In a country that is aggressively stepping up branding &
marketing its ‘Made in India’ products by worldwide, it becomes imperative to
look at how increasingly business events are being branded and marketed
globally. There is a phenomenal surge in
trade shows and exhibitions world over that has led to a booming Meeting,
Incentives, Conferences & Events (MICE) industry.
Call it globalization or cross-border trade, the numbers are growing
exponentially for export driven countries like India, China, Brazil and Turkey
for key segments enjoying preferential marketing by respective governments.
Until recently, various trade export promotion councils in
India for industries like Handicrafts, Handloom, Apparel, Carpets, Wools have
followed the routine traditional marketing techniques for building up
participation in Trade fairs that attract buyers and visitors from across
Europe, US, Asia and Australia. While attendance from mature markets like US
and Europe are followed predictable growth curves, latest trends show strong
potentials from Scandinavian countries, Sweden, Norway & Finland, opposite
seasons markets of Latin Americas (Chile, Uruguay, Brazil), Australia and
resurgent countries like Russia. The Indian government with its thrust on
exports, is pushing its exporters and entrepreneurs to explore new business
opportunities, to introduce newer products and materials to emerging markets as
well as major economies.
Marketing the Indian
Apparel and textiles potential
The Indian textile and apparel industry is amongst the
largest in the world, with an enormous raw material and manufacturing base.
Apparel exports grew from US$ 9.69 billion 2007-08 to US$ 13.73 billion in
2011-12 which accounts 4.48 per cent of India’s total exports in 2011-12. The Apparel Export Promotion Council is amongst
the flagship councils that is busy setting up buyer-seller meets across major
commercial capitals like New York, London, Denmark & Tokyo for Garments
& Apparel fairs. It is keenly pursuing marketing India as a leading ‘Fabric
to fashion’ destination, aggressively
promoting cities like New Delhi as an ideal meeting point for international
buyers and business heads of major global brands who are scouting for top notch
Indian suppliers and exporters.
Brand India calling - Online
Until only a few years ago the council followed a typical
and traditional event marketing exercise. The senior key personnel of the
organization enjoy one-to-one, trusting and lasting relationships with global
buyers who depend upon them to introduce them to quality suppliers of the best
products in India and manage the relationship on an ongoing basis. In such an
approach no one is complaining, except for one nagging hitch. The numbers have
yet to scale up. So while existing buyers continue to source from Indian under
the watchful eye of the council, when it comes to expanding its reach and
looking to rapidly expanding and dynamic international market scenario, it is
time to look beyond the existing pie.
Apart from print advertising in leading magazines and trade
journals, and a battery of telemarketers, there wasn’t much by way of AEPC
getting to know who is coming to attend these events and in what numbers. No
numbers, no feedback, no engagement. Just your plain look-good, feel-good,
usual marketing spent that went into glossy covers and odd insides. That is a
far cry from today, when AEPC recently appointed Digital marketing agency
Woodapple for strategic online marketing of Textrends 2014 for the 4th
consecutive time, having tasted outstanding success right from the inception of
the first campaign.
Geo-targeting on Google & other search engines
There was a time when humanity navigated oceans and sailed
with the wind to new horizons and opportunities. Today, in the internet
economy, businesses are navigating very different waters of online search
trends, surfing websites for highest traffic & visitors, banner advertisements,
social media, PPC campaigns and conversions. Woodapple’s plan of action for
Textrends India fair included geo targeting focused countries for AEPC’s
exports and fetching registrations from overseas buyers across North America
& Latin America, Europe, parts of Asia & Australia. The campaign
aggressively pursued a list of target keywords, scanning
trends on Google to gauge the actual volume of global searches for these
keywords. A smartly designed and highly vigilant PPC campaign, effectively
creating visibility and online buzz for the event thereby routing traffic to
the TexTrends event website and successfully registering prospective visitors
to the fairs, day on day.
Results are instantly visible
Cost is transparent. You only have to pay
when someone clicks on your ad and lands on your website.
It is easy to set and adjust your daily
budget and unlike with other media you can calculate your ROI precisely.
Easy to target Audience geographically,
Email, LinkedIn & Facebook marketing
Email campaigns, LinkedIn & Facebook marketing campaigns
were undertaken to boost matchmaking and attracting high-profile professionals
from top notch brands interested in sourcing from India. As the campaign gained
popularity and visibility across leading search engines, it drew more and more
traffic and registrations each week of its duration, culminating in registrations
of high value prospective buyers who finally attended the event. It was the
first remotely managed, people-less campaign for AEPC, wherein it successfully
tapped into a much wider market than it could ever dream of, across continents,
with actual buyers contacting them & registering for the event online,
without making expensive international calls for overseas prospecting.
LinkedIn is a powerful professional networking platform,
Over 225 million members in over 200 countries
and territories around the globe.
39% of members are Managers, Directors, Owners,
CEOs or Vice Presidents
LinkedIn membership includes executives from
every company listed on the Fortune 500
The current Textrends campaign for the Januray 2014 fair
will see stepping up engagement with its audiences via popular conversational
channels Twitter & YouTube & image/media sharing site, Pinterest.
Creating a win-win, deeper & trusted engagements with both buyers &
exhibitors via responsive online platforms is clearly the future for a
successful brand building & marketing strategy by AEPC.