Friday, February 24, 2017

Trade Show Marketing Tips – Give Your Booth a Boost

Pekin Insurance Display, McDaniels Marketing

If you’re thinking trade show marketing starts on the show floor, you’re only half right. Effectively leveraging a trade show presence does make a huge difference – 38% of attendees say visiting a booth impacts their intent to purchase – but with 64% of trade show visitors being new customers, pre- and post-show marketing takes on more importance than ever before. So how do you stop traffic?

Bee & Butterfly Habitat Fund Display, McDaniels Marketing

Our “Secret 7” for trade show success? Simple:

  • Motion 
  • Height 
  • Big, bold images 
  • Supplemental lighting 
  • Striking colors 
  • Powerful messaging 
  • Technology 
In fact, some of the biggest trends we’re seeing in trade show booths revolved, unsurprisingly, around technology. From augmented and virtual reality to digital ordering to electronic signage and motion boards, technology takes center stage. A few more of our top tips for trade show success…

It’s a careful balance though, between leveraging technology and making a connection. Successful booths evoke an emotional response. And that doesn’t have to be just the floor itself. The ceiling is prime real estate! Take your brand to new heights with suspended hanging elements attached to the exhibit hall framework (within show guidelines of course) or structural elements designed to rise above the standard 10' size.

Knowing their customers’ goals, and their need to maximize time, exhibit companies are introducing new options that allow for modular construction, incorporation of areas like lounge settings and comfort stations to encourage engagement and are built for easy setup and takedown. A few of our favorites:

While you’re nailing your exhibit concept and design down, don’t neglect the obvious – your potential customer. Successful pre-show marketing starts with pre-show planning, and that doesn’t mean a hastily sent e-blast a week before the show. Creating a holistic strategy with public relations, direct mail, social media, coordinated e-blasts – thoughtful marketing that drives traffic to your booth, whether from surveys, giveaways or new product teases.

Acadian Toggle Display, McDaniels Marketing

Of course, staff is as important to booth engagement as the design and marketing. A few no-nos:

  • Eating 
  • Talking on phones 
  • Standing with arms crossed 
  • Sitting behind a table 

And a few must-dos:

  • Greet people 
  • Smile! 
  • Make eye contact 
  • Stand tall and make people feel welcome 
When it’s time to put some pop in your pullup, give us a ring. With 50+ years of trade show experience behind us, we’ve picked up a secret or two. Contact us today: or 309-346-4230.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Get Ready for Generation Z

What if we told you 40% of the population has over $44 BILLION in buying power? In about five years, that could be tripled. Meet Generation Z. That’s the name coined for the up-and-comers following behind the Millennials.

But don’t mistake their proximity to Millennials for similarities. Fact is, they’re blazing their own path, with a more conservative yet more media-saturated approach than their predecessors.

Mere tweens and teens now, their numbers easily hit 60 million, making them bigger than Millennials. Experts differ on their dissection, but most agree those born from 1996 to the mid-2000s fall in the group. They don’t remember a time without social media or smartphones.

Call them Millennials on steroids (many have); call them “the next big retail disrupter” (Women’s Wear Daily did); just call them, because they’re primed with almost unprecedented buying power and influence.

So what do you need to know about marketing to Generation Z?
  • They love social media, but want to fly under the radar. Hence, their penchant for Snapchatting, Whispering and Instagramming, rather than the more ubiquitous Twitter and Facebook. 
  • Their attention span is dwindling – about 8 seconds, according to experts. Lower than any generation before them, and continuing to decrease. 
  • They take a real-world approach, conservative with money (thanks to a very real memory in the 2008 Great Recession) yet more free with money when it comes to expanding their horizons through, say, a safari or tour de Europe. 
  • They LOVE their video – watching twice as much as others. (And 70% of them watch two hours or more of YouTube a day.) 
  • Speed is key – they don’t have time or inclination for deep dives, often multitasking with five screens at a time. 
  • They love emojis, computers and image memes – using them all to communicate. 
  • They tend to be mature and in control, and prefer to be spoken to as adults. 
  • They want to be entrepreneurs and build their own brand. 
  • They want to make a difference, and values matter. They’ll make brand loyalty choices accordingly. 

In short, 8 seconds isn’t just for rodeos – if you’re targeting Gen Z, you’d better be quick, to the point and make it visually appealing. While empowering them, approaching them across platforms and of course offering them the opportunity to engage and express. Want some help getting from Millennial to Z? We speak the language. Contact Randy McDaniels or 309-346-7412.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

4 Marketing Mantras You Can Take from Pokémon GO

Going hunting today? If you’re like most of the McTeam, you’ve made Pokémon Go your go-to partner for lunch. And breaks. And happy hour. And…

Less than a month after launch, the game already boasted more active users than Twitter, plus more than 30 million downloads in the U.S. An impressive 87% of people who downloaded it are still playing it. While it seemingly exploded onto the scene, some hard-core strategy went into making this game (augmented) reality – so how’d they do it, and what can we learn?

The gist of the game: It uses augmented reality technology to turn your smartphone into a Pokémon-hunting tool. With your phone map as your guide, you “hunt” Pokémon. The phone buzzes when a creature or potential location is near. Your phone’s camera projects the Pokémon into your real world. Using digital Poké Balls, you capture the creature. At a certain point in the game, you’re asked to choose a team – Blue, Red or Yellow – only three options, making marketing leverage easier.

The game loops in local marketing potential with PokéStops, where players can gather game-playing accessories and tools, and Gyms, where users can take their captured creatures to train and fight others. Real-world landmarks help earmark those spots. Currently, locations are seemingly random, but word is that sponsored locations are on the horizon, so stay tuned. (It’s already happening in Japan.) Other opportunities come from setting off “lures” at your business door. These ingenious, relatively inexpensive digital tools cause Pokémon to spawn at a frenetic pace for 30 minutes. In turn, luring Pokémon trainers – also known as potential customers.

So what can we learn from the Pokémon Go launch? 

They didn’t reinvent the wheel. Pokémon Go uses existing technology in what feels like a completely new way. Your own smartphone, whether iPhone or Android. The familiar feel of downloading an app. Augmented reality, so no cumbersome goggles as would be required for virtual reality. Simple to use, even for the technophobes, creating low adoption barriers. Easy peasy.

They knew exactly who they were targeting. 

Millennials were Pokémon aficionados from a young age, so they were a natural target for Pokémon Go. They loved the cards; they loved the cartoons. Chances were, they’d love a new-age game, especially with the addition of newer-age tech, which we know they love. Boom.

They leverage perceptions. 

While creators say it wasn’t intentional (belied by the word “Go” in the name), Pokémon Go is perceived as a way to pry potatoes from the couch. The fact is, while many of us know we should be more active, actually taking that action is another story. When you can achieve that goal and have a little fun and interact with your local clime? Perfect.

They tapped into nostalgia.

America loves throwbacks right now, so Pokémon was a seamless fit into our psyches. A childhood game made for adults, with a technological touch that builds on the world around us? Natural.

Ready to give your marketing some get up and go? We’re already on the hunt. Contact us today: or 309-346-7412.