Part 1: No one noticed it.

Why didn’t those who noticed the booth, approach it?

In most markets, the frame that is carried around by consumers is “I’m just looking”. Even when we venture all the way to the mall, car dealership or trade shows, this is the answer a prodding sales person receives.

“Hi, welcome to our booth. Can I help you?”

“When do you think you will be ready to purchase?”

“Do you like this product?”

Every question often begets the same default answer. Every question also represents a choice for the person you are asking. He can choose to take a risk and tell you truth, fib or outright lie to save your feelings and/or avoid an awkward situation. When there’s plenty of choices and everything is a click away, the consumer is very unlikely to approach and certainly unlikely to actually buy something from you. This is also the way they surf the internet. Rarely clicking on anything, thus the rapid decline in web banner effectiveness, and rarely staying on a website for more than a couple of minutes.

It’s not a stretch to associate a exhibitor’s booth with their website. They often pay high rent for high-traffic locations on the show floor, and invest time and money in booth design (ie banner ads) in hopes of attracting the eyeballs of the masses. This results in Useless Traffic or in web terms, Bounces. Unfocused, mistargeted impressions by hordes of consumers who simply don’t care. It’s good for the ego, that’s certain. You can brag about ‘hits’ and ‘pageviews’ but the conversion rate is likely to remain staggeringly low.

The tempting thing to do is to obsess over numbers. If you could just convert X% of the traffic, you’d be increasing your conversion rate by X and so on. There’s a million things you can do to focus on this, and almost none of them will show you much improvement. Instead, focus on more productive engagements:

  1. Engage your existing users far more deeply. Increase their participation, their devotion, their interconnection and their value.
  2. Turn those existing users into ambassadors, charged with the idea of bringing you traffic that is focused, and accompanied with intent.

In other words, work hard to attract a focused consumer you actually care about and keep the riff raff walking on down the aisle. Embrace the bounce rate.

Part 3: Tried it but stopped using it.