Exhibition News October 2018 - Page 35

EN ROUNDTABLE "This year we’ve seen the value of having a marketing analyst" - Rommon Thompson EXTERNAL VS INTERNAL “You have control over a website that you don’t have with platforms,” – James Moffat Courtney Baldwin: “We took on a PR company to manage our social because when we took on the show, none of us knew the language and or the audience very well. We decided to take an industry PR company who knew the exhibitors, and who knew the visitors. They ensured that through that transition of the acquisition we still remained the leaders and the knowledgeable people. Sylvain Meneux: There's a bit of a battle between many companies because I think when you do it yourself you accumulate the knowledge. Add to that the knowledge of the audience, then you're in a much better place than when you outsource to an agency, especially when in our industry we see people come in and out. So you get somebody on the job for a couple of years and they move out and then this knowledge gets lost. We regularly have these conversations about this struggle between should we outsource or should we do it ourselves. It takes some time but the job is done better I think. MM: I come from marketing agencies and it’s the first time I’ve actually gone and looked at any events, so it’s quite interesting for me to see an agency side and incorporate the event side. I suppose I come from the old school where I feel that agencies still own the best marketers. SM: I think the risk is when you have a smaller budget and then the agency, then you're a small fish. If you do it yourself you can really immerse yourself into it, make it work, make a case, and next year you’ll have a bigger budget for it to reallocate money towards it. ALLOCATING BUDGET NM: Are you finding it harder to decide where to spend money, when there are so many possible avenues to go down in terms of marketing? SM: Yes, especially with everything that’s not measurable, or that’s difficult to measure. Since I joined Upper Street I’ve tried to push for measurement as much as possible,. When I joined sometimes 100 per cent of the marketing budget was direct mail and that’s not right. People rely on discount codes, I introduced using control groups, but beyond that these are channels that are impossible to track. ZL Social media marketing is quantifiable, so when I’m doing my budgets year-on-year, I can say we’ve increased by 10 per cent this year because we did X, Y and Z. It’s quantifiable. It’s the beauty of online media, and that does help with me getting a little bit more budget. But it’s how much you can spend? From a marketing perspective, you could spend so much. HM: I think it all depends on your industry, a lot of our audience is mummies and I’m working a bunch of mummy bloggers. They all want a fee, so I’ve got a small pot which I spread across eight people. But it’s worth it, and if they come to the show, then we’ve got content. They're celebrities in their own right, they’ve got huge followers and that’s where we’ll get a new audience. We’ve got the TV audience already but we want people who are going to spend money with the exhibitors. DELVING THROUGH DATA RT: This year we’ve seen the value of having a marketing analyst because it means that as brand marketing I can see everything but continued ➞ I don't have to see everything in exhibitionnews.co.uk | October 2018 35