It’s not just rock stars that get to take their shows on the road—B2B mobile tours are an effective, buzzworthy way for many types of companies to market their products and services and meet clients on their home turf. Mobile tours have been particularly strategic during the pandemic, when in-person attendance at large trade shows has declined.
Taking your business on the road has a grassroots marketing appeal that always seems fresh and exciting. While B2B mobile tours may appear to be simple and straightforward, they can actually house layers of strategy that cover a wide range of business objectives. Whether your goal is to foster brand awareness, gauge interest in different regions of the country or interact with your customers more, B2B tours and mobile showrooms are a concept worth exploring.
“Before you hit the road, it’s a good idea to pre-market the event and to carefully map out each stop on your route to ensure you’ll get visitors,” notes Angel Carra, senior vice president of retail at Sparks. “Additionally, check to see if you need a permit to park in certain locations.” Carra also recommends selecting the staff for the mobile tour thoughtfully to ensure that you create the desired brand and customer experience.
At their core, mobile tours can offer businesses smaller, more intimate venues for authentic interactions with their clients. Attendees may feel more comfortable in less-populated environments, especially when that makes it easier to comply with COVID-safety guidelines. And businesses are presented with the unique opportunity of engaging with their clients in comfortable, casual settings that foster real connections. Modern Retail, for example, tells the story of a savvy business owner who set up folding chairs and a table near her parked mobile showroom for outdoor meetings with clients.
B2B mobile tours also give brands the opportunity to connect with customers on a more regionalized level. Brands can travel around the country to test out different markets and see shopping patterns in various locations firsthand. Mobile tours also allow brands to produce custom experiences and interact with customers on a deeper, more personal level.
Business of Home notes that mobile tours combine the sociability of trade shows with less foot traffic, “resulting in fewer, richer conversations and brand experiences for clients.” So, whereas trade show exhibitors may hope to attract hundreds of sales leads with the goal of securing a handful of business opportunities, mobile tours may result in far fewer leads but a higher percentage rate of real opportunities.
The Many Benefits of Mobile
Parking challenges and occasional heavy lifting aside, mobile tours and showrooms have many advantages. They have little overhead and can increase brand awareness and expand your customer base while being cost-effective at the same time. This makes going mobile an especially good option for businesses who were forced to shutter physical locations because of the pandemic.
Mobile tours and showrooms can also be great additions to physical locations, allowing brands to find new customers and increase sales. When Stratasys, a 3D printing technology company, hit the road with its mobile showroom, it achieved better results in two weeks (and six stops) than it would have in six month’s worth of trade show exhibits.
B8ta, the technology and “Retail as a Service” company, travelled to ten cities in the U.S. for a mobile holiday roadshow tour to encourage customers to try out a slew of innovative products. B8ta’s trailer looked very much like it’s brick and mortar counterparts and offered multiple ways for customers to experience a variety of cutting-edge products.
B8ta uses their software and analytics platform to work with retailers around the world. By taking their experiential store on the road, they were able to take products from across the globe and literally put them in the hands of customers in regional markets, and then provide data-driven feedback to the retail brands.
Whether you’re using a tricked-out RV, a deluxe motor coach or a branded van, B2B mobile tours and roadshows are a win-win for brands and their customers. Brands can reach their customers where they are and offer valuable information, product education and unique, individualized experiences. In the current climate, mobile tours can also help brands ride out the challenges of the pandemic while being less exposed financially—and increase visibility and grow their customer base in the process.