Why is it important for a company to participate in a trade fair? What are the characteristics and advantages of a trade fair event? And what can be done to develop and strengthen the relationship between supplier and sales outlet?
Milano Home asked Diego Toscani, founder and CEO of Promotica.
Can you elaborate on the role of Italian companies attending trade fairs across the country to promote and expand the sector?
Trade fairs, including those held in Italy, are still today, and even more so after the forced COVID halt, an important opportunity to present the company, its values, products and solutions to a broad and international audience.
Of course, digitalisation and the Internet make it possible for people today to not have to wait for these events to make their presence known and share their activities, product innovations and conclude business deals that used to be done in person, but physical encounters and tangibility remain powerful tools to increase self-awareness, to analyse competitors, to build partnerships and to convey the excellence that our country represents in the eyes of a foreign buyer. There is no platform that can replace the results of walking around the stands, hearing the comments and opinions of insiders, receiving the impressions that sometimes cannot be perceived authentically during an online meeting. Being at a trade fair, with the proper preparation of course, is always a profitable investment for companies and entrepreneurs.
How can a synergetic alliance between suppliers and shops be created - and with which levers?
A strong alliance between suppliers and shops is now more than ever the secret of business success for both of them. The levers on which to act are based on an open dialogue that requires an awareness of common goals, and involve long-term financial and commercial agreements that enable investment and that must include advanced services from suppliers (market research, customer profiling, brand investment, merchandising) and an increase in the level of quality from retail (personnel, training, reception, display), in a historical era marked by a high speed of change in consumer needs and habits.
What are the main instruments serving loyalty?
We have been in the loyalty business for more than 20 years, and in that time, in terms of technologies and instruments, we have witnessed a great evolution of the industry. We are thinking of analysing purchasing and other behaviour (browsing data, social, etc.), CRM platforms, marketing personas. But the nature of the human being has not changed, whereby truth and honesty play a key role in building and maintaining customer trust. A customer does not want to be flattered, but listened to and accommodated in his or her real, everyday needs, especially in recent years when the international crises have called into question the purchasing power. A customer who has to make purchases on an increasingly tight budget cannot waste resources. For this reason we cannot betray the customer; loyalty is achieved if we step into the customer's shoes and understand his or her needs. For this reason, customers must be at the centre of all operations - reward catalogues, contests, short-term collections, self-liquidation, etc. Customers must be at the centre, otherwise we cannot win their trust.
What function does Promotica play and what initiatives does it promote to support companies and their customers?
Promotica has always aimed to offer high quality loyalty campaigns, developing projects that enhance Made in Italy and are attentive to environmental and social sustainability. We provide a general contractor service for loyalty activities, covering everything from legal and tax aspects to privacy issues to the execution and delivery of rewards. We continuously research the market to understand whether we are tapping into customer demand or whether we need to readjust our offer. The key word is: listen. We do not pretend to know what consumers want, rather we are always attentive to their needs and try to offer the solution closest to the demand. We respond to change through constant and ever-evolving research efforts that take into account the seasonality and external factors affecting the daily lives of families. Building customer loyalty is a complex and stimulating challenge that we have been tackling for 20 years with love and satisfaction.