"It's much easier to persuade someone if they're already convinced, if they already know the facts. But it's impossible to change someone's mind merely by convincing them of your point." Seth Godin
This marketing doctrine is based on the perennial philosophy "At the end of reasons comes persuasion." The Art of Persuasion is an age old idea that has been vigorously scrutinized since the days of Aristotle. The road to persuasion as traveled by Aristotle is constructed of 3 elements: Ethos, Pathos and Logos.
Ethos (Greek for 'character') refers to the credibility of the writer or speaker or in our case the exhibit marketer. Ethos is affected by the person's reputation as it exists independently from the message - his or her expertise in the field, his or her previous record or integrity, and so forth. The impact of ethos is often called the argument's 'ethical appeal' or the 'appeal from credibility.' Hint: As an individual marketer start creating a buzz about your individual credibility using social media channels.
Pathos (Greek for 'experience' ) is often connected to emotional appeal. Paint a visual picture to 'appeal to the audience's imagination.' A plea to pathos causes your audience not just to respond emotionally but to identify with your point of view–to feel what you feel. The power of Pathos propels your audience into action. Hint: Don't just claim the features of your products. Use vivid emotional language to paint the features that will benefit your audience coupled with sensory details of your exhibit design. "Remember facts and figures do not make an emotional impact but stories and vivid language do."
Logos (Greek for 'word') refers to the clarity of the claim, the logic behind the reason, and compelling clause of its supporting evidence. The impact of logos on an audience is sometimes called the argument's logical appeal. Hint: This is where perennial marketing comes into play. Keep the pipe of education flowing. Keep your target audience informed with technical details such as e-books and white paper. Use facts and figures to support your argument.
Source: Ramage, John D. and John C. Bean. Writing Arguments.
The landscape of digital communication has given us marvelous opportunities to harness our concepts of ethos and logos. However, pathos scores high in the events that involve face-to-face-marketing such as trade shows. Trade shows are ideal venues where you get to test the different flavors of Persuasion. You get to test the levels of persistence, logic and exuberance that is needed to drive an idea to a close. Professor Jay A. Conger, author of Winning 'Em Over states that Persuasion is a process of give-and-take. To persuade effectively, we must not only listen to others but also incorporate their perspectives into our own. Above all, Persuasion involves testing a position, developing a new position that reflects input from your target audience, more testing, incorporating compromises, and then trying again.
Persuasion can be a force for gigantic good and trade shows are fertile grounds to foster it. Persuasion pulls people together, drives new ideas, stimulates change and hammers out constructive solutions."To do all that people must understand persuasion for what it is–not convincing and selling but learning and negotiating."
More on Persuasion.
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Marketing has gone through tectonic shifts, especially in the last decade or so. We have made the shift from print media to online media. We are witnessing the introduction of new tools (almost everyday) that make our communication with potential customers more efficient. We are in the organic valley of social media indulging in a relentless two-way communication loop. As a result, our addiction to real-time communication is simply voracious and our attention to focus is scattered. And, these are only a few of the recent changes that the marketing industry has gone through.
Given this technological dynamics, we as trade show marketers often question the viability of exhibiting at trade shows. The short answer to this concern is: Trade shows have never presented a better opportunity for an exhibitor to get in front of decision makers. Premium level decision makers now walk the show. They are there because they have a need that is not currently being met. I guess, technology has not yet managed to eradicate the desire for the high touch of human interaction.
Now, that we know who are our target audience, let's fashion a booth that will attract their attention and sustain their scrutiny. We have to become skilled in the art of attraction. Here are some few pointers that always work!
Design with a Themed Purpose: In the illustration above, we designed a 50's theme with a flair for high touch modernity. Nostalgic times in stride technologically advanced products! Don't just stop there. Use high appeal promotional giveaway, It is all about perception. How do you want to be remembered? This should be the end game of anything and everything that you do.
Design with a Presence: Your graphics must always be larger than life. Your architecture must be self defining. Always keep in mind of your target audience.
Design with a Flow: Keep in mind about the laws governing spatial arrangement in relation to the flow of energy. Have ample of areas for natural clustering. Have a sculpture or perhaps a multiple screen projection that wows the audience. Again, you are going for the memorability act. In the above illustration, the corner of the booth was highlighted with a car from the 50's.
Design for a Motion: As Tony Robbins says: emotion is always moved by motion. Movement attracts our eyes and turns our bodies. Implant a juggler, blow bubbles or simply play with a yo-yo. Integrate it with your value statement.
Design for the Limbic System: Our sensory receptors reacts to the stimulation from our environment. Make clever use of this proven method for your booth design. Lavish your space with texture, light, sound, smell and color.
Design with color because, "colors answer feeling in man;", design with unique shapes , because shapes answer thought, design with motion, as "motion answers will."
"There’s a collection of Zen koans called the Gateless Gate. Among other things, koans transcend dualism. The traditional sales process is fully dualistic - there’s a buyer, and there’s a seller. We are witnessing the dissolution of the traditional sales role, as recommendation commerce evolves and storefronts become wherever you happen to be, doing whatever you are doing. Which brings us to the Storeless Store and Saleless Sale." Valeria Maltoni.
And my friends, this is the new face of trade show marketing!
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Don’t bend; don’t water it down; don’t try to make it logical; don’t edit your own soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly. Franz Kafka