We live in the digital era, with everyday activities, including communications, happening virtually. Technology has transformed various sectors, including the business industry. Today, most entrepreneurs have shifted their operations online, including sales purchases and marketing.
Although virtual marketing has significantly changed the game, especially with the rise of social media, it cannot replace the value of face to face marketing. In-person communication still has its place in this era of e-commerce and can benefit digital marketers as much as people who run physical stores.
What is face-to-face marketing?
Face-to-face marketing is a branch of field marketing that involves talking to potential clients through in-person communication. You get to look them in the eye as you inform them of the products or services you offer. An example of informal face-to-face marketing is when you meet someone at the mall, and they ask what you do for a living. If you explain to the person that you construct apparel for people, including celebrities, they may vest an interest in your business, especially if they are into fashion.
If the person is interested in purchasing from you someday, you can provide a website address or a business card so they can reach you. That is an example of informal face-to-face marketing, where you take advantage of a situation to let others know about your business.
However, face-to-face marketing doesn’t always have to be informal. There are various formal ways to approach face-to-face marketing, including attending business conferences, trade shows, Chamber of Commerce events, and other gatherings to market your products. You can volunteer as a speaker if you attend a convention related to your niche. You can also rent a booth at a local trade show to display your products or make the most out of the conversations you have with people at the trade.
Whichever method you choose, you are making your business known to real people, and you get the chance to promote your products in person. Your approach to face-to-face marketing does matter; it is still an essential part of your marketing plan. Online campaigns may be effective, but you don’t want to miss out on a valuable opportunity of getting to know your existing and potential customers in person.
Meeting people or someone in person is much different than interacting with them through online platforms. Something as simple as shaking hands can create a stronger bond than sending an email would. Psychologists have discovered that chemical exchanges occur between individuals interacting in person.
Benefits of face-to-face marketing
High return on investment (ROI)
When you meet someone in person, you can ensure their first encounter or experience is as positive as possible. Once the person becomes a customer, ensure that you deliver top-tier products or services that meet their needs. That way, they can easily recommend you to their friends and other people, increasing your customer base. Besides the value of the transaction you might get from that customer, there is also the ripple effect through the customer’s network. You can therefore increase return on investment with face to face marketing.
Fosters relationships and trust
The best entrepreneurs understand the value of relationships and credibility in improving customer retention and acquisition. One benefit of face-to-face marketing is that it allows you to build relationships with people. Additionally, because you are visible to them, it becomes easier to gain their trust.
Although it is not impossible to form relationships with people online, meeting them in person is way easier.
One-on-one communication proves to be way easier and more effective than online communication. Misunderstandings and misinterpretations are more likely to occur in online communications, which may impede your marketing efforts. But with online communication, you can clarify anything to the potential customer in case of any doubts. However, meeting new people for the first time can be intimidating, especially for introverts. But with practice, you get the hang of it, and you might find that it becomes something you enjoy.
How to stand out in face-to-face marketing
The following tips will help you make the most of face-to-face marketing in your first and subsequent events.
- Tap into emotions to evoke a visceral response in your prospective customers
- Be subtle in your marketing and avoid hard-sell tactics
- Maintain a strong brand identity
- Combine in-person marketing with digital marketing to maximise both channels
Running an online business can make you feel like you are operating in a vacuum. You can ward off these feelings by getting out into the world and meeting prospective customers.