Email Marketing to Saturation Point

I was recently in London for Internet World 2010 and had a good wander around the exhibitors. I like to do this initially to get an idea of what’s going on and a general feel of the theme of the show. You can always tell what the industry is doing by what is the majority of the exhibitors attending. It could either be part of the current growing trend or consumer demand or it could be a certain drive in the industry to create sales. From the moment I enter it’s quite obviously that its latter. I get immediately greeted by some gorgeous girls handing me flyers and scanning my badge. As I say thanks and walk away, I turned back to see what it was that the most expensive and primed position stand was. A very large hosting company. A few rows back was another hosting company, followed by another and then several more.

Hmm, quite obvious what this year’s theme is about then? However, walking around for a bit longer it seems that I’ve got it all wrong. Hosting was not quite the theme of the show (in terms of the exhibitors) but Email Marketing most definitely was. At times it was hard to see how you could have so many companies competing for the same service in such a confined space. This also meant they were almost side by side in some cases! Wandering through the packed aisles in a quickened pace to get to the seminar theatres the last thing you want is people to block your way and ask, “Have you considered Email Marketing Sir?” exhibition stand at Internet World

Is this the worst exhibitor stand you’ve ever seen? >>>

I’m not having a go at the Email Marketing industry at all as I’ve used it extensively in the past and find it very effective for CRM, lead generation and sales. What is less preferred is when it is taken in the context of saturated sales pitches. I found it hard at times to find stands I wanted to investigate as the word “Email Marketing” were being uttered at every corner. However, I do have a big gripe about one thing and that is the sales techniques. I’m the type of person who likes to feel in control of sales. I hate being sold to and I hate listening to sales pitches. The more aggressive sales people take the position of blocking you way. You have no choice but to engage in conversation (or listening) with the sales pitch and are not released until they have finished. Some are good and let you go when you say no…others want to know why you’re not interested. Bah, I can go on about this.

Lets not say that anyone is at fault here. The seminars were brilliant and very diverse for all areas on the internet world. In particular the E-Commerce theatre was very appealing and informative. In one seminar about the current Social Media Trends, even the speaker remarked about the theme of the stands…”So have everyone bought enough hosting and email marketing for you company so far today?” Spot on. Also spot on from this particular seminar was understanding you environment and what the appropriate action is to take within the current social media setting.

Stand-out points from Internet World:

  • Content is still king
  • Content is in multiple forms and is closely connected with data analysis
  • Tradition bread-and-butter SEO is slowly being replaced with social media for success.
  • Planning your marketing mix should include the channels where you will have the MOST success
  • Understanding and knowing how to respond in your environment is key for success