Around this time last year we did a bit of research with our customers to try and find out what they really thought of us as well as listening to any suggestions they had for ways we could improve or do things differently. Most of the research was carried out using an online survey whilst a small number of our customers were interviewed face-to-face by our independent research company. This split between online and face-to-face questioning closely reflects our split between online and offline marketing over the last few years. We took a conscious decision not to attend certain industry events or exhibitions, focussing instead on our online channels such as the website, blog, Twitter and Facebook pages. This has been great in so much that it has allowed us to measure and monitor the impact of our activity using our various analytics systems but it is not without its limitations.
Our products and solutions can be incredibly complex and technical; face-to-face demonstrations and explanations are vital. So, with customer feedback pointing towards the need for us to be ‘out there’ with road shows and events we took the decision to launch our first Technology Days with Trimble Express last month in Dublin and London.
To say that we were overwhelmed by the level of interest in the events would be putting it mildly; with both events being over-subscribed it was clear our customers were keen to see everything that we and our partners had to offer. Social media played its part in the event success, the KOREC Facebook pages promoting both events and helping to increase registrations. In fact one of the biggest spikes in registration numbers came within minutes of announcing on Twitter that our key note speaker for London would be David Philp, Head of BIM Implementation for the Cabinet Office (incidentally @ThePhilpster was invited to speak at our event through Twitter).
Feedback from those who attended the events has been really positive; a common message is that customers hadn’t fully appreciated the range of technologies and solutions that we and our partners provide. It also allows our friends at Trimble, Faro, Sensefly and Aibotix the opportunity to get first-hand feedback from the customer.
With this in mind I’m pleased to confirm that we will be holding some more surveying and mapping events in the UK later this year. We’re bringing the Technology Day with Trimble Express to Northumberland,Yorkshire, Cheshire, Derbyshire and Somerset. The events will be smaller than our Dublin and London events, taking a more hands-on approach. We also plan to hold a laser scanning day in Warwickshire and some smaller training days at our offices in Huntingdon.
So listening to our customers has given us a valuable lesson. We can’t assume that by continued communication via emails, blogs and tweets we ensure that our message hits the mark. No amount of social networking with tweets, retweets or Facebook ‘likes’ can replace the buzz that face-to-face networking provides when combined with a venue full of valued clients who we can chat to whilst sharing a coffee and a bite to eat before getting hands-on with the latest survey and mapping technology.