How to attract distributors or end consumers in a trade show? – Push-Pull strategies
The Push strategy
The push strategy is based in concentrating all the efforts in the sales to the distributors, offering them considerable incentives so that they will be motivated to promote your product among the users or consumers.
The Pull Strategy
On the other hand, the Pull strategy centres in influencing the end consumer or user through a combination of marketing actions that contributes to the demand of a determined product(s). In effect, it produces an aspiration process of the product through the distribution channels, motivated by the stimulation of the end demand. It aims to imcrease the derived demand(intermediary) by strengthening the final demand (user/consumer).
The aspiration strategies in the Business-to-Business markets require important promotion investments with the objective to get to the end consumers or users. The Push strategy are more used in this type of markets where it depends on the intermediaries to stimulate the end demand.
How to take advantage of the trade shows to applu the Push and Pull strategies? Based on the type of the trade show, and according to what the products are (consumer vs industrial), it is possible to develop one or another strategy, or a combination of both:
– Sectorial or multisectorial trade shows open to the public
– Exclusive trade shows for professionals
– Mixed trade shows (professionals and public)
The manufacturers and importers of consumer products used various intermediaries, generally wholesalers and retailers to sell their products.
Sectorials and multisectorial trade shows open to public (Pull Strategy)
The typical visitor is the individual consumer in the area where the exposition is organised. Generally, the motive of the visit is curosity and the festive character of the event. Majority of the visitors are real consumers or potential consumers of the products displayed.
Normally, an exhibitor participates in a trade show for image and public relations reasons. However, they are also other opportunities like obtaining information on consumer profile (age, social status, habits and consumption, etc) or the application of an aspiration strategy through the promotion of new products. The main disadvantage of the Pull strategy in trade shows open to the general public is that the communication impact is limited to the local area where the trade show in held.
Exclusive trade shows for professionals (Push)
Different to the previous case, the main advantage of a professional trade show is the concentration of distributors in the local area, region, national as well as international, in some cases. The number of buyers are much reduced as compared to having individual buyers, they are companies such as wholesalers and retailers. The trade show allows the development of the Push strategy to establish contact with the distribution channels, introducing new products or negotiating new terms of sales.
Mixed trade shows (Push and Pull)
The mixed trade shows are directed to both professionals and the general public who pays an entrance fee. Even though the main objective of the exhibitor is centred in establishing contact with the professionals, it also take advantage of the presence of the real and potential consumers to develop some aspiration action. Trade shows for decoration and D-I-Y, gifts and cars offer great opportunities to combine the Push and Pull strategies.
The distribution channels of these products are very short (one to two intermediaries). In some sectors the direct sales manufacturer – user is more practised, especially when they are equipment or industrial components and service businesses. The trade shows directed to industrial products can be professional shows of both sectorial or multisectorial. Based on the characteristics of the products and the type of distribution channel used, the exhibitors can adopt a Push or Pull strategy. Some of the sectors that fit in this type of shows are the chemical, graphic arts, packaging, tools and machinery, construction or transport.