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SaaStr isn't a diSaaStr (but pitching is).
Last week, we had the opportunity to attend SaaStr. We rented a limo to meet great folks (more on that later), heard excellent talks, and learned a TON. As constant learners and curious humans in a multidisciplinary agency, we take this experience to heart, reflect upon it, and love sharing it with those around us.
Our overall impression is that even though SaaStr was great, many brands could benefit more by being present.
SaaStr is fun, but your pitch is such a drag.
When attending events of this magnitude, you are inclined to tell others that your product is the perfect solution for their problems. It's an expensive ticket, and as marketers obsessed with metrics, there has to be some ROI from the experience. You pitch your product as much as you can, hoping someone pays attention (maybe a couple of polite people do). Quite possibly, however, few people care about your product because they, just like you, are also in pitching mode.
We tried to have honest and curious conversations with the people attending the event on multiple occasions. We wanted to discuss growth, attribution, experimentation, etc., only to arrive at another pitch at around minute 4.
What would happen if you stopped pitching and listened? Are events a place where you go to sell? Or a moment to connect, interact, learn, and maybe sell?
Kudos to those who understand events are part of their marketing exercise, not just an opportunity to sell but a time to learn, listen, and build genuine connections. Thank you to those who took the time and effort to listen to us and share their learnings. That is 10x better than closing one client.
You don't need a booth to grab attention.
Events are fun, but standing out with much competition and stimulation is challenging. Once the event ends, you may remember some people and one or two outstanding products. But, most of the pitches and efforts brands make to stand out in their booths will be forgotten.
Grabbing attention matters. It's a fact. But it is also true that the art of having the perfect "elevator pitch" or "booth" is useless if everyone is doing the same (as we already mentioned).
Early on, we knew a booth was out of the question for us. Instead, we went all in to find a moment in the daily routine of the attendees where they would be less stimulated and more willing to have a real conversation. The idea came naturally: a limo ride-sharing experience.
We met great folks, and someone called the limo a "moving booth."
Best of all, we added genuine value to their day. They got to SaaStr safely, at no cost, and in a pitch-free environment.
Twice the impact at a 10th of the price.
Marketing is not just doing what everyone does but doing what no one has thought of yet to build a lasting impression. If you're on a budget, dare a little, think outside the box, and even if you have a lot of cash, dream bigger and try an airplane banner. Don’t follow playbooks, but rather push your marketing teams to go beyond the norm.
The first ten ideas might be trash, but eventually, something great will come to mind.
Being in marketing means being of the business of attention. Act accordingly.
Pitch when useful, listen and learn permanently.
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