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CARFAX steals the (trade)show with digital campaign

Blog | 14 Feb, 2017

Having a strong presence at an industry trade show is a major priority for many B2B companies. However, for businesses that can spend upwards of hundreds of thousands of dollars to impress at a show, many forget about their digital presence.


CARFAX 's Dealer Marketing team made a huge impression with a brilliant, digital campaign that complimented their presence at the NADA tradeshow, driving foot traffic to their booth and standing out from their competitors.

Carfax at NADA (National Automobile Dealers Association)

While best known for their automotive consumer advocacy products, CARFAX also offers a full line of products to car dealers designed to help them in every aspect of their dealership: acquisition, advertising, retail, and service. The Carfax Dealer Marketing team attends NADA every year to engage with dealers and showcase how CARFAX can help.

From an advertising perspective, finding dealers is like finding a needle in a haystack. NADA (and similar dealer-focused events) present a valuable opportunity to find and engage with dealers while they are concentrated at a show. CARFAX already had a strong physical presence planned for the show – including a booth where visitors could play a Plinko game for cash prizes. In order to bolster their physical presence, and take advantage of the opportunity to find dealers, Jellyfish developed a cohesive digital strategy with two main objectives:

  • Drive foot traffic to the CARFAX booth
  • Cookie dealers for proximity-based retargeting after the show

Digital strategy meets offline efforts

Jellyfish’s creative team worked to create a complimentary display campaign. The team designed an interactive Plinko ad banner where dealers could drop the coin and watch it where it landed on the board, similar to the real-life game at the CARFAX booth.

The campaign geo-fenced the convention center in New Orleans and saturated attendees within 1-circular kilometer of the convention center on their mobile phones. With a higher click-through rate than any other CARFAX display campaign, the banner ads enhanced other tradeshow efforts, and encouraged traffic that otherwise might not have visited Carfax.


  • Highest banner CTR ever
  • Exceeded booth foot traffic goals this year by 36%
  • Increased booth foot traffic 46% compared to NADA conference last year

What are the benefits of a digital tradeshow campaign for B2B marketers?


Retarget prospects from the tradeshow

Industry-specific events allow B2B marketers to confidently reach their niche target audience. Thus, this presents a great opportunity to collect data for retargeting and creating similar audiences for other digital efforts. Once an individual has been cookied from the original campaign, create audience lists and launch a retargeting campaign to further engage with them after the tradeshow. To become more efficient with your targeting, you can overlay additional data (e.g. dealership locations, CRM data) and bid modifiers to the tradeshow campaign audience to create even more personalized and targeted campaigns.


Fit costs within tradeshow budgets

One of the greatest benefits is that companies often set aside large budgets specifically for a tradeshow. The funds to run a digital campaign can be budgeted within the event budget, as opposed to the digital marketing budget. This is often an easier sell for marketers that are tied to a strict media budget but have more flexibility in their event budgets. 


Differentiate from your competitors

While your competitors rely on unique booth designs and giveaways to attract attendees, take advantage of the digital landscape to further enhance and benefit your booth efforts. With thousands of booths to choose from at these conferences, it is valuable to engage with attendees beforehand and entice them to stop by your booth. Few companies have yet to use this strategy, making it an optimal opportunity for your next tradeshow or event. 

Take advantage of the opportunity to integrate online and offline efforts. More traditional marketing efforts, like tradeshow attendance, can be greatly enhanced by adding a unified digital campaign.

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