A guide to
Digital marketing evolves rapidly.
Having a good online strategy is a must if you want a progressive and successful company.
In light of the current events (or should we say in their absence?) going digital is important. Find out why below.⤶
Exhibitions are anticipated events in every salesman’s calendar. Frantic months are spent in preparations for advertisement materials, designing new catalogues, building beguiling pavilions. Then dismantling it all, shipping it overseas on the other side of the globe only to reassemble it again. A quick smile at the neurotic crowd. Probably fifty meetings in a day. And fingers crossed the statistics at the end are promising and all of this was worth it. Well, whether this made us happy or not, this scenario seems to be different now.
The global business events industry is worth 2.5 trillion dollars. It contributed 1.5 trillion dollars to the global GDP and employed 26 million people worldwide in 2017 according to Oxford Economics (source). One of our all-time faves is Salone del Mobile in Milano. We were eagerly waiting to see the latest trends in the furniture industry and make some new friends. But in March Italy foreshadowed what was about to turn into a global pandemic. Shops, restaurants, cities, borders, and of course, events shut down. The overall economic losses cannot be estimated at this point, but we are all affected severely.
People in the events and retail industries have started adopting technology and best practices from medical facilities. Using hygiene UV robots, sanitized entrances, fever detection procedures, one-way routes, along with other tools and tactics to guarantee safety at the venues and shops. However, a whole lot needs to be done to reach the level of engagement before the pandemic. People won’t be so enthusiastic to visit exhibitions and trade fairs and companies won’t be so eager to send their employees for health and safety reasons. The high street was already on a pre-pandemic downturn too. But let's not rush to hang the noose from the tree. Exhibitions, showrooms, and shops won’t disappear, neither will business stop. We will still rely on live communication. After all, it’s part of our social dynamic, and we simply crave it. ⟶
But in the meantime, silently, other processes are changing. Online sales are growing. In fact, projections show “furniture and furnishings to be the fastest-growing segment of e-commerce sales through 2022.” (source) And “online” does not have to be solely e-commerce, direct-to-consumer selling, or the always popular Social Media. Online at the root is just digital presence.
While furniture and furnishings are an investment and something we prefer to touch, feel and experience in-person “more and more consumers are starting (the) buying process online” (source). The customer will of course visit the brick-and-mortar showroom, shop, or event. But they will do research and compare products online more and earlier on. And they will do this long before they meet you in-person for the deal close. If you are not present, if you’re not a touchpoint along their purchase journey online, chances are you won’t be taking part.
We think the strongest marketing campaign is a personal one. It bets on a very simple psychological trait - reciprocity. Showing interest in someone automatically draws their attention to you. And if you have something that might be valuable to them, you got yourself a deal. This appears to be true in every aspect of marketing. That's why the massive commercial campaigns have changed. Market-leading companies invest in intelligent marketing solutions that target their potential clients in the virtual, digital world. ⤶
Your inventory needs a digital presence. A ‘second life’ if you wish. You want your collections to be where the consumers are today. Where there is a chance they’ll meet and like each other. And there are a number of ways you can do this. Turning your production into a 3D library is just the beginning.
Consumers today are spoilt for choice, and they love it. They want more options, a bigger selection, and a custom personalized experience (source). Simple showcasing won’t cut it as it is nearly impossible to show every option there is for a single product. Going digital removes those limitations.
Customize and personalize. Imagine a whole furniture collection with all the different fabric/wood/plastic/metal/size options. You’ll need to rent out Edexcel just to be able to show all the possible combinations…. You can show your best selections, yes, but people will still prefer to explore options.
We don't believe in extremes and we don't want to be proponents of doom and gloom. Events, exhibitions, and trade fairs will always have their place in sales, marketing, communication, and society. These uncertain times will pass.
We do, however, believe in progress, and we think now is a perfect time to experiment with the visual and with new technology. We have this moment to consider how we can improve, how can we become more resilient. What have we missed?
Are you 3D curious? Would you like to learn how 3D visualization, or implementing VR and AR can help your communication efforts?
Let's talk DIGITAL!⟶