Make events part of your sales strategy

Sure, digital content can be an effective way to get your company’s sales message across. But it only goes so far in solidifying customer relationships. For that, you need to support it with brand experiences—the opportunity for your customers to personally engage with your company.

Brand experience is a hot topic in marketing today. Consumers are looking for more than just a product or service to purchase. They’re looking for meaningful experiences that validate and make them feel good about their brand preferences. Even more than that, they want to feel part of a community of brand loyalists.

Successful events can go a long way toward strengthening your company’s relationships with customers. Here’s why:

  • Events are one of the few ways for your customers to meet with peers and “share” the brand experience collectively.
  • They help build a community of brand enthusiasts.
  • They allow your customers to meet and engage with real people in your company, so they can connect with you on a human level, not just a transactional one.
  • They provide opportunities for attendees to build and sustain a professional network.

So what’s the key to a successful event?

Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when planning and implementing an event.

  • Limit the scope of the topic. Don’t try to cover too much or go too broad. Plan events within events that focus on narrower subject matter and a more specific audience.
  • Use social media as a marketing tool before, during and after the event. Social media is a great way to extend the life of the event, stay top of mind with attendees and strengthen your community of customers.
  • Plan games or other hands-on activities to “break the ice” and keep things interesting. Lectures and speeches are fine, as long as you provide other, more immersive experiences that allow for active participation.
  • Allow attendees to customize their event experiences. Provide a menu of options so they can pick and choose what’s most meaningful and enjoyable for them.
  • Facilitate connections. Plan team-building group activities that allow the attendees to interact with other attendees so they feel part of a “brand community.”
  • Inspire your audience and demonstrate thought leadership. For a keynote address, find a passionate spokesperson within your or an affiliate organization—someone who can speak about the theme of the event with authority and commitment.
  • Speak from the audience’s (your customers’) point of view, not just your company’s. Make the event experiences relevant to them and their needs.
  • Above all, make the event fun. You want the event to be an enjoyable experience that attendees feel is well worth their time.

Need help planning an event?

Let Ingram Micro’s Direct Agency team be your event strategist and planner. Agency Ingram Micro does about 1,800 events annually, from business dinners to educational meetings/conferences to experiential incentives. We have the expertise and resources to help ensure it’s a truly memorable one—a fun, impactful and truly immersive experience that promotes your business and builds customer loyalty.

 

To learn more, contact Ali LeBlanc or Wendy Sanacore.



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How the internet has changed TV commercials

Back when television first hit the scene in the early ’50s, commercials were usually more like boring product demonstrations of the latest appliances. They were also typically much longer than we’re used to today—some as long as two minutes or more.

Many of those early ads also employed a musical jingle designed to get the brand name or tagline stuck in your head. Who can forget ads like “Slinky” or Burger King’s “Have It Your Way”?

Ads did eventually drop down in length to about 1 minute, and by the ’70s, the 30-second ad became the norm. Jingles were eventually retired in favor of an emphasis on humor, like the classic “Hai Karate” cologne ads and Alka Seltzer’s “I can’t believe I ate the whole thing.”



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Going mobile? If you’re not, you’re losing customers. Find out how to make your website mobile-friendly now.

Is your mobile-unfriendly website driving customers away?

In a world with more mobile devices than people, a mobile-optimized website is a must-have, especially as more technology buyers make decisions from tablets and smartphones. According to a survey by Google Research, users are five times more likely to abandon a site that isn’t mobile-friendly, so it’s critical to get your site up to speed to avoid alienating potential customers. Here are a few pointers.



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Welcome to a new year with the Agency Ingram Micro blog

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Jennifer Anaya, vice president, marketing, Ingram Micro North America

Our mission at Agency Ingram Micro is to make it easy for you to market your business and services and shorten the sales cycle. We recognize that keeping up with the latest marketing and digital marketing trends can be challenging. And, let’s face it, the way technology business decisions are being made is lengthening the sales process.  Now, there’s an ever-increasing need to target the right sales content to the right business decision-maker and technology leader and we’re here to help.



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The Rise of Emoji Marketing

Millennials…have you heard that term being thrown around daily?

How do we communicate with millennials? They don’t talk like us, they use pictures (emojis) and shortened, 140 character communications to converse.

Their communications look something like this:

 

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I even overheard a conversation the other day where someone mentioned that the “period” as punctuation, is dead.



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Hi. I Have Pink Hair.

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Every time I get my hair done, my hairdresser asks me if people in the professional world ever take me less seriously because I have pink highlights in my hair.

My answer to her is that pink hair doesn’t make me less knowledgeable in my trade. It just gives people in direct contact with me a small slice of my personality and I like to have fun. Pink hair is fun. (I think). I’m fun. (I think).

My pink hair facilitates conversations. As an Agency Ingram Micro (AIM), marketing account manager, I can’t tell you the number of times I have set up a meeting at a trade show and said, “You’ll know me because I’m the girl with the pink hair.” And they find me, with a smile on their faces.



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This Mistake Is a Whopper

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If you can’t learn from your own mistakes, sometimes you can learn from the mistakes of others.

Take Burger King’s “Whopper Sacrifice” campaign, for example. Back in 2009, when the Internet was still emerging from its cocoon and just starting to spread its wings, the fast-food giant got the idea to leverage Facebook to increase sales.

The idea was a good one: Create a viral ad campaign that encouraged Facebook users to sacrifice 10 of their friends to earn a free Whopper. The problem was in the execution.



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What Is Content Marketing? (And Why Should You Care?)

 

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Essentially, content marketing is about providing relevant content to your potential customers and leading them through the sales process.

You can use content marketing to develop strategic resources that your customers will find valuable and then show where to find them. It’s also about what happens once they download or access those resources.

Typically, a standard marketing message is very simple and direct: “Watch this video and then buy our product” for example. Or perhaps, “Read this ad and call us today.”

Content marketing takes that simple formula and expands it outward into a larger network of interconnected pieces that are all designed to engage the customer on multiple levels and for a longer time time.



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Little Moments: A Day in the Life of a Microcopy Writer

For microcopy writers, every day is filled with editorial adventures and creative satisfaction. They never know what digital writing assignments may cross their desks.

Svetlana, an internationally known microcopy copywriter, starts her morning with a mini tablet and espresso in hand. Her first assignment is to tackle call-to-action button copy. Writing short but influential content is no easy task. She must get users to click those buttons so the sales cycle can continue.

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If Digital Marketing Had a Superpower, What Would It Be?

What’s small but mighty? No, it’s not Ant-Man, Mighty Mouse or a dwarf from The Hobbit. I’m talking about something so powerful that it can make or break a website, email or app.

It’s microcopy—the small pieces of text on your website that guide a visitor’s experience. It’s more than just mouse type. This copy encourages customers to take action.

We’ve all read it but maybe didn’t realize the power that it had over us. It’s the copy that asks us to sign up for contests, rewards programs and travel deals. But it’s also the tiny copy that helps us unsubscribe from email lists, create passwords and brand 404 error pages.

I like to call it the secret weapon for digital marketers. If you use it right, customers can be putty in your hands.



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A Four-Step Rebranding Process for Channel Partners

The fast-moving IT market could leave your channel partner brand out of date. Here are four tips to update your image.

In a market where nothing stays the same, it might be time to consider the rebranding process.

If you are like most IT solutions providers, your business looks a lot different than it did just five years ago. You may be offering new services or delivering them differently as managed or cloud offerings. You may be targeting a different set of customers or specializing in a new vertical market. You may have acquired another company or your overall value proposition may have changed.

But what about your brand identity? Has your brand changed to reflect your business as it is today?

 

 



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What Sets You Apart?

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In marketing we always look for something unique that sets the client apart from the crowd. Once we know what that is, we can craft a UVP, or a Unique Value Proposition, which is simply a statement about what makes your business different from the guy down the street.

The purpose is to communicate your distinctive strengths and give your customers a reason to choose your company over competitors with similar offerings.

Essentially, your UVP should answer the question, “Why would customers choose us instead of our competition?”



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