Executive Summary Three Rivers Optical is a company located in Pittsburgh which supplies lenses to the ophthalmic community. Steve Siebert, CEO and head of marketing faces different challenges on deciding if he should keep trade shows he has been doing as sales have not been proficient enough, and whether he should invest in new trade show to grow TRO’s market share. Steve’s plan is to invest into different states such as California and Michigan in the next five years. As TRO is moving towards the west, it needs to invest in trade shows International Vision Expo West and Midwest Vision Conference & Expo.
Trade shows are a very important investment in the eyes of TRO since they generate sales, and more importantly attract new accounts. Trade shows have to be used for brand recognition, and as a channel between the company, and its customers. Marketing trade shows through direct mail, mails, and advertising is very important to reach customers that do not know TRO’s product, and to reach actual customers for new product introductions. To follow up with trade shows, TRO needs to outsource its salespeople, and reduce its budget on SECO, and International Vision Expo east
Today, marketing is “the activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large” (AMA. ) Three Rivers Optical has been trying to grow its business through trade shows. Three Rivers Optical is a family-owned business located in Pittsburgh and was created in 1969. TRO is a lab supplying lenses for opticians, optometrists, and ophthalmologists and has been ranked among the 25 leading manufacturer of optical laboratories in the country.
Three Rivers Paper
Steve Siebert, CEO and head of marketing, is facing a problem which many companies are facing today which is how to grab more shares in the market a company is in. Based on the geographical distribution of optical good stores, do Steve’s plans for growth make sense? In the next five years, Steve’s plans for growth are to be in western Ohio, Indiana, and south and central Michigan. When TRO has enough accounts to be profitable in those geographical areas, Steve wants to move to Denver, and end in California. Using data from the case, it shows that California, Michigan, and Ohio are ranked top 10 in sales for optical goods stores.
The advantage TRO has on his competitors are it is recognized leader in the industry, and has been selected Transition Lab of the Year and honored by the Optical Lab Association as one of the top 25 labs in the country. Based on geographical distribution of optical good stores, Steve’s plans for growth do make sense. He is aiming growth in profitable states. On the other hand, Steve’s plans should include states that are actually closer to him, and that are, as well, ranked in the top 10 in sales such as New-York, and Illinois. Are trade shows a viable option to generate sales, sales leads, and new customer accounts?
If so, in which shows should he invest? Trade shows are a viable option to generate sales as it is an excellent way to find new accounts to help TRO grow. According to a study conducted by the Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR), “86% of show attendees were the decision-maker or influenced buying decisions, and 85% had not been called on by a salesperson before the show” (Entrepreneur. com. ) Dwyer, F. Robert, & Tanner, John, F. ,Trade say that “shows are ranked second to advertising in terms of the marketing communication budget. Also, trade shows are great opportunities for TRO to converse, and create relationship with customers which will lead those to be potential buyers. TRO should invest in International Vision Expo West, and Midwest Vision Conference & Expo because both of them are attended by the ophthalmic community, and they are located in the two regions TRO wants to expend its business to. Finally, if TRO wants to grow its business in the Midwest, and in the west, he has to attend both trade shows to grab potential buyers,, and more importantly to make his brand known, and create relationship with new customers.
For the shows TRO already does, what should the strategic plan be? What tactics should be included? TRO has to use different channels to engage current and potential customers. First, TRO has to understand which customer it wants to sell to, define its goals (sales, new accounts, etc.. ), and inform customers months before by the use of phone calls, direct mail, email or written invitations to invite, introduce, and attract current and new customers to come and visit TRO’s booth. Another way to engage new customers is by advertising in trade publication and newspapers about new product introduction, and for brand recognition.
Very important strategic plan is to follow-up with the customer after the trade show. TRO might consider an alternative for its salespeople as it seems to be too expensive, and maybe look into outsourcing it. TRO needs more salespeople to follow-up, attract, and look for customers. Another recommendation might be to lower the budget for SECO and International Vision Expo East trade shows as they might have reached their full potential of sales, and keep the trade shows to maintain the brand image, inform and introduce new products, grab potential shares from competitors and keep the relationship with their actual customers.
WORK CITED Dwyer, F. Robert, and John F. Tanner. Business marketing: connecting strategy, relationships, and learning. 4th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill Irwin, 2009. Print. “Definition of Marketing – American Marketing Association. ” Marketing Power – American Marketing Association. Web. 02 Dec. 2011. <http://www. marketingpower. com/AboutAMA/Pages/DefinitionofMarketing. aspx>. “Trade Shows Definition | Small Business Encyclopedia | Entrepreneur. com. ” Business & Small Business | News, Advice, Strategy | Entrepreneur. com. Web. 02 Dec. 2011. <http://www. entrepreneur. com/encyclopedia/term/82542. html>.