You know you’ve had a busy trade show when you don’t have time to blog about it while it’s still going on. Last week’s Internet Retailer Conference and Exhibition in Boston (IRCE 2009) was a case in point.
I had a great time manning the Monetate booth and meeting all kinds of online retailers, from established giants like Overstock.com and Staples.com, to startups who don’t yet have a web site.
With all the travel and follow-up activity that working a show entails, this is the first chance I’ve had to write up what I learned from the show.
Introducing Monetate to such a diverse audience was a stimulating challenge and a great way to hone my answer to that critical question: What do you guys do? That process taught me some valuable lessons about marketing in general as well as marketing online.
Online marketing guru Bryan Eisenberg says I should be able to explain the value of doing business with Monetate in 140 characters or less (you can read Bryan’s TweetVP exercise here). Obviously that particular constraint is the one imposed by text messaging and Twitter, but I found that it also mirrors the attention span of the typical trade show attendee. This is the person strolling down an aisle of booths, all of which are competing for his or her attention. Your pitch to them has to be catchy but honest, brief but informative. You only have about 20 words or 140 characters to engage them in conversation.
Of course, there are some trade show attendees who make your day by coming right out and asking:
“What do you guys do?” When that happens it’s tempting to respond with the company elevator pitch: “We segment your site traffic and personalize your web pages with targeted messaging and offers.” And that is what we do, but what does that really mean if you’re an online retailer attending IRCE?
What you really want to know is: Does this product make my life easier? Will it help me meet the day-to-day challenges of online marketing? Does it mean my site will generate more revenue? I would say the answer to those three questions is: Yes, Monetate does that!
But you’d probably want me to back that claim with some examples. I had that part covered, citing case studies and mentally pulling examples from a list I recently created, titled: “25 Online Marketing Challenges You Can Meet and Beat with Monetate.”
I found that every retailer could relate to at least one of the examples I cited. That served to advance the discussion to the next question: “How is Monetate different from other solutions?” On day one of the show my response was to point over my shoulder at the booth where it says: “Zero I.T.” By day three I was also wearing a button that said the same thing, only graphically.
And that will be the subject on my next post. I want to end this post by returning to the 20 word test. Is it really a good way to focus your mind on the essence and appeal of whatever it is you sell? I think so. Here’s my 20 word answer to the question “What does Moneate do?”
Empowers segmenting of traffic, targeting offers and messages to personalize the site experience, increasing conversion and AOV with zero I.T.
Okay, that still sounds a bit awkward, so let’s relax the rules just a little and spell out the initials:
Empowers you to segment your traffic, target offers and messages to personalize the site experience, increasing conversion and Average Order Value with zero Information Technology.
With a few minor tweeks you could tweet either of those. For example, you could use IT instead of I.T., but the implications of that seemingly simple choice will be the subject of my next post.