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Digital Marketing vs. Trade Shows: Which Is Better for Your Business?

Both digital marketing and trade shows can promote your business and produce results. But which is one will work best for your company?

If this question is currently on your mind, we’ve got you covered.

On this page, we’ll explore the ins and outs of digital marketing vs. trade shows and highlight some of the significant benefits they bring to your business. And if you’re thinking about incorporating digital marketing or trade shows into your marketing strategy, we’ll discuss how you can decide which one is right for your business.

Bonus: Did you know that WebFX is a leading full-service digital marketing agency? Our award-winning team of over 500+ experts has generated more than $6 billion in revenue and over 24 million leads for our clients.

Want to know how we can help boost the success of your business?

Call 888-601-5359 to speak with one of our strategists or contact us online today to learn more about how our digital marketing services can drive results for your business.

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WebFX campaigns have delivered more than 14,936,451 ecommerce transactions in the last 5 years

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Digital marketing vs. trade shows: What is trade show marketing?

What is digital marketing

Before we dive into a comparison of trade shows vs. digital marketing, let’s discuss the definitions of each to better understand what they are and how they work.

A trade show, or sometimes also called a trade exhibition or trade fair, is an event that brings together members of a particular industry to display, demonstrate, and discuss their latest products and services.

The trade show venue will usually provide a space for businesses to exhibit their products and brand, and some trade shows have guest speakers, awards, and workshops.

Trade shows can be an excellent way to market your products and services, as well as network with other businesses in your industry. You can also connect with new potential customers, suppliers and distributors, influencers, and the media.

Digital marketing vs. trade shows: What is digital marketing?

Digital marketing is the promotion of a business, product, or service using online channels and digital technology. Here are a few examples of digital marketing strategies:

Digital marketing is a valuable strategy that enables you to reach more consumers, improve your visibility online, and ultimately increase sales for your business.

Our digital marketing campaigns impact the metrics that improve your bottom line.

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WebFX has driven the following results for clients:

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$6 billion

In client revenue
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24 million

Leads for our clients
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7.14 million

Client phone calls

Digital marketing vs. trade shows: 4 key benefits of trade show marketing

Now that you know that definitions of trade shows vs. digital marketing, let’s dive into the benefits they can provide for your business.

While both trade shows and digital marketing enable you to promote your products and services, they offer different benefits for your business. Here are four key benefits of incorporating trade shows into your marketing strategy:

1. Meet with potential customers

Trade shows can give your business a unique opportunity to meet with your potential and current customers face-to-face. By meeting with your customers in person, you can:

During a trade show, you can have discussions with new and current customers, allowing you to use their feedback to better understand their pain points and improve your products and services in the future.

2. Raise brand awareness

Perhaps one of the most significant benefits of attending a trade show is that it can increase your brand awareness. Your business will have its own booth or exhibition space to display your products and services at a trade show.

This space will visually represent your brand, complete with your logo, company colors, and team members.

As a result, trade show attendees will see and interact with your brand, creating a lasting impression in their minds and increasing your brand recognition and awareness.

3. Analyze the competition

It’s essential to keep tabs on your competitors to increase your sales and revenue, and trade shows can provide you with an excellent platform to analyze your competition.

You can analyze which booths are the most popular and how they are attracting customers. You can research your competitors at trade shows by:

  • Observing how they interact with customers
  • Looking at their products and services
  • Analyzing how they market their brand and products to consumers

By keeping tabs on your competitors during trade shows, you can follow their lead with successful strategies and fill in any gaps they might be missing to attract more customers and sales.

4. Target high-quality leads

Because many visitors will need to register or be involved in the industry somehow, most trade show attendees will be interested in your products and services.

As a result, you’re connecting with consumers who are actively searching for what you offer. Trade shows provide an opportunity to generate high-quality leads for your business, so you can eventually turn those leads into conversions.

Digital marketing vs. trade shows: 4 significant benefits of digital marketing

Now that you know about the benefits of trade shows, let’s dive into one of the best alternatives to trade shows: digital marketing! Here are some key benefits that digital marketing can bring to your business:

1. Earn a higher ROI


Several digital marketing strategies use data to create and implement effective marketing campaigns that will drive revenue for your business.

As a result, digital marketing strategies can drive an impressive return on investment (ROI). If that’s not convincing enough, check out these statistics:

  • You can earn $44 for every $1 spent on email marketing
  • Businesses make $2 for every $1 spend on PPC ads
  • Content marketing costs 62% less than traditional marketing methods and doubles website conversion rates

And if you partner with a digital marketing agency like WebFX, you can work with a team that knows how to maximize revenue and results for your business.

2. Track and measure the success of campaigns

Another benefit of digital marketing is that you can visibly track and measure the success of your campaigns. You can easily view information and data such as:

  • How much time users are spending on your website
  • Which pages and content are the most popular
  • Customer demographic data
  • Which strategies are driving the most sales

Data tracking benefits of digital marketing

And there are plenty of digital marketing tools that enable you to track your campaigns with ease, like MarketingCloudFX. With MarketingCloudFX, you can view the sources of leads and phone calls and receive detailed recommendations to improve your campaigns.

3. Bring ideal consumers to you

Digital marketing enables more potential customers and leads to find your business while browsing the Internet, shopping, or researching.

Traditional marketing methods, such as television and radio advertisements, require you to reach your audience and entice them to purchase your products and services.

Digital marketing, on the other hand, allows you to promote your brand to consumers who are already actively searching for your products online, resulting in more potential customers and sales for your business.

4. Expand your reach

One of the best benefits of digital marketing is that you can continue to reach more and more consumers online as you implement your strategies. With more than five billion people using the internet each day, you have the potential to market your products and services to a considerable number of consumers.

Expand reach benefits of digital marketing

With billions of consumers using social media and search engines to browse and research products, the opportunity for your business to increase sales and grow is massive.

Digital marketing vs. trade shows: Which is better for your business?

So, how do you decide between digital marketing or trade shows? Your decision depends on several factors, including your marketing budget and your business goals.

However, if you’re looking to expand your reach, promote your brand to as many quality consumers as possible, and earn the best ROI, implementing a digital marketing strategy is the way to go.

As one of the best alternatives to trade shows, digital marketing can help you reach more consumers and boost revenue while saving you more money in the long run all at the same time.

If you need more convincing, here’s a few statistics to help you decide:

  • 63% of exhibitors say that the cost of trade shows is expensive, with 31% of their overall marketing budget going towards events and exhibits
  • 54% of exhibitors say their number one problem with trade shows is not being able to track their results and ROI
  • Content marketing generates 54% more leads and costs 62% less than traditional marketing
  • Email marketing can generate 50% more sales than other lead generation strategies
  • Segmented email campaigns can increase revenue by 760%

So, what’s the bottom line?

While both trade shows and digital marketing can promote your business, digital marketing strategies are the most cost-effective option that will drive revenue and take your business to new heights.

And by using a leading digital marketing agency like WebFX, you can implement effective data-driven digital marketing strategies that will boost your sales and provide you the best possible ROI.

Boost the success of your business with digital marketing services from WebFX

Are you ready to get started with a digital marketing strategy to reach more potential customers but aren’t sure where to start?

That’s where WebFX comes in.

Our team of experts has over 28  years and 3 million hours of experience in creating, implementing, and managing digital marketing campaigns that drive results for our clients.

Speak with a strategist by calling 888-601-5359 or contact us online to get started with our revenue-driving digital marketing services for your business today!

And if you want to learn more about digital marketing, sign up for Revenue Weekly to get digital marketing strategies and tips sent straight to your inbox!

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