This morning I joined a throng of marketers headed to TMFA2014, an expo of new marketing technology. Here are four ultra important things I learnt. Were you there? What did you think?

1. Reports of the death of email marketing have been greatly exaggerated.

At least if the number of Email Service Providers exhibiting at this show were anything to go by. Despite the theme of 2013 being ’email marketing is dead’, the email marketing software industry seems to be very much alive and kicking.

I for one am not surprised. Although the trusty email just isn’t as creative or sexy as social media, content marketing or even a plain old press ad, I find it is the tool that consistently delivers serious ROI.

If your email list is getting big (50k +) it might well be worth looking in to an automation system, and believe me, there are plenty to choose from!

 2. Quality Street has its limitations

If you are going to go to the expense of exhibiting at a trade show, at least put some time into thinking about the freebies you’re going to use to lure people to your stand.

A warm bowl of dusty Quality Street might attract a few peckish marketing directors your way, but once they’ve scoffed their treat and scarpered away from your sales people, will they remember your brand, what you provide and why you’re better than your competitor (who gave them a free lanyard and boiled sweets)?

You should think about a freebie that is tied into whatever your core product or service is: perhaps a free copy of your brilliant whitepaper? What about an app they can download there and then? A few rules of thumb when it comes to trade show goodies:

  • Be unique
  • Be memorable
  • Be useful
  • Be strategic

And I’m not dismissing using some sort of edible treat to get attention. Top marks to Sales Force who had a full-on, branded popcorn stall which had starved marketeers flocking to it like moths to a flame.

3. Coffee at trade shows is blooming expensive

£2.75 for a Cappucinno so small it was barely perceptible to the human eye! I’m in the wrong business…

4. You need to ‘right touch’

My takeaway slogan of the day was ‘right touching’. What’s that I hear you ask? Well, use the RIGHT technology to:

Get the RIGHT message

In the RIGHT tone

To the RIGHT place

At the RIGHT frequency.

Easy, RIGHT?