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The Value of Personal Networking in Marketing

When the word ‘marketing’ is mentioned many business people instantly think of online methods, such as social networking, search engine optimisation, and web marketing; although this is hugely important, you must not underestimate the power of personal marketing.

Personal marketing tips

What is Personal Marketing?

So, what exactly is personal marketing and how can you effectively use it as a part of your marketing strategy? Well, it can be defined as; speaking directly to customers, consumers, clients and B2B networking, and also making personal connections outside your business hours. To find out more about how effective this form of marketing can be take a look at this infographic created by Virgin that clearly illustrates how important it is.

Marketing techniques included in personal marketing methodology include:

  • Trade shows
  • Conferences/seminars
  • Meetings
  • Networking

Trade Shows

Tradeshows are one of the most effective ways of meeting new clients and consumers. Here you can speak with many different potential clients and network. For this to be successful your presence at the exhibition must be memorable and people must be attracted to your stand.

First of all, you need a professional and high quality stand that portrays your brand in a positive way. You should also have a range of marketing gifts and promotional merchandise; even something as simple as a bowl of branded sweets will have people flocking to your stand. According to research undertaken by the BPMA (British Promotional Marketing Association) 67% of people will keep a promotional gift and 97% of the people included in the study will not forget the brand who gave them the gift. Of course, promotional gifts are the memento or memory trigger not the message itself; you need to be prepared for a hard day on your feet demonstrating, enthusing and relaying your passion for your product or service.

It is of the utmost importance that your stand reps are well trained, outgoing and professional but not too stuffy! For this reason I would always advise getting your inbound sales team to join your account managers to bump up the numbers rather than hiring in temporary staff.

Meetings

Business meetings are generally more formal than trade shows and business exhibitions. Here, it is important to show yourself in an incredibly professional manner. Whatever the nature of the business you’re discussing, whether it is a brand new contract or you’re trying to get a stockist to order a new product, you need to know as much as you can; of course, if there is too much to know for one person, ensure that you have colleagues or employees for backup.

Business meeting in a conference

photo credit: rafa_luque

Conferences

Conferences offer up opportunities for large symposium type settings but also great opportunities over breaks and in smaller break out and seminar discussions to find out recent developments from industry experts as well as sharing your own discoveries from recent trading and research.

If you are a speaker at one of these events you can add an authority and influence to your business that will certainly have a positive effect. Chance encounters made at these kinds of events can turn into great business connections.

Networking

One of the most important things to bear in mind about networking is that you don’t just do it during your business hours. Every person that you speak to, including chance encounters on the commute or conversations with cashiers in local shops, can help to build your reputation as a business person and, in turn, the reputation of your business. Movements like Friendly Friday both highlight the effectiveness of such chance encounters and help to trigger more of them.

The fact is, by simply being open to conversation you can help to boost your business at any time.

About author

Simon Kay
Simon Kay 3 posts

Simon Kay is the Managing Director of EMC Advertising Gifts, a specialist promotional products retailer who has many years of experience in the marketing gifts industry.

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