Trade shows were once the only place B2B companies could meet their prospects, network, and close deals. It used to be that buyers, potential customers, and other decision-makers would visit booths or attend presentations. As a result, companies would spend a lot of money to create an appealing environment to attract and engage these prospects. However, due to C-level decision-makers no longer feeling the need to attend many trade shows over they have been away for a while, overall attendance has begun to decline.
Businesses whose revenues come primarily from trade shows need to find other ways to reach prospective clients and customers. With experiential marketing roadshows and B2B mobile trade show tours, companies can explore and discover new ways to engage their prospects and customers while still achieving revenue goals.
As part of this ultimate guide to B2B experimental marketing, we will define this strategy and present its benefits, as well as discuss how to use it successfully.
Business-to-business marketing (B2B) aims to obtain contracts with other businesses. To decide whether to work with another organisation, a company must consider many factors, including the quality of the products, their suitability to their needs, ROI, and revenue impact.
Experimental marketing (also referred to as engagement marketing) is a form of event marketing that has become extremely popular in the B2C industry. B2B brands are also using experimental marketing to build an emotional connection with their customers, and it is an increasingly effective B2B marketing strategy. The B2B marketing industry has recognised the importance of offering immersive experiences to business buyers, which their buyers appreciate because it enhances their buying experience.
Through roadshows, you can provide memorable experiences that are convenient and free for your customers and bring your brand to life in a fun and engaging way. These programs have several names, including mobile roadshows, mobile tradeshows, mobile sales centres and reverse trade show tours.
It is quite obvious which is the right choice – roadshows are experimental strategies far more effective than trade shows when used as an alternative. In addition to cutting the sales cycle in half, it also expands your pipeline by bringing together decision-makers and influencers.
Through a combination of storytelling-embedded media, animation, and interactions, experimental marketing content aims to create an immersive customer experience. The purpose of this content strategy is to motivate active participation among the targeted customers in order to create emotional and memorable connections between the brand and them.
In today’s increasingly interconnected world, engagement marketing content strategies offer a number of advantages to B2B companies. Our experience is enriched by advanced event technology that takes us away from other communication channels. To be effective at experiential marketing campaigns, content can extend beyond selfie booths or other technology from the past. Various technology is used, including augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), interactive eBooks, polls and quizzes, research, and cloud-based digital assets. While online gaming dominated digital experimental marketing content decades ago, brands now leverage this power in their B2B experiential campaigns, much like when our client KPN Telecom travelled throughout The Netherlands, engaging customers through exhilarating racing games to showcase their latest 5G capabilities.
The power of storytelling is inherent in every marketing strategy. For example, digital storytelling and customer experience (CX) combined in engagement marketing produce powerful results for B2B marketing.
Including clients in the storytelling experience can make the messaging experience more memorable and personal. To enhance customer relationships through better experiences, telling compelling stories through experimental content effectively delivers stellar CX.
Aside from generating leads, increasing customer engagement, influencing purchase decisions, and ultimately increasing sales, experimental marketing can also help improve the B2B buyer journey to strengthen customer bonds.
Buyers today want more than just quality products or services – they want engagement, partnership, and attention.
As experimental events become more prevalent, B2B marketers recognise this and cite experimental and event marketing as a successful marketing and sales strategy because of its effectiveness. To build effective relationships with your B2B customers, experimental marketing aims to ensure your marketing dollars are well spent. Create a live brand story during your mobile trade show or roadshow so you can observe the sales cycle from start to finish.
You can build strong bonds with your B2B clientele if you focus on the following areas:
Patience is a virtue
Customers do not build relationships and brand awareness in a day, but you will increase your relationship faster with your customers if you deliver your products and services directly to them through an effective marketing program. By engaging in personalised interactions with your customers, you will be able to quickly build a strong bond with them through this direct personal sales strategy. Following the experimental marketing event, the sales team can maintain the conversations, react to what was said, and continue to establish trust with the customer as they move through the sales cycle.
Provide them with solutions
Your business’s current and future clients either need a solution to a problem they are facing or don’t know that they need one. Develop your roadshow experience (mobile sales centre) around a specific product or service that will help them overcome obstacles or save money. Figure out what their needs are. Once you have figured out how to help, create and implement a solution.
Give your story a voice
Having a brand strategy goes beyond a name and logo. It is up to you to figure out what your business stands for, what philosophy you hold, and what you are known for in your industry. You are responsible for humanising your business and appealing to your client’s emotions. Through experimental roadshow events, you can communicate your brand’s values and identity to decision-makers and build strong relationships.
Put value first, and don’t be too pushy
Your B2B mobile trade show strategy should include packing your products and services, parking your showroom in front of your customers’ businesses, creating a warm welcome (including snacks and beverages), and providing an experience that will educate, inform and demonstrate your product in the best possible way. When you demonstrate how you can add value to your customer’s business with a try-before-you-buy approach, they’ll appreciate it. Is there a better way to learn than to have them experience first-hand the benefits of your brand, seeing for themselves how it can solve the problems they face?
It’s all about humanising
Humanising your brand serves four purposes: telling your brand’s story, allowing your team to be seen, building an unforgettable experience, and establishing long-term relationships. First, speaking with your customers face-to-face is essential to gain a competitive advantage since people enjoy doing business with people face-to-face. When you demonstrate how you can help their business thrive and show them their time is valuable, your relationship with your customers will become a trusted partnership.
Through face-to-face encounters, B2B roadshows provide brands with opportunities to connect. Our Huawei MPN Roadshow 2022 is an excellent example of experimental marketing regarding how face-to-face conversations can lead to success in B2B companies.
Emotional appeal is essential for both B2B and B2C marketers.
The terms social responsibility, responsiveness, expertise, and trust often outperform conventional marketing terms, such as integration, flexibility, and cost savings. Through a roadshow, you can weave these words into a B2B marketing strategy that has emotional value. B2B buyers typically associate emotions and experiences with their purchases, which is why experimental marketing is so effective. B2B companies can create content and immersive experiences in customer environments and neutral locations using mobile roadshows. By inviting key people face-to-face, they can engage with their products, foster an emotional connection, and engage with them.
Our work with Medtronic, a maker of medical technology, is one of the best examples of this marketing strategy – combining technology with a deep understanding of the body and the latest medical science to create solutions, such as less-invasive surgical approaches to minimising patient downtime or designing the smallest pacemaker. Through our mobile solutions, they were able to spread the word about their latest medical technology throughout Europe. The Medtronic showroom allowed their prospects to put themselves in their patient’s shoes. The immersive experience Medtronic provided with the roadshow, their clients better understood their innovations and developed a stronger emotional bond. During the immersive experience on a hospital site, each medical specialist could experience, feel, and truly appreciate their solutions. And through this, trust was built.
It may feel counterintuitive, but the future of experimental marketing will involve reaching more people through live branded experiences. The live audience will undoubtedly be reduced in the near term, and this trend may continue with high touch-exclusive activations. However, these activations can simultaneously be experienced by millions through digital amplification for social media. At EventRent, we call it Roadshow Performance Plus+; the roadshow generates topical content for your social media channels.
You are a B2B brand with tons of experience showcasing it at trade shows, but your attendance at trade shows is declining, and your ROI needs to improve – a situation that has become the status quo for most companies. Exhibit halls are chaotic, competition surrounds you, and you have reached a plateau of sales leads most companies don’t follow up on. You’ve heard about experimental roadshow marketing and how it can help, but you’re having trouble understanding how to implement it. Here is where EventRent steps in!
The advantages of working with EventRent:
Technology is expected to further enhance B2B marketing strategies for emerging events, especially for companies offering healthcare devices, hand tools, machinery, or software services. In recent years, AI and VR have become increasingly advanced and accessible, and many brands are experimenting with them to reach new audiences. Much like our client Huawei who has consistently implemented augmented and virtual reality into their roadshows with us, have curated an environment that provides exciting and immersive experiences, where customers were able to see their latest 5G products in a completely new and engaging way.
Furthermore, brands are incorporating sensory elements to enhance their brand experience more and more. An experimental marketing campaign is intended to create an experience. A successful campaign can be enhanced by engaging as many senses as possible to activate memory centres in the brain. By incorporating touch, taste, and smell into their campaigns, brands can nail their campaigns even better than just sound and sight. In turn, this will increase their customers’ chances of remembering their experience long after they are gone.
The ideology behind B2B brand activations is that positive experiences last a lifetime in your client’s minds. Furthermore, just thinking about a memorable experience can bring a smile to their faces. B2B brands are increasingly using roadshows to establish trust among their clients and increase customer participation, which is why they are here to stay and are gaining popularity.
For 30 years, EventRent has been an industry leader in creating engaging, meaningful mobile experiences that connect people and brands. Email us today at email@example.com.