Why Face-to-Face Marketing is so Important Post Pandemic

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face to face marketing - two business owners shaking hands

There is no denying that the Pandemic has had long-lasting effects on virtually every aspect of life – including business and marketing. Many companies had to suddenly halt their normal operations in 2020 and find new ways to make sales, stay productive, and earn profits. Due to the spread of COVID-19, face-to-face marketing virtually disappeared – but it seems to be making quite a comeback.

A Glance at the Past Year

 social media and paid ads budget increased in 2020

During the global COVID-19 Pandemic, nearly all businesses invested heavily in digital marketing strategies. Social media and paid search results spending were the only two marketing channels that grew from 2019 through 2021. Display, classified ads, and even videos all declined. Digital ad spending grew by an incredibly 14.6% in 2020 alone.

Live events like trade shows and business conferences were almost non-existent. Some events were canceled completely, while others tried to adapt through virtual tools. While companies certainly made the most of the situation, there is no denying that businesses struggled to connect without face-to-face marketing.

But now that states and countries are relaxing COVID-19 restrictions and more people are vaccinated, live events like trade shows are returning. This is giving brands a whole new opportunity to reconnect with clients and customers through face-to-face marketing.

But some are wondering: Why does face-to-face marketing matter and is it worth going away from digital strategies?

Here’s why face-to-face marketing is more important than ever post-pandemic.

Establishing a Brand Identity is Crucial

sales person talking to a couple

Every brand has an identity and some are more identifiable and recognizable than others. For instance, you can instantly spot a McDonald’s or Apple ad simply through their design, color scheme, and overall aesthetic.

There are tons of ways to create a brand identity and image through marketing – including digital. Your company’s website, social media presence, and digital ads should all create a cohesive design that matches up with your brand.

However, the best way to really make sure that customers remember and recognize your brand is through physical marketing. Most professionals agree that it takes between 5 to 7 impressions before a consumer will recognize a brand. However, digital designs are often easily overlooked by customers.

First of all, consumers are inundated with digital ads day in and day out. It is estimated that we see up to 10,000 advertisements on our phones, TVs, and computers every day! We have now trained our brains to ignore content that we recognize as an ad. Plus, many people now use ad-blockers on their devices to remove them automatically.

The second reason that face-to-face marketing is essential for establishing a brand identity is that it puts a face and emotional impression on your business. When your sales or marketing team interacts with a customer personally, it creates a connection. It “humanizes” your brand – and that means something to the customer.

People remember experiences far more than marketing messages. Think about the last time you’ve had a wonderful experience with a company. These will probably pop into your mind quite quickly. And likely one of the reasons that this experience was so memorable is due to the personal interaction you had with someone who worked for the business.

The best way to make these lasting good impressions with customers is through personal interactions. So, face-to-face marketing needs to be a key component of your company’s strategy for growth and success.

People are Craving In-Person Brand Connections

happy business women meeting in person

It is no surprise that the Pandemic affected our connection to other humans. Many people experienced loneliness and even depression and anxiety due to separation from friends, family, and even co-workers.

People have also missed going to events and learning about new things, such as new products or brands. Seeing an item first-hand and getting to touch, use, or try it before you buy naturally makes you trust the brand far more than an online ad.

The same is especially true in the B2B realm where partnerships and client relationships are crucial for success. It is difficult to really build trusting relationships with clients solely through virtual calls and communication.

Building engagement is also one of the greatest challenges that marketers face across virtually all industries. Keeping a lead’s attention and nurturing them solely through digital outreach can be far more difficult than meeting with them face-to-face.

Events and Business Conferences are Gearing Up

events business conference gearing up

While the “solution” to this issue during the Pandemic was to use virtual or hybrid events like Zoom conferences and meetings, this is clearly not a long-term answer. Seventy-six percent of business leaders even agreed that moving away from face-to-face marketing events has had a negative impact.

So, it is no surprise that attending and planning in-person events is a top priority for many companies this year.

According to the latest report from Northstar Meetings Group, 82% of respondents planned on holding or attending live business events in 2021. Additionally, the number of people who seemed hesitant to attending in-person events has decreased from 30% to just 3%.

This means that more tradeshows, business conferences, and live events will be happening all over the country. While there are still some COVID-19 regulations in place (at least for now), many companies are going ahead and booking spots to connect with new clients and customers.

However, this does bring new challenges to light as competition is even fiercer than before. Additionally, it still seems like hybrid events are going to be an option as not everyone is comfortable or able to attend events in-person just yet.

This means that brands need to really stand out from their competitors with unique face-to-face marketing designs.

The Best Face to Face Marketing Tactics

customizable exhibit

Standing out from the crowd at trade shows and conferences starts with an impressive, eye-catching booth display. First, you need to make sure that your booth accurately represents your brand through color, design, and placement.

The best way to create this is with customizable exhibit booths. These can be tailored to display finishes, textures, graphics, images, fonts, and other added elements according to your liking. These can even be designed in unique shapes and layouts, depending on the environment and style you want.

It is also highly recommended that you implement bold graphics to capture people’s eye. Avoid too much text and stick to videos and images that will grab the attention of passersby. Choose graphics that truly represent the message you want to present to others, such as:

  • What product or service you sell
  • What makes your business unique
  • Who the intended customers are
  • Why they should pay attention

Implement Technologies - 14-119-36_81

Another excellent tip here is to integrate technology to make your booth stand out even more. HD screens can be displayed throughout your booth to create digital signage and provide continuous content. These can even be interactive, allowing viewers to make selections or explore through digital simulations.

Finally, be sure that your team is prepared for face-to-face marketing. They need to have a clear understanding of who your brand is, who your audience is, and how to connect with them. This involves much more than just knowing the answers to common questions. Your team needs to be able to personalize their sales pitches based on each customer’s needs and motivations.

Having all of these elements together can help your business make a memorable impression during the next live event.

The Wrap

As things start to “return to normal” so to speak, many companies are having to adjust their strategies to keep up with customer expectations and demands. Although 2020 was all about digitalization, it seems like there is a return to face-to-face marketing as in-person events make a comeback.

Ask yourself: Is your company truly prepared to connect once again with customers? How are you going to make an impression and stand out at the next trade show or conference?

Art and Display are here to help. We provide customized trade show displays and exhibition stands for companies across all industries. Find the exhibit solution that is perfect for your next upcoming event by contacting Art and Display, Inc today!

 

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Loren Gundersen