Your least profitable marketing channel?

May 10, 2013 | Business

After spending last week at a trade show, we made an agonizing decision. We’re not going to exhibit at trade shows next year. It’s surprising to say it after nearly a decade of exhibiting. But, the reality is that the world is changing, and changing our approach is long overdue.

Are you adjusting your marketing based on results? Here’s some of the thinking behind our change.

The best use of time & money

Going to trade shows has been profitable. Even the shows we attended this year were worthwhile. But, there have been diminishing returns.

Trade show leads percentageLike every business, we’ve got a limited supply of time and money and it’s important to concentrate on the best ways to use them.

Over the years, we’ve also done magazine ads, sponsoring seminars, direct mail, electronic mail, and online advertising.

We’ve found that most recently the best channel (best financial results for the cost of time and money) are the electronic forms of marketing. If we had infinite resources, maybe we’d do it all. But with constraints, you have to make decisions.

Better ongoing communication

Another huge reason to go to trade shows is to meet our customers in person. But, we’ve noticed a decline in the value of trade shows. At a very successful show, we reach tens of customers. And it’s usually the same group of fabricators who regularly attend the shows.

Our website gets hundreds of visits every day – thousands of unique visitors every month. It’s a whole different scale. Plus, we’re sponsoring regional education events, sending out monthly email newsletters, and posting articles on our blog.

Maximizing marketing on the internet

We’re going to double-down on the lead sources that are the most effective. And for us, that means becoming more visible on the internet.

Unique Website VisitorsIncreasingly, countertop fabricators are seeking us out on the web, learning about the software from our website, and then very quickly becoming happy customers. Whether we’re talking to you in person or on the phone, our process is the same.

We’re going to understand about how you’re scheduling and estimating now, then we’re going to show you a demo on a computer, and finally, we’ll talk about what’s involved in getting started.

We’re going to increase the amount of valuable information on our website, which in turn will lead to becoming more visible on web searches… and in turn lead to more happy customers.

Concentrating on education

One of the tests we’ve been using in our marketing is “Is this something our customers would pay for?” We only try to use marketing that is valuable – blog articles about fabricators, sponsoring local events. We want to be the company that helps fabricators run their businesses better. In addition to having software products that help, we also want the marketing we do to be inherently useful.

There’s a ton of value we can contribute by sharing our knowledge about how to make your countertop business more efficient, effective, and profitable. We want to continue to help our industry – and the best way is by sharing knowledge. By sponsoring regional MIA meetings and participating in Park Industries’s Digital Stoneworking Expos we get to have a direct positive impact on a new group of fabricators almost every month.

We’re trying to become a source of great information for our customers. Can you do that, too?

Want to know more? At Moraware, we make software for countertop fabricators. CounterGo is countertop drawing, layout, and estimating software. JobTracker is scheduling software that helps you eliminate the time you waste looking for job folders. RemnantSwap is a free place to buy and sell granite remnants with fabricators near you.