Time for a Change in Audio Manufacturers' Marketing to Reflect a Post Audio Show World

AR-ChangeShowsB450.jpgOK, by now even the most die-hard trade-show supporter must realize that in the foreseeable future (or until there is a vaccine) the whole concept of an audio trade show is dead. Finished.

But what can replace an audio show in terms of marketing clout and penetration? In the words of an ancient Dawn dishwashing detergent ad - you're looking at it...the Internet...

But if you think all I'm suggesting is throwing up a bunch of Facebook ads, you're wrong. Mass marketing is NOT the answer for specialist high performance audio - never has been - even in the days when TV was the king of mass marketing, rarely (if ever) did audio gear see TV ad campaigns.

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Same thing goes for Facebook, Yahoo, or any other form of large random placements...nope...for high performance audio targeted marketing is far more effective...the metaphor would be using a hypodermic instead of a shotgun...

So, how do audio firms arm their new marketing beachfronts? With talent and expertise that can produce targeted and focused messaging for audiophiles. In my humble opinion audio firms should be repurposing their entire trade show budgets for online marketing and presentations. The first step in this process may be either hiring an outside PR firm who understand the market to originate and organize an online campaign.

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I know of at least a ½ dozen fine specialty audio market specialists including Toscano Communications, Stanton PR, Sohmer PR, CummunicationsMore, Gordon Sell PR,  Muto PR, and Audiophile Review's own Mark Smotroff, all of whom who specialize in the audio world. Another option is either repurposing or hiring and additional person whose sole job would be to organize and run a digital marketing campaign.

Recently VPI staged a several day "mini-show" online as an attempt to fill in the gaps left by the absence of the Axpona trade show. It was a valiant attempt, but I couldn't watch it for more than a few minutes - it was too slow with too much dead time to keep my interest.

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Having some person, any person, stand there and attempt to do the same spiel they would have done at a live trade show presentation, and expect it to work, is doomed...

To capture audiophiles' attention (and keep it for more than minute or two) will require some production values. No, I'm not recommending that product roll-out vids be full of jump cuts, rapid pans and quick stills to jolly up viewers' eyeballs, but I am recommending that instead of stand-up "I'll just wing it" presentations, audio manufacturers need to up their game with detailed visuals of the product coupled with useful information about what makes the product new, different, and special. 

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In short, to be successful in this brave new post-audio show world audio manufacturers need to be doing all the things that have been embraced by forward-thinking consumer businesses for years...they need to deliver a marketing message to end users that is commensurate with the exceptional experience prospective owners will get from the high-performance consumer audio products. 

We audiophiles know that a high-performance audio system can inject music directly into your soul...the successful manufacturers going forward will be the ones that can bring that revelatory experience directly to customers home viewing screens...

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