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The Elephants not in the Room

With a marketing background, I tend to look at things in those terms at times – brand, position, presence and so on. So last week at ComRisk, I paid a lot of attention to who was sponsoring, exhibiting and attending. Then it hit me. The two largest vendors in CTRM were totally absent – the elephants were not in the room. I queried Commodities People about attendees – nope – not a single person in attendance from either company (unless they came as late registrants). I guess both entities might feel they don’t need to spend money being there after all – they are the dominant pair and extremely well known and to some extent I get that. But, when you are dominant in an industry, being seen to actively support it is also a desirable brand attribute sought out by the broader community isn’t it? Additionally, my strategy if I were still in marketing would be to suggest their absence means something. Yes, if I were the competition, I’d be making some private remarks about their absence and this is how negative brand awareness happens in part isn’t it. If you leave a void, the competitors will fill it with noise and it may not be a noise you like a lot. This year ComRisk was a very well-attended event. According to Commodities People, up around 50% on the previous year. In amongst those attendees were quite a few of their customers and in a sense, and to be fair, perhaps they represented these vendors to a degree.

I guess it comes down to marketing strategy as to whether and to what extent you support an event like this one. Realistically, its simply not possible to support them all – there are just too many. However, I always advise vendors to at least send an attendee or two. This way, you have some kind of a presence and you can play a role – even stealthily if desired. Over the years, I have helped many vendors with Go To Market strategies and whatever the marketing budget, attending industry events is one of the key strategies I recommend. It shows intent, participation, interest and support. It helps build brand and it fills the void making it harder for competitors to fill it for you.

Meanwhile, many vendors and consulting firms were there including BluePrism, Generation 10, FIS, Digiterre, Eka, Tradesparent, Broadpeak, DrillingInfo, Morningstar, ZE, Molecule, Brady, cRisk, CubeLogic, Scalable, GARP, CTRMCloud and Behavox. We were also there, of course, along with our colleague ETR Advisory. For me, it was very interesting to catch up with all of the exhibitors and find out the latest and greatest news. I also have to say that the gigantic mobile phone that Eka were using to demonstrate their Apps I think was probably a marketing gem and my congrats to whoever dreamed it up!

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It was my first ComRisk and I enjoyed it immensely. The agenda was pretty good, the breaks about the right length and the facility good. I also enjoyed my panel and thank the participants again for a good discussion.

See you there next year perhaps?

Please do contact me if interested in a Go To Market Strategy Project.