All articles, commentary, etc. that does not fit under Best Practices, Press Releases, Testimonials, or Documentation goes here.

9 Trade Show Booth Design Ideas to Delight Visitors [Infographic]

Social media may have transformed the way that brands and customers engage with one another, but trade shows persist as a cornerstone of face-to-face marketing. And precisely because so much brand interaction has been digitalized, the potential for trade shows to create a meaningful and memorable brand experience has only become greater. 

One of the greatest benefits of participating in trade shows is that attendees, simply by virtue of deciding to be there, are incredibly receptive to your message. A striking design is arguably the most important factor when it comes to attracting these open-minded, warm leads into your booth.

But standing out in a crowd of competitors is no easy task. While more traditional, tried-and-true booth design schemes that consist of a graphic backdrop, spandex table covers, and a few banner stands may be the best option for traditionally conservative industries, the trends in trade show booth design have in recent years taken a turn for the stunning and creative. Trade show attendees are increasingly expecting more from the exhibits they visit, and a well-designed booth space plays a decisive role in all of these expectations.

Effective trade show booth design ideas serve to do a lot more than just look good. They are the backdrop against which an entire brand experience can unfold. From the first encounter, to interacting with your staff, to leaving your booth with a goodie bag, your trade show booth design can either enhance or detract from a visitor’s experience every step of the way. Engineering your exhibit to be both attractive and functional, both unique and on-brand, may be the single most important project you undertake to make your brand’s next trade show appearance worthwhile.

Looking for some trade show booth design ideas? The following graphic offers nine creative trade show booth design ideas that are eye-catching, versatile, and sure to impress:

Author Bio:

Joseph Robison is the Marketing Manager at Coastal Creative, a large format printing company based in San Diego that specializes in designing stunning trade show booths and branded spaces. He is also the founder of Green Flag Digital, an SEO and digital marketing consultancy.

5 Creative Ways to Generate Leads You’ve Probably Never Tried Before

When your company needs to generate leads, your goals should be to find creative methods that allow you to communicate and network better with other businesses as well as untapped customers and, simultaneously, establish yourself and your company as an authority figure. You need to cut through the noise and get in front of people. When you show up, you need to be remarkable so that people see you as an expert and want to work with you. Here is a look at five ways to generate leads by getting in front of your prospects, where they are. 

1. Slack Channels

Slack channels are tight-knit communities and, typically, you need an invitation to join them. However, once you get access to a channel, you can begin one-to-one communication with channel members or send broadcast messages to everyone. Slack channels are usually active, so you’re able to get in front of people passionate about a specific topic. By joining Slack channels, you can grow your brand within that community, and then help the other people in exchange. By helping others consistently, you can grow your status and authority within the group. Remember to bring value always and don’t spam.

2. Guest Blogging

Guest blogging is an effective way to improve your company’s reach. Websites require content to attract new visitors and nurture their existing audience. When you provide blog posts for other sites, you gain exposure, and they benefit as well because they get to publish great content. Guest blogging positions you as an authority figure because a website is endorsing your work by publishing it. Guest blogging also helps you build backlinks, enhance your search placement and drive relevant traffic to your site.

3. Answering Quora Questions

Quora is a wonderful way for you to answer important questions relevant to your industry and build your credibility. Make no mistake that answering Quora questions has a similar effect to that of guest blogging. Quora is an adult version of Yahoo Answers where people are actively asking for help and looking for specific answers. At the time of this writing, the website recently reached 100 million monthly unique visitors. Quora allows people to answer questions and establish themselves as an authority figure.

Answer questions that come from members of your community and industry. Doing so will help you target users who fit the profile of your ideal customer. When you use this website, you can create a company profile and then answer the questions that are related not just to your company but your industry as well. You can handle reputation management by searching for questions that people are asking related to whatever service or products you provide and then answer those questions. You can even set it up so that each member of your team creates a unique profile and team members can answer questions in conjunction with one another based on different levels of expertise.

4. Syndicate Your Content

Syndicating your content gets more mileage out of a regular blog. There are so many online platforms that have many visitors, and they often need quality content. Blogs, community websites, social media sites, forums and question-and-answer sites are an ideal solution. Syndicating content is a terrific way to enhance your lead generation because it amplifies the reach of your content, allowing you to tap into an audience you might not have otherwise been able to access. All of this optimizes your returns and puts your content in front of a demographic with a high potential for sales.

You aren’t just restricted to publishing your content to your immediate audience of current customers. When you put effort into making high-quality content, you should be rewarded by expanding your reach, so prospects get to see what it is you offer. Sharing your content through syndication also improves search engine ranking with enhanced credibility and relevant backlinks. This puts you in a place of authority as a leader in your industry, which generates more traffic and potentially more qualified leads.

With content syndication, you can collaborate with another company to co-market your promotional efforts where you both promote a single piece of content. You can also swap content with another brand where you both agree to promote one another’s content on your respective social media channels.

5. Public Speaking

Public speaking is a superb way to gain a captive audience. In today’s world, as things become increasingly more internet-based, people are trusting the face-to-face selling method much more. Known as the podium effect, being a public speaker will position you as an expert in the industry, which is what each of these methods helps to do. Focus when you start at small, intimate events. This will help you figure out what your audience wants to hear and help you fine-tune your selling methods. The right strategy is important in setting your business up. You can begin at small events with just 10 people at a time put on personal company events where you make an offer at the end for your attendees. When you start out, you want to create your own events so you can craft your signature talk and gain experience with your audience. Libraries or community centers make ideal places for these local events. You can book area venues and market it to local residents. Once you become more comfortable with it, you can host bigger events. Just remember that, at the end of each public speaking event, you need to give your attendees something like a free consultation or the opportunity to try a product for free. Give them an offer they can’t refuse. On the topic of syndication, if you know other people are having events, and they are looking for speakers like at expositions, conferences or trade shows, offer yourself as a speaker. Even if it’s just a few minutes, this could be a low-cost opportunity with a lot of return.

Overall, the purpose for each of these five creative methods is to allow you a way to generate leads by establishing yourself as an authority figure. You want to expand your reach and make sure that people see you as a leader in your industry — someone they can trust to whom they can turn for answers.

To learn how to properly manage those leads, once you have them, contact us here.

Bio

Morgan Williams is a Sales Professional and B2B Lead Gen Consultant based in Chicago, IL  For a case study on how to use automated cold email marketing to spend $166.70 and make $3,435.30 in profit (2,061% ROI – email templates included), head over to his blog.

40 Event Marketing Statistics

Want the executive summary? Download the infographic here.

Business is changing at the speed of light. As marketers, it seems like every time we feel like we’ve mastered a new strategy, a new one emerges. Advances in modern technology drive marketing organizations at a fast pace. But, just because more and more people are adopting new technology, it doesn’t mean that one-to-one contact is gone. In fact, most of the technology that we create is intended to give businesses the opportunity to automate administrative tasks to make room for more person-to-person contact.

Marketing events are a great way to engage in one-to-one contact. Multi-day conferences, trade shows, conventions, seminars, thought-leadership workshops…these are all great examples of event marketing. They give businesses the chance to interact with consumers who are already 10 steps closer to purchasing, just by the simple fact that they are at the event in the first place.

Perhaps you are trying to decide if your business should invest in event marketing. Maybe you have already started exhibiting at events and you just want to learn more about them. Or perhaps you are a seasoned exhibitor who’s just looking for a few good stats. Either way, you are in luck! We have rounded up 40 important statistics that help shed light on event marketing for business-to-business (B2B) companies.

Why do Companies Invest in Event Marketing?

  • 63% of marketers use tradeshows as a form of lead generation (source)
  • 79% of US marketers actually generate sales using event marketing (source)
  • 81% оf trаdе ѕhоw attendees hаvе buуіng аuthоrіtу (source)
  • 77% of marketers use experiential marketing as a vital part of a brand’s advertising strategies (source)
  • 52% of business leaders say event marketing drives more ROI than any other marketing channel (source)
  • 48% of event attendees say face-to-face interactions are more valuable today than two years ago (source)
  • It takes an average of 4.5 calls to close a sale without an exhibition lead, and only 3.5 sales calls to close a sale with a lead from an exhibition (source)
  • 73% of B2B marketers say events are better than other tactics for customer engagement (source)
  • The three most commonly used B2B lead generation strategies are email marketing (78%), event marketing (73%), and content marketing (67%) (source)

Strategies

Businesses around the world are investing in marketing events. Here’s how those strategies are affecting budgets and goals.

  • Annually, companies spend about $24 billion on exhibiting at events (source)
  • The top three event marketing goals are to increase sales (83%), increase brand awareness (73%), and to enhance product knowledge (53%) (source)
  • Events occupy 14% of budgets, which is the largest share of B2B marketers’ budgets. (source)
  • B2B companies spend 29% of their marketing budgets on events, on average, versus 19% for B2C companies (source)
  • 91% of event professionals stated that increasing engagement at their events was an important priority for their organization (source)

Event Lead Management

Managing the leads from your event is only part of a robust event lead management strategy. An event lead management solution should not only assist you in capturing your lead, but also in properly managing the data, enabling you to follow up quickly, and helping you track ROI.

  • 17% of respondents still use spreadsheets to store information on their leads. (source)
  • Just 6% of marketers believe their company converts trade show leads, contacts and conversations into customer business extremely well, although 27% feel they do so moderately well, and another 41% feel they’re getting better (source)
  • 14% of marketers plan to integrate marketing automation with their events and only 7% currently do (source)
  • 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first (source)
  • The top benefits for event technology adopters are: improved ability to track and measure their events (40%), increased process productivity (31%), and a better attendee experience (30%) (source)
  • 76% of marketers say their event and experiential marketing initiatives are integrated with their other marketing campaigns (source)
  • 22% of brands do not have a way of measuring their events (source)
  • 91% of event planners say that adopting a mobile event app has provided a positive ROI (source)
  • The top 5 metrics marketers feel are best for quantifying event value are: new referrals and introductions; quality and quantity of leads; deal closure; value of sales; and upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Yet, only 34% use those 5 metrics to assess trade show and event ROI (source)

Looking into the Future

  • The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics stated conventions and events are expected to expand by 44% from 2010 to 2020 (source)
  • 40% of marketers say they’ll increase spending on hosted events in the year ahead (source)
  • Companies are spending on event marketing at a growing rate, with 54% boosting their event activity over the past three years, and only 17% cutting back (source)
  • 43% of marketers believe the value of face-to-face interactions will continue to increase over the next 2 years (source)
  • 85% of executives say the number of exhibitions will stay the same or increase over the next several years (source)
  • 75% of marketers believe that in the upcoming years, live events will become increasingly important to their organization’s success (source)

Conclusion

You get the picture, right? Event marketing holds a significant position in the future of growing businesses. It’s never too early to start mapping out your strategy – whether you are a seasoned event marketer, or you plan on trying it out for the first time. Below is an infographic that summarizes all of these important stats. 

Luckily, we have many resources to help companies make the most out of their marketing events. Here are a few we think you might like:

And, to learn more about our enterprise-level Event Lead Management solution, click here.

Creative Strategies for Your Next Trade Show or Marketing Event

Want the executive summary? Download the infographic here.

Looking for creative strategies to use at your next trade show or marketing event? Look no further! We’ve gathered lots of ideas that can help you before, during, and after an event.

Before an Event

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” – Abraham Lincoln

Planning for an event is the most important part of your process. If you don’t get the right tools in place, you’re bound to make mistakes.

  • Do your research and see what your biggest competitors’ booths look like. Track competitors in your CRM so that you know if any competitors stopped by your booth.
  • Invest in a great display, so that prospects will want to invest in you. If your display looks pathetic, so will your company.
  • Send 1:1 emails and offline marketing pieces, such as direct mail, ahead of time offering people a chance to schedule a meeting at your booth.
  • Send a marketing email (or a series of emails) announcing your presence at the event and what you’ll be showcasing. Offer educational content in these emails to establish yourself as a thought leader at the event.
  • Send a reminder email (or text, if possible) to stop by your booth.
  • Engage with conference attendees prior to the event – ask for attendees to vote on what swag they’d like best. This is a great excuse to reach out to attendees and an easy way to get them to engage. Lists of registered attendees can usually be found by contacting the event manager.
  • Speaking of swag, reconsider your definition of swag. A few ideas are: headphones, socks, or a free t-shirt with a offer for a free beer if they are seen wearing it to networking parties after the convention.
  • Post to all of your social media accounts. Choose a different image or message for each platform to keep readers’ attentions and reduce redundancy.
  • Consider how you’re going to capture leads at the event (badge scan, business card transcription, upload registrants, manual form fill, etc.). Some event lead management solutions offer all of these!
  • Do all of these things in your marketing automation platform to track key engagement prior to the event. Find one that does it all.
  • Extra Tip: Ensure consistent lead follow up by setting up an automated process to segment, tag, distribute, and follow up with those leads. Create a nurture campaign in your marketing automation platform to distribute leads, assign tasks call tasks, follow up with educational content, and more. (LL)

During an Event

You already believe in your product or solution. Now, it’s time to show off! Make sure you’re the star of the show.

  • Keep your display clutter-free. Don’t distract visitors. Clean lines and a simple, sleek design allows your message (and the experience) to play center role.
  • Don’t list features on your banners. Keep your message simple. Answer “How will your product make their lives easier? What makes you better than your competitor? What problem does your product solve?”
  • Host a wireless charging station at your booth with a fun activity, or snack, for people waiting.
  • Place devices in front of your booth and run them as a kiosk for leads to self-service (watch videos, submit an inquiry to learn more).
  • Use an event lead capture app, such as Lead Liaison’s GoCapture!™, for all representatives to use in place of outdated badge scanners. (LL)

After an Event

Evaluate & measure ROI. This is key to growth and future success.

  • Evaluate your process. What worked? What didn’t? Did your team run into any issues? Did your technology support your properly?
  • Measure ROI of your event using Cost Per Prospect (CPP), Revenue Generated, and overall ROI metrics. Some event lead management solutions offer an Events Dashboard to compile and report these key metrics, which makes things really easy.

Hopefully you picked up some great tips today. We’ve included this infographic below for you to download and/or share with your colleagues. And, if you’re interested in our home-grown event lead management solution, request a free demo here.

Infographic: Post-Event Lead Nurturing Strategy

Want the executive summary? Download the infographic here.

Marketing events can be a very costly effort. There’s the booth rental, the booth design/display, travel and expenses for your employees working the booth. Service costs like electricity, cleaning, or wifi can sneak up on you. Badge scanners are expensive (have you looked into other options?).

I think you get my drift: marketing events cost a lot of money. Return on investment (ROI) is paramount. Once your team has captured hot leads at an event, you should be prepared to follow up with those leads quickly and effectively. There’s no time to waste – don’t let your competitors beat you to the punch.

We are often asked for examples of how a business can (and should) nurture leads post-event. Below is an infographic that examines a tried-and-true post-event lead nurturing strategy. 

Technology to Support Lead Nurturing Strategy

The first step in determining your post-event lead nurturing strategy is to make sure you have the technology in place to automate it. Don’t count on these things being done manually – it’s just not realistic. Companies are busier than ever these days, usually with multiple people wearing multiple hats – stretched thin. There’s also tons of room for distraction at (and after) marketing events. The more administrative tasks you can automate, the better. Let your employees spend their time building relationships and making connections.

There are lots of options out there, but we recommend a wholistic approach. Look for technology that works together, so you don’t have to spend time exporting and importing. For example, our event lead management solution allows businesses to create and customize lead capture forms, prepare intelligent post-event workflows, quickly capture leads onsite, instantly sync with a CRM, and then place them into those previously mentioned workflows. No additional technology is needed.

Of course, we love our solutions. But, there are lots of options out there! Just make sure you have something in place to be able to effectively execute your plan.

Lead Management Strategy – Instant Tasks

Create a list of all the actions you want to take once you’ve captured the lead’s information, and separate them into groups based on the time of the outreach. Here are a few examples of what you might want to do instantly:

  • Tag the Prospect with the Event Name
  • Add the Prospect to the Event Leads list
  • Assign a grade or score to the Prospect based on your ideal buyer criteria
  • Distribute the lead (Prospect) – based on round-robin, geography, or product interest
  • Sync the Prospect Record with your CRM

Side Note – Lead Scoring vs. Lead Grading

Let’s talk more about lead score versus lead grade. You may want your reps to call a Prospect if their score is high and their grade is high. Or maybe just one or the other. To make that determiniation, you should know the differences. 

Lead scoring is a way to measure engagement, and it happens over time. Even before your event, a Prospect may have already been to your website, scanning a few of your webpages, which would increase their score. It will continue to increase as they continue to interact with your website or your content.

On the other hand, grading is a way to measure how well a Prospect matches your ideal buyer criteria. Your reps can qualify and assign a grade onsite at the event. With our event lead management solution, reps can collect lead data quickly and either grade them in the moment, or they can go back later and grade them when they have a lull in booth traffic.

Lead Management Strategy – Starting Your Nuture

Once those organizational actions have been completed (usually within seconds), what do you want to do next? Let me answer that for you…you want to follow up. Insidesales.com conducted a study that found 35-50% of sales go to the vendor that responds first. That means that the timing of your follow up matters.

If at all possible, reach out to your leads within an hour of them visiting your booth. A great example of this kind of outreach is with a text message. If you’re capturing a lead’s mobile phone number, use your marketing automation platform to send a text message saying, “Hi Jane, it’s Bob. Thanks for stopping by our booth! We’ll be in touch soon – but in the meantime, here’s my number if you have any questions…” That is sure to make your company stand out.

24 Hours Later

Send an email. Even though you already sent a text message, send an email 24 hours later. Give your Prospect time to filter through messages from other booths, but not enough time that they forget who you are. Remind them of a product feature that sets you apart from other exhibitors at the trade show.

Pivot

At this point in the game, you may want to consider customizing your lead nurturing strategy based on the previously mentioned lead score and/or grade (depending on what matter most to your business) and how the Prospect interacts with your outreach or content. Your marketing automation platform should have the capability of customizing the workflow using this kind of criteria. If the lead score is high, assign a task to a rep to make a call. If it’s low, continue to nurture via email.

Don’t disqualify leads with a lower score or grade. They may be hesitant because they are taking this decision more seriously. Offer a piece of educational content, like an infographic or a case study. Try to be their source of education in the industry, so they begin to see your company as a thought leader.

If they download the content, you may want to pivot further based on that. If they downloaded it, offer another link to an informative blog post with a powerful call-to-action (CTA). Make the decision to reach out to you easy.

If they didn’t download the content, perhaps they need the same information as the lead above, but rather they need it summarized within the email itself to reduce effort. Include your CTA within the email itself, to make it even easier.

In Summary

Continue nurturing your Prospects for several weeks until they are ready to buy, or place them into your newsletter list so that you can continue your educational content without being too pushy.

It’s all about creating a sense of authority and innovation within your industry. Those that actively attend trade shows, conferences, or other marketing events are not passive. They are engaged, and their presence at an event will make them hyper-aware of you and your competitors.

If you decide to exhibit at an event, be prepared to make it count. Here’s an infographic that you can save for when the time comes. And, good luck!  

Lead Liaison Press Release

Texas General Contractor Chooses Lead Liaison to Support and Simplify Marketing

Dallas, TX – Bartlett Cocke General Contractors has been in business since 1959. They are one of the largest, most respected and trusted general contractors in the state of Texas. So, it’s no surprise that they found themselves in need of an enterprise-ready marketing automation solution that would support their efforts.

In a video testimonial released this week, Bartlett Cocke’s marketing team explains why they chose Lead Liaison as their partner. “Lead Liaison was very proactive,” says Kirk Kistner, Vice President of Marketing and Business Development. “They helped us get set up with what would work best for us. As a general contractor, we are unique to a lot of the other users of a product such as Lead Liaison. We have a very defined audience, and Lead Liaison helped us define our outreach and messaging.”

“Unique” is what Lead Liaison does best. With a world-class support team behind the scenes, the sales and marketing solutions provider is able to zero in on a client’s process and pain points, and provide support exclusive to those needs.

Bunmi Collins is the Manager of Corporate Marketing and Branding at Bartlett Cocke. In the testimonial, she explains how Lead Liaison’s White Glove service gives her exactly what she needs. “Lead Liaison’s support team is very helpful and prompt, but I’m that kind of person that really appreciates having that one-on-one phone call walking me through the process if I have a question,” says Collins. “The Lead Liaison’s White Glove service gives me that opportunity.”

The testimonial goes on to cover several ways that they put Lead Liaison to the test. Bartlett Cocke wanted to determine if Lead Liaison’s platform would work for their company and for the construction industry. They focused the initial campaigns on a few upcoming events. They were able to thoroughly test out the platform and better understand their engagement with clients and prospects. They were pleased with the results.

“My favorite feature of Lead Liaison is the ability to create reports and to filter them down, so that I can get a better idea – very quickly – of what the end user is doing, and how they are utilizing our content.” says Sharee Bridges, Digital Marketing and Multimedia Specialist for Bartlett Cocke. “For me, in a position like mine, that’s one of the only ways to track what’s happening on the other end.”

From start to finish, Bartlett Cocke found that Lead Liaison streamlined their process and gave them the insights they were looking for. The platform is flexible enough to accommodate their unique needs, and Lead Liaison’s support team empowers them to be more effective and efficient.

To view Bartlett Cocke’s video testimonial, plus many more, click here.

About Lead Liaison
Lead Liaison provides cloud-based sales and marketing automation solutions that helps businesses accelerate revenue by attracting, converting, closing and retaining more prospects. Filling a void in the small pool of marketing automation providers that focus on marketing-centric functionality, Lead Liaison gives equal focus to sales providing sophisticated visitor tracking and additional website engagement tools to boost sales effectiveness. Lead Liaison blends ease-of-use, a flexible business model, deep external integration, marketing across social, web, mobile, email and offline channels and powerful functionality, all specifically tailored for mid-sized businesses, into a single platform, called Revenue Generation Software®. Lead Liaison is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit http://www.leadliaison.com or call 1-800-89-LEADS (895-3237).

When Should a Startup Implement Marketing Automation Software?

When should a startup implement marketing automation? It’s a great question and we decided to answer it with 10 reasons every startup should implement marketing automation.

If you’re a startup you’ve got a lot of things on your mind. We totally understand, we were a startup once. We’ve been through the struggle, and it’s not easy. Fortunately we’re a bunch of sales and marketing-minded people that have an affinity for building cool software. We liken the Amazon model wherein they build solutions for themselves and then sell it. Amazon created their ecommerce platform for book sales, built out capacity, then began to lease that capacity to other businesses. Bang! The Amazon Web Services (AWS) offspring appeared. AWS is now the cash cow for Amazon, and they’re making billions from it. We’re not that greedy now…but we enjoy building software to help our company and then sharing the software with others, at very competitive rates – especially for startups.

If you’re an early stage startup with seed stage funding or Series A, or even B funding, and you haven’t implemented marketing automation yet – it’s time! Here are 10 reasons why a startup should implement marketing automation:

1) Implement scalability (ideal for future fundraising)

Startups typically have limited resources. Resources spanning from time, to humans, to money – there’s no doubt there’s a shortage for the average startup. It’s impossible to grow your business by adding more resources. In short, you’ve got to do more with the resources you have. You’ve got to be more efficient. Marketing automation is the means to scalability and efficiency.

2) Create a customer acquisition machine

Marketing automation has many offshoots, such as Lead Liaison’s Sales Enablement, which integrates with marketing automation and helps sales reps book more meetings. When sales automation and marketing automation work hand-in-hand it’s a customer acquisition machine. Wouldn’t it be nice if your startup can begin to forecast how many meetings and demos you can book with automation at the core to help book those meetings?

3) Emphasize sales and marketing (most startups are enamored with prod development)

It’s the classic example of the ostrich with their head in the sand. Startups have horse blinders on. They typically have a myopic view of their product/service that they’re creating. They want to perfect it. They spend countless hours tinkering, revising, tweaking…to no end. At some point you’ve got to draw the line in the sand, create your Minimum Viable Product (MVP), and go to market. Even if your product/service is not 100% ready you’ll be able to land some customers – which is gold for startups. Customers should define your product, not you.

4) Cost isn’t a barrier. Minimal upfront investment. Cash flow is critical.

You’re probably thinking you cannot afford marketing automation as a startup. Some companies, such as Lead Liaison, have specialized programs that offer qualifying startups a 90% discount on Services. Most companies can get a full sales and marketing suite of products for less than a few dollars a day. Stop eating out for lunch, pack a brown bag lunch, and use that money for a sales and marketing platform. Your brown bag lunch will buy you a digital sales rep and marketing assistant, another way to think about the software, which you won’t find on job sites for that kind of money!

5) Measure Efforts

What doesn’t get measured doesn’t get done. Whether you’re a startup or a large enterprise, this metaphor holds true. Track website visitors, form conversions, social media engagement, prospect engagement, qualified leads, and more. Start looking at your business from a holistic perspective with a lifecycle funnel that tracks prospects from anonymous through to customer and beyond. Spot check your growth or track trends over time as your database and business grow.

6) Gives investors visibility into your business.

So you got your funding. Maybe it’s an initial round or follow up round. As a startup one of the hardest things is to hold periodic meetings, prepare your data, present at the board meeting, etc. That’s time consuming and it can be a drag. It’s a heck of a lot easier if the data is prepared for you via an application. Alternatively, if you give your investors a login to your sales and marketing automation platform so they can see firsthand how their money is working for them.

7) Recover lost time.

Without marketing automation, or sales automation, you’re going to do a lot of things manually. Save yourself the pain of shopping for disparate email, form, landing page builders and bring a single platform into your company. As noted above, it’s about efficiency. If you can do less but accomplish more why wouldn’t you do it?

8) Attract new personnel.

As a startup it’s hard to recruit talent. There’s got to be something in it for new hires. As a company, you’ve got to give them a reason to want to work for you. A professional sales and marketing platform can make eyes glow. It’s a platform that can help attract talent. If they know you’re investing in your company and you care about sales and marketing, it makes a bold statement. Use marketing automation as a magnet and don’t look at it as a deterrent.

9) Care for your customers.

Startups don’t have a lot of customers, and most don’t have any as they’re just starting up. But once you get those customers you’ve got to take care of them. But, therein lies the conundrum! How can you care for your customers if you’re too busy creating your product/service. Take some of the pressure off by implementing client communication plans to nurture your new customers. They’ll appreciate it and you’ll build stronger relationships.

10) Get with the times.

Marketing automation is like CRM 10 years ago. It’s a necessary thing. If you meet a company these days that does not use marketing automation it makes you wonder what they’ve been doing. Also, most startups have much more mature competitors. Rest assured your competitors are using the latest and greatest tech. And rest assured they’ve paid a hefty price for it.

Thank the lucky stars that you’re a startup. Take advantage of your status, and sign up to marketing automation while you can get your discounts. To learn more about Lead Liaison’s Startup program click here. To refer a VC, incubator, accelerator, or University Startup Program to apply and help their startups click here.

Lead Liaison Press Release

Lead Liaison Launches Program to Help Startups

Dallas, TX – Lead Liaison, a software provider that helps companies build scalable sales and marketing processes, announced today the launch of their Lead Liaison for Startups Program. The new program provides premium sales and marketing solutions at a deep discount for qualifying startups. It also offers VCs, incubators, and university startup programs an opportunity to provide more value to their portfolio of companies.

“We have a special place in our hearts for startups,” says Alan Page, VP of Customer Success at Lead Liaison. “Not that long ago we were in the same position, and we remember how challenging it could be at times. As a startup, you tend to take an ostrich-like approach to business. Most companies have their head in their sand, obsessing over technicalities and product development. Sales and marketing tends to be the last thing on their mind. Sales and marketing is also not a natural skill for most technical founders. Our platform alleviates pressure on startups and gives them a foundation, as well as a head start, to focus on sales and marketing. Over the years, we have successfully built first-class solutions that accelerate sales and marketing initiatives and we’ve grown our business rapidly by using our own software. Now’s the time for us to ‘give back’ to those in a similar position.”

Startups often struggle with taking their businesses to the next level of growth. Lead Liaison designed their Startups Program for companies that need a helping hand as it relates to customer growth and retention. The program includes an array of sales and marketing solutions coupled with free education and world-class support.

What’s more, Lead Liaison’s discounts are far deeper than comparable programs. An investment in Lead Liaison’s Startup Program is 86% less than big-name competitors such as HubSpot. Discounts are valid through 2nd and 3rd year as well, which is 50% longer than competing plans like HubSpot.

Solutions in this program include a marketing automation platform, a CRM, website visitor tracking, event lead management, sales enablement, and more. Lead Liaison’s goal is to become a startup’s system of record for all marketing and sales initiatives.

“There is a uniquely low discount on all of their software, which we found extremely appealing…” says Ryan Cochrane, Head of Commercial Operations at Good-Loop, a startup delivering impactful, purpose-driven digital advertising.

Good-Loop achieves this through offering viewers a free charity donation in exchange for watching an advertisement. This moment of shared good between the brand and the viewer combines with the ad to create a powerful halo effect, leading to improved brand perception, recall and engagement.

“We aren’t limited to specific solutions offered by Lead Liaison under their Startup Program, it covers their entire suite of sales and marketing software. We have looked, and we haven’t found a program like this from any other provider. It’s affordable for startups of all sizes, as it’s a small investment with a monumental return. We’re using their software to identify people and businesses that are visiting Good-Loop’s website and for striking up more conversations with non-profits and brands looking to advertise in specific channels.”

Lead Liaison developed their software from client feedback and from the needs of their own startup challenges. The company was founded in 2014 and has continued to be privately funded throughout the lifetime of its existence. Rather than acquiring software and bolting it into their solutions, Lead Liaison has built everything from the ground up – giving startups one ideal platform to build and scale their sales and marketing operations.

You can learn more about Lead Liaison for Startups by clicking here. To become a Startup Partner (VCs, Incubators, Accelerators, or University Programs), click here. And to refer a partner, click here.

About Lead Liaison
Lead Liaison provides cloud-based sales and marketing automation solutions that helps businesses accelerate revenue by attracting, converting, closing and retaining more prospects. Filling a void in the small pool of marketing automation providers that focus on marketing-centric functionality, Lead Liaison gives equal focus to sales providing sophisticated visitor tracking and additional website engagement tools to boost sales effectiveness. Lead Liaison blends ease-of-use, a flexible business model, deep external integration, marketing across social, web, mobile, email and offline channels and powerful functionality, all specifically tailored for mid-sized businesses, into a single platform, called Revenue Generation Software®. Lead Liaison is headquartered in Dallas, Texas. For more information, visit http://www.leadliaison.com or call 1-800-89-LEADS (895-3237).

Decision Guide: Comparing Pros and Cons of Badge Scanners vs Mobile Apps

Want the executive summary? Download the infographic here. 

It’s time to prepare for your upcoming trade show, but lately you’ve heard a lot about new mobile apps that allow you to forego the pricy badge scanners and use your own devices. It sounds intriguing, but you’ll need to know a little more before making the jump.  

We’ve rounded up the pros and cons of badge scanners vs mobile apps. Really, what you’re comparing is a standard lead retrieval system that captures basic information that attendees provide to the event host, versus a customizable, enterprise-ready event lead management system that can empower you to actually do something with those leads post-event.

Badge Scanners

Pros

  • Contact and rental info may be easier to find as most trade show organizers partner with lead retrieval companies who promote their solution.
  • Proven and reliable.
  • Badge scanners are fast. Scanning takes mere seconds.
  • Builds a list of contacts.

Cons

  • Managing and distributing leads after the event is a manual and time consuming process, and it could take days to retrieve your lead list.
  • There is only one way to capture a lead (by scanning a barcode). You’ll lack the ability to have multiple sources of integrated lead capture (like a kiosk for when your sales team is tied up with other attendees).
  • There is no qualification – unless you count your salesperson’s scribble on the printout from the badge scanner. Hopefully, he remembers all the notes he meant to write down!
  • You have to go through the process of renting and setting them up for each event.
  • They are expensive (ranging from $200 to $500 per device). Some might also require internet, which is another expense.
  • They are bulky and can get misplaced.
  • Limited ways to respond to leads, if at all.
  • No GDPR compliance options.
  • No control over entire experience.
  • No lead enrichment.

Mobile App

Pros

  • Leads are captured and in your possession instantly. This results in instant replies, instant lead routing, instant flow through your business process. And apps usually integrate directly with enterprise CRM and marketing automation systems.
  • Less setup & more options. Once you select your mobile app, you don’t have to keep going through the process for each trade show. You don’t have to set it up each time, outside of connecting your Media Kit. And, you’ll benefit from multiple lead capture methods, such as business card transcription, pre-registration, manual submission, and badge scanning.
  • Integration & automation makes it easier than ever to show a clear ROI for the tens of thousands of dollars spent on trade shows. Depending on the martech you integrate with, you should be able to easily track which leads actually convert to sales.
  • Sales and marketing staff can use their own mobile device instead of carrying around a bulky scanner.
  • Works offline, eliminating the need to rent internet which could cost 100s of dollars. You have complete control over the experience with your event visitors and managing leads internally.
  • Mobile apps are usually more current. For example, some mobile apps (like ours) offer GDPR/Privacy Management compliance options.
  • Consistent user experience as sales reps and marketers manning the booth only have to learn one system.
  • Leads are automatically enriched with social and demographic information.
  • Automation, automation, automation – mobile apps allow for immediate qualification, scoring, and follow up utilizing the integration mentioned above

Cons

  • There’s some legwork that needs to be done when choosing a mobile app solution provider. But keep in mind, you only have to do that legwork once.
  • You still have to purchase a “Media Kit” in order to activate badge scanning using a mobile app. These usually run around $500. That’s still significantly less than purchasing internet PLUS a badge scanner for each person.
  • Mobile lead capture apps are typically priced as a monthly subscription, so if you’re not going to a lot of trade shows, it may not be worth it. There may also be limitations on how many shows you can do or how many salespeople can use the app at one time.

Take Away

Using an event lead management system will reduce the amount of headache collecting leads during an event and managing leads after an event, while badge scanners are more convenient to rent prior to an event. Clearly define your goals, and if you go with a mobile trade show app, find one that integrates well with your martech.

To learn more about Lead Liaison’s mobile app, GoCapture!™, or our entire Event Lead Management soltuion, click here.

Plus…

We put together this infographic with the key points from above. Feel free to print and hang this at your desk, or pass along to your colleagues.

Badge Scanners vs. Mobile Apps

Badge Scanners vs. Mobile Apps

event strategy

Event Strategy: How to Properly Manage Leads from a Trade Show or Other Marketing Event

Want the executive summary? Download the infographic here.

Does your company do marketing events, like trade shows or conferences? Whether you’re just dipping your toe into marketing events, or you’re a seasoned pro, it doesn’t hurt to learn more about how to perfect your event strategy. When preparing for an event, there are two main focuses: getting your “gear” ready for the show, and setting up a process for managing the leads you get from that marketing event. We’ll save the “gear” topic for another day…today we’re thinking about LEADS!

What do marketing and sales always have in common? The answer: leads (duh). Marketing teams generate leads, and sales teams pursue them. Marketing events, and the like (conferences, trade shows, etc.) are incredibly effective ways to generate leads. But there’s often a lot of prep work that goes into these events.

The first step in planning for a marketing event is to come up with an event strategy, which should include a well-thought-out lead management process. Without this, you risk losing a lot of potential leads – leads who have seen your booth, spoken with your sales rep, and shown real interest in your solution. What a waste that would be! Here’s our guide to coming up with the perfect lead management process as a part of your overall event strategy:

Do Your Research

Find an event lead management strategy that works best for your business. Do you prefer to just order a lead scanner and do the rest manually? Or, do you prefer to use a lead capture app that already integrates with the rest of your marketing and sales technology (ex: marketing automation platform and CRM)? We prefer to use our lead capture app, GoCapture!™, as it integrates seamlessly with our marketing automation platform and our CRM. We can easily connect the dots between our event-specific marketing campaigns and the end results. We can also customize our forms so that we capture all of the information that we want/need, and we have limitless options for lead capture (not just badge scanning!).

Map Out Your Lead Management Process

Meet with your team (marketing AND sales) and lay out a plan for how you wish to follow up with your leads. A quick text saying, “Thanks for stopping by our booth!” goes a long way – especially considering the amount of email follow-ups those folks will probably have the next morning. Are there any special offers or messages that you should incorporate into your follow-up? Get to the drawing board (quite literally, if you have to!) and map out how you will nurture those leads (your “nurture campaign”). Part of a thorough event strategy is making sure that everyone is on board and knows what kind of messaging that lead will receive.

Here are a few things you’ll want to consider, when laying out your post-event lead nurture:

  • Determine the proper lead score for this event and incorporate that into your post-event lead nurture plan. Either manually, or automatically if you’ve got the technology, add that number to Prospects’ overall scores.
  • Ensure proper lead distribution. Many marketing automation platforms will allow you to automate your lead distribution based on specific rules, or round-robin. Make sure everyone is on the same page about how those leads will be distributed so there is no confusion later.
  • Incorporate omnichannel marketing in your nurture campaign. Sure, emails are great – of course those should be included. But text are powerful, postcards are unique, and handwritten letters give a personal touch.
  • Set up your post-event nurture in your marketing automation platform prior to your event, so that once that lead is captured, it is automatically tagged, segmented, scored, and placed into an automation.
  • Keep in mind that you can usually clone your nurtures (aka automations). Put the proper legwork into creating a killer nurture campaign, and then rest easy knowing you just have to edit a few minor things (like event name, etc.) next time around.

Train Your Team

Okay, now back to your event strategy: Don’t assume that your sales reps (or other team members attending the event) are up to date on lead capture technology. Although there will probably be some complaining, try to get your reps into a room to refresh them on the process or train them on new tech. If you are using an event lead management app, you can have your reps install it on their devices (or the company’s devices) ahead of time so they can get some real-life practice.

You want your sales team to be on board with your process. If they are not, you maby be less successful than you could be.

Ensure Attendance

More often than not, trade show organizers will provide an email list of people who plan to attend an event. Put some thought into your plan for encouraging attendance at your booth and start building those relationships early. Gone are the days when attendees just show up and wander around. With more and more millennials attending trade shows, conferences, and other live marketing events, we find that attendees are doing more research ahead of time so that they know who they want to visit and can plan accordingly.

Make it easy for them; properly distribute and advertise your location and booth number through marketing emails, social media, and 1:1 communication (like Lead Liaison’s Sales Enablement). And don’t forget to include past attendees in your communication (based on location).

In Summary

Marketing events can be costly, so it’s important to ensure you are getting the most out of it. Properly managing your leads is essential. Include team members from both sales and marketing through as much of the process as you can, so that everyone is on board with (and will follow through with their part of) “the plan.” Below is a quick graphic you can print out and stick on your desk, so that you’re ready for trade show season!

Event Strategy: How to Properly Manage Leads from a Marketing Event