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@teresacottam on “Maximising your exposure at #MWC12: How to cheat the system and win!”

February 16, 2012

Welcome to a guest blog from Teresa Cottam (@teresacottam) founder and BSSOSS analyst at Telesperience. And read our interview with Teresa here:

I have roughly 50 companies on my reserve list for MWC12 this year and we’re still getting calls, emails, skypes and tweets. They’re all companies I’d like to meet and catch up with, but in truth few of them will see me at the show. Why? Well I’ve been fully booked from 7.45am until 10pm each day for weeks now.

This situation isn’t unusual. Many smaller vendors, and even quite a few of the bigger ones who have adopted a more laid-back approach to meeting people, are going to struggle to meet and greet their target analysts and journalists as the pressure on our time is phenomenal.

Even if you’ve got us on your list to see, a lot can still go wrong – not being able to find you in the hall, overruns, public transport issues, and just sheer exhaustion. You may have the most earth shattering news in the mobile industry, but if you’re trying to impart that after say Tuesday 3pm then the chances are your chosen conduits will be pretty much dead on their feet, their minds already overstuffed with earth shattering information from everyone else in the  Congress.

So do yourself a favour – whether you’ve a fully booked calendar of analyst and journalist meetings or not – and rather than working harder, work smarter.

Firstly, accept that the journo-analyst is going to be tired and overwhelmed and will not have the time they would like to spend with you to watch in-depth demos or really understand your ethos, your products or the significance of your news. Go easy on them and find ways to ensure you’re going to get covered in the next 12 months. Kindness and thoughtfulness does a lot to build long-lasting relationships. Believe me we do not remember the 10th demo of the day, but we will remember someone who took the effort to meet our needs.

Here’s a few of my top tips to develop a winning strategy for #MWC12 communications:

  1. See this as an opportunity to develop and deepen the relationship with your target analysts and journalists, and not just an opportunity to stuff more information into their heads – believe me they’ll appreciate your consideration. All breaking news should have been shared pre show, with requisite embargoes and NDAs in place
  2. Cater for the personal needs of busy journalists and analysts – eg do they need a drink or would they appreciate sitting down after 8 hours on their feet? I once met a vendor I knew very well and asked them if they’d mind us just sitting in peace and quiet for half an hour after eight hours of non-stop talk and noise – the vendor was pleased to do this (they were tired too) and I never forgot their consideration. Post-show we developed a great relationship and did the in-depth technical stuff at a more appropriate time
  3. Consider a “grab bag” approach for press and analysts. Put everything you want them to know on a data stick and create a neat package with a giveaway in it. The idea is if the analyst or journalist is really in a rush, shake their hand then press a grab bag into it. It ensures maximum use of both your own precious time and theirs. Rose Ross suggested that a sandwich plus bottle of water might be attractive at lunchtime; most analysts/journalists I know are actually looking for something to stash in their bag to take home for their kids. My big tip is don’t even contemplate paper as they simply cannot carry the weight, and they’re not going to pay for excess baggage in order to take your brochure with them
  4. Consider a “mail back” approach for press and analysts. You really want to continue the interaction after the show – get a mailing address for them and offer to mail them the datastick plus a little giveaway. If they prefer, you could email the PDF to them… Remember to do it and offer a follow-up interview in the email or package. But remember to ask them which channel they prefer to receive information in, because everyone has their own particular likes and dislikes, and this is great information to help build the relationship further.
  5. Refine what you want to say to a very small number of key ideas – preferably one. Bother to find out what the journalist or analyst is covering and then tailor the message to those needs. Don’t go into a lot of detail – just seed the idea with a powerful, simple message and follow up afterwards. When you follow up, remind them that you met at the show and if possible a few details of the conversation to jog that sluggish memory
  6. I’ve been asked over and over again what the most effective marketing giveaways are. They are often not what you think. One of the things I always take home from shows are re-usable cloth bags, as they’re fantastic for shopping. Most blokes I know wouldn’t even think of doing this. Lanyards are much in demand by teenage kids if you have them… The point is that it doesn’t have to be expensive: useful or novel are the two characteristics of a winning giveaway. However, bear in mind the experience I had at a show in Dublin. A lot of vendors were giving away umbrellas because the weather there is fairly inclement. At security checks on the way back home though, the guard was somewhat baffled when in response to the question: “any umbrellas?” I pulled out four with various vendors’ logos on them! Fortunately for me, he had both a sense of humour and the wit to realise I was an overburdened analyst returning from a trade show and not an international terrorist!

Teresa Cottam is a BSSOSS analyst, founder and research director at Telesperience

She is @teresacottam on Twitter

Copyright ©Launchpad Europe 2012. All rights reserved. You may copy and distribute this material as long as  you credit the author where possible; the copies are distributed only for non-commercial purposes and at no charge; and you include this copyright notice and link to Countdown2MWC.com, the original source of the work.

If you have any questions, please contact Launchpad Europe, info@launchpad-europe.com.

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