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The reality is that today’s business relies heavily on virtual communications and so face to face meetings are fewer and far between. When it comes to marketing, the cost associated with many forms of virtual marketing can be a bit less than face to face sales, but is this advantageous in terms of results? Here, Justin Cobb compares the benefits of virtual and face to face marketing because he believes they both have a time and a place when promoting products and services.
“What I have discovered is that today’s consumer, although heavily entrenched in virtual communications, actually has a desire for a more personal approach to communicating. They want that sense of reality when conversing with another person that they can only get through eye contact, a touch on the arm and a genuine smile from time to time,” Justin Cobb says.
According to research conducted in 2004, the implications in business communications are profound. The report concluded that face to face communications enable the speaker to get visual cues from the person or persons he is speaking to in order to provide him with instant feedback so he can adjust where he is going with his pitch (in sales) or to change direction in his speech.
As a world renowned public speaker, Justin knows full well the need to gauge his audience’s reaction when he is talking to them. Most people aren’t aware of the visual cues they are putting out, their body language, that signals such as interest and boredom. “I find that in terms of marketing,” he says, “this is huge. When speaking with a prospect you can ‘fine tune’ your approach, which isn’t possible with virtual communications.”
What Justin is referring to is the fact that it becomes necessary to monitor the progress of online ad campaigns and website statistics before you can estimate how well that approach is working. In direct marketing, at events, you are talking directly to a prospect and you have an immediate sense of what they are thinking and/or feeling just by watching their reaction.
The 2004 study by Stroper & Venables concluded that while face to face contact may be a bit more difficult to organize and may cost a bit more, this approach, in itself, can send a valuable message to those you are speaking with. In terms of being able to close a sale, Justin Cobb says “Live events make it so much easier to close a sale because you have that immediate feedback that allows you to adjust your selling points. Today’s consumer wants that personal approach so this is the best way to give them what they want in terms of marketing and it tremendously increases sales for the business.”