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Intermountain uses video e-mails to build brand at conference

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Conferences are notorious for being loud, bright, crowded places, which is why many marketers employ even louder music, brighter lights and plenty of gimmicks to draw people out of the aisles and into their booths. Joey Dalessio, director of marketing and sales at Intermountain Lock and Security, knew he needed something along those lines for his company’s booth at the Associated Locksmiths of America conference in July. He also wanted to capture valid customer names and e-mail addresses, and promote his company as a technological standout among the hundreds of wholesalers at the show.

After consulting with his agency, Performance Communications Group, Chicago, he came up with a plan: Offer booth visitors the option of recording and sending their own e-mail video postcards complete with his company’s logo and identifying information.

Scott Madlener, exec VP, interactive strategies at Performance Communications Group, explained: “It would give people something to talk about and let them send home a message to their boss or their friends that they are actually working while in Vegas,” he said. “It also uses additional branding to tell people what’s going on at the trade show because each postcard becomes a junior Web site.”

The service, which costs about $2,500 for each reusable video postcard set up, and 25 cents each to send, brought in 400 to 500 people to the company’s booth, all of whom may not have stopped in without the video postcard kiosk, Dalessio said. Due to time constraints, only 50 people were able to make their own messages—there were always people left waiting at the end of the day—but those messages had a far reach. The 50 postcards were viewed more than 400 times.

While Dalessio said he can’t attribute specific sales to each of the postcards sent, he can say that it has improved his company’s image. “We’re not just a wholesaler anymore,” he said. “We’re a leading wholesaler in the eyes of our customers.”

The video postcards worked so well, Dalessio said, he plans to continue using them. For example, later this year he plans on using the video postcards to send out product demonstrations and training messages to boost customer interest. He also expects to use the medium at his next trade show.

“We’ve included the video postcard in our marketing plans for 2007,” he said. “It will go out as a monthly postcard for our customers. We’ll also use it to add to our database at trade shows. It’s a really great draw.”

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