What is a Marketing Roadshow?
One often overlooked aspect of Field Marketing is brand roadshows. To put it simply, a brand roadshow works by spreading brand awareness throughout various locations via events and demonstrations. By doing this, a company is able to bring their brand’s experience to a wider audience than by just hosting an event in one location. Marketing roadshows work by interacting face-to-face with the general public to emphasize a product’s unique selling point (USP) as well as demonstrating the product’s value and benefit to the potential buyer. An example of a marketing roadshow would be if a technology company decided to tour the major shopping destinations in the south of England in order to set up stalls that invite the general public to test out their latest gadgets. By doing this the company would hope to increase brand and product awareness with the aim of driving up sales. By communicating with the consumer in this fashion, roadshows are like extreme product sampling campaigns. Appeal to the heartstrings and get consumers to engaging with a product on an emotional level and your roadshow could be considered as following experiential marketing techniques.
Why are they Effective?
One major benefit of roadshows over other forms of marketing is that they work to communicate the value of a product on a very personal level. By having a face-to-face interaction with a member of your team, potential customers can gain an insight into what your company is all about. This can work to evoke a sense of trust in consumers by being able to put a face to a firm. For this reason, it is imperative that staff that work on marketing roadshow campaigns are not only passionate and knowledgeable about the product, but are also friendly and approachable to encourage public participation. For more information on the importance of public interaction in marketing, why not have a read of my article on People Power and Persuasion.
Another great benefit of marketing roadshows is that they are very hard to ignore. This point is becoming more and more relevant as all areas of media become increasingly saturated with advertising. With adverts appearing in high frequency on the radio, television and the internet, they can blend into an ignorable haze of marketing white noise to the everyday consumer. The innovation of technology is also providing the public with methods of cutting out adverts from media completely. Ad-blocking apps and recordable television means that these very expensive forms of marketing could be falling on increasingly deaf ears. In contrast, this makes the real-world, physical presence of a marketing roadshow far more noticeable and engaging.
That’s not to say that marketing roadshows should completely replace other forms of advertising. Ideally, a marketing campaign will be perfectly complemented with other innovative techniques such as social media schemes as well as some tried and tested traditional methods like print adverts. Giving a campaign a unique spin can also work wonders to ensure a roadshow stands out. One method undertaken by several companies with great effect is the sensation of ‘flashmobs’. Here’s a fantastic example of a flashmob that, while not linked to a marketing campaign, proves how creative they can be:
Roadshows are also effective as they can provide both long and short term results. In the short term, a well-placed and well executed demonstration can encourage the public to purchase the product there and then. This can work to effectively drive a short term increase in sales in the locations that the roadshow reaches; this marks a good way to effectively measure the short-term success of a campaign. Longer term benefits of a roadshow campaign are also important when measuring return on investment but by nature are hard to quantify. These benefits can include a greater awareness of a brand and product. It can also include a diversification of customer base, either due to reaching regional markets that were previously untapped or by introducing new demographics to your product. While it may be hard to assign a percentage or number to these variables, measuring brand interaction through social media platforms can provide a good indicator.