A few weeks ago I attended the DMA 2011 Conference in Boston, MA, at the city’s new convention center. As a marketer in that city for more than 20 years, it was a special pleasure for two reasons: (1) It was – and I’m embarrassed to admit this – my first opportunity to explore the city’s new conference facility in the revived Seaport area…and, lucky for me, the rain stayed behind in Baltimore. So, it was a sunny and breezy New England day when I arrived. (2) The day I attended was the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Ten years earlier this same conference in Chicago had turned appropriately to the doom, gloom, and empty aisles that day represented. So, the bustle of the show and the crowds of marketing professionals and vendors I saw at the conference and in the exhibit hall was a real spirit lift and a 180 degrees from ten years back.
I spent the day walking the aisles, talking to vendors, listening to pitches, and massaging my feet (Note to self: Leave the high heels behind next time.) But I learned a lot and reached out to quite a number of vendors about products or services of potential interest to WebbMason.
All these vendors promised to follow up. And one or two did. And so I waited. And waited. And…what the heck? I’m still waiting to hear from the majority of vendors.
It should have been a clue when some of the booths I walked into were staffed with personnel that didn’t know how to operate the badge scanners. And some didn’t even have them. So, I did run out of business cards to leave behind, and signed my contact info to the backs of their cards. And we all know what happens to ‘those’ prospects: they get dropped into some booth staff member’s pocket, possibly never to emerge. But what happened to the others?
It’s one thing when you don’t want vendors at your literal or virtual door. It’s quite another when you ask for someone to call, and then you’re ignored.
Hey DMA Exhibitors: I INVITED some of you to call. Are you not listening? Are you playing hard to get? Have you lost the ‘delicate art’ of follow-up? Has all the noise in the industry about not reaching out to customers and waiting for them to approach you totally confused you? Really? You’re supposed to be cream of the crop… but I’m embarrassed for you…
And you call yourselves marketers?
Founded in 1989, WebbMason is one of the fastest-growing print and brand management service companies in the United States, helping marketing departments and their internal and external partners save money and streamline processes through a winning combination of industry expertise, exceptional print supply chain partners and technological innovation. Headquartered in Hunt Valley, Maryland, WebbMason has 20 sales offices throughout the United States.