presentations, product demos, vox pops. Or consider collating answers to FAQs and posting on your web, distributing over social media or answer via a webinar. With a little imagination and some planning you can dual purpose the event, getting more value for your budget.

It is important not to treat face to face marketing as a stand-alone activity. Not just for budget purposes but also for optimising marketing effectiveness. So tie in your face to face marketing with your other marketing activity, keeping your message consistent across all channels.


Face to face marketing provides vital personal interaction with your customer base. With careful planning and clear objective setting, it can provide value for money by delivering qualified leads for your target market sector. It can also provide a wealth of further content for your marketing communications. Face to face marketing accelerates relationships, building trust, facilitating complex decision making.

Download this reference sheet that provides information on the benefits of face to face marketing, and what to consider so to get value from attending.

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