If you are reading this blog post it’s highly likely that the International Housewares Association’s decision to cancel The Inspired Home Show has had a massive influence on your plans for 2020. While the impact will clearly be felt by all, as a longtime trusted digital marketing partner of IHA, we not only fully support the decision, it’s an issue that was near and dear to us.
You simply can not replace the importance and impact that The Inspired Home Show has on the industry. Discussing trends, gaining brand exposure, launching new products and connecting buyers and sellers in-person has a profound impact on brands and a successful year. Speaking opportunities are missed, media exposure is gone and critical customer meetings may not happen. Not having that in-person opportunity will impact us all, including epower at home.
The knowledge that epower at home has gained from the Show over the last decade can not be replaced. Seeing our clients, launching new products and brands and offering digital marketing consultations to all IHA members and Show attendees has been a staple of ours over the last decade as well as a critical component of a successful year for us as well.
Is all lost?
While there’s no substitute for The Inspired Home Show, all is not lost. There are digital marketing avenues to explore to supplement the lost opportunities that The Inspired Home Show provides as well as potential future restrictions that the coronavirus will have on work, travel and the housewares industry as a whole.
Double down on digital.
As a digital marketing agency, there is potential for this to come off biased, but as a trusted digital media partner of IHA, epower at home has always put members first, which speaks to the longevity of our affiliation with the Show and association. Whether it is a service we offer or not, digital marketing will help brands move forward with their plans for the year.
Go big on buyers.
While you can’t replace the in-person interaction at the Show, you can still reach buyers using a curated digital marketing campaign. IHA does provide exhibitors with both buyer and media lists, and you can try to reach out on an individual basis, or you can take a more proactive approach and present your value proposition faster and at scale.
How would you have communicated to buyers at the Show? What’s your elevator pitch, or your value proposition? Get this down on paper, then develop a digital marketing strategy to support it that gets this message to buyers at the right time and on the right channel with a proper distribution strategy.
Audience targeting is key to a good distribution strategy. Refer back to your B2B Buyer Persona. If you don’t have one, that’s not my fault, we’ve been preaching the value of buyer personas for years. With a thorough understanding of your value proposition and the buyer, amplify your message on the right channel.
This is where it can get tricky. There are hundreds of channels and ways to amplify or distribute your message. What’s the right one for you? We’re loving a mix of LinkedIn, In-Market audience on Google Ads and Lookback audiences with Geofencing. Blend those channels’ targeting opportunities with customer data (what is available to you) and you have a winning distribution strategy.
If your feet are planted in multiple verticals, take this a step further by making small tweaks that could help future proof the possibility of additional event cancellations.
Get involved in the conversation.
Capitalize on the conversation before the Show cancellation hype fizzles out. Share your next steps or upcoming events.
Getting more visual is key.
epower at home has been preaching the importance of video in your marketing mix for years. This is just one more reason to invest. Video or even hosting a virtual event should be considered to allow buyers to get a better feel for your brand and a better visual representation of your products. Go big with a team of experts like Taste Media Group, or work with your internal team to develop product demos, interviews with your sales team and other videos that give your buyers a more personal look at your products and brand. To pull off a virtual show or get more impact out of your video, don’t forget a distribution plan.
Focus on brand awareness + your audiences.
While a big part of your strategy should involve pivoting early to reach buyers. The media exposure is going to impact your brand beyond buyers. Make sure you amplify your D2C efforts moving forward and double down on brand awareness. Reallocating more ad spend to your social channels or content marketing efforts will have a profound impact on your D2C efforts. While many of the media opportunities at THIS will have to wait until next year, trying out new initiatives to supplement now by integrating influencer marketing into your marketing mix should be considered. We were so excited to share booth space with Embello, they would be a good place to start when exploring influencer marketing.
How we’re adjusting…
And if we didn’t follow our own advice, our advice wouldn’t be worth much. epower at home has been a trusted digital marketing partner of IHA since 1999, meeting and guiding brands in-person at the Show for over a decade. No Show for us, means we have to pivot. We understand all is not lost, let us show you the way! Reach out to hear what epower at home is doing to put our clients in front of buyers, support brand & product launches and double down on digital with the cancelation of The Inspired Home Show 2020.