IndustrialSage https://www.industrialsage.com Helping Manufacturing and Industrial Marketers Drive Revenue Through Digital Marketing Mon, 11 Nov 2019 14:47:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.2.4 Marketing for manufacturing and industrial companies has taken a dramatic shift. New technologies, shifting demographics, and shrinking budgets are making it imperative to discover new methods and innovative ways to reach prospects about B2B products. This weekly industrial marketing video podcast will help you tackle challenges by bringing you best-in-class strategies, digital tactics, technologies, and sales tools that will help you to drive measurable revenue as a manufacturer. Visit www.industrialsage.com for more information. Danny Gonzales clean episodic Danny Gonzales danny@optimumproductions.com danny@optimumproductions.com (Danny Gonzales) A Weekly Video Podcast Sponsored by Optimum Productions IndustrialSage https://industrialsage.com/wp-content/uploads/powerpress/IndustrialSage_Podcast_iTunes_.jpg https://www.industrialsage.com TV-PG Atlanta, GA Weekly The Importance of Storytelling In Industrial Marketing Content | Episode 115 https://www.industrialsage.com/the-importance-of-storytelling-in-industrial-marketing-content/ Sun, 10 Nov 2019 10:00:37 +0000 https://www.industrialsage.com/?p=6694 “Today in IndustrialSage Episode 115, we're going to go over how storytelling gives far more meaning to your marketing content than just product specs."
(Each episode’s blog article will now be published on Thursdays. Check back soon for this one!)

IndustrialSage Episode 115 Transcript

Danny:

How do you as a brand, tell your story? Storytelling is huge; and it’s a big, big, big shift that we’ve seen over the last few years; and it’s going to be even bigger in 2020. How are you going to do it, and why do you want to do it? That’s what I’m going to go over in IndustrialSage Episode 115. You don’t want to miss it.

So, storytelling. We’re going to talk about it. So I’m super excited about it because this is a really…it’s a topic that I’m very passionate about. And it’s something you’ve likely been hearing about for a little bit, or a lot, depending on where you are on this. But the idea of using storytelling in your organization, in particular with B2B, is very powerful and you’re seeing a lot of companies doing it. Most importantly, there’s a lot of companies who are not doing it yet. And there’s a big opportunity to be able to do that.

So there’s a couple of reasons on why you want to do that, and then how you do it. But before we get into that, but what is it when you break it down? What is storytelling? Well essentially, using storytelling for your brand, is aligning sort of a narrative with your brand and your product or service, okay? It’s basically taking everything and being able to communicate it through a bit of a story.

Well, why do we want to do that? Well as humans, storytelling is inherent to us. I mean, if you go back to the caveman days and people would sit around the fire and you tell stories, you’d pass that on. And that’s been going on for thousands of, millennia, generations and generations. That’s how we pass on and communicate, and then pass on stories, through storytelling. That’s kind of inherent, right? All right. Why do you want to that as far as in business?

Well if you think about it, if you’ve got some product or service you’re trying to sell. I’m trying to sell a cup, okay? I’m going to grab this cup, right here we go. Here’s my IndustrialSage mug that is empty. Well, there’s a little bit of water, I’ll drink some. Okay, so I’ve got this IndustrialSage mug and, how am I going to be able to tell a story through it to be able to motivate you and get you to buy?

Well, maybe if I can create some purpose around where this cup came from. Well, the amazing thing is, this isn’t even a cup at all. Where this is came from. This is actually from a nonprofit organization where they are raising funds to be able to help underprivileged youth in Africa. And actually where they have created this is actually from the…there’s a special type of clay that is made and they create it and they make these cups to be able to sell so they can raise funds, and they’re also pairing in with creating new clean water initiatives. And that’s really what it is. “Wow, okay!”

So I just created purpose. Maybe this was a horrible example since it was made up, but I just created purpose around this mug and why it’s important to you. There’s a story around it, that me buying this mug has more purpose and more meaning and there’s a connection to it versus a commodity.

And that’s all this is. Right now if you look at it, and if you knew nothing else about it, and you go look and you see all these different mugs, mug, mug, mug, mug, where’s the differentiation? But by creating a story around it, we just created purpose. We created meaning and so now, when you go to buy this, if you were to buy it, you’re going to buy it for not necessarily because “I need something to drink.” But maybe that’s a secondary reason. But you connected with a story. So I believe in that. I like that. This is great. That’s the opportunity for brands to be able to do that.

Now, that was a little bit of a B2C example, but that is from a product standpoint that I kind of wanted to sort of lay that out. Now, how can you do that in B2B? How can a manufacturer do that?

Well, the idea is, it reminds me of a company, of a client that we had several years ago. And I probably can’t mention the name right now, but they were relatively large, they were in the utility space, they were a distributor. Basically, they helped companies to distribute electrical supplies and equipment for…all the way from like lighting, like LED lights to huge equipment for transmission and distribution high voltage and low voltage transmission lines. So you have the big power poles and all that stuff. So they came to us and they said, “Hey, listen, we want to do an identity video,” and they said, “Well, we want a video about what we do and all this great stuff.” And so originally they kind of wanted this story about like, this corporate narrative of, “Well, we are the best since sliced bread,” and we said, “You know what? Let’s go a little bit deeper about who you guys are and what you do.”

So when we kind of pulled back the onion a little bit, we quickly uncovered that well, yes, they are distributors: truck comes in, product comes off, goes into a warehouse then gets put back on to another truck to go to construction site or a lay down yard or what have you. “Yes, okay. Technically that’s what you do. But you do more than that. What’s the story? What do you guys do?” And we uncovered, “Well, you guys are sort of a cog in the wheel. You guys are a team player, to be able to bring power to the world.” “Well, what does that mean?” “Well, you help to power people’s lives. Let’s think about the impact of that!”

So we quickly created this story, this narrative about how this company, this distributor who thought of themselves, “Oh we’re just moving one product over here to a shelf to another truck. And that’s it. We’re just distributors, just distributors.” “No, you guys are a lot more than that. You guys actually play a critical role. Do you understand how critical the electrical grid infrastructure is? That’s massive!” So we created this story, that was all of these lifestyle elements. It was elements of people going to a baseball game, people having dinner on the street sidewalk, in the cafe, kids building a fort inside their house and it’s dark outside and the lights are on. Talking about blackouts and all these different things.

We brought in the purpose and the reason on what they do, not the tactical like “Okay, this is exactly again moving from one truck to the other,” but the sense of what’s the impact of their organization, as to community, as society as a whole. And so when you start doing that, and you start telling me the greater scope and the greater story there, there is a huge lift in the human spirit. And people just come alive.

So actually with them, it’s funny. I’m excited, here’s what I’m doing right now, if you think about it, unpack this. I’m explaining this to you through a story; and it’s probably resonating a little bit better than me being like, “Well, point A and point B and point C.”

Why? Because there’s something about, let me just sit back and cross my arms and listen, and if you can do a good job and paint that picture, and wow, you can draw people in. That’s exactly what happened with this client. We had people that were coming in saying, “Oh my gosh, I’ve worked at this company for years, and now I feel like I can finally explain to my wife and my kids what I do,” or, “I’m super excited to be part of this organization. Well, I didn’t even think about the greater impact. I’m just thinking, I’m collecting a paycheck and helping to move product from point A to point B.” No, you are doing way more than that. That’s the opportunity. That’s why you want to storytell.

So we’ve explained what it is, we’ve explained why you want to do it. I can go a little bit deeper on that. There’s a lot more. It’s very engaging, really, at the end of the day. It’s super engaging, and that’s how people want to buy.

People want to be entertained. They don’t want to be sold to. You tell me the last time that you called up the window salesman– I know I kind of went off on this last time, but you called the window or door salesman who comes in and wants three hours of your time to tell you about why their windows are the most amazing thing in the world. And you have to sit there through the sales pitch. Do you want to do that? Do you have time for that? I don’t think so. I don’t got time for that. Nobody’s got time for that. But how do you… Would you want to learn?..maybe this word is edu-tainment. It’s learning or educating through entertainment, it’s a combination thing: or maybe storytelling, right? We want to learn and buy the way we want to buy, and storytelling is a great way of being able to do that. You will have people’s attention.

I could tell you another story of another B2B client that we had, and how we used the element of storytelling in their sales pitches where they were meeting in front of companies. We did this video instead of doing…they wanted us to do this whiteboard explainer video…and they’d already done four of them, and they just weren’t going well. And so we said, “Listen. We need to unpack this a little bit differently.” Came back, created this whole, way out-there story…but it was a story, and it was talking about their product and their service, and they had quite a lot of what we call “bacon.” You know bacon-wrapping around everything? Maybe this sounds bad, I don’t know, but it’s what I talk about. We say, “How do you give a dog a pill? You wrap up a bunch of bacon around it.” Well, wrap a bunch of bacon around your content, and guess what? You’re going to have some winners.

So this particular client did the same exact thing. We crafted this story that they could use inside sales presentations. And within two weeks, they had a huge success rate and closed $5 million worth of business. I mean, that’s kind of a big deal. And it was directly related to this series of videos, one in particular. And it conveyed their message and it was like, we evoked an emotion, we got an emotional response. Why? Because we’re selling to humans;. we’re selling to other people.

Even though it’s B2B, when you’re selling things and whatever, but you’re selling to people: that’s the key thing, and people engage that way. So I can’t harp on that enough.

So the next thing is, well how do you do it? “Great, now you’ve got me sold Danny. We totally need to do storytelling for 2020. How do we do it?” Well, there’s a couple ways to do it. It’s kind of like if you think about when I was giving this example of the cup here, for example. Think about, for example– (as an organization this is a good branding exercise. Really, if you haven’t done this, but think about…) what does your brand stand for? What do you do? And why do you do it?

It’s Simon Sinek. “You start with why.” And then you can really quickly understand, you’ll be able to unravel it, and you’ve got to think a couple levels above. But maybe it’s like, instead of, “I’m here to make money,” or “We’re here manufacturing chemical products, because whatever,” it’s like, “Well no, maybe actually we’re in this space because we feel that, being able to power your life,” or control… it’s empowering. “We help to empower people’s lives through x, y, z.”

All right, well, let’s focus on the empowering people’s lives piece. That’s what we do. And that is how, that’s that jump, and that connection between our brand, our product and you. And that’s how we’re aligned. So you can, so once you kind of have figured out that story again, think beyond, think of the results, sell the results. It’s just like in sales, right? For us, if we’re doing video or digital whatever, we’re not selling video. We’re not. We’re not selling digital marketing. That’s not what we sell. Do you want to know what we sell? You probably do know what we sell. We’re selling results.

We’re selling growth. We’re selling new business. We had a client who told me, it was kind of a smaller client and we were just talking about just fun hobbies and all this stuff and this guy was like big into boats and he was like, “Oh, there’s this boat, this…” I think it was the Cantius. It was a Cantius boat that’s manufactured up in Michigan or something, and he’s like, “Yeah, really one day, I basically want to retire and be on the Cantius or whatever, and go travel and go do all this stuff.” Like okay, well listen. What we’re selling, these videos are going to help you get to that Cantius. You want to go have that lifestyle, you want to go travel, you want to do, this is going to help you to get there.

Alright, so for you sales people or you’re like, “Yeah, I totally did– I get this. Been there done that…but that goes into our marketing.” Well our sales and marketing should be aligned, right? And so if we can align that…we can align those stories, now we’ve just got to go tell them.

How do you tell them? Well, one area is video. Video is a really great way of being able to do that. How do you do that? Your identity or positioning video, for starters. Who you are, what you do, what you stand for, why you do, is perfect for a video to be able to play that and say, “This is it. So we are not distributors that move product A and B, we help to power people’s lives.” And we show that, that’s one thing.

Another really great area is with your case studies or customer testimonials. Tell their stories, like, tell what they do, that’s super powerful right now. I can tell you there’s a lot of companies who are not doing that. That’s where things are going. Tell your customers’ stories. And I’ll challenge you to tell your customers’ stories and don’t talk about yourself. There’s a lot of companies that are doing a really good job of that– or a couple, right now. I’ll point out, and this was several years ago, and to be honest, I’m not sure if they’re still doing this anymore, but Grainger, I want to point out to you guys. I really loved your Everyday Heroes series.

So if you aren’t familiar with them, they might have stopped actually a couple of years ago, but they were highlighting customers of theirs and just kind of showcasing their business and it had nothing to do with their products. And they had all these stories about, “Oh here’s the boat operator, the ferry operator, here’s the police officer here.” And they literally just kind of, they focused and they were there. They were the everyday heroes and they put the limelight and the focus on them. Okay, that’s super smart.

Several years ago, probably a year and a half ago we had Lowes and Kobalt Tools that came in: same thing. They were doing all of these stories around their customers on how they were using their products, their tools. And it wasn’t like, “Oh, I had to get my, here’s my new calibrated whatever tool and I’m using it.” You saw the tools in there, but it wasn’t like the focus of it and it says this wasn’t a product video about the fact we’re selling it. It was more about the story of, our stories of these people and really cool things they’re doing. They’re doing it with their tools.

That’s what people want to align with and connect with. If you can tap into someone’s heart or someone’s initiatives or goals or just really a deeper meaning and you can align your brand with, that’s when you’re going to have a win because that’s ultimately and people want to, you’re going to be able to grab their interest from there. Now, you may be saying, “Hey listen, B2C versus B2B…” I don’t care. It still works. It still works B2B because again, why? Well, you’re selling to other humans. Okay? So figure out what that is, what is your story? Tell your story. Tell your customer’s story.

Maybe you do case studies. It’s all about, sure how they implemented this solution, but focus on, “Hey here’s customer XYZ. This is where they’re from. They’re from Beaumont. And this is what Beaumont looks like. This is the community there, and this is what they do, and they’re awesome over there. And they had a challenge with this. And we just felt so happy that we were able to help them solve their challenge so we could help them with the mission that they have, and to be able to continue on that,” and it’s just, it’s really good amazing stuff. You can do blog articles, tell stories in blog articles, tell stories in images, use your social to be push that out there.

So anyways those are a couple key ways you should really be thinking about this. And I know a lot of companies kind of struggle with it. Because it’s not like, “Oh we need our content to be for sales. We’ve got to hammer it and it’s got to be super transactional,” and that’s honestly that’s a big mistake. Because, people see through that. People want to be educated, they want to buy for, when they go home, and they’re on their leisure time or they’re on social media, whatever, what are they looking at? Are they looking at over the next sales like or whatever? No they’re looking at entertainment. They’re looking at what’s on Netflix, they’re binging on whatever. So maybe we should go that way. Just a thought.

That’s probably why you’ve been hearing a lot about storytelling and all that good stuff. And I get super excited about it, passionate, I probably went way too long than I was supposed to. But anyways that’s sort of my thoughts today on the power of storytelling and how you can implement it, why you should implement it, and how you should implement it in 2020. It is going to be, if you want to figure out how to differentiate, differentiate that way. That’s a great way of being able to do that.

So anyways, I hope you enjoyed today’s episode. If you have any questions, I can answer them for you. I’d love to do it. You can reach out to me at IndustrialSage.com/questions and I can answer them for you. And I’d be happy to do that. So that’s all I’ve got for you today. Thank you so much for watching and or listening to me rant and ramble. I’m just playing. Now I hope you got some good value out of it. And I will be back next week with another episode of IndustrialSage. Thanks, see you next week.

 

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“Today in IndustrialSage Episode 115, we're going to go over how storytelling gives far more meaning to your marketing content than just product specs." “Today in IndustrialSage Episode 115, we're going to go over how storytelling gives far more meaning to your marketing content than just product specs.” Danny Gonzales clean 19:05
How Manufacturers Can Repurpose and Scale Marketing Content | Episode 114 https://www.industrialsage.com/why-and-how-you-should-repurpose-and-scale-your-marketing-content/ Sun, 03 Nov 2019 10:00:34 +0000 https://www.industrialsage.com/?p=6575 "Trying to figure out how you can repurpose and scale your marketing content? I've got some great tips to share with you in IndustrialSage Episode 114."
(Looking for this episode’s blog article? Read it here!)

IndustrialSage Episode 114 Transcript

Danny:

Are you trying to figure out how you can repurpose your content, and make it scale, and that’s just a really hard challenge? Well you know what, that’s a really big challenge for everybody. I’ve got some great tips, that I’m going to share with you on today’s episode on how to do that as you set up your plans for 2020.

So, today we’re going to talk about how to really scale your content. To be able to repurpose it. This can be specific to video. or other things… I will talk a lot about video because, well, we are kind of all about video. Unless, if you’re listening to this on a podcast, if you didn’t know this, we shoot this in a studio. It’s on video. Come to industrialsage.com, you can see all this.

We’re big, big, big fans [of video]. Why? Because you can repurpose it. So, why do we want to repurpose content? What’s the big deal about that?

Well, the reality of it is, is that the need for creating content has quadrupled or 10x’ed, in the last several years. As we move into 2020, it is incredibly clear that, that is an area that we really need to move into again. That’s the number one thing that I hear from companies all the time. saying, “We need to create a lot more content.”

Well, what is content? We can define it in a million different ways. Well, maybe it’s sales enablement content, blog articles, or white papers, or eBooks, or podcasts, or videos, or product videos, or webinars, or a whole host of other things. That is really designed to be able to help to educate your prospect. Or your customer, if you’re trying to sell them into more things. Well, why do we want to do that? Well, because if you’ve listened in on the show we’ve talked about this a lot: the buying cycle shift, the way that people buy, the way we go to market for things has completely changed. Completely changed. Thanks to a thing called the internet, right?

Can you imagine, I was listening to a podcast, I was listening to a, who was it? It was Gary V. If you don’t know Gary Vaynerchuck, take a look, take a listen. He’s got tons of content, he’s the content king. I was listening to his podcast earlier today actually, and one of the things that was interesting is, he was talking about how he sort of discovered the internet. It was early or mid 90’s, he was in college, and that the first time he got exposed to it, they had the whole dial-up thing, and he was really explaining it. He said it just was like, “Wow, this is amazing, like this is going to be the future.”

You know, it’s crazy to think just for two seconds, you know how much business, how much the world has completely evolved, thanks to this little thing called the internet. You know it wasn’t that long ago… I remember ’95…okay, so I’m not super young, I’m not super old, right in the middle, and 95, I don’t know how old I was, I was probably 10, 11, 12, somewhere in there. I’m bad with math today. You know, that wasn’t that long ago. That was really not that long ago. It’s completely revolutionized how we do everything. So, if you’re a millennial there, and you weren’t even born there, or whatever, I mean it was a totally different ball game. Just imagine your life…not as your life right now. Things were way slower, you didn’t know any better. The internet just completely, in my life, has completely revolutionized and flipped everyday life on how we do it.

Well, the same goes for, obviously, for buying. It’s continuously changing. Think about Amazon, for example. Amazon has completely revolutionized everything. The internet has revolutionized a bit, Amazon as part of that, but even the last five years, or just think about how we’ve got the holidays coming up, and you’re going to go buy gifts, hopefully. Are you going to go to a store, or are you going to do it online? That is completely, that is a conversation that we did not have 10 years ago. It was, “Oh, well yeah we… you have to go somewhere…” Maybe you can buy a few things online, but it wasn’t as prolific as it is now.

So, we are all now predisposed to pulling out our phone, and being able to buy something and maybe in two days have it. So, we have information at our fingertips, we want what we want, when we want it, how we want it, on what device we want it. This is why we need lots of content, because it’s the informational age that’s on demand. Your buyers, your prospects, your customers, are accustomed to buying online. They want information to the challenges that they are seeking out right now. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a consultative sale that is going to take years, and a multi-million dollar deal, and it’s going to take a lot of Influencers, and a lot of consulting and discovery. It doesn’t matter. Or if it’s a product that somebody can go buy, you know it’s an MRO product, or something you’re buying, online or what have you. When people have a challenge, or a need, or a problem, they’re going to go look for it online.

Ergo, why you need content. People are self-educating ourselves around that challenge that we have that you, hopefully, can solve for them. If you don’t have content online to educate, and to be there, to really facilitate that sale, or at least the beginning piece of that sale, then guess what? They’re going to move on. They want that information, and we want it like that, we want it now.

So, the need for content is huge. So, long gone are the days of…I mean it still happens, but bringing around samples, you know the big boxes in the back of the car? Putting them around, doing the whole dog and pony for three or four hours.

I remember, this frustrates me as a millennial, like I can’t tell you: if you are in the window space, or any home services, you sell into that space, you’ve got dealers in there, they need to completely do away with this. This is really frustrating as a millennial. You go to try buy windows or doors for your house, and hopefully it’s changed, the last time I bought windows and doors for my house was…I want to say it was three years ago, but it was probably more like eight or nine. To be honest, we bought our house and we needed to get new windows, we needed to get some new doors, and we did our due diligence, wanted to bring in three people to kind of weigh prices and all that good stuff.

Man, it was the worst experience I ever had. Maybe not ever, but it was a super bad experience. Why? They came in and they had like, a three hour long pitch! “Well these are the best…” It was pretty much all the same thing, right? “Oh, these are the best windows, ever, you can do this, and now we can step on our windows and that’s… and now let me ask you about, you know…” It was this whole process that was just, oh my gosh. Like this is not…I just want to go online, and get my information quickly, and then we kind of go from there. Why do we got to make this so painful? Hopefully, they’ve changed that now.

Same thing now. People want their information, when they want it, how they want it. I want to be able to go online, be able to ask the questions that I want, and be able to get that information quickly, and not have to dedicate nine hours. I legit had to dedicate nine hours of my time to buy these freakin’ windows and doors. That I was like, “Really?” I have better things to do with my time, to be honest with you. Sorry, that’s pissed off Danny venting That’s a millennial.

But here’s the thing: that’s how millennials are thinking. That’s how we’re all really thinking, to be honest. I mean, do you really want to sit through that? Is that a good experience for you? No. So we need to make sure that we have a good experience for our customers. So, this is a really long explanation on why more content. Then we’re going to get to how you can repurpose it, right. So, this is why we want it. The other thing I wanted to put in is that just the way that we’re consuming content is happening at a breakneck pace. You used to be able to like put something up socially like, I don’t know once a week, or whatever, now we need to be putting up multiple pieces of content up every single day.

So Gary V, another guy, if you don’t listen to him, great stuff. I really, really like what he says. One of things that he was talking about, this is from a keynote address that he gave at AdWeek. This, I believe was a couple weeks ago. I listened to this episode the other day, and what he was talking about, granted he was talking to the B2C community, we’re B2B. But he was talking to B2C. We know B2B does follow B2C, and it’s getting even closer every single day. But, they have a huge need to take the amount of content they’re producing, and to 10x it and 50x it. Even by doing that, that’s still not going to be sufficient, like we can consume so much more. So, the need to create more content is huge.

Now, there’s a big opportunity right now. Not everyone is doing it. Actually, most people are not doing it. So the challenge is, if you understand how the social networks work, if you understand how SEO works, Search Engine Optimization, if you understand all these, the Internets, how it all works, it feeds off content. You need this, you have to. Why? You can create an engaged audience. You can create excitement and energy, and attention and awareness, by doing this. You have to feed the beast, essentially is really what it is. So, you need more content, is the bottom line. You need a lot of it. You know these companies that are like blowing up that you’ve never heard of, we’re seeing it in a lot industries.

I had another client, I can’t say who it is, we had a company that came in, they were the 800 pound gorilla in the space for years, they’re like a 95 year old company. They told us, “We’re loosing a lot of market share because these smaller companies are coming in and they’re feeding in this message into the industry that we’re slow to respond, we can’t do custom work, that the lead time is super long, like all these things, and it’s all false. This is all false!” So okay, well that’s great, but you know, that’s marketing. They’re creating a perception in the mind of their buyer, and that perception is becoming reality. You need to respond back to that. How are they doing that? How are you able to knock off a legacy company that’s been around for 95 years? Big, bad… You do it through marketing. You do it through messaging.

The way that people buy, we’re not necessarily buying off the brand because the brand is big blue IBM. That doesn’t mean anything anymore to this generation, and it’s about how can you provide value, and solve the challenge, and give me value that I have for the challenge I’m looking for today. Right, it’s really the quickest, to be able to do that. There’s a stat out of real estate, that talks about if you’re looking to sell your home, or if you’re looking for a realtor, that the first real estate agent to get back to you after you fill out a form, or you’re looking for information, has an 80 percent chance that you’re going to go with them. Why? We all are pressed for time, and you have a challenge, you’re trying to figure this out, and that person answers your questions and calls you back and starts developing a relationship…it’s not rocket science.

The same thing is happening here. So you need to provide that, you need to able to stay on people’s radars. How do you do that? You do that with content.

Okay, so now that I laid out this huge framework, and I’m talking on my high horse, how do you do it? How do you scale content? Specifically with video?

It’s a challenge. You know the number one complaint that we hear at Optimum and IndustrialSage when we talk about video, “Oh, you’re going to do this, going to do this…?” I heard it the other day, actually at a conference. Somebody brought it up, and they were like, “Well, how do you justify ROI off of video content, especially when it’s super expensive and… all this stuff?” I said, “Well first of all, there’s tracking metrics that we can put in, there’s analytics, there’s data that we can go and we can see how people are consuming that.” I can tell you that a video post that’s on LinkedIn for example, is going to way out-perform over text, and image. Blanket statement, but for the most part, if you’re doing this sort of apples to apples thing, people will like the video and it’s going to perform better, and LinkedIn, for example, really, really likes it. So we can look at that.

How are we impacting, how are we creating relationships? You get down the line, you can tie all that data into marketing automations, and CRM tools, to be able to see that. But the big thing, the big beef that I have is that yeah video is, and can be very, very, very expensive. Okay. If you’re not doing it right.

Okay, how should you do it right? You’ve got to have a plan. You need to be able to repurpose content. How do we repurpose this? I’m going to give you a really darn, really good example.

IndustrialSage, every single episode that we do here, we create a lot of pieces of content off of this. What I’m recording right here, we take this and we chunk it up into a million different pieces. So, talking a little bit about Gary V, he talks about a piece of content could be a, just a one-sentence tweet. But if you take that tweet, and you put it on Twitter, and then you have something on Instagram, then you’ve got something on Facebook, then you’ve got something on LinkedIn, you’ve got something on these big… TikTok? I don’t recommend TikTok for you, but you know, TikTok…and all of these other things. Guess what? That’s six or seven pieces of content there.

Okay, we start thinking about that really quick, well that’s not too bad, how do we do that with video? Well, we shoot an episode here at IndustrialSage, and I’ve shared this with you, if you’ve listened. We shoot the episode, we take this, turn it into a podcast, so if you’re listening on the podcast right now, if you go to Industrialsage.com you’ll actually see a video. Beautiful video. We’re at a beautiful studio, and you can see all kinds of, you can see my beautiful face. Hopefully. I don’t know if I have a face for radio, I’m not going to go there.

But anyways, why are we doing it in video? Now we can take that, and we can chunk it up into a million different pieces. We take the audio, create a blog article off of it. We can take images, still images and take quotes, and put things up. We can take little video snippets, put those up on LinkedIn, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, you name it. We can do mish and mash episodes, and we can create more content off of that. That’s what I mean, that’s how you win. That’s how you repurpose. So instead of coming in and saying, “Hey look, we’re going to do this one thought leadership video that’s like 10 minutes long or 15 minutes long, 20 minutes long, however long this episode is going to be.” Instead of saying, “Okay, that’s one piece of content that we’re going to put up and then we’re done.” Wait a minute, there’s an opportunity to be able to scale that. To really, as I like to say, get more squeal out of the pig. That is how you’re going to win. That is how you create a lot of more content. That’s how you scale it. That’s where we’re going. That’s where you need to be thinking.

You need to be thinking, “What can we be doing in 2020, or right now that we can repurpose?” Instead of saying, “Here’s one piece of content,” let’s take this one thing that we’re going to do here, and then turn it into like 20. Or 30, or 40, that’s how you’re going to win. That’s how you scale content. That’s why we love video, because we can turn into a million other things.

I’ll give you another good example. We took our survey, we saw our survey, we had a 52 page report, we took a lot of stats from that, turned it into 90 videos. We probably could have done 180. Probably could have, might’ve been able to do more than that. Okay, with 90, 90 videos off a survey. Really small videos. Then we can put them all over the place. That’s how you need to be thinking. That’s how you’re going to get your brand. You’re going to push it out there and stay on top, top of mind, and do it. So be thinking about that. That’s how we’re going to win in 2020. That’s how you’re going to be able to create more content. That’s it. That’s the playbook. It’s very simple. Now you’ve just got to do it.

So anyways, and of course, if you need help doing it, reach out! We can help you out. We might be able to help you do some things. So anyways, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Man, today was a good episode, I get kind of passionate, I get excited about this, so… Thank you so much for listening to today’s episode.

Listen, if you have a question on something you’d love for us to answer it on the show, happy to do it. You can go to industrialSage.com/Questions and we’ll answer it for you. If you are listening on iTunes or Spotify, or any of the podcasting stations, we’d love a review. If you’re not on our email list go to IndustrialSage.com/Subscribe and get on our email list so you can get all of the other content, that we’re creating.

We’ve got a whole host of other things we’re going to be coming out on the pipe very soon, that’s going to be super exciting. You’re not going to want to miss it. So, that’s all I got for you today. Thanks so much for watching today’s episode. I’ll be back next week, with another great episode of IndustrialSage.

 

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Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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"Trying to figure out how you can repurpose and scale your marketing content? I've got some great tips to share with you in IndustrialSage Episode 114." A lot of us know that it's important to repurpose and scale content for our marketing…but how exactly are we supposed to do that? Danny Gonzales clean 17:45
How to Simplify Industry Jargon Into Layman’s Terms https://www.industrialsage.com/how-to-simplify-industry-jargon-into-laymans-terms/ Sun, 27 Oct 2019 16:18:58 +0000 https://www.industrialsage.com/?p=6332 If you're new to manufacturing and you need to create industrial content, how do you simplify industry jargon and communicate it in layman's terms?

“I’m new to the manufacturing industry and I would like to know how to deal with heavy and technical information when producing flyers, blogs and updating the website. Not everyone understands technical language used by engineers so what is the best way to simplify industry jargon and get the process across in layman terms?

– Georgia

Great question, Georgia! Industrial marketing can sometimes involve a lot of technical jargon or in-depth subject-matter knowledge. But what if you as a marketer struggle with the mechanical information? What if, when you turn to your engineers, they struggle with understanding how to structure or write user-friendly content?

 

You can submit a topic for the show, too:
if we use it, you’ll get a free IndustrialSage shirt!

 

SUBMIT A QUESTION

 

1. IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE.

Step one of creating content, especially in the B2B space, is always the same. First, you need to know who the content is meant for.

Are you creating materials for everyday people? For expert engineers? Or both?

You may struggle with technical jargon, but it may be what your audience expects if they’re engineers. On the other hand, if they’re “everyday” people like you, then translating the engineering-speak into layman’s terms is definitely important!

Without planning out for your audience, you’ll be stuck between a rock and a hard place.

If you’re creating over-simplified materials for engineers who want to get into the weeds, their trust of your expertise will deteriorate. But if your buyer or influencer doesn’t understand the complicated language you’re using, then all your efforts will still be a loss.

Depending on where your viewers are in the funnel, they may care more about results than a detailed explanation of how your product works.

2. ASK THE EXPERTS.

Whatever your audience wants, it is then your job to provide them with that information. You are tasked with being their translator, so you must interpret the data and simplify industry jargon if they need it clarified.

So what do you do if you don’t understand the engineering jargon either? Swallow your pride and turn to interview the experts. Go to your engineers, your sales team, or whomever else in your company that you know you can learn from.

Sit down; say, “Talk to me like I’m ten years old,” and ask questions.

Don’t be afraid to push back if you still don’t understand something. Dig into inquiries that buyers might even have, about what sets your company apart.

In some ways, your requests for answers may challenge your own staff to do more than spout the same buzzwords and standard phrases.

We also highly recommend recording the conversation, at least via audio if not with video. That way, you can reference the information later if you can’t remember particulars. You might even be able to take some of those transcripts and use them word-for-word in your content!

3. RELAX: BECOMING A SUBJECT MATTER EXPERT TAKES TIME.

Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re new to an industry and suddenly expected to create expert marketing content for it. You were hired for your marketing skills and your marketing expertise, remember: not because you have all the know-how of an industry engineer.

Not yet, anyway.

If you need to create technical content, shadow the experts and be patient with yourself.

No one can fault you if you’re heavily investigating and improving your technical knowledge all the time. Do your homework. Tour facilities. Spend a week shadowing your sales team. Find an expert who can help guide you. In some ways, it’s like learning a new language.

If you need to write material with a foreign vocabulary, start by writing it in your own language first. Then, get help translating it.

And remember: you definitely aren’t the first marketer hired to advertise a company about whose solutions they know next to nothing!

Don’t be afraid to ask for help and clarification.

Every industry has its own collection of buzzwords…even marketing! The key is, are you willing to learn it all? You need to eventually need to be able to simplify industry jargon and use those terms as easily as you can set them aside– all depending on what your audience needs.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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If you're new to manufacturing and you need to create industrial content, how do you simplify industry jargon and communicate it in layman's terms? If you're new to manufacturing and you need to create industrial content, how do you simplify industry jargon and communicate it in layman's terms? Danny Gonzales clean 7:55
Industrial Sales & Marketing Q&A, Part 2 https://www.industrialsage.com/industrial-sales-and-marketing-q-and-a-part-2/ Sun, 20 Oct 2019 09:00:42 +0000 https://www.industrialsage.com/?p=5684 It's time for part 2 of our panel from the 2019 Georgia Manufacturing Summit– including the question-and-answer portion about industrial sales & marketing! This week’s episode is a continuation from last week’s episode covering Part 1 of our Industrial Sales & Marketing Q&A at the Georgia Manufacturing Summit.

Danny was joined by Sloan MacKarvich, Chief Business Development Officer of Tie Down; and Drew Carl: Director of Corporate Marketing for Superior Essex.

Even before the q&a officially started, many audience members voiced a lot of questions for the panel.

We presented a lot of the same information that we normally give when providing an overview about the state of marketing for manufacturers today. However, a particularly interesting insight to be gleaned from the session was not just the content itself…but also the receptivity of the audience.

1. INDUSTRIAL SALES AND MARKETING TEAMS ARE SPLITTING INTO TWO CAMPS OVER DIGITAL.

The audience’s mix of skepticism and desperate interest regarding industrial sales & marketing really floored us.

A broad divide separated those who wanted more information about how to employ digital in their organizations…and those who discounted the data because they felt it didn’t match their own experience or buying habits.

Some companies were hungry to learn how they could chase their growing audience of younger generations.

Others adamantly insisted that since not all prospects use digital methods, ignoring digital tactics shouldn’t be such a big deal.

It was a surprisingly palpable representation of the struggle we already knew existed. Many industrial sales and marketing employees are hungry to prove the value of digital tactics. However, their CEOs or executives just don’t possess any interest.

However, both our panelists and even many audience members responded to any skepticism with one of the best assets available. Data.

A large collection of statistics and reports supported these claims. Younger prospects rely heavily on digital sources, video especially, before making a purchasing decision. The presence of internet-savvy generations amongst B2B buyers is has already surpassed over 50%. Due to how aging works, the portion of your audience that relies on digital (often as their only source of information) is only going to grow. It’s not going to shrink, or even remain stationary.

And to nail the message home, Sloan and Drew shared stories about how they had seen digital tactics work within their own organizations.

2. DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE FAR-REACHING IMPACT DIGITAL CAN HAVE ON OLDER LEADS, TOO.

The big turning point for Tie Down, Sloan shared, was when they decided to commit to digital content. In some cases, the application was fairly recent– they only just started posting regularly on LinkedIn about three months ago. But in that time, they’ve seen incredible growth and engagement.

Recently, an older employee asked Sloan about a LinkedIn post honoring Tie Down employees. How had he found out about it? From his grown son.

Even if older buyers aren’t employing digital methods to research B2B purchases, their younger peers are.

A lot of Tie Down staff and prospects that aren’t even on LinkedIn are still reacting to content on the platform because they hear about it from other people.

Another anecdote recounted the time Tie Down’s drone had filmed a truck driving off with a product delivery. Even though the final shot still had to be cleaned up for a different video, Sloan sent the raw footage to the client who would be receiving the shipment. The client was thrilled. Who wouldn’t be!?

It’s important to get over the initial trepidation that comes with content creation, Sloan explained. Everybody starts somewhere.

And believe it or not, content creation for industrial sales and marketing was sometimes easier than they expected. When Tie Down hired a full-time content creator, that person simply walked around the company and asked questions with a camera rolling. It was that simple.

Some of a company’s best content sources are their own staff. People care about their work. They love hearing stories, and they love telling stories. Ask them what they’re most proud of, and then just stand back!

3. REMEMBER, YOU ARE NOT YOUR TARGET MARKET.

Drew agreed wholeheartedly. He added that it’s the real people in a company who make the content human and genuine. Your message carries more power coming from your people and your team rather than a paragraph on your website.

Furthermore, your content and your message should be centered not solely around what you do, but how and why you do it. What are you in business for?

Millennials care about your company’s overriding philosophy. They want to be a part of something meaningful, and they can see through shallow profit grabs in an instant.

If you’re not certain of your business’ core mission beyond making profits, then you need to drop everything and go find it. Because competition is everywhere. Your customers can go elsewhere without any trouble at all if they decide you’re not a business they want to support.

Again, why cater to millennials like this? Why focus on using digital tactics just because this age group uses them? Why talk about your company’s philosophy instead of its products?

Because those things matter to younger buyers, even if they don’t matter to you.

As we’ve discussed on previous episodes of IndustrialSage, you are not your target market.

Many industrial sales and marketing teams struggle because they try to communicate with leads the way they themselves want to be reached. Or worse, they use old methods they themselves don’t even like because that’s what they’ve been taught they must do.

It all comes down to whether you want to keep your customer comfortable…or yourself.

You can keep your marketing and sales as-is. No one’s stopping you.

But if your growing audience is reliant on digital, then don’t expect them to change to suit you. After all, you didn’t change for them.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Sloan MacKarvich of Tie Down, and Drew Carl of Superior Essex It's time for part 2 of our panel from the 2019 Georgia Manufacturing Summit– including the question-and-answer portion about industrial sales & marketing! Danny Gonzales, Sloan MacKarvich, Drew Carl clean 25:49
Industrial Sales & Marketing Q&A, Part 1 https://www.industrialsage.com/industrial-sales-and-marketing-q-and-a-part-1/ Sun, 13 Oct 2019 09:00:33 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5661 If you were a fan of our panel discussion from the 2018 Georgia Manufacturing Summit, great news! We were asked back to host a 2019 sales & marketing q&a! After the popularity of last year’s panel discussion at the Georgia Manufacturing Summit, this year IndustrialSage returned for another presentation: a sales and marketing Q&A!

This year’s guest speakers (aside from Danny, of course) were Sloan MacKarvich, Chief Business Development Officer of Tie Down; and Drew Carl: Director of Corporate Marketing for Superior Essex.

As we usually do (and as effective marketers ought), we started with cold, hard data.

1. THE TRUTH HURTS: MILLENNIALS RULE B2B NOW.

200 Million people are on Do-Not-Call lists. Many no longer pick up the phone at all unless they recognize the caller. Most of our audience members raised their hands when asked if they’d gotten a robo-dial in the last year– or even the last 24 hours!

How do you think that might impact your cold calling strategies?

Then there’s the big, terrifying fact…over 50% of B2B buyers are millennials now. (Keep in mind the difference between Millennials and Gen Z, though! Get Z is still almost entirely in school.)

Adults between 25 and 40 (aka: Millennials) make up over half your target market. So you’d better be making internal changes to your company in response.

Millennials are young enough to remember life before the internet and smartphones became household devices…but they were young enough to adjust easily when these new tools were introduced into their lives.

That penchant for adjustment means Millennials are highly adept at finding the most efficient route or process through which to perform any given task. They may not have the patience for the sales process of yesteryear. They’re willing to take the initiative, do their own research, educate themselves, and find the answers they’re looking for in order to make a purchase for their jobs.

That means, if you’re not providing easy access to the answers they want, then they’ll go find someone else who is.

2. PROSPECTS ARE WATCHING MORE VIDEOS THAN YOU MIGHT THINK.

Another wild statistic states that the average B2B buyer consumes at least 30 minutes of video content before making a purchasing decision.

Now, that doesn’t mean they watch one single half-hour video. And it also doesn’t mean that they only watch videos made by a single company.

But if you have little to no video content about your products or services, visitors will skip over your detailed diagrams or carefully-written text in favor of faster, visually appealing moving pictures.

Sometimes adults doing research will start finding videos about a new product or a new industry. Suddenly they’ll be so fascinated they’ll blaze through video after video until they feel they know all there is to know.

Sloan himself actually admitted that this habit can cost him hours at a time before he realizes it!

Searches and “binges” like this don’t always always intentionally begin as in-depth research. They also don’t usually end in an immediate, multi-thousand-dollar sale. But if the content is available, then curious minds will feel permission to investigate. Videos not only inform audiences, but also evoke emotions and spark feelings of a more human connection.

Again: today’s buyers don’t see any reason to go out of their way to spend their time on you. You have to go where they are. Make the interaction worth their while.

3. MAKE USE OF THE CONTENT THAT’S ALREADY RIGHT UNDER YOUR NOSE.

Another key highlight of our sales and marketing Q&A was when Drew shared his story about the first steps he took after coming onboard at Superior Essex.

When Drew joined the company, lots of changes were needed. He knew that even if the final buyer you face is on the older side, B2B purchases nowadays don’t usually have singular buyers. Rather, they have buying “committees.” Drew knew Superior Essex would have to stand up to the scrutiny of multiple age groups.

Another fundamental challenge he faced was a resulting (very common) question many businesses have. How do you then generate company content for those ‘committees’? Where do you get the information for longform content like white papers and case studies, or short form video clips or succinct graphics? The first big step Drew made was bringing in a content writer.

But where would the writer get all their information in order to create content? Drew actually saw an asset in their older staff. The majority of employees at the company had an average of 20 years of tenure.

There’s decades of professional industry knowledge to be gleaned from experienced engineers and sales reps. It just needs to be put to paper.

All his writer(s) needed to do was find a way to draw that information out of the employees.

Case studies, Drew found, were a particularly valuable gold mine. Nobody shies away if you ask them to talk about some of their greatest successes. Many valuable content pieces were generated by exploring stories about how Superior Essex delivered an incredibly valuable or successful solution to their clients.

Case studies help buyers relate to your existing customers, and to see value in the purchase of your product. Remember, they may have to answer to accounting for the purchases they make. So give them proof of value in your content.

Speaking of valuable content, don’t miss next week as the panel discussion continues!

Drew and Sloan and Danny aren’t done yet. Tune in next week to hear more stories from our sales and marketing Q&A about their experiences with industrial marketing– and to discover some of the surprising revelations we made.

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER
 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Sloan MacKarvich of Tie Down, and Drew Carl of Superior Essex If you were a fan of our panel discussion from the 2018 Georgia Manufacturing Summit, great news! We were asked back to host a 2019 sales & marketing Q&A! This year our panel includes Sloan MacKarvich of Tie Down, and Drew Carl of Superior Essex. They've got some great stories to share! Danny Gonzales, Sloan MacKarvich, Drew Carl clean 40:12
Five Reminders for Manufacturers Creating Content that Meets Buyer Needs https://www.industrialsage.com/5-reminders-when-creating-content-that-meets-buyer-needs/ Sun, 06 Oct 2019 09:00:18 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5649 John Joyce of Brennan Industries explains that the digital-versus-print debate isn't about mediums; it's about creating content that meets buyer needs. This week we had the pleasure of sitting down with John Joyce. He’s the quite well-traveled Global Marketing Director for Brennan Industries.

When he joined Brennan back in 2015, they were much like many other industrial manufacturers…which meant that the majority of their marketing was more or less a decade behind that of B2C. But adapting to digital methods wasn’t their only challenge. Brennan had to [re]learn what it meant to create content that meets buyer needs.

1. DOUBLE YOUR DIGITAL: HALVE YOUR PRINT.

“When I came in there, they were spending a lot on magazine ads, trade publication ads, and that kind of thing,” John told us. “Which I knew from other experience just wasn’t the best way to spend money and get a return.”

Traditional methods have little to no traceability, so you can’t actually gauge whether or not they’re being effective at all.

“It’s just like you’re throwing ads out there into the ecosystem and hoping something happens.”

Fortunately, the team at Brennan already suspected they needed to make a change. So they started at square one: a blog. They knew it would be content that meets buyer needs because they would ask their sales teams what a lot of customers were asking on a regular basis.

After Brennan started content marketing regularly, the blogs started building web traffic. It was slow-going at first…but the power of digital content is that it all just keeps stacking.

Print ads in old magazines may get tossed aside when the newest edition comes out, but blogs stay online and keep helping people. John compared it to the start of a snowball starting to roll downhill and accumulate layers upon layers.

“It took a good year and a half before we really got any kind of momentum or traction off of our content marketing program,” John admitted. However, it does grow. “Like rolling a snowball down a hill. You start with just the tiny little bit, and you just keep adding layers and layers and layers, and that first tiny bit doesn’t go away. It’s still those first things that are still bringing people in, and still converting leads.”

The results have grown so outstanding that John has actually been able to cut the print budget in half every single year.

They haven’t stopped using older methods completely – traditional ads still have their place– but the majority of the budget has started pouring into digital, where the results are clearly measurable.

2. REMEMBER HOW INDUSTRIAL MARKETING DIFFERS FROM CONSUMER MARKETING.

Blogs and other digital content are immensely valuable not only because they improve SEO, but because they’re a foundational element of the inbound marketing model.

As we’ve discussed on this show before with Judson Voss, marketing’s previous outbound model is growing obsolete as buyer habits change.

“Instead of trying to go out to where the customer is and interrupt what they’re doing and get their attention, you try to be a source of knowledge,” John explained. “A place they go to when they’re looking for information about your products, or things related to your market.”

Today’s buyers prefer to know whether or not they’re likely to buy at all before they reach out to a representative– as opposed to in the days of outbound marketing, when sales reps were the main sources of product information. Now, due to the free flow of information on the internet, buyers prefer to self-educate.

Manufacturers need to provide information about their products in order to be trusted by potential clients…especially because, in B2B, there’s almost no such thing as an impulse buy.

“One of the things that’s unique about industrial marketing is, it’s not just an impulse buy. For instance, in consumer marketing… ‘This tennis shoe makes me feel special. I’ll buy it.’ With manufactured components that go into someone else’s manufactured component, you have a whole company that you’re trying to sell this product to.”

That’s one of the reasons that buyer personas are so important if you want to generate content that meets buyer needs. You need content that caters to engineers; to CFOs; to CEOs; and beyond. Your content needs to make life easy for everyone with a say in the purchase.

3. MEDIUMS DON’T WIN FANS– MEETING NEEDS DOES.

In a bit of an ironic twist, however, print tactics can actually go further than digital in a few select ways– as John and the rest of his team at Brennan have discovered.

Over time, the company built its library of online content richer and richer. They’ve un-gated older materials that have been highly popular for a long time, since they have new gated content to replace it. Then…they had an idea.

Brennan’s marketing team decided to create a thread identification guide, because there was a need in the market for education on the line of identifying threads. However…it would not be available as a digital document.

“We said ‘Okay, we’re going to make this guide, but…we’re not going to make it a PDF. Everything else in the world is a PDF. We’re going to print this guide, we’re going to make a 28-page booklet, and print it in full color on glossy stock…and we’re only going to make it available in a physical form. But, we’ll give it away.’ ”

The content offer was somewhat of an experiment– but it has certainly paid off so far.

When physical letters used to be the norm, getting one felt cheap. Now getting a handwritten letter feels far more personal– and digital experiences feel conversely cheapened.

The booklet is one of Brennan’s most popular offers. After someone fills out an online form to request a copy, the booklet is printed and packaged and shipped to them. At two dollars per lead, John pointed out that’s a fantastically affordable option.

Sometimes people even request 100 copies because they’ve decided to use the guide as training material for their own engineers or staff. It’s a powerful example of how Brennan’s marketing team is providing value and filling a void in the market with content that meets buyer needs.

4. BUILD RAPPORT; BUILD RELATIONSHIPS.

The fact of the matter is, neither print nor digital mediums are necessarily better at making an impact if there is no relationship behind them.

Brennan’s effective content offers are moving mountains not because they’re sleek or speedy– but because they meet client and prospect needs. Whether they employ digital delivery or color-printed glossy, its all to meet a need in the market and provide value.

The thread identification booklet isn’t spam– because people specifically asked for it. Brennan’s materials help to answer common questions that potential buyers have – which means that prospects come to Brennan to get educated on the market. That reliable value has established the company as a thought leader in their industry.

Sometimes we don’t know people personally– we’ve never invited our bank teller or our morning barista over for dinner – but we’ve come to a place where we recognize one another and have built rapport together.

That’s what it means to establish a relationships with buyers through educational content.

The more of a rapport you’ve built with different personas, the faster you’re likely to get approvals when it’s time for a purchase– because, as John pointed out, there are several people involved with an industrial sale.

“Their procurement guy’s like ‘Yeah, Brennan!’ And the engineering guy’s like, “Yeah, Brennan!’ Then when it goes to the buyer or whatever, he’s like ‘Oh, Brennan, yeah!’ And you just get a string of green lights,” because they’re already familiar with you.

5. PREPARE FOR YOUR MARKETING DEPARTMENT TO TRANSFORM DRASTICALLY.

As we heard from John and as we’ve discussed many times before: successful content marketing does not spring up overnight. The progress was exponential, but it still took well over a year to truly begin snowballing.

“If you’re going to make the move – and you ought to make the move to a more digital and content-based inbound strategy…make the commitment to do it. Don’t do it half-heartedly. It takes actually a lot of effort. It’s a major change from traditional.”

In fact, John said, your marketing department will actually find itself, “basically slowly turning into a media production company.” Designers, video equipment, writers, web designers, and more are going to get involved.

“So over time, the transition to the marketing department is actually kind of profound,” John admitted. “So it’s going to take an investment, and it’s going to take some commitment, and it doesn’t happen quickly.”

Those three things are a bit of a triple-threat to most CFOs. However, in time, the results really do speak for themselves.

“I can tell you though (and the publishers won’t want to hear this, but) you can cut that publishing budget. I really doubt you will see a change. We’ve noticed no change in four years of cutting the advertising budget down, half each year. We haven’t noticed a loss in the amazing leads that those ads were pulling in…it went the exact opposite.”

Who knows what future mediums may grow in popularity with future audiences? But as long as you use those mediums to create content that meets buyer needs, then you’ll always have an eager audience.

“The way business happens is changing, even in these stalwart industrial sectors, so don’t be afraid to push the envelope in your marketplace. Honestly, there’s a really good chance you might rush straight to the front if no one else’s doing it. If everybody’s lagging behind, then go for it. And I think you’d be surprised with the kind of results you see.”

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

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with John Joyce of Brennan Industries John Joyce of Brennan industries explains that the digital-versus-print debate isn't about mediums; it's about creating content that meets buyer needs. Danny Gonzales, John Joyce clean 36:10
How to Develop an Industrial Marketing Strategy https://www.industrialsage.com/how-to-develop-an-industrial-marketing-strategy/ Sun, 29 Sep 2019 09:00:16 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5630 As you begin putting together your plans for 2020, we recommend you use the “moneyball” approach when you develop an industrial marketing strategy. Now that the fourth quarter has rolled in, your company is probably planning ahead for 2020. But with all the possibilities out there, starting fresh to develop a digital marketing strategy for the new year can be pretty daunting. Where do you even start?

1. GIVE YOURSELF A MARKETING AUDIT

Take a look at what you’re already doing. More specifically, measure what your marketing tactics have been doing in the past year(s). Remember: you can’t fit what you don’t measure.

What metrics do you use? What’s your monthly traffic like? How much of that is organic, versus direct? How much of it is from referrals, versus paid ads? What’s your engagement like?

There’s a lot to measure– so take a look at what your averages are in each area. Establish a baseline for yourself with those numbers, so you and your cohorts have a solid idea of “what’s normal.”

2. TAKE THE MONEYBALL APPROACH WITH YOUR FUTURE PLANS

Believe it or not, the next step isn’t so much creative as it is mathematical. Let’s use a very basic example (keep in mind the numbers may differ drastically from your actual metrics– but the principle is the same).

How much revenue do you bring in from a single new customer? Thirty thousand?

Based on your current numbers, how many qualified leads from your website become customers? Is it one in every hundred or so?

How many visitors have to come to your website before you get a lead? Do you get roughly one new lead for every thousand visitors?

1,000 Site Visits = 100 Leads = 1 New Customer = $30,000

By how much do you want to increase your marketing revenue this year? One hundred thousand dollars? Well then:

$90,000 = 3 New Customers = 300 Leads = 3,000 Site Visits

The next question is: how do you triple your website traffic to bring in more qualified leads?

3. SET S.M.A.R.T. GOALS

  1. Specific
  2. Measurable
  3. Attainable
  4. Relevant
  5. Timely

If your over-all marketing goal is to “have more social media engagement,” then it’s little wonder you might be struggling. You need to dig a lot deeper than that when you develop an industrial marketing strategy.

Why do companies seek social media engagement in the first place? Brand-building, for one– but web traffic as well. Especially if, as we learned above, you know how much web traffic you need to generate in order to increase revenue.

So, by how much are you hoping to increase your web traffic? Is that even a plausible goal? By when do you want to have achieved it? And will achieving that goal actually contribute to your bottom line?

4. BUILD PERSONAS FOR BOTH INFLUENCERS AND DECISION-MAKERS

You may have mapped out a lot of buyer personas for yourself based on age and gender, but don’t ignore the multiple job titles that might have a hand in the buying process of your product.

Even if a CEO doesn’t sign on the dotted line for the purchase, they may still have a say in whether their engineer or their CFO or their distributor buys your offering.

Make sure you have a rich content library that answers common questions or concerns on the mind of every individual who might be involved in that buying process.

And if you haven’t started building buyer personas for your industrial company, you’d better do that first– before you even think about starting on your content! You can’t develop an industrial marketing strategy without having a target market.

5. WHAT CONTENT WILL ANSWER YOUR PROSPECTS’ COMMON QUESTIONS?

Nowadays, most leads don’t reach out to sales teams until they’re already 80% down the buyer’s funnel. Prospects prefer to educate themselves– so are they doing so with your content, or someone else’s?

Once you have your buyer personas in mind, plan out digital content to give them the answers they’re looking for. Some people may argue that content could risk “giving away trade secrets,” but look at it this way: if they don’t learn those ‘secrets’ from you, they’ll keep searching until they find them anyway.

Being transparent in your content can help you to establish a valuable relationship with leads, as a thought leader in your field.

Best of all, digital content, like blogs and videos, are especially valuable because they’re “evergreen.” That means they don’t expire: they stack on top of each other exponentially. They stay relevant for years and years.

You can even ‘refurbish,’ old, popular content by reworking it! Got a popular blog? Turn it into a video. Got a popular webinar? Break it down into shorter, bite-sized, more specialized segments.

As far as how much content you need to make in order to attract leads…well, there are two ways to go about that.

A paid strategy will get you more traffic, faster– but it will all die the moment you turn off your ads. A robust blog strategy is more gradual, but also more permanent.

Most companies try to balance both– using ads to drive spikes in traffic, but holding fast to evergreen content as a foundation of assets to keep people coming back again and again.

So as you prepare to develop an industrial marketing strategy for next year, don’t forget to ask yourself (and your coworkers): are you in this for fleeting success, or are you in it for the long haul?

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

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As you begin putting together your plans for 2020, we recommend you use the “moneyball” approach when you develop an industrial marketing strategy. As you begin putting together your plans for 2020, we recommend you use the “moneyball” approach when you develop an industrial marketing strategy. Danny Gonzales clean 20:22
The 2019 Third Quarter Review https://www.industrialsage.com/the-2019-third-quarter-review/ Sun, 22 Sep 2019 09:00:08 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5617 Why are we always shocked when a quarter ends? The 2019 third quarter is over, but some of our Q3 guests had such great tips we decided to listen in again… Why are we always shocked when a quarter ends? You’d think we’d be used to it by now. Yet it always surprises us– especially because the end of the 2019 third quarter means that the year is very nearly over!

The beginning of Q4 means that budgeting season for 2020 is about to be in full swing. (And we’ve got a great asset we’re building to help you get the organizational buy-in you need in those meetings.) But it’s important not to charge ahead towards what we will be making without pausing occasionally to savor what we have made.

We had some extremely exciting guests and milestones during the 2019 third quarter!

JULY

Our first guest of the quarter was Zack Scriven of Zack Scriven Media.

Zack is a LinkedIn influencer who became a full-time content creator in 2018. Despite general skepticism about social media amongst industrial companies, LinkedIn is their top platform. We sat down to ask Zack about why B2B manufacturers need to build their social media influence. We also got some practical tips on how they can get started doing it.

Our second guest of the 2019 third quarter was Sonita Lontoh. She’s the Vice President of Global Marketing for HP’s 3D Printing & Digital Manufacturing division.

As Hewlett-Packard is largely known for computers, they’re breaking the mold somewhat by going into additive manufacturing. Sonita covered how manufacturers can build awareness in emerging technologies like 3D printing. Some of the best tactics industrial marketers can use is actually the testimony of their own excited customers.

The next week, IndustrialSage hit a huge milestone: our 2-year anniversary and 100th episode!!

We invited past guests and loyal followers to send in videos all about the value they’d gained from the show. It built a rich case study on how digital content builds brand awareness.

AUGUST

Our third interview of the 2019 third quarter was with Paul Konrath. He’s the Vice President of of CCS Dualsnap. (“CCS” being short for “Custom Control Sensors.”)

Paul’s company was responsible for creating several pressure sensors that have been used in historic spacecraft including the Apollo 11– and yet their lead generation started to suffer after the rise of the internet because younger generations cared more about their digital appearance. Paul spoke with us about some practical tips to build a lead-generating website for manufacturers.

We spent the second half of August reviewing some lessons that B2B industrial companies can learn from B2C companies.

For one thing, despite what many people may think, manufacturers can actually go viral, too. The trick is, they need to redefine viral based on the size of their actual market size. If your niche industry only has about 500 buyers on the entire planet, going viral for you might mean 200-300 interactions on LinkedIn, and not 2 million Instagram likes.

Then, with impeccable timing, Popeyes engaged Chick-fil-a in a wild Twitter war over chicken sandwiches.

We dug through the aftermath to see how it started, and unveiled that simple engagement between business competitors can produce an impressive amount of social media engagement amongst your audiences. That’s just one of many lessons B2B marketers can learn from B2C sensations like the recent Popeyes chicken sandwich debacle.

SEPTEMBER

Coincidentally (or was it?) we released an episode inspired by Chick-fil-a just one week after our episode inspired by Popeyes. A recent experience at Chick-fil-a reminded Danny that manufacturers should focus not just on digital marketing, but also on creating an amazing customer experience after the sale.

Our last guest episode of the 2019 third quarter was definitely a highlight of the summer: Mike Drapeau of SBI joined us to talk about almost everything under the sun.

From legacy CRM myths to practical tips to synchronize sales and marketing departments to smoothing out communication with end users, Mike had some incredible insights for marketers from almost any industry.

And now…it’s almost budget season.

With one last quarter of 2019 to go, your organization is probably starting to look to the future now. You’re probably getting ready for that nerve-racking meeting about your 2020 budget. If that’s the case, make sure you go in prepared.

IndustrialSage has one great asset you can use to prepare – soon to be two great assets! First off, we have a free 50-page report on Industrial Sales & Marketing Trends in 2019 that you can download, chock full of data and statistics about what other manufacturers were doing with their outreach this year.

Secondly, we’re currently conducting a survey of sales and marketing professionals in the industrial space in order to update our report for 2020! If you meet our 4 qualifications when taking the survey, we’ll also send you a $10 Amazon gift card when the new edition of the report comes out in mid-October!

 

TAKE SURVEY NOW
 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Why are we always shocked when a quarter ends? The 2019 third quarter is over, but some of our Q3 guests had such great tips we decided to listen in again… Why are we always shocked when a quarter ends? The 2019 third quarter is over, but some of our Q3 guests had such great tips we decided to listen in again… Danny Gonzales clean 19:29
How Manufacturers Can Unite Sales and Marketing Departments https://www.industrialsage.com/how-to-unite-sales-and-marketing-departments/ Sun, 15 Sep 2019 09:00:18 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5533 If you want to unite sales and marketing within your organization, Mike Drapeau of SBI has some practical tips to improve their relationship. This week we had an extremely rich conversation with Mike Drapeau! He’s a founding partner of SBI, so he’s right at home consulting companies on how to meet their growth goals.

He was also right at home diving into one of the top dilemmas facing manufacturers today: how to unite sales and marketing.

1. REDEFINE ONE ROLE FOR EACH DEPARTMENT’S

A simple obstacle blocking the way between sales and marketing departments is a lack of understanding and empathy. A bit of basic communication can start breaking down that barrier.

Marketers aren’t as familiar with the pressure sales has to hit quotas.

Assign your marketers a numerical goal (net new leads, ROI, etc.) to aim for.

Sales leaders aren’t always involved in marketing campaigns.

Give account managers specific collateral, resources, and roles to play in campaigns.

Unite sales and marketing teams by training them to meet together to build out personas based on to your top target accounts. Your marketers know how to use personas to influence their materials – but your account managers actually know who these people are.

Sales and marketing are two sides of the same coin. The more they understand one another, the better they’ll be at their own jobs.

2. USE SMALL BETA GROUPS TO PROVE OUT CHANGES GRADUALLY

The hard truth is that many older sales reps with decades of experience are set in their ways and don’t want to change.

Younger reps may be blank slates open to change and to new techniques, but they’re also less familiar with the environment of their new role.

Implement gradual digital changes within a small group of young, hungry account executives. Once they start showing progress and results (remember, that’s not necessarily ROI), they’ll win over more skeptics.

If you’re not interested in changing your sales or marketing habits, you’re losing by default.

The gradual, systemic change is key here. Many manufacturers jump whole hog into mainstream digital solutions which aren’t actually a proper fit. Legacy CRM software, for example, is extremely powerful…but it fails at recognizing that the same lead might be making touches in three different ways from three different devices under five different aliases.

Account executives and marketers both know about different factors that will influence your CRM, so you need to unite sales and marketing to get the full picture.

 

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3. CLOSE THE GAP BETWEEN OLD AND NEW REPS

Your younger reps need to shadow mentors who can show them the ropes.

Your older reps need young, adaptable peers to show them new time-saving and energy-saving tools to enhance their existing process.

B2B buyers are getting younger by the year– over 50% of them are millennials now.

You need to find a balance between the expertise of your veteran account executives, and the consideration of your rookie reps.

Don’t necessarily try to gauge a new rep’s success solely by ROI, because revenue may not start pouring in right away. They’re still a new rep, after all.

However, their relationships and their efficiency and their time management may drastically improve. For example, how many LinkedIn connections are they making with potential leads? That shows you how much buyer-access and how many relationships they’re fostering.

4. FORM CONNECTIONS WITH YOUR END USERS

Relationships with the end-user represent one big change that industrial B2B companies have been hesitant to adopt.

Communicating occasionally with your end-users is not cheating on your distributors.

It may feel like ‘breaking protocol,’ but, understanding the end-user’s needs can help you to better support your distributors and provide them with the collateral they need to make the sale. The more you unite sales and marketing around those goals, the smoother your buying cycle can become.

End users are, to be frank, pretty lazy. (Aren’t we all?) They want to get the best value for the least effort. Their currency, often, is not money– but time.

For example, end-users don’t want to receive a quote that looks like a ten-page tax document. What if your distributors have been spending hours turning your archaic quotes and billing statements into more amenable reading? How would they and their customers feel if you made simply made your quotes less cluttered?

It’s such a small step, but it could have a big impact– all because you were in tune not only with your distributors, but also your end users.

Communicate, communicate, communicate.

People can sit around resenting one another from a distance all day long. But if you actually tug them together and ask them to consider one another’s needs, magical things cans start to happen.

If you want to unite sales and marketing within your organization, make it habit for your account executives and your marketers to always ask (each other and their buyers): “How can I make your life easier?”

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Mike Drapeau of SBI If you want to unite sales and marketing within your organization, Mike Drapeau of SBI has some practical tips to improve their relationship. Danny Gonzales, Mike Drapeau clean 30:55
How to Create an Amazing Customer Experience AFTER the Sale https://www.industrialsage.com/creating-an-amazing-customer-experience-after-the-sale/ Sun, 08 Sep 2019 09:00:03 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5523 A recent interaction at Chick-fil-a reminded Danny that no matter your industry, you can always be improving your customer’s experience after the sale. I know we’ve been talking a lot about lessons from some popular B2C chains lately, but I can’t help it– those companies know what’s up!

Just recently I was eating breakfast at Chick-fil-a, and I came away unexpectedly inspired and delighted. What I learned there, of course, is perfectly applicable for any B2B brand, industrial or otherwise.

We need to not just focus on getting sales, but improving every customer’s experience after the sale as well.

I swear this has nothing to do with last week’s episode about the Twitter wars over chicken sandwiches…I think.

1. MAKE A BETTER EXPERIENCE, NOT JUST A GOOD EXPERIENCE

I recently brought in a little Yeti tumbler full of coffee to a Chick-fil-a to have breakfast there. At the counter, the server offered to refill it for me. He wasn’t required to do that, but it was a nice gesture.

After I sat down, a second server brought out my food– and upon seeing that I’d forgotten to grab plasticware or napkins, he offered to grab them so I wouldn’t have to get up. Again, it wouldn’t have been a big deal if he hadn’t done that…but he did.

Then, just as I was about to leave, the manager of the restaurant came by and offered to refill my travel mug again. Again– unprompted!

How many of us can truly say that we work for a business that treats its customers like royalty?

It wouldn’t have ruined my experience to grab plasticware like a normal human being, or to finish off the single cup of coffee I’d brought in. My morning would still have been good. But instead, that company culture turned it around and made it doggone excellent.

2. TURN YOUR CUSTOMERS INTO YOUR ADVOCATES

Why does everyone rave about Chick-fil-a? The food is certainly delicious, but it’s their customer service that takes the cake– or rather, gives the cake.

They seem to take to heart that just one bad customer experience can prevent future business, and this is a mantra that a lot of B2B manufacturers need to reapply to their own businesses.

What does the post-sale experience look like for your customers?

When your leads become clients, do their rose-colored glasses come off, or are they pleasantly surprised by your easy implementation?

After all that time you spent wining and dining them and promising the moon, are they rudely shaken back into reality with a blunt handoff between the account manager and the project manager?

If your answer is at least “maybe,” then it’s time to call a team meeting.

3. STANDARDIZE YOUR ONBOARDING PROCESS

Unless you’re running a brand new business that launched last week (in which case, Happy Birthday!) then you probably have a portfolio of lots of past clients and projects. Go through that list and determine which post-sales steps were most common in your process…as well as how well or how poorly they were implemented.

Is there always a disconnect or some item of confusion between your account manager and your project manager? Seek to create a system or online worksheet or CRM widget to streamline that bump in the road.

If you know certain hurdles or parts of the “client handoff” tend to come up every time, find a way to automate some emails or messages to smooth out the transition.

Even though working on an existing process may not feel as innovative as creating something new, it’s worth it, Creating an amazing customer experience after the sale – especially with a digitized tool so you don’t have to work as hard – can be the linchpin that brings your clients back when they’re ready to buy again.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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A Lesson from Chick-fil-A A recent interaction at Chick-fil-a reminded Danny that no matter your industry, you can always be improving your customer’s experience after the sale. Danny Gonzales clean 14:28
Our Industrial Insights Survey is Back – With Prizes! https://www.industrialsage.com/take-our-2020-insights-survey/ Thu, 05 Sep 2019 09:00:21 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5498 Do you love Amazon gift cards? Did you love our Insights Report on Industrial Sales & Marketing Trends in 2019? Then you're going to LOVE this survey… Everyone loved our Insights Report on Industrial Sales & Marketing Trends in 2019. Well, it’s time to collect new insights about what’s to come in 2020!

We need your help to make this successful. Please take the ten-minute survey and you will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card along with your advanced copy of the report in October, just in time for budgeting season!

To be eligible, you must…

  • Work in sales or marketing
  • Work for a manufacturer
  • Complete the survey in its entirety
  • Use a valid business email address

 

TAKE SURVEY NOW

 

HURRY, THE SURVEY ENDS IN OCTOBER!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

]]>
Do you love Amazon gift cards? Did you love our Insights Report on Industrial Sales & Marketing Trends in 2019? Then you're going to LOVE this survey… Insights Report on Industrial Sales & Marketing Trends in 2019. Well, it's time to collect new insights about what's to come in 2020!

We need your help to make this successful. Please take the ten-minute survey and you will receive a $10 Amazon Gift Card along with your advanced copy of the report in October, just in time for budgeting season!

To be eligible, you must…


* Work in sales or marketing
* Work for a manufacturer
* Complete the survey in its entirety
* Use a valid business email address


 

hbspt.cta.load(192657, '2760a468-014f-403c-b139-1b9460c21e9f', {});

 

HURRY, THE SURVEY ENDS IN OCTOBER!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions]]>
Danny Gonzales clean
What B2B Marketers Can Learn from B2C Marketing Sensations https://www.industrialsage.com/what-b2b-marketers-can-learn-from-b2c-marketing-sensations/ Sun, 01 Sep 2019 09:00:51 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5491 What can B2B marketers learn from B2C campaigns gone wild, like the recent Popeyes Chicken Sandwich explosion? Could manufacturers ever achieve that? https://optimumproductions.wistia.com/medias/99tvnyr9yg?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640


I’ve probably only been to Popeyes, the fast food restaurant, one time in my entire life. I’ve probably only spoken about Popeyes few enough times to count on my hands.

But people like me have suddenly been very interested in this fried chicken hub of late…and as a marketer, I can’t help but look on in both fascination and amused horror at why they’re the restaurant everybody is talking about.

1. ENGAGE OTHER BRANDS ON SOCIAL MEDIA.

How much do you keep an eye on your audience, competitors, and allies on social media? One of the first things we can learn from B2C companies is that online engagement matters.

On August 12th, Popeyes debuted a fried chicken sandwich on brioche with pickles and either plain or spicy mayonnaise. No big deal, right?

Except, gee, who else serves a fried chicken sandwich with pickles?

Here’s the kicker: no one really noticed for the first week or so. (As we discussed last week, most ‘viral’ sensations often don’t start with a bang right away.)

Then Chick-fil-a tweeted (possibly innocently, possibly not) about how beloved its original fried-chicken-and-pickle sandwich was. Popeyes responded, “Y’all good?”

Fans of both restaurants collectively lost their minds at the subtle jab.

Thus began the controversial #ChickenSandwichWars, and mayhem doesn’t even begin to describe the situation.

Self-proclaimed chicken sandwich enthusiasts took sides, and the resulting debate on social media has since graced Popeyes with over $65 million in equivalent media value (aka: free advertising), according to Apex Marketing Group.

And it all happened spontaneously, solely because Popeyes was engaged on social media with their fans and competitors. They saw an opportunity, and they jumped on it. You don’t have to become an internet troll, necessarily, but you can definitely take a page from Popeyes, learn from B2C, and engage with your industry online.

2. USE YOUR OWN ADVOCATES GENERATE DEMAND AND AWARENESS.

So what was the ultimate goal of Popeyes’ participating in (and inciting) conversations on social media? Simple: spreading the word about their latest product.

Comparing their sandwich to such a famous fast food staple was bold and risky, but it incited debate…and there’s nothing people online love more than to debate. And this is a lesson that B2B marketers can learn from B2C and use with their own niche audiences, too.

When people argue about which of two products is better, anyone who wants to join in the debate has to do what? Go try out the lesser-known product.

Most consumers were familiar with the Chick-fil-a sandwich, but if they wanted to give an ‘educated’ opinion on the matter then they had to go to Popeyes.

The resulting flood of customers meant that Popeyes restaurants all over the country were suddenly overwhelmed with lines of people heading out the door, and drive-thrus backed up along entire streets– all to try this controversial little sandwich.

Debates and arguments have abounded, covering everything from:

  • The taste/quality/healthiness of the sandwiches
  • The quality of the restaurants’ service
  • The treatment of the restaurant employees
  • The politics held by the restaurants
  • The politics held by the restaurants’ main demographics
  • The morality of how the ingredients were harvested
  • And beyond…

Was it all positive buzz for Popeyes? Not in the strictest sense…but then again, there’s also a reason why many people say, “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.”

After all, we’re talking about this restaurant on our show now, aren’t we?

3. UNDER-PROMISE, OVER-DELIVER.

Unfortunately, if you now want to go and try the new “challenger” to the Chick-fil-a sandwich…well, you’ll just have to slow your roll.

They’re. All. Gone.

The act of under-promising and over-delivering is not so much a lesson we can learn from B2C that Popeyes has taught us purposefully, but rather one they’re just now learning themselves.

If you want to generate and keep new customers, you’d better be able to fulfill whatever you promise them. Dashed expectations can often be far more damaging than low expectations.

Within mere days of fueling the #ChickenSandwichWar on social media, customers stood in line for hours on end at Popeyes restaurants only to be turned away, because suddenly these famous new sandwiches were sold out.

Popeyes employees had to work overtime on double or triple-shifts (inciting even more online debate about the franchise’s profit-grab at the expense of its miserable workers).

The sandwich scarcity, naturally, created even more demand. Any location with sandwiches still available was swiftly overrun, sometimes by customers looking to buy dozens at a time.

At least one sandwich actually sold for thousands of dollars on sites like Ebay!

Soon Popeyes restaurants everywhere started running out not just of the sandwich ingredients, but fried chicken – their main staple – altogether!

In the end, the restaurant had to pull an emergency kill switch far earlier than anticipated– because they were draining their chicken supplier almost completely dry.

The Popeyes chicken sandwich has been sold out nationwide and has been temporarily discontinued while corporate scrambles to restock and recover. However, they’ve already promised to make the sandwich a permanent addition to their menus upon its return.

Is Popeyes wholly disgraced? Definitely not. And it’s fair to say that almost any company would struggle just to stay afloat amidst such a sudden, massive influx of business. (Chick-fil-a, with their incredibly smooth systems to handle large crowds, might be the exception.)

“Okay, but this is all about a B2C company! We’re B2B.”

You’re right. But if you hadn’t noticed already, B2B buyers are bringing their B2C buying habits into the workplace. That’s why email marketing, blogs, ecommerce, videos, social media, and even podcasts are overtaking the manufacturing world. There’s a lot we can learn from B2C companies.

You may cater to a very niche audience– but the internet is a great place to find like-minded, niche groups. Your audience is on social media, whether you are or not.

You may never get millions of views and become a topic of national debate amongst all age groups…but your company can still turn heads within your industry by engaging your peers on social media.

What’s holding you back from stepping out and getting started? You’re not chicken, are you?

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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What can B2B marketers learn from B2C campaigns gone wild, like the recent Popeyes Chicken Sandwich explosion? Could manufacturers ever achieve that? What can B2B marketers learn from B2C campaigns gone wild, like the recent Popeyes Chicken Sandwich explosion? Could manufacturers ever achieve that? Danny Gonzales clean 14:47
3 Ways Manufacturers Can Create Viral Content https://www.industrialsage.com/three-ways-manufacturers-can-create-viral-content/ Sun, 25 Aug 2019 09:00:23 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5448 Did you know manufacturers can create viral content? ‘Viral’ isn’t just reserved for tween makeup tutorials and hamsters with their tiny birthday cakes! https://optimumproductions.wistia.com/medias/yu6guskl1c?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640


Today we’re going to cover that mythical ‘unicorn’ of the digital marketing world: viral content.

Did you know manufacturers can create viral content? It’s not just reserved for tween makeup tutorials and hamsters with their tiny birthday cakes!

The mainstream definition of going “Viral” refers to any online video or content that suddenly spreads like wildfire (or a virus, if you will) all over the internet.

Most viral content, while it can be educational, is usually also…

  • Humorous/Witty
  • Shocking/Scandalous, or
  • Adorable/Wholesome

Notice, quality isn’t necessarily as high on the list. Professional videos can get ‘beaten’ by cheap iPhone videos all day long if the homemade content is more entertaining.

You need to create a quality message if you want to connect with your audience, or go viral in any sense of the word.

In the age of instant communication, instant exposure is understandably attractive for marketers. But if manufacturers can create viral content, why aren’t there any examples that spring readily to mind? Many people doubt ‘going viral’ is even a possibility for B2B industrial companies…but that’s because they believe three very incorrect myths.

MYTH #1: “GOING VIRAL” MEANS HIGH VIEW COUNTS

Many marketers aspire to create YouTube videos that suddenly skyrocket to thousands or millions of views in a matter of hours.

But is that really an attainable – or even useful – goal if your total number of buyers worldwide is less than half a million?

What if your niche market is really more in the 100-500-buyer range? Don’t waste time on mainstream audiences with higher populations. Focus your dollars on a smaller, concentrated audience.

Redefine ‘viral’ metrics based on your niche audience size, and gauge success on whether you were able to get in front of the right people.

Manufacturers can create viral content within their own industries, and that will be far more lucrative than aiming for the world in its entirety. Remember, view counts aren’t your end-all-be-all metric, anyway. Revenue is.

MYTH #2: “GOING VIRAL” IS INSTANT

If you harken back to the days of Rebecca Black’s “Friday” or Matthew Mcconaughey’s YouTube channel, it might surprise you to know that a large number of ‘viral’ content pieces weren’t instant successes. Look deeper and you’ll discover that many of them were posted and went for months or even years without more than a handful of views.

So what changed?

In most cases, the content was shared by somebody more influential or posted in front of a more targeted, specific audience (like a sub-reddit). Then the spark turned into wildfire.

Don’t be discouraged if success doesn’t come overnight– you have to keep pushing, and don’t quit.

MYTH #3: “GOING VIRAL” IS SPONTANEOUS

Many times, content goes viral after being picked up by a powerful social media influencer or celebrity. However, it might also pick up because of the algorithms on those social platforms.

If large numbers of people start “Liking” or sharing a piece of content suddenly en mass, most sites from Twitter to Reddit to Instagram will take note and start promoting the post as well. Because if people are enjoying the content, they’re more likely to stay on-platform.

And believe it or not, many creators of viral content understand that system and strategize to take advantage of it.

You don’t have to know some big Hollywood star to use this technique, either! Remember, being a B2B manufacturer means your audience is probably a much tighter niche.

Who do you know in your specific field or industry that has a large number of followers? It might be one person. It also might be your own company brand. Go to any and every platform, instead of limiting yourself to just one.

Coordinate with your company staff and industry influencers to support the release of your content; and don’t be afraid to put some ad dollars behind it.

Remember, it’s not how many people you can get in front of– but who they are. Manufacturers can go viral– they just need to recognize which unrealistic myths are getting in their way.

Double-check your definition and your strategy if ‘viral’ content is your goal.

Spoiler alert…going viral, like most other successes in life, requires actual work.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Did you know manufacturers can create viral content? ‘Viral’ isn’t just reserved for tween makeup tutorials and hamsters with their tiny birthday cakes! Did you know manufacturers can create viral content? ‘Viral’ isn’t just reserved for tween makeup tutorials and hamsters with their tiny birthday cakes! Danny Gonzales clean 16:44
How Instagram’s Hiding Likes Could Affect Manufacturers on Social Media https://www.industrialsage.com/instagram-hiding-likes-could-affect-manufacturers-on-social-media/ Sun, 18 Aug 2019 09:00:22 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5433 Instagram just made a major announcement– but why should manufacturers care about Instagram hiding likes, especially if they don't even USE Instagram? https://optimumproductions.wistia.com/medias/yz646azzub?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640


Big news– are you ready?

A social media platform has changed.

Mind-blowing, isn’t it?

Alright, we’ll hold off on the sarcasm there for a moment and get down to brass tacks. Instagram recently announced that they’re changing the way their platform displays “likes” on its images. The change was tested in seven major countries and has now rolled out in the United States as well.

“Whatever, Danny. Some of us don’t even use Instagram. Why should we care?”

Because today it was Instagram…but tomorrow, it might be LinkedIn, or Twitter, or some other platform where you do invest a lot of interest and resources.

1. HOW WILL INSTAGRAM’S HIDING LIKES AFFECT USERS AND BRANDS?

For the uninitiated, Instagram is primarily a photo-sharing platform (though they recently branched out with the genesis of features like Instagram TV).

Until recently, ‘Likes’ were the main currency of Instagram– and a lot of users learned how to game that system.

High numbers of ‘likes’ would bolster your post and send it to the top of the feed, where more and more users would discover and ‘like’ it. Users would gauge the success of their own photos or videos based on their like-count, and then compare the numbers with those of their competitors.

However, there were flaws to the system (which is what led to Instagram hiding likes). Aspiring social media influencers would pay others or use black-hat tactics to gain hundreds or thousands of ‘likes’ to push their content to the top. The self-esteem and ‘popularity’ of users, especially of younger ages, would be severely affected by the number of likes their posts had.

Peer pressure wasn’t exclusive to individuals on the platform, either. Many brands would use the ‘Like’ metric to contend against their competitors and vie for more viewers.

Instagram Stories and Instagram TV already hid their like-counts, and spreading the policy platform-wide ensures that those branches may see more attention from users.

Now with that vanity metric gone, there’s no more pressure to ‘like’ something just to boost its ranking…or your own.

Comments are still public, and in future they may become the main KPI of Instagram popularity. Fortunately, comments are far harder to fake than ‘likes,’ so quality should finally retake quantity on the platform a little bit.

2. HOW CAN MANUFACTURERS OPTIMIZE INSTAGRAM’S PLATFORM?

You might be surprised to learn that more and more manufacturers are getting on Instagram nowadays. In fact, even we hopped on the Instagram bandwagon!

It’s important to note that Instagram functions best as a brand awareness platform, not necessarily a lead generation platform.

Can you generate leads from it? Sure! However, the platform doesn’t lend itself to that.

For one thing, your posts aren’t allowed to include links to your website or landing pages, which makes official conversions difficult.

Secondly, you also can’t run ads or paid promotions. That means that if you want to grow your audience on Instagram, you have to actually post (gasp) good content.

That being said, Instagram is a pretty great platform for manufacturers because pictures and videos of the manufacturing process are absolutely fascinating!

People love watching those raw moments all about making chips and breaking a sweat and seeing machines turn a chunk of metal into something familiar. That TV show “How It’s Made,” was popular for a reason.

If you’re already making content for other platforms, it should be a cinch to add Instagram to your list. Extract minute-long clips of your videos to post! Create images and infographics with quotes from your blog articles and stills from your videos! Reduce, re-use, repurpose. Instagram hiding likes shouldn’t be an excuse for avoiding the platform.

3. WHY YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION, EVEN IF YOU DON’T USE INSTAGRAM

As we mentioned earlier, this change to Instagram should still be on your radar even if you have no intention of ever joining the platform. Why?

Instagram is not the first social media platform to make a major overhaul to its popularity system, and it definitely will not be the last.

Remember the days when the best social sharing tactic was to post your YouTube links on every platform? But that’s no longer best practice at all, because every platform came out with their own native video players.

Remember when Twitter’s character limit was strictly 140 characters?

Remember when Google Plus was a thing? Or Vine?

Social trends come and go. LinkedIn may be the best platform for B2B companies right now, but there’s no guarantee it will be the best forever. If they removed their ‘Likes’ or altered their paid ad policies, would your company crash and burn? Have you been loading all your marketing eggs into one basket?

It’s vital that you keep your ear to the ground and update your outreach strategies to accommodate these ever-changing social media platforms. Today’s big shift was Instagram hiding likes. Tomorrow…who knows?

Social media is constantly evolving. Are you adapting?

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Instagram just made a major announcement– but why should manufacturers care about Instagram hiding likes, especially if they don't even USE Instagram? Instagram just made a major announcement– but why should manufacturers care about Instagram hiding likes, especially if they don't even USE Instagram? Danny Gonzales clean 9:09
How Manufacturers Can Use LinkedIn Ads for Lead Generation https://www.industrialsage.com/how-manufacturers-can-use-linkedin-ads-for-lead-generation/ Sun, 11 Aug 2019 09:00:45 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5401 If you’re wondering why your LinkedIn ads don’t work even though everyone in B2B manufacturing swears by them…you’re not alone. https://optimumproductions.wistia.com/medias/d4dgmuebjk?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640


Online advertising and PPC (pay-per-click) is a sensitive topic. Ads have a very clear cost involved – and therefore, in order to be considered “worth it,” they need to earn back what they’ve spent.

So in the midst of B2B marketers who all swear by LinkedIn, what are you supposed to do when your LinkedIn ads don’t deliver?

As it turns out, that’s a question Danny has been asked before.

“WHY DIDN’T MY LINKEDIN AD WORK?”

Oftentimes, companies will hang up LinkedIna ads after one round, because “They just don’t work for us.” But Danny had a few questions for a connection who came to him with this same dilemma:

  • What was your call to action? “Buy.”
  • Were these ads going to people who already followed your company’s LinkedIn page? “No, these are new people. We’re trying to get new business.”
  • How many ads did you send out to them before you asked them to make a purchase? “We didn’t have any. Just that one.”
  • And does your product cost about five bucks? What’s your average deal size? “No, no– our products run around $30k or $40k on average.”

Sound familiar?

Demographics and impressions and all else aside, if this sounds like your ads then we’ve got good news for you. There’s a clear (and addressable) reason why your LinkedIn ads failed.

Your LinkedIn ad didn’t bring in new customers because it was an instant marriage proposal before the first date.

Instant “buy now” ads might work on cold leads if your product is an easy impulse buy, like an adorable narwhal-shaped tea infuser. But that tactic probably wouldn’t work for selling a multi-thousand-dollar steel-cutting machine.

1. YOUR FIRST LINKEDIN ADS SHOULD BUILD BRAND AWARENESS AT THE TOP OF THE SALES FUNNEL.

If you’re not aiming your ads at individuals who already follow your company, then your first few promotions that they see should be a polite introduction.

Target your ideal personas with LinkedIn ads that will familiarize them with your company– it’s just the first date.

We often like to call these top-of-funnel promotions “bacon-wrapped.” If you want a dog to eat a pill, you wrap it in bacon or peanut butter. If you want today’s skeptical buyers to take an interest in you, you need to make your ad worth swallowing.

Modern-day internet users, especially generations that have been online from a young age, are highly adept at spotting sales pitches and moneymaking schemes from miles away. That’s not to say your business or your LinkedIn ads aren’t legitimate– but enjoyable brand awareness content is going to endear you to new buyers far more than a “buy now” button.

2. YOUR SECOND WAVE OF LINKEDIN ADS SHOULD PROMOTE FREE, MIDDLE-OF-FUNNEL OFFERS.

Once you’ve familiarized these new prospects with your company, they’ll be a little more receptive– but don’t jump the gun yet. You still need them more than they need you, so now you have to answer their question, “What’s in it for me?”

This second wave of ads is not meant for new recipients, but more anyone who was already responsive to your brand awareness ads.

Your goal here is to build a relationship– and now that these prospects know who you are, it’s time to provide value. Time to bring in the content offers!

Ebooks, whitepapers, webinars, and beyond– offer anything that is useful to people in your industry, regardless of whether they ever end up buying from you. So, not a product catalog or discount on their first purchase.

If your company creates the vats or tanks used by vineyards and breweries, maybe you could create an infographic on how size or make affects different fermentation processes. Since we focus on industrial marketing, we promote a 50-page report about rising trends in the industrial marketing field.

The trade-off is simple: you provide that valuable resource, and they might be willing to give you their email address. Now you can tell who might be legitimately interested in more of your creations.

3. YOUR THIRD WAVE OF LINKEDIN ADS CAN TARGET YOUR QUALIFIED LEADS WITH BOTTOM-OF-FUNNEL OFFERS.

Now comes the moment you’ve been waiting for. You’ve seen a loyal handful of people respond to your previous LinkedIn ads and sign up to learn more. You’ve given them value. They’ve given you their contact information. There’s a relationship established now.

Anyone who has submitted information or converted through your first two ads is definitely interested– so now you can offer them an insta-quote or other pre-sale service.

It’s important to remember that even if all the rest of the stars have aligned, these leads may not be ready to buy simply because it’s not quite the right time. Industrial buying cycles can take months, or even years. That individual might have every intention of buying their next forklift from you, but their old one still works for now.

Your top and middle-of-funnel LinkedIn ads keep you top of mind with your leads until they’re ready to buy. Then, when the time comes, they’ll come to you. After all, you’ve proven yourself to be both reliable, and easy to find.

The bigger of a commitment your sales are, the more LinkedIn ads you need to promote beforehand to kindle a genuine relationship.

If you’re struggling with mediocre return on investment from Linkedin advertising, take another look at the promotions you’re pushing. It could be that you’re just jumping the gun with complete strangers.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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If you’re wondering why your LinkedIn ads don’t work even though everyone in B2B manufacturing swears by them…you’re not alone. If you’re wondering why your LinkedIn ads don’t work even though everyone in B2B manufacturing swears by them…you’re not alone. Danny Gonzales clean 17:09
A Phased Approach to Building a Lead-Generating Website for Manufacturers https://www.industrialsage.com/building-a-lead-generating-website-for-manufacturers/ Sun, 04 Aug 2019 09:00:13 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5376 Paul's company built sensors used on Apollo 11 and in the Gemini project– but it was building a lead-generating website that brought in younger buyers. https://optimumproductions.wistia.com/medias/yf9hxz6hsp?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640


This week was a real treat! We got to chat with Paul Konrath, Vice President of Sales & Marketing for Custom Control Sensors – also known as CCS Dualsnap – in California.

CCS Dualsnap has created sensors used by B52 Bombers, the Apollo 11, the Gemini Project, the Mars Rover, Disneyland, and beyond.

You would think, with a reputation like that, marketing the company would be an absolute breeze.

But until they started building a lead-generating website, CCS struggled to connect with younger generations of B2B buyers.

1. HOW DO LONGSTANDING MANUFACTURERS REACH GENERATIONS THAT DON’T RECOGNIZE THEIR BRAND?

We see this time and time again in manufacturing. Big-name companies that have been around for decades are discovering more competition.

Even though CCS is exceedingly well-known amongst older buyers, their incredible reputation wasn’t automatically attracting younger customers.

Custom Control Sensors did build a website in the early 2000s, but it hadn’t changed much since it was initially constructed. Fortunately, they realized a change was needed, and they invested in updating their website.

Did that mean they stop using traditional tactics altogether? Certainly not! CCS can still be found at many a trade and air show. Their account executives still employ cold calls on occasion. However, they’ve also come to recognize that millennials and younger buyers think differently.

Younger buyers don’t want to be pestered or distracted until they’re ready to focus on researching their purchase. And to them, a company that doesn’t see the value of the internet’s technological advances may also be blind to technological advances within their own field of expertise.

Customer habits are changing. Buyers increasingly turn to the internet for research and to make their purchases. Building a lead-generating website is key to generate your brand awareness in this century.

2. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO ESTABLISH A POSITIVE ROI WITH A MANUFACTURING WEBSITE?

After the owner of Custom Control Sensors recognized the need for change, the company revamped their website with more resources for their buyers. They boosted their SEO, added forms, built an email database, and created content. They even constructed an online product catalog, though it took some time.

Paul also pointed out to us that outlining buyer personas was vital to this entire process. Digital marketing without personas makes lead generation far, far more difficult.

Building a lead-generating website is, in some ways, a never-ending task. For Paul, that mission has taken CCS roughly 3-4 years to come to fruition. However, they and their owner would also say that the process is not yet complete.

Before the website’s reconstruction started, Paul and his team set clear budget expectations for themselves. They also focused on setting goals during the earliest stages of this digital journey.

How can marketers calculate ROI from websites like CCS Dualsnap’s? If it’s not an ecommerce website, attributing revenues depends heavily on analytics.

Measure, measure, measure everything you’ve built.

Google Analytics and other platforms support marketers and provide specific numbers for them to connect with conversions. Tracking those leads and conversions connects them to eventual revenues, which allows marketers to identify the total cost of generating one new customer.

3. DO ONLINE MANUFACTURERS’ CATALOGS HURT OR HELP B2B DISTRIBUTORS?

Because CCS creates many sensors that are built into airplanes, many of their buyers are maintenance engineers who want to replace or upgrade a part that was already installed in their plane. Many of these orders are rush jobs. The plane needs to get somewhere, after all.

In the past, those engineers would have to call up a distributor to order the part. What followed could be a multi-hour or even multi-day exchange as the distributor went through a manual catalog.

Which is the right part? How much does it cost? Is it in stock? How long until it can be delivered? Each question would take another phone call and waiting period while the distributor looked up the answer.

Now, instead of weighing down their distributors with all those catalogs and extra sales materials, CCS Dualsnap’s user-friendly website provides distributors a way to sell better; faster.

CCS Dualsnap’s website allows customers or distributors to narrow down the right part for any job, and place an order (which still goes through the distributors) within just minutes.

Paul, like Danny’s father in another recent episode, agrees that loading down a distributor or sales rep with assets will do nothing if those assets are not used…and they will not get used if they’re a hindrance instead of a help. A content-rich website, on the other hand, doesn’t weigh a thing or take up any space in a suitcase!

4. PAUL’S ADVICE FOR MANUFACTURERS STILL WAITING ON DIGITAL ROI:

“There is a leap of faith involved,” he agreed with us. “No question about it. Nut we’re starting to get enough data that says if you’re not doing this, you’re missing a huge opportunity. You can keep going to trade shows, but how do you know your return on investment from a trade show or a print ad?”

Get your hands on concrete evidence of digital ROI. That’s something nobody can discount when you’re looking for organizational buy-in from your higher-ups.

“Your perception’s one thing, but the data doesn’t lie. Show me the data.”

CCS saw the evidence, and they adapted. They upgraded their website because they recognized its impact on their business.

In short, your company’s past success is no guarantee of present innovations, which lead to future business.

B2B manufacturers always need to stay on their toes. The internet age has paved the way for all sorts of competition where before there might not have been much.

Building a lead-generating website is the first step in building awareness for your brand. After you get the attention of the next generation, then you can prove to them just how incredible a manufacturer you are.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Paul Konrath of Custom Control Sensors Paul's company built sensors used on Apollo 11 and in the Gemini project– but it was building a lead-generating website that brought in younger buyers. Danny Gonzales, Paul Konrath clean 37:07
Case Study: How Consistent Digital Content Builds Brand Awareness for Manufacturers https://www.industrialsage.com/case-study-how-digital-content-builds-brand-awareness/ Sun, 28 Jul 2019 09:00:20 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5332 Two years ago we started IndustrialSage– and here at Episode 100, this show is an ongoing case study that proves: consistent digital content WORKS! Creating a series of consistent digital content is not for the faint of heart. This is our 100th episode of a two-year-old show, so we can definitely attest to that!

Generating regularly-scheduled content is grueling. It’s a major commitment.

It’s also 100% worth it.

This very show that talks all about content marketing…is in fact also a case study for content marketing.

IndustrialSage is a testament to the very same message that it preaches. When it comes to content marketing…your best bet is always to play the long game.

1. WE STARTED THIS INDUSTRIAL MARKETING SHOW AS A CASE STUDY FOR CONSISTENT DIGITAL CONTENT.

Back in 2017, Optimum Productions was focused on creating valuable video content for B2B companies (particularly manufacturers). However, if our clients wanted to film an interview, that plan always required finding a reliable location.

“Just film it in my office” is not always the best solution if you want to create videos of the highest quality.

Lights might be too dim, or too severe. Rooms echo. Passersby might cross into the shot while going about their business. Construction teams, car horns, or landscaping crews outside could disrupt all your hard work.

So when the opportunity to build our customizable multi-camera studio came to us, we jumped on it without hesitation.

It meant we would have a dependable, high-quality location for interviews. Setting it up would be quick and easy. Vlogs, podcasts, livestreaming…the possibilities were endless!

Most importantly, our clients would finally have the means to create an ongoing video series! If they ever decided such a thing was valuable, that is.

We wanted to prove just how effective online videos can be for any business…so we set out to create a consistent marketing series.

We saw a need in the manufacturing industry more than anywhere else. So, we decided to practice what we were preaching.

2. DIGITAL CONTENT MARKETING IS A MARATHON; NOT A SPRINT.

Back in 2017, did we suspect just how long the show would run? Did we have any idea how far-reaching it would be? No way.

We saw that a lot of B2B industrial companies needed help in marketing. We knew we had the know-how to help them. Our hope was to generate leads and eventual business– but our goal was to provide value.

And if you were to go online right now, you’d see that we’re not the only ones. Countless businesses and experts are harping on the value of content every day. But the big names are the ones that have been sticking to their guns instead of quitting after a few weeks or months.

Dozens and dozens of attempted thought leaders are starting blogs or podcasts, only to peter out because they’re not seeing immediate gains.

Did we ever consider ending our own show? Once or twice, if we’re honest. Did we ever make mistakes? Plenty! However, through a lot of blood and sweat and tears, we pushed on and kept posting episodes every. Single. Week. Because we believed in the value of an online video series.

Consistent digital content is a major challenge. But the longer you keep creating it, the more respect you gain from your network.

Two years-worth of podcasting has built a resource library for us that, to this day, opens doors that never would have opened back in 2017.

We use episodes all the time to help answer questions that our potential clients have about marketing or video strategies. Optimum Productions has had speaking engagements and business opportunities that we can attribute directly back to this show.

This 100th episode is an awesome milestone…but if we have our way, there will be hundreds more.

3. CONSISTENT DIGITAL CONTENT ESTABLISHES A RELIABLE REPUTATION FOR THOUGHT LEADERS.

Remember the old saying, “My word is my bond”? People don’t always hold to those values anymore. People don’t always show up on time, even if they promised that they would.

But if you can create an online series that churns out episodes like clockwork week after week, you’ll get noticed online due to sheer repetition– or else sheer volume.

It’s been incredible to see how much our own network has grown because of this podcast series.

Even when we have business connections who aren’t officially subscribed to our content…we often hear from them later that they’ve been watching for months. Our content is valuable, yes. However, it’s often our dauntless persistence that earns their attention.

Has this show generated business for us? Certainly. But are all of our subscribers ideal future clients for Optimum Productions? No.

We can’t service everyone. But we can help everyone.

This show is meant to provide valuable aid to those who need it. We want to assist them in figuring out how to move the needle– even if it doesn’t result in business for us. We want to help our visitors find the right company to service their needs.

Up until now, that meant releasing regular weekly videos, blogs, and podcasts. In the future, it means we’re going to be creating even more resources for you – with the help of a growing list of IndustrialSage partners.

The best way to find out about these new developments is to subscribe to our weekly newsletters.

Even if you don’t sign up…well, that’s the power of consistent digital content. You’ll know exactly where to find us.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

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Episode 100! We want to share what we've learned about producing consistent thought leadership after 100 episodes and two years of IndustrialSage. Successful content marketing is a marathon– and we just finished Mile #1. Hear not just from Danny, but also from a lot of other people who sent in videos to commemorate this episode! Danny Gonzales clean 27:45
How Manufacturers Can Build Awareness In Emerging Technologies Like 3D Printing https://www.industrialsage.com/how-manufacturers-can-build-awareness-in-emerging-technologies/ Sun, 21 Jul 2019 09:00:21 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5311 How do you build awareness in emerging technologies? Ask Sonita Lontoh, VP of Global Marketing for HP’s 3D Printing & Digital Manufacturing Division. https://optimumproductions.wistia.com/medias/blvypft13b?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640


This week’s episode is a real treat! We sat down to talk shop with Sonita Lontoh, even though she lives all the way across the country! Sonita is the Vice President of Global Marketing for HP’s 3D Printing & Digital Manufacturing division.

Before her time with HP, Sonita worked both in the high-speed environment of venture-backed Silicon Valley businesses, as well as with Fortune 100 companies.

Once again, she’s at the forefront of a hot topic. 3D printing and additive manufacturing have surged into the public eye within the past decade. But how long have these techniques actually been around?

More importantly, as with any emerging technology…how exactly does one market it?

1. THE APPLICATIONS OF 3D PRINTING

Most consumers know HP as a commercial human technologies company. Their laptops and tablets pose one of the biggest threats with the powerhouse that is Apple. Sonita’s division, on the other hand, focuses on manufacturers and industrial companies.

“It’s not enough for a technology company to only be viewed as a hardware technology vendor. It’s more important for the company to be viewed as that trusted solutions leader that actually has the expertise in the end-to-end solutions, namely hardware technology, software, and services.”

HP entered the field with plastics three years ago, and started working with metal as well last year. So for which industries is HP’s 3D printing most applicable? Trick question– every industry can benefit from additive manufacturing.

3D printing can be used for:

  • Functional Prototyping
  • Manufacturing Aids
  • Final Parts Production

Additive manufacturing reduces waste during parts production, but that’s not all. It can also allow for far more customization. From phone cases to glasses to orthodontia and prosthetics…the possibilities are endless.

Some industries, like automotive, have already been using these emerging technologies for years. Additive manufacturing reduces the weight of Volkswagen car parts and increases their efficiency– to say nothing of increasing customer experience with customizable options.

2. HOW DO YOU MARKET EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES?

If something is new to the world of your consumers, how do you take it to market? After all, 3D printing is such a new field…or is it?

Believe it or not, additive manufacturing was invented back in the eighties. It’s only just now advanced to a point where the technologies and resources to use them are far more accessible for independent users.

“3D printing has actually been around for 30 years, but in the past, it had been primarily been used only for prototyping. In the past few years, with the advancement of the technology…we have seen more and more use of 3D printings for industrial manufacturing applications.

“3D printing, in the role of industrial manufacturing, enables three cool things. First, it enables new geometries that wouldn’t be possible. Second, it enabled new part properties that also wouldn’t be possible otherwise. And, the third thing, it also enabled new mass customizations that wouldn’t otherwise be possible.”

The first step to building the market for emerging technologies like additive manufacturing is to create awareness.

If people don’t know what you’re selling or how it’s beneficial, they’re very unlikely to buy it. Accordingly, Sonita and HP focus on explaining the practical uses of additive manufacturing as a central tactic. They offer a lot of educational services and thought leadership to inform their consumers.

However, their very strongest spokespeople don’t actually work for the company.

“In the industrial world, nothing speaks louder than the customer’s success.

“I cannot say enough about the importance, really, about customer advocacy.”

Buyer testimonials, especially when filmed to feature a smiling human face, mean a lot more to your prospects. They know the speaker wasn’t paid to praise you– what they’re saying is genuine.

3. WHAT’S NEXT FOR HP IN THE MARKET FOR ADDITIVE MANUFACTURING?

The industrial industry is moving more and more at lightning speed. More and more emerging technologies beyond just 3D printing keep coming from the ether. Digital manufacturing – the internet of things – represents another massive tidal wave hitting the manufacturing world.

For HP and many other companies, they’re realizing that one of the next big steps is to go beyond just hardware.

“We understand it’s about the end-to-end solutions: which means the hardware, the materials, the software, the services.”

For Sonita and HP, they ultimately strive to work closely with ecosystem partners in order to be able to deliver, at the end of the day, an end to end solution.

For example, HP recently announced their alliance with Siemens. Now they can create fully-integrated systems that combine HP’s 3D printing services with items like the Siemens Mindsphere industrial IoT platform. All of it can be used to service a digital factory from start to finish.

There can be a lot of fear in an emerging market when you’re trying to roll out with emerging technologies.

Providing valuable resources like thought leadership; customer testimonials; or end-to-end integration solutions can alleviate a lot of those buyer worries.

What are you doing to create awareness around the next big thing in your industry?

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Sonita Lontoh of HP How do you build awareness in emerging technologies? Ask Sonita Lontoh, VP of Global Marketing for HP’s 3D Printing & Digital Manufacturing Division. Danny Gonzales, Sonita Lontoh clean 20:30
Build Your Website Like You’d Build a Trade Show Booth https://www.industrialsage.com/build-your-website-like-you-would-build-a-trade-show-booth/ Sun, 14 Jul 2019 09:00:14 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=4172 You need to build your website like you'd build a trade show booth. They both generate traffic and aim to convert leads…but one of them is open 24/7. https://optimumproductions.wistia.com/medias/jxrv429uvo?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640


As we learned in this year’s Sales & Marketing Report for Manufacturers, trade shows are still the number-one marketing tactic used by manufacturers…but over half of those same individuals have seen a decline in trade show leads over the past few years!

Where are all those leads going!? Online. The question is…are you following them?

It wasn’t that long ago that we released an episode about how your website is like a 24/7 trade show booth. If you or your company are comfortable with trade shows but feel sadly lacking online, we’ve got great news!

In-person events like ProMat, hosted by MHI, have a lot to teach us about online marketing. Think about it.

You need to treat your company website like the 24/7 trade show booth that it is:

  1. It’s meant to generate traffic.
  2. People will make snap judgements about you based on its appearance.
  3. High-quality videos draw people in.
  4. You’d better be offering free stuff!
  5. Have sales reps primed and ready.

1. YOU BUILD YOUR WEBSITE AND BOOTHS TO GENERATE TRAFFIC

There’s nothing quite like the crowded hall of a trade show. People come and go: some are swift and on a mission, while others meander at a leisurely pace. The internet is the same way.

Trade shows have foot traffic. The internet has web traffic.

Promat was huge, especially because it was combined with Automate 2019. Thousands upon thousands of people were there. But…the internet is still bigger.

Millions of prospects are marching around on a mission online.

Your website is the trade show booth that you’ve brought to the internet– the largest ‘trade show’ in the world.

It takes a special something to make any prospects stop and give you their full attention. With so many places to go and “stations” to see, you need yours to stand out. It should communicate clearly that you have a solution that can solve the problems of your prospects.

2. YOU DESIGN BOOTHS AND SITES TO GIVE A GOOD IMPRESSION.

Contrary to the old saying, people always judge books by their covers. It just saves time, frankly. And that habit extends to other areas of our lives: like trade shows and browsing online.

With only two days instead of four to explore ProMat, our team knew we wouldn’t be able to explore every single aisle of the show (it was really a shame). But it also showed us a lot about how online leads too may be prioritizing their time if their research is rushed.

Passersby have to make the best use of their time by sometimes judging booths/sites at a quick glance and only approaching those that seemed interesting or worth their time of day.

We didn’t always connect with booths that were small or plain– not unless the people at those booths actually approached us first. Many people saw the camera and it sparked conversations. Similarly, social media is your company’s way of stepping out of the booth and chatting with passersby, or asking about their lives.

Not everyone will come to you, so sometimes you need to go to them.

However, your booth or website still needs to garner enough attention to bring in visitors on its own– otherwise, passersby may not stay for long.

3. YOU NEED TO FILL YOUR BOOTHS AND SITES WITH VIDEOS.

Booths with gigantic video screens or even huge, 3D video walls dominated huge portions of traffic in the Promat display hall! And why wouldn’t they?

Business videos, especially if they’re that high in quality, absolutely reek of professionalism. That’s why search engines rank videos so highly in their results. The more videos your website has, the higher it will rank with Google’s algorithms. But that’s not the only reason you need to build your website with videos.

59% of executives would prefer to watch a video about a product, rather than read about it.

Videos are one of the most popular (if not the most popular) forms of education in the world today. They’re great at drawing in trade show attendees from a distance (or web traffic from, say, social media sites).

People who aren’t ready to buy from you may still be drawn in by your videos. The footage sticks in their heads even after they leave.

The Toyota booth at Promat featured entire cubed walls that were, in fact, video screens. Knapp featured two gigantic walls that were not just video screens– but touch-screens. Scheduled vehicle or robot demos drew eager crowds, just like pre-scheduled webinars on a website might.

Videos continue to push the limit, both at trade shows and online. If you don’t display videos, your prospects will move on to somebody who does.

4. YOU CONVERT VISITORS WITH FREE CONTENT OFFERS

When you’re at a trade show, what might draw you in to even the smaller, less appealing booths? Two words: free stuff.

Nothing brings people in like free stuff– especially when there’s no strings attached.

Full confession: we probably spent twenty minutes or more at the booth for Battery Watering Technologies just because they were baking fresh cookies. We smelled their offer from three rows away, and we decided that the trade-off was worth it. Getting free, warm cookies from them was definitely worth giving them our time of day. (Maybe they should re-name the company ‘Mouth-Watering Technologies!)

Some companies offered other free snacks; coffee or espresso; or a chance to play around on a VR headset. Danny collected hand-powered styrofoam rockets to bring home to his kids. Canvas bags to carry around tchotchkes were also a thoughtful gift from many exhibitors. Even a couch to rest your feet was soon a hot commodity amongst the never-ending aisles.

This concept also applies when you build your website, too. Not everyone is ready to buy, but they will remember if you were helpful or made them smile.

Some trade show booths (and websites) use celebrities or hands-on games to draw people in.

Pop culture and nerd sensationalism certainly worked at Promat– and it can work online, too!

Companies can find wild success when they participate in well-timed memes or take advantage of their niche – like Roboteq flaunting their role in the Astromech Droid Builders Club. They’re a major contributor to the recreation of unmistakable Star Wars droids like R2D2.

Another company, Kollmorgen, exhibited the live analytics of their mechanical sensors through a life-sized game of Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots!

Online, SAAS companies like CHEQ are getting in on the action, too. CHEQ recently released a comedic video spot featuring their new Chief Blocking Officer, Dikembe Mutumbo.

We remember the companies that gave us the greatest experiences. We’ve already forgotten all the companies that handed us bottom-of-funnel brochures.

5. YOU WANT TO HAVE SALES REPS PRIMED AND READY

Once people stop at your booth (or website), the battle isn’t won yet. What you do next can make or break the conversation.

The moment we stepped into some booths, we were bombarded by sales pitches all about the company in question. We were handed little brochures or postcards all about the business, its products, its history, or even its pricing!

But unless we were ready to buy, most of that effort on their part was for naught.

Their technical jargon went in one ear and out the other. Those papers probably ended up in the trash.

Sales pitches and user videos are bottom-of-the-sales-funnel offers. They simply aren’t valuable to everybody.

Offer your visitors, be they online or at a show, something of value. Something useful. It may not always feel as productive as handing out price cards, but you’re starting a relationship. And that’s the key here.

Chatbots are a great example of how your “online trade show booth” can still be populated by your sales team. Chatbots are little instant-message windows we’ve discussed on this show before. They allow visitors on your website to search for answers or ask questions, without having to commit to anything.

Chatbots on your website are especially useful because they can connect to the emails or cell phones of your sales reps wherever they are. And even if it’s midnight where you are, the bot can answer some of the basic questions of a visitor on the other side of the planet.

There’s nothing worse at a trade show than when half your sales team leaves for lunch or the restroom…and then you get a huge influx of visitors you can’t handle by yourself.

You want to give every new arrival a stellar experience. At trade shows, they may leave because you took a few minutes wrapping up with someone else before you could attend to them. That’s the worst!

Having a company website, especially with chatbots, is a 24/7 version of your booth where people can ask questions and find the answers at their leisure. If they want to speak to a real person, they can! If they’re just browsing, they can do so to their heart’s content!

This new online world is the reason why so many companies, once “underdogs,” are now growing larger and larger with every successive year. You remember the days when their booth was one little table…but now they’re massive contenders.

It’s because they understand that you need to build your website like you’d build a trade show booth.

What would it mean to you if your company could have fully-populated trade show booths running 24/7 around the world?

That is precisely what your website is doing.

What kind of digital “booth” have you built?

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Lessons from Promat 2019 You need to build your website like you'd build a trade show booth. They both generate traffic and aim to convert leads…but one of them is open 24/7. Danny Gonzales clean 16:25
Why B2B Manufacturers Need to Build Their Social Media Influence https://www.industrialsage.com/why-b2b-manufacturers-need-social-media-influencers/ Sun, 07 Jul 2019 09:00:51 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5279 Zack Scriven quit his job a year ago to become a full-time content creator. B2B manufacturers need to learn from him and build their social media influence. https://optimumproductions.wistia.com/medias/zwbug4a2gq?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640


A lot of industrial manufacturers may pooh-pooh social media as a young man’s game. They may call it irrelevant at worst, or expensive at best. But it’s a great hub to build your professional network! Case in point: yet again, social media was the catalyst that introduced us to our show’s latest guest!

Zack Scriven, LinkedIn Influencer and founder of Zack Scriven Media, quit his job a year ago to become a full-time content creator. He started engaging with IndustrialSage content a few months ago, and so IndustrialSage started engaging with his content. This week, we finally get a chance to sit down with him for a one-on-one chat about why B2B manufacturers need to pay attention to social media and become their own influencers.

1. WHAT SETS LINKEDIN APART FROM OTHER SOCIAL MEDIA?

When Henry Ford built the automobile, Zack explained, people would not have asked for an optimized horseless carriage. They would have asked for a faster horse. LinkedIn and other social media platforms are the same kind of unexpected, revolutionary tools.

Now, we can’t imagine life without cars– especially in the United States. Businesses without cars nowadays would never survive. Likewise, “businesses won’t be able to survive if they don’t adopt video and social media,” Zack pointed out.

Different social media platforms reach different demographics. When it comes to building business relationships or corporate interactions, LinkedIn is the ideal hub.

LinkedIn video is one of the most powerful tools available to B2B companies at the moment. It may not stay that way forever, but social media itself has only grown in its influence over the last two decades and it is not going away.

In fact, if you’re not online or on social media, you’re not meeting the expectations of your customers anymore.

“You’re going to be putting yourself at a major disadvantage if you’re not taking advantage of those opportunities to amplify your reach, get your message out, and cultivate those relationships. Your customers are already expecting it.”

LinkedIn is also a hotspot for professionals because it’s a great tool to filter out bad salespeople. You can use the social platform to identify the people that are actually supportive of your activities. Likewise, you can spot the people that only reach out to you when they want something from you.

LinkedIn will show you and your sales tactics for what they are. Are you actually invested in building relationships? Or are you just chasing dollar signs?

2. IS BUILDING SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCE A VIABLE TACTIC?

Social media influencers developed because of relationships. When our trusted friends recommend a restaurant or a clothing line to us, that’s very significant. We know if they’re sharing it, then it’s worth sharing. We trust their word and their enthusiasm more than any billboards or advertisements we might see anywhere else.

As Zack explained to us, he builds relationships wherever he goes. “I have a personality,” he admitted with a laugh. So, one year ago, he decided to attend the Rockwell Automation Fair. Attendance would be free, and he could travel for almost no cost…but he still had a hotel and meals to pay for.

Zack posted on LinkedIn that he would be filming and talking at the fair. He posted a picture of a blank hat, and offered to get it embroidered with the logos of any sponsors who would send him to the fair.

He would, in essence, be a walking billboard.

Within an hour, two sponsors agreed to pay the small amount to send him to the show. In return, he would harness his natural charisma and promote their companies at the event. Also, any videos he posted on LinkedIn from the event would feature that same hat.

“When you think of someone who’s building relationships in a physical capacity, they’re very much limited by one-to-one relationships. They’re shaking one person’s hand at a time, they’re on the phone with one person at a time. Digital…is a one-to-many relationship. So you can put out one video and reach a thousand people on LinkedIn. Imagine how long it would take you to talk to a thousand people.”

Zack’s work as a content creator is a combination of building relationships and also getting in front of large crowds…both digital and physical. It’s a technique that everyone should be doing to build social media influence for their own business. But how does one combat the worries and self-consciousness that come with the camera?

3. SHOULD SOCIAL MEDIA INFLUENCERS THINK TWICE BEFORE GETTING IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA?

Zack sometimes puts himself in uncomfortable situations in order to become more comfortable in front of a video camera. Nobody’s perfect when they start out, he reminded us.

“Maybe you do a video at the grocery store…if someone’s going to walk by, they might think it’s silly. You’re never going to see that person again. It just does not matter. Focus on your mission.

“Now I can amplify my reach and I can help influence other video content creators within the industry…those are the reasons why I do it. Not because it’s comfortable. You’ve got to know why you want to do it.”

As we’ve discussed previously with Chris Luecke, another content creator, the biggest obstacle to building a personal brand is just quitting before you even start.

But shouldn’t aspiring influencers also be worried about giving away the farm? Shouldn’t businesses keep their trade secrets close to the chest?

“In pre-internet days, information used to be power. Now information has been kind of democratized… It’s the deliverer of the information, how it’s presented, and the relationship is now more the power. The attention is the currency.”

The internet has spread and shared information so much that, in a way, a lot of what we share is no longer new. Sometimes our videos are merely “preaching to the choir.” Now, however, the speaker is just as important as what is spoken. That’s where the business relationships come in.

A decade ago, Danny and Zack might even be considered competitors of a sort. But the information age has turned them into collaborators.

Is the hype going to last?

That’s hard to say.

LinkedIn Live is a great example of a tool that will burn brightly for B2B companies. But it’s not going to last forever. It will be a great asset for businesses once it becomes publicly available, but in the meantime value is going to come to those who keep pushing out content anyway.

Different social media fads will similarly come and go. But social media itself is definitely, clearly here to stay.

If you’re a manufacturer or industrial company, you need to pay attention to social media influencers like Zack. They’re powerful role models worth emulating to build your own social media influence.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Zack Scriven of Zack Scriven Media Zack Scriven quit his job a year ago to become a full-time content creator. B2B manufacturers need to learn from him and build their social media influence. Danny Gonzales, Zack Scriven clean 35:25
The 2019 Second Quarter Review https://www.industrialsage.com/the-2019-second-quarter-review/ Sun, 30 Jun 2019 09:00:30 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5114 As the 2019 second quarter comes to a close, we're going to take a breath and look back on the incredible interviews we've had. I know we say this every three months, but seriously: where did the time go? We’re wrapping up the 2019 second quarter. That means the year’s half-over!

The season started off with an absolute bang up in Chicago. We traveled all the way to the Windy City to attend Promat 2019, where we saw the latest in logistics & supply chain innovations.

APRIL

One of the most enlightening meetings at Promat was our chat with TJ Tweddle. We interviewed dozens of companies, large and small, the previous year at MODEX. However, not all of them used their free online videos to their fullest potential.

Despite being a brand new sale rep at a smaller booth, TJ shared and promoted his interview until his view count surpassed all our other MODEX interviewees for the year. He told us all about that simple video’s impact when we reunited at Promat.

But the incredible insights of the 2019 second quarter didn’t end there.

We talked about some of the top challenges faced by industrial CMOs with Shonodeep Modak of Schneider Electric (a totally small company).

Industrial CMOs are almost always two degrees away from their end users, and must sell through channel partners or other intermediaries. Shonodeep also has the added challenge of marketing what he calls a “ghost brand,” – something that customer’s can’t really see or touch.

Working closely with distributors and carefully scaling their martech is key to Schneider’s success in their B2B marketing.

MAY

After Shonodeep, we were privileged to meet with Sangram Vajre, who literally wrote the book on Account-Based Marketing.

Account-based marketing is all about a team-up between marketing and sales teams. Instead of their usual content, the marketers should ask their account executives about the top ten accounts they’re trying to close. Then, the marketing department creates content specifically relevant to those ten potential buyers.

It’s an impressive, sniper-like marketing tactic, all about going after your company’s top prospects first.

Next, Danny got to nerd out a little bit with a fellow aviation enthusiast: Eric Rojek, Vice President of Thrush Aircraft, Inc.

Thrush Aircraft is a Georgia-based manufacturer, but their distribution is worldwide. As such, they’ve developed a particular method of employing and educating local distributors to sell in their various markets. They’ve found that offering free training to prospects is one of the best sales tools at their disposal.

Our last interview in May represented what we know to be an all-too-common story for many B2B manufacturers. Eric Shumway of Circuitronix told us about his company’s ‘ah-ha moment’ when they realized they needed to be investing more heavily in digital marketing.

Circuitronix is in a very traditional industry, but less and less of their buyers are picking up Thomas Guides when researching purchases. Instead, they’re going online. Eric’s company is roughly six months into the transition, but they’re already seeing measurable results from their increase in digital tactics.

JUNE

Just before Father’s Day, Danny Gonzales Sr. joined Danny Gonzales Jr. for a chat about the challenges of independent sales reps.

Danny Sr. is president of DMG Architectural Specialists LLC, and his performance often depends on his manufacturers.

Independent sales reps are only as good as the support they receive. B2B companies need to be as attentive to their sales reps as they want those reps to be with their customers. Relationships are key to that process, according to Danny Sr.

And for our final week of the 2019 second quarter, we had the privilege of meeting Miss Georgia 2018! Annie Jorgensen told us about spending her year as a titleholder promoting Georgia manufacturers. It wasn’t necessarily glitz and glamour…but it certainly wasn’t grit and grime either!

Thanks to the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance, Annie had a lot of opportunities. She toured multiple plants, like Kia, and loved sharing her stories of the creative minds there.

Our state also has a lot of incredible scholarships for students majoring in manufacturing. Annie was very passionate about spreading that good news to teenagers who didn’t think they had a shot at a secondary education. Most of them had no idea. Since one of the number-one challenges faced by manufacturers is workforce development, Annie’s work may have a major impact on Georgia in the years to come.

What’s next?

Now, again…we say this every quarter. But dash it all, it’s still true! The 2019 second quarter was pretty incredible, but we have even more mind-blowing interviews on the way!

You’ll get to hear from a certain LinkedIn influencer who’s gained thousands of followers in a single year. You’ll sit back and marvel at the stories of a company whose sensors were part of the Apollo moon landing. And did we mention Hewlett-Packard?

Oh, yeah. Strap in, everyone. More sage marketing and sales advice is on the way.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. And if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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As the 2019 second quarter comes to a close, we're going to take a breath and look back on the incredible interviews we've had. As the 2019 second quarter comes to a close, we're going to take a breath and look back on the incredible interviews we've had. Danny Gonzales clean 19:51
How States are Supporting Industrial Manufacturers with Workforce Development https://www.industrialsage.com/how-states-support-manufacturers-with-workforce-development/ Sun, 23 Jun 2019 09:00:42 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5113 Annie Jorgensen, Miss Georgia 2018, told us about some incredible Georgia manufacturers and how she's been helping build support and workforce development. https://optimumproductions.wistia.com/medias/a8q61d38un?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640


This week’s guest may seem unorthodox at first, but she’s actually made a huge impact on future generations of Georgia Manufacturers! Annie Jorgensen, Miss Georgia 2018, joined us to share how she’s spent her last year as a titleholder helping the state with one of its biggest industrial challenges: workforce development.

Every young woman who wins the title of Miss Georgia (or any state, for that matter) spends that year as an ambassador to her home state. They partake in lots of school visits, hospital visits, and speaking engagements– but that’s not all.

It’s required that each titleholder have a platform or non-profit with whom they focus their efforts for the year. One of Annie’s first steps was to partner with Girl Scouts of America to develop the #igotthis movement and their self-confidence patch. Her second step? She chose to join forces with the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance.

THE UNEXPECTED WORLD OF GEORGIA MANUFACTURING

To Annie’s knowledge, none of the other 49 titleholders chose manufacturing as their focus this year. And, to be honest, she had her doubts about working in an industry so seemingly-antithetical to that of beauty pageants.

But, as she and the GMA members quickly learned…you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

“Initially when I was thinking about [working with] the manufacturing industry, I thought, ‘Okay. First of all, no one in the manufacturing industry is going to care about Miss Georgia’…and honestly, on my side, I envisioned the manufacturing industry being this stereotype. That it’s dirty. You just kind of put in your hours and then you leave. But after touring multiple different manufacturing plants throughout the state, I’m just blown away.”

Since she started last June, Annie has been sharing with many people what she herself discovered about her home-state. Manufacturing is a major cog in Georgia’s economy. Furthermore, industrial companies are struggling to connect with younger generations. Improving workforce development is a major obstacle for many of them.

Since her role was already taking her into schools and hospitals to visit kids of all ages, Annie’s mission was clear.

MAJOR TAKEAWAYS FROM GEORGIA PLANT TOURS

One of the best ways to excite others is to be excited yourself. In Annie’s case, touring manufacturing facilities with the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance inspired her to spread the word about the many companies she encountered.

Of all the plants she toured, she eventually identified Kia as her favorite.

“Getting to walk in and see the plants…I have never seen a workforce that is more excited to be at work…I kid you not, every single person we rode past were waving to us, they were saying ‘Welcome to Kia!’ They were just so happy.”

Annie also hadn’t realized before just how much AI and smart technology were integrated and implemented in manufacturing plants. Companies like World Emblem, for example, recently changed their label-printing process to be smarter and more efficient.

And perhaps even more incredible than the technological advances she witnessed…were the interactions of the people themselves.

“It was just really incredible to see the innovation. And it was even more incredible to see the leadership of the company walk through the floor of the plant, talking to the employees, using their names. They knew exactly who they were, they knew their families.

“And any time an employee had a thought, a suggestion saying, ‘This could improve…this would make my life easier,’ or ‘this would make me more productive,’ they listened! And if it worked and they believed in it, they would implement it.”

There’s far more creativity in manufacturing than many outsiders might otherwise believe. Annie even met Tripp Phillips, who invented Le-Glue (temporary glue for Lego bricks) when he was just eight years old.

As well as going on the popular show “Shark Tank,” Tripp recently had the idea to switch the manufacture of his product from a pressurized can to a squeeze bag, like many popular applesauce brands. It was a simple and creative solution, but it brought costs down and made his glue easier to use.

BUILDING THE LOCAL ECONOMY

Annie’s biggest takeaway all year has been just how big the manufacturing industry is in the state of Georgia. It’s been really amazing to see how passionate all of these people are about their work.

“In LaGrange, Duracell is a manufacturer… They were saying that if you increase the sales of these types of Duracell batteries even by 10%, they would grow…I think it was almost four or five hundred jobs. Just imagine the economic development that could come in with another at least 400 jobs in that town.”

Sometimes all it takes to boost the local economy is to spread awareness, among both adults and younger generations. Resources like BuyFromGA.com can help establish knowledge for people of all ages.

And perhaps one of Annie’s greatest impacts this year is on the future workforce. On many of her school visits, she shared with the students what she herself had learned about Georgia’s countless industrial opportunities.

The state even offers impressive scholarships for high-schoolers who intend to major in manufacturing, as a method of preemptive workforce development. Younger generations are often shocked, then delighted, when they find out that college is no longer out of reach for them.

Any student to take advantage of that opportunity is going to find their lives greatly impacted for the better. Similarly, Annie’s year as a titleholder may have come to a close…but her passion for Georgia’s manufacturing is going to endure.

What kind of support for manufacturers can you find in your home-state?

Some programs offer schools trade show field trips to show kids the latest in robotics. Plant tours like those provided by GMA help increase awareness in attendees of just how wide-reaching these industries are. And, of course, scholarships like those offered by Georgia can be key to workforce development.

What are you doing to inspire the next generation of manufacturers?

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Annie Jorgensen, Miss Georgia 2018 Annie Jorgensen, Miss Georgia 2018, told us about how she spent her year as a titleholder building support for the companies of her home-state. She toured Georgia-based plants; spread awareness of local manufacturers; and has helped industrial companies address their biggest problem – workforce development – by informing students about the many manufacturing scholarships offered in the state of Georgia. Danny Gonzales clean 20:55
10 Tips to Improve Industrial Email Campaigns https://www.industrialsage.com/10-tips-to-improve-industrial-email-campaigns/ Sun, 16 Jun 2019 09:00:50 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5112 For manufacturers struggling to get decent results from their industrial email campaigns, here are 10 tips on how to improve each email's performance! Do you use email?

Of course you do.

Email has become the bread and butter of business communication…but more than that, it’s now foundational for marketers. It’s one of the very first things that companies do when they transition into digital tactics.

However, that being said, just because manufacturers use industrial email campaigns does not mean they all know how to do it well.

If you’re struggling to get decent results from your company newsletters, here are ten tips on how to improve each email’s performance!

1. USE INTERACTIVE CONTENT

“Interactive content,” means blogs, videos polls…anything that inspires your audience to take action.

That being said, don’t send out a twenty-minute survey every week. Just give them something to see or click on: a reason to visit your website. We at IndustrialSage highly recommend using video in your industrial email campaigns. Big surprise there.

Giving your audience a button to click or a reason to respond will help you measure their level of interest.

If you just send them a few paragraphs about your company or new product, they may not take the initiative to reach out if they’re curious for more. Make it easy for them.

2. USE THE WORD “VIDEO” IN YOUR SUBJECT LINE

If you are sending a video, say so in the subject line!! People love videos! They provide maximum information while requiring minimum effort from the viewer.

If you want more audience engagement with your newsletters, this little tease can produce incredible results. Studies show that including the word “Video” in email subject lines boosts open-rates by 19% and click-throughs by 65%!

It all comes back to making life as easy for your leads as possible.

3. WRITE AN ENGAGING SUBJECT LINE

Even if you’re not sending a video in your industrial email campaigns, you should try to make your message compelling.

Sending an email called “Our June Newsletter” is not interesting to anybody.

Write something valuable, like the selling point of a new case study or customer testimonial. Try “Did You Know Our Sensors Are Helping Bring Clean Water to Underdeveloped Countries?” or
“How We Helped One Company Generate $5 Million In Revenue In Two Weeks!”

Now that’s compelling!

4. SEND A LINKED THUMBNAIL, NOT A VIDEO FILE

We keep harping on this, but that’s because it’s a big issue. Do send videos to your email subscribers…but don’t send the actual video file itself.

For one thing, video files are huge. And big files trigger a lot of red flags for email providers, so your message might get blocked or sent straight to spam.

High-quality video files are massive. If you try sending a smaller file to your audience, the quality will be dirt-poor. Either way, there’s still a gamble that your email may never arrive. If you do this enough times, your entire company could get blacklisted.

So how do you send a video in your industrial email campaigns? You send a picture instead –preferably one with a play button– and attach a link to the image. It’s really hard to resist play buttons. That way, when people click on your picture, they’re whisked away to where your high-quality video lives on the internet.

5. LINK TO YOUR WEBSITE, NOT YOUTUBE OR VIMEO

This is yet another point we won’t budge on. Do we have a YouTube channel? Yes, we do. But, if you follow our show at all, you know that it is not the place where we send our audience.

Video hosting sites have their own agenda; they don’t want your viewers to leave. They may post your competitor’s videos right next to yours because they’re ‘relevant.’

Don’t send your viewers from your perfectly on-brand email newsletter to the land of distracting cats and ASMR cooking shows. They may not find you interesting enough to return from the detour.

6. EMBED THE VIDEO ON YOUR WEBSITE

So what do you do with your videos, then? Where can you post them that will not distract your audience? Your own website, of course.

All video hosting platforms have embed options so you can host them on your own blog or webpage.

The video may still include ads, which is a whole other problem for another time…but at least now your viewers are in your domain. They only see “distractions” all about you, and your company.

7. USE A CLEAN EMAIL LIST

A lot of people buy email lists. Don’t do that. For one thing, it’s a very lowbrow and spammy practice that GDPR is cracking down on in Europe. It’s only a matter of time before that hits the states, too.

Second of all, a lot of email lists, whether bought or legitimately required, are old. And old email addresses are more likely to bounce.

You may have a list of newsletter subscribers dating all the way back to 1999! Good for you…but how many of those AOL and Juno emails are still active, do you think?

If your company sends out an email newsletter and 13% of your recipients bounce, you run the risk of getting flagged. Your messages will automatically get marked as junk, or they’ll be blocked altogether.

8. USE EMAIL SEGMENTATION

Don’t send the same blanket message to everybody in your contacts list– especially if you serve multiple verticals. If your parts can be implemented within aerospace and within healthcare, for example…send two different emails to those two different groups.

It’s better to tag your contacts and separate them within your CRM. Distributors, past clients, potential buyers, all segmented by industry– each wants to hear from you, but for very different reasons.

Don’t try to stay vague enough to apply to every industry. There is no ‘silver bullet’ message that can apply to everybody everywhere. Marketing is about using a sniper rifle; not scattered buckshot.

9. MINIMAL TEXT, MAXIMUM VISUALS

If you want to send your subscribers a lot of information and details, great! Write it in a blog article.

Do not send a small novel in your email. There’s no guarantee that everyone – or anyone – will read all of it. And even if they do…you may never know!

It all comes back to making life easy on your clients. “A picture’s worth a thousand words” and all that. Trust your audience’s intelligence to understand a condensed version of your message.

Got a new product? Send a picture of it; two sentences about it; and a button to learn more or watch a video. Boom. Less is more.

10. MAKE YOUR EMAILS MOBILE-FRIENDLY

Email usage on mobile phones has surpassed desktop usage. Desktop may be slightly higher in the B2B world, but it won’t stay that way.

Since mobile usage is higher among younger generations, and those individuals are fast-filling the workforce, that number is only going to continue to rise.

Your email had better look as good on a tiny screen as it does on a big screen.

Don’t use a minuscule type size, or pictures with so much detail that phone users have to zoom to see portions clearly. Emails that display incorrectly on mobile may be deleted within three seconds.

These techniques are tried-and-true. A/B test them for yourself.

Measure out your average bounce rate, open rate, and click through rate in your emails. Then, implement one of these changes at a time and see what happens. We can guarantee you’ll like the results.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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10 Tips to Improve Industrial Email Campaigns For manufacturers struggling to get decent results from their industrial email campaigns, here are 10 tips on how to improve each email's performance! Danny Gonzales, Annie Jorgensen clean 20:23
The Major Challenges of Independent Sales Reps https://www.industrialsage.com/major-challenges-of-independent-sales-reps/ Sun, 09 Jun 2019 09:00:01 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=5006 No, you're not seeing double– Danny Gonzales joins Danny Gonzales to discuss major challenges faced by independent sales reps for B2B manufacturers! No, you’re not seeing double– Danny Gonzales joined Danny Gonzales in the studio today for a special Father’s Day episode! Father and son sat down to discuss some of the major challenges faced by independent sales reps for B2B manufacturers.

You see, our show’s host (Danny Gonzales Jr.) has a father (Danny Gonzales Sr.) who just so happens to be president of DMG Architectural Specialists, LLC. He and his company act as independent sales reps for around fifteen to eighteen different industrial B2B companies at any given time.

1. THE TOP CHALLENGES FACED BY INDEPENDENT SALES REPS

Danny Sr. shared his story with us about how he worked his way up through many positions in manufacturing, from production to customer service to sales. By the time he started his own business, he had seen all sides of the custom manufacturing industry. As a result, he made sure that DMG Architectural Specialists, LLC would work differently than other companies in that field.

Danny’s company is a go-between, finding the right resources and materials for diverse projects in a broad range of markets. But, they still run into some common hurdles.

• EXCUSES

“One of the things that presents itself as a challenge is working with manufacturing companies who will give you a hundred reasons as to why they can’t perform on a project or why they can’t produce a particular custom piece. So my typical mantra is, ‘Look. You’ve given me a hundred reasons why you can’t. Give me one reason how we can.’ ”

The custom manufacturing industry is slightly different from others, because every job is unique. But that doesn’t stop Danny from choosing his customers carefully, to make sure that each commission is actually viable and not just full of empty promises.

DMG’s overarching goal is to give their clients solutions, and not just products.

• OVER-PROMISING

It’s tempting for sales reps to accept any job just to make a buck…but if the job isn’t a good fit for them, then under-delivering may destroy their chance at another commission from the same benefactor.

“The manufacturer really wants the project, so they begin to over-commit. That is a big no-no in our industry.”

• NOT VALUING PEOPLE

Companies need to value not just their staff, but also their customers and prospects. Danny’s run into many manufacturers that are so focused on profits that they trample valuable future business.

Salespeople shouldn’t look solely to their product inventory when they’re trying to help their customers.

It’s vital that selling not be about selling. It needs to be about finding the best way to solve someone’s problem…even if that solution doesn’t make you as much money.

“You can have the best marketing materials, you can have the shiniest new car out there, but if you don’t understand your client and are not listening to their needs, then how can you bring them the solutions that they’re looking for?”

2. WHAT’S THE BEST SUPPORT TO GIVE THEM?

Since DMG focuses specifically on serving higher-end private manufacturers, one element that Danny looks for is the owner’s involvement with the company. Danny’s niche market means, wherever possible, working one-on-one with an owner who’s deeply invested in the project.

If something goes wrong, the last thing he wants is for his important request for a decision to get sent to voicemail. Companies with owners in the Bahamas six months of the year are not his cup of tea.

DMG requires close interaction with their manufacturers because DMG is required to provide that same attention and service to their own clients.

B2B companies need to be as attentive to their sales reps as they want those reps to be with their customers.

In fact, an average of 30-40% of Danny’s time is spent entertaining his clients. What are their families like? What are their hobbies?

“DMG was created to give a client that incredible experience that they cannot get anywhere else. The value that we bring to them is greater than their expectations.”

Relationships, even business relationships, still require a human touch. If cultivated properly, they many times result in repeat business.

You can’t undervalue people…be they your clients, your sales reps, or your own staff.

3. DO BUCKETS OF SALES COLLATERAL REALLY HELP?

In custom manufacturing, marketing collateral is fairly scarce (in comparison to other industrial markets). However, Danny and his company still run into commissions with brochures and other content available for his team. But to him, those materials aren’t as important as understanding the project.

A single independent sales rep trying to represent eighteen different companies would be overloaded if they had to carry around samples from every benefactor.

An average person who are educated and excited about your product will do a far better job of selling it than a salesmen with three suitcases of demo kits.

Manufacturers who invest in training their distributors and independent sales reps will set themselves head and shoulders above the rest.

Best of all, Danny and his team also know how to give clients what they want– both in materials and in budget. A client might request marble or leather, but that may be too expensive. DMG can actually process other materials, like wood, to match that aesthetic for them.

“It’s not work. We’re just having fun. We don’t sell anything; we’re just helping them to visualize their dream.”

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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A Father's Day Interview with Danny Gonzales Sr. No, you're not hearing double– Danny Gonzales joined Danny Gonzales in the studio to discuss major challenges faced by independent sales reps for B2B manufacturers! It's a special Father's Day episode with Danny's dad! Danny Gonzales, Danny Gonzales Sr. clean 24:06
Getting Inside the Mind of an Industrial Manufacturing Buyer https://www.industrialsage.com/inside-the-mind-of-buyers-and-why-b2b-sales-fail/ Sun, 02 Jun 2019 09:00:36 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=4972 Danny recently went to the store to buy some shoes…but the store actually lost the sale, for the same reason many other B2B sales falter at the last second. This week is all about a story: the story of a buyer.

You see, Danny recently went out to buy two pairs of shoes. He knew the type of shoes he wanted; where he wanted to buy them; and the size he needed. He traveled to the store, tried on both pairs to make sure they fit, and then walked to the checkout line.

And that…is where everything fell apart.

ARE YOU EQUIPPED TO HANDLE THE INSTA-SALE?

Now granted, an instant buyer isn’t very common in B2B sales at all. The purchases are very big, and they generally take a lot more preparation. It’s not as easy as a shoe sale. However, it doesn’t hurt to imagine what an instant-buyer might go through if they did choose you.

If someone reached out and wanted to buy from your company that day – that hour, even – would they be able to?

Again: sales like that definitely aren’t the norm in B2B. But the age of Amazon and instant B2C purchasing has changed the way we function as buyers. Even in B2B, we want everything to be quick and easy.

Danny had picked out his shoes, tried them on, and was ready to spend money. What stopped him from doing that?

A long, long wait in line for the cashier.

Now, let’s be clear: Danny didn’t see a long line and walk away instantly. He stood in line, and he waited.

The store had three cash registers, and all three were occupied. However, each transaction was taking five or even ten minutes each! As Danny listened in, he started to realize why.

DATA COLLECTION CAN ROAD-BLOCK THE SALES PROCESS

As a digital marketing show, we push the importance of data a lot. And with good reason: it’s immensely valuable to your marketing and sales teams. However, we need to remember that data collection is the means to an end. We collect it in order to better serve leads, in the hopes that they’ll turn into customers.

If someone wants to make a purchase, asking for excess information before or during the sale is frustrating to them. They’re already giving you money.

As Danny stood listening to the cashiers in the store, he realized that they were walking every buyer through what amounted to a short questionnaire. Did they have a members card for the store? Did they want one? Were they sure about that? Because they could get a lot of discounts and future deals…

Even if the store’s customers weren’t interested, the cashiers were still trying to find subtle ways to collect phone numbers or email addresses. A simple transaction that should have taken three minutes was now taking two or three times that amount!

Is data like that helpful? Absolutely. But there’s nothing wrong with waiting until after the sale to collect said data. In fact, it’s probably more polite to do so! Many stores include a link on their receipts, where buyers can take a brief survey on their own time. Later.

It’s just not fun to sit through a survey in order to make your purchase.

And Danny, as he stood waiting for his turn, had time to spare. So what did he do? He got out his phone and started browsing.

ASK YOUR BUYERS: WAS THE SALE EASY?

After a sale is made, customers are generally satisfied with their purchase. Happy customers are far more likely to answer a few questions than impatient, still-waiting customers.

If you really want to ‘get in the shoes’ of your buyers, ask them later how the experience was. Did ‘fast’ or ‘easy’ apply?

If not, try to figure out what’s obstructing your potential clients once their minds are made up. Then, do your best to fix that roadblock.

Responses from clients can actually make for great testimonial material (and those, in turn, can speed up future sales). Requesting a Google review from loyal customers is a fabulous tactic, in fact. Many future leads may look at what others are saying about you before they make their decision.

A good or bad buying experience will probably affect more than one transaction. Your future B2B sales are being taken into account, too.

In Danny’s case, as he stood in a long line at the checkout, he had time to take a look at his shoes online. More specifically…how much they cost on Amazon. And wouldn’t you know it– one of the pairs was cheaper online!

As Danny stood there, he suddenly had a choice to make. He could spend another twenty minutes standing around the store, then pay a slightly higher price to walk away with the shoes he wanted. Or, he could spend less money; walk out of the store and be productive elsewhere; and receive the shoes after a day or two of going about his business.

Even though the path by cash register might have been faster in terms of minutes…how those minutes were spent was an important factor to him.

It’s like those old Tootsie Pop commercials: “How many steps does it take to buy a product, Mr. Owl?”

Three actually isn’t a bad number there.

In the end, Danny decided to spend his time elsewhere instead. He made the purchase online, and walked away from the checkout line.

The store lost money from him right at the finish line! And perhaps worse, they likely lost revenues from him in the future. He might not bother going back to the store next time.

As marketers, our data is important to us…but sometimes we might focus on it until we lose the forest for the trees. Next time, think twice about your B2B sales process. Too many steps might be pushing your buyers away.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Why B2B Sales Stumble at the Finish Line Danny recently went to the store to buy some shoes…but the store actually lost the sale, for the same reason many other B2B sales falter at the last second. Danny Gonzales clean 8:30
How Manufacturers Can Easily Migrate to Digital Marketing https://www.industrialsage.com/how-manufacturers-can-easily-migrate-to-digital-marketing/ Sun, 26 May 2019 09:00:16 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=4917 Eric Shumway, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Circuitronix, walked us through how their company was able to so easily migrate to digital marketing. This week we got to hear some great stories from Eric Shumway, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Circuitronix.

Like many other industrial and B2B marketers, Eric was initially skeptical about the adoption of online marketing within their business. However, his opinion has drastically changed since they started seeing tangible results after trying out some new digital tactics.

We asked Eric to walked us through how that happened, and how Circuitronix was able to so easily migrate to digital marketing.

1. RECOGNIZING THE NEED FOR DIGITAL

Eric started to notice that newcomers in their field were getting younger and younger– eventually the same generation as his own son. He knew his own son’s buying and research habits were drastically different from his own.

While Eric’s generation might pick up a Thomas Guide for B2B research, he realized not all young Circuitronix prospects would be doing that.

“What we’re finding is that many of those next-generation engineers are spending a lot more of their effort and their time on the internet. They find their information there.”

Whether it’s Google in the west or AliBaba in the east, search engines are dictating more and more of what researchers find when seeking business solutions.

Deciding that SEO couldn’t be ignored anymore, Circuitronix decided to start building their website and begin dabbling in SEO.

The initial changes were small (which is definitely what we’d recommend for beginners). Baby steps help companies of any size to easily migrate to digital marketing.

Circutronix’s change was also quite recent. Eric’s team has only been enacting digital in the company for about six months. However, in that time they’ve already seen a measurable change.

2. MEASURING THE FIRST MONTHS OF CHANGE

Circuitronix found particular success with something fairly simple– even juvenile to some adults. They hosted a contest amongst their employees to see who could create the best meme for their company! (Memes are a common staple of social media: images with a comical or snide caption. Certain images repeatedly use the same themes for their captions).

“Within our senior management, there were people that said, ‘Look, that may work for a small company, but that’s not going to work for these big companies that we work with.’ And my comment back was, ‘Why not?’ ”

Just expanding the company’s presence on LinkedIn alone has helped to boost engagement by 200%! And tracking those numbers are key to their future plans.

Eric’s goal is to connect the company’s marketing numbers (from engagement to click-through-rates and beyond) to their actual revenues. Proving the ROI from their increased digital activity has been a major staple to gaining organizational buy-in.

The more customers you can prove came from a certain tactic, the more likely your budget for said tactic will increase.

3. SAVING TIME WITH A CRM INTEGRATION

Most of the tracking Eric mentioned has been through an online CRM. Like social media, Circuitronix is still a bit new to this digital tool. However, the tracking programs like Loom, Zoom, and Brainshark are already proving to be highly beneficial.

Circuitronix sales reps can record short video messages for their contacts. Even if they’re sending a contract or other documents, they’ve set up digital tools to help them track engagement with the files they send.

It’s been a game-changer.

“There are other ways. Rather than just generating a quote, tossing it over a fence, and then a day or two later calling and saying, ‘Hey, let’s talk about this!’ We’ve been able to utilize some additional platforms that let us record a short little video and walk someone through a quotation or a presentation and send it to them…It’s all part of that digital marketing platform.”

Instead of connecting over the phone or in written text, these videos recreate a face-to-face experience that helps sales reps connect with their prospects at a whole new level.

As with almost any business transition, there’s still a lot of trial and error involved. “In some ways, we’ve learned more what we shouldn’t do,” Eric told us with a chuckle. Eventually they’ll be able to determine best practices for their company with more certainty.

Even then, Circuitronix will need to stay on their toes. Those ideal tactics will probably continue to change over time.

4. SUCCESS FROM MARRYING TRADITIONAL AND DIGITAL TACTICS

To Eric’s slight surprise, digital tactics haven’t made “the old ways” of marketing and sales obsolete. In fact, quite the opposite.

Tapping into these newer ways of marketing has actually led to an increase in engagement with ‘old-school’ tactics.

Trade shows are a great example. Eric had previously grown to dislike trade shows because they seemed ineffective…but after engaging with customers online and doing digital preparation beforehand, the company is now highly productive at events.

Engaging digitally with leads is like an introduction before the face-to-face interaction ever happens. It makes everyone more comfortable in advance.

That’s why, when manufacturers decide to migrate into digital marketing, they need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bathwater. “There’s a reason those old tactics worked,” Eric explained to us.

“Yeah, it’ll move and you’ll get somewhere; but it’s not going to be the most efficient way. You’re not going to get where you want to be as fast as you could. It’s when you couple all of these things together that you’re running on eight cylinders. You’re going to move quickly and get exactly where you want to be. But you have to do it all the time. You’ve got to keep putting gas in the car…it’s got to be consistent.”

In short, no single marketing tactic – digital or not– is going to lead to automatic success. It’s a combination of all techniques which deliver.

At only six months into that journey with Circuitronix, Eric is already seeing significant progress. Only time will tell just how exponential their growth can be.

How far has your company come since they decided to migrate to digital marketing into their organization?

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Eric Shumway of Circuitronix Eric Shumway, Vice President of Sales & Marketing at Circuitronix, walked us through how their company was able to so easily migrate to digital marketing. Danny Gonzales, Eric Shumway clean 30:00
How Global Manufacturers Scale Offline Sales Tactics Using Digital Marketing https://www.industrialsage.com/how-global-manufacturers-scale-offline-sales-tactics/ Sun, 19 May 2019 09:00:42 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=4840 Eric Rojek, VP of Thrush Aircraft, explains how they can scale offline sales tactics like training sessions because they’ve gotten to know their audience. Danny got to nerd out quite a bit this week! As a newly-licensed pilot, he was more than ready to talk shop with Eric Rojek: Vice President of Thrush Aircraft, Inc.

We first encountered Eric when he spoke at last year’s Georgia Manufacturing Summit. In fact, the entire theme of the 2018 event was aerospace: “Flying High.”

Thrush is a Georgia-based manufacturer…and their entire process, from fabrication to how they scale offline sales tactics, is pretty fascinating.

1. A UNIQUE MANUFACTURING PROCESS

“Thrush Aircraft is one of the worldwide leaders of manufacturing agricultural aircraft,” Eric explained to us. “So one of the cool things that we do here is, not only do we build aircraft, but we’re part of a bigger purpose.

“Our aircraft help feed the world.”

ThrushAircraft’s very first factory was built over 60 years ago. As Eric pointed out, over half a century in manufacturing is nothing to sneeze at. “We must be doing something right!” he laughed.

“The big thing really unique about Thrush is we have full manufacturing capabilities in-house. We literally take raw material in one door, weld it, fabricate it, form it, and produce the Thrush line out the back.”

From machining to fiberglass to electrical wiring to painting to riveting, Thrush really does do it all. Every airplane they create is – indeed, it must be – hand-made, and high in quality.

To Eric, having control over every stage of production is vital. The two most important things that Thrush strives to get right are their people, and their product. Skilled manufacturers making something high-in-quality are vital to the sales process down the road.

2. SELLING THROUGH SUPPORT & TRAINING

“The best thing we have is our product,” Eric asserted proudly. “It stands alone. It speaks for itself.” In other words, once a buyer gets a chance to examine one of their handmade aircraft up close, the plane practically markets itself.

Thrush may use plenty of digital marketing tactics, but for them providing a hands-on experience is often what finalizes a buyer’s decision.

Free education can often be an invaluable marketing tactic. Why? Well, it’s a simple matter of mathematics. If you offer a certain number of classes to a certain number of parties, how many classes do you have to give before you make a sale?

In Thrush’s case, the revenue from a single sale is definitely worth the expense of a few training sessions.

And one of their other major ‘marketing’ tactics…doesn’t really have a whole lot to do with marketing.

For Thrush, providing proper support to existing buyers is equally as important as creating new campaigns to promote whatever they’ve created. A happy customer is a loyal customer…and frankly, snazzy marketing isn’t usually what’s going to bring someone back for more.

Controlling the quality of every plane in-house means that Thrush never has to deal with any surprises, or send clients elsewhere for parts. They get to control what they put on the market, and how they can support the products of theirs that are already out there.

3.ESTABLISHING LOCAL INFRASTRUCTURE IN FOREIGN MARKETS

Thrush uses a hybrid approach of direct-to-user marketing and distributors to sell their product. It’s an especially important adaptation for their company, given that 70% of their current business is international.

Selling to foreign markets involves dozens and dozens of hurdles. Thrush has to be aware of customs, civil authorities, and differing federal or regional regulations.

And if your company’s best sales tactic requires an in-person demonstration, then it’s wise to have local representatives when expanding into a foreign country.

That’s why one of Thrush’s first priorities when expanding into a new area is to establish a presence on the ground wherever they’re selling.

“The big thing for us – once we’ve established a market and we understand the opportunities there – is really to have local infrastructure in-country, in-market. And that’s not just necessarily the product itself. That’s the people behind it for support, the people behind it for training that are on the same time zone that can speak the same language…people of that nationality. Someone those buyers can trust in that market is absolutely huge for us.

“Really, to have the local presence is one of the things that we really nail that has really spurred a lot of our growth and success.”

By using digital marketing techniques and tools to identify their buyer personas in each market, Thrush can identify where they should offer training sessions next. Over time, this means they can scale offline sales tactics more successfully.

South America is one of Thrush’s biggest current markets, but a lot of countries are growing their agriculture. More and more countries want to start feeding their own populations and import fewer American crops.

Eastern Europe is the next area that, according to Eric, will probably be their next big target.

4. VARIED LANGUAGE IN MESSAGING

Of course, even with local teams on the ground, creating multicultural marketing messages is a major challenge.

As Danny discussed with Joanne Sanders of the Georgia World Trade Center on an earlier episode, accidental oversights in international marketing can have devastating consequences on corporate brands.

In fact, sometimes messages can get ‘lost in translation’ without changing languages at all!

“We basically have broken down our sales into two different buckets to keep things simple. We have mature markets– those are customers that have been using our product for ten, fifteen, twenty years. More replacement. And then we have emerging markets where basically this is their first time being exposed to our products. So we really try to have multiple campaigns.”

Thrush has to make sure that their campaigns use different dialects just based on whether someone is a new prospect or a previous buyer. Familiar clients may understand plenty of Thrush terminology and company jargon that just confuses newcomers.

“[If I use] the lingo we use with a mature customer, these emerging market individuals will say, ‘Eric, what are you talking about? Slow down for me a little bit!’ ”

In the end, Thrush Aircraft’s marketing success comes down to knowing their buyers well.

By having boots on the ground wherever they go, and knowing how to treat each potential client, they have the freedom to unplug from the usual digital tools if they deem it appropriate. Thrush knows how to scale offline sales tactics like training sessions because they’ve spent time getting to know their audience.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. And if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Eric Rojek of Thrush Aircraft, Inc. Eric Rojek, VP of Thrush Aircraft, explains how they can scale offline sales tactics like training sessions because they’ve gotten to know their audience. Danny Gonzales, Eric Rojek clean 19:42
Account-Based Marketing for B2B Manufacturers https://www.industrialsage.com/account-based-marketing-for-b2b-manufacturers/ Sun, 12 May 2019 09:00:38 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=4762 We're a little bit starstruck this week– Sangram Vajre of Terminus and #FlipMyFunnel joined us to discuss the what, why, and how of account-based marketing! This week’s interview is a real treat! We got to sit down with Sangram Vajre and ask him about the ups, downs, do’s, and don’ts of account-based marketing for b2b manufacturers.

Sangram’s name is definitely one we’ve thrown around on the show before. He’s the Chief Evangelist and Co-Founder of the account-based marketing platform Terminus. He’s also host of the daily FlipMyFunnel podcast.

Having started his career at Pardot, Sangram saw his company expand and get acquired not once, but twice within six months! The first acquisition was by ExactTarget; the second, by Salesforce.

Needless to say, Sangram’s had a lot of firsthand experience with scaling businesses…something that account-based marketing definitely fuels.

1. WHAT IS ACCOUNT-BASED MARKETING?

It’s hard to think of anyone better to answer this question.

Sangram quite literally wrote the book on account-based marketing. As in, he published the very first book on the subject.

And Terminus, of course, was founded with ‘ABM’ as it central purpose.

“Really, Terminus is an account-based platform that helps marketers and companies get in front of the right accounts they want to sell. And ‘Flip My Funnel’ is a community that we built around this problem. Not talking about the product, but the problem.”

We talk all the time on this show about aligning sales and marketing teams. That’s the foundation of account-based marketing…but how does it actually work?

“In definition, account-based marketing is really: how do I get focused on the list of accounts between marketing and sales, and do everything I know how to do in marketing for those accounts?”

 

Recognizing the blood sweat and tears of the sales team is something that Sangram, as a marketer, emphasizes often.

He posted a video recently on LinkedIn about how most marketers have never been punched in the face like sales reps. In short, marketers receive a budget no matter what– but they don’t know the stress of sales reps who work on commission. Sales reps have to deal with dead end leads, being ignored by prospects, and they don’t have the luxury of expecting a paycheck afterwards no matter what.

Marketers need to appreciate everything the sales team works to accomplish. It’s especially important also because a marketing team’s success is directly link to the success of their sales teams.

Only once this relationship is understood can solid ABM really begin. So, once you’re ready…what next?

2. WHERE DO YOU START WITH ACCOUNT-BASED MARKETING?

Find a few sales reps that you have a good relationship with. You can’t change the entire organization overnight, but you can get some members of the sales teams in your corner really, really quickly.

If your marketing creates any engagement at all, those sales reps are going to notice…and they’re going to be hooked.

The process isn’t foolproof, of course. There will still be a bit of trial and error. But, once you get into a rhythm, then you can expand your new system of ABM around the office.

“Most organizations put marketing in a demand-gen box… Account-based marketing helps marketers to really go beyond the demand generation box and get into more of the business outcomes.”

Account-based marketing also provides an opportunity to examine one’s own brand. Where is your brand right now? More importantly, where do you want it to go from here?

Sangram discussed this recently in an interview with Tim Kopp, CMO of ExactTarget, in episode 124 of the FlipMyFunnel podcast.

“Brand drives demand,” he explained to us. A CMO must build their company’s brand to drive demand– and account-based marketing helps to build that brand. But, to do so, a CMO must earn the buy-in of his or her entire organization.

“The biggest thing a CMO needs to do is build trust with not only the sales team, but also the product team.

“The best way to build trust is to over-communicate on, ‘Here are the things we’re doing – and, more importantly, here are the things we are not doing.’

“Sharing openly and transparently what I’m doing and not doing [and why] is so important. ”

Earning the support of everyone, from the still-green sales rep to the company CEO, can help pave the way for ABM within your business. But, for industrial companies who sell through distributors or other third parties, the challenge can feel somewhat daunting.

3. HOW DO YOU EMPLOY ABM IN A B2B BUSINESS WITH VARIED PERSONAS?

If you’re a manufacturer trying to sell to distributors and to end users and everywhere in-between, how can you really use account-based marketing? Or is it even feasible?

Sangram has seen companies ask this same question, and he has good news! To an extent, ABM is already happening within your organization.

Your sales team is already handling all those varied accounts; that’s their job. Even though the personas might vary, you still can team up with the sales reps to help give them the “air support” they need to close deals.

In fact, the more you can align your entire organization into pursuing the top five, ten, or fifty particular accounts…the more streamlined and effective everything will be.

However, outside of the sales teams, not many marketers or product developers know which companies or prospects are actually being actively pursued by their sales reps.

The name of the game, in short, is personalization.

ABM is all about how you as a marketer can inspire everybody in your company to create and use resources that will be valuable to your top prospects.

Some marketing tactics may aim for large groups of potential leads. However, account-based marketing is all about lining up a mere handful of very specific targets in your sights. Sales ‘sniping,’ if you will.

ABM can help your account managers to close deals. It can also help you build trust between sales and marketing in your organizations.

What do you do to build trust with your sales team?

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Sangram Vajre of Terminus & #FlipMyFunnel We're a little bit starstruck this week– Sangram Vajre of Terminus and the #FlipMyFunnel podcast joined us to discuss the what, why, and how of account-based marketing! Danny Gonzales, Sangram Vajre clean 23:36
ProMat 2019: Chicago’s Logistics & Supply Chain Trade Show https://www.industrialsage.com/promat-2019/ Sun, 05 May 2019 09:55:17 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=4635 After our blast at MODEX last year, we decided to visit Chicago for Automate and Promat 2019– two trade shows all about industrial automation and logistics! After the success of our MODEX interviews last year, this year we traveled all the way to Chicago for MHI‘s sister show, ProMat 2019! We ran around McCormick place collecting interviews, and expanded our interview topics.

You see, we’ve had a lot of clients and audience members who tell us they’re fascinated by our interviews with companies like Xometry– where we learn about more than just marketing tactics. A lot of these companies have incredibly unique business models, products, and services.

So at ProMat, we decided to ask our interviewees about the products and services their companies provide.

We ran into some old friends; made some new ones; and were awed by advances in logistics technology all over again! So what’s new in the world of supply chain and logistics?

1. MAKING LIFE EASY FOR CLIENTS

Bhaskar Chopra of Siemens Digital Factory joined us again to explain a bit more about the company’s solutions. Siemens as a whole is well-known, but not everyone knows what they have to offer in the particular field of material handling.

“Material handling by itself is not really a vertical. It goes across a lot of different horizontal industries. We have products and components that can really fit into just about every single niche of this market.”

From simulation software to hardware or networking components, Siemens has worked hard to expand their repertoire of products. In fact, they have the capabilities to design a customized distribution center from scratch, digitally simulate its operations, and then confirm its functionality before a single brick is laid.

Another one of their strongest elements is actually based in customer service and training.

The most commonly-asked questions by visitors to Bhaskar’s booth were usually about the ease and success of new implementations.

Siemens’ components are built to be long-lasting, simple to install, and (perhaps most importantly) easy to use.

Siemens components come with with plain English instructions. They’re deliberately created that way so that newcomers to any business can feel comfortable and confident when handling them. That way, monitoring and maintaining these products in the next few decades shouldn’t break the bank.

2. GENERATING INTEREST IN THE NEXT GENERATION

We encountered another old friend at Promat 2019, the booth for KNAPP: Kevin Reader.

Similar to Siemens, they’ve expanded their products and services to include both software as well as hardware. Their services extend across multiple verticals like retail, fashion and apparel, grocery, and more.

What stood out about KNAPP was their never-ending expansion into new territory, both with their booth displays and their latest products.

Their new OSR Shuttle™ Evo+ was on display, along with a virtual reality simulator and a massive pair of touch-screen monitors where visitors could explore KNAPP’s many services and solutions.

Additionally, after introducing RedPilot at MODEX last year, KNAPP was able to bring its success stories to ProMat 2019 from their 47 different active sites. The program engages in real time planning, execution, and learning that can lead to an 8% reduction in operating costs. Talk about an incredible case study!

Actually, one of the strongest elements of the show was one that we heard about, but didn’t get to encounter in-person. There was a tour of the show for some local high school students, and Knapp was one of the many companies involved in the program.

The field trip aimed to generate interest in today’s youth about industrial careers. And we couldn’t think of a better place to do so!

When you walk onto the floor at Promat and see the incredible amount of new technologies (and frankly, just plain cool robots), it’s suddenly a lot harder to call the supply chain field “boring.”

3. STAYING FOCUSED ON A BETTER FUTURE

One of our new interviewees was Andre Marshall of Doosan Industrial Vehicles. Doosan is actually a massive company overseas, but they’re only just now starting to get recognized as a big name in the states. Promat 2019 was one of their biggest debuts yet.

“If you look at forklifts in general, a lot of them look the same…but every [maker] focuses on one thing or the other,” Andre explained to us. “We at Doosan look at the over-all performance of the truck…we’re looking for something that lasts.”

In a world where many products are made to be disposable, or where they’re meant to be replaced after so many years so that the creators can continue to profit, Doosan does the opposite.

They aim to create reliable forklifts and other industrial vehicles that have exceptional performance and longevity.

Doosan’s focus on the future applies to the way they develop new products as well. Their G/45S forklift has a dual-fuel unit, so it can run on gas or on propane. Additionally, their new GC35 is three inches narrower with a shorter counterweight. This can give their vehicle more maneuverability in the increasingly-tighter confines of cramped warehouse aisles.

Whatever the innovation, Doosan aims to keep adapting their future designs so their vehicles will show less wear and tear; or maybe even employ better fuel sources.

As for common questions asked by booth visitors? Nearly everyone at Promat 2019 seems to start every conversation at a new booth by asking “How much is it?” But, according to Andre, that’s only part of the equation.

“Price is one thing, but that’s the initial purchase,” he pointed out. “Customers are often times looking at the lifetime cost of the unit.” And in Doosan’s case, they made sure to create something long-lasting and worthwhile.

4. GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT

One of the last interviews we’ll touch on in this episode is our chat with Jason Walker of Waypoint Robotics – another old friend!

In a field where many industrial workers fear losing their jobs to automation and robots, Waypoint aims to quell some of those common suspicions. They’ve focused on creating a robot that doesn’t replace workers, but rather empowers them and accelerates many of their otherwise tedious tasks.

“We’re trying to give the shipping & receiving clerks, and the dock workers, and the assembly line workers a nail gun instead of a hammer.”

Many warehouse employees, for example, have to take multiple long walks across half-mile facilities. Now they have a ‘minion’ who can retrieve those items for them.

The best part is, since Waypoint robots are autonomous, they don’t need to be programmed with a route. They’ll find their way to any destination and navigate around unforeseen obstacles without their controllers having to lift a finger.

Waypoint has been able to develop and improve their products by listening to the concerns of the workforce…and now that feedback has also inspired new lines of Waypoint robots.

Last year when we met Jason at MODEX, their company was exhibiting a single autonomous mobile robot. This year, their inventory has expanded. After many clients worked with their 300lb and 600lb Waypoint Vector robots, they asked for something similar…but larger. That’s when the Waypoint MAV3K, capable of carrying 3,000lb loads, was born.

Waypoint developed many of their robots to be self-charging, and to carry automated arms that could pick items from around the warehouse. Now the MAV3K can carry even larger items, with larger robotic arms easily integrated from outside systems.

And it all goes back to client feedback.

“We’ve really built for the people who say, ‘I’ve been running my machine shop for fifty years. Everything works great, except for that long walk, and I can’t find enough people to push carts.’ We can drop a robot into that situation and have it working that day.”

Ease of use and flexibility have allowed Waypoint to produce some incredible autonomous robots. Everything they do is designed to empower human workers, and make their lives a little easier.

The one common element throughout Promat 2019 was the pursuit of something new.

There were warehouse owners seeking easier solutions for their companies. We saw businesses creating product lines or services to make a better world. And many young students’ imaginations were sparked by the latest in AI, VR, and robotics.

One thing’s for sure: Promat was full of incredible stories about constant self-improvement. And so long as your industrial company is also doing the same thing…our future is probably going to be just fine.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Siemens Digital Factory; KNAPP; Doosan Industrial Vehicles; and Waypoint Robotics After our blast at MODEX last year, we decided to visit Chicago for Automate and Promat 2019– two trade shows all about industrial automation and logistics! We ran into some old friends; made some new ones; and were awed by advances in supply chain technology all over again! Danny Gonzales clean 29:20
How Industrial & Manufacturing CMOs Can Overcome Their Biggest Challenges https://www.industrialsage.com/how-manufacturing-cmos-can-overcome-their-biggest-challenges/ Sun, 28 Apr 2019 09:00:09 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=4246 Marketing for an industrial B2B company is especially complicated. Shonodeep Modak of Schneider Electric sat down with us to discuss challenges faced by many manufacturing CMOs. This week we were privileged to sit down with Shonodeep Modak, Schneider Electric’s Chief Marketing Officer for North America!

Having majored in chemical engineering at Mississippi State, Shonodeep spent an internship touring power generation nuclear power plants and selling service solutions. After falling in love with the sales process, he switched career paths. He still spent a lot of time around boilers and machinery, but loved developing new products and their Eventually he earned a Master’s degree at George Washington University, and ended up joining Schneider Electric back in 2018.

Being a CMO is a challenge no matter what company you work for– but being a CMO for an industrial B2B company is especially complicated.

It’s Shonodeep’s job to determine how they market to their customers and educate them about Schneider’s products; keeping them engaged over time.

Since Schneider deals mainly in industrial automation and energy management products, their sales process is very different from that of the average B2C business.

1. THE CHALLENGE OF SELLING B2B GHOST BRANDS

Marketing tactics can differ largely based on what you’re selling– and in the case of companies like Schneider Electric, they’re selling what Shonodeep calls “Ghost brands.”

And as if having a unique product weren’t enough, being a B2B marketer means that your messaging has to be different as well.

Manufacturing CMOs are almost always two degrees away from their end users, and must sell through channel partners or other intermediaries.

That means you have to sell your ghost product to distributors, and enable them to sell it to their customers.

In Shonodeep’s case, he actually prefers selling through channel partners because he feels that many of them know the best path to market. Many of them can also influence the projects at Schneider Electric as well.

2. HOW TO ADDRESS THIS CHALLENGE

A. Increased Customer Education

B2B brands may not have visibility as high as B2C brands when it comes to transactions. However, they have increased visibility in the solution-seeking portion of the customer journey.

B2B is a business model ideal for providing thought leadership. Manufacturing CMOs have the opportunity – nay, the responsibility – to educate their buyers.

B. Establishing 1-to-1 Relationships

Shonodeep and his peers do not communicate by sending mass messages from “big Schneider corporate” en masse to all of their leads or prospects. Marketing and sales and even customer service teams are divided up regionally, so customers have a more personal interaction.

C. Collaborating with Channel Partners to Close the Gap

Lastly, Schneider strives to work closely with their distributors. They establish point-of-sale analytics platforms in order to track buyers more closely and provide the materials that their intermediaries need to close the deal.

What did somebody buy in the past? Where are they now? Are they still using it? Could something else in the Schneider wheelhouse be useful to them at this new stage in their work?

This kind of visibility through digital tools like CRMs, automation, and account-based-marketing platforms is still quite new. However, they’re quickly becoming invaluable for manufacturing CMOs.

3. ASSEMBLING YOUR MARTECH STACK

There’s no lack of marketing technologies out there anymore. There are all sorts to choose from. But, while their usability may differ, Shonodeep instead advises focusing on their connectivity.

Focus on connecting your account-based marketing platform and your sales data to your CRM. Then connect your CRM to your marketing automation system.

Schneider actually has a custom analytics team to examine these different tools and their features. Shonodeep has found their insights to be especially helpful, because for marketers, “it’s so easy to get distracted by the next shiny thing.”

And even after their teams decide to adopt a new system, there’s still a careful process in place to insure a smooth transition.

“We never turn on everything all at once. We start either in a geography or a sub-geography; and we trial and test it out, then we start to scale.”

The change must be gradual. Celebrating little victories and success points with ’internal cheerleaders’ is also paramount to winning over upper management teams who might have initially been hesitant about the adoption.

Onboarding systems that encourage more one-on-one interactions with prospects has definitely been a success thus far.

Having small regional teams means that Schneider’s different branches can each focus on what their own customers need: functioning less like buckshot and more like a sniper rifle in their messaging. As a result, Shonodeep has seen the more localized marketing efforts by Schneider increase open rates by 500%.

4. MAKING SENSE OF ALL THE DATA

Lastly, Shonodeep emphasized the importance of actually sorting out data from one’s many martech systems. It’s key for manufacturing CMOs to integrate everything so that leads can be traced from first touch to final sale.

Sales and marketing need to be united in this.

Going through data from current programs is extremely important before yet another tool is onboarded. After all, the entire point of adopting each system is to increase productivity– and productivity comes from responding to data.

If you don’t know what has brought in more qualified leads in the past, or by how much, then you won’t know how to set goals or create campaigns to recreate that success.

As we’ve often heard from our guests, start small. Establish a successful digital system before you try to fully-integrate it across the entire organization.

In other words, as we often say: “Nail it. Then scale it.” That’s what Shonodeep did.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Shonodeep Modak of Schneider Electric Marketing for an industrial B2B company is especially complicated. Shonodeep Modak of Schneider Electric sat down with us to discuss challenges faced by many manufacturing CMOs. Danny Gonzales, Shonodeep Modak clean 25:24
How to Use Video to Build Your Personal Brand on LinkedIn https://www.industrialsage.com/how-to-use-video-to-build-your-personal-brand-on-linkedin/ Sun, 21 Apr 2019 09:00:56 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=4189 Catch up with TJ Tweddle of Hoppecke and hear how he used last year's free MODEX interview to build his personal brand on LinkedIn and double his network! What day is it? We’re not exactly certain…we recently came back from ProMat in Chicago, and we’re in a bit of a daze. But in the best way! We learned so much and met so many people! We can’t wait to share all of our incredible interviews with you!

However, one conversation definitely stood out from the rest– at least to us. Why? It was a confirmation of what we’ve been saying for months.

Videos and LinkedIn marketing can help you and your industrial company build your personal brand like nothing else.

If there are two things we like to talk about on this show, it’s videos and LinkedIn. Both were major friends according to our Sales & Marketing Report for Manufacturers this past January.

1. “I SHARED IT LIKE CRAZY.”

One of the best moments of the Chicago trip was when we reconnected with TJ Tweddle of Hoppecke, whom we interviewed last year at MODEX.

One year ago, TJ was a brand new sales rep with very few contacts who was still learning the ropes at his new job. MODEX was his very first trade show.

But, he was young and hungry and ready for anything– which is why he stopped our camera crew last year. Once our video of his interview was complete, he posted it on LinkedIn with a blog article of his own and pushed the link everywhere he could.

He asked friends and family to share; he posted it all over his social media accounts; and he did his best to use it whenever and wherever possible.

And guess what?

2. “I DOUBLED MY NETWORK.”

Of all the interviews with multi-million-dollar companies we may have conducted, TJ’s interview was actually the video that got the most views and the most attention. His network expanded and he made dozens of new professional connections.

That didn’t happen for larger businesses who let the videos sit in one place. We gave them all the resources and guidelines, but nothing came of it. You can lead a horse to water and all that.

And just to reiterate– these videos were free. The interviews were free. The embed codes to the videos were free.

We didn’t take a dime when creating these interviews: we even sent follow-up instructions telling all these companies how to maximize their videos to get the best return!

But most of them did very little. TJ, however, knocked it out of the park.

Videos can be major digital assets, whether you’re in a minor or major company. They can be extremely inexpensive (you’ve probably got a high-quality camera in your pocket right now). However, if you do nothing with them, they will do nothing for you.

The important thing, as we learned recently when talking to Chris Luecke, is to get started– and to keep at it. The majority of your competitors won’t begin, or they’ll stop after two or three tries.

Tactics like building your personal brand on LinkedIn with videos are one of the main reasons why “young whippersnappers” like TJ are rapidly accelerating in the industrial space. Digital techniques are accelerating smaller companies and younger individuals to nearly equal status with industrial titans who spent years earning their spotlight.

If your company isn’t learning to accelerate alongside everyone else, then you’ll soon find yourself falling behind.

Take it from TJ– LinkedIn videos are absolutely worth it.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with TJ Tweddle of Hoppecke Catch up with TJ Tweddle of Hoppecke and hear how he used last year's free MODEX interview to build his personal brand on LinkedIn and double his network! Also catch a sneak peak of what's to come in the next few episodes. We got some pretty big names in the studio recently! Danny Gonzales, TJ Tweddle clean 14:41
Top CRMs Used by Industrial Sales Teams & How to Choose One https://www.industrialsage.com/top-crms-used-by-manufacturers-and-how-to-choose-one/ Sun, 14 Apr 2019 09:00:29 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=4029 What are the top five CRMs used by manufacturers nowadays? And, more importantly, which one should your company start with? We talk almost non-stop about CRMs (Customer Relationship Management software) on this show. But we usually discuss them as if they’re a fact of life and you’ve already adopted one.

But what if your manufacturing company doesn’t use a CRM yet?

1. WHAT’S THE BIG DEAL ABOUT CRMS?

Have you ever had a “lost lead”?

Maybe this person who doesn’t want to be contacted for six months, and now it’s your job to remember that commitment. Or maybe their business card slipped to the bottom of a desk drawer and gathered dust for two years because nobody could find it.

That could be money down the drain, all due to human error. CRMs prevent that.

These programs are cheap, and they can keep all records of your clientele “in the cloud” (aka: on the internet) which you can access from anywhere.

CRMs can automate your marketing messages, like emails or social media posts. They can generate reports on website traffic, weekly conversions, or monthly sales.

And, quite prominently, CRMs can catch new salespeople up quickly on the history of any lead: showing them how often and how recently a potential buyer has been contacted.

What has this person already purchased or downloaded? Are there any pieces of content that might be relevant to them? It’s all recorded right there in black and white.

CRMs help you sell better, and sell faster. Period. Cue the mic drop.

2. THE TOP FIVE CRMS ACCORDING TO MANUFACTURERS

At the end of 2018, we surveyed over 150 manufacturers about their sales and marketing tactics. Here were their top five CRM platforms:

  1. Salesforce
  2. Microsoft Dynamics
  3. Hubspot
  4. Zoho
  5. PipeDrive

We’d be shocked if you hadn’t heard of Salesforce. They’re the 13,000-pound bull elephant in the room. They’re huge, and they’re powerful. But…a large number of Salesforce implementations by manufacturers fail.

That’s not a reflection of Salesforce, by any means. It’s actually more a reflection of the new users. In fact, no one CRM is the best – the question is, which is the best CRM for your company where they are currently?

A lot of manufacturers try to buy a new CRM and take it from 0-100mph without knowing how to drive. You can spend a fortune in that process, only to crash and burn.

Many CRMs have so many countless widgets and features to offer. However, you shouldn’t buy the whole kit and caboodle when you’re just starting out.

Don’t worry– you’ll get to all those extra features eventually. You may even be shocked at how quickly you get there. But there’s a more important priority to begin with.

3. KNOW YOUR SALES PROCESS BEFORE YOU AUTOMATE IT

Before you get marketing automation, you need to actually know what it is you’re automating. Before you dive into a CRM full-force, you should already have a map of your sales journey prepared.

A failed CRM implementation reflects (and is caused by) a lack of process.

Getting your sales team to buy into the new system is important, too. Salespeople might see the system as their manager’s way of peering over their shoulder– but that’s not what it’s used for.

Create a clear outline of your process before you transfer all of your data or tasks into a digital, cloud-based CRM.

Map out where leads come from; who addresses them; what they’re sent; and where they go next. Then you can consider CRMs.

But, once again, don’t start with the biggest and the baddest with all the bells and whistles.

4. START SMALL, AND START CHEAP

If you’re brand new to CRMs, or if you’re about to implement a new one, don’t be afraid to make the change slowly.

Research the different CRMs and ask your peers about what they use.

Select a small sample group of salespeople – maybe your top reps, or just a young and hungry few who are wholly invested in this change. Use this team to beta test your new system.

If you do want to select a major program like Salesforce or Hubspot, have your “Advance Team” test out a smaller module or even a free account to begin with. Make sure they can crawl before your whole organization starts trying to run.

“You can get into a lot of these CRMS that are a lot cheaper… Is it as powerful, when you open all of it, as a Salesforce? No, it’s not. But you don’t need that kind of horsepower when you’re starting.”

If you’re a student driver, you shouldn’t spend your first day in a stick-shift Cadillac on the freeway.

Build slowly on the excitement of the new CRM’s analytics. Dabble in merge tags and utm codes. Try building out a few short drip campaigns. Learn how to automate calendar and mobile alerts.

Show your salespeople over time that this is a tool to help them manage sales; not get monitored by executives.

Once you have a marketing and sales process mapped out, only then you can build on it and use a CRM to accelerate everything; and not before.

If you don’t have a destination or a route, then no vehicle is going to help you.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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What are the top five CRMs used by manufacturers nowadays? And, more importantly, which one should your company start with? What are the top five CRMs used by manufacturers nowadays? And, more importantly, which one should your company start with? Danny Gonzales clean 14:35
What’s a Drip Campaign, and Why Do Manufacturers Need Them? https://www.industrialsage.com/whats-a-drip-campaign-and-why-do-manufacturers-need-them/ Sun, 07 Apr 2019 09:00:21 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=4015 Drip campaigns release brief, regular email content to educate prospects over time. For manufacturers with long buying cycles, they're absolutely invaluable. We talk a lot on our show about drip campaigns– but to be fair, that’s a very marketing-specific term.

If you’re on the outside of digital marketing and looking in, what exactly are these ‘drip campaigns’ of lore? More importantly, why are they so vital for manufacturers?

1. WHAT’S A DRIP CAMPAIGN?

You might know about the idea of drip campaigns, but just not by name. They’re a common strategy within email marketing.

Drip campaigns are a slower, long-term email campaign comprised of bite-sized messages that are released every so often.

Common newsletters talk about what your company has been up to, but drips are usually a tad more specific. Each email gives a little bit of information about a specific topic, or a service of yours.

Let’s say, for example, your lead signed up for an eBook, which was centered around a product that you make for the aerospace industry. You might then have a drip campaign of five emails scheduled to go out to anyone who downloaded that content offer.

Every few weeks, that lead will receive a new email from you about that product; or about new developments in the aerospace industry; or other relevant information.

2. WHY USE THEM?

In this age of cynicism and instant information, selling is a bit like dating.

If you go up to a complete stranger and propose marriage to them within an hour…they’ll probably walk away, if not run.

The idea of drip campaigns is to take your time, and let your prospects take their time. That’s especially important for unqualified leads, and industries with long buying cycles.

Go on a few ‘dates’ first. Build the relationship slowly.

You’re providing valuable information that’s walking your leads through stages of the funnel, but it’s bit by bit. This way, you stay top of mind; and when they have questions, you may already have preemptively answered some of them.

Over time, your education will help your audience naturally evolve from MQLs (Marketing-Qualified Leads) into SQLs (Sales-Qualified Leads).

Your industry’s particular buying cycle could be years long. Then again, it could be mere days long. Use your experience to determine how often your emails should drop in. And, if possible, automate the process.

People can get busy, so automated drip campaigns can be a huge help to busy salespeople.

The last thing your sales teams want to do is make 20, 50, or 100 phone calls, only to learn that 95% of those leads aren’t near ready to buy. Some may want more information in one month; in five months; in a year.

And if one of your leads isn’t ready to buy, do they get forgotten?

If you have an automated drip campaign that will send a touch to followers regularly, and will free up time for a lot of your sales reps. That way, your team can focus on helping sales-qualified leads who may actually be ready to buy.

3. WHERE CAN I USE THEM?

Drip campaigns are fantastic to prepare for release following content offers, trade shows , and other events.

Think of all the places and ways that someone new expresses mild interest in your product or services, enough to give you their email address.

Have content offers ready: like an eBook or a quick guide. Do you release regular blogs or videos on your site? Do you have presentations you could film and turn into webinars?

The more content you have ready, the more specific your campaigns can get.

For example, if you know you have a major trade show coming up where you’ll launch a new product, prepare a drip campaign! Have emails ready to send before and during the show, telling people about your booth! Afterwards, send a recap email about the show; and send new leads further information about future events, or about that new product.

Just remember to make each drip relevant to different stages of your sales funnel. Here’s a really basic outline of a three-email drip campaign.

  1. Top-of-Funnel: Offer up regular blogs, an eBook, or a quick guide for newcomers. This is a very surface-level introduction. Prospects won’t give you much of their attention yet, so keep it short.
  2. Middle-of-Funnel: Now that you’ve earned a second ‘date,’ tell a story. Do you have a case study, or a video of one of your clients explaining how your product helped them?
  3. Bottom-of-Funnel: This is where things get more specific. Keep providing materials– even articles by other organizations– that might be relevant to your prospect’s industry. Found a great blog by someone else? Share it. A buyer’s guide comparing multiple products they might be searching for? Throw it in.

Remember that survey and subsequent report that we released about Sales & Marketing Trends for Manufacturers in 2019? Well, if you download that, you’ll be entered into a drip campaign from IndustrialSage. We send regular emails that dig deeper into statistics uncovered by the report; as well as practical applications and tips relevant to each one.

Just use slow and steady email messages to nurture your leads with small bites of a conversation.

No fire hosing. No pushy sales. Easy marketing, and easy education of prospects.

For manufacturers with long buying cycles, drip campaigns are an absolute must.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Drip campaigns release brief, regular email content to educate prospects over time. For manufacturers with long buying cycles, they're absolutely invaluable. Drip campaigns release brief, regular email content to educate prospects over time. For manufacturers with long buying cycles, they're absolutely invaluable. Danny Gonzales clean 12:59
4 Things Manufacturers Should Consider When Searching for a Digital Marketing Agency https://www.industrialsage.com/when-searching-for-a-digital-marketing-agency/ Sun, 31 Mar 2019 09:00:59 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=3991 When searching for a digital marketing agency, manufacturers still need an internal team; and they should find an agency that understands B2B, has a spine, and can prove ROI. We get asked all the time by different companies, particularly manufacturers: “What do I do if I want to hire an outside agency and outsource all our marketing? How can I tell which marketing agency is a good fit for our business?”

Here are four things manufacturers should consider when searching for a digital marketing agency.

  • You need an internal team, regardless.
  • Find an agency with experience in B2B, and/or manufacturing.
  • Your digital marketing agency needs to have a spine.
  • If they can’t prove ROI, then go elsewhere.

1. YOU NEED AN INTERNAL TEAM REGARDLESS

First of all, you don’t always need to outsource your digital marketing. You may be able to do enough with your own resources. Even if not, you still need someone in-house before you turn outwards to an agency.

Your internal team doesn’t have to be huge– it can honestly just be one person. However, that one person is vital. Why?

Your outside agency still needs to communicate with someone in your company.

That point of contact needs to have the time and resources (like brand guidelines) to help the agency do what they were hired to do.

It’s extremely difficult for an agency to try and coordinate their marketing efforts with a CFO or the owner of a manufacturing company. Why? Because marketing isn’t that individual’s first priority.

You need at least one internal staff member who can focus on working with that outside agency.

It doesn’t have to be their sole task, but it should be a designated duty they’re meant to pursue. Otherwise, if none of your own workers have the bandwidth for marketing, then nothing is going to get done.

2. FIND A DIGITAL MARKETING AGENCY THAT UNDERSTANDS B2B

There are millions of agencies out there, and many of them specialize in different tactics.

Some might focus solely on PPC (pay-per-click) or SEM (search engine marketing) or social media. Others are jack-of-all-trades agencies, but they really don’t know how to handle any business model except B2C.

It’s best to look for an agency that has experience working with B2B businesses, or with manufacturers specifically.

Why? Because your sales funnel is different from that of, say, a fast food chain.

Your personas and buying cycles are different, too.

For example, pre and post-sales training videos are not a very B2C practice. But your company may need to regularly educate distributors on how to appeal to end-users with your product.

A B2C-centric agency might have no idea how that dealer/distributor/channel partner relationship works.

Could they still be a good agency for you? Maybe. But you’d better be prepared to spend some time helping them with that learning curve.

3. FIND AN AGENCY WITH A SPINE

Here’s the deal. Just because a digital marketing agency does whatever you ask them to…doesn’t mean they’re a good fit. And just because they can use any tactic for you…doesn’t mean they should.

If they tell you, “We can do anything you want,” then they’re not doing their job.

Your agency should have the guts to say, “We can try that tactic for you, but it might not be a good fit for reaching your buyer personas.”

You’re looking for experts; not “yes” men.

Should they listen to your requests? Definitely. Should they learn about your business? Absolutely! But from there, they should be capable of doing what you hired them to do: marketing your company.

If your agency does nothing but ask for instructions to follow, then they don’t actually know what they’re doing. And that’s not worth your time or money.

4. FIND AN AGENCY THAT CAN PROVE ROI

In the end, you may wind up with an agency that has never worked with B2B before, and they may be throwing spaghetti at the wall with no idea which tactic will stick.

If that’s the case, all is not lost.

What matters most is whether your agency can tell you which tactics are actually bringing in revenues.

Don’t just stand for talk about impressions or website traffic or social media followers. Those numbers mean nothing unless you can correlate them directly with sales.

Digital technologies are closing the gap between sales and marketing more and more. Now you can track a buyer’s journey from start to finish! The question is…do you?

Learning from past evidence is how you adapt future campaigns and tactics to gain even more new clients.

Can your agency point out a new client or buyer that came in through their campaigns? It’s vital that they do so. Otherwise, how do you know if what you’re paying for is actually working?

Your digital marketing agency may have “marketing” in their job title, but sales should be their ultimate goal.

If not…then it’s time to reevaluate your relationship with them.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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When searching for a digital marketing agency, manufacturers still need an internal team; and they should find an agency that understands B2B, has a spine, and can prove ROI. When searching for a digital marketing agency, manufacturers still need an internal team; and they should find an agency that understands B2B, has a spine, and can prove ROI. Danny Gonzales clean 14:34
My Kids Don’t Know What a Radio Is: Challenges of Marketing to Gen Z and Beyond https://www.industrialsage.com/challenges-of-marketing-to-gen-z-and-beyond/ Thu, 28 Mar 2019 09:00:29 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=4007 I was trying to explain my podcast to my kids, so I said, "Daddy's on the radio!" But my oldest asked, "What's a radio?" Boy, it sure is important to know your audience. https://optimumproductions.wistia.com/medias/a9dklffykx?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640


DANNY: Hey, what’s up? This is Danny Gonzales with IndustrialSage. And so, for today, I thought I would try something a little bit different. I’m actually not at the studio. I’m at home with my podcast mic, and I am watching three of my four really cute kids…

I had an interesting…experience that happened last week. We were driving down the road and actually, I was trying to show them –my kids– IndustrialSage. We were listening on Spotify. If you actually, if you didn’t know that we’re on Spotify, we’re on Spotify, we’re on Stitcher, we’re on…We’ve been on iTunes forever, and a bunch of other podcasting sites. But anyways, I was out, we were going out to breakfast. We do that periodically, we call it our daddy–kid date…

So we had just gotten on Spotify, and so I wanted to share with the kids that we were on there. And so I was trying to explain to them like, “Hey, this is a show that we have!”

They don’t…I guess they don’t know what a podcast is. I mean…my oldest is seven and the youngest is four– I actually have a younger one but she wasn’t with me– and I thought, “Well, how do I best explain this in a way that they would understand?”

So I was like, “Oh, well, you know, Daddy has a…Daddy’s on the radio! Listen, listen to Daddy on the radio!”

And my oldest, my 7–year–old asked me a very deep question that really kind of set me back a little bit and make me feel…well, just for lack of better words, really old.

She said, “Dad…What’s a radio?”

And I thought, “Oh my gosh. How do we…how do they not know that?”

But you know, it got me thinking…I personally don’t listen to the radio very much anymore.

I’m listening to music through Spotify or iTunes or something through my phone, or listening to podcasts. And it’s not really…you know, if I’m listening to something at all, it’s coming through my phone for the most part, and it’s connected to my car; or it’s just off and we don’t use it.

So I thought that was very interesting, and it made me think that…as times change…we talked about this whole transition of the workforce, the millennials coming in… The people that are coming in after them, I think the “Z–nials,” or “Zen–ials,”…they’re growing up in a time where the internet has been in existence from the very beginning of their life.

I mean, for me as a millennial, an older millennial, you know the internet wasn’t a reality in my life until maybe I was a junior in high school.

I’d say maybe my freshman year I was like, “This is kind of interesting.” I mean, I remember in…earlier when I was probably in middle school, actually I remember when we got our first PC, and it was like really exciting! We could play games, And I started tinkering around with it, And I would break it all the time by accident.

…It was not something we completely knew well, versus these Znials, Zen–ials, or however you pronounce it, are growing up. I mean, that’s…they are entrenched with it.

And so I think the real…the story that we have there is that just the way that we go to market and the way that we present our message has to totally change, especially as these millennials and everyone else behind them, you know, gets into the workforce.

You know it totally is going to affect how we recruit them, how we market to them, how we sell.

How they engage with our content is all going to change. That’s changing very quickly, and it’s not just them. It’s us as well.

So anyways, I just wanted to share that quick funny little story, and just thinking…man. Didn’t know what a radio was. Crazy. Maybe I’m a bad father, am I a bad…? I don’t know.

So I’ve actually got three of them here, and I thought it’d be kind of fun to kind of interview them and see what’s going on. I’ve got my first little one here. Lucy, can you say hi?

You can’t say hi? Are you shy? Lucy is shy. How old are you? She is running away now. She is four, and she’s a little shy.

She’s very excited, because we are going on a daddy–daughter dance tonight. And so they’re going to…and just about now they’re going to go get ready and put their pretty dresses on, and we’re going to go…big smiles at me right now. You can’t see that, but big smiles. All right. So now my next over here is…what’s your name?

KOLBY:Kolby.

DANNY:Kolby! How old are you? Here, get close to the mic here.

KOLBY: Six!

DANNY: You’re six!…what do you want to be when you grow up?

KOLBY: Astronaut!

DANNY: He wants to be an astronaut. And it’s interesting…tell me, tell us about the video that you watched that told you like, what you need to do? Like what are some of the things you have to do to become an astronaut?

KOLBY: Be a pilot.

DANNY: You have to be a pilot, that’s one thing. What was something…What was the other thing?

KOLBY: Um…don’t watch TV very much.

DANNY: Don’t watch TV very much? OK that was interesting! I like this show! So this video that you saw, so where did you see the video?

KOLBY: With Mom.

DANNY: You saw it with Mom? Was it on TV, or…

KOLBY: It was on the big computer!

DANNY: Oh, on the big computer. OK. So now, there was something else that you needed to be, remember?

LUCY: Hi!

DANNY: There’s Lucy. She’s getting a little less shy. You needed to be a…there was a particular thing. Remember? Begins with an e? An engineer?

KOLBY: Yeah.

DANNY: Was that it? That’s somebody–

: A GOOD engineer!

DANNY: A good engineer, and what do you have to be good at to be an engineer?

KOLBY: Um…fix really good.

DANNY: You have to fix really good, and you have to be good in math, and all that stuff. So I thought that was interesting…

KOLBY: You have to go to space camp.

DANNY: Oh, and space camp, we’ve looked at space camp and he’s very excited about possibly doing that.

And so Kolby’s been very excited about a lot of the different videos and things that we produce when you see all the manufacturing facilities, the material handling solutions and industrial automation solutions with all the robots and all the really cool things that are going on. I show him, and “Ooh!” You know, he gets all really excited.

And you know I have to say…I’m not sure what that video was that came out there. But it…I’m just, I’m really thankful for that kind of content that’s going out there that is really going to spur a lot of inspiration, and a lot of…I guess just putting the thought in the kids.

If you talk about the challenge that we have, with you know with talent and recruiting people into the field that…

Sometimes people think that manufacturing is dirty, or boring…but getting exposed to all the amazing things that are happening in the industry, looking at all the digital transformation that’s happening, all the, you know, Industry 4.0, like all the things that are happening…having kids exposed to that is great.

I’m super excited that, you know, little Kolby over here is kind of excited about these; already thinking about maybe being an engineer because he’s watching some of these videos and this content. And you know, that’s awesome. And that starts you know, that starts at a young age–

KOLBY: And I have to be nine to go to space camp and fix robots!

DANNY: And he has to be nine, if you’ve got that, to go to space camp. So we’ll see what happens in three years from now if Kolby gets to go to space camp.

So…All right. Lucy’s back here. Are you going to say hi, Lucy? You’re not going to say hi? Okay now she’s shy again. And last but not least –out of three of the four, anyways– I’ve got Ava. Ava, why don’t you come over here? Come over on this side…now, how old are you, Ava?

AVA: Seven.

DANNY: Now what grade are you in?

AVA: First grade.

DANNY: First grade. What’s your favorite subject?

AVA: Math.

DANNY: Math. Really? I didn’t know that! Why is that your favorite? Why is that your favorite subject?

AVA: Uh…because it’s really easy.

DANNY: Oh, it’s really easy. Are you going to be an engineer? No? What do you want to be when you grow up?

AVA: A artist.

DANNY: An artist!? Don’t be an artist like your father.

LUCY: And me!

DANNY: There’s no money in that! I’m just playing, I’m totally playing with you: and you’re going to be an artist too? What kind of an artist do you want to be?

AVA: Uh, I don’t know yet.

DANNY: You don’t know?

LUCY: I’m gonna be the same thing as her!

DANNY: You’ll be the same thing as her? An artist?

KOLBY: Oh, I have a– actually, I’m gonna, actually, I’m going to be a paleontologist.

DANNY: A paleontologist! He’s gonna be a paleontologist…what does a paleontologist do?

KOLBY: Uh…you study.

DANNY: They study…what? What do they dig for and look and study?

KOLBY:Dinosaurs!

DANNY:Dinosaurs. So dinosaurs and an astronaut. Very cool. We’ve got an artist, what kind of art do you want…are you going to do?

AVA: Uh…everything!

DANNY: Everything, so paint, draw…?

LUCY: I wanna do everything!

AVA: I’ve never tried sculpture before.

DANNY: You haven’t tried sculpture? Yeah, we should try that. I don’t know where she got that from. She did not get that from me. I am not good drawing or doing really anything with my hands. [laughs] So okay, yeah…it’s changing.

These are the faces of tomorrow. These are the hires that are going to happen in 20 years. That’s going to happen super fast. And again, it’s interesting just the way that people, you know consume things. We talked about here, another thing: we don’t have TV!

These kids…haven’t really watched live TV.

AVA: What is that?

DANNY: Yeah…you don’t know what live TV is too much, because we really don’t have it…What do you watch when you want to watch a movie? Where do you go?

AVA: Netflix.

DANNY: You go to Netflix. And when mommy wants to buy something…in a computer, where does she go first?

AVA: Um…she goes on the computer.

DANNY:Yeah, well…typically it would be Amazon and I’m really glad she doesn’t know that yet because, you know, Daddys got to protect the credit card. So…

LUCY:Hiii!

DANNY: All right. Okay. Well, I think that’s it, guys.

KIDS: Byyye!

DANNY: Alright, bye! Hey, thanks so much for listening. Again, this is Danny Gonzales with IndustrialSage.

We’d love to answer your digital marketing questions, this was a little bit of a different episode that we wanted to have in here today. Just kind of sharing the thoughts of the generation that is to come.

If you have any questions about digital marketing or sales, sales enablement, anything like that, ecommerce…we’d love to answer them!

If you’re listening on any of, you know, iTunes or Spotify or Stitcher or TuneIn or any of the other 3 podcasting stations out there, We’d love a review. Please engage with us online. If you are not on our email list, I highly recommend and ask you to get on the subscription list!

We’ve got amazing content that we’re putting out all the time: episodes and content that you’re not hearing on the podcast as well, things like our Insights Report where we talked to over 150 manufacturers about what they’re doing to really change in terms of sales and marketing and the trends for 2019.

Thanks for listening. I’m Danny Gonzales, and this is IndustrialSage. Bye!

KIDS: Bye!

 

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I was trying to explain my podcast to my kids, so I said, "Daddy's on the radio!" But my oldest asked, "What's a radio?" Boy, it sure is important to know your audience. I was trying to explain my podcast to my kids, so I said, "Daddy's on the radio!" But my oldest asked, "What's a radio?" Boy, it sure is important to know your audience. The workers of tomorrow are engaging with content differently now than you or I ever did as children. Danny Gonzales, Kolby Gonzales, Ava Gonzales, Lucy Gonzales clean 11:47
The 2019 First Quarter Review https://www.industrialsage.com/the-2019-first-quarter-review/ Sun, 24 Mar 2019 09:00:39 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=3969 The 2019 first quarter is already over, and nothing is slowing down! However, we don’t want to rush ahead without pausing to admire what we've accomplished. Where has the time gone? The 2019 first quarter is already over, and nothing is slowing down! We hope your quarter has been as busy as ours!

However, we don’t want to rush ahead without pausing to marvel at what we’ve managed to do thus far in 2019. It’s always important to take stock of what you’ve accomplished now and then.

In our case, this means it’s time for our quarterly review! These are great episodes for newcomers who want to taste bits and pieces of our show all at once. Or, if you’re a content-binger, these reviews are a good way to catch up quickly.

JANUARY

Our first episode of the new year had not one, but two guests! We interviewed both Andrew Dickson and Adam Bowling of ADP.

Andrew and Adam provided some powerful insights into the five-generation workforce that more and more companies have to deal with. Not only do different generations have different methods when it comes to technology…they also place value on different forms of compensation.

Our second interview of 2019 was with Chris Luecke of Rockwell Automation. Chris has started his own podcast called “Manufacturing Happy Hour,” as a way to keep in touch with his prospects and provide value to them. He spoke with us about the incredibly underrated opportunity that building a personal brand can provide.

Thought leadership is a field ripe with possibilities. You just need to take initiative and get started on it.

FEBRUARY

In February, we got to chat remotely with Monique Elliott of ABB. Her company’s entire vocabulary around marketing has changed. Instead of being called their CMO, she is their Head of Customer Experience.

Focusing on end users and clientele is a powerful way to remember the real purpose of marketing: pleasing prospects and attracting leads. By following their metrics and analytics closely, Monique finally achieved buy-in with the executive team. Her efforts to show value and prove ROI were part of why her company redefined their views on marketing.

MARCH

Our next interview was with Steve Smith of SANY America. Having gotten into CRM and marketing automation back in the 90s, Steve had some great stories. He remembers when some of the first software programs started pushing online leads to the flip phones of sales teams.

Since then, one of the key things he’s seen and learned is that a CRM’s success is dependent entirely on the sales team. Their performance depends on how much the salespeople buy in and use them. And that buy-in won’t come if the CRM is nothing but a way for upper management to spy on their sales teams.

Our final guest of the quarter was Aaron Lichtig of Xometry. Their story is a fascinating one!

In the digital age, technology hasn’t just affected Xometry’s marketing tactics. Digital has redefined and even inspired their entire business model. As opposed to being a custom manufacturing company themselves, they help connect larger businesses with smaller shops that can perform the work they need. They aspire to be the “Uber” or “Airbnb” of custom manufacturing, and it looks like they’re definitely delivering.

What a wild ride! We can’t wait to meet with more guests in the next quarter of 2019. This episode didn’t even mention some of our other milestones, like releasing our 2019 Report on Sales & Marketing Trends.

We also launched a series of bonus blog articles that come out every Thursday!

If you’ve just joined our subscribers, then welcome to the IndustrialSage Nation! If you’ve stuck with us for almost two years, then we appreciate you. And don’t you worry– there will be more sage marketing wisdom coming up for you in the next quarter of 2019. Stay tuned!

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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The 2019 first quarter is already over, and nothing is slowing down! However, we don’t want to rush ahead without pausing to admire what we've accomplished. The 2019 first quarter is already over, and nothing is slowing down! However, we don’t want to rush ahead without pausing to admire what we've accomplished. Danny Gonzales clean 16:45
Growing Custom Manufacturing On Demand With Growth Marketing https://www.industrialsage.com/growing-custom-manufacturing-on-demand-with-growth-marketing/ Sun, 17 Mar 2019 09:00:55 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=3956 Aaron Lichtig of Xometry joins us to explain how the digital age has actually changed not just their marketing, but also their entire custom manufacturing business model. This week we were joined via remote interview by Aaron Lichtig, VP of Growth Marketing for a company called Xometry! Having previously worked for Google as well as Proctor & Gamble, Aaron joined this industrial startup that strives to be the “Uber” or “Airbnb” of custom manufacturing.

As it turns out, the digital revolution can actually fundamentally change the way manufacturers do business…and Xometry just happens to be ahead of the curve.

“We’ve been a digital company from the beginning. Digital is in our DNA. So for us, it’s not really a transformation so much as who we are. Digital is our essence. We are a digital manufacturer.”

1. CHANGING THE USUAL BUSINESS MODEL

When someone says “manufacturing,” the image of large factories and facilities almost always come to mind. However, not all industrial products are produced on a mass-scale.

“When a lot of people think of the manufacturing industry, they think of large factories…producing hundreds of millions of parts…but actually a big chunk of the manufacturing industry in the United States is in custom manufacturing. These are prototypes, these are smaller and medium-sized jobs that are done not necessarily in enormous factories or enormous plant facilities, but in smaller shops.”

Many smaller warehouses in the country may employ 20 workers or less. They may not be gigantic tycoons, but they’re excellent at what they do. In fact, they’re really perfect to hire for smaller or more specialized, on-demand orders– even orders needed by otherwise massive companies.

Unfortunately, “mom and pop shops” can also be so unknown that they might not normally get picked up by large enterprises.

Now, they can take on custom projects with major organizations like Nasa and BMW and others– thanks to Xometry.

“You can think of us as a two-sided network or marketplace, like an Uber or AirBnB, where we’re matching a lot of this highly-skilled capacity that’s out there with the demand that is out there in the marketplace.”

Even though Xometry isn’t arguably a custom manufacturer in its own right, it provides access to custom manufacturing on-demand. That’s a huge shift from the entire way this industry has functioned in the past.

Xometry receives requests from larger companies, provides a quote for the project, and then introduces a solution through any number of small vendors.

2. MAKING CLIENT LIFE EASIER

One of Xometry’s most popular features is their free Instant Quote Engine. Its function is made evident in the name.

For decades, custom manufacturing has always required an engineer to jump through multiple hoops to create a prototype or piece of machinery. They would have to find a shop or facility that could perform the work they needed. They’d have to take or send their design to someone at that facility. The recipient would have to examine the blueprint in detail, then respond with a quote. There would be haggling.

Just manually determining the price and delivery time of one part could take ages! But not anymore.

Now, all an engineer needs is a 3D .CAD file. They can upload it directly to Xometry’s Instant Quote Engine and add any specifications, then get a price…well, instantly.

And depending on the project, sometimes the part can be manufactured and delivered in as fast as one day!

Shortening the pricing process is a win for everyone. From 3D printing and additive manufacturing to CNC machining, urethane casting, injection molding, sheet metal fabrication, and more…everyone appreciates a way to cut down on excess time.

Quotes in the market can vary widely, but Xometry’s engine is constantly improving with every new file it examines. The pricing algorithm is constantly overseen and improving, so that quality won’t be overlooked for the sake of lower pricing– and vise versa.

“A big theme for us is making our partners as well as our customers able to manufacture more efficiently.”

3. THREE BRANCHES OF MARKETING

Xometry’s marketing model essentially hinges on the fact that they’re working with multiple, very separate kinds of businesses.

On the one hand, they want to bring in large companies who have custom parts to order. On the other hand, they want small shops to become Xometry partners and take on those custom manufacturing jobs. And lastly, they want to retain previous clients and provide the best possible customer service to said customers.

Because Xometry is attempting to reach such vastly-different target personas, the marketing department has essentially split into three branches. These branches focus on growth marketing, partner marketing, and relationship marketing.

Each process has its own set of marketing channels, sales funnels, and even martech.

But regardless of which persona a lead might fit, Aaron’s time at Google impressed the importance of one particular practice on him. All of the sales funnels follow the same model.

People who have never heard of Xometry will be informed with content from the “See” portion of the funnel. Leads who need persuasion are educated by the “Think” content of the funnel. Once people are in the “Do,” stage and are ready to buy, Xometry tries to get in front of them and offer the solution they want. After that, returning customers are in the “Care” portion of the funnel, and Xometry focuses on building and improving the relationship.

Not only is it Xometry’s goal to gain more buyers and partners, but also to retain them once they’ve converted the first time.

4. CONTINUING FORWARD WITH A DIGITAL BUSINESS

Xometry’s nowhere near done developing new plans for the future of their company, either. They recently launched “Xometry Supplies.” This is an ecommerce storefront that sells aluminium, machine tooling, and eventually other manufacturing materials.

Now their partners can get not only commissions from Xometry, but also supplies as well.

Having adopted a business model based around digital convenience from the get-go, Xometry knew that branching into ecommerce was a no-brainer.

Their goal, like any business, is to grow. Their marketing techniques range from PR and content marketing to paid media and beyond…but it could be argued that their marketing isn’t the only reason why their business is expanding so quickly.

In the end, Xometry’s martech is less instrumental to their growth in comparison to their over-all business model. They’re learning from the digital age and altering the entire process of custom manufacturing altogether.

As buying habits and customer expectations shift, they’re adapting accordingly. To them, making changes isn’t an affront to how they do business. Serving customers to make things easy, fast, and high-quality is how they do business. Xometry’s very existence started as a response to the new buying habits of consumers in the age of the internet.

“We are in the manufacturing space…but we are a tech company.”

The truth is, marketing isn’t the only thing manufacturers need to digitize. Their entire way of doing business may need to get rearranged in the days to come.

Is your company ready for that?

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Aaron Lichtig of Xometry Aaron Lichtig of Xometry joins us to explain how the digital age has actually changed not just their marketing, but also their entire custom manufacturing business model. Danny Gonzales, Aaron Lichtig clean 27:12
Manufacturing Product Videos: How Many Do You Need? https://www.industrialsage.com/how-many-manufacturing-product-videos-you-need/ Sun, 10 Mar 2019 09:00:15 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=3894 How many demos or promo videos should an industrial product have to its name? Spoiler alert…far more than just one. Here's what manufacturers need to know when planning any product videos. We all know video is getting to be one of the biggest and baddest assets in any marketing repertoire. Our 2019 marketing report uncovered that 75% of manufacturers plan to use video in some capacity this year.

So for manufacturers planning to promote their new creations through video, how many videos does one product need? Best practice, at the bare minimum, is to have at least seven.

  • Teaser Video[s]
  • Explainer Video[s]
  • Three Testimonials
  • Demo[s]
  • Tutorial[s], Webinar[s], and Beyond

SEVEN!? WHY SEVEN?

So many B2B companies – and not just manufacturers – want to save money by somehow producing “one video to rule them all.” They want it to be a teaser, but also a demonstration, as well as a tutorial, while also entertaining new prospects and educating experienced clients.

If that sounds just about impossible, that’s because it is. And even if it was possible, it still wouldn’t be advisable.

You need to specialize, not generalize.

Depending on what your product is, even seven videos may not be enough.

For example, you might manufacture a cog or machinery part that can be applied in multiple verticals. It could go to aerospace, or power generation, or healthcare, or automotive. If that’s the case, guess what? You’d better have a different version of your product video for each of those industries.

Is that more work? Yes. But it will also garner more returns; because trying to be all things to all people just never works.

Got that? Good. Now, let’s assume you only service one single, very tiny industrial niche. Which product videos should you have?

1. TOP OF FUNNEL

This is where you want to begin by generating interest. Top-of-funnel videos are what you want to push on social media, in email campaigns, or anywhere else to generate leads.

Start with a teaser no more than 30-60 seconds long. Keep it simple: what problem does your audience have? How does this product provide a solution?

Question. Answer. Boom. Done.

It’s important to remember: a teaser video is just that. A teaser. Not everyone who sees this video is going to end up being a buyer. Many of them won’t have much of an attention span…yet.

This is not the time or place to get into the weeds with feature functions or pricing for your product.

Ever tried to get a dog or cat to swallow a pill from the vet? You almost always have to wrap it in cheese or peanut butter or bacon, right? Well, you have oodles of product information for your audience. But they may not want to swallow all of it just yet.

This is what we often call the “bacon-wrapped” video. You’re only giving your audience a taste…but it should make them want to return for more.

Everyone talks about how important first impressions are. Well, this video will be your first impression for many people, so make it good. Your video quality should be at its best here.

2. MIDDLE OF FUNNEL

Now, having heard that initial pitch, some prospects are going to become leads. At this point, you’ve earned a bit more of their attention and can get into a little more detail about your product.

Your original teaser said, “This product can solve X problem!” Now’s the time to unpack how it does that, in slightly longer 2-3 minute explainer videos.

Again, don’t jump the gun and dump everything on your viewers. But, you can provide more information for leads looking to self-qualify.

Educate your audience on what sort of people would likely use this product. Instruct them about its particular uses or unique features. They should be able to know by the end whether this might be the solution they’re looking for.

Next, you should have at least three customer testimonials ready.

Your previous videos were all about facts– now it’s time to tell some meaningful stories.

Your leads will feel more of a connection with your clients because they know they’re not getting paid to praise your product. If these people say your creation is good…that’s because it is.

Ideally, you should shoot the testimonials on-location wherever your customers work (and use your product). The more of their day-to-day life you can portray, the better.

Even if you can’t get a production team out to your buyers or vice versa, you need to collect these stories. Record them on a remote Zoom meeting if you have to!

The lower quality of the video will be accepted as long as the content itself is superb, because the information is why your leads have returned here. Engaging stories are really what make you (and your product) shine.

3. BOTTOM OF FUNNEL

Once your lead gets through your initial explainer videos and testimonials, they’re already pretty sure whether or not your product is right for them. If they like what they see, then they move on to the last stage of the funnel.

At this point, your leads are just making final checks before determining whether or not to buy. This is the time to unleash the firehose of information you’ve wanted to share for so long.

Now you can provide the real long-form content that’s ten minutes long or beyond. Demonstrations; product-walk-throughs; web presentations; tutorials; you name it.

Maybe they’re a returning customer who has already bought many of your previous creations. Or they might be a first-timer who really wants to do their homework first. Whomever they may be, they’re here to self-educate. You should help them to do just that.

These videos can be a bit lower on the budget totem-pole, because your viewers are here mainly for information.

Show the various applications of your product and demonstrate them, perhaps even in real time. If you give a lot of presentations in person, try recording some and turning them into webinars. Turn your traditionally-analog user manual into a video format, and walk a fresh buyer through all the steps of how to use their new purchase.

THE ULTIMATE GOAL: 30 MINUTES OF CONTENT

Here’s the deal. Your customers are looking for solutions to their problems. And more of them are using video to self-educate than ever before. Video offers them a path of least resistance in reaching a solution to their pains.

Back in 2014, ThinkWithGoogle.com discovered that nearly half of all B2B buyers watch a minimum of 30 minutes of video before making a purchase. That was five years ago.

If a person discovered their problem today and wanted to solve it with a product purchase in less than an hour, could they find all the information they need on your website without breaking a sweat?

Having 30 minutes of video content ready could make that insta-buy scenario a plausible reality.

The internet provides your potential customers with a wide, wide menu of information and solutions to choose from. If you don’t have the product videos to educate them…well, somebody else will.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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How many demos or promo videos should an industrial product have to its name? Spoiler alert…far more than just one. Here's what manufacturers need to know when planning any product videos. How many demos or promo videos should an industrial product have to its name? Spoiler alert…far more than just one. Here's what manufacturers need to know when planning any product videos. Danny Gonzales clean 15:57
Why and How Manufacturers Should Build Out Their Sales CRM https://www.industrialsage.com/manufacturers-should-build-out-their-sales-crm/ Sun, 03 Mar 2019 10:00:37 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=3772 Steve Smith of SANY America joins us to discuss the ups and downs of building a CRM for your sales team. How do you make sure they actually use it? This week we got to sit down with Steve Smith, Director of Marketing for SANY America.

Talking about CRM is not a new activity here on IndustrialSage. However, we usually concentrate on how to get buy-in from executives who don’t want to invest in digital marketing.

What do you do if your own sales team isn’t sold on your choice of CRM?

As someone who started working with digital marketing back in the late 90s and doing “google before Google was Google,” as he puts it…Steve had some great tips.

1. A SALES CRM IS NOW FUNDAMENTAL TO BUSINESS

Not all consumers in the world know the term “CRM,” or “Consumer Relations Management.” However, they do recognize when a company is using poor communication.

Businesses no longer control their customers, or the buyers’ journey in general. Customers are “Don’t call us, we’ll call you,” people now.

“In the heavy equipment space, the sales cycles can be from one minute to years long. So however that sales cycle is defined, you have to make that initial first impression count. And then make every impression thereafter count.”

Companies must aim to give a good impression to buyers who are educating and qualifying themselves.

Most manufacturers are still using Excel spreadsheets for their CRMs. But back in the late 90s, Steve and his company noticed that this was a problem. Why?

“We had a sales staff of 28 people, all doing 28 things differently.”

If you have a team pursuing sales in dozens of different ways, your clientele may experience a wide range of customer service. But someone’s treatment shouldn’t change if they’re ever shifted between sales reps!

That’s why a CRM, which can provide consistent information and resources across the company, is vital to the sales process.

Additionally, you can’t fix what you don’t measure. If you don’t know why you’re failing or succeeding in different deals, you can’t increase your percentage of closed deals.

2. WHY SALES TEAMS NEED TO BUY IN

Steve’s company developed Goldmine in 2002, which could push their website’s leads directly to the sales teams’ flip phones. But the system didn’t really take off until the sales team bought into it.

At first, the sales staff viewed CRM was a tool that would hinder and ‘babysit’ them. So initially, the new system only brought in around 430 qualified leads.

But after five years, as the sales team got involved, they learned that Goldmine was a tool for their own enablement. Soon their success rate skyrocketed to over 4,800 qualified leads.

The quality of leads that come out of the CRM will depend quite a bit on the amount of effort the sales team puts into the process.

If the sales team provides information on how to quality leads, and if they actually use the system, they’ll get results! If not, Steve says often: “Garbage in, garbage out.”

“We’re able to track all these analytics through our CRM system.”

“And once they saw we were actually not acting as their Big Brother for them, then they were like, ‘Okay! Now I’m all in!’ And the whole thing just sort of took off.”

The next obstacle, Steve told us, was keeping the CRM from getting over-built.

Salesforce is commonly the first CRM companies try, but it’s got a lot of excessive features. For newcomers, it’s a bit like jumping in a Ferrari when learning how to drive.

3. TACTICS TO GET SALES TO BUY IN

Steve recalls visitors coming to study the company’s state-of-the-art digital dealership. Many of the visitors would ask how long such a system takes to implement. However, they were often shocked and upset by the answer.

A successful, digitally-integrated system can take several months or even years to implement with full buy-in.

An important way to prepare for such a journey is to set clear expectations. Lay out a road map for the sales and executive teams to see concrete goals.

“As far as sales staff in general is concerned, the easier you make it, the better. When we started out, it was too complex. We had too many fields.”

If all you want is just to stay in contact with leads, great! Nail down that milestone and determine how your CRM will help accomplish that.

Thankfully, Steve had experience on the sales team before getting into the CRM’s construction. It ended up providing him with an invaluable perspective.

Getting that sales team’s buy-in really is key, even more so than executive buy-in.

“I think all the intentions of management and IT, whoever’s involved in the initiative, are always well-intentioned. But if they haven’t sold equipment in the field and don’t know what that’s like…the reality is, they haven’t lived that life.”

As is usually true of learning anything new, starting small works best. Then you can start to build on that traction. “Nail it, then scale it,” we often say.

4. FIRST STEPS FOR COMPANIES WITH NO CRM

If your company is just getting started and doesn’t have a CRM yet, here’s how to start.

  • Research the top 20 CRMs available.
  • Have a meeting between anyone who will use the system.
  • Identify your marketing and sales goals.
  • Determine which CRM best matches those goals.
  • Get commitment from the users.

You shouldn’t start this process by installing a “popular” CRM for your company. People won’t hop on the bandwagon just because it’s there.

You actually have to sell the CRM to the salespeople.

Sit down to a roundtable meeting with the stakeholders who will be expected to use the CRM. Explain why you need it. Cover the sort of information you’ll need them to contribute in order to build it.

That information will affect the CRM you choose. Ever CRM on the market has a different value proposition, so you should find the one that best fits your company’s needs and goals.

Don’t work backwards by trying to wrap your company around something that may not fit.

You’re probably looking at CRMs because you want to improve your sales and marketing. Right? So make sure you pick the right tool to make that happen.

If you don’t have the data, you won’t go anywhere. If you don’t have a road map, you’ll never reach a destination.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Steve Smith of SANY America Steve Smith of SANY America joins us to discuss the ups and downs of building a CRM for your sales team. How do you make sure they actually use it? Danny Gonzales, Steve Smith clean 26:49
Why Industrial Manufacturers Should Use LinkedIn Live Video https://www.industrialsage.com/manufacturers-should-use-linkedin-live/ Sun, 24 Feb 2019 10:00:31 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=3741 Manufacturers should use LinkedIn Live Video and take advantage of it as soon as it’s launched! Here are four reasons why… A new LinkedIn livestreaming tool has just been announced, and beta tests will be coming soon!

Even if you’re an industrial manufacturer – especially if you’re an industrial manufacturer, you should definitely be prepared to make the most of LinkedIn Live Video as soon as it’s launched! Here’s why:

  • LinkedIn is the most popular social platform used by manufacturers.
  • You’re already hosting presentations or seminars: now you can livestream them.
  • Manufacturers should use LinkedIn Live to send their message even further than normal.
  • You’ll set yourself apart, because not all your competitors will be doing the same.

“Livestreaming?” you might ask. “Can’t I already do that on YouTube or Facebook? What makes this so special? And what would I even live-stream about?”

We’re glad you asked.

1. LINKEDIN IS THE TOP SOCIAL PLATFORM FOR MANUFACTURERS

LinkedIn is a great place to connect with industry peers and share work-related content in a professional atmosphere. Your profile can even double as a resume.

And if you’re a B2B industrial marketer, LinkedIn is where your prospects are.

According to our survey of over 150 manufacturers, LinkedIn is their #1 choice over any social media platform.

People on LinkedIn are already sharing their own content, and lots of it. Videos – particularly natively-hosted videos – are everywhere.

If you’re using social media to generate new leads (of course you are), overlooking LinkedIn would be a big missed opportunity. The biggest missed opportunity.

2. REPURPOSE PRESENTATIONS YOU’RE ALREADY HOSTING

Chances are, even if you’re not yet confident enough to release video blogs (vlogs) about your daily professional life…you’re giving presentations somewhere.

You’re probably already involved in training seminars or lunch-and-learns.

Maybe you’re already recording and sharing webinars on your website, too. For LinkedIn Live, you won’t necessarily have to start some new line of content. You can just double-up and scale what you’re already doing!

Manufacturers should use LinkedIn Live to provide an opportunity for new audience members to learn from them, even if they can’t be physically present.

And unlike pre-recorded videos, which viewers know might be edited in some way, live video is exactly that: live. You may be hemming and hawing a bit, but that actually lends authenticity to your messages.

Broadcasting your talks live will show viewers that you’re a human being, but also a thought leader– and that will earn you credibility.

3. LINKED LIVE WILL AMPLIFY YOUR MESSAGE

LinkedIn has seen a rise in video activity ever since their release of native video back in 2018. Now, in the same way, the release of livestreaming on the platform will create a spike in the number of thought leaders who will start broadcasting their content live.

For their part, LinkedIn will want people to stay on their platform; and they’ll want to show off their new livestreaming feature.

Like Facebook did, LinkedIn will promote livestreams like crazy. They’ll almost definitely push any live video to the top of all news feeds.

That’s almost like free ad space! If you’re ready with live video the moment it’s dropped into your hands, you’ll get the choice spot right in front of people when they log on.

Maybe you’re educating company employees on training and safety. Maybe you’re demonstrating what your company’s brand new product can do. Why not keep the door open so anyone can ‘walk in’?

And because of the way LinkedIn works, that actually could mean an exponentially growing audience.

If you “like” any post right now, it appears in the feeds of your peers for them to see. Live videos will almost definitely be the same way– but you may not even need to hit “like.” You may just need to start watching.

If any of your business connections starts watching a livestream, everyone in their network will probably see what they’re up to. Then if they start watching, their communities will notice…and you get the idea.

Imagine what your engagement might turn into if you’re streaming valuable longform content 30 minutes, or an hour!

If you take part in promoting LinkedIn’s live video feature, they’ll reward you for your contribution by increasing your viewability.

4. NOT ALL YOUR COMPETITORS WILL BE THERE

Will LinkedIn Live always be this beneficial? Definitely not. If there’s one thing digital tactics always do, it’s change. Swiftly.

Live videos on Facebook had their peak, and now they’re not such big news. But if you strike while the iron’s hot on LinkedIn, you’ll expand your reach like never before – and all for free! Why not embrace such an easy benefit?

Not all of your competitors will know (or want) to take advantage of this short-term play.

LinkedIn Live may only be a brief five-minutes-of-fame moment in your grand marketing scheme. But you should still plan ahead for it.

You and many other professionals may not want to take part in LinkedIn Live for the same reason you already shy away from vlogs or webinars: you don’t want to be on-camera.

Maybe you don’t like the sound of your voice. Maybe you feel like you have nothing to offer. For whatever reason, you’re afraid to fail– and in this case, that failure would be live.

But, as we discussed with Chris Luecke of Rockwell Automation recently, you cannot build a successful personal brand if you never even begin.

In other words…get over yourself, and just start.

The vast majority of other industrial manufacturers won’t even touch LinkedIn Live because, like you, they’ll be scared of failure.

That is exactly why manufacturers should use LinkedIn Live. It’s a valuable opportunity. You need to take advantage of it.

Either you can ride this train…or your competitors will. And since the release has yet to arrive (currently, beta-testing is on an invite-only basis), that means you have plenty of time to plan ahead. Make use of it, so you’ll be prepared when the time comes!

What livestream video will you release first?

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Manufacturers should use LinkedIn Live Video and take advantage of it as soon as it’s launched! Here are four reasons why… If you’re an industrial manufacturer, you need to be prepared to make the most of LinkedIn Live Video as soon as it’s launched! Here are four reasons why… Danny Gonzales clean 15:01
Three Ways You Didn’t Know Industrial Manufacturers Can Use Video at a Trade Show https://www.industrialsage.com/three-ways-to-use-video-at-a-trade-show/ Sun, 17 Feb 2019 10:00:37 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=3677 The key to a good trade show video is making one SPECIFICALLY produced for your booth. And did you know the tech is available to make it ANY size…or SHAPE!? It’s that time of year again!

The smell of cappuccino machines, company-branded keychains, and vinyl banners is in the air. Announcements and invitations for trade shows are popping up left, right and center.

As you’ve heard us say before, video is one of the best tools you can have to bring crowds to your booth! But you may not realize just how powerful this asset can be.

If you’re thinking about your next trade show video, try thinking outside the box…literally!

Today we’re going to show you some examples of how to take a seemingly-simple item like video, and then blow away the competition.

1. START PRODUCTION WITH THE DESTINATION IN MIND

The key to a good trade show video…is making a video specifically designed for your booth.

So often at Optimum Productions we’ll get requests from people who want one single video for their all their marketing needs – their website, and their sales meetings, and their email newsletters, and their trade show booths, and…that is actually a really bad idea.

Even if you’re just re-vamping a video you already have, you need to make something that you know will work for a trade show.

Fortunately, we knew and prepared ahead of time to create a trade show version with them. If your video doesn’t make sense while it’s on mute, then it’s not trade-show ready.

If the video doesn’t make sense while it’s on mute, then it’s not trade-show ready.

Do not make an audio-reliant video for your booth.

Not everyone can hear your video’s narration or dialogue, sometimes even if they’re right in front of it. If they spot it from a distance will you be confusing them, or educating them?

2. YOUR SCREEN CAN BE ANY SIZE…

You don’t have to be confined to the standard widescreen 16×9 television. In fact, that’s a pretty boring sight to most people nowadays. We’re no longer wowed by high definition: it is the industry standard.

But what if your video display is taller than a person? Or taller than three people standing on one another’s shoulders!?

More and more companies are gaining attention by creating larger, taller video displays…again, having planned ahead so the videos would fit them properly.

4×3 stacked HD screens? Sure!

Ten screens stacked at a slant to create a full wall of footage? You betcha!

3. …OR SHAPE!

In fact, flatscreen TVs don’t even have to be the end-all be-all.

Why not create a vertical video that will play on a pillar-sized screen, reaching from floor to ceiling?

What about creating a video that can appear on three separate screens, the middle of which is 40 feet in length? Imagine the goosebumps from watching that in a dark hall.

In fact, thanks to incredible companies like PixelFlex or Georgia-based Nanolumens, any shape is most definitely a possibility.

Companies are now able to manufacture a flexible LED material that can bend to any shape you want.

No joke!

Want a giant iPhone the size of a human being? Done!

Want a wristwatch big enough for Abe Lincoln’s statue, covered in footage of your warehouse or factory floor? Go for it!

What about an archway that people can walk through, where every inch of the wall is actually a screen!? Yep, it’s possible!

Welcome to the trade show booth of the future. It’s a pretty great place to be, isn’t it?

Now what will you go and make for your next trade show?

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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The key to a good trade show video is making one SPECIFICALLY produced for your booth. And did you know the tech is available to make it ANY size…or SHAPE!? The key to a good trade show video is making one SPECIFICALLY produced for your booth. And did you know the tech is available to make it ANY size…or SHAPE!? Danny Gonzales clean 18:01
Industrial Marketing: How Your Website is a Virtual Trade Show Booth https://www.industrialsage.com/your-website-is-a-virtual-trade-show-booth/ Sun, 10 Feb 2019 10:00:47 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=3536 Manufacturers love to invest in trade show booths, but what about their websites? Your website is a virtual trade show booth of its own. Is it the kind of 'booth' you would want to visit? We all know industrial companies like trade shows. In fact, according to our 2019 survey, the majority of manufacturers consider trade shows to be their #1 marketing tactic.

A lot of companies probably put more care and effort into their trade show booths than into their corporate websites.

We saw this firsthand at the AHR expo in Atlanta, where Danny and Joseph were surveying the world of the HVAC industry and the many gigantic brands there.

While discussing the need for digital tactics with different manufacturers, Joseph had a realization.

YOUR WEBSITE IS A TRADE SHOW BOOTH ON STEROIDS.

Everything your booth does, your site can do– but better. If you’ve prepared it to do so.

53% of manufacturers also agree that they’ve seen a decline in leads from trade shows over the past few years.

Part of the reason for this change is that, as B2B buyers grow younger, they are supplementing or even replacing trade show attendance with online research.

Reaching them is a simple matter of replicating what you do at trade shows…with your website.

1. YOU’RE INVESTING IN EXPOSURE AND FIRST IMPRESSIONS

You should be building and improving your website for the same reason you build and improve your trade show booths regularly: to bring in traffic.

People are everywhere: traveling by, getting distracted by all your competitors, and judging your entire set-up with one quick glance.

How are you holding up in their sight?

Have you been using the same small, dusty ‘booth’ for over a decade?

If you want to attract passersby, you need something that looks inviting; sleek; and impossible to mistake for anything but your brand.

The more visitors you get, the more leads you’ll get; and that will lead to more sales.

2. FREE STUFF BRINGS PEOPLE IN

There’s no point in beating around the bush about this: we all know that tchotchkes and cappuccino machines bring in more visitors at trade shows and expos. Celebrity endorsements prompt questions. Business cards flow in like confetti whenever someone holds a drawing for a prize.

Some attendees even map out their second or third pass around the floor based on which booths have food or gear to offer.

Free downloads and content offers are a great way to attract online traffic, spark conversations with prospects, and collect contact information.

The best of these souvenirs are always useful to the recipients, be they umbrellas or eBooks. So offer them what you have – training, presentations, webinars, case studies, you name it!

More importantly visitors recognize that you’ve put time and money into connecting with them; which makes them more willing to hear what you have to say after they arrive.

3. VIDEOS ENGAGE BROWSING VISITORS

While ideally you want a sales rep for every visitor, the truth is sometimes booths can get overrun by crowds. Losing visitors because your staff is too busy? That’s the worst.

Also, not everyone browsing at your booth (or site) wants to be roped into a conversation right away. If they’re not ready to buy, they may still stick around to watch your videos.

Videos attract and educate traffic from a distance.

The more videos your booth (or website) has, the more passersby it will likely draw in. It’s a faster way to give your company pitch from 500 yards across the hall, where your reps can’t reach.

Also, if you don’t have enough representatives to service every visitor to your trade show booth at once, a video will keep their attention and inform them about your business while they wait for a response.

Likewise, if you share videos around your website and on social media, that garners the same attention and even preemptively answers questions visitors may have.

4. PROVIDE INSTANT ACCESS TO SALES REPS

The more sales reps you have at your booth, the more opportunities you have to collect leads and close more sales.

Conversion forms and chatbots are the online version of collecting business cards and answering the questions of visiting passersby.

If someone is just browsing, they should be able to educate themselves with your booth/site. If they decide they want to learn more, you should make it easy for them…and for yourself.

Instead of paper, your forms and content offers can connect straight to your digital CRM, so everyone on the sales and marketing teams have the same data.

5. SITES CAN SURPASS BOOTHS

More importantly, trade shows end. Booths have to be deconstructed. And as hard as you may try to send staff to every possible expo, you can’t.

Your website is your opportunity to have a virtual trade show booth that’s international, and open 24/7.

If you’re only based in one country, now you can have representation on the other side of the planet. You may be located in Chicago, but someone in Australia can visit your ‘booth’ and learn all about you and find answers to their questions, all while you’re sleeping!

Does that mean websites are instant sales magic? No. But then again, neither are trade show booths. You get what you invest in.

So which website do you have? Is yours the dusty corner booth that hasn’t changed in a decade, with the same banners and piles of brochures as always?

Or do you have the twenty-yard block party with live demos, ceiling-high LED displays, and enough merchandise to fill the bed a pickup truck?

We certainly know which one you’d rather visit.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Manufacturers love to invest in trade show booths, but what about their websites? Your website is a virtual trade show booth of its own. Is it the kind of 'booth' you would want to visit? Manufacturers love to invest in trade show booths, but what about their websites? Your website is a virtual trade show booth of its own. Is it the kind of 'booth' you would want to visit? Danny Gonzales clean 13:55
How to Get Buy-In & Prove ROI with Customer-Centric Industrial Marketing https://www.industrialsage.com/get-buy-in-and-prove-roi/ Sun, 03 Feb 2019 10:00:10 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=3515 Monique Elliott, Global Head of Customer Experience for a branch of ABB, joins us to tell her story about overcoming a common marketing struggle: getting organizational buy-in and prove ROI. This week we get a real treat!! Monique Elliott, Global Head of Customer Experience for ABB’s Electrification Products Business, joined us to chat about every marketer’s common struggle: how to get organizational buy-in and prove ROI.

As marketers, we so often feel like we’re just shouting into the void.

Sometimes that void is the online world where our customers mysteriously lurk.

Sometimes that void is the ears of our higher-ups.

Either way, it’s going to take a lot of effort to not only make an impact, but also know for certain that we’re making an impact.

1. LANGUAGE MATTERS

It’s incredible how a single phrase can change our perception of things. Take, for example, Monique’s job title. A few years ago, or even twelve months ago, her world at work looked very different.

Her title used to be “Chief Marketing Officer,” but now she’s the “Global Head of Customer Experience.”

Changing one phrase may seem small. But it shows everyone the purpose and the focus of her entire department.

Monique’s point? A company’s mindset about marketing itself may need to be altered in order to make significant progress.

Such a simple move isn’t always so significant. However, for manufacturers who still view “marketing” as synonymous with “direct mail and brochures,” it can be a huge step.

“If you change the language, then you can start to change the way people think about it.”

ABB recently made the change after a recent discovery. By not including customers at the forefront of the marketing process, they realized were doing their leads and buyers a bit of a disservice.

2. RECOGNIZE THE NEW BUYER’S JOURNEY

Is the buyer new, or is the journey new? Yes.

As fast-evolving technologies change the B2C and retail experience for customers, those expectations of digital convenience are going to be brought into B2B purchases by the generations entering the workforce.

“Finally the generation of the workforce in this industry is catching up to where the retail space is, and it’s forcing the manufacturers to change as well.”

The biggest change that Monique has seen is in how products (or jobs) are sought and found by buyers.

In the past, a company’s salesforce and distributors were the main educators for prospects. But now the internet is.

B2C and Retail recognized and adapted to this change years or even decades ago. However, manufacturers are only just now starting to see the need for digital tactics.

“The purchase may still happen offline, and the relationship still needs to be there, but it’s the searching of the product that’s changing.”

3. BUILD A DIGITAL CUL-DE-SAC

Usually the first wave of digital change made by manufacturers is to start creating email campaigns. After that, the second stage that Monique saw was the creation of digital gated content on a company’s website.

The third stage was SEO and online advertising…and now ABB is getting into a fourth stage.

By partnering with other thought leaders in their industry, and contributing content to a shared audience, they can attract customers into a communal ‘digital cul-de-sac.’

The leads can be mutually shared and exchanged within this network. As trade magazines print less and go online more, companies can contribute their own content and resources. Together, they share expertise and engage potential buyers.

A lot of early digital marketing used to be aimed at distributors, but now end users are a buyer persona that can (and should) be nurtured as well.

Including multiple potential buyers, be they distributors or end-users, expands your company’s reach. And if your solution isn’t the right one for them, then connecting that prospect with the right solution provider will strengthen your relationship even if they don’t become your customer just yet.

Independent contractors don’t always have the resources to build an audience of thousands or millions by themselves. But a community can.

As Monique pointed out, everyone’s interactions under this model become more meaningful.

4. YOU CAN’T SELL WITHOUT A GOOD CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Most importantly, digital adaptation helps alter company cultures and mindsets that might otherwise be too transactionally-focused.

Yes, sales are absolutely important. But the experience of the customer beforehand comes first, and is just as important.

Manufacturers may not realize that their traditionally-successful sales tactics may now be driving new buyers away.

Today’s B2B buyers have enough variety to choose from now that, as much as possible, they select companies or businesses which they find more agreeable. “Agreeable” can often be entirely based on their gut feelings about the experience.

Today’s customers don’t tolerate solicitors, whether in-person or online, who plough over them.

You could have the most valuable product on the market and the most logical argument for why they should buy. But if a lead feel like you’ve barged in for the sole reason of making a buck off them, they’ll likely refuse to buy solely on principle.

And, as Matthias Konne of Eurokera pointed out to us last year, a major component of your customer’s experience is your brand’s consistency.

If your trade show booth is huge and electrifying, but your website hasn’t been updated since 1998…it leaves a bitter taste. If you’re not using the most up-to-date digital technology, how can leads trust that your manufacturing process uses the most up-to-date equipment, for example?

5. VALIDATION COMES FROM TRACKING EVERYTHING

Digital marketing is unique because it allows marketers to track what they’re doing from start to finish, which has never happened before.

“Marketing is always seen as a cost center,” Monique recalled with us. “And it’s really hard to get a seat at the table.”

Putting in the effort to tag and track every move made by the marketing department is what will turn the tide.

It’s much harder for your higher-ups to discount your work if have verifiable numbers in your corner.

“You can say, ‘Let’s not do those activities anymore, because they didn’t yield anything…’ So [measuring digital data] gives you more freedom to be able to stop doing things that really aren’t getting the results you want.”

You have to have four things to measure your ROI well:

  • Build Out a Process
  • Adapt for Automation
  • Get an Integrated CRM
  • Have Patience

You need to have a process before you can automate it; and you need the CRM to connect the dots once everything is automated; and most importantly, you need the grit to play the long game.

Monique’s Story

For Monique, it took a couple of years to see results. But now she has the “seat a the table” that marketers strive for.

A few years ago, the company leaders were gathering for a big meeting, and Monique wasn’t there…but somebody came to her office and told her that they were waiting, because one of the executives refused to begin without the marketing department present.

Monique’s visit was extremely encouraging, because her story confirmed the struggle that a lot of marketers are currently encountering (and hoping to overcome as she did).

Tracking marketing activities allows you to say with confidence and credibility, “We spent $4M in marketing activities, but it yielded $22M in orders.”

By playing the long game and investing in measurable digital efforts, your marketing will finally will stop being viewed as a cost center, and will be validated at last.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Monique Elliot of ABB Monique Elliott, Global Head of Customer Experience for a branch of ABB, joins us to tell her story about overcoming a common marketing struggle: getting organizational buy-in and prove ROI. Danny Gonzales, Monique Elliott clean 39:18
LinkedIn Prospecting: Best Practices for Manufacturers https://www.industrialsage.com/linkedin-prospecting/ Sun, 27 Jan 2019 10:00:36 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=3488 It used to be cold calling; now it's invitations to connect over social media. If you're prospecting on LinkedIn, let's discuss what you should (and shouldn't) do. Somebody's about to get ROASTED. Remember cold calling?

You may still get the occasional robo-dial or automatic spam machine dialing your phone now and then…but ever since the internet took over, there’s been a new sheriff in town. Prospecting on LinkedIn is now one of the hottest and most effective tactics a sales team can use nowadays, especially if you’re in B2B.

However, that doesn’t make LinkedIn immune from salespeople with bad messaging.

Crappy sales pitches aren’t gone. They’ve just moved from your voicemail…to your InMail.

If you’re trying to connect with prospects or generate leads on LinkedIn, let’s discuss what you should and shouldn’t do. And what better way than to look at some real-life examples, both good and bad?

Bring on the roast.

1. WHAT NOT TO DO

“Hey, Danny! Thanks for connecting with me!”

That one almost got me! It took me a few glances to realize that I hadn’t connected with them– but they almost guilted me into reaching out to double-check or apologize! Sneaky rascals.

“We are an integrated collective of designers, artists, and storytellers delivering a show-stopping experience of producing content with creativity and innovation. See you around on LinkedIn!”

“Hey, Danny! I’m an SDR leader at Outreach and saw that you are connected to some of the same people! Would love to connect. Perhaps our paths will cross in the future.”

Me, me me! This is what I do! I barely even bothered to look at your name before copying this message and hitting ‘send’!

“Hi, Danny! It would be an honor to connect with you today!”

“Hey, Danny! Came across your LinkedIn profile and would like to add you to my network.”

“Hey, Danny! Even though we don’t know each other, we both seem to be involved in complimentary businesses so I’m hoping you’re open to connecting.”

Why? What business are you in?

Do you even know what business I’m in? At least point out some sort of common ground between us…

“Hello, Danny! I saw we had some mutual connections and thought I would reach out. If you’re open to it, let’s connect.”

“Hey, Danny! Looks like we have some mutual connections and both leaders in our small business. Would love to connect with you.”

First of all, not all of these senders did have mutual connections with me. And second of all, mutual connections do not mutual interests make.

“Hey, Danny! I saw your profile and was impressed…and I thought that it made sense to connect. Looking forward to seeing your success!”

“Hey, Danny! I saw your profile and was impressed and thought it made sense to connect.”

So you ‘read my profile’ and ‘were impressed,’ eh? Tell me, what impressed you the most?

Was it my side hustle of iguana farming?

Or was it my hard-nosed political stances on the travesty that is Canadian bacon?

Or did you even read far enough to notice that these are trick questions because neither is listed on my profile at all?

“Hey, Danny! I was doing a little researched and noticed you are Owner at Optimum Productions. I like what you doing and would love to hear more about it. Would love to connect.”

Great use of grammatical errors there.

Have you noticed anything?

These messages are all basically the same annoying, vague thing.

I could still tell these people likely hadn’t read my profile whatsoever, except to copy my first name (or my job) into their message.

Recipients of these types of messages (including myself) can tell they’re merely half-measures. The senders are talking only about themselves, in non-specific terms.

Not only that, but they’re sales pitches…which means, at the end of the day, I know responding is going to cost me something.

“Hey Danny, let’s connect! I do 45-minute business turnarounds, finding the owner $10,000 or more without spending an extra dime on ads and marketing. It’s called a 10k challenge. If you’d like me to perform one for your biz, set a time now.”

Well, that is interesting and relevant at least…but I notice you strategically left out what this might cost me.

We recipients are reading these messages and always waiting for ‘the catch.’

So what’s the con? What are you trying to sell me with no precedent or relevancy whatsoever?

“Hey, Danny. Hope you’re doing well. I wanted to connect with you and see if you’re open to a brief call soon. Our firm specializes in business evaluation, risk management, succession preparation, and tax advantage exit/retirement strategies for other businesses owners like you. Thanks!”

For heaven’s sake.

Even if I were to connect and respond, I can tell you what the next message would be. They’d request a meeting or a phone call…to which I pose the question: what could we possibly have to meet about? We know next to nothing about each other!

1. WHAT TO DO

Even though the ‘spray and pray’ method feels easiest, it’s not the most effective. You actually need to put effort into each individual message.

Be. More. Specific.

If I, a podcast host and digital video marketer, want to send an InMail message to a Nasa Astronaut…I had better make that message relevant to them.

I had better point out how or why being a guest on my podcast would be great publicity– or where Nasa (specifically Nasa) is lacking in their digital marketing. Otherwise, I highly doubt they’d even glance twice at my message.

This is also where content offers come in handy.

“Hey, Danny. Do you know if you’re prepared for retirement? If not, you aren’t alone. Reply ‘yes’ to get my free Retirement Readiness Checklist that will help you navigate both personal and professional changes associated with this major life transition.”

You know what that message did? It asked me a question, which made me pause to think (and therefore engage).

It focused on me first, and my problems; and it provided a valuable step towards finding a solution. For free!

‘Well gee, Danny, that’s awfully selfish of you,’ you might say. Well, the sad truth of the matter is that buyers are selfish.

You need to provide value and prove that you’re actually helpful in order to earn someone’s attention.

We always quote Gary Vaynerchuck on this, and we’re doing our best to practice what we preach, too.

Remember that Industrial Insights Report we announced a few weeks ago? It’s 56 pages of data from over 150 manufacturers about their sales and marketing tactics, and we’ve been giving it away everywhere. For free.

When prospecting on LinkedIn (or reaching out across frankly any platform nowadays), find a content offer that might be relevant to that single, individual person specifically.

Try including the question, “Would it be helpful if I sent you this free asset?”

If you know of a blog article or an offer even by another company, send them in the direction of solutions to their problems. Don’t just drag them towards your own products.

When the time comes, if you’ve been the knowledgable and helpful person with all the answers for them…then they will come to you when they are finally ready to buy.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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It used to be cold calling; now it's invitations to connect over social media. If you're prospecting on LinkedIn, let's discuss what you should (and shouldn't) do. Somebody's about to get ROASTED. It used to be cold calling; now it's invitations to connect over social media. If you're prospecting on LinkedIn, let's discuss what you should (and shouldn't) do. Somebody's about to get ROASTED. Danny Gonzales clean 14:14
Building Your Own Personal Brand as a Manufacturer https://www.industrialsage.com/building-your-own-personal-brand/ Sun, 20 Jan 2019 10:00:08 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=3457 Chris Luecke of Rockwell Automation and Manufacturing Happy Hour joins us to talk shop about creating one's own show and building a personal brand– even in manufacturing! This week we’re joined by Chris Luecke, Account Manager at Rockwell Automation and weekly host of the show Manufacturing Happy Hour!

@MFGHappyHour has been running for over two years – first on YouTube, and now on LinkedIn as well. We got ahold of Chris to ask him how he got started with it; why he got started in the first place; and the results or reactions he’s garnered as a result.

Chris started his own video series after about six years in sales, when he decided to take advantage of his love for performing onstage and reach younger buyers at the same time.

He knew that older buyers prefer face-to-face interactions, but younger generations can enjoy podcasts or videos because it will make you appear more approachable.

Chris also has met many people who like the idea of creating a personal brand, but a number of fears keep holding them back.

1. WE FEAR ORGANIZATIONAL BACKLASH

One of the common obstacles creating your own content, particularly if you’re making it on behalf of your own company or business, is fear of corporate disapproval or non-compliance.

How can you make sure your company won’t tell you to take down the content you’ve started creating?

The reasoning is this: if most corporate content takes months of appraisal and branding before it can finally be approved for launch, it can feel presumptuous – or even professionally rude – to bypass that process.

However, as Chris put it, a company’s salesforce is already supposed to represent their company, and they’re trained for it. They’re already trusted with messaging. Videos, podcasts, or blogs just capture that skill and turn it into a re-usable, evergreen sales tool.

Furthermore, you can always change or take down your content if the higher-ups don’t like it. But there’s an equal chance that what you make…might be just fine.

Chris started out small, just posting video newsletters to YouTube and only sending them to his customer base. It wasn’t a huge operation that was trying to garner a lot of attention: it was customized to fit his needs.

If creating a personal brand meets your specific needs as a salesperson and seems to get results from your customers, your company is less likely to put up a fuss.

Does Rockwell create plenty of branded content for him to use as sales assets? Of course. But Chris still felt like supplementing that with his own content would be helpful…and it was.

So the brand, named Manufacturing Happy Hour instead of something like The Rockwell Automation Show, doesn’t have to be severely micromanaged.

2. WE FEAR A LACK OF RESULTS

Anxiety or hesitation stem from the very common fear of failure. “What if nothing comes of this?”

However, the future is uncertain…good or bad. So ask yourself, “What if something does come of this?

For one thing, instead of titling his content about “How to Use X Rockwell Product,” Chris focused on solving customer challenges in general…and his viewers love it.

So, having seen his leads reacting positively to his YouTube channel for nine months, Chris moved to LinkedIn. This particular social media platform is valuable because if anyone likes or comments on his content, their entire network will also see the post in their newsfeeds: no sharing required.

But it’s important to note that real momentum and real wins…took a lot of time. Videos don’t get instant success within minutes after he posts them.

The key to garnering results from a personal brand is to play the long game.

A blog or vlog may not bring in new customers in a single month (unless you’re magic). It takes years of regular posts, and building up an entire library of valuable, informative content.

“I’ve got to get a video out every week just so I’m consistent and things stay fresh. It all adds up to being patient and seeing how this plays out over a five-year, ten-year period of time.”

The book Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook by Gary Vaynerchuck is a favorite for both Chris and Danny. It’s all about providing value, value, value before venturing any sort of ask from your potential customers.

3. WE FEAR WE’RE NOT READY

As cliché as it sounds, those who wait until they’re ready may never start at all.

For beginners who are considering creating a personal brand, Chris has a tip for every photo you post or video you create:

  • Tell the audience what they will learn
  • Share three bullet points
  • Include a call to action

Beyond that, the other important step is just to hit ‘record’. “I think people use the equipment as, more often than not, an excuse to never get started,” Chris admitted to us.

“Everyone has the tools they need to [do these things] right away. The first time I did a video…I literally set up my iPhone on a selfie stick that I propped up with some books, and I hit ‘record’.

“Just do something, whether it’s recording that first three-minute video, whether it’s taking a picture of what you’re doing on a daily basis and just posting it to LinkedIn with a story related to that.

“My biggest piece of advice is to just get started.”

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go! If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Chris Luecke of Rockwell Automation and Manufacturing Happy Hour Chris Luecke of Rockwell Automation and Manufacturing Happy Hour joins us to talk shop about creating one's own show and building a personal brand– even in manufacturing! Also, don't forget we're still offering a free, 56-page report about what other marketing or sales tactics your peers and competition have planned for 2019! Download it now: http://bit.ly/2ASMo2W Danny Gonzales, Chris Luecke clean 25:55
Industrial Sales & Marketing Insights Report of 2019 https://www.industrialsage.com/sales-and-marketing-insights-report/ Sun, 13 Jan 2019 10:00:19 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=3407 We surveyed over 150 manufacturers to find out the top trends and digital tactics of 2019! Check out these invaluable sales and marketing insights!  

ACCESS THE REPORT NOW

 

Do you ever wonder if there was a way to benchmark your digital marketing against that of your peers in the manufacturing industry? Where are they seeing benefits to certain tactics, and what’s standing in their way?

Well, today is a great day for you.

WE SURVEYED OVER 150 MANUFACTURERS.

From sales to social media; emails to analytics; trade shows to tracked conversions…we had a lot of questions. And we got a lot of answers!

The result? A comprehensive, 50-page Sales and Marketing Insights Report for Manufacturers in 2019! This is what we learned.

TRADE SHOWS ARE STILL CONSIDERED THEIR #1 MARKETING TACTIC…

…but 53% have seen a decline in trade show leads over the past few years.

This tells us two things. One is that, if the main source of lead generation for manufacturers is on the decline, they will need to increasingly look to digital tactics to supplement those losses.

Secondly, this also means that companies who have started implementing digital tactics are still new to the process. They’re still learning how to measure their analytics, and they’re still learning the techniques that they’ll need for digital to eventually overtake trade shows.

65% CONSIDER THEMSELVES BEHIND THEIR COMPETITORS’ DIGITAL MARKETING.

That’s good news! It means that you and your peers aren’t blind to the fact that you might be behind…but it also means that some of you who feel behind may not be as lacking in digital success as you might think. So just keep at it!

43% GENERATE SALES LEADS FROM ORGANIC SEARCH.

…but 45% don’t know their site’s lead-to-customer conversion rate.

This means that even though a lot of manufacturers know their website is a source of leads, they’re not measuring its success rate!!

As it turns out, measurement seems to be a key, recurring point of weakness for industrial marketers.

68% HAVE A DEFINED MARKETING STRATEGY.

…but 65% don’t have specific monthly goals for generating digital leads!

It’s nearly impossible to reach a goal if you’re not tracking it, let alone creating a goal! Your organization needs to create a Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely goal for generating leads.

”Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu

Our survey asked dozens of questions and collected numerous fascinating (even shocking) responses, of which these are a mere few. Want more? Sign up to download the full Sales and Marketing Insights Report today!

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletterto get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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We surveyed over 150 manufacturers to find out the top trends and digital tactics of 2019! Check out these invaluable sales and marketing insights!
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Do you ever wonder if there was a way to benchmark your digital marketing against that of your peers in the manufacturing industry? Where are they seeing benefits to certain tactics, and what’s standing in their way?

Well, today is a great day for you.


WE SURVEYED OVER 150 MANUFACTURERS.

From sales to social media; emails to analytics; trade shows to tracked conversions…we had a lot of questions. And we got a lot of answers!

The result? A comprehensive, 50-page Sales and Marketing Insights Report for Manufacturers in 2019! This is what we learned.


TRADE SHOWS ARE STILL CONSIDERED THEIR #1 MARKETING TACTIC…

…but 53% have seen a decline in trade show leads over the past few years.

This tells us two things. One is that, if the main source of lead generation for manufacturers is on the decline, they will need to increasingly look to digital tactics to supplement those losses.

Secondly, this also means that companies who have started implementing digital tactics are still new to the process. They’re still learning how to measure their analytics, and they’re still learning the techniques that they’ll need for digital to eventually overtake trade shows.


65% CONSIDER THEMSELVES BEHIND THEIR COMPETITORS’ DIGITAL MARKETING.

That’s good news! It means that you and your peers aren’t blind to the fact that you might be behind…but it also means that some of you who feel behind may not be as lacking in digital success as you might think. So just keep at it!


43% GENERATE SALES LEADS FROM ORGANIC SEARCH.

…but 45% don’t know their site’s lead-to-customer conversion rate.

This means that even though a lot of manufacturers know their website is a source of leads, they’re not measuring its success rate!!

As it turns out, measurement seems to be a key, recurring point of weakness for industrial marketers.


68% HAVE A DEFINED MARKETING STRATEGY.

…but 65% don’t have specific monthly goals for generating digital leads!

It’s nearly impossible to reach a goal if you’re not tracking it, let alone creating a goal! Your organization needs to create a Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, Timely goal for generating leads.

”Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.” – Sun Tzu

Our survey asked dozens of questions and collected numerous fascinating (even shocking) responses, of which these are a mere few. Want more? Sign up to download the full Sales and Marketing Insights Report today!

 
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Thanks for reading. Don't forget to subscribe to our newsletterto get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode,]]>
Danny Gonzales clean
How Your Marketing Impacts Human Resources & Hiring for Industrial Manufacturers https://www.industrialsage.com/marketing-impacts-human-resources-and-hiring/ Sun, 06 Jan 2019 10:00:34 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=3138 Andrew Dickson and Adam Bowling of ADP explain how digital tactics aren't just for clients. Your marketing impacts human resources and new hires, too. And given the daily habits of the generations entering the workforce, you can't afford NOT to change. This week is a double-whammy! We’re joined by both Andrew Dickson and Adam Bowling of ADP, who joined us to explain how digital tactics aren’t just for clients.

Your marketing impacts human resources and new hires, too. And given the daily habits of the generations entering the workforce, you can’t afford not to change.

1. A NEW KIND OF WORKFORCE

There are four primary factors to the major changes that most HR departments and new hires are experiencing in today’s industrial world.

  • Political and Economic Conditions
  • The Digital Revolution
  • An Augmented Workforce (AI, etc.)
  • Changing Talent Demands

This is the first time in history that five different generations are side by side in the same workforce.

You read that right – Gen Z is in there, too! They’re starting to graduate from high school and college now. (Scary, right?)

And if you thought Millennials were reliant on digital, just you wait.

Millennials learned analog when they were little, and technology evolved alongside them while they grew up…but Gen Z has known nothing but digital…specifically mobile. Even desktop computers are somewhat in the past for them.

Is your company ready for that? If your hiring process still consists of paperwork-only or even desktop-only applications, you’re going to lose a lot of opportunities. Since your marketing impacts your hiring process, that means your marketing impacts human resources.

2. THE NEW GIG ECONOMY

10,000 Baby Boomers per day are retiring. Gen X is half their size and unable to fill the gap, so Millennials and Gen Z are fast rising through the ranks.

This means you have to focus on appealing to employees of any age…and many of them want different things.

Of course, Millennials are fairly hard to pinpoint as a generation. However, they aren’t just your employees: they’re also consumers. That means they will compare your application process to their customer process with any and all other companies.

Whereas the majority of Baby Boomers and even Gen X-ers wanted a reliable 9-5 job that they could keep for decades until retirement…younger generations are breaking that mold.

Due to inflation and other economic/political factors like the 2008 market crash, the cost of living has risen sharply in the past two decades…but the average starting salary in any industry has barely changed. As a result, Millennials are driven to seek more income to pay their living expenses…let alone paying off the student loans they may have taken to afford a degree.

A part-time job used to be enough for many baby boomers to live on their own and pay for college at the same time. That’s not remotely feasible for young adults anymore.

Now, younger generations are seeking out work as freelance contractors in addition to other part-time or even full-time jobs. Companies need to understand and adjust to this new rising “Gig Economy.”

If you want to appeal to the new workforce, you need to evolve. If you don’t, your competition will.

3. WHAT DO DIFFERENT GENERATIONS WANT?

Andrew referenced a fascinating (and very helpful) one-pager, called “Different Strokes for Different Folks,” which helped clarify some of the ways that companies need to change for incoming workers.

For Boomers and much of Gen X, compensation was the most important factor of their employment. But for younger generations, it’s less about compensation and more about benefits.

Salaries are always a major factor, but a single twenty-something or even a thirty-something in your workforce would probably opt for health insurance over life insurance, for example.

Millennials (many of whom have seen parents burn out from workaholism, for example) show increasing interest in work-life balance. A pension that will eventually pay for a hip replacement in their distant future means far less to them than a plan that will help them pay for new contacts or regular check-ups at the dentist now.

Ethical practice can also come into play, which is why some industries are said to be getting ‘killed off’ by younger generations.

Millennials and Gen Z are more likely to support or work for businesses that have eco-friendly practices or partnership with charities, for example. Major brands that are tainted by scandals around slave labor, deforestation, and financial corruption are less appealing employers to them, even if the pay might be more.

If your company has a meaningful core purpose and an engaging story, you’re more likely to garner support than a business that only focuses on arguments pertaining to dollars and cents. That’s one of the key ways that marketing impacts human resources for any company.

4. TRANSFER OF KNOWLEDGE

Another issue created by the age gap (Millennials rushing in to fill void left by Gen X) is that of labor and training.

Businesses tend to swap out solutions and technologies to adapt, but they can get so wrapped up in operations that they don’t have a chance to step back and look at how this shifting process appears to newcomers.

“When you’re looking at the onboarding experience [for a new hire]…that first experience is the brand, is the image of your company.” – Andrew Dickson

Companies may find that promising career progression (like a certain job title to achieve) for newcomers can help them avoid decrease their turnover rate for workers on, say, a production line.

We encountered a similar philosophy at MODEX 2018 when discussing how the idea of “working with robots” is far more appealing than simply “warehouse management,” as pointed out by Jason Walker of Waypoint Robotics.

Creating a mentor system – where soon-to-retire boomers can train new arrivals and build a relationship – is also an immensely appealing strategy for multiple generations.

Young employees who feel cared for, and older employees who feel recognized for their hard work, are more likely to have increased brand loyalty. If they know the company cares about them, then they’re more likely to care about the company.

5. START WITH YOUR CUSTOMERS

If you’re not sure how to appeal to new hires, go back to the drawing board and take a look at how you’re trying to appeal to new customers.

The incoming generations who make up your buyers are also making up your new hires.

Your marketing department is (or at least should be) building buyer personas to identify how to reach younger generations. Use their already-created guidelines for your HR department, too.

Another great technique is to research your own company…online, with a phone.

Your new clients and new hires are trying to learn about you, first and foremost, online. Go take a look and see what’s out there for them to find.

Every website gives you a feeling, just like a book cover. Is your company website more like a fifty-page manual? Does just looking at it make you feel stressed? Are materials easy to find there?

If your customers aren’t enjoying their digital experience with you, your new hires probably aren’t, either.

Is an employee’s first day with you filled by a quick electronic form, then welcome videos…or by a pile of hard copy paper forms?

Whatever you’re striving to change for your customers, be sure to change for your incoming workforce as well. Again: if your marketing is changing (which it should be), then your hr process needs to change along with it. Marketing impacts human resources whether we realize it or not.

An audit of such practices can sound overwhelming, but fortunately that’s exactly what companies like ADP exist to accomplish! They can benchmark your process and compare your brand to similar ones, in order to confirm whether you’re on the right path with your hiring process.

Just remember: customers aren’t your only evangelists out in the world.

A workforce that’s engaged and excited is your best advocate.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Andrew Dickson & Adam Bowling of ADP Andrew Dickson and Adam Bowling of ADP explain how digital tactics aren't just for clients. Your marketing impacts human resources and new hires, too. And given the daily habits of the generations entering the workforce, you can't afford NOT to change. Danny Gonzales, Adrew Dickson, Adam Bowling clean 29:39
Quickly Pivot Your Strategy for 2019 Industrial Sales & Marketing https://www.industrialsage.com/pivot-your-strategy-for-2019/ Sun, 09 Dec 2018 10:00:40 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=3011 As marketers, we hate the idea of cutting short our meticulously-planned campaigns. But if you want to stay relevant, it is absolutely necessary to pivot your strategy, sometimes even mid-campaign. Yeah, we love the ability to measure the results of our work…but once you see your analytics, you also need to ACT on them. This week we’re talking about the best – and hardest – part of digital marketing. We’re talking about having the gumption and evidence to pivot your strategy, sometimes even mid-campaign.

Pivoting is a painful concept. We hate the idea of cutting short our meticulously-planned campaigns.

But if we want to stay relevant, it is absolutely necessary.

The best part about digital marketing is our ability to measure results…but once we see them, we also need to act on them.

EXAMPLE 1: LINKEDIN VIDEO

Less than five years ago, companies who wanted to share a video on social media had an easy process.

They would upload the video to YouTube, then share the link everywhere: and the video would appear right inside of Twitter or Facebook or Google Plus (remember Google Plus?).

Then native video arrived.

Platforms like Facebook and Twitter started introducing their own video players to keep their users from clicking away to visit Youtube.

One of the last sites to introduce its own native video was LinkedIn. For a long time, users could upload video to their own personal profiles…but business pages couldn’t.

IndustrialSage even released an entire episode on the subject…and then, less than a month later, LinkedIn introduced native players for company profiles.

So we had to laugh it off and toss our old plans out the window.

Are changes like these convenient for marketers? No. But they’re convenient for many of the platform users.

EXAMPLE 2: iPHONE AND WEBCAM VIDEO

Another old vlog of ours was about the quality of B2B or corporate marketing videos.

“You shouldn’t shoot with a webcam,” we always said. “And you especially shouldn’t shoot vertical video on your phone!”

At the time, it was accurate and useful advice.

But by this year, we ended up eating our words…again.

This year, webcam testimonials have been some of the most popular content on LinkedIn – even more than some professionally-produced videos! We’ve even seen the same thing happen with IndustrialSage content, too.

Now user-generated video is exceedingly popular, because it can help you build a personal brand and appear more relatable to audiences.

And don’t forget our story about a certain turkey company!

EXAMPLE 3: VERTICAL VIDEO

As well as pushing for horizontal video, our old vlogs also emphasized the importance of keeping content short.

Audience attention spans in the past decade had clearly been shrinking…then along came Instagram TV.

Not only was vertical video becoming a standard, but the traditionally-short platform was producing longer-form content.

This summer we ourselves ended up adapting an entire video production just to make sure we could shoot the videos vertically for Instagram.

How times have changed…

STAY ON YOUR TOES.

IndustrialSage isn’t immune from major changes to our process, either. As you can tell, even our own website got a little makeover! Why? We felt the need to pivot.

When the show first got started, we tested all sorts of hosting platforms– from YouTube to Wistia to Vidyard – to determine which would provide our viewers with the best experience.

Wistia won out, as you can see…but we’ve also got a lot of Vidyard videos on Optimum’s site, too. Why? different goals.

In this day and age, you have to adapt constantly if you want to stay relevant.

We even had to make a recent change to our latest content offer – in the middle of the campaign!

We were trying to push out a manufacturing survey for 2019, but there didn’t seem to be as much immediate interest as we had hoped. So we switched up the majority of the content we were sharing, and now we’re offering 10$ Amazon gift cards to anyone in industrial marketing or sales who completes the survey.

Was it an easy pivot? Heavens, no. But we definitely boosted our response rate!

The unavoidable truth is that our technology and culture are constantly evolving…so the success of a marketing strategy may depend entirely on the year, the month, or even the week it’s released.

Chris Handy, last week, even admitted that Drift prefers to build their product development based on customer feedback, rather than trying to push their own strategies.

You need to stay on your toes and be brave enough to make changes to your tactics if you see evidence of a shift in the market.

Your goals right now may be different from what they will be six months from now. So be ready to pivot your strategy in sales and marketing.

It will be hard…but it will also be worth it.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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As marketers, we hate the idea of cutting short our meticulously-planned campaigns. But if you want to stay relevant, it is absolutely necessary to pivot your strategy, sometimes even mid-campaign. Yeah, we love the ability to measure the results of ou... As marketers, we hate the idea of cutting short our meticulously-planned campaigns. But if you want to stay relevant, it is absolutely necessary to pivot your strategy, sometimes even mid-campaign. Yeah, we love the ability to measure the results of our work…but once you see your analytics, you also need to ACT on them. Speaking of which, we changed the offer on our survey! Anyone in industrial sales or marketing who compeltes it will receive a $10 Amazon gift card! http://bit.ly/2E6O7UE Danny Gonzales clean 15:55
Connect with Prospects Earlier in the Sales Process with Chatbots https://www.industrialsage.com/enhance-the-sales-process-with-chatbots/ Sun, 02 Dec 2018 10:00:18 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2903 Chris Handy explains how Drift develops products almost entirely based on customer feedback, and helps businesses enhance their sales process with chatbots. This week we’re joined by Chris Handy, Customer Marketing Leader with Drift: a leading conversational marketing (chatbot) platform!

After starting out as an early customer of Drift, Chris was amazed at the speedy responses and helpful adaptations that the company made regularly in response to his suggestions and feedback. Before long he started a partner agency with Drift, and then eventually joined the actual company itself! Their current service? Helping businesses enhance or accelerate their sales process with chatbots.

1. DRIFT AND THEIR CHATBOTS

As digital technologies kept evolving, Drift noticed that old marketing tactics hadn’t changed much over time…but conversion volume for many companies had.

Sometimes all a customer wants is to ask one question, but they don’t want to fill out a whole form and get added to a mailing list in the process.

Landing pages and forms, while still useful, don’t convert everybody. In fact, many website visitors would prefer to self-educate, rather than simply take whatever content a company is offering.

Drift’s automated Chatbots allow sales teams to chat with visitors immediately…but in a way that is far less intrusive to both the prospect and the sales representative.

It’s a “frictionless touch.”

Visitors can browse on their terms, and they can can connect directly to your phone when you’re away from your desk if they really need you. That way, that the people who are actually invested can still reach you, while the people who aren’t interested won’t interrupt what you’re doing.

2. WHAT ARE CHATBOTS?

Most of us have probably seen a chatbot or two online, even if we didn’t know what it was called yet. They’re those little instant-message bubbles that pop up in the bottom corner of a website, with a picture or a cartoon and a phrase like, “Do you have any questions today?”

Instead of communication over the phone or in a lengthy email chain, chatbot conversations can be shorter and more concise. They’re delivered in short, string-of-thought phrases – much like texting.

In fact, some programs (like Drift) connect directly to a sales rep’s phone so they literally are texting.

Best of all, customers are more willing to participate in the discussion because it requires no commitment from them. They can get an answer and then leave in ten seconds; no signup required.

Sometimes Drift’s bots will even turn the standard chatbot introduction on its head. Instead of expecting a prospect to ask a question, the bot’s introduction might say, “Can I ask YOU a quick question?” Then multiple-choice options are presented. The visitor can choose whether or not to respond and clarify if they’re looking for anything specific.

3. ARE ALL CHATBOTS ACTUAL BOTS?

For any companies who fear that automation feels impersonal…there’s a solution for that.

Some chatbots are entirely driven by A.I. while others always connect directly to sales teams. Drift’s product is a combination of the two.

Drift’s bot searches for content or online answers first, but can grab a sales rep if the conversation demands it. That way, the sales team isn’t distracted by simpler or more mundane requests. However, they don’t miss out on valuable, complex conversations with far more qualified leads.

This new way of B2B improves the buyer experience, and uses A.I. to determine which marketing assets or content offers might help solve a visitor’s problems.

Over time, the collection of customer inquiries can also help you figure out where you need to build your content library.

“People use that moment to upgrade their knowledge base. ‘Hey, they’re asking for this? Let’s find a way to automate that.’ So you chip away at automating support over time.”

4. WHAT’S TO COME IN 2019

When asked what 2019 will look like for his company, Chris shared a surprising revelation that’s very counterintuitive to a lot of business strategies.

Drift doesn’t set goals like other companies. They let client feedback steer the ship entirely.

Many companies, not just Drift, have often invested in huge projects that are developed “because we can,” without user input. Then the products aren’t received with as much as enthusiasm as the creators hoped.

Meanwhile, a quick tweak to a widget at the request of a customer may get raving reviews.

One example of a feature that Drift’s bots are developing is an email capture skill, which will serve as a universal gate for content. If people give their email to a bot, it’s a sign that they’re more invested and willing to exchange contact information in order to “skip the line.”

So, once someone has submitted their email once to a bot, they’ll be able to access any and all content that the site owners have to offer.

The bots can also connect directly to a sales representative’s calendar, so a lead can select a time for an appointment without the usual lengthy haggling that comes with syncing up two different schedules!

5. HOW CUSTOMER FEEDBACK SHOULD DRIVE BUSINESS

As many manufacturers and developers tragically discover on a regular basis, sometimes we build what no one wants. So, we have to pivot.

If one customer asks for something, they probably represent 1,000 other customers who thought the same thing but didn’t take the time to articulate it to you.

If you develop products without customer input, you have no guarantee that you’re creating something that’s actually useful or worthwhile to them. But if you create what people are asking for, you can’t really fail.

That’s how Drift got started. It’s also how their product has completely evolved over time. Contrary to concerns that automation and A.I. make the sales process less personal, Drift has proven the exact opposite.

5. ROLLING OUT THIS CHANGE

For anyone interested in enhancing their sales process with chatbots or looking to get started with a product like Drift’s, it’s important to find someone on your team who’s excited about the prospect of using it.

Don’t distract your most skilled sales rep by assigning a them a chatbot if they don’t believe in it. Choose someone willing to invest in it.

Find someone who wants to try out this new tool. Someone who isn’t concerned about being ‘interrupted’ by it. Someone who is eager to build out content with it.

At the risk of employing a cliche, millennial team members are more likely to embrace this business-casual-texting mode of conversation. Find that sales pilot partner, and let them use a chatbot to break the ice with new leads.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Chris Handy of Drift Chris Handy explains how Drift develops products almost entirely based on customer feedback, and helps businesses enhance their sales process with chatbots. Danny Gonzales, Chris Handy clean 29:51
How To Plan Industrial & Manufacturing Videos Optimized for Social Media & Sales Channels https://www.industrialsage.com/plan-videos-optimized-for-social-media-channels/ Sun, 25 Nov 2018 10:00:31 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2847 Find out how we used one studio shoot to create over 75 pieces of content! It all happened because we made sure to plan all of the videos optimized for social media channels. As our team staggered back into the office this week, filled to bursting with Thanksgiving goodies, we were reminded of a recent client of ours…a turkey company, in fact.

We were able to take one day of filming for our client, and turn it into 75 pieces of content!

Talk about killing two birds with one stone. Not only did we create all those materials for The Great American Turkey Company, but we also made sure to plan videos optimized for social media platforms where they would be displayed!

How on earth did we do that, you might ask?

1. WE WATCHED SOCIAL VIDEO TRENDS.

Everyone knows video is huge. We knew social media was huge. And we especially knew that recipe videos, a la Tasty and Buzzfeed, are some of the most popular pieces of content out there.

So how better to advertise for a turkey company, we thought, than to create recipe videos featuring their product? And that’s what we started to plan.

But just as important as current social video styles, we also paid special attention to new developments. More specifically, the launch of Instagram TV.

Instagram’s bold move would promote video content that was created with phone screens in mind: with a 9×16 aspect ratio, instead of the standard horizontal 16×9.

2. WE SHOT THE VIDEOS…VERTICALLY.

This revolutionary development in screen-size made us look closer at the social platforms where we wanted to release our videos.

Instagram is pushing 9×16 videos. LinkedIn still prefers the traditional 16×9 rectangle. Facebook, meanwhile, is releasing more videos that are 1×1 squares.

We realized we needed to create multiple versions of each video, each with a different format based on the platform where it would be released.

Having that knowledge ahead of time was crucial, and so we made sure to plan the video-shoot entirely around our target audience’s viewing habits.

We shot the recipes in a vertical, 9×16 format…but we also made sure that the shots could either be rotated or shrunk to still appear well-composed in other formats. 1×1 for Facebook, and 16×9 for almost all other platforms.

https://optimumproductions.wistia.com/medias/0apiou5pbt?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640

 

3. WE PLANNED TO MAXIMIZE THE DAY

You know what other materials you can get out of video footage? Photos.

Since we would already have the cameras and dishes on hand, we decided we might as well collect photos from the studio shoot as well.

So not only did each video come in three different versions based on screen orientation…we also got countless still images, both from a photographer and from freeze-frames within the videos afterwards.

That’s over six-dozen assets for the price of one shoot day!

“Video is not expensive. It’s only expensive if you don’t know how to use it properly, if you don’t measure, and if you don’t plan.”

https://optimumproductions.wistia.com/medias/pc60jfz0yt?embedType=async&videoFoam=true&videoWidth=640

 

If you have a solid strategy, video will be your BEST tool for sales and marketing. You’ll just have to do some thinking and research beforehand.

4. THIS APPLIES TO TRADE SHOWS, TOO.

In case you were wondering, social media isn’t the only place where aspect ratios and strategizing apply. Trade show videos require just as much preparation as when you plan videos optimized for social media.

Optimum Productions has made trade show videos before that were intended for a very different screen shape than the traditional 16×9.

We’ve made videos for a 4×3 grid of of nine stacked tv screens; and an ultra-wide video that was projected on three screens, almost Imax style.

Knowing the screen shape was vital to the video’s creation. And of course, aspect ratio is only one of many factors.

Do your trade show videos have open captions visible on the screen for passersby?

If not, they probably should. Not everybody can hear a booth’s video in order to understand its content, especially if they’re far away. You need to make their viewer experience as easy as possible.

In short, whatever video you plan to use, know where it’s supposed to go; so you can plan its shape and other features up front before it’s ever shot.

That way, you’ll be able to kill far more than just two turkeys with one stone.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Find out how we used one studio shoot to create over 75 pieces of content! It all happened because we made sure to plan all of the videos optimized for social media channels. Find out how we used one studio shoot to create over 75 pieces of content! It all happened because we made sure to plan all of the videos optimized for social media channels. And don't forget – you can access a free comprehensive report on industrial marketing trends in a few weeks, if you contribute to the study by taking our survey at http://bit.ly/2qPtrsA Danny Gonzales clean 8:17
How Industrial Sales Can Increase Revenue Using Thinking Profiles https://www.industrialsage.com/increase-revenue-using-thinking-profiles/ Sun, 18 Nov 2018 10:00:01 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2857 This week, Mo Bunnell (CEO of Bunnell Idea Group and author of The Snowball System) joins us to explain how sales teams can increase revenue using thinking profiles! Happy Thanksgiving week! Today we’re thankful for Mo Bunnel, CEO and Founder of Bunnell Idea Group, and author of award-winning book, The Snowball System.

#snobunnell

We’re not just thankful for Mo because he agreed to join us on the show, either.

Mo’s training and expertise have helped our own sales department pivot more effectively in response to our own prospects, and we learned how to increase revenue using thinking profiles.

1. WHAT INSPIRED MO’S BOOK

Mo’s first inking that he was unique started when he was going to school to be an actuary, but also joined a fraternity and was crowned homecoming king.

For most people in his major, calling that turn of events “uncommon” would be a gross understatement.

In essence, Mo has always had one foot in deep expertise, and one foot in people skills. That’s why he wrote his book, to help experts bring in more business by improving their social habits.

So many professionals, like engineers, take ten years or more just to learn their craft…but once they’re ready, they still need to find buyers.

The Snowball System shares Mo’s experiences and findings as he reveals and applies HBDI thinking profiles (and other models) in the world of sales.

In fact, there are over 30 studies cited in the back of the book.

2. UNDERSTANDING HBDI PROFILES

As Mo explained to us during his interview, at some point before a sale two human beings have to interact. This interaction can sometimes make or break the sale. Why?

Sometimes a sales representative may exhibit or push different priorities than a buyer.

There are four ways that people think, according to the Whole Brain® Thinking Model developed by Ned Herrmann and Roger Sperry.

The concept is somewhat similar to DISC or Myers-Briggs profiling, and it centers around an individual’s priorities.

Optimum Productions actually got to attend one of Mo’s three-day training courses back in February, and it really helped us identify better ways to communicate with our clients and prospects.

In fact, the day before Mo’s interview, we were attending a business meeting with a new buyer. We were prepared to cut to the chase and talk business – but we quickly realized that this client cared more about getting to know us as individuals first, so as to build a genuine relationship.

The HBDI model is loosely based on the actual structure of the brain – not just the right and left (intuitive vs. rational), but also front and back, which are intellectual and instinctive, respectively.

The grid between these sections creates four thinking profiles.

A person’s thinking preferences may be 1) Analytical, 2) Experimental, 3) Practical, or 4) Rational.

These profiles show the difference between those who value innovation, versus those who are diligently practical; those who prefer facts, and those who pursue feelings.

3. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF THIS MODEL

Understanding these thinking profiles, in the world of sales, may drastically change how you discuss money or ask for next steps in a partnership.

They may also reveal the reasons why sales have been lost in the past.

Not everybody thinks the way you think. Once you realize that, you’ll learn how to better communicate, which means you’ll be more likely to increase revenue using thinking profiles than you might have without them.

Other studies covered by the book are just as telling. For example, a study by Cornell and Western University revealed that people who are asked for a favor face-to-face are 34 times more likely to comply than if it’s asked in an email.

In-person interactions are powerful…even for those of us who are shy or who haven’t planned out the interaction yet.

But planning out that interaction is vital to getting results.

4. THE IKEA EFFECT

In addition to the HBDI model there’s the “Ikea effect,” as studied by Harvard. People like to buy what they help create – and it also sells for far more when they’ve helped to create it. So maybe instead of telling your clients what you’ll do for them, tell them what you can both do together.

When a prospect requests a proposal, the last thing you want to do is shut yourself off to produce a proposal apart from them as quickly as possible. You should keep in touch with them and take baby steps to make sure they’re onboard every step of the way.

When there’s a long buyer process, you can definitely push a sale too early. That’s why you shouldn’t be focused on a quota: you should be focused on the long game. You may want to instantly increase revenue using thinking profiles, but things may not happen that fast.

5. THE SEVEN STEPS AND MORE

Lastly, the book also covers some key steps to turn customers into raving fans.

You can focus on a client’s behavior (beyond just whether they’re friendly in person) to determine whether they’re really, fully onboard with you.

Once you know where you stand with your customer…you’ll know what to do next to improve the relationship.

And then there’s the “Give to Get” mentality, which is about why you shouldn’t hesitate to provide something that, while it takes effort on your end, may show any of the four thinkers that you’re serious about investing in them. That gift may be a strategy session; a process evaluation; an analysis or proof of ROI and value; or a networking session.

Upon recognizing a hot lead, the key to that first interaction is to get a second interaction; not jumping straight to the sale.

Because contrary to what you may have been taught, not everybody is going to be a sale.

But everybody could become a referral.

Once you provide that second interaction (whether it’s the strategy session, the networking session, etc), a spirit of reciprocity will have been born.

Provide value and a taste of working together to motivate the client to request the sale.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Mo Bunnell of Bunnell Idea Group; author of best-seller, "The Snowball System" This week, Mo Bunnell (CEO of Bunnell Idea Group and author of The Snowball System) joins us to explain how sales teams can increase revenue using thinking profiles. And don't forget – you can access a free comprehensive report on industrial marketing trends in a few weeks, if you contribute to the study by taking our survey at http://bit.ly/2OLGzbx Danny Gonzales, Mo Bunnell clean 34:42
How to Target Specific Manufacturing Prospects with Digital Marketing https://www.industrialsage.com/how-to-target-specific-manufacturing-prospects/ Sun, 11 Nov 2018 10:00:35 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2831 Ankit Singh asked us how his industrial company can target specific manufacturing prospects with digital campaigns. Our advice? Research before martech. AUDIENCE QUESTION:

“I’m new to digital marketing… I have a client who is an industrial machine manufacturer for a specific product. He wants me to target customer from [specific countries], because these two geographic locations have potential buyers/customers for our product/machine…[We also] want to target a specific age group & technical background audience that we consider as our main potential customers/buyers… I know what I want is only achievable through digital marketing… What should be my first step?”

– Ankit

That is an awesome question, Ankit!

The short answer to your question is…research. Before you start on the marketing side, you need to look into the profession and/or position of your target market.

1. DEFINE THE PERSONA

You said you had an age group and a profession you wanted to reach: That’s great! Keep building out your audience personas.

What other habits or traits might these individuals have in common?

Look into the specific type of engineering, or industrial niche that you’re targeting. Do your ads include lingo or professional terms they’re likely to know?

If they’re within a certain age range, do your ads appeal to that age group? What social media properties are they likely to frequent?

And remember: social media can differ from country to country, as we learned from Joanne Sanders’ advice about international marketing. So If you’re targeting an entirely different country, you need to keep their own cultures, languages, and social habits in mind.

2. TEST DIFFERENT AD LOCATIONS

Yes, digital marketing may provide the solution you want – but it’s still going to involve a bit of trial and error.

Try testing a few smaller campaigns to see which perform best.

Try a few social ads on Facebook or LinkedIn, or any other potentially-favorite hub for your audience. Measure which site is delivering the best results, and then head in that direction.

Trade magazines, or associations may also provide invaluable resources for you.

They sometimes have memberships, directories, or other campaigns of their own in which you can participate. They could be local, regional, or national.

As for their sites, if you know that there might be a particular professional community online that your personas frequent (trade magazine sites, for example), then don’t be afraid to pay a little more money in order to locate your ads there.

If your target customers are more likely to be on that particular site, it’s worth it to get your ad in front of them.

And remember, whatever you’re advertising…just make sure you’re always providing value to your customers.

3. LOOK INTO GEO-TARGETING MARTECH

As you may have guessed, there are indeed marketing technologies that were invented specifically to help you with the targeting process. Terminus is a particularly great one, especially if you’re in B2B.

Geo-targeting tools can ensure that your campaigns get in front of certain people that have, say, the same job title like “VP of Operations.”

But remember, these programs can’t provide victory unless you’ve built out clear parameters for your personas. Creating banner ads that are relevant and valuable will be just as important as actually targeting recipients.

In other words, make sure you do your research before you do anything else. It may not be a very exciting task…but it will certainly be one of the most valuable elements of the entire campaign.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Ankit Singh asked us how his industrial company can target specific manufacturing prospects with digital campaigns. Our advice? Research before martech. Ankit Singh asked us how his industrial company can target specific manufacturing prospects with digital campaigns. Our advice? Research before martech. And what better way to conduct research than with a study on manufacturing marketer trends for 2019? Gain access to the report by participating in our survey at http://bit.ly/2QuWjBm Danny Gonzales clean 6:12
How to Begin the Transition Into eCommerce as a B2B Manufacturer https://www.industrialsage.com/b2b-transition-into-ecommerce/ Sun, 04 Nov 2018 10:00:58 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2743 Anise Madh, CEO of Leanswift, explains why and how B2B manufacturers can begin the transition into ecommerce without ending their distributor relationships. For this week’s episode we’re joined by Anise Madh, CEO of LeanSwift, to hear his advice for manufacturers beginning the transition into ecommerce.

LeanSwift is a partner of Infor – a familiar name to those of us who got to hear Guy Courtin discuss B2B ecommerce on our show just last quarter. Once the COO and now the CEO, Anise has been working in ERP (enterprise resource planning) for over a decade.

1. WHY BEGIN THE SHIFT INTO ECOMMERCE

As we’ve already seen, B2C buying habits are beginning to trickle into B2B and affect buyer expectations for industrial companies.

eCommerce is growing in popularity because it cuts costs for vendors and provides their customers with 24-hour opportunities to buy at their own convenience.

Transactions can happen faster, with less physical paperwork, outside usual limitations like office hours.

2. WHERE TO START THE TRANSITION

So when a company decides to dip their toes into ecommerce, what does the transition look like?

According to Anise, the transformation is a bit different for each company.

Every year when you’re reviewing your strategy, consider this.

Ecommerce paves the way for more seamless transactions with buyers – and, at the very least, provides them with a way to collect information on products if they’re only browsing at the moment.

Adding ecommerce to your business is not an instant button that takes you from 0-60mph in seconds; it’s a step-by-step process, much like any other digital transformation.

3. IT’S NOT JUST SALES – IT’S CUSTOMER SERVICE

But also like any other digital transformation, the transition into ecommerce occurs for the usual reason: making things easier for customers. And it involves more than you might initially expect.

eCommerce doesn’t just refer to buying and selling online: it also refers to shipment tracking, visibility overseas, customer service, and finding new vendors.

Of the various new customers who come to Leanswift wanting to sell online for the first time, Anise recalls a particular B2B company in Georgia who started the transition. Within two years, adding ecommerce and a B2C option to their business helped them grow between 200 and 300%!

Having an online store helped their site climb up in search rankings so that more potential customers would discover them.

Some people might say that print is gone – but interestingly, catalogs are not!

Your customers still want all the content from your catalogs…they just want it online now. They may not use your catalog to buy, but they just might use it to educate themselves.

4. BUT HOW WILL DISTRIBUTION REACT?

But Anise understands how unsettling the sudden change into selling directly can be.

Many manufacturers worry about damaging their relationships with the distributors who normally sell their products. It was a topic covered on LinkedIn by Ian Hellar, referred to as a looping event called “The Wholesalepocalypse.”

How will the distributors react? How will B2C buyers receive the same level of product education as B2B buyers that distribution usually informs?

Distribution channels do have value, but transactions are changing; and there’s value to giving your customers as many options as possible.

Just like in marketing, you don’t have to choose just traditional or just digital methods: nor should you dump old, reliable methods in favor of something brand new and untested.

The point isn’t to use a single channel, but to make the most of each one. And for B2B manufacturers, eCommerce is an up-and-coming channel that isn’t going away at all.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Anise Madh of LeanSwift Anise Madh, CEO of Leanswift, explains why and how B2B manufacturers can begin the transition into ecommerce without ending their distributor relationships. And as an added bonus, IndustrialSage is starting to build a report on industrial marketing trends! Fill out our survey to receive the report and be a part of the study at http://bit.ly/2zn4ybj Danny Gonzales, Anise Madh clean 24:52
Secrets of Sales and Marketing for Industrial Manufacturers, Part II https://www.industrialsage.com/sales-and-marketing-panel-discussion-2/ Sun, 28 Oct 2018 09:00:27 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2686 This is Part 2 of our Sales and Marketing panel discussion at the 2018 Georgia Manufacturing Summit! Featuring Judson Voss, Craig Henry, and Malika Givens – hosted by our very own Danny Gonzales! At last, it’s time to release Part II of our Secrets of Sales and Marketing panel discussion from the Georgia Manufacturing Summit! We know you’ve been waiting all week with baited breath for this second installment.

 

WATCH PART 1

 

First of all, don’t forget what Part 1 discussed. Danny started off the breakout session with some basic facts and statistics about how marketing has changed over time. He also touched on why it’s important for companies to embrace the digital revolution.

After that, Judson Voss of Chart Industries shared some of his personal experiences and tips. He works with a very niche company, Chart Industries. Chart learned a lot about determining qualifies a lead for their business. Once they clarified that element, it affected where they go online to find said leads and get their attention.

In this week’s episode, Danny turns over the microphone to Craig Henry of Siemens Digital Factory and Malika Givens of Landis+Gyr.

First, Craig discusses the generally negative reputation of sales reps. He’s learned a lot of lessons about sales over time. One of the key steps he follows now is pursuing discussions where the client does the talking, rather than him. He wants to learn about their problems, and become a trusted advisor. Because, as he points out, that is the way the world is going.

A prospect may figure out that they have a problem, browse for solutions, and educate themselves on features and prices all within 24 hours. They’ll put in a lot of self-help effort long before they ever talked to a sales rep. Craig compares himself to a doctor who hears a prospect’s symptoms and then helps them diagnose the problem, whether or not his solution is the one they need.

Malika then discusses the importance of getting organizational buy-in for new digital changes. At Landis+Gyr, she’s one member of a small marketing team. Additionally, she’s the only member of the team who’s focused on digital and online marketing.

“[Digital] is only growing…It’s getting bigger.”

That’s the main reason she was brought onboard. But it’s not just Malika’s job to add more and more digital techniques. It’s also her job to determine whether they’re the right fit for the company. Some social media platforms, like Vine and Google Plus, have petered out. Livestreaming and snapchat are popular, but not necessarily for everyone.

While many digital trends have been shown to come and go, websites are still clearly vital.

One of the first steps to improving the company’s presence was simply to build a more updated, user-friendly website.

Beyond that, Malika has learned that she has to push hard and give numerical evidence to get support for any new marketing steps. Most executives prefer to stick with what they know. But when she can prove the value of the new techniques, she is able to earn more support and more willing approvals the next time.

It’s a lot of hard work. She has to constantly meet with sales teams and other staff to make sure they’re up to date and educated on what’s happening. But, in the end, it’s definitely worth it.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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This is Part 2 of our Sales and Marketing panel discussion at the 2018 Georgia Manufacturing Summit! Featuring Judson Voss, Craig Henry, and Malika Givens – hosted by our very own Danny Gonzales! This is Part 2 of our Sales and Marketing panel discussion at the 2018 Georgia Manufacturing Summit! Featuring Judson Voss, Craig Henry, and Malika Givens – hosted by our very own Danny Gonzales! Danny Gonzales, Judson Voss, Craig Henry, Malika Givens clean 43:34
Secrets of Sales and Marketing for Industrial Manufacturers, Part I https://www.industrialsage.com/sales-and-marketing-panel-discussion/ Sun, 21 Oct 2018 09:00:18 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2677 Optimum Productions and IndustrialSage went to the 2018 Georgia Manufacturing Summit, and recorded our Sales and Marketing panel discussion! This is Part 1. We had an absolute blast at the Georgia Manufacturing Summit! As it turns out, our Secrets of Sales and Marketing panel discussion was one of the most popular and well-attended breakout sessions of the entire event!

Jason Moss told us sales is always the number-one topic that manufacturers want to learn about. All the same, it was a humbling experience to see such high attendance.

We initially broadcast the Sales and Marketing panel discussion via Facebook live. However, we also made sure to capture footage and audio for the podcast as well. After all, sometimes live single-phone broadcasts can be a little fuzzy.

Malika Givens of Landis+Gyr, Judson Voss of Chart Industries, and Craig Henry of Siemens Digital Factory all joined us. They sat down with Danny to share their experiences as marketers or sales representatives for industrial companies.

Before diving into the discussion, Danny made sure to walk everyone through a quick overview of what marketing looks like today. Because heaven knows the internet has created a massive paradigm shift in how we do our jobs now.

This episode marks Part I of the panel discussion. Part I wraps up with some incredible insights from Judson Voss. He explained how paying slightly more money to specialize the his ads’ locations has actually made them more effective. It’s a good tactic for such a niche product. His company and others like it tend to benefit from focusing on quality over quantity. Now he’s able to identify prospects that are very nearly ready to buy by the time they actually click on an ad for Chart.

Some of the experiences have been incredibly insightful. Some have been hilariously cringe-worthy. Either way, they’ve taught him (and now us) a lot about the value of trial and error in online advertising.

Tune in next week for Part II!

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Optimum Productions and IndustrialSage went to the 2018 Georgia Manufacturing Summit, and recorded our Sales and Marketing panel discussion! This is Part 1. This is Part I of our Sales and Marketing panel discussion at the 2018 Georgia Manufacturing Summit! Featuring Judson Voss of Chart Industries, Malika Givens of Landis+Gyr, and Craig Henry of Siemens; hosted by Danny Gonzales. Danny Gonzales, Judson Voss, Craig Henry, Malika Givens clean 53:26
Help! I’m a Marketer Who’s New to Manufacturing https://www.industrialsage.com/how-to-market-for-a-manufacturing-company/ Sun, 14 Oct 2018 09:00:57 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2660 We often address the plight of manufacturers who are new to marketing…but what if you're instead a marketer newly hired to work for a manufacturing company? “Help! I’m a marketer, I know all about PPC/newsletters/instagram/insert-marketing-technique-of-choice-here, and I was just hired to market for a manufacturing company – but I don’t know how these industrial companies buy and sell! And instead of having a niche, I have to do everything! How do I market for a manufacturing company!?”

If this sounds like you, don’t worry – you’re not alone.

Our show may focus on explaining marketing to manufacturers, but today we’re going to flip the script and explain a few basics of manufacturing models for a new marketer’s benefit.

YOU HAVE TWO MAIN AUDIENCES

As opposed to B2C companies where you’re influencing customers and selling straight to them, industrial companies function in a bit more of a tri-layered system.

Manufacturers make a product; they pass it on to dealers or regional sales teams; and those distributors actually sell to the end user.

In short, industrial companies don’t always sell directly. This means that your marketing materials have to focus on two very different audiences…

1. MARKETING TO DISTRIBUTORS

Manufacturing businesses are easier to scale up if they, the makers of the product, don’t have to focus on generating demand as well. So they leave the job of generating demand to distributors.

Selling to one distributor with 500 clients is far easier than trying to sell to each of those 500 end users individually.

So if you’ve been hired to market for a manufacturing company, the first thing you need to know is that your main audience demographic is actually your distributors, and not just your end users.

Distributor pain points almost definitely differ from those of the end users, so you’ll need to know how to appeal to them.

Don’t just market your product – market training and educational materials on how to sell it.

Regional sales teams may batch your product with other tools or services. How can you make that combination smoother? Provide value, value, value.

2. MARKETING TO END USERS

Just because you need to focus on distributors heavily doesn’t mean you should disregard the usual suspects when you create your marketing materials.

When you provide your distributors with resources, they will be marketing to consumers. Therefore, make sure you still create plenty of materials that will sell to end-users.

And sometimes, once in a blue moon, end-users may reach out to a manufacturer directly, rather than a distributor, with questions about the product. The forklift industry is a great example.

Consumers like to do their research before they buy.

They may not buy directly from you, but they probably will want to research your product if they’re interested in your manufacturer’s specific brand. Make sure you have resources to answer their questions.

3. YOUR FIRST CAMPAIGNS

Chances are, your first few campaigns aren’t going to skyrocket and fulfill every single goal you set. And that’s okay.

You’re new to this manufacturing thing…and your superiors are most likely new to this digital marketing thing. You just need to make sure that they understand: digital marketing is not an instant big red button of success.

A year ago, Malika Givens of Landis+Gyr gave us a great explanation of how to gain organizational buy-in for your marketing techniques.

The key is to start with baby steps and very basic explanations; like defining what an “impression” is, for example.

Understanding one another is vital. You need to make sure that what you’re doing is in measurable, understandable terms or values for your third audience…your own company.

If you can’t connect what you’re doing to the transactions they’re making, then they may not get anything you’re talking about.

You need to make sure you’re synced up with the sales team. Schedule many, many meetings to re-evaluate common goals, evaluate current techniques, and measure your progress.

Cut out what’s not working. Build on what’s effective. And when in doubt, over-communicate.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get every new episode, blog article, and content offer sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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We often address the plight of manufacturers who are new to marketing…but what if you're instead a marketer newly hired to work for a manufacturing company? We often address the plight of manufacturers who are new to marketing…but what if you're instead a marketer newly hired to work for a manufacturing company? Danny Gonzales clean 18:17
The 2018 Third Quarter Review https://www.industrialsage.com/2018-third-quarter-review/ Sun, 07 Oct 2018 09:00:57 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2647 Where did the 2018 third quarter go!? Ours was a whirlwind – but in this episode we pause to savor some of the wisdom worth repeating before announcing what's to come! Where did the quarter go!? For those of you who were so busy that you could barely keep up with our podcast, consider this a nifty little cheat episode for you.

Our 2018 third quarter was one of the busiest we’ve ever had. So if you want to catch up to our show but don’t have the time…it’s alright. We understand.

JULY

Our first guest of the quarter was Guy Courtin of Infor – an old friend from MODEX 2018 back in April.

Guy sat down with us to discuss the shift of B2B business into the world of eCommerce. He explained that this change originated from B2B employees who are simply bringing over their buying habits from their regular B2C interactions.

To Guy, the rise of present-day eCommerce mirrors the rise of Dot-Com companies in the late 90s. Half-fad…half-foundational.

AUGUST

Our second interview of the summer was Jason Moss of the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. He told us why and how the organization first came together, and how a manufacturing alliance actually helps its members increase sales.

Event though many of the original alliance members were competitors, Jason helped them realize that they all have different connections; different equipment; and different resources.

The habit of outsourcing has caused manufacturers to overlook their own neighbors. Many of those very neighbors can provide services that are otherwise being sent overseas! Thanks to the GMA’s regular facility tours, the governor passed a motion to turn July into “Buy from Georgia Month.” The organization has also created a helpful new website called BuyFromGA.com.

Our next guest was someone Danny discovered over social media. Funny what a great resource that’s been…

We met Jonathan Bradshaw of Kobalt Tools after seeing a new Kobalt tools video series, “Kobalt Artisans.” He joined our show to discuss the power of leveraging customer stories as video content. Videos like that can communicate a more powerful message than mere product shots.

The Artisans series is barely about the Kobalt tools. Instead, the videos focus on the unique projects of workers and craftsmen.

That customer-centric thinking has also helped Kobalt to adapt or alter their products in unexpected ways. Sometimes they encounter ideas for extra features or entirely new products when they see someone using their tools in a way they didn’t anticipate.

SEPTEMBER

And last (but never least), Brian Moseley of Databox sat down with us via remote interview! We discussed how to build a martech stack (or pare it down) to get the most out of digital techniques.

Whether you’re just starting off with new software, or if you’re trying to manage a marketing technology collection that has gotten out of hand, there are ways to keep everything condensed.

There are only roughly five KPIs that the average B2B marketer needs to monitor. Do you know what they are?

What’s Next?

The 2018 third quarter may have been a rich one. However, don’t think that the holidays will find us sitting on our laurels here at IndustrialSage!

Right at the start of October, we’ll be hosting a panel discussion, “Secrets of Sales & Marketing,” at the Georgia Manufacturing Summit. What will we be covering? You’ll find out if you’re one of our subscribers, because we’ll be recording the whole thing!

IndustrialSage will also be sending out a survey to collect more information about you and your fellow manufacturers. We want to learn and share data on common marketing practices. Are you ahead, or behind? Will other companies invest similar amounts in marketing at the start of 2019? You’ll just have to sign up for our mailing list and take the survey to find out.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Where did the 2018 third quarter go!? Ours was a whirlwind – but in this episode we pause to savor some of the wisdom worth repeating before announcing what's to come! Where did the 2018 third quarter go!? Ours was a whirlwind – but in this episode we pause to savor some of the wisdom worth repeating before announcing what's to come! Danny Gonzales clean 15:36
Best Practices for Building a Martech Stack as an Industrial Manufacturer https://www.industrialsage.com/building-a-martech-stack/ Sun, 30 Sep 2018 09:00:59 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2624 Brian Moseley of Databox joined us to discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of building a Martech stack – whether you're just starting out, or already in way over your head. This week we got to sit down with Brian Moseley of Databox, all the way up in Boston, Massachusetts!

Having started with Hubspot way back in the day, Brian is now Director of Sales at Databox: a software solution centered around data visualization. For people trying to look at analytics from ten different systems, the program is a lifesaver.

But one thing Brian has noticed is that he’s often working with people who are trying to visualize far more data than they actually need. As a result, he sat down with us today to discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of building a Martech stack – whether you’re just starting out, or already in way over your head.

1. THE ORIGINS OF MARTECH

The term “Martech” refers to marketing technology. Think programs like Hubspot, Salesforce, Autopilot, Drift, Zapier…

Anything you use to connect your digital data, your CRM, your website, and so forth – all for the sake of marketing – makes up your individual ‘stack.’

Ten years ago, Google Analytics was really the only “Martech stack” anybody had. Of course, now there are hundreds if not thousands of options.

Marketers now have the luxury of picking any and all metrics they want to follow…but this tends to get out of hand before long.

“I know 50% of my marketing is working…I’m just not sure which 50% that is!”

Sound familiar? Here’s Brian’s take on which of those metrics are probably most valuable.

2. GETTING BACK TO BASICS

As great as a building a Martech stack the size of Texas might feel at first, it may be more convoluted than necessary. That’s why condensing what you can is always a good idea.

You just can’t do everything…so pick carefully.

A content strategy is a good thing to focus on – or a promotional, social strategy.

Of all the programs out there, Brian’s personal recommendation is Hubspot.

Hubspot measures the three basic KPIs that most B2B companies really should want to focus on: traffic, leads, and customers…and they also measure the conversion rates between those three categories.

Brian also highly recommends looking into the book or video, The Four Disciplines of Execution by Franklin Covey.

Covey explains that there are leading indicators (factors that you can control, like content output) and lagging indicators that you can’t control (like monthly web traffic).

It’s important to determine which leading indicators you want to change, in order to garner better results from lagging indicators.

3. IF YOU’RE STARTING A STACK…

Company size is always a factor in building your Martech stack, but there are plenty of options for all.

If you want to focus on learning about your SEO, Google Search Console is a great (though surprisingly little-known) tool.

If you want to focus on emails, Mailchimp is highly popular and effective.

For more conversational marketing, Drift chatbots allow you to communicate more quickly with leads, and educate them at greater speed so they become higher quality leads in less time.

If you want to close the loop between marketing and sales to really encourage communication between both departments, nothing beats Hubspot.

Best of all, thanks to high competition, a lot of these programs have to be highly generous with their services: many offer free accounts so that you can try out some of their basic tools without committing right away!

4. IF YOU NEED TO SHRINK YOUR STACK…

One of Brian’s favorite experiences was seeing a company create an actual bracket similar to a sports bracket, then list all their programs (SEMrush versus Drift!) in a department-wide debate.

Pros and cons were listed: how much are we paying for this one? How much does it cut down on time? It doesn’t take long for something so polarizing to clean up a cluttered Martech stack.

Brian also has an analogy he liked to use for people still uncertain about dropping a lot of accounts.

Marketing software is like a new employee. You can hire, and there may be a learning curve at first…but you never lose the authority to fire if it’s not working out.

If a software automates a process for you, ask yourself if going back to manually overseeing that process would really be so terrible. Were you even doing the process manually in the first place?

Step One that he often has to discuss with Databox clients is that they’re trying to visualize 50-100 metrics, when only 5-10 will do.

Set yearly S.M.A.R.T. goals, whether for traffic or leads or sales or ad reach or organic traffic… then break those yearly goals down into quarters, and then months.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Brian Moseley of Databox Brian Moseley of Databox joined us to discuss the good, the bad, and the ugly of building a Martech stack – whether you're just starting out, or already in way over your head. Danny Gonzales, Brian Moseley clean 24:20
Why Industrial Manufacturers Need to Know How Millennials Buy https://www.industrialsage.com/how-millennials-buy/ Sun, 23 Sep 2018 09:00:07 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2600 You may be a B2B industrial manufacturer in a blue-collar field, but you still need to know how millennials buy. They'll probably be your next customers, if they aren't already. There’s a lot of talk about millennials getting tossed around nowadays – and certainly not all of it is exactly kind. But, love ‘em or hate ‘em, millennials may very well be your next customers.

You may be an industrial manufacturer with a blue-collar business, but that actually doesn’t matter – you still need to know how millennials buy.

1. B2B IS GETTING YOUNGER

The Baby Boomers comprise a huge portion of the working class, and now almost 10,000 of them are retiring by the day.

Gen X is nearly half the size of the Boomer generation, which means they can’t possibly hope to close that gap. Thus, a lot of Millennials are on the fast track to fill the shoes of departing boomers.

But “Millennials” shouldn’t be a dirty word, and it isn’t a euphemism for “kids these days,” no matter how much people have used it that way.

Millennials, right now, are essentially any adult under the age of 40.

That twenty-something with a salaried position who just got married? Millennial.

That thirty-something parent of three kids? Millennial.

That summer intern working their way through college? Actually that kid is part of Gen Z. (They are a whole different can of worms.)

Individuals that were born roughly between 1985 and 1995 are “millennials” because their formative years occurred before or during the turn of the century.

Most millennials actually grew up without cell phones, and many remember a time before household computers or email.

But…now they have all of the above. And so does everybody else. Which is why when you want to know how the majority if your customers will buy…what you’re really investigating is how millennials buy.

2. FASTER TECH MEANS FASTER PURCHASES

When millennials (or even many Gen Xers) enter positions previously held by Boomers, they’re going to bring their everyday-consumer habits with them. Most of those habits have become flexible, because they’ve learned to adapt every time a new technology comes out.

Remember when email was invented? Could you imagine trying to run a business without it now?

New tech isn’t necessarily a good thing or a bad thing – but it definitely does mean that people are seeking and finding solutions faster than ever before.

When millennials start a new job or have a task they’ve never accomplished before, they might seek out advice from an experienced mentor – but the vast majority of them don’t have a mentor. So they go to the internet.

They can search for information on what others are doing in that field, or products that other professionals are buying.

A few weeks ago, we discussed the rise of eCommerce in B2B. What sparked it? The rise of B2C eCommerce in general.

At some point in the past few years, businesspeople have started to realize: “If I can buy groceries or a Halloween costume for my kids online…why can’t I buy an industrial brewing tank or a new set of CNC endmills for work?”

3. QUALITY IS IMPORTANT, BUT VISIBILITY IS KEY

Judson Voss of Chart Industries, makers of industrial gas systems and tanks, has a story he often tells of almost learning this the hard way a few years ago.

Chart very nearly lost a deal to a company with far inferior products…because that competitor had a far superior website.

People assume if you’re not adapting to the digital world, your products aren’t going to be state-of-the-art, either. That’s one of the main unspoken principles about how millennials buy or even just choose who to buy from.

Could you imagine trying to do business with a company who doesn’t use emails, or even fax machines? It would be near-impossible.

How can a company like that to create solutions that are truly innovative, or even up-to-date?

You may not like this, but websites are the best way to position yourself in front of potential buyers. They’re starting to by and large become one of the only ways.

And your website’s functionality isn’t just vital to your prospects, either.

4. IT’S NOT JUST SALES AND MARKETING

Other people besides leads use your website; and they use it for processes that have also evolved as well.

How you train or educate your own employees has changed. Company-wide memos or educational sessions are turning into webinars, for example.

Hiring or onboarding new staff is different, too. Green employees can fill out their paperwork or send in their resumes through forms on your website.

Discontent or confused customers can chat with representatives on your site using chatbots, so they don’t have to pick up the phone and sit around on hold before they can have their problem solved.

Remember Blockbuster? Netflix started competing with them originally by renting DVDs by mail. But that’s not what Netflix is known for now, is it?

Blockbuster didn’t pivot. Netflix did, and now it’s bigger even than Blockbuster ever was in its heyday.

As a manufacturer, you understand perfectly why your products need to be cutting edge. That’s how you stay in business.

Well, how you conduct the rest of your business practices will also affect that. If you don’t use phones, if you don’t use email, imagine how poorly you’d be able to get work done. If you’re not adapting according to your knowledge of how millennials buy, you’re also likely not adapting to other trends outside of marketing or sales as well.

The internet isn’t a menace; it’s just an asset you haven’t learned to take advantage of yet…and millennials – your next prospects – have.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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You may be a B2B industrial manufacturer in a blue-collar field, but you still need to know how millennials buy. They'll probably be your next customers, if they aren't already. You may be a B2B industrial manufacturer in a blue-collar field, but you still need to know how millennials buy. They'll probably be your next customers, if they aren't already. Have you built personas around them yet? If not, you can access the free persona builder by visiting http://bit.ly/2zn0usX Danny Gonzales clean 11:18
How Using Content in Sales Follow-Up Accelerates the Industrial Sales Process https://www.industrialsage.com/using-content-in-sales-follow-up/ Sun, 16 Sep 2018 09:00:42 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2570 "Marketing" content isn't just for marketers. If you're educating new leads or re-engaging long-silent prospects, using content in sales follow-up can makes the sales process easier, too. Marketing departments may understand the value of content, but what about your sales team? Using content in sales follow-up, whether it’s videos or blog articles, can actually help make their jobs easier.

From educating new leads or re-engaging prospects that have gone dark…marketing content can bolster your salespeople, too.

Sales are key to any company; no sales means no revenue means no business.

So if you somehow speed up the sales process, you’re going to start bringing in more buyers.

1. PREEMPTIVELY ANSWER QUESTIONS

Got a lot of common inquiries that you find yourself forced to address over and over again? Ask your marketing team to create content accordingly!

List out the top five or top ten questions you find yourself repeatedly answering.

If you have a video or blog article or landing page for every question, imagine how much faster you’ll be able to respond to those common requests!

Remember our recent episode with Kobalt Tools? Danny was chatting recently recently with a lead who was considering their own video series. So he sent that episode straight to the prospect: boom! Question answered, instantly!

Sometimes it’s even worth it to have a piece of material for people who contact you about the wrong product or service, if they do it often enough.

For example, Optimum Productions (the source of our lovely studio set) used to get a lot of calls or emails from Michael Jackson fans, asking about his Thriller video. Why? Because that video happened to be made by an Optimum Productions Inc. way back in the day. Ouch.

But lately, Optimum has managed to cut those solicitations almost in half. How? They just made a small landing page for anyone who happens to search their site for the term, “michael jackson.”

The page took almost no effort at all – and it’s benefitted the studio greatly by reducing the number of calls from fans, thus cutting down on wasted time.

2. INSTIGATE NEW CONVERSATIONS

Answering questions doesn’t have to be the sole purpose of content. It’s easy to respond when leads reach out to you and begin a conversation, but you don’t necessarily always have to wait for that to happen.

If you think an article or video may be valuable to a prospect that you want to reach, take the initiative and send it as a conversation-starter.

The content doesn’t even have to be yours!

We often send materials made by others to our own prospects. And we certainly don’t object if you share our podcast with a lead if you think it will help them!

If someone sends you a relevant piece of information that provides value, you’ll be more inclined to listen to them next time they offer more help.

3. STAY RELEVANT AND INFORMATIVE

Of course, no matter how much you try, some people just aren’t ready to make a purchase.

Many B2B companies or industrial manufacturers have very, very long buying cycles, and there’s not much you can do to change that. But you can make sure prospects will come to you when they are ready to shop again.

As opposed to generic newsletters sent to everyone on your email list, try delivering a personalized message with relevant content to an individual prospect every now and then.

Don’t send a follow-up without a point.

Use valuable content in sales follow-up so you stay top-of-mind during that ‘dead period’.

The more you educate your prospects on their own time, the faster you’ll get to a more meaningful conversation with them.

It’s the same song, second verse, which our show has pushed for some time now.

Provide value…because content is king.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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"Marketing" content isn't just for marketers. If you're educating new leads or re-engaging long-silent prospects, using content in sales follow-up can makes the sales process easier, too. "Marketing" content isn't just for marketers. If you're educating new leads or re-engaging long-silent prospects, using content in sales follow-up can makes the sales process easier, too. Danny Gonzales clean 10:03
How Manufacturers Can Generate Leads With Blog Articles https://www.industrialsage.com/generate-leads-with-blog-articles/ Sun, 09 Sep 2018 09:00:07 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2524 Want to attract more customers and close more sales? Better look at blogging! Even if you’re a manufacturer, you can generate leads with blog articles, and actually speed up the sales process. We all know what blogs are – heck, you’re reading one right now! Just about anyone with surface-level knowledge of the internet is aware of “weblogs,” which in the most technical sense are online articles posted on websites in order to generate discussion.

But why should manufacturers honestly care about blogs?

After all, manufacturers aren’t necessarily interested in writing – that’s why they chose a different career, rather than journalism or literature.

But if you’re interested in attracting more customers and closing more sales…then you may have to give blogs another serious look.

Even if you’re a manufacturer, you can in fact generate leads with blog articles; and better still, they will be qualified leads.

1. YOUR SITE IS PART OF THE BUYING CYCLE REGARDLESS

When you need a question answered or when you’re considering making some sort of purchase, where’s one of the first (if not the first) place you look for answers?

The internet.

Even if you’re not ready to buy yet, you want to at least have the resources to make an informed decision…and so do your leads.

Consider your buyer personas, which we discussed last week. Most of them are probably online even more than you are.

Blogs provide the information for prospects to gather and educate themselves on their own time.

By providing the answers that people are looking for, you can help transform marketing-qualified leads into sales-qualified leads…all without lifting a finger!

But don’t worry – that doesn’t mean your sales team will be made obsolete; they’ll actually become more effective.

2. BLOGS ACTUALLY ACCELERATE THE BUYING CYCLE

Blogs are valuable resources that your sales and marketing team can use to answer questions more swiftly, with much less effort.

Instead of spending ten minutes answering the same question over and over again, sales reps can answer that common question with a push of a button – or the leads can find it themselves without ever having to reach out.

When leads finally are ready to buy, the sale will go much smoother and much faster – because they understand what’s going on!

Now, instead of spending the majority of their time hand-holding with potential customers on a one-on-one basis, your sales team can be speaking with sales-qualified leads who have already made 80% of their decision based on their own findings.

Some companies have even told us that their normally-six-month buying process has been shortened to three months with leads that come in digitally.

That’s because buyers can take in all the information they want and need, with blog articles.

3. BLOGS AFFECT YOUR PROFESSIONAL REPUTATION

Some people are afraid to try and start a blog, because they fear that any poor content will damage their reputation. But that’s not true.

Having no online articles can be just as bad, or perhaps even worse, than having sub-par articles.

Your blogs – or lack thereof – affects your credibility in the eyes of potential buyers.

If your posts provide the valuable answers that your prospects are looking for, they’ll be more likely to trust your expertise and eventually approach you when they’re ready to buy.

Just check out the numbers according to Hubspot: “Companies that published 16+ blog posts per month got almost 3.5X more traffic than companies that published between 0 – 4 monthly posts.”

Simple math. If you can generate leads with blog articles, then the more blogs you release, the larger your content library grows, and the more credible your website becomes.

That means you’ll start ranking higher and higher with search engines like Google. And the higher you rank, the more people will encounter you when they’re searching for answers. Hopefully, your materials will rise all the way to the top of the first page!

And if your blogs aren’t there…someone else’s blogs are.

And they may be your competitors’.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Want to attract more customers and close more sales? Better look at blogging! Even if you’re a manufacturer, you can generate leads with blog articles, and actually speed up the sales process. Want to attract more customers and close more sales? Better look at blogging! Even if you’re a manufacturer, you can generate leads with blog articles and actually speed up the sales process. Most of your personas are online – and you can map out their likely habits using our free downloadable Persona Builder: http://bit.ly/2O2udw0 Danny Gonzales clean 13:25
Building Buyer Personas For Better Industrial Marketing https://www.industrialsage.com/building-buyer-personas/ Sun, 02 Sep 2018 09:00:19 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2496 To WHOM you're marketing will drastically affect HOW you go about marketing: and the best way to nail down your audience is by building buyer personas. One of the major game-changers in digital marketing is knowing to whom you’re marketing. Who you’re aiming for will drastically affect how you attempt to reach them. Therefore, the best way to nail down your audience is by building buyer personas.

Before you take a single step with any campaign, it’s vital to identify your target market and clarify specific traits they may possess.

1. WHO ARE THEY?

Personas aren’t just important for B2C companies (can you imagine a retailer trying to reach preteen girls with gritty hard rock and macho rhetoric?).

Your B2B practice may actually have multiple types of target audiences, but clarifying and differentiate them will help you change your messaging from widespread buckshot to highly-accurate sniper rounds.

So who are the people you’re trying to reach?

Are they male? Female? How old are they? What’s their job title?

Knowing simple demographics like these, as well as where they’re starting in your sales funnel, can go a long way to helping you nail down what will or won’t fly with them.

2. WHAT DO THEY WANT?

So let’s say you’ve narrowed down the field somewhat. You have identified four types of buyers for your product: a new kind of CNC machine or endmill, for example.

Now you have to think about what each person tends to prioritize.

You might sell directly to a floor operator, who cares about ease of use and ergonomic benefits.

But supposing that end-user doesn’t have final say, or isn’t part of the buying process?

Maybe the person you have to convince is actually the plant supervisor, who prioritizes efficiency and wants to hear or see case studies from you.

Or perhaps you need the stamp of approval from the CFO, who’s focused on expenses. They want to know how long before your machine pays for itself. What’s the return on investment look like?

And even beyond that, you may find yourself dealing directly with the CEO, who wants to deal with a company that has only the highest reputation, or has already established a reliable relationship via previous deals. They care about the ease of deployment, perhaps, rather than the initial expense of the partnership.

Even within a single company, that’s four personas who may purchase the very same product from you…but for drastically different buying reasons.

Knowing what your personas want will help you know what type of information and content to deliver, so you’re not pitching the right product to the right crowd by advocating the wrong benefits.

3. WHERE ARE THEY?

This question often gets overlooked once a persona has been otherwise identified. You know what to say and to whom you want to say it – but it’s important to actually make sure they receive your marketing message.

If you’re trying to reach 50+ year-old welders, Snapchat probably isn’t the way to go.

Trade magazine ads may no longer be the way to get in front of a young-30s CFO.

So where do your personas spend the majority of their time?

Are they reading magazines? Could they be the chosen staff member to represent their company at trade shows?

They might be stuck behind a computer all day. Or perhaps they’re constantly on the go with only a mobile phone to connect with the outside world.

Do they spend the majority of their time on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat, Reddit, Tumblr, or some even-newer platform?

Wherever they are – that is where you and your content must go.

A major reason to sit down and hash this out is because, most of the time, what appeals to your target audience may not appeal to you.

You may have to swallow your pride and adjust accordingly.

It’s perfectly alright to re-package the same or similar content for each different platform – the key is to make sure that it’s actually getting in front of the right people.

Knowing who your audience is, what they want, and where to find them is vital to actually reaching them. Especially if you want to make sure that no marketing dollar goes to waste along the way.

 

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If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

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To WHOM you're marketing will drastically affect HOW you go about marketing: and the best way to nail down your audience is by building buyer personas. To WHOM you're marketing will drastically affect HOW you go about marketing: and the best way to nail down your audience is by building buyer personas. We even have a free eBook to help you identify and organize your buyer personas! Download it at http://bit.ly/2oyqlrT Danny Gonzales clean 13:58
How Industrial Manufacturers Can Leverage Customer Stories With Video Content Marketing https://www.industrialsage.com/leverage-customer-stories-with-video-marketing/ Sun, 26 Aug 2018 09:00:48 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2405 Jonathan Bradshaw of Kobalt Tools & Lowes explains how their surprising new video campaign has generated high engagement, all because they leverage customer stories instead of focusing on self-promotion. This week we were joined by Jonathan Bradshaw, product manager at Kobalt Tools, to discuss how companies can leverage customer stories. Kobalt is a private brand belonging to Lowe’s, and they’re approaching their twenty-year anniversary.

1. CUSTOMER-FOCUSED

Danny first discovered Kobalt through their videos on social media. Specifically, he found them through their Kobalt Artisans series on Facebook.

The series isn’t about the tools. In fact, the brand is hardly mentioned or promoted for the majority of the videos. The videos focus on the unique projects of workers and craftsmen.

In other words, Kobalt is focused on how to leverage customer stories to portray their products at work. Everyone at Kobalt, from the engineers to the designers, are entirely oriented around the user experience of their customers.

As a private brand, Kobalt didn’t necessarily have the same huge marketing budget as their competitors. So they decided on the age-old adage, “Show; don’t tell.”<.p>

The tools are of course shown in-use during the videos, but in a single four-minute video they may only be shown for a total of fifteen seconds.

Kobalt instead prefers to focus on the challenges of real people with real projects. Building a plane, for example: what comes up must come down. Thus it’s an unspoken conclusion that any tools put to that use must be ineffably reliable.

2. STORY-DRIVEN

Jonathan used the analogy of movies and special effects to elaborate. Long after special effects or sensationalist concepts become old hat, in the end the best stories will keep bringing people back for another screening.

A four-minute commercial will not hold a customer’s interest for even two minutes. A real person’s story will.

Arguably, the Artisans series isn’t necessarily even meant so much to reach new customers as it is meant to strengthen Kobalt’s bond with existing customers.

Either way, social media was vital for the series to take off.

3. ENTIRELY UNEXPECTED

Despite the size of Lowes, Kobalt is still considered a small company with a comparatively small marketing budget compared to their competitors. As a result, they decided to focus on customer-service.

Connecting with users over social media was a large part of their strategy. So was the goal of having a response time of less than 24 hours, no matter who contacted them or where.

By engaging with their customers, the company also stumbled upon something entirely unexpected.

Sometimes Kobalt encounters ideas for extra features or entirely new products when they see someone using their tools in a way they didn’t anticipate.

Hearing from customers – especially customers confident enough even to modify their own tools for specialized projects – is almost worth an entire concepting department.

It’s mind-blowing when customers start showing off their garages or their hobbies, too. Kobalt often gets credited in posts showing off gorgeous tables or restored cars. They weren’t physically there, but their tools were. Thus, they had a part in making those things come to fruition.

Customers tag Kobalt because they feel like the entire Kobalt family was a part of their project.

“I didn’t make that table,” Jonathan points out. But whether or not the company knew they were along for the ride, “we signed up for it by selling them a product.”

“If you’re offering something nobody needs, you’re not going to move it…so let them tell you what they need first.”

4. WHERE TO START

Not every B2B manufacturer can afford to begin with a massive longform video series. And not every business would necessarily benefit from one.

Even planning isn’t always the answer. A year ago, the Kobalt Artisans series didn’t exist as so much as a writers’ room concept. It was inspired solely by the customers

The Kobalt Artisans series is an example of when a company discovered what they were good at, then built up a campaign and is now running full-speed-ahead with it.

Bradshaw’s advice to industrial marketers? Crawl first; then walk; then run.

Figure out what you want to discuss with your customer, and learn how that two-way interaction works. Once you learn what they’re doing with your product, then you can begin improving it, giving them what they want, and increasing engagement.

Business is no longer about customers adapting to companies. It’s about about companies adapting to customers.

“Try something. Do something different,” Jonathan suggested. “Continue to expound and learn; and be willing to change.”

 

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If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Jonathan Bradshaw of Kobalt Tools Jonathan Bradshaw of Kobalt Tools & Lowes explains how their surprising new video campaign has generated high engagement, all because they leverage customer stories instead of focusing on self-promotion. Danny Gonzales, Jonathan Bradshaw clean 19:21
Pros and Cons: Should Industrial Manufacturers Outsource Digital Marketing? https://www.industrialsage.com/should-you-outsource-digital-marketing/ Sun, 19 Aug 2018 09:00:11 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2394 Digital marketing can be complicated – and expensive. Should industrial manufacturers build an in-house team, or use an agency to outsource their digital marketing? This week on IndustrialSage, we address a common question about digital marketing for your company. When should you bring it in-house, and when should you outsource digital marketing to an agency?

1. INSOURCING

An in-house team is ideal when your field is so specific and niched that an outsider can’t properly create content with the right nuances, politics, and technical details.

Insourcing takes less time to onboard your marketers and make sure they understand your product and your business. Their time is more often spent determining what marketing tools or techniques to use.

Nanolumens is a great example of how insourcing can (and often does) originate. Their company didn’t have a marketing department at all. They just had the front receptionist, who started experimenting bit by bit with digital assets, like Marketo.

From there, they ended up building out an entire internal strategy and team over time.

So if you have the opportunity and an individual who you think might excel at promoting your company this way, you can assign them a few minor projects to try in their spare time.

Remember, the baby steps can be just that. Small. Make it a goal to send out regular newsletters. Try creating a email campaigns in preparation for a trade show. Crawl before you can walk.

2. OUTSOURCING

Outsourcing is good when you need professional help from an agency to generate results and catch up to your competition a.s.a.p.

When your company has a low bandwidth or a lack of any computer-savvy individuals, hiring outside help for your digital marketing is a very helpful option.

Agencies can be pricy, but don’t forget the old adage: “If you think hiring a professional is expensive, wait until you hire an amateur.”

Someone who understands the digital world can omit the trial-and-error delays that may come with experimenting internally with marketing techniques.

However, it’s still good to have at least one individual who’s your internal go-to contact to mediate between you and the agency. The more niche your field, the more you’ll need someone to help explain to the marketers what you do and who you want to attract. That way, the content won’t be too vague or irrelevant.

3. SO WHICH IS BETTER?

A lot of companies do both.

Many industries turn to outside agencies for PR, digital campaigns, ads, and offerings. Meanwhile, they have an internal department that churns out most of their social media content, their email newsletters, and maybe their blogs.

Sometimes a company’s internal marketing is handled by one person. Other times, there’s a dozen or more members of a team on the company payroll. Meanwhile there could be a whole outside agency looking after them…or just one digital guru who understands their business in and out.

It all comes down to, when you begin the digital marketing process, asking yourself one key question.

“Do we want an industry expert who’s not sure how marketing works…or a marketing expert who’s not sure how our industry works?”

Ideally you want to have someone who will eventually understand both. And that should be what you’ll achieve and grow over time. But we’ve all got to start somewhere.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Digital marketing can be complicated – and expensive. Should industrial manufacturers build an in-house team, or use an agency to outsource their digital marketing? Digital marketing can be complicated – and expensive. Should industrial manufacturers build an in-house team, or use an agency to outsource their digital marketing? Danny Gonzales clean 13:16
How Industrial & Manufacturing Associations Increase Sales https://www.industrialsage.com/manufacturing-associations-increase-sales/ Sun, 12 Aug 2018 09:00:22 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2351 Jason Moss of the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance sat down with us to discuss his story, and relayed the benefits he's seen from uniting competitors to form a united local manufacturing association. This week we’re joined by Jason Moss, CEO of the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance, to discuss the reasons he founded the organization – as well as all the incredible discoveries that he and others have made as a result! As it turns out, manufacturing associations actually increase company productivity, rather than giving away well-guarded secrets to your competitors.

1. STARTING THE GEORGIA MANUFACTURING ALLIANCE

Back in 2008, Jason was in software sales and started looking for manufacturing associations or some way to network with other manufacturers. There were plenty of small, specifically-niched groups…but none for all manufacturers in general. Why?

Jason’s biggest challenge was to unite a room of competitors.

The first meeting in February of 2008, contained 16 members to begin with – and many of them knew one another as business rivals. To break the tension, Jason started by asking, “Who here uses exactly the same equipment?”

Nobody raised their hands.

“Even if you did have the same equipment, who in here has exactly the same knowledge and contacts in the industry?” Nobody.

“Fortunately,” he told us after recalling that first meeting, “They listened. And fortunately, I was right…the rising tide lifts all ships.”

2. BENEFITS OF AN ALLIANCE

A great example of the this network’s value came in 2011, after membership had started to plateau.

Jason hosted a contest, asking all the members to write down every market in Georgia that GMA could target. The person with the most solutions written down would receive a prize…but their list had to have a minimum of ten answers.

No individual in the room managed to come up with more than six solutions…but when everyone pooled their answers, there were over fifty prospects.

That was a big light bulb moment for many people in the organization.

Manufacturing associations like the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance help manufacturers to meet their neighbors.

Jason has even seen companies sending equipment across the country to be serviced, only to be surprised when he told them that a company in the very same building complex actually offered that same service.

We just don’t know our neighbors; outsourcing has made us lose our sense of community.

“One of the hardest things in the world to do, I have found,” Jason told us with a laugh. “Is to get a manufacturer out of their plant.” But when he does manage it, they always come away with great results.

3. DISCOVERIES THROUGH COLLABORATION

Last year, GMA hosted over 150 events with over 3,000 attendees around the state. Some of the tours included Blue Bird Bus, Kia, Gulfstream, Duracell Batteries, King’s Hawaiian Rolls, Okabashi, and plenty of others.

Attending events hosted by manufacturing associations can help industry professionals see the wide variety of solutions implemented by their peers and develop new ideas to bring into their own plant.

“We help manufacturing industry professionals go see world-class manufacturing in process, so that maybe they can take an idea or a concept and…repurpose it at their own facility.”

One of Jason’s goals is to provide training and keynote speakers based on what members want to learn, and so they send out annual surveys to keep track of different goals or shifting trends in manufacturing needs.

Common themes that have popped up for the past few years are operational excellence and leadership development; and other past hot topics have included labor force and safety concerns. But there is one consistent topic that rises to the top without fail.

Every year, the number one challenge that manufacturers want GMA to address…is always sales.

Accordingly, the alliance has made sure to host sessions for sales training and social media usage.

4. RAISING LOCAL AWARENESS

As well as hosting events for GMA members, Jason also attends conferences and meetings for local organizations – like rotary clubs and chambers of commerce – to reach the consumers who usually don’t even know about some of the manufacturers that exist just down the road.

Jason’s favorite trick is to offer a $100 bill to the first individual who can name more than five brand-name household products manufactured in the state of Georgia. In over six years, he’s only had two winners.

“We don’t know who makes stuff.”

Raising that awareness, therefore, is step one. “Take Duracell Batteries,” Jason suggested during his interview. If you saw two relatively equal batteries on the shelf at the store, but you knew that Duracell was made in Georgia, wouldn’t that influence your decision?

People want to buy local…they just don’t always know what is local.

If more consumers were made aware of their local manufacturers, and Duracell were to get a 10% increase in sales…well, if the factory already employed 400 individuals, that rise could contribute to 40 new jobs!

Imagine the sort of impact that kind of movement could have if manufacturers across the state were involved. Imagine the impact that could be made on any state with manufacturing associations like Jason’s. That’s why the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance created a membership directory, and hosts events like “Buy from Georgia Month” in July, when consumers are included in the plant tours.

But of course, as we say often on IndustrialSage, the results need to be measurable.

So how does GMA quantify the impact of their awareness campaigns for Georgia-manufactured goods?

That’s why BuyFromGA.com was born.

4. A DIGITAL SOLUTION

The idea was originally to create a brick-and-mortar store of entirely Georgia-based products…but while they suspected the business model might not work in person, it could very well work online.

Consumers may not always feel like pulling out a list or going to an entirely different building to check and see if their purchases are local…but when they’re buying online, the site is far more convenient.

“If you’ve got a product or know of a product that’s made in Georgia and available on Amazon, throw us a link to the page, we’ll put it up on the site, and everybody wins.”

Amazon may not be able to filter products based on where they’re considered local…but BuyFromGeorgia.com can do it automatically, and send visitors straight to the vendors’ websites – all for free.

Now GMA can quantify the success of their awareness campaigns, with web traffic and analytics to prove the numbers.

5. THE UPCOMING SUMMIT

Their next big event, the Georgia Manufacturing Summit, will take place in the Cobb Galleria on October 10th, 2018. Past summits have focused on keynote topics like transportation, construction, or food and beverage service (Coca-Cola, anyone?) and this year’s main subject is Aerospace.

Notable speakers will include Thrush Aircraft vice president of sales Eric Rojek, and president of Gulfstream Aerospace Mark Burns.

 

WATCH OUR PANEL FROM THE SUMMIT

 

Wherever you live, finding (or building) a manufacturing alliance like this can be of great benefit not only to your own organization, but to the local economy. And if that economy for you happens to be Georgia’s, Jason and the rest of GMA are active in the community and always open to new or prospective members.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Jason Moss of the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance Can you list ten brand-name items that are manufactured in Georgia? Don't feel bad if you can't…but Jason Moss of the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance is here to change that. He sat down with us to discuss his story, and relayed the benefits he's seen from uniting competitors to form a united manufacturing association. Founding helpful sites like buyfromga.com and hosting events like the georgiamanufacturingsummit.com are just the beginning, if he has anything to say about it. And even if you're not in Georgia, you should look for local organizations of your own… Danny Gonzales, Jason Moss clean 40:20
How B2B Websites Increase Revenue for Manufacturing Sales Teams https://www.industrialsage.com/b2b-websites-increase-revenue/ Sun, 05 Aug 2018 09:00:46 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2354 Did you know that the most important member of your sales team works 24/7…and is actually your website? Learn how to increase revenue with your B2B site! WHY IS A SITE SO VITAL?

When the majority of your sales team is in bed with the lights out, who’s communicating with your leads that could be coming in from the other side of the world?

Your website is your only 24/7 sales team member, so it needs to be good at lead generation.

Besides: when you have a problem or a question, where do you turn? Nine out of ten times, probably the internet. And now that over 50% of B2B buyers are millennials, is it really any surprise that they’re doing that, even if you’re not?

Millennials grew up as the internet did, and they learned to adjust to it.

Remember, millennials are not the generation that’s in middle and high school right now – they’re all college graduates, and most are approaching or already in their thirties! Many of them can recall the first time their family got a household computer, or the first time they switched from a pager to a flip phone to a smart phone.

So how do you generate [millennial] leads with your website?

1. USE AN APPEALING DESIGN

Your website needs to effectively communicate who you are and what you do from the first moment that a visitor arrives. Why?

Visitors will make a decision about your site within the FIRST. THREE. SECONDS.

If they don’t think you’re the right fit for what they need or want? Au revoir, potential leads.

2. CREATE EDUCATIONAL CONTENT

Do your users want to learn about your product? Sure. But more importantly, they want to learn about their problem and what you know about all the intricacies of that situation.

When people visit your trade show, do you bombard them with widgets? No – you usually ask them what they need.

“How can I help you? What drew you to our booth today? Is there something specific you’re looking for?” After you know what someone needs, then the selling process starts.

Your site can act as an extension of your sales team…especially once you get marketing automation up and running.

Write blogs, film vlogs, and create landing pages with valuable content. “But where do I find the ideas for content?” people often ask.

Get out a piece of paper and write down the three most common questions you keep having to answer. There are your blogs.

Now, don’t make it just the three most common questions asked by people who already own your product. Should you answer those questions? Sure. But what about the people who are just coming to browse around or to see what you can tell them about the industry in general?

When people ask you about your services, what if you could point them to a webpage or a video that helped provide value or even offered suggestions about the problem they have? You’d be surprised how valuable that content will become to you over time!

3. USE GATED CONTENT OFFERS

Once people have come to recognize your content as valuable, you can use gated content offers to continue providing even more valuable information to them, while gaining more insights into who they are.

Remember, these subscribers still might not be buyers or existing clients, so don’t just create offers for existing consumers.

Create webinars, eBooks, or buyers’ guides that provide valuable insights on industry trends.

If you sell steel tanks, try an offer highlighting top trends in craft breweries. If you’re in pest control, highlight different practical tips on how to bug-proof a building.

Just make it relevant, and make it valuable.

When you’re trying to give your pet a pill, you usually have to wrap it in a piece of bacon or cheese.

How do you get a lead’s information? Gate your content. If they know it’s valuable, they’ll consider the subscription well worth it.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Did you know that the most important member of your sales team works 24/7…and is actually your website? Learn how to increase revenue with your B2B site! If you're in New York on Eastern Standard Time, where's your sales team when someone from Australia is looking at your site in the middle of the night? As it turns out, the most important member of your sales team works 24/7…and is actually your website! But is your site actually generating leads for you? Danny Gonzales clean 12:48
How B2B Industrial Business is Shifting into E-Commerce https://www.industrialsage.com/b2b-shift-into-ecommerce/ Sun, 29 Jul 2018 09:00:30 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2334 Guy Courtin of Infor and Supply Chain Radio joins our show this week to explain how eCommerce leaked into B2B after taking over B2C, and what that means for industrial manufacturers. This week we’re joined by Guy Courtin, Vice President of Industry and Solutions at Infor. We originally met Guy and interviewed him briefly at MODEX back in April, and now he gets an episode all to himself in the Optimum Productions studio – post-airplane set.

As well as running his own supply chain podcast, Guy has worked in the world of supply chain solutions and go-to market strategies for over twenty years.

To Guy, the rise of present-day eCommerce mirrors the rise of Dot-Com companies in the late 90s. Half-fad…half-foundational.

That movement was one of the first times that the barriers between B2B and B2C started to crumble. That’s one of the reasons that eCommerce has shifted from B2B into B2C at all. So why is it becoming less and less like a passing trend?

1. WHAT INFOR LEARNED ABOUT DIGITAL DIFFERENTIATION

Infor was one of the first companies in supply chain and logistics to really embrace digital transformation early, and so they’ve been dubbed one of the “unicorn” companies in that space.

But aside from embracing the cloud early, Guy insists that it was only half of the formula.

The majority of Infor’s success comes simply from focusing on relationships with their customers.

And at the risk of repeating the importance of personal interactions, that’s what separates colleagues from friends; and vendors from partners.

“There’s no point where you say, ‘Alright! I’m a partner! I’m out!’ Once you get to that level, there’s even more work to do.”

While some B2B-ers fear that monopolies will arise based on who embraces new tech the fastest, Guy points out that there’s still plenty of variety and small companies popping up every day…and if someone is paying them for their services, then they’re all doing something right.

The key is to stay humble, and focus on serving your customers wherever they are.

2. HOW B2C HAS TRANSFORMED B2B COMMERCE

One of the key reasons that B2B is shifting is because buyers are shifting their buying process, and the companies who adapt are going to benefit.

Consumer habits have always been changing, but the age of the internet has kicked everything up a notch.

Back in the late 90s, many companies provided personal pagers or Blackberry devices to their staff…until Apple rolled out the iPhone. Suddenly, people didn’t want to switch phones when they came to work every day.

“If I’m in Procurement…but on Sunday when my kid asks for a G.I. Joe…I’m going on my phone, I’m going to an app…I have customer reviews, I see price transparency, I see options… If I go to the office on Monday, and now I’m asked to buy…through an old [method], do I accept that? Of course not.”

Some industrial companies fear that eCommerce will do away with sales and distributors completely…but that’s not what’s happening in B2C.

Companies like Blockbuster and Toys-R-Us have closed all of their brick-and-mortar stores because they didn’t adapt digitally…

…but entirely digital companies like Amazon are suddenly opening brick-and-mortar stores, too.

Why?

When Guy was recently wandering a Kroger, he spotted an entire freezer section devoted to mochi ice cream. “I love mochi,” he explained. “But would never think of buying it…but going through a grocery store, that piqued my interest.”

Is Kroger ignoring the digital world? Not at all! They’re also adapting for online orders, mobile delivery, and other new grocery fads. But they also have traditional stores because they include a personal touch that online shopping just doesn’t have. Not to mention that impulse buys are a bit more common in-person than online.

3. IF YOU’RE CONSIDERING E-COMMERCE…

eCommerce isn’t the only way to do business out there, but it’s still growing exponentially as a central method to doing business.

If you’re not in eCommerce now, you’re losing revenue to companies who are.

Whatever your field, you always need to be considering how you can reduce the friction leading up to a transaction.

In B2B, customers are always changing. We buyers and consumers are fickle and easily-distracted. Our habits are hard to anticipate. That’s both bad news…and good news.

“The scary part and the beauty of what we’re about today in digital is…just because you’re ahead doesn’t mean you’re going to stay there, and just because you’re behind doesn’t mean you can’t leap-frog someone.”

Whatever your business, keeping an eye on digital and consumer trends is the only way to achieve longevity…and right now, eCommerce is revealing itself to be one key technology that’s here to stay.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Guy Courtin of Infor Guy Courtin of Infor and Supply Chain Radio joins our show this week to explain how eCommerce leaked into B2B after taking over B2C, and what that means for industrial manufacturers. And don't forget, we still have a free content planner and video tutorial available for download at http://bit.ly/2LOkmMQ Danny Gonzales, Guy Courtin clean 25:37
5 Tips to Get Comfortable On-Camera for Marketing Videos https://www.industrialsage.com/getting-comfortable-on-camera/ Sun, 22 Jul 2018 09:00:23 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2321 Video is growing more and more commonplace – not just in B2B, but in our daily lives. However, starring in a video is more difficult than it sounds. How do you get comfortable with being on-camera? With video growing more popular and more common in day-to-day, B2B life…a lot of you may be considering starting a vlog or video-podcast or some form of video updates for your network. Chris Luecke of Pubcast Worldwide and Rockwell Automation is a great example – he’s got great content on LinkedIn!

But going on-camera can be daunting.

Even if you’re carrying a high tech camera in your back pocket everywhere you go, how do you get to be good at utilizing it in order to build your audience? Here are five key tips to get comfortable on-camera.

  • Be okay with being bad.
  • Let out a big belly laugh.
  • Prepare an outline.
  • Keep it short.
  • Practice, practice, practice.

1. BE OKAY WITH BEING BAD.

This is one of Danny’s favorite tips, and it’s also highlighted often by another podcaster known as Jason Swenk. Though we all hate the idea of “settling,” the truth is that the fear isn’t necessarily going to go away; even if you take months or years of special acting classes.

Even people who seem relaxed on-camera aren’t always thrilled with their own results.

Mistakes and hiccups and the classic “I don’t like the way I look,” moments always happen; classical training or not. Get used to it. Embrace the fear.

Accept that your performance will always be a little flawed, and move on.

2. LET OUT A BIG BELLY LAUGH.

No, really. Our creative director has visitors do this a lot whenever they’re preparing to speak for a video shoot, and it’s surprisingly effective!

The moment of wackiness gets you loosened up, so you’re less stiff on-camera.

It can feel weird or ridiculous, but it will help you relax. It also will give you a chance to laugh at yourself, which is valuable as we’ve already mentioned – and your smile will become more genuine as a result.

3. PREPARE AN OUTLINE.

Some people simply cannot function without a teleprompter. Some simply cannot function with one. We’ve seen it all – the key is to have a plan of what you need to address in the video.

Don’t assume that a coherent discussion or rant will “just happen,” because it almost never does.

Even in this video-podcast, we go over an episode’s layout before we shoot it – and even Danny Gonzales himself will occasionally reference a sheet of paper with bullet points to keep himself on-track.

4. KEEP IT SHORT.

When viewers are browsing LinkedIn or Twitter, they may scroll past your video within the first five seconds. Often you’ll be lucky if they stick around past thirty. That’s why our show creates short, captioned teasers for social media. Not everyone’s into longform.

Not every audience wants short-form, but most do – especially if they’re on social media.

Just remember, this rule isn’t set in stone. Knowing your audience is key!

Recently, AGCO started a podcast that would average over an hour long, and they were worried it was too much – but, as it turned out, their listeners are farmers working out in the fields for up to eight hours a day. They wanted longer content, not shorter! Who knew?

But short form does force you to condense your message; and that makes for richer content.

5. PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.

No surprise here. There are too many “practice makes perfect,” adages to count. Going on-camera is the same way.

If you quit, you will never get better at it.

There’s no excuse, not when webcams and smartphones are rampant and daily parts of everyone’s life nowadays.

Film yourself discussing topics you’re passionate about. Ask a friend, a coworker, a family member to film you so you have a face behind the camera that you can connect with.

Being on-camera is all about being human; flaws and all.

Are you a human? Great! Then you’ve got everything you need.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Video is growing more and more commonplace – not just in B2B, but in our daily lives. However, starring in a video is more difficult than it sounds. How do you get comfortable with being on-camera? Video is growing more and more commonplace – not just in B2B, but in our daily lives. However, starring in a video is more difficult than it sounds. How do you get comfortable with being on-camera? Danny Gonzales clean 9:41
5 Killer Digital Marketing Technologies You Should Investigate https://www.industrialsage.com/five-killer-digital-marketing-technologies/ Sun, 15 Jul 2018 09:00:49 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2244 We always talk about the great features offered by the countless killer digital marketing technologies out there – but which programs do WE value the most? Find out about the five key programs that we swear by when it comes to our inbound marketing and sales process. First of all, yes. Those are real airplane seats. But no, Danny didn’t try to film the latest episode of IndustrialSage while on a commercial flight. He may, be busy, but he’s not that busy.

As it turns out, the Optimum Productions Atlanta-based production studio has been overtaken for a corporate video shoot! What else? The usual desk and set were partially dismantled in favor of a faux-airplane-interior. But the show must go on, right?

And what a show! In today’s episode, we get down and dirty into our personal top five digital marketing technologies. These are online tools that your outreach teams should definitely take for a spin. There are countless marketing and sales tools out there now, but frankly these are some of our current favorites.

  • CrystalKnows
  • Vidyard
  • Hubspot
  • Drift
  • Terminus

Some of these tools are free, and some are not. But they’ve all been drastically changing our tactics (and our lead generation) for the better.

1. CRYSTALKNOWS

We’ve mentioned this revolutionary sales prospecting program before, but it’s absolutely worth repeating.

Based on the four-quadrant disc personality test, this program tells you the type of language to use when communicating with a prospect.

CrystalKnows can read a person’s LinkedIn profile or correspondence to you, and then tell you how best to respond.

  • Do they want to skip the small talk and go straight to the point?
  • Maybe they prefer the big picture, or perhaps they’re the type of person who wants to know the minute details.
  • Would brainstorming features excite them, or do they prefer setting budget and deadline goals?

This plugin helps you to know the language that will be most effective in an email or written message. It will also tell you whether you should skip the written message and pick up the phone instead. Best of all, the platform offers a free trial!

2. VIDYARD

For all our talk about how important marketing videos and viewer analytics are, we may as well share one of our video-hosting secret weapons.

Vidyard’s platform has revolutionized not only our marketing, but also our sales tactics.

The system can house your entire video library in one place. That means your corporate training, internal communications, company marketing videos, webinars, and the kitchen sink! You can create multiple playlists that contain any number of videos in your library, so you can select the most relevant material to share. Each playlist can be viewed on its own customizable micro-site, or landing page, which matches your website’s brand.

Thanks to the analytics, you can tell who’s really engaged and interested.

Any and every time you send somebody a link to these videos or playlists, you receive an instant notification when they start watching. You can even see a heat map of how long they pay attention or if they re-watch different portions of any video.

Then, of course, there’s GoVideo. Thais is the transformative “video voicemail” tool that has completely altered our sales team’s daily routine.

We’ve touched on this program briefly in previous episodes, as well as in a free webinar that shows the plugin in action.

GoVideo allows you to create a video anytime, anywhere with your computer’s built-in web camera. You can add that video to your Vidyard library, and you can send it in an email instantly. You can also include a customized playlist, and a moving GIF thumbnail of your smiling face!

This means that instead of leaving a voicemail on your prospect’s phone, you can send them an almost-face-to-face interaction that’s exceedingly personal. And the entire program easily integrates with Outlook and Gmail, to boot!

Vidyard can also integrate with other platforms like HubSpot, Pardot, Eloqua, Marketo, Salesforce, and others. That means that the analytics about your prospects’ video views will show up in your database to help you calculate their place in the sales funnel.

3. HUBSPOT

If you’ve been in the digital marketing space for just about any amount of time, you’ve probably heard of the powerhouse that is HubSpot.

Whether you want marketing automation, sales, customer service, or CRM software; HubSpot can offer and integrate them all.

If you have ads on social media, for example, HubSpot can track conversions and help you see when those leads return to any of your websites. And you can set up triggers to send emails, messages, or offers with the right content for each person based on their visitor activity.

This way, your outreach team doesn’t have to personally escort every prospect through the sales process step-by-step. You can educate leads and also make sure they’re not getting ads for content that they’ve already consumed.

Automation isn’t instant. It takes a lot of work and time to build. But it makes the marketing and sales process easer and easier.

4. DRIFT

Drift is one of the leading providers of chatbots. At the beginning of the year, we discussed a number of major digital marketing trends taking off in 2018 – and chatbots were one of them. Even if the term doesn’t ring a bell, you’ve probably already seen these assets in action.

Chatbots look like “Instant Message” bubbles. They pop up and allow you to type quick or specific questions while browsing a website.

Chatbots help leads get faster answers without the commitment of sending an email or making a phone call. Visitors appreciate that anonymity. Programs like Drift help you make contact and facilitate a conversation with prospects, which can eventually usher them into the funnel.

5. TERMINUS

Terminus is a stellar account-based marketing platform for B2B companies. It can help you create and direct ads for the right people, in the right place, at the right time.

Maybe you’re familiar with the concept of pay-per-click, which we outlined with Lillie Beiting last year? Well, Terminus is what you might call “pay per impression.”

Terminus can help you reach your target buyers wherever they are online, or play your ad before a video begins on YouTube (also known as programmatic video).

But the real power of Terminus is that you can target the entire buying committee at your ideal customer accounts. Even if you don’t have their contact info in your database!

You can import lists of accounts via CSV file, Salesforce, and HubSpot. You can also build lists using a number of other third-party integrations, all to make sure that people in specific positions are seeing your advertisements for events, content offers, and more.

Whether you have an upcoming event or a highly-popular webinar they may like, you can ensure that your content will get in front of the right individuals, with customized messages based on their personas.

You can also serve banner ads to target accounts in a certain geographical location, to drive attendance to an event you’re hosting in that region. Or you can serve ads to open opportunities that are stuck in the sales cycle. By engaging more of the decision-makers than your sales team is able to reach, you can help progress those accounts more quickly.

For those of you looking to get more concentrated results with your advertising budget, Terminus and other account-based marketing platforms are great ways to trade in the buck shot for a sniper rifle.

Of course, there are thousands of platforms you can try…but these are some of our favorites.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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We always talk about the great features offered by the countless killer digital marketing technologies out there – but which programs do WE value the most? Find out about the five key programs that we swear by when it comes to our inbound marketing and... We always talk about the great features offered by the countless killer digital marketing technologies, and platforms out there – but which tools do WE value the most? Find out about the five key programs that we swear by when it comes to our inbound marketing and sales process. And don't forget to download the digital content planner at http://bit.ly/2Lhbzzs that can help you plan out the materials to use on these programs! Danny Gonzales clean 19:24
The 2018 Second Quarter Review https://www.industrialsage.com/2018-second-quarter-review/ Sun, 01 Jul 2018 09:00:28 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2209 Happy Birthday to us! The 2018 second quarter is over, as is our first year as a podcast! But before we dive into July, take a listen to some recent highlights of the past three months! Happy Birthday to us! IndustrialSage has wrapped up our first year, and we’re still truckin’! But before we jump into the next quarter, we’re going to stop and smell the roses – or rather, listen to some of the great moments from the past three months. We don’t want you to miss out on any of the sage wisdom we’ve worked so hard to collect!

APRIL

One of our most popular episodes of the quarter was the chat we had with Mathias Konne of Eurokera. He spoke with us about the importance of a company brand. Laying out the basics of a company’s visual identity, from a united identity all the way to coherent templates, is vital to communicating effectively with your prospects.

Not long after meeting with Mathias, our whole team took the show on the road to MODEX 2018 in Atlanta! We filmed discussions with as many companies as we could! We got so many interviews, in fact, that there was too much footage to put into the show! (Unless you want a podcast over two hours long…)

MAY

One of our many new connections from MODEX was Bhaskar Chopra of Siemens, who joined our show not long after to give us some fantastic advice about giving presentations. He had some great tips and best practices about focusing on what the audience wants, rather than the message you think they want to hear.

JUNE

And one of the last guests of the quarter was a familiar face! Judson Voss of Chart Industries returned to these hallowed halls to chat with us about the definition and value of inbound marketing, regardless of your choice marketing mediums. The conversation was so fascinating, it was hard to yell “cut,” on that episode!

And the show is far from over, folks! This next quarter is going to usher in even more insights and sage advice about industrial marketing and best digital practices that are starting to benefit manufacturers in all new ways. We can’t wait for you to hear it.

Best of all, if you want to contribute to the conversation and potentially join the IndustrialSage community, you can! In fact, you could become one of our recognized content creators! Whether it’s weekly or annually, as a blogger or a guest, reach out to us and apply! This next quarter is going to be sensational.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Happy Birthday to us! The 2018 second quarter is over, as is our first year as a podcast! But before we dive into July, take a listen to some recent highlights of the past three months! Happy Birthday to us! The 2018 second quarter is over, as is our first year as a podcast! But before we dive into July, take a listen to some recent highlights of the past three months! And don't forget, our Digital Content Planner is still available to download for free, and it comes with a video-tutorial as well! Access it here: http://bit.ly/2KtiOXE Danny Gonzales clean 24:57
Danny’s 4 Steps to Sales Prospecting https://www.industrialsage.com/four-steps-of-sales-prospecting/ Sun, 24 Jun 2018 09:00:49 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2195 Danny walks us through his personal four steps of the sales prospecting process, as well as some of the reasonings behind why we (and many companies) have made these changes in their techniques. If you’ve listened to our show at all, then you know that the digital age has led to dramatic changes in sales and marketing tactics – as well as the technologies we use for either process.

If you’re one of the many people trying to keep up with new sales methods, today’s episode is for you.

These four steps aren’t necessarily some magic bullet – but they are what we use here.

Danny’s going to walk you through the four basic steps to the sales process that he himself follows; as well as some of the reasonings behind why we (and many companies) have made these changes in their techniques.

  • (Re-invented) cold calling
  • LinkedIn hints
  • One-On-One emails
  • Content gifts

The first step, which used to be tried and true, may be a little different than what you remember.

1. THE [RE-INVENTED] COLD CALL

When you pick up the phone, don’t expect to get your prospect on the other end. In fact, you should plan for that.

Leave a short message introducing yourself, and mentioning that you’re going to be sending this individual an email soon. And this next part is key:

Don’t mention your product or service yet.

No pitches. No offers. This message should not require the recipient to do anything. All it does is let them know to expect your email. That way there’s no pressure on their end, and all they can do is shrug it off and wait.

2. THE LINKEDIN HINT

If you don’t have an account, you absolutely need one. Build a rich profile for yourself, add content, and build a network. Think of LinkedIn as the networking event that people attend when they’re too busy to actually physically attend a networking event in person.

So after leaving that phone message, get on LinkedIn.

Visit their profile – but don’t ask them to connect yet.

Why? Because LinkedIn will notify them: “Danny Gonzales viewed your profile.” At which point their interest is just slightly piqued yet again. “Who is this Danny Gonzales guy?”

This may even lead them to check out your profile in return – which is why you need to make sure to have plenty of valuable content waiting for them!

Again, you’ve asked them for nothing and you’ve offered them nothing. All you’re doing is showing a little attention, and hopefully you’re generating their curiosity in you as well.

3. THE ONE-ON-ONE EMAIL

Now this is the big step. You send them an email – but heaven help you if you toss a generic message in that text box!!

This is not a time to copy-paste. This is a time to be as personalized as possible.

In fact, Danny and his team love to take this step above and beyond using special webcam tools that actually send a “video voicemail” message straight to the prospect’s inbox. (You can find out more about that particular system in our webinar about video in sales!)

In this email and/or video message, you’re still not making a pitch or an offer. Instead, you want to take note of a problem that this individual has, which they may not even have known about – and then you offer them advice on how to fix it.

Note: you still aren’t asking them to buy anything or to buy into anything right now.

You are simply giving them a hand or a piece of advice for their business, based the expertise you have to offer.

For us, it’s a bit easier to scroll around someone’s website and let them know about issues with their video hosting or their blog layout. For your industry, the details may look different.

But in the end, you are essentially offering this prospect free information – almost a free tutorial – on how to fix their problem…and you do it without specifying any particular product or service.

You give some tips in the email, and you offer to explain in more detail over a future phone call.

This shows your prospect that you’ve paid attention to them. You’re clearly aware of their particular needs or challenges. You’re also willing to provide expertise in order to help them reach a resolution.

4. THE CONTENT GIFT

After sending that email, the ball is in your prospect’s court for a while; but you should still make sure that you haven’t been forgotten.

This is where you return to LinkedIn and play the long game; networking and occasionally sending relevant content their way.

Maybe there’s been a relevant change in policy or a tax adjustment for their industry. You might make use of a nifty new LinkedIn plug-in, like CrystalKnows, which can help them identify their prospects’ preferred message styles.

Whatever the content, tag them or send them a “Saw this and thought of you,” LinkedIn email.

Then here’s the sneaky part: if you’ve created a blog or video or chunk of past content that also might be relevant to them…add it to the bottom of your email signature.

They might click on it. Maybe they won’t. But over time, you’re establishing yourself as a worthwhile connection. And that is the key here.

Use content to keep providing value.

Value.

VALUE.

Whether you’re a plumber or an aerospace engineer or a cactus gardner, keep yourself in the periphery of your prospects as a thought leader in your field.

Share content, and make content, until a potential buyer is actually in a place where they’re ready to seek out and buy a solution. And when they do, they’ll almost certainly come to the person they trust… which, thanks to this sales process, will hopefully be you.

Now, does following these four steps require far more effort than traditional copy-paste sales tactics? Absolutely. But do they work? Again: absolutely. We know so, because we’re not just shelling out guesses about sales tools without any firsthand knowledge.

These are our tactics, too. We’re doing our best to practice what we preach.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Danny walks us through his personal four steps of the sales prospecting process, as well as some of the reasonings behind why we (and many companies) have made these changes in their techniques. Danny walks us through his personal four steps of the sales prospecting process, as well as some of the reasonings behind why we (and many companies) have made these changes in their techniques. Providing value through content is one of the biggest factors – and if you want to join the IndustrialSage team in providing value, you can join us! Visit http://bit.ly/2tvd0CD for details. Danny Gonzales clean 14:06
Three Social Sharing Tips Most Companies Miss https://www.industrialsage.com/three-social-sharing-mistakes/ Sun, 17 Jun 2018 09:00:54 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2165 A lot of industrial companies wonder why social media isn't sending them the traffic they want. If that's you, it's time to double-check your social sharing habits. We gave a lot of free content to companies from MODEX, and what they did with it speaks volumes. When we went to MODEX this Spring, we shot interviews with multiple companies…and it’s been really interesting to see what they’ve done with those interviews.

Some have gotten a lot of attention…some have not. And it’s not terribly surprising that the companies to put the most effort into using their content got the most out of it…while those who did little, got little.

In short, we’ve noticed that there are three social sharing tips that often get overlooked by industrial manufacturers. Are you doing them all?

  • Identifying your audience’s destination.
  • Actually promoting your content.
  • Sharing is caring.

1. IDENTIFY YOUR AUDIENCE’S DESTINATION.

Before you go out and share anything, stop and think: where do you want interested viewers to end up? Here’s a hint: NOT YOUTUBE. Not some video channel. And if you can help it, not someone else’s website, either.

This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bolster your friends on social media sometimes, but if you’re trying to promote yourself using, say, an interview video…

As much as possible, when you share on your social media, share links to your website.

We put all this content on our website. It’s useful for us. So when we, IndustrialSage, share the materials on social media, we generally direct people to our website. We encouraged our interviewees to put this content on their website, and send their followers there. Some people did…some didn’t. And that affected where their audiences went.

2. ACTUALLY PROMOTE YOUR CONTENT.

You made the effort to create (or at least post) this material; take just a few more minutes to share it on social media or in email newsletters, and let people know that it exists.

The individual who got the most out of our MODEX content offer, TJ Tweddle of Hoppecke, promoted it with a LinkedIn article.

Some companies didn’t bother with what we sent them at all. We gave them video, still images, and blog content all for free – and they did nothing with it. So…nothing happened for them.

The companies that actually shared this content got a lot of attention; especially the companies that put the materials on their own website, as opposed to just sending people to ours.

3. SHARING IS CARING.

One of the major (if invisible) benefits of this arrangement between ourselves and other companies was actually the act of networking itself. We got to know people, they got to know us, we follow each other on social media now, and we sometimes share or respond to one another’s content there. Audiences expanded as a result. That’s pretty natural.

Additionally, in many cases we also exchanged a major golden nugget for SEO: backlinks.

Our blog posts about these companies also included a link to their websites; that boosts their credibility to Google a little bit.

And so those sites which then linked to us in their blog posts, also boosted our online credibility.

For companies that tend to object to digital methods because they consider themselves “relationship-based,” the truth is that online tactics actually can be used to enhance said relationships.

The more you provide value to someone else, the more they may provide for you. That’s what we’ve come to understand in the digital marketing space – and that’s something that many of our new friends from MODEX have also experienced for themselves. Just ask them for yourself!

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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A lot of industrial companies wonder why social media isn't sending them the traffic they want. If that's you, it's time to double-check your social sharing habits. We gave a lot of free content to companies from MODEX, A lot of industrial companies wonder why social media isn't sending them the traffic they want. If that's you, it's time to double-check your social sharing habits. We gave a lot of free content to companies from MODEX, and what they did with it speaks volumes. Also, we are now accepting blog submissions and new guests! Apply for either at http://bit.ly/2yfc7Ut Danny Gonzales clean 9:26
What Is Inbound Marketing and Why Is It Vital for Manufacturers? https://www.industrialsage.com/what-is-inbound-marketing/ Sun, 10 Jun 2018 09:00:33 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2126 Judson Voss joins us once again to discuss how the model of inbound marketing is taking over all aspects of the customer journey, whether digital OR analog. Marketing is no longer about companies hunting down customers; but about customers hunting down solutions. So how attractive does your offering look to them? Judson Voss is back! Our favorite digital marketing manager of Chart Industries joins us again in the studio to discuss a big buzzword in today’s digital, industrial, and B2B marketing space.

1. WHAT IS INBOUND MARKETING?

Some companies have embraced digital, some haven’t…but inbound is changing how people employ your business, regardless of the medium they use.

It’s no longer about customers being sought out by a company, but about them seeking a solution to their own problems.

A lot of companies may pooh-pooh the idea, because “We’re a very relationship-driven business.” But in reality, every business is relationship-driven.

“[Inbound] is not to replace those relationships at all…it’s really to enhance [them].

…It’s taking those relationships you’ve developed, the way that companies have gone to market in the past, and it’s not really changing the structure of it, so much; it’s just changing the medium and the way it’s communicated and delivered.”

2. HOW DID IT DEVELOP?

A lot of people blame the uprising of digital on younger generations entering the B2B world…but in reality, younger generations have constantly been entering the B2B world. It’s the tools and resources at their disposal that have changed.

“Just naturally, it’s going to be a younger crowd. I think it probably was all the time, it’s just that before we had the digital piece, we couldn’t figure out who those people were.”

Now that digital resources have shifted, so have buying habits.

“Nearly fifty percent of B2B buyers are millennials…the way that they buy is dramatically different than the way things used to be purchased twenty, thirty years ago.”

The question is…are you shifting with those buying habits? Just look at what happened when Netflix pivoted, but Blockbuster did not. Blockbuster’s net worth never reached $9 Billion…but Netflix has already exceeded $60 Billion – and just recently it was (briefly) worth more than Disney itself!

“The majority of B2B buyers today…the first touch is through your website, or some digital property.”

3. ADJUSTING TO EDUCATE BUYERS

“Just think of whenever you buy something…whether it’s a B2B or a B2C purchase, what do you do? You go to the Yellow Pages, naturally…” [laughs]

By the time buyers reach out, they’ve probably already made their decision by educating themselves online.

Adapting to an inbound model means providing more educational content online about your product and service, which they can access before contacting you.

“Even with big purchases, I want to be as educated as much as I can before I seek out the actual folks to get the real details.”

Webinars are a valuable tool for educational leads like that; and they’re a resource that large B2B industrial companies like Chart especially favor.

Video resources are a great way to explain fairly expensive, highly-technical products.

Best of all, the buyer also learns a little bit about your company and culture just through the nature of how the videos look – especially if your subject matter expert is the person hosting the webinar.

Beyond just having the videos, it’s also important to know your audience.

“An engineer might be more interested in the specs on the product. Everybody else in that company is interested in the ROI. ‘Why are we spending money on this product? What are we getting out of it?’ ”

What a CEO wants will differ from a CFO’s desires, and neither may have the same priorities or interests as their engineer who will be using the product.

“When you’re marketing to a CFO, don’t care about the product; care about the payback.”

Best of all if you’re a billion-dollar company, you don’t have to reinvent your process.

Just take what you’ve already been doing successfully, and digitize it.

“If you want a quick win, go out and interview the sales team and understand how they [handle and rank] leads, and totally just copy it.”

4. WHERE DOES CONTENT FIT INTO THIS?

Once your inbound process set up digitally, it can run 24/7 and provide educational information to engineers working late nights and researching solutions.

“Inbound is a digital method to allow people to raise their hand, instead of you seeking them out and asking if they want your product.”

The more of a prospect’s questions you can answer with blog posts and webinars, the more satisfied they will be.

Now the word ‘content’ is sometimes intimidating…but it’s easier to create than you might think.

If you record just one presentation by your subject matter expert, you can get a blog post and a video and a podcast and still images right there. That’s a minimum of four resources from one shoot! And if you get an email from a customer about what meant a lot to them, that’s more content you can generate for your website. And that’s a key part of the inbound method.

Content is the source and medium and main tool of inbound marketing

“People don’t want to just see the specs on products; they want the story behind it. They want to know what it’s going to do for them – which they’ve always wanted; they’re just asking for it digitally…well, the content is that.”

Without the content, there’s nowhere to land after someone reaches your website.

And the right format is important, too. Reusing content is kind of nice for marketers who don’t have to generate something severely original every day or two…but also, you’ll reach more people because of how they ingest information.

“If I go and sign up for a webinar, I get the replay, and I hope to God they have a Cliff-Notes version that I can read through in about four minutes.”

“[People have] different ways they like to consume their content. That’s why video podcasts, audio podcasts, blogs…[when you ask] which is the best? The answer is ‘yes’.”

5. ADVICE FOR NEWCOMERS INTO INBOUND

Regardless of digital, you need to understand your business and your customers first.

“You need to know what you’re selling and why you’re selling it – and why you’re selling it isn’t to get revenue; it’s why the customer is buying it.”

Once you do get to the digital side of things, remember to transition into it; don’t just jump in while dropping your traditionally-successful methods cold-turkey. Even if you’re just starting by consulting outsiders, hiring an agency, or asking your customers how it’s been for them, that works.

You need to know ahead of time what you want to get out of digital, so that you know how to measure it; and you also need to know how to represent the ROI to the higher-ups so that they actually can see value from it. But most of all?

You need to know how customers are finding you. Because your main source of leads is probably not the Yellow Pages anymore.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Judson Voss of Chart Industries Judson Voss of Chart Industries joins us once again to discuss how the model of inbound marketing is taking over all aspects of the customer journey, whether digital OR analog. Marketing is no longer about companies hunting down customers; but about customers hunting down solutions. So how attractive does your offering look to them? Danny Gonzales, Judson Voss clean 24:18
The Power of Personalization in Marketing and Sales Tactics https://www.industrialsage.com/power-of-personalization/ Sun, 03 Jun 2018 09:00:37 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2013 Personalization is becoming more and more of a buzzword in the marketing world – but how common (and easy) is it? What are some areas of digital campaigning where it can be utilized? Personalization in marketing is becoming more and more of a buzzword in the marketing world – but how common (and easy) is it? What are some areas of digital campaigning where it can be utilized?

1. EMAIL

This is one area you’ve likely already seen, at least from a customer standpoint. Written campaigns have done this for ages, under the name “variable data printing.”

Everyone from retail to insurance companies to auto-repair stores to politicians will sometimes use a system to put a recipient’s name at the top of their postcard or letter. And now email is commonly handled the same way.

Surely you’ve gotten an email newsletter that had your name at the top.

Most email systems, like MailChimp for example, have tools called “Merge Tags” that can insert data per recipient into an email you’re delivering.

As long as you have someone’s first name or phone number or what-have-you in your database, a merge tag can insert it into the email.

Merge tags vary in appearance depending on the email system you use, but they tend to look something like *|this|* or –this– or [this].

That way if your email says, “Hey *|firstname|*!” then Bob gets an email that says, “Hey, Bob!” and Zeke gets an email that says, “Hey, Zeke!”

2. DYNAMIC LANDING PAGES

If you have a product that’s valuable to two very different industries (let’s say health and automotive), you can use a concept similar to merge tags on your landing pages. There are ways to set up the pages’ images and content so that they will switch “on command,” or display data that is specific to the link someone clicks.

This way, you can share one URL on a page for medical equipment; and then you can share a slightly different URL on a page for automotive repairs.

Visitors will all arrive on the ‘same’ page, but the page will be triggered to change its appearance based on wherever the visitor has come from.

Same product; different prospects; one page. Bada-bing, bada-boom. Commands, UTM codes, and other tags added to hyperlinks in this way can cause the page to do all sorts of things, from displaying specific text to autoplaying videos, and more.

3. VIDEO

Last but certainly not least, video is actually starting to become more and more customizable as well! Have you ever received a video with your name inside it? A few of you lucky ducks might say yes – but plenty of you might say… “not yet.”

Just like an email with merge tags, videos can now pull in just about any piece of data that you want from a spreadsheet.

Recipient’s name? Sure.
Birthday? Done.
Favorite color? If it’s on file, then absolutely.

Your video can weave a whole story around that person, as determined by the information you want to use. Optimum Productions has actually released various campaigns with personalized videos; from a general overview of personalized video, to a stop-motion holiday greeting, to an animated birthday message.

Personalized video has been shown to double email opens and click-through rates, because it’s still exceedingly novel. And the best part is that there aren’t really limits to what your videos can display.

If you have the data, then you have the content.

That rule goes for any of these various tools of personalization in marketing – be they your emails, your landing pages, or your videos. If you want to reach your clientele and blow them away, show them that you’re paying attention to who they are and what they want.

Take a look into personalization, or reach out to those of us that have tried it out before. We’ve got some great stories.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Personalization is becoming more and more of a buzzword in the marketing world – but how common (and easy) is it? What are some areas of digital campaigning where it can be utilized? Personalization is becoming more and more of a buzzword in the marketing world – but how common (and easy) is it? What are some areas of digital campaigning where it can be utilized? And don't forget, you can download your own free Content Marketing Planner and watch the accompanying tutorial by visiting http://bit.ly/2IMf13B Danny Gonzales clean 6:45
The 6 Basics of a Digital Marketing Campaign https://www.industrialsage.com/basics-of-digital-marketing-campaigns/ Sun, 20 May 2018 09:00:40 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=2010 A lot of our fans and peers are pretty new to the digital and/or marketing world altogether, so today we’re going to break down the six basic elements that you need to best run a digital campaign. Spoiler alert – if you don't measure it, nothing matters. Here at IndustrialSage, we’re always talking about digital marketing and online campaigns in general – but we’re also hearing from a lot of our fans and peers, who in some cases are pretty new to the digital and/or marketing world altogether.

So for those of you who are looking for a toe-dip or the bird’s eye view of how to get the ball rolling, today we’re going to break down the six elements that you need to best understand the basics of a digital marketing campaign.

  • Choose a piece of content.
  • Get the word out.
  • Collect leads on a landing page.
  • Add paid advertising (optional).
  • Utilize creative media.
  • Prepare assets to follow up.

But whatever you do…don’t forget to measure it!

1. CHOOSE A PIECE OF CONTENT

Let’s say you want to promote or host a webinar, for example. Whatever it is, make sure it’s definitely valuable to your prospects or clients.

Content, particularly content at the center of a campaign, needs to generate interest and drive engagement.

How valuable should you make this material without giving away the farm? Well, hopefully valuable enough that some leads are going to willingly give you their email or other contact information in exchange for it.

Prospects nowadays tend to invest in companies that they trust, and they build trust in companies that have proven reliable in educating them.

2. GET THE WORD OUT

You can’t throw a party without inviting some guests.

Once the content is ready, it’s time to let your prospects, leads, and maybe even your clients know about it. Send out a company newsletter – email lists are great places to start with people who are already familiar with you.

3. COLLECT LEADS ON A LANDING PAGE

Whether someone learns about your content offer through email newsletter or online ads, they all need to end up on the same place: a landing page. A landing page is a specialized page on your site that’s meant to promote only one event or offer, with a form for visitors to complete.

You need a place for visitors to learn about this content and sign up for it.

This form might only be asking for an email address – or it might ask for a name and phone number, if the majority of the visitors are already on a mailing list.

4. ADD PAID ADVERTISING [OPTIONAL]

While paid advertising is definitely a strong tactic nowadays, it’s definitely complex – as we learned in our two-part series on PPC with Lillie Beiting of Stanley Black & Decker. There are some benefits. You can select a specialized audience, for example. But the downside is, you need allocated funds to invest in it.

Not everyone can afford to invest in paid ads…yet.

And without training and practice, there’s no guarantee you’ll get the results you hoped for.

5. UTILIZE CREATIVE MEDIA

Whether or not you decide to use paid advertising, one statistically-better tactic to garner more attention from leads is imagery or video.

People will take visual media over written text every time.

Short video teasers or well-designed graphics will help you to draw in visitors and inform them about your offer. Put them in your ads; in your emails; wherever you possibly can.

6. PREPARE ASSETS TO FOLLOW UP

Getting people through the gate is a great milestone, but don’t stop there. Make sure you have an email or a drip series of emails to push out once people have signed up.

Maintain communication with any converted leads, so that they know what’s going on before and after the offer is delivered.

Hopefully, if you’ve already got the valuable content prepared beforehand, this part should be a walk in the park – especially if you take advantage of some kind of marketing automation platform.

Whatever You Do…Measure It.

If nothing else, you can count the number of people who fill out the form – but as we’ve discussed for months and months…

Measurability is everything.

That’s one of the key basics of a digital marketing campaign. It’s why we like using Google Analytics or Hubspot to track visits and views. It’s why we prefer sophisticated video platforms over basic options like YouTube.

Tracking user activity will be your best way to collect feedback and adjust your present (and future) campaigns accordingly.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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A lot of our fans and peers are pretty new to the digital and/or marketing world altogether, so today we’re going to break down the six basic elements that you need to best run a digital campaign. Spoiler alert – if you don't measure it, nothing matters. A lot of our fans and peers are pretty new to the digital and/or marketing world altogether, so today we’re going to break down the six basic elements that you need to best run a digital campaign. Spoiler alert – if you don't measure it, nothing matters. And don't forget, you can download our free Content Marketing Planner by visiting http://bit.ly/2Iu3W7m Danny Gonzales clean 6:43
Top Ways Video Can Boost SEO for Manufacturers https://www.industrialsage.com/ways-video-can-boost-seo/ Sun, 13 May 2018 09:00:40 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1929 Not only is video an exceedingly rich marketing asset, but it can also drive a lot of your online visibility…IF handled properly. Find out whether or not Google is actually giving you credit for your content, and learn how to optimize your company's video SEO. While interviewing industrial marketers at MODEX about their favorite methods of outreach, one of the most common topics to come up was video. We were hardly surprised, to be honest. Our team already lives and breaths video marketing as a way of life.

It’s evident that consumers are trained more and more to consume video beyond any other medium.

As well as being really rich content, video can also drive a lot of SEO value. If handled properly.

WHAT’S SEO, AGAIN?

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. AKA: making your content/page/site particularly appealing to search engines, like Google.

The more SEO value you have, the higher on the list of search results your content will be.

Those positions are highly-coveted and highly sought-after. Videos are not only a great way to move up the ladder and boost your site’s credibility, but that’s not all they do. The videos themselves might even pop up in search results. And they’re far more likely to be clicked by searchers than plain text results.

So how do you make sure that happens?

1. TRANSCRIBE YOUR VIDEOS

As much as we assume footage itself is enough, Google and Bing and Yahoo and other search engines don’t think like people. They still need words to help them process pictures.

If you have captions or a transcription alongside your video, that helps search engines recognize your video as having valuable information.

You can hire out many different companies or services to help transcribe your videos. If you’re on a budget, you can use YouTube to get a head-start in a pinch. (Just make sure you spell-check and update the content so you don’t end up with some very unprofessional captioning fails).

2. INDEX YOUR PAGES

Adding the transcription to your video or to the webpages where it’s located will help attract Google’s attention. But that in itself is not a guarantee.

You or your site manager also need to make sure that your webpage is “indexed,” meaning it is not on Google’s ‘Do Not Call’ list.

You can do that by using, among other solutions, Schema Markup. This system helps you add descriptions, tags, and other information to your webpages. It helps search engines understand and navigate your website more easily.

3. TEST YOUR PAGES

Once your video and your transcription are online and indexed, go visit Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool. Past the url of your page into the blank. If all goes well, that page’s information will pop up and include a “Video Object” with the data that Google has about it.

But if you do not see a video object (YouTube embeds may not show up, for example), then as far as Google is concerned…there’s no video on that webpage.

You can also try searching for your webpage or topic by going to Google.com/Video to see if your video comes up in the feed. You can check either with your website url, or with a YouTube url that takes your viewers to that magical land of long-lost vines and distracting cats.

This is why we always harp about getting more sophisticated video-hosting platforms. YouTube hogs all the credit for your content.

Just hang in there.

As important as video SEO is, it also is not going to be easy. Indexing and hosting and transcribing takes effort, whether you do it yourself or pay someone else to help with the heavy lifting. But perhaps that’s kind of the point.

An SEO-optimized video shows that you’re hard-working, credible, and dedicated to your craft.

Is it tough? You bet. But is it worth every penny? Absolutely.

We would know.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox; or subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Not only is video an exceedingly rich marketing asset, but it can also drive a lot of your online visibility…IF handled properly. Find out whether or not Google is actually giving you credit for your content, Not only is video an exceedingly rich marketing asset, but it can also drive a lot of your online visibility…IF handled properly. Find out whether or not Google is actually giving you credit for your content, and learn how to optimize your company's video SEO. And don't forget, you can download our free Content Marketing Planner by visiting http://bit.ly/2Gioiys Danny Gonzales clean 6:44
Key Tips to Sharpen Your Speaking and Presentation Skills https://www.industrialsage.com/sharpen-your-presentation-skills/ Sun, 06 May 2018 09:00:28 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1838 Bhaskar Chopra of Siemens Digital Factory joins us in the studio to talk about the different techniques and tips that he uses to keep his audiences interested whenever he has a speaking engagement. Whether it's a speech or a powerpoint, he's got some great steps to honing your presentation skills! This week we’re joined by Bhaskar Chopra, the Industry Manager for Material Handling Solutions with Siemens Digital Factory. We met Bhaskar back at MODEX, where Joseph interviewed him about the latest in Siemens products and solutions, especially including the company’s new IoT cloud platform, known as MindSphere. Bhaskar presented the information with ease, and so we met with him again in our Atlanta studio to discuss a new topic: honing your presentation skills.

Every job, from marketing to engineering to finance to politics, usually requires a presentation or two.

We’ve all seen excellent presentations, and we’ve all seen painful and snooze-worthy presentations. What’s the best way to prepare? How can you avoid being someone’s example of what NOT to do?

1. KEEP YOUR SLIDES MINIMALIST

People assume that the first step of preparation is to set up the powerpoint. But actually, you need to plan out the powerpoint first.

Start by building a storyboard.

You’d be surprised how much rearrangement will go into this, but at the end of it you will have a much more linear, coherent story before you. You will know what you want to discuss where…and then you will have the difficult job of trimming down what will actually go into the slides.

Yes, the ever-irritating “less is more,” mantra applies here. While some of us like to blame bad presentations on the speaker or the topic itself, the content isn’t usually the problem: it’s how the content is presented.

Simple slides are better slides.

DO NOT fill your presentation to the brim with text.

The last thing anybody wants is for you to read them a huge paragraph, as if they can’t read. But it’s also rude of you to expect that they will read a book’s worth of material as well, especially if it’s in a font so tiny that they need binoculars. If they’d wanted a manual on this topic, they would have gotten a manual.

Technical jargon reduces comprehension.

2. TRUST YOURSELF

Your viewers can’t actually read and listen at the same time. They’re not here for the slides, they’re here for you – so know your content.

We get it – you don’t want to shuffle through index cards to try and remember your speech…except this isn’t a speech. Really, it’s a conversation. If you work in aerospace engineering, you might not have the right presentation skills to present about plumbing – but the good news is that you usually shouldn’t have to.

You’re probably going to give a presentation about something you’re already familiar with, so trust yourself to explain it well.

Use the slides as prompters for yourself – with maybe just three to five bullet points, or even as little as three to five words. Where possible, use a picture instead of words.

“If you do have a technical topic…I always like to have images up there, and images that have as little word content as possible; and I let myself do the speaking.”

Own your topic. But even then, believe it or not… knowing what you want to touch on is actually only half the battle.

3. GIVE THE PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT

When you start preparing your presentation, it’s like any other sales or marketing activity: you need to know your audience. You could even go the extra mile and chart out actual personas for yourself but that’s optional. And do you know what’s even more effective?

It’s okay to ask your audience what they want to learn about.

You can email them ahead of time in some cases (if this is for, say, a business meeting). Or, if you don’t have that option, it’s acceptable to ask them at the very beginning of the presentation! They won’t see it as an annoying delay: they’ll see it as a sign that you’re here to get them results.

Bhaskar especially likes to have a whiteboard handy for this – though a notebook can sometimes work as well.

“What I do like to do is, before I start any type of presentation –especially for a smaller crowd…I’ll go around the room. I’ll take a legitimate five minutes and say, ‘Hey. I’m Bhaskar. Here’s what I do. Who are you? What do you do? Why do you care about Siemens, why do you care about VFDs, why do you care about material handling? Tell me your experience and what you care about ”

Write down some of their questions or topics right there, and try to make sure each is answered by the time you finish.

If they know you’re going to address their concerns or their pain points, they’re definitely going to listen to what you have to say. And even if you wrap up and you haven’t answered a few of the questions, you’d be shocked how many people will be perfectly okay with waiting a few minutes while you pull up an additional, relevant powerpoint that may provide an answer for them.

4. REMEMBER WHY YOU’RE THERE

Inviting audience participation will automatically increase their engagement.

Whether you’re going around the room and asking everyone to introduce themselves, or whether you let them know that you’ll need a volunteer later, the more your focus is on them instead of your content, the more they’ll be paying attention. And if you invite someone onstage to perform a demo, they’ll be more likely to believe that this really is “easy as one-two-three,” compared to if you perform the demo yourself.

“At the end of the day, isn’t this a bit of Sales 101?”

Wherever you go and to whomever you present, you need to remember that the presentation is ultimately about them and answering their questions; not about you and what you have to say.

Always remember to prepare ahead of time…and to “give the people what they want.”

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Bhaskar Chopra of Siemens Digital Factory Bhaskar Chopra of Siemens Digital Factory joins us in the studio to talk about the different techniques and tips that he uses to keep his audiences interested whenever he has a speaking engagement. Whether it's a speech or a powerpoint, he's got some great steps to honing your presentation skills! Also, you can download our free Content Marketing Planner by visiting http://bit.ly/2wHUaNj Danny Gonzales, Bhaskar Chopra clean 31:51
How Industrial Marketers Can Repurpose Assets for Content Marketing https://www.industrialsage.com/repurposing-assets-for-content-marketing/ Sun, 29 Apr 2018 09:00:29 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1628 Maggie sent in a great question about reworking content like powerpoint presentations as eBooks or other online deliverables. Danny breaks down the best ways to repurpose assets for content marketing, and why video is ideal for that practice. AUDIENCE QUESTION:

“We presented a seminar at MODEX using powerpoint. We received a lot of requests to send the deck to both attendees and those who missed it. I didn’t just want to post the deck because it doesn’t contain the narrative that our speaker gave, it doesn’t tell a story besides being sequential…I think it’d be great if you wrote up a guide on how to turn a powerpoint presentation into a lead generating eBook!

– Maggie

Great question, Maggie! Repurposing content is the bread and butter of marketing, and presentations often provide more material than originally expected! That said, here are a few top pointers about trying to make eBooks or other deliverables out of your resources when you repurpose assets for content marketing.

 

You can submit a topic for the show, too:
if we use it, you’ll get a free IndustrialSage shirt!

 

SUBMIT A QUESTION

 

1. WHEN POSSIBLE, START WITH THE END IN MIND

For the particular presentation that your team-member gave, this step is a tiny bit irrelevant. But if you know that he/she is going to probably give that presentation again, then you’re still in luck!

Whenever you suspect that a certain piece of information will be valuable to your prospects, or if you suspect that someone on your team will have to repeat the same message many times, then preparing beforehand to turn it into a deliverable will indeed be a valuable content marketing tactic.

2. RECORD THE PRESENTATION

While you specifically asked about an eBook deliverable, the honest truth is that the best way to collect the content from the presentation (particularly the remarks that were spoken but not on the slides) is by filming the whole thing.

Video can provide multiple deliverables.

Whether it’s live during the event or in a professional recording session, it’s the ideal way to capture the content. Whether you want to have visual webinars/tutorials, audio for podcasts, captions that can become transcripts, or still images of the speaker…you can get them all with video, and they all might be valuable to your prospects.

Then when you play the video for your viewers, you can alternate between the speaker and the slides themselves: so they get the best of both worlds.

3. DIVIDE IT INTO BITE-SIZED CHUNKS

If you think the presentation lends itself to multiple smaller sections (especially if it’s more than five minutes long), then create divisions within it.

Instead of one really long deliverable, create multiple short, specialized deliverables.

Turn it into a series. Why not? Even if you’re still going with an eBook instead of a blog, you can provide different sections or chapters as their own item.

4. CHOOSE YOUR WEAPON– ER, DELIVERABLE

If you think your prospects will be dead-set on an eBook, then you can use programs like Powerpoint or Adobe Illustrator to create a PDF with the slide deck. Either program will provide opportunities for you to rearrange the content, update it, or add relevant information from the video transcript.

But it’s far more likely that video will be your audience’s preferred medium.

5. TRACK IT, TRACK IT, TRACK IT

Whatever you decide to create when you repurpose assets for content marketing – be it a downloadable PDF or an online video series – make sure you can tell who’s actually using it.

Don’t go to all the trouble of providing a valuable, educative resource and then drop the ball on measuring its success rate.

Use gates or UTM codes or sophisticated analytics platforms to plan out a trackable delivery so that you can count the clicks, see who’s really interested, and perhaps even spot if there are any parts of the content that they’re really focused on.

From there, how you handle that feedback will affect what you do next. But since it sounds like you’re already doing a great job of listening and responding to customer feedback…we have a feeling you’re going to do just fine!

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Maggie sent in a great question about reworking content like powerpoint presentations as eBooks or other online deliverables. Danny breaks down the best ways to repurpose assets for content marketing, and why video is ideal for that practice. Maggie sent in a great question about reworking content like powerpoint presentations as eBooks or other online deliverables. Danny breaks down the best ways to repurpose assets for content marketing, and why video is ideal for that practice. Also, you can now download our free Content Marketing Planner by visiting http://bit.ly/2Gh9gZP Danny Gonzales clean 9:56
MODEX 2018: Atlanta’s Logistics & Supply Chain Trade Show https://www.industrialsage.com/modex-2018/ Sun, 22 Apr 2018 09:00:37 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1578 Since MHI was hosting MODEX 2018 – a trade show centered around supply chain and logistics solutions – in our Atlanta backyard, we decided to collect some interviews from as many exhibitors and attendees as we could. So…we literally took the show on the road! What a week!

IndustrialSage made a daring move recently and stepped out of the studio! Where did we go? Well, MODEX 2018 was happening in our Atlanta backyard. So we literally took the show on the road!

MODEX, partnered with ProMat in Chicago, is hosted by MHI: America’s largest material handling, logistics, and supply chain association.

Both MODEX and ProMat are trade shows centered around the latest and greatest in industrial and logistics technologies. Businessmen and women came from over 110 countries to rub elbows and exhibit different products – from automated robotic carriers and IoT devices to software to entirely new shipping models.

There were over 900 exhibitors to choose from, and over 30,900 people to meet!

Even with two hosts for the show instead of one, we couldn’t meet with so much as a quarter of the exhibitors at MODEX 2018. Let alone film a conversation with them. But we did our best to coordinate short interviews with as many people as we could! Our questions, though short and simple, garnered some really fascinating answers. You should definitely check out all our interviews from MODEX when you get the chance.

1. WHAT’S NEW IN THE WORLD OF SUPPLY CHAIN AT MODEX 2018?

“Plenty,” probably isn’t the answer you want to hear, but it sure does apply!

Iot and automation were by far the staple topics on the MODEX 2018 showroom floor.

Bhaskar Chopra of Siemens Industry, Inc. showed us their company’s brand-new cloud-based platform, MindSphere. Companies can use MindSphere connect and monitor all of their smart devices in one system.

Kevin Reader of Knapp joined us to discuss the functionality and benefits of their latest shuttle designed for flexible warehousing and distribution use. The shuttle is especially valuable in evolving environments. It can connect with workstations that are either manual, semi-automatic, or entirely robotic.

Robotics in general were exhibited as beneficial boosts to the industrial workforce. Jason Walker of Waypoint Robotics explained that many jobs like loading and unloading go through a very high turnover rate. Meanwhile, maintenance for automated carriers will increase the skills and value of the workers who monitor them.

“The way we approach the skills-gap is, rather than trying to bring those workers into someplace new, we want to meet them where they are, and give them the tools they need to be a more efficient, more valuable part of the company that they’re already a part of, and increase their value to their company. It’s really about empowering them.

…I want to take that person and say, ‘Yesterday you were a shipping and receiving clerk. And today you’re a roboticist.’ ”

Optimized conveyer belts and loading or unloading systems were also highly popular.

Bastian Solutions actually set up a to-scale, transparent semi truck trailer. It exhibited their loading and unloading system that would connect vehicles straight to the assembly line.

And whereas that product would be ideal for factories and warehouses with its stationary machinery, Superior Handling Equipment was showcasing their first-of-its-kind, patented mobile dock lift. It was another solution to heavy manual loading and unloading, but more suited for on-the-go environments like disaster relief efforts and military operations.

Additionally, we discovered virtual reality gaining momentum throughout the material handling industry.

Hyster, hosted not one, but two of the largest booths at the show. They were highlighting their immersive forklift training system that was actually produced by another exhibitor – Forklift Simulators Inc. Danny and Joseph both got to try on the simulation for size. (We won’t say whether or not any digital warehouse workers were run over in the process).

Virtual reality environments were discussed as excellent sources of employee training. They could be used for forklift driving certifications, or for loading and unloading containers on a picking line (another exhibition by Knapp).

There were other incredible solutions out there – too many to count! We were delighted by the Uber-esque, crowd-sourced shipping solutions started by Roadie. People were also wowed by the lightning-fast, “vending machine on steroids” picking system displayed by SI Systems.

2. HOW ARE PEOPLE MARKETING THESE SOLUTIONS?

Perhaps one of the most fascinating parts of MODEX 2018, aside from the incredibly diverse products or business models on display, was also the wide variety of marketing methods in use. Trade shows were a very common technique, to no one’s surprise.

Videos, both online and at booths, were often cited as major assets.

From corporate identity and product videos to training tutorials, videos were everywhere. Countless screens helped to showcase new ideas in action. Many exhibitors were able to showcase a wider range of demos using video than they might have otherwise been able to with just the environment of their booths.

For example, since bringing a live elephant to the show would have been understandably problematic, Superior Handling Equipment showcased footage of their mobile dock lift raising a bull elephant several feet in the air without any trouble at all.

In addition to video, many of our interviewees did mention traditional print methods, like magazines. They mentioned analog is still effective – but they also brought up email newsletters and social media as techniques that were gaining traction.

One common factor amongst the biggest players on the floor at MODEX 2018? A CRM.

The companies with the largest booths or the fastest-growing businesses all cited an organized database of leads as no longer a nice-to-have, but a must-have.

John Hayes of Vecna Robotics insisted that digital assets like marketing automation and website analytics are crucial components to the success of their sales team.

“I knew this trade show was going to be a success. We knew it. Because leading up to it, I could see people hitting our website, people downloading our white papers coming to this trade show. And that’s why we have so many people visiting our booth.”

At the end of the day, he said, it’s the job of the sales team not to go prospecting, but to close deals. Yes, they’re supposed to build relationships with potential clients. But the marketing team should help them do that and make the job far easier.

One of the ways that the CRM helps with that process is by ranking leads based on where they are in the sales funnel. That software can be SharpSpring, which John’s team uses. Hubspot was recommended by Craig Sinclair of Hänel Storage Solutions). All CRMs help their users to see how their audience is reacting or responding to their messages, which provides invaluable feedback.

“If companies aren’t using marketing automation, you’re wasting your marketing dollars.”

It’s hard to argue with that. (Especially because we wholeheartedly agree with it). But whether we were talking with companies who were neck-deep in Hubspot or still doing little beyond print advertising, we did see one encouraging trend.

Over-all at MODEX, the most popular strategy of all…was simply adapting to change.

Industrial companies are starting to open up to new ideas. As little as five or ten years ago, they seemed to be set in their ways. Marketing and sales teams are seeing digital as more and more important to their outreach, just as product developers are starting to embrace IoT and automation.

Shows like this used to feel like exhibitions about the present. However, MODEX 2018 truly felt like a glimpse into the supply chain of the future.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Since MHI was hosting MODEX 2018 – a trade show centered around supply chain and logistics solutions – in our Atlanta backyard, we decided to collect some interviews from as many exhibitors and attendees as we could. Since MHI was hosting MODEX 2018 – a trade show centered around supply chain and logistics solutions – in our Atlanta backyard, we decided to collect some interviews from as many exhibitors and attendees as we could. So…we literally took the show on the road! Check out the FULL collection of interviews at http://bit.ly/2Kt2PsM Danny Gonzales, Joseph Zuniga clean 33:19
4 Key Tips for Trade Show Video Displays https://www.industrialsage.com/trade-show-video-display-tips/ Sun, 15 Apr 2018 09:00:07 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1426 Trade show video displays can be extremely effective…IF they're planned properly. Video at a trade show should never be treated like some sort of afterthought, so here are four key tips on how to prepare and then set up your display for maximum impact. Since it’s trade show season, we figured it might be good to give you a double-dose of trade show episodes! Now that you’ve gone over last week’s session on emails to prepare for your trade show leads, let’s talk about your actual booth and trade show video displays at the show. Are you going to have a video rolling? You should. But don’t just try to pull in your corporate clips from YouTube!

Here are four key tips to prepare your video displays for any trade show.

  • Plan a video specifically for the show ahead of time.
  • Prepare captions or graphic text.
  • Make it big and tall.
  • Use a reliable video format.

1. PLAN FOR IT AHEAD OF TIME

Give yourself enough time to prepare your video months in advance. A lot of companies assume they can just use a video they already have, but they don’t think to edit it to make it more ideal for a trade show setting.

Video at a trade show should never be treated like some sort of afterthought.

If anything, if you ever create a new corporate video, you should consider having the editors create an additional “trade-show-friendly” version as part of the contract. But what would a trade-show-friendly video look like?

2. PREPARE CAPTIONS OR GRAPHIC TEXT

Trade shows tend to be loud, so you can’t rely on sound to communicate your message.

Some videos have such clear messages illustrated by icons or animations that they may not need audio or text, but most corporate videos probably do. If yours is one such video, consider asking your production company for a second version of the video that has graphic text built in.

Another option is to burn a set of captions into the video so that viewers can read along. If you go that route, there are a few ways to get the transcripts.

  • You can order them yourself;
  • Have the production company order them; or
  • You can use editing programs or even Youtube by yourself.

3. MAKE IT BIG AND TALL

It needs to be able to catch the eye of passersby.

You can still play it on tablets or computers where people can come interact closer, but trade shows are also about drawing attention from a distance. That means using a big HD screen that can show off the incredible quality of your video.

4. USE A RELIABLE VIDEO FORMAT

  • A USB
  • An HDMI connection w/a computer
  • An old-fashioned DVD

Never, ever rely on an internet video. Bring your own copy.

A patchy connection could not only ruin streaming, but it could also affect your display as well and keep your expensive HD video from looking…well, HD.

If you use a USB drive, just copy the .mpeg or .mp4 or .mov file onto the drive and then plug it into the television if your TV has a port.

Another reliable option is to use a HDMI cord to plug in your computer; then select “Input > HDMI 1” on your television. Your computer screen should appear on the monitor. Then play the video on a loop.

You can also bring DVD as a last resort. But unless you have the ability to create a BluRay disc, that expensive video burned to your DVD isn’t going to be in High-Definition anymore.

In general, just try to eliminate as many independent elements to your process as possible, so you can eliminate extra chances for things to go wrong.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Trade show video displays can be extremely effective…IF they're planned properly. Video at a trade show should never be treated like some sort of afterthought, so here are four key tips on how to prepare and then set up your display for maximum impact. Trade show video displays can be extremely effective…IF they're planned properly. Video at a trade show should never be treated like some sort of afterthought, so here are four key tips on how to prepare and then set up your display for maximum impact. Danny Gonzales clean 5:48
4 Emails to Prepare Before a Trade Show https://www.industrialsage.com/emails-to-prepare-before-trade-shows/ Sun, 08 Apr 2018 09:00:07 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1425 There’s a minimum of four emails you need to prepare before a trade show. Make sure to have at least templates pre-written before you ever arrive on the floor; because as soon as that show is over, you’re going to be moving on to the next project…and so will your new leads. Make sure to stay engaged with them. There’s a minimum of four emails you need to prepare before a trade show before you ever arrive; because as soon as that show is over, you’re going to be moving on to the next project.

  • Pre-show
  • Mid-show
  • Post-Show
  • Drip Campaign

1. THE PRE-SHOW EMAIL

Notify any attendees you know – not to advertise your product, but to mention you’re going to be available to meet with them in person and perhaps demonstrate some useful solutions.

Use CRM data and merge tags to generate relevant and more personalized emails.

Let people know what (and maybe even who) you’ll have at their disposal. Maybe it’s a panel discussion, a subject matter expert, a product demo, a cocktail meet at a nearby restaurant after show hours – sometimes even a nice free tchotchke is all you need.

2. THE MID-SHOW EMAIL

It could be a daily update of who came by and what you were up to, or information about what’s coming up in the next few hours or on the next day of the show. Once people get into convention mode, they won’t want to miss anything!

It’s okay for the email(s) to be short, as long as they’re valuable.

3. THE POST-SHOW EMAIL

Here’s an interesting tip; instead of (or right after) exchanging contact info with someone, take a picture with them right then.

And depending on whether you have a spare minute right after meeting, record a message to them right after they leave. “Hi, Jim! Just finished chatting with you at the booth, can’t wait to talk again about X,Y,Z!”

Either item is something you can potentially send them in your follow-up email. That way they remember you, and they know that you’re not sending them a generic mass thanks-for-coming email.

4. THE POST-SHOW DRIP CAMPAIGN

Not every lead is going to be a hot lead…

…but if you don’t stay top of mind, there’s no guarantee those lukewarm leads will remember you in six months when they’re ready to buy. Yes, you need a series of emails to prepare before a trade show, but also you need a series to send out afterwards! Send your leads these messages every once in a while to ensure that relationship doesn’t grow cold.

Because B2B sometimes means long buying cycles…so you need to play the long game.

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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There’s a minimum of four emails you need to prepare before a trade show. Make sure to have at least templates pre-written before you ever arrive on the floor; because as soon as that show is over, you’re going to be moving on to the next project…and s... There’s a minimum of four emails you need to prepare before a trade show. Make sure to have at least templates pre-written before you ever arrive on the floor; because as soon as that show is over, you’re going to be moving on to the next project…and so will your new leads. Make sure to stay engaged with them. Danny Gonzales clean 5:37
The Importance of Building a Coherent Brand https://www.industrialsage.com/importance-of-building-a-coherent-brand/ Sun, 01 Apr 2018 09:00:39 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1527 Mathias Konne of EuroKera joins us to discuss not only first steps on building a consistent visual brand online for your company…but also the importance of brand itself. Even if you're marketing to engineers without much competition yet, your prospects and the market are both changing. Better keep up! This week we’re joined by Mathias Konne of EuroKera, here to discuss the challenges of building a company brand – specifically online. Eurokera specializes in glass ceramic products like such as stovetops and fireplaces, and they just launched a new website. They have five factories around the globe and countless customers worldwide.

EuroKera started in 1990. However, when Mathias came onboard as late as 2014, the company still didn’t have much of a branding or marketing plan at all. Their product is unique, so it kind of sold itself for a long time. There were only so many options in that industry, so customers were easy to locate.

Like Eurokera, many niche companies are realizing that they still need to build a coherent brand, despite any current lack of competition.

WHY IS BRANDING SUDDENLY SO VITAL?

In a word: consumers.

“We realized that you have to educate consumers in order to create that demand…and that really helps with your business as a whole.”

People are used to getting information instantly. That includes educational information. As a marketer, you have an opportunity to provide those materials and demonstrate your relevant expertise.

Now that consumers have the ability to be more informed, they want to be more informed about the goings-on behind the scenes of their daily lives.

START WITH VISUAL CONSISTENCY

When Mathias first came on, EuroKera did have a website. However, it was already fairly outdated and was little more than a digital brochure. It had not necessarily been designed to appeal to the company’s client personas. Many of the logos and fonts were inconsistent with one another – both of which are actually big branding no-no’s. “In the B2B world, it’s not that uncommon for companies to have that kind of issue,” he told us.

“One of the first things that we did was bring cohesion into [the brand] and bring in a real corporate look. A visual identity.”

Truth be told, they’re still working on that identity to this day in some places. Building a coherent brand takes a tremendous amount of time. But they started simply by creating a new website – one that matched the image they wanted to convey. Then they made sure all their collateral matched that visual.

“Someone told me once… ‘Do the basics, but do them brilliantly.’ That is the most efficient way you can do things.”

BRANDING ISN’T JUST APPEALING TO CREATIVES

Why is a building a coherent brand identity important across marketing collateral and throughout your website if it’s all just for a bunch of B2B engineers? Because even if they’re not right-brained, emotionally-extravagant folks…sometimes their decisions are still subconsciously determined by the feeling conveyed by a particular brand.

Left-brained people may not value artsy things, but they do value consistency.

“If you have different looks…colors…fonts…even if you don’t do that intentionally, you’re hurting the company’s image.”

“Whereas if everyone speaks with one voice and everything looks the same, when you build that brand you build that strength. Then you attach a message to this brand…and that’s where the value is added to your products.”

If a thousand people all scream different things at you, you may not understand more than two or three of them. But if they all scream one word, it comes across loud and clear.

DON’T FALL INTO THE ‘NO RUSH’ TRAP

Even in niche industries like glass-ceramic, competition is more likely to increase than decrease as time goes on. And even if your competitors are not yet on the same level with your product or service, you never know if one day they’ll start catching up.

“There’s new companies setting up every day…they may not be good enough today with their products. The quality may not be the same…but you never know what the future holds. And the main mission of marketing is to protect your brand.”

Many manufacturers focus on the quality of their products – as they should. But building a coherent brand actually influences your customers’ perception of quality, too.

A professional look will help your customers take you seriously and trust your attention to detail. Make sure your message is clear and undiluted.

METRICS WILL PROVE VALUE

“Once you…get your [marketing plans] together, then you have to market your marketing department.”

And that’s difficult to do because in B2B, marketing is viewed as a bottomless expense pit rather than an asset. It’s a stigma you have to fight. But the good news is, the field of industrial manufacturing is full of engineers.

Engineers love graphics and charts, so if you get the data to back up your campaigns then that will go a long way.

“If you give a paper brochure to somebody, he may walk to the corner and put it in the trash.”

“[Digital] quality you can clearly measure…how much traffic you get, how much of these convert, the quality of your traffic…that’s what executives want to see.”

The numbers will help build your reputation and the trust of others in your mission and your work. And as time goes on, the journey is simply a bit of trial and error until you can decide with more certainly what methods are for you, and which aren’t.

The question isn’t if you can afford to build your brand. The question is, can you afford not to?

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Mathias Konne of Eurokera Mathias Konne of EuroKera joins us to discuss not only first steps on building a consistent visual brand online for your company…but also the importance of brand itself. Even if you're marketing to engineers without much competition yet, your prospects and the market are both changing. Better keep up! Danny Gonzales, Mathias Konne clean 20:33
The 2018 First Quarter Review https://www.industrialsage.com/2018-first-quarter-review/ Sun, 25 Mar 2018 09:00:37 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1482 2018 has already been amazing – and the year is just getting started! But before we keep hurtling forward into new topics at a breakneck pace, we want to slow down for just a second, savor the moment, and review the 2018 first quarter. Wow! 2018 has already been amazing, and the year is just getting started! But before we keep hurtling forward into new topics at a breakneck pace, we want to slow down and savor the moment. We’ve had some jaw-dropping and enlightening discussions, thanks to our plethora of fantastic guests!

JANUARY

In Episode 22 at the start of the 2018 first quarter, we got to interview Joanne Sanders of EWISE Communications. She told us about common hurdles of international marketing.

As a member of the World Trade Center Atlanta, Joanne had some great tips (and warnings!) for us. She spoke about how the marketing game can change as soon as you cross borders. Best of all, she also pointed out a valuable set of organizations that exist precisely to help enterprises that are looking to expand overseas.

In Episode 24, Andrea Tarrell of Sercante and TheSpotforPardot.com joined us to discuss what happens when marketing automation sometimes goes overboard.

Andrea shared examples with us about how uniting sales and marketing teams is critical to success. She pointed out that taking baby steps will often help you build a more organic system. It’s certainly better than trying to dive headfirst into a new CRM all at once without a plan.

FEBRUARY

Our 26th episode featured Ryan Mason of Heliweb, which has since rebranded and is now Collective Magazine. (Congrats, Ryan!) Ryan joined us to discuss the life, times, and confessions of being a trade magazine publisher. His story is especially relevant in a day and age where marketing publications are either going digital or fizzling out completely.

Ryan pointed out some great tips for anyone looking to publish press releases or build a relationship with trade magazines in their own niche. He also shared tips on how to make sure those submissions meet Google’s standards without stressing out any editors.

Later in February, in the middle of the 2018 first quarter, Brad Banyas of OMI joined us for our 28th episode to discuss a powerful sales strategy on the rise, called “social selling.” Brad pointed out how vital a personable relationship is now to any business connections. CRMs like Nimble and Salesforce can connect with social media to help you personalize your interactions. Over time, you can take your business from being a mere “vendor” to being a trusted partner with clients.

MARCH

In Episode 30, Steve Latham of Banyan Hills Technologies sat down to chat about the process of applying IoT (the “internet of things”) to manufacturing products and services. Not to mention applying it to marketing teams!

Steve shared some fascinating use cases and helpful tips about how to build Industry 4.0 within your own company, without going too fast or missing the mark for the sake of hype.

And last (but certainly not least) for the 2018 first quarter, Daniel Loeschen came all the way from MXD Process headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky! He shared how his company launched themselves ahead of competition by investing heavily in digital methods and…believe it or not…social media.

Of course, we’ve only scratched the surface of topics that were discussed over the past three months. We’ve also covered how to use videos as assets in the sales process. Videos on social media was another hot topic. And do’t forget how to use videos in your email campaigns!

Coming up next quarter: more tips on TRADE SHOWS!

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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2018 has already been amazing – and the year is just getting started! But before we keep hurtling forward into new topics at a breakneck pace, we want to slow down for just a second, savor the moment, and review the 2018 first quarter. 2018 has already been amazing – and the year is just getting started! But before we keep hurtling forward into new topics at a breakneck pace, we want to slow down for just a second, savor the moment, and review the 2018 first quarter. Danny Gonzales clean 10:45
Is Social Media for Manufacturers Actually Helpful? https://www.industrialsage.com/can-social-media-help-manufacturers/ Sun, 18 Mar 2018 09:00:26 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1480 This week we sat down with Daniel Loeschen from MXD Process to learn if social media can really help manufacturers. Hear how taking a digital-first, customer-first in the world of industrial mixers has been a game-changer for their company. If you couldn’t already tell from the title, this week’s episode is all about social media for manufacturers. And wouldn’t you know it, we actually found our latest guest, Daniel Loeschen of MXD Process, through social media! We saw the high-quality content that he and MXD were posting on Twitter, and that led us to explore the company website – where chatbots and automation reign supreme.

The MXD Process website is an excellent model of industrial and digital marketing, and excellent use of social media for manufacturers. We wanted to learn how it had come about as such.

1. WHERE DID IT ALL START FOR MXD?

Before their CEO Mark Franco starting MXD Process, he was a chemical engineer for an industrial mixing corporation, where he learned about the industry’s lack of marketing and direct-to-customer business.

Franco decided to start what was then called “Mixer Direct,” as an online-first, customer-first approach to industrial mixers.

Needless to say, that had never been done before. But since then, the company has grown to deal mainly direct and not just exclusively with distributors in the field of industrial mixers. And while they did send out an initial catalog of their products, they invested most of their time and energy into a website where most of the commerce was meant to happen.

“Invest heavily in a website. I would say 50% of our competitors in 2010 didn’t even have a website.”

Franco hired an outsourced company handle their site and digital needs like adwords and SEO…but it eventually became clear that this would not be a beneficial arrangement over the long-term.

2. BUILDING A DIGITAL STRATEGY FROM THE INSIDE

Soon it was evident that outside digital agencies weren’t very familiar with this niche industry, so MXD created an in-house marketing team.

Daniel came on to help build that team. Over the course of the next few weeks, then months, then years, they worked to enhance the company’s online searchability and appearance, as well as social media audiences.

Digital techniques are always evolving, so a lot of digital marketing is trial-and-error.

“We were just out of the gate dominating all our competitors, in online search specifically. That was the first domino to fall…and we did that with online content – a lot of content.”

Whether it was photography, videos, or written articles, the MXD team dove right in. They paid attention to what other marketers were using or praising, then tried it for themselves. So far, the only technique they haven’t used yet is paid social advertising, but as more platforms become “pay-to-play,” even that might change.

3. WHY GET SOCIAL MEDIA FOR MANUFACTURERS?

As they worked, the MXD team made sure to hold to one particular rule that the company had been founded on: customers first. And while the phrase itself sounds like a no-brainer, some companies do struggle with it. But what it means is that your target audience is comprised of, in many cases, average individuals.

Your buyers are most likely scrolling through social media feeds in their spare time, just like everybody else.

As a result, it’s important for your company to be present on social media, where you can catch their attention. And while platforms may vary between marketing personas, you might be surprised at where your prospects are congregating.

Are you targeting engineers? What platforms are engineers on? Follow what they follow. Produce the kind of content they like to see.

In some ways, there really is no “B2B,” because at the end of the day you’re still marketing to people.

“We are selling business-to-business, but it’s really B2C. You’re still selling to a customer. They’re just a different type of customer.”

So what’s been the best platform for MXD Process specifically? Twitter.

But that doesn’t mean they’re disregarding other platforms. Their Facebook use has declined slightly as that arena becomes more pay-to-play, but they actually have a jaw-dropping number of Instagram followers.

Even though Instagram isn’t their biggest source of leads, it has helped them to build a community and reputation all around the world.

“When we go places, the people that always come up to us that want to meet us and follow us are always people from Instagram, which is really fascinating. I didn’t expect that. We built a community of welders, which really helped in finding welders for hire. Because if we don’t have welders, we’re out of business.”

4. HOW ARE THEY MEASURING IT?

Daniel and his team mainly use the marketing platform Hubspot to manage all their social media data in one place, but they keep an eye on Google Analytics, and they do go to the original platforms for some tallies (Twitter’s count of retweets, for example, may end up being actually higher than what Hubspot picks up).

The team uses Hubspot to identify and track visitors from social media, then measure their engagement.

“It’s a tangible way to track social media… We’re not interested in hoping things are working.”

Which platform is sending the most visitors? Which visitors are actually sticking around? Hubspot helps them to find out. They even have special links that they share per platform; that way, anyone who has clicked in directly from, say, Twitter will see a unique phone number on the MXD site; and the MXD staff know that anyone who calls that number found them through Twitter.

Once an individual fills out a form or makes a phone call, that’s considered a conversion.

After a lead has converted, they’re passed along to the sales team. But the measurement doesn’t end there.

The sales team logs the lead source into their CRM, so they can measure how many deals came from each platform.

So Where Can You Start?

Needless to say, it took MXD Process a long time to get to where they are today – now renamed, branched out into three brands, with thousands of followers all over the world. But there’s no way to get to your destination if you don’t begin the journey and start believing in social media for manufacturers.

Just start by taking a look at what your competitors are doing online…or not doing…and how well those techniques seem to be working for them. And reach out to their customers, too!

“You have to figure out how your stuff is going to stand out and not seem so robotic and corporate, because people just don’t want to see that. Even people from corporate companies don’t want to see that.”

Daniel also recommends the Moz Blog’s eBook on the basics of social media marketing, as well as tools like Followerwonk.

And yes, this will take something of a investment, both in time and in money. But it could cost you more in the long run if you don’t do it at all.

Task someone dedicated to do a bit of research every day before getting started.

“To get it to the point where you’re seeing value from it…is a full-time job. If your company’s at a point where that’s not practical for you, that’s fine. But don’t pretend to do it.”

And even though hiring an outside agency may feel more convenient, in the end you know your industry and your clients better than they do; so you may want to eventually bring the endeavor in-house.

“If you want to treat [social media for manufacturers] as a legitimate channel that’s going to drive leads, I think the time commitment is a full-time job…You have to engage. If you’re not, don’t do it.”

 

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Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox; or subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Daniel Loeschen of MXD Process This week we sat down with Daniel Loeschen from MXD Process to learn if social media can really help manufacturers. Hear how taking a digital-first, customer-first in the world of industrial mixers has been a game-changer for their company. Danny Gonzales, Daniel Loeschen clean 22:58
How to Prepare Your Marketing CRM and Database for Trade Shows https://www.industrialsage.com/prep-your-marketing-crm-for-trade-shows/ Sun, 11 Mar 2018 09:00:29 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1424 Do you have a CRM? Is there some sort of automated system in place for data entry or email drip campaigns? Here are our top tips for preparing your database for trade shows long before the doors even open. We touched on trade shows and how they’re still worth it way back in Episode 3 last August. In short, they’re worth it if you’re prepared with a database in place.

“The month after your trade show is prime time for converting these lukewarm leads into a sale. Since they handed over their contact information, odds are they still remember you, which leaves the door open to connect… Generating trade show leads is hard work. If you don’t follow up, you fail.”
Brian Sun of AutoPilot

Here are four steps you should follow to prepare your marketing department before any trade show.

  • Prepare some sort of marketing CRM.
  • Simplify data entry.
  • Automate what you can.
  • Track everything.

1. PREPARE SOME SORT OF MARKETING CRM

Decide how you want to collect the information at the show. That’s going to determine how you follow up after the show. And whatever you choose, make sure you know where those leads are going to collect afterwards.

Whether it’s just an Excel spreadsheet or Hubspot or Salesforce, HAVE A DIGITAL DATABASE READY.

If you know certain people are going to be there, plug their information into it beforehand.

You need a trade show database to organize your contacts and your sign-up or follow-up process. If you don’t invest time in it beforehand, you’ll lose time and valuable leads afterwards.

2. SIMPLIFY DATA ENTRY

Lots of marketing CRMs can automate the process of adding a new lead; take advantage of this!

Many even have a Kiosk mode designed specifically with trade shows in mind! Visitors can fill out a form, hit ‘Enter,’ then pass the form to the next person.

3. AUTOMATE WHAT YOU CAN

If it’s not already, connect your marketing CRM to some sort of email or messaging system, and have a drip campaign ready before you even get to the trade show. That way when people sign up, they can automatically receive a “thanks for signing up” email from you, and then they’ll begin a journey right then, without you even having to take their business card out of your pocket.

4. TRACK EVERYTHING

Try to use an email system that can track opens and clicks; everything from MailChimp to Pardot can help with this. This helps you keep track of hot leads – and the more automated your system is, the more you can categorize people who click through without even lifting a finger!

If you’re a fan of results, use video content within your marketing emails, and use analytics to track those views and see who’s really watching and interested. Video-tracking analytics and automated marketing exists out there, so take advantage of it.

Whatever methods you decide to run with… the point is to be proactive.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Do you have a CRM? Is there some sort of automated system in place for data entry or email drip campaigns? Here are our top tips for preparing your database for trade shows long before the doors even open. Do you have a CRM? Is there some sort of automated system in place for data entry or email drip campaigns? Here are our top tips for preparing your database for trade shows long before the doors even open. Danny Gonzales clean 6:13
Applying IoT Solutions as a Manufacturer https://www.industrialsage.com/how-to-apply-iot-solutions/ Sun, 04 Mar 2018 10:00:29 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1372 Connecting your business to the Internet of Things is more paramount for manufacturers– but how do you apply IoT solutions without getting lost in the weeds? This week we’re joined by Steve Latham, CEO and founder of Banyan Hills Technologies. He came to discuss how to actually use IoT solutions and then implement their influence in your marketing. But first of all, let’s answer the first easy question about this trend.

1. WHAT IS ‘IoT’?

The “Internet of Things” is the practice of connecting any machine or device to the internet to then monitor the data it produces. It can also create automatic reactions for your business to take based on that data.

Even if the definition of IoT seems unfamiliar at first glance, you’ve probably seen these devices already entering the market. Ever seen a smart doorbell or smart thermostat?

IoT products are becoming even more commonplace in households. It could be lights or locks you can control on your phone, or a robot vacuum that can also use the data from its wanderings to map out the floor plan to your home.

2. WHY DOES MY BUSINESS NEED IoT SOLUTIONS?

In short, everyday people are getting used to connected devices in their own lives. It’s changing their expectations of what “new and innovative” technologies look like. That means when clients walk into your industrial or manufacturing facility, they’re going to look more and more for these inter-connected devices to gauge how revolutionary your business is.

“Consumers are starting to get an education on what IoT really is…and now [they] expect that the same types of experiences…are now replicated inside of these big enterprises.”

Yes, IoT might put a bit of pressure on companies to innovate. But the truth is that any business trying to reduce costs and increase revenues will find that IoT solutions can help them do just that.

“If IoT can help…drive automation into a physical footprint, that’s going to naturally reduce cost for the operator.”

“If I’m an operator of a facility…I’ve got a connected thermostat or an HVAC unit and also a connected lighting system, and I’m managing those through one automation platform. Can I start to correlate the data from those control systems, and then drive entirely new experiences for our customer?”

3.HOW COULD MY BUSINESS USE IoT?

Take a casino. The building could have thousands of connected devices, as well as dozens or hundreds of returning or VIP customers in their database.

Now imagine each device changing its appearance or displays. Different colors, different ads, different music, different experiences…based on recognized customers passing through different areas on the casino floor. Personalization like that is huge – especially in marketing! And this concept isn’t just an mere idea floating in the void. Banyan Hills is already working it into reality with their own customers.

And IoT has plenty of applications from an industrial standpoint, too.

Manufacturing and industrial companies naturally have to monitor a lot of factors closely. Measurements, temperatures, resources, inventory, and beyond. All of those factors have an impact on expenses, whether blatant or not.

Imagine if you could track expenses more closely and then show proof of cost reduction in different departments.

Companies like CribMaster, a branch of Stanley Black & Decker, have established smart inventory machines that can track tool usage and reorder assets before factory floors run out of anything. That is IoT manufacturing if anything is.

4. START BY COLLECTING DATA

A lot of clients come to Banyan Hills in pursuit of IoT solutions because they care the most about monitoring those expenses. At first, they only care initially about these applications as far as they can connect that data with dollars as quickly as possible. But as Steve explains, IoT is not an instant, overnight solution.

First, the entire process just starts with monitoring the data.

You have figure out how to plug your devices and tools into the “internet of things.” Then you figure out a way to collect the data. And then you wait and watch.

Think about a hunter trying to bring down a deer. The first step is not to chase the herd, but to sit down and study where the herd wanders most frequently. Only then does the hunter take action by setting up a blind in one choice location. Then the hunt actually begins. Similarly, your business shouldn’t act upon IoT data until they can properly read it.

Only after you get used to the data and establish what is “average” do you decide which patterns ought to trigger reactions.

45. CONNECT THE DATA TO AUTOMATION

Once you know how to identify changes in the data, then you can begin campaigns accordingly and introduce automation as a player in the game.

For example, a pest control service might set up smart traps in a hotel or a restaurant. Normally, they send personnel to check the traps and replace used ones every week or month. But after a short time of study, they’ll be able to identify when traps are triggered – or particular locations that are having more pest activity than usual.

Now the company can start adding automation to the process, and alert teams any time that a trap is triggered. That way, their personnel will travel only to the locations that actually need replacement traps. This will not only save them time and fuel expenses, but it will also increase the hygiene of their client locations because traps won’t sit there containing decaying pests for such long periods of time.

“It starts at monitoring. It goes to this enhanced customer experience…and then it lands at this really massive data store.”

Soon the data library itself becomes a valuable product in its own right. Your business can sell its findings to other companies that may benefit.

A great example of this is a Banyan Hills customer in the field of self-storage. After connecting their storage containers to a database and monitoring any time a door was opened and then shut, they noticed a pattern emerging. Customers rarely used their storage containers unless they were either moving in…or moving out.

Soon this self-storage company was able to prove with the data that a certain percentile increase in activity meant that a user might be moving out. These findings were not only useful in alerting the self-storage facilities of the upcoming change – they were also valuable for moving services that worked in partnership with the self-storage company. Now valuable, interested leads could receive more timely promotions for a moving van or other products!

5. HOW SHOULD WE HANDLE OR IMPROVE OUR IoT SOLUTIONS?

The good news is, IoT is not so much an emerging technology trend as it is an established one now. That means that most experimentation is behind us. There are a lot of standards and findings that have laid the groundwork in the past 12-24 months for companies that are looking to start down the road of IoT.

“Make sure you understand the value proposition that you’re pursuing before you just go experiment.”

“At the end of the day if your IoT is not enhancing the customer experience or changing your cost or revenue profile, you have to ask yourself if it’s worth the experiment.”

The trick is to keep from getting bogged down by excess data, and focus on your strengths. If your core competency is manufacturing hardware, your IoT connections may not necessarily turn you into an enterprise marketing mogul overnight. That’s not necessarily the core of your business.

Use IoT solutions to enhance your main product or service first. Only then should you start trying to connect that data into your marketing.

In some cases, it can be valuable for your company to establish a relationship with IoT or marketing firms that can help you interpret the data building up in your library.

“Without a doubt, the most important thing to do…is to understand what your customers want. Understand the real value proposition of what it is that you’re building so that your message can be really focused, really targeted, and solve the right problems for them…

“A trap is that you have just built something that technically is very cool and very fun, but it actually doesn’t solve the issue for the customer. And so your product is wrong, your marketing is wrong, you’re missing the point.”

Always remember…

Make sure you’ve got the voice of your customer nailed down, and always keep in mind what they want.

Like most other business challenges, there is no silver-bullet solution for everyone.

Self-evaluation is key. If you’re solving customer challenges, then you’re on the right track. If you just want to make something cool…you may need to go back to the drawing board.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Steve Latham of Banyan Hills Connecting your business to the “Internet of Things” is becoming more and more paramount for manufacturers and industrial companies…but that's easier said than done. How does one apply IoT without getting lost in the weeds? Steve Latham of Banyan Hills joins us to talk use cases and best practices for IoT solutions. Danny Gonzales, Steve Latham clean 21:17
Best Practices for Social Media Video https://www.industrialsage.com/social-media-video-best-practices/ Sun, 25 Feb 2018 10:00:47 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1417 Not all video hosting platforms or sharing methods are created equal. It used to be that you could just post YouTube links everywhere, but not anymore. Find out which video-sharing methods and habits work best on three of the biggest social media platforms out there today. Not all video hosting platforms or sharing methods are created equal. When you decide to post videos on social media, you need to plan ahead for a few things:

  • Make a social-media-friendly version of your video
  • Share differently on different platforms
  • Link back to your site

If all you’ve been doing is sharing links to your full-length videos on YouTube, just…just stop. Here’s why.

1. MAKE A SOCIAL-MEDIA-FRIENDLY VERSION

Keep it short.

Some sites like Twitter can’t always upload long videos, and viewer attention spans will taper off anyway.

Include captions or graphic text.

Lots of sites autoplay without sound, like Twitter and Facebook. Don’t let your message get lost because of that.

2. SHARE DIFFERENTLY ON DIFFERENT PLATFORMS

Don’t just push a YouTube link everywhere. That used to be the best option, but now social media platforms prefer to push their own hosting.

If you push Youtube, your post won’t even get autoplayed on most platforms anymore.

Even if YouTube videos do autoplay on your platform of choice, there will probably be a hint of a lag– and that may be just enough for people to lose interest and scroll away.

As of March 2018 (just a few weeks after this podcast episode was released), LinkedIn announced the release of native video for their own platform– whereas before, YouTube was the only option. Now you can upload directly to your business pages. However, that actually isn’t the ideal location for your video.

Personal LinkedIn accounts get far more attention and engagement than business pages.

A better LinkedIn practice is to have an individual person to upload the video on their personal feed, and tag the company in the Linkedin-hosted video. People in their network will be far more likely to like, comment, or watch for longer periods to see what their friends have been watching.

3. LINK TO YOUR SITE

Again, try not to send people to YouTube. We’ve already talked plenty about why that shouldn’t be your primary hosting platform, anyway.

Wherever you upload the video on social media, be sure to post a call-to-action with it.

Include a link for people interested in learning more, and connect it to a longer-form version of the video on your website. Have a blog or a landing page with more information for them, and host the video there using a platform with tracking analytics that won’t distract your viewers.

Yes, this is a lot of work.

But the point is to get people to visit your site… and then stay there.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Not all video hosting platforms or sharing methods are created equal. It used to be that you could just post YouTube links everywhere, but not anymore. Find out which video-sharing methods and habits work best on three of the biggest social media platf... Not all video hosting platforms or sharing methods are created equal. It used to be that you could just post YouTube links everywhere, but not anymore. Find out which video-sharing methods and habits work best on three of the biggest social media platforms out there today. Danny Gonzales clean 4:27
What Is Social Selling? https://www.industrialsage.com/what-is-social-selling/ Sun, 18 Feb 2018 10:00:26 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1371 Selling used to be phone or email, but now the buyer's journey has changed. Brad Banyas of OMI explains how programs like Salesforce and Nimble use technology to actually turn your social media data into more human interactions: also known as social selling. This week we’re joined by Brad Banyas, CEO of OMI! OMI is a cloud success partner that helps companies implement CRMs, marketing automation, Salesforce, Nimble, and social selling.

1. WHAT IS SOCIAL SELLING?

Despite seeming like a common buzzword, social selling isn’t all that different from standard selling. The only difference is the medium through which you build your relationships.

You used to build relationships with prospects by phone or email. Now it’s Twitter handles and LinkedIn profiles.

Social media, essentially, is one of the key ingredients here – and LinkedIn is probably the best and most recognizable example. The platform is used to build a larger network of data around and about your prospects,. That way you know what they’re doing professionally, what they’re looking for, what they’ve recently accomplished, and even who they know.

2. HOW CAN I USE IT?

The main reason why social selling is growing more relevant is because the buyer’s journey and interactions with your company have changed.

People used to learn about you through magazines and trade shows…but now their main source of exposure comes from your website and your social media.

Building business relationships used to take time, but now thanks to social media you can have all the information you need about someone right at your fingertips. Likewise, they have (or should have) all the information they could want about you.

Information from social media platforms like LinkedIn can help you categorize people in your CRM. Salesforce and Nimble are great for this, and they are the main tools on which OMI consults.

After you determine your niche target audience, you can identify specific needs or storylines that get tagged in your prospects’ social tools.

The content that people post on social media – like, say, job listings – can help inform the specific ads that you in turn put in front of them.

After spotting tags like that on a lead, OMI can focus on messaging and begin a nurture campaign for that specific individual, or even reach out to them directly about their specific need.

3. WHAT DOES GOOD SOCIAL SELLING LOOK LIKE?

In short, programs like Salesforce and companies like OMI are supposed to help you build relationships. So your efforts into establishing connections and friendships among your network don’t actually look like plain old business.

Good selling doesn’t always look like a sales pitch.

Like or comment on someone’s social media posts now and then.

Should you spot a job posting and you know somebody who just might fit the bill, share the post with them.

“I can go to any expert I know…and say, ‘We’ve got a client with a problem, and I know you can help. I’m going to introduce you two.’ Our clients remember that.”

If an acquaintance has a business challenge that you can’t solve, see if you can connect them to someone who can help. Do your best to provide value.

Of course, it’s not worth it for sales reps to scroll through social media feeds and file away every individual occurrence in the lives of their business peers; they don’t have the time for manual data entry. That’s what social CRMs are for.

Social CRMs haven’t changed social media, but they have changed what information is brought to your attention from social media, so that you can act on new developments and become more helpful to others.

Social selling is about connecting on a personal level, then beginning to do business – as opposed to cold-calling.

“At the end of the day, people want to do business with their friends…What can you do to make their day better or solve their challenge?”

“You’re using the speed of the internet to bring those experts together and then solve problems. And it works.”

People prefer to do business with someone that has been referred to them by someone that they already know and trust.

It’s not sold; it’s earned over time. That’s a key difference between being a vendor and being a trusted advisor.

“We want to be a trusted partner – and when someone says ‘vendor,’ it’s kind of the kiss of death. You’ve just been commoditized.”

4. HOW CAN MARKETING SUPPORT THIS?

As we say on this show countless times, you must align your sales and marketing teams around the proper goals and customer profile.

“The ability of marketing to work with sales in nurturing…really has evolved and is not as difficult as people think.”

The concept centers on giving them relevant content over time. That way, when they’re ready to buy, they know who to choose.

It used to be that the marketing department had all the content, but now in many cases the sales team generates their own content (like video voicemails). Once any one piece of that sales-made content is recognized as particularly effective, that’s a good time for marketing to come in and adopt it for their inventory as well.

“These kinds of tools are really beneficial around building your brand as an individual…no matter what company you’re working for… You are the brand.”

“As much technology as we have…it’s all about the human connection.”

Lots of companies even capture content from customers and using it to [re]define their brand as a whole.

5. WHERE SHOULD I START?

The internet. Start with the internet.

But in all seriousness, you really can learn anything about these techniques or these tools by googling “social selling”. Explore one of the world’s largest business networks. Get social-selling classes directly on LinkedIn. Look into easy CRM tools like Nimble and Salesforce that connect to the tools you’re used to.

Start playing around. Reach out to people. Spark conversations. Be human.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Brad Banyas of OMI Selling used to be phone or email, but now the buyer's journey has changed. Brad Banyas of OMI explains how programs like Salesforce and Nimble use technology to actually turn your social media data into more human interactions: also known as social selling. Danny Gonzales, Brad Banyas clean 20:39
5 Tips for Better Results Tracking in Marketing https://www.industrialsage.com/five-tips-for-results-tracking/ Sun, 11 Feb 2018 10:00:59 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1369 We’re engineers and manufacturers; we love to measure things, right? So why not measure how your campaigns are doing? Here are our top five choices to start some basic results tracking, and to hopefully make your life as a marketer just a little easier. As engineers and manufacturers; we love to measure things, right?

So why not measure how your campaigns are doing?

The ability to track results is one of the key reasons why digital is increasingly chosen over traditional marketing – heck, we’ve spent whole episodes discussing how those results can help you convince your boss to invest a tad more in digital techniques!

But we will admit; while digital campaign data does make life easier, there are so many tracking programs to choose from that it’s easy to get overwhelmed and into the weeds.

Here are our top five choices to start some basic results-tracking in marketing, and to hopefully make your life as a marketer just a little easier.

  • Google Analytics
  • Trackable Calls to Action
  • Merge Tags
  • UTM Codes
  • M.A.P. Reporting

1. GOOGLE ANALYTICS

If you haven’t hooked up your site to Google Analytics yet…do it. Do it right now. Go do it and then come back. We will wait right here for you.

Guys. It’s free, and it literally has “analytics” in the name.

Google Analytics can track visitors to your site in real time; it can tell you the different paths they take around your site; it identifies bounce rates to let you know how quickly they lose interest; which outside websites are sending you the most traffic; and more.

“If I had a dollar for every time I heard a manufacturer say, ‘Well, nobody comes to our website, nobody buys through that or researches us,’ and then I ask them, ‘Well, do you have Google Analytics? Are you looking at that?’
‘Well, no…’ ”

Use this program to create a baseline, if nothing else.

This is square one. This is the ABC, 1-2-3, Do-Re-Mi program of results-tracking in marketing. It may not look very artsy and navigating its many options may take some getting used to, but it is a cornerstone of integrated data that no company can afford to pass by.

2. TRACKABLE CALLS-TO-ACTION

Quite simply, you need to be able to track any forms or buttons or other calls to action that your campaigns are promoting. That means putting a form at the end of a video, or creating a specific landing page so that you can monitor leads that click on a certain social media post.

Content and campaigns vary widely, but you need to know which of them are performing well.

Whether you create gated content like downloadable white papers, private webinars that require sign-ups, or you have three different landing pages for different newsletters and you want to compare their sign-up rates or where their subscribers are coming from…make sure you know what’s effective and where you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

You spent a lot of time on that video, that report, that ebook…you should at a minimum capture someone’s email address so you know who’s paying attention.

3. MERGE TAGS

Most of you are using email in some form or fashion. Whether you’re married to MailChimp, or whether you’re branching out and trying programs like Autopilot and SharpSpring – most of those systems have a merge tag option in email-building. These tags are a quick way to personalize any otherwise-bland email.

What that means, simply, is that you can pull somebody’s name or company or other information straight from the database where their information is stored.

Now instead of sending an annoying, “Hello, valuable customer!” email to Bob, you can send a message that says, “Hey, Bob!” because you used the first-name merge tag. Just make sure you’ve cleaned up your database and gotten rid of “dirty” data first. (Also, how you type in the specific merge tag will vary slightly depending on the system you use, so be aware of that.)

Furthermore, you can test the effectiveness of these tools by monitoring your emails’ click-through rates and open rates.

Most mass-email programs can track how many people open your messages, and then click through to your website. Don’t be afraid to A-B test those emails. They will give you an understanding of how successful your campaigns are. Merge tags can be invaluable assets for results tracking in marketing.

4. UTM CODES

A UTM code is a special little tag that you can attach to the end of any link that you create, and it’s almost infinitely customizable.

Say you want to start tracking leads and your goal is to see whether you’re getting more visits to www.yourwebsite.com/ from Twitter, or from a new banner ad that you just released. Just create a UTM code to help you identify each link.

Your posts on Twitter will take leads to www.yourwebsite.com/?utm_source=twitter
while your LinkedIn will take leads to www.yourwebsite.com/?utm_source=linkedin.

On top of that, these codes are stackable; so you can specify between different campaigns, dates, terms, and so much more.

All your leads may be visiting one single page…but now you can see where they’re coming from.

Now, instead of merely seeing 24 visitors to www.yourwebsite.com/, you can see that your CEO’s post to his personal network brought in over three times as many leads as any other ‘campaign’. Now you know that he should post on his personal profile more often.
5 visitors: ?utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=valentines-special&utm_content=video
18 visitors: ?utm_source=linkedin&utm_campaign=valentines-special&utm_content=ceo
1 visitor: ?utm_source=google&utm_campaign=valentines-special&utm_content=banner-ad-4

UTM codes can go into emails, too, and partner with merge tags so you can even identify specific individuals that click through your messages.

Still confused? Launch Digital Marketing has a helpful article on UTM codes that goes a bit more in-depth; and Google has an infinitely-helpful URL Builder where you can start putting together UTM codes on your own!

And UTM codes are not only nifty for tracking your own website…adding them to any outbound links on your site is a great way to let your friends know that you’re sending leads their way!

We’ve actually noticed certain websites that have mentioned us in blog posts, because they added UTM codes to their hyperlinks.

Those UTM codes have given us more information about our visitors, and have given us the know-how to respond in kind and send trackable leads back to our business associates. Now we know that LinkedIn sends us more leads by far than any other social medium; and that posts with video get more responses than just images or plain text.

5. M.A.P. REPORTING

Marketing Automation Platforms like Pardot, Hubspot, Marketo, and more are extremely sophisticated and valuable because you can organize the data that’s coming in.

Now if you’re not quite ready for that level of automation, systems like KlipFolio and Autopilot are great user-friendly programs for beginners that are only just starting to look beyond Google Analytics.

Nearly all of these programs can set up triggered notifications so that certain site activity will be brought to your attention.

Whatever you choose to begin with, the idea is to make yourself a great “headquarters” where you can monitor what’s happening on your website, and catch leads while they’re hot.

Bottom line: make your data measurable.

If you want to improve your results tracking in marketing, then do your best to make your campaigns trackable. That way you can identify successes, communicate knowledgable about what methods are effective, and build your case to upper management.

After all, be you a manufacturer or a digital marketer…measuring things is why we got into this business in the first place, isn’t it?

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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We’re engineers and manufacturers; we love to measure things, right? So why not measure how your campaigns are doing? Here are our top five choices to start some basic results tracking, and to hopefully make your life as a marketer just a little easier. We’re engineers and manufacturers; we love to measure things, right? So why not measure how your campaigns are doing? Here are our top five choices to start some basic results tracking, and to hopefully make your life as a marketer just a little easier. Danny Gonzales clean 10:11
What Your Trade Magazine Publisher Really Wants https://www.industrialsage.com/confessions-of-trade-mag-publishers/ Sun, 04 Feb 2018 10:00:11 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1348 We've all tried to publish that company press-release…but have you ever wondered why your editors don't seem to give yours the attention you feel it deserves? Ryan Mason of Heliweb.com shares with us some ways to make life far easier for your trade mag publisher, whether they've fully digitized or not. Ever sent out a press release before? They’re so easy to publish…not.

Today we’re joined by Ryan Mason, CEO and Publisher of Heliweb Magazine, to discuss tips and best practices about the materials that you send in to your trade magazine publisher – especially as they’re transitioning more and more of their content online and in digital formats.

Industrial companies love their trade magazines; there’s no secret about that. So what are some ways to approach an editor or publisher to pitch content and make the entire process easier for them?

1. SEND IN YOUR MATERIALS EARLY

Ryan generally works with his manufacturers and OEMs so that they know to schedule their press releases in advance.

When it comes to some trade shows, Heliweb (and trade magaziness in general) can get slammed with as many as 60 press releases per day.

And if that goes on for four days straight, that’s a ton of competition…not to mention a ton of materials in general that the editors have to process.

However, if you turn in your press release nice and early, notify them not to release the news until the day of the trade show opening…well, that’s perfect, because that’s the day that the next edition of the magazine is being released.

Ryan knows that release dates are important; and his magazine often gets trusted with embargo press releases because they’re so careful to publish them at the proper time.

2. TELL A STORY

Of course, even after you send in your article, competition may still be a problem for it. (60 releases per day for four days, remember?) So the easier it is for the editors to copy and paste your manuscript for publishing without major changes, the faster your article will go out. But the content of the article still matters, too.

When there’s fierce competition, Ryan and his team tend to select the articles that they know their customers will want to read: stories.

A lot of other trade magazine publishers might copy and paste a generic press release in order to publish it before anybody else, so they can say, “We posted it first!” However, after they’ve done that and earned a customer’s click, the customer will bounce off the page extremely quickly after they realize it’s a verbatim press release.

On the other end of that spectrum, Heliweb and other substantial magazines attract audiences with stories that aren’t generic. Their titles are engaging and the articles are worth reading, so readers are retained for longer.

Write an actual story about what you’re doing or what your new product is; why it’s so great; and how it improves on anything else in the industry.

An article like that is far more likely to be considered a priority by your publishers…especially if they don’t have to do any tweaking before they publish it.

3. RESPECT FORMATTING REQUIREMENTS

If you send in publications that too short, your trade magazine publisher will avoid your story. Why?

Google will actually penalize news sites for posting any article that doesn’t meet a 300-word minimum requirement.

But even if you know about that requirement, that doesn’t give you an excuse to write a release something along the lines of, “Hi! We’re a vendor and we’re at this trade show! Here are three more paragraphs about what our company does so that we can meet Googles standards!”

In a niche industry, chances are your readers already know who you are and what you do.

If you’re competing for attention at a trade show, you need more than that. Make the content meaningful and informative. Give it an engaging title; give it a subtitle; include major keywords; include keywords in the title, subtitle, and first paragraph as well. And above all, make it engaging!

4. BUILD A RELATIONSHIP

Connect with your trade magazine publisher enough to at least know their team size. Shoot them a phone call; know their email address so that you can send in materials early and respect their schedule. And if you really want to wow them…

Simple as it sounds, that is a huge gesture! Sending in a properly-sized image will cut down on the work they have to do before releasing your article, and it shows that you’re serious about working with them. Sending in a tiny .jpeg is a surefire way to get your article pushed to the back of the queue.

“In my head, I can immediately tell you: our image size is 745×545… That’s perfect. So it will come in full resolution, it won’t be distorted in any way, shape, or form; and it will perfectly fill the box when you get onto our website.”

Again: if you don’t have a picture, your article will automatically get pushed to the end of the line. Send them an image of the correct size, exported for the web so that it’s not pixelated. Efforts like that can be vital to trade magazine publishers because, as Ryan says, when there are 60 releases coming in at once and many don’t have images or proper content, they just get pushed to the back.

JUST MAKE AN EFFORT

Every trade magazine publisher is a little different in their requirements, but they all have a lot of common preferences. Use high-resolution images that are landscape rather than portrait. Use proper grammar and punctuation. Make sure there is only one Facebook page or other account under your name, because otherwise it’s very difficult to get tagged properly in social media promotions.

Of course following all these guidelines will take work…but once you make it a habit, the success will be well worth it.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Ryan Mason of Heliweb We've all tried to publish that company press-release…but have you ever wondered why your editors don't seem to give yours the attention you feel it deserves? Ryan Mason of Heliweb.com shares with us some ways to make life far easier for your trade mag publisher, whether they've fully digitized or not. Danny Gonzales, Ryan Mason clean 21:26
How to Bring Video Into the Sales Process https://www.industrialsage.com/video-in-the-sales-process/ Sun, 28 Jan 2018 10:00:24 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1274 Sales and marketing always seem to be at odds – but thanks to new cutting-edge technology, your sales teams can finally make use of your content library and create personalized video voicemails to send individual prospects! All of the boosted engagement of video has finally been combined with the personal nature of sales. If you're looking for a way to differentiate yourself from the competition…this is definitely it. Want to see a “video voicemail” for yourself and find out more about the sales enablement tools mentioned in this episode? Click here to sign in and watch our whole webinar!

Since we started off the year discussing the immense growth of video in the marketing industry, we also wanted to touch on another department that is starting to evolve as well: sales.

TWO DEPARTMENTS ALWAYS AT ODDS

While outsiders can’t always tell the difference, sales and marketing are two departments that seem always to be at one another’s throats, despite their similarities.

They’re both dedicated to outreach on behalf of the company. However, if you’re in either field, you probably already have strong feelings about their differences.

Marketers are generally more creative. They produce content to generate leads and bring in prospects. Sales, on the other hand, focuses on building relationships with those prospects and eventually closing deals with them.

Sales reps tend to be frustrated because the content from their marketers isn’t always applicable. Meanwhile, marketing can’t understand why sales isn’t bothering to follow through with the leads they’ve generated.

Given video’s creative nature, most people assume that it’s just a marketing tool. But it’s not exclusive to marketing anymore!

In the past, most content (emails, blog articles, videos, you name it) sent out by marketing has always appeared a bit generic and “rubber-stamped.” That can be is frustrating for sales teams that are trying to build personal, individual relationships.

A NEW TOOL TO RECONCILE THEM

We recently released a webinar about sales enablement, where we specifically discussed a new program of its kind. It was a video platform designed with sales teams in mind.

Now sales teams have a place to keep all of the resources made by marketing – and the ability to create their own personalized content: video voicemails!

Picture this: you’ve just returned from a trade show. You’ve got two or three dozen new networking connections. Each of those people, too, likely went home with handfuls of business cards in their pockets. In the week that follows the show, phone calls and emails start flying. In all that chaos, it’s easy to forget, “Who was Joseph, again?”

Now imagine that when you open an email message, you instead find yourself face to face with a video of Joseph. He’s talking about meeting you at the booth, and wanting to connect again.

Instead of just text on a screen, you got a personal, 30-second video, just for you! If you’re thinking, “Wow, that’s new,” then you’re not alone.

WE USE IT ALL THE TIME!

Our team uses sales enablement tools like this on a daily basis. We receive emails all the time from people who are floored by the experience. Open and click-through rates are through the roof, and sales get an incredible boost as well. Why?

Tools like this are new and innovative, which will help prospects realize that your actual services as a company are probably advanced and cutting-edge as well.

All of the boosted engagement of video has finally been combined with the personal nature of sales. The voicemails are quick to make. They can be easily connected with your existing email accounts in Gmail or Outlook. Also, if you know that you have videos that your prospect might find helpful, you can even send them a customized playlist of those videos as well!

A lot of people are concerned with cost, but the results are so phenomenal that tools like this soon pay for themselves in sales. You receive notifications showing exactly who has opened and watched your videos. You also have access to easy-to-read analytics that can tell you more about your audience’s attention span, which will help you improve future content.

And the best part? Your competition isn’t using tools like this…yet.

Finding a way to differentiate yourself in the digital age is usually tough. Video voicemail for your sales team is one tool that, for now, is still fresh and original. It might even ease a bit of the tension between your sales and marketing teams, too.

Want to see a video voicemail for yourself? Sign up and soon your inbox will show you these sales tools in action!

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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Sales and marketing always seem to be at odds – but thanks to new cutting-edge technology, your sales teams can finally make use of your content library and create personalized video voicemails to send individual prospects! Sales and marketing always seem to be at odds – but thanks to new cutting-edge technology, your sales teams can finally make use of your content library and create personalized video voicemails to send individual prospects! All of the boosted engagement of video has finally been combined with the personal nature of sales. If you're looking for a way to differentiate yourself from the competition…this is definitely it. Danny Gonzales clean 6:42
How Unplanned Marketing Automation Goes Overboard https://www.industrialsage.com/unplanned-marketing-automation-goes-overboard/ Sun, 21 Jan 2018 10:00:33 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1277 Andrea Tarrell joins us to discuss common pitfalls faced by companies that rush into marketing automation without a plan…or approval from sales. Whether you're about to buy a new program or if you've already gotten in over your head, there are a few steps you can take to keep from drowning your reps in the wrong data. This week we’re joined by Andrea Tarrell, CEO and founder of Sercante. Sercante is a marketing and technology consulting firm that’s focused on connecting automation platforms. Andrea also runs a weekly blog on TheSpotForPardot.com; and she joined us to discuss a common problem with businesses that know they’re behind in the world of digital marketing.

So many industrial companies make huge investments in marketing software, but they get in too deep, too fast.

You might be looking at Hubspot, Pardot, Salesforce, Marketo, or others.

Whichever you’ve chosen, the key to keep from drowning is to stop and prepare a strategy in order to find value and measure results. Don’t just use these programs as nothing more than glorified email tools. Don’t just rush into unplanned marketing automation. Establishing your steps beforehand will keep you from slowing from a run to a crawl. Instead, you’ll progress from crawling to walking to running.

“In theory, [marketing automation] is simple…but it isn’t easy.”

1. GET THE SALES TEAM ONBOARD

Before you begin down the long and tangled road of marketing automation (or even if you already have), it’s imperative to sit down and work through a strategy about who your ideal personas are.

Investing in marketing automation isn’t a marketing or an I.T decision at all. You should have the support of your sales team 100% before you begin.

“Marketers are owning more of that pre-sales process than ever, and the line between marketing and sales is becoming blurred.”

Marketers are always thrilled to get leads – but their sales teams aren’t always as impressed. They know that not all of those leads are ready to be converted. However, they also want to be the ones identifying hot leads, rather than allowing marketing to do any segmentation ahead of time.

“[Sales] has an unlimited number of people they could follow up with. So if your leads don’t fit their high-value profile, they’re just not going to pick up the phone.”

2. KEEP THEM ONBOARD

And as discussed in a previous episode with Malika Waller, aligning with sales requires a constant dialogue that identifies success and qualified leads. And this dialogue needs to happen over and over again, because the market is always changing and you need to remain grounded.

“Map out, ‘What does lead nurturing look like for my company?’ It’s really hard to automate a process that doesn’t exist.”

But having a nurture plan laid out and quarterly goals or reviews for the system isn’t the only thing you need to keep from going overboard too quickly with unplanned marketing automation.

3. TEST A SMALL CONTROL GROUP

Once you’ve decided on the nurture process that you want to have, then pick the marketing tools to match. Try out that automation process on a small test group.

Testing will allow you to discover any hiccups to your plans, without the stress of any mistakes happening on a large scale.

You may discover that you need more content to support the drip campaigns you’re trying to create. Or more specifically, you need content that sales has requested specifically for leads that are deeper into the funnel. On the other hand, you might realize that you don’t have a system in place to identify or measure the results of your automation. In short, planning is the (shocking) solution to preventing unplanned marketing automation.

You might realize that you need to go through your CRM . It may be Salesforce, or even spreadsheets…but you need to clean out a lot of obsolete prospect data that hasn’t been touched for a long time. Programs like BrightVerify or NeverBounce are great for that.

4. AFTER THAT…BABY STEPS

“When it comes to reporting marketing data, information overload is a good way to have everybody tune you out.”

The bigger you start off, the harder it is to isolate different factors that may have influenced your success or failure. After you start small, it’s easier to identify what elements needs to be cropped out or added. What needs more finessing? What worked beautifully?

“I definitely recommend the crawl-walk-run approach. Set quarterly goals of bites you can actually chew.”

Pick out a small handful of sales reps – not your best, necessarily…but your hungriest. Let them run this pilot program, and see if their numbers improve.

Ultimately, the goal is to be able to give a number – preferably one preceded by a dollar sign – that signifies how much marketing contributed to pipeline revenues.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Andrea Tarrell of Sercante This week we're joined by Andrea Tarrell to discuss the common pitfalls faced by companies that rush into marketing automation without any sort of plan…or approval from the sales department. Whether you're about to buy an automation program, or whether you've already gotten a bit over your head, there are a few steps that you can take to keep from wasting precious time and drowning your reps in the wrong data. Danny Gonzales, Andrea Tarrell clean 24:22
Best Practices to Use Video In Marketing Emails https://www.industrialsage.com/video-in-marketing-emails/ Sun, 14 Jan 2018 10:00:54 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1259 On New Year’s, we listed our top marketing tactics for 2018 – and video was in the lead; so today we’re going to discuss how to maximize the benefits of video by integrating it with a common marketing tool you probably already use. Here are four ideal habits for sending video in your emails. Want to dive deeper into how video can integrate into your sales process? Click here to sign up and watch our tutorial featuring Video In Sales!

 

On New Year’s Day, we released an episode listing our top marketing tactics for 2018 – and above everything, video was in the lead. Today we’re going to discuss how to maximize the benefits of video by integrating it with a common marketing tool that you probably already use: emails.

Email marketing is commonplace nowadays – in fact, it’s finally lost its novelty in most cases. But by adding video to it, you can increase your open and conversion rates. We even released a recent webinar with a walk-through about the power that video has in the sales process. You can click here to see the recorded webinar!

But if you just want the mile-high view to start with, we can certainly oblige. Here are four ideal habits to have when sending video in marketing emails.

  • Don’t send a file: send a link.
  • Use a picture with a play button.
  • Include “video” in the subject line.
  • Try to use a platform with analytics.

1. DON’T SEND A FILE: SEND A LINK

Most people assume that sending a video in an email actually involves sending the video as an attachment. That’s a terrible idea! Video files are really big; and the higher the quality, the larger the file. That can really slow down your email send, and it takes up mounds of valuable bandwidth.

So where is the video actually located? On your website: either on a landing page, or maybe in a blog post. No matter what platform you use to host your videos – be it YouTube or Vimeo or Wistia and beyond – that platform should and will give you embed options so that you can post a video on your own website…which is critical.

Under no circumstances should you email your audiences a link that sends them straight to YouTube or Vimeo!

The last thing you want to do is send people to a site that doesn’t belong to you, where they can get distracted by videos that belong to your competitors, as well as other entirely irrelevant content!

2. USE A PICTURE WITH A PLAY BUTTON

This way, when your viewers open their emails, they think they see a video. But in reality they’re looking at a picture with a play button. That button is almost compulsive to most of us, and it tells us one thing: “If you click here, you get to watch a video!”

So when your viewer clicks on the picture, they’ll get transported to your website where –voila!– your video awaits.

And the prettier the thumbnail, the more clicks you’ll probably get. A/B test it! Try out two different colorful pictures, then measure which is more successful! Add catchy title, or abstract designs. Try a vintage black and white look. Whatever you want– just always, always, always have a play button!

3. INCLUDE “VIDEO” IN THE SUBJECT LINE

Just adding “video” in the subject line of your email has been shown to boost opens rates by 19% and click-throughs by 65%!

Like we said before; everyone is flooded by emails nowadays. However, video excites people. If given the choice, they’ll almost always opt to watch your video in marketing emails rather than read paragraphs of text.

4. TRY TO USE A PLATFORM WITH ANALYTICS

What we mean by this is, wherever possible, try to look into an account with video sites like Wistia and VidYard, as opposed to YouTube and Vimeo. Simple sites like YouTube can show you that you got 500 views. However, they can’t tell you how much of the video is actually getting watched. A lot of people might watch for ten seconds, get bored, and click away…and you might never know.

As we often say here in the Optimum Studio, “Only counting views just doesn’t count.”

Platforms with analytics will help you learn about your audience; some can even track individuals by location, and show you heat maps of what people are re-watching or skipping in your video – sometimes in real time! It’s like all the data of a survey, without forcing your subscribers to answer questions.

These four habits can boost your email engagement and also get you into the habit of using video more in your daily marketing. And we all know more video, as a marketer, is a very good thing.

 

Want to dive deeper into how video can integrate into your sales process? Click here to sign up and watch our tutorial featuring Video In Sales!

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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On New Year’s, we listed our top marketing tactics for 2018 – and video was in the lead; so today we’re going to discuss how to maximize the benefits of video by integrating it with a common marketing tool you probably already use. On New Year’s, we listed our top marketing tactics for 2018 – and video was in the lead; so today we’re going to discuss how to maximize the benefits of video by integrating it with a common marketing tool you probably already use. Here are four ideal habits for sending video in your emails. Danny Gonzales clean 7:47
Hurdles of International Marketing for Industrial Manufacturers https://www.industrialsage.com/hurdles-of-international-marketing/ Sun, 07 Jan 2018 10:00:23 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1095 Joanne Sanders of EWISE Communications joined us to discuss some unexpected marketing hang-ups that come from expanding internationally without proper preparation, as well as the organizations that she's founded and joined in order to create a network of people who can help you make the transition more smoothly. This week Joanne Sanders, president of target marketing firm EWISE Communications joined us! She came to share some of her amazing stories and sage advice on international marketing. Some unexpected hang-ups may come from expanding into foreign markets without proper preparation.

Joanne’s qualifications and accolades seem endless. For one thing, she’s a member of the board for the World Trade Center of Atlanta. She serves as an international manufacturing liaison for the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance. Recently she won a 2017 Georgia Latina Excellence Award for Business and Technology. On top of that, the city of Atlanta recently awarded her as well!

But Joanne didn’t actually start out in international marketing. Originally she was a sales executive who was frustrated with marketing, because their content didn’t always meet customer needs. As a result, she started her own agency. And as usually happens when you start your own business, she learned a lot – particularly about international expansions.

Once a business’ marketing begins to go global, she says, an entire new can of worms is opened. A lot of cultural nuances go into our content, even if we don’t realize it.

1. ONCE YOU CROSS BORDERS, THE GAME CHANGES.

One area of difficulty with international marketing is when outside enterprises come to the United States and yet keep practicing the same marketing techniques and rules here as in their homeland.

“You can’t assume…whatever has led you to be successful in one particular market will apply to another.”

American companies are no exception to this bad habit when they go overseas, either. Joanne recently spoke at the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance Summit about some of these issues.

Digital marketing in Asia often involves social media platforms that the western world hasn’t even heard of. And due to strict email marketing laws, some everyday outreach techniques here in the states could get you sent to jail in Europe.

Cultural differences can also mean that customers’ purchasing paths aren’t the same. Your personas won’t be identical all over the globe.

Local stores, for example, are more influential than chain stores in the Caribbean. Healthcare markets and buyers differ in Brazil, versus the U.S, versus Japan.

2. KNOW HOW TO COMMUNICATE YOUR OWN BRAND

Another common challenge is the obstacle of language barriers. You could have a motto or corporate mantra that won’t get “shifted during the flight.”

The best messages are universal, in order to reach anyone and everyone. But it’s also ideal if they can apply to local regions in order to seem more personal.

That sounds like a tall order, which it often is. Joanne’s example to us was the motto of FedEx: “The World On Time.” It can just as quickly and easily be adapted to say, “Atlanta On Time,” or “New Zealand On Time.”

“Make sure you’re using the power of communicating through words and communicating through design. Visuals can really help cut through a lot of issues, especially when you’re dealing with international markets.”

Using words and design together in order to create compelling visuals can really help with messaging.

A restaurant in deep Louisiana, for example, may have a sign displaying a cartoon crawfish and the word, “Cajun.” But people from other countries or even from northern states might not know what the advertisement means. Use a plate, Joanne suggests. Mention spices. Techniques like that will provide more aid in explaining that you’re promoting a specific cuisine.

3. DON’T GET LOST IN TRANSLATION

Joanne shared another story at the summit about a popular company selling golf balls in large packages. While marketing in Japan, they decided to also create a line of smaller sleeves to be purchased up front near store registers, for convenience. They laid out a campaign, they manufactured everything, and they released the product. But their revenues plummeted. Why?

This company unwittingly tried to sell their golf balls to Japanese customers in packages of four. Four is a distinctly unlucky ‘cursed’ number in that culture.

The number four in Japanese sounds like the word for ‘death,’ so Japanese companies create and sell absolutely nothing in groups of four. That’s an unfortunate lesson the golf company learned only after losing thousands of dollars and several months of planning on their newly-sized packaging. Even their larger packages lost sales because buyers avoided their entire brand afterwards.

And then, of course, literal translation issues pop up.

A very popular beer company in the U.S. once tried to take their campaign, under the slogan “Let It Loose,” to latin American countries. However, they translated the saying verbatim without inquiring after language nuances. As a result, their severely embarrassing slogan in those countries essentially meant, “You’ve got the runs.”

“I think blunders are good examples of how we can learn.”

And as she’s said before, Joanne assured us that American companies aren’t the only culprits of international marketing faux pas. Foreign companies entering the U.S. need to keep an eye on how their messages translates, too. Even expanding between the states might require some cultural analysis and campaign tweaks.

4. NETWORKS TO HELP YOU AVOID MAJOR BLUNDERS

One of the major steps that Joanne took to aid growing companies, both foreign and domestic, was to help create the community of the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance.

Since expansion differs depending on each particular industry, this network of allied manufacturers helps foster relationships and provides support between like businesses.

The partnership helps inform foreign companies about U.S. incentives that might be available to them, or grants for different exports. When businesses start employing staff overseas, taxes may change and local-based CPAs may not know enough to help.

“Atlanta does so much international marketing. There’s over 70 trade centers here…and the reason they’ve invested here is because Atlanta does so much business with foreign companies.”

“There’s over 200 international organizations in the world trade center…there to do a lot of that matchmaking.”

Exploration doesn’t always cost an arm and a leg, so look around. You never know where you might find a partner company that may end up saving your bacon in the future.

 

ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

 

Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

 

Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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with Joanne Sanders of EWISE Communications and the World Trade Center of Atlanta Joanne Sanders of EWISE Communications joined us to discuss some unexpected marketing hang-ups that come from expanding internationally without proper preparation, as well as the organizations that she's founded and joined in order to create a network of people who can help you make the transition more smoothly. Danny Gonzales, Joanne Sanders clean 24:01
Top Considerations for Your Industrial Marketing in 2018 https://www.industrialsage.com/industrial-marketing-in-2018/ Sun, 31 Dec 2017 10:00:24 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1122 Happy New Year! If you haven't returned to the office yet, you probably will very soon – and when that happens, you're going to need to be aware of developing trends that may be taking industrial marketing in 2018 by storm! Fortunately for you, if you want to get ahead, we've collected some predictions for the new year that can help you to get one step ahead. Happy New Year! If you haven’t returned to the office yet, you probably will very soon. When that happens, you’re going to need to be aware of developing trends that may be taking industrial marketing in 2018 by storm!

Fortunately for you, if you want to get a headstart, we’ve collected some predictions for the new year that can help you to get one step ahead. Here are five major tactics to consider for your industrial marketing in 2018.

  • Video
  • Micro-moments
  • Personalized Content
  • Chatbots
  • Native Ads

1. Video Is King

  • Cisco projects that global internet traffic from videos will make up 80% of all internet traffic by 2019.
  •  

    Are you really surprised? It’s highly likely that you’re learning this information by watching our vlog or listening to our podcast, rather than reading it in this article. We’ve said this many, many times before. Video is the most similar experience to face-to-face interaction. Since it involves visual and audio mediums, video is a faster and far more valuable form of communication. Whether you’re launching new products or hosting a training webinar, video is here to stay.

    And video isn’t just valuable in the marketing funnel. It can also be used to to enable and enhance the sales process. Analytics can track viewers and notify sales teams when certain behaviors are present. Then those sales teams can actually film short “video voicemails” at their desk and email prospects directly!

    2. Micro-Moments Are More Important Than Ever

  • Videos under five minutes in length account for 55% of total video consumption time on smartphones.
  • 96% of people reach for their smartphone first when researching a new topic.
  •  

    We’ve heard complaints about degrading attention spans for years, and smartphones are one of the main culprits. Whether you lament this change or not, you need to be aware of it. You also need to be adapting for it. Shrinking your content means more than just shortening the running time. You need to know whether your video or your images and designs are going to show up well on a small screen.

    Take Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter as examples. Most videos posted directly to those platforms can’t necessarily be very long; and they usually autoplay, but with the sound turned off. Now imagine that happening while your video is small enough to fit in the palm of someone’s hand. Do you have captions or subtitles for your viewers to read if they’re not bothering to turn the sound on? Is that text large and legible, or are you using a lot of small, fine print?

    3. Personalized Content is Outstripping Unpersonalized

  • According to VidYard, the average retention rate for personalized videos is 35% higher than for non-personalized videos.
  • Personalized videos are 16 times more likely to be opened and clicked in email campaigns than non-personalized videos.
  •  

    Now, personalized content is probably something you’re familiar with. You’ve seen it in the email in your inbox or the postcard at your door, with your name strategically added at the top somewhere to retain your attention just a few seconds longer. But there are a lot of other applications. Websites are starting to offer personalized landing pages so that different prospects from different industries will see a page that’s more specific to their own needs. And if you didn’t know, video can also be personalized as well now. (If you’ve never received a personalized video before, you’re missing out.)

    Thanks to CRM data, spreadsheet formulas, and a lot of computing power, companies can release video campaigns that contain their prospect’s name – or practically any other data that the marketing team might have about them. It could be past purchases, birthdays, you name it! We’ve seen these videos go to work directly. In fact, they’ve consistently doubled our email opens in the past.

    4. Chatbots are Growing in Popularity

  • Hubspot says that 48% of consumers would rather connect with a company through live chat than any other mean of contact. Also, 55% of consumers are interested in interacting with a business that uses messaging apps to solve a problem.
  •  

    Ever visited a website, started browsing, then heard a little “ding” and seen a little instant-message box pop up in the corner of the screen? If you haven’t seen those yet, you almost definitely will very soon. These are chatbots.

    The reason why chatbots are so popular is because, in short, they’re less stressful. Getting on a phone call is often not an effort that a lot of people want to make. On the other hand, seeing a little bubble that says, “Hey! Are there any questions I can help you with today?” is a great, anonymous way for them to get quick answers. That means they don’t have submit their email address to any sort of database to get a response six hours later. They also don’t have to sit on the phone and “wait to talk to a representative” for three hours (face it, we’ve all been there). B2B purchases take enough time as it is– industrial marketing in 2018 should involve a little time-saving.

    5. Native Ads are Increasingly Preferred Over Non-Native

  • According to Business Insider, spending on native advertising in the United States will likely reach $21 billion by 2018, and will drive 74% of all ad revenue by 2021.
  • According to HubShout, 85% of Americans don’t mind native ads, but feel that their browsing experience is hindered by non-native ads. In fact, a third of Americans would rather visit a dentist than see non-native ads.
  •  

    “Now wait a second,” you might say. “What exactly is a native ad?”

    Glad you asked. You probably know non-native ads when you see them. They’re those irritating blocks in the margins of webpages that you visit, and sometimes they’re promoting completely irrelevant content or websites than the page you’re currently on.

    Native ads, on the other hand, aren’t ‘rented space’ or ‘purchased real estate’ on a page. They’re more along the lines of sponsored content. Perhaps you’re following a blog about marketing techniques, and there’s an article with an infographic about how a popular antacid’s new campaign is progressing. It’s technically relevant, but is still created with the purpose of driving leads for the sponsor in question.

    Native ads are definitely a more subtle form of advertising, but internet users all seem to agree that they’re far easier on the eyes.

    And this list is by no means exhaustive.

    Being a manufacturer tends to mean being part of a business where marketing techniques in general are just a few years behind other industries’. There are likely plenty of well-established techniques in digital marketing that can be just as helpful to you in your B2B space as these new and upcoming trends. Still, it’s important to know both the new and the old, because sometimes different marketing strategies or technologies actually stack on one another. (For example, building on video marketing in general with personalized video marketing).

    The point is, you should have plenty of options to choose from for your industrial marketing in 2018. That’s why we’re here.

     

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    If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

     

    Sponsored by Optimum Productions

    ]]>
    Happy New Year! If you haven't returned to the office yet, you probably will very soon – and when that happens, you're going to need to be aware of developing trends that may be taking industrial marketing in 2018 by storm! Fortunately for you, Happy New Year! If you haven't returned to the office yet, you probably will very soon – and when that happens, you're going to need to be aware of developing trends that may be taking industrial marketing in 2018 by storm! Fortunately for you, if you want to get ahead, we've collected some predictions for the new year that can help you to get one step ahead. Danny Gonzales clean 14:17
    The 2017 Fourth Quarter Review https://www.industrialsage.com/2017-fourth-quarter-review/ Sun, 10 Dec 2017 10:00:05 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1103 The December holidays are about to kick in – and that means a review of the fourth quarter is in order! This past Autumn was chock-full of exciting guests from industrial and manufacturing companies of all kinds, and they brought plenty of sage advice about digital marketing that's well-worth repeating! Well, December has arrived and the holiday break is about to kick in. That means a review of the 2017 fourth quarter is in order!

    OCTOBER

    In our eleventh episode, we talked with Jordan Quackenbush of Optimum Productions. He explained how companies need a high-quality message to best reach their prospects. Sometimes refining your sales message takes an outsider’s opinion.

    Our twelfth episode covered the story of one particular company’s transition into digital marketing. We got to sit down with Darragh Grove-White of LJ Welding in Canada and hear how an emphasis on digital outreach has grown their company exponentially in the past decade.

    In our thirteenth episode, Malika Waller of Landis+Gyr touched on six steps to getting your company to buy into digital marketing methods.

    In the middle of the 2017 fourth quarter, we got to meet James Azar of CyberHub Summit! We learned some practical tips to keep online accounts secure. James also gave us some important reasons why we marketers should keep an eye on all of our marketing software.

    In our fifteenth episode, sat down with Barbara van der Walt of Eagle Technology, Inc. She explained how actually examining their CRM data led to some surprising discoveries, which sparked changes in their sales and marketing process.

    NOVEMBER

    For our sixteenth episode, we had a chat with Tyson Ferraro of Control Solutions, Inc. about training end users and distributors. That program has helped them to gain confidence with buyers, and digital techniques have provided them enough information on ROI to know just how much they’re spending on each prospect. The data shows them that it’s all worth it.

    After Thanksgiving week, Bryan Gee of Tensar International Corporation joined us for our seventeenth episode. His position with the company as Director of Education and Training is a relatively new role, but educating leads is turning out to be a valuable B2B marketing technique for them.

    No doubt, this has been a great season. We’ve learned a lot! We can’t wait to share with you some of the amazing material that we have coming up in the new year. From hurdles of international marketing, to more short snippets of sage advice from Danny’s personal experience. Get ready for more sage wisdom in the realms of digital outreach for industrial marketers!

    Until then: stay warm, stay jolly, and sage on.

     

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    If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

     

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    ]]>
    The December holidays are about to kick in – and that means a review of the fourth quarter is in order! This past Autumn was chock-full of exciting guests from industrial and manufacturing companies of all kinds, The December holidays are about to kick in – and that means a review of the fourth quarter is in order! This past Autumn was chock-full of exciting guests from industrial and manufacturing companies of all kinds, and they brought plenty of sage advice about digital marketing that's well-worth repeating! Danny Gonzales clean 20:25
    How to Fake a Live Webinar https://www.industrialsage.com/how-to-fake-a-live-webinar/ Sun, 03 Dec 2017 10:00:02 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1078 Maybe live webinars ARE a bit too much pressure. If so, in this week's vodcast we sat down to discuss benefits and best practices for pre-recording and broadcasting a webinar that's extremely high in quality… but also not actually live. When it comes to creating content that can answer customer questions, a lot of companies prefer to record a video that can be accessed on-demand, any time. But webinars, with their actual time slot on the calendar, give people a sense of urgency and importance about what you have to say.

    Webinars help you get a feel for which of your leads are particularly interested in any given topic. Unfortunately, the “live” aspect of webinars can be both an intimidating feat and also a technological pain.

    Maybe you’re uneasy about trying to talk to a computer screen without being able to actually gauge reactions from the audience. Maybe you tend to go down rabbit holes with your subject matter and get into the weeds of technicalities without meaning to. Or maybe you just don’t trust your computer’s reliability in a situation requiring that much bandwidth.

    Any of these instances might be a good opportunity to fake a live webinar – by pre-recording it.

    Pre-recording provides you with the opportunity to edit out mistakes or excessive deviations in your presentation. You can also keep the delivery within a particular time limit. If you want to make sure that your webinar doesn’t go a second over 30 minutes, you can make that happen this way.

    1. RECORD YOUR DELIVERY

    There are several options if you want to fake a live webinar. The easiest option is to use a screen-capture on your computer. Several pieces of software will let you do that – like Quicktime and even Powerpoint. So you don’t need to go download some new, expensive program to accomplish this.

    Of course, since we’re sponsored by a video production agency with a customizable multi-camera studio, we’re a bit more biased towards higher-quality video presentations.

    Recording with a studio and/or a multi-camera setting gives the entire webinar an elevated feel, as opposed to a dim office or an awkwardly-furnished, echoing dining room. Your audience also gains the benefit of seeing you face-to-face. That increases the personal feel of the webinar and boosts your credibility.

    2. MAINTAIN THE ILLUSION

    Whatever the production method, once the recording is complete, your final product is going to be a video file. There are some tricks you can use to make the video appear to be live during the webinar broadcast. For example, refer to the day and time as if it’s the day and time of the webinar, not the day of production.

    Another one of our favorite techniques is, if we’re recording in the studio, we film the five minutes or so of behind-the-scenes preparation leading up to when the cameras roll. That way when viewers tune in three minutes before the webinar, they see your presenter going through their notes or getting makeup applied by the crew, as if he or she is preparing at that very moment.

    The next trick to fake a live webinar is particularly important. Play a video that is much more than just the webinar.

    If you’re giving a thirty-minute presentation at 2PM, don’t wait until 2PM to hit “play” in the meeting where everyone can see you do it.

    Create a video file that’s, say, an hour long. Start it at 1:45 before any attendees tune in. The first fifteen minutes and last fifteen minutes could be a countdown clock; a slide about yourself or your company; or even other relevant videos for your audience to enjoy! It’s a great way to provide additional content and “commercials” for your viewers’ benefit.

    3. CHECK YOUR TECH

    One last tip: for whatever reason, a lot of webinar programs struggle to screen-share a rolling video. The audio gets out of sync because the program is trying to connect with your microphone and not the video’s sound. That causes the graphics to pixelate and freeze. It just gets ugly.

    Like any other webinar, you’ll absolutely need to run some tests with your chosen program(s) before diving into the broadcast for real.

    Sometimes the screen-share or webinar program you choose will need an adaptor from Amazon or some other plug-in so that you can play video directly from a file. Or the program will help you take audio directly from your computer and not your microphone (since you won’t actually be speaking during the broadcast).

    Whatever programs and tools you use, testing beforehand will always be your best bet.

    In short, if you think webinars are likely a valuable asset for your marketing and sales teams, but the live aspect is a non-starter for you, never fear. Now you can record your presentations and give webinars like a pro. By recording them long beforehand.

    Shhh. It’ll be our secret.

     

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    Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

    If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

     

    Sponsored by Optimum Productions

    ]]>
    Maybe live webinars ARE a bit too much pressure. If so, in this week's vodcast we sat down to discuss benefits and best practices for pre-recording and broadcasting a webinar that's extremely high in quality… but also not actually live. Maybe live webinars ARE a bit too much pressure. If so, in this week's vodcast we sat down to discuss benefits and best practices for pre-recording and broadcasting a webinar that's extremely high in quality… but also not actually live. Danny Gonzales clean 5:31
    Using Education As A Means of Marketing https://www.industrialsage.com/education-as-new-means-of-marketing/ Sun, 26 Nov 2017 10:00:40 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1043 Bryan Gee of Tensar International Corporation joins us this week to explain why the company created his new role, Director of Education and Training; how education actually relates to marketing; and how their business can benefit from raising the level of education in the marketplace. This week Bryan Gee, Director of Education and Training at the Tensar International Corporation, joined us for a chat! His is a new role there, and it was added – as we found out – for a good reason.

    1. WHY TENSAR ADDED A DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION

    For years, Tensar has invested extensively in R&D, as well as in data collection so as to quantify the ROI of their products. Over time, they noticed a key need in the world of their customers.

    Tensar realized that their customers needed to better understand the pros and cons of the different products available in the marketplace.

    Enter Bryan. He educates prospects on the benefits of Tensar’s name brand services, as compared to other “off brand” options. Their customers vary. Distributors make up their primary personas, but there are direct end users in the mix, too.

    As we learned in last week’s episode with Tyson Ferraro, education as a means of marketing proves particularly valuable. Training distributors, who have more marketing assets and can be a great help to Tensar, goes a long way. Bryan’s training has a major impact on future sales. Whether that impact is good or bad can depend on his performance.

    2. HOW EDUCATION RELATES TO MARKETING

    Usually, education and demos are usually better left to deeper portions of the sales funnel. However, marketing to engineers means getting a bit more in depth at the start.

    Engineering minds naturally want to know more technical facts about how which products function best. They’re less interested how much money they can save by choosing lower-priced ‘generic’ options.

    When asked if he considers himself a marketer, Bryan points out that all content marketers are educators, and vice versa.

    All marketers employ education as a means of marketing, but people generally perceive it as entertainment. Bryan’s role represents just one aspect of the marketing department. They both want to differentiate their role in the market. Differentiation takes education, which is why Bryan focuses on training everyone – even Tensar’s own staff.

    “We have to teach the performance differential…so customers understand what they’re giving up by taking the cheaper product.”

    One challenge that Bryan faces is the emergence of contractors as more prominent customers in the market. That means that he needs to push some of his more in-depth training further down into the funnel rather than keeping it at the top.

    He kept a lot of demos at the top of the funnel for a long time because “we’re a bunch of engineers talking to engineers.” But contractors are harder to find and they’re not as quick to dive into the mechanics of the products at first glance. They do tend to care more about pricing unless given more information about the quality of the service they’re considering.

    Regardless of whether Bryans customer is an engineer or a contractor, the challenge of disrupting the market and getting their attention is the same.

    “We learn as much as we can about what they’re working on, then we go in and…try to teach them something new. We have to teach them something new.”

    3. EDUCATION’S EFFECT ACROSS MULTIPLE TECHNIQUES

    Tensor has experimented with a lot of marketing tools across the country. They’ve used face-to-face interaction, content marketing on their website, and live seminars and broadcast webinars.

    “If we raise the level of technical knowledge in the marketplace, that benefits us because we’ve got the best solution… Ultimately if we don’t teach the customer something new, we don’t win.”

    As always, Bryan tries to avoid leading such conversations by gushing about his own company’s products or services. They focus on solving the challenges of their customers first and foremost.

    Paying attention to customer needs is vital. Just being synonymous with a product (Tensar is the name-brand in geogrids and other site development solutions) isn’t enough anymore.

     

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    with Bryan Gee of Tensar International Corporation Bryan Gee of Tensar International Corporation joins us this week to explain why the company created his new role, Director of Education and Training; how education actually relates to marketing; and how their business can benefit from raising the level of education in the marketplace. Danny Gonzales, Bryan Gee clean 20:22
    Pre-Recorded vs. Live Webinars https://www.industrialsage.com/pre-recorded-vs-live-webinars/ Sun, 12 Nov 2017 10:00:36 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=1056 Webinars are extremely valuable tools, but everyone assumes they HAVE to be live. However, pre-recording them is also an option now. So which is better? When it comes to webinars, most people assume that the medium is, by its nature, a live broadcast.

    Hosting a webinar versus providing a particular video on-demand gives the audience a sense of urgency.

    When they hear, “Here’s the date and time; you don’t want to miss it,” the audience feels obligated to tune. They have no way of knowing for certain if you’re going to record the session for posterity, or if you’re going to give the same presentation at a later date. It’s a great opportunity for you because they don’t want to miss out.

    Typical webinars involve some sort of screen capture, with the speaker’s voice recorded through a computer’s built-in microphone. Technical quality aside, the live aspect of the presentation can be very nerve-wracking for some presenters.

    However, pre-recorded webinars are also a viable option nowadays, which leads to a major debate. You can, as the name implies, have the presentation recorded ahead of time. Then you can play it back live. So when considering pre-recorded vs live webinars, which is better?

    ABOUT LIVE WEBINARS

    Live webinars are really good if you want to get interactive feedback.

    If you want to host a poll or feature interactive questions with the audience while the actual event is going on, then live is probably what you’re looking for.

    Live also is a bit less work. You may put together your slide deck and rehearse a bit, but once it’s done, it’s done. If you make a mistake, then you make a mistake. You roll with it and move on.

    ABOUT PRE-RECORDED WEBINARS

    Pre-recorded webinars, on the other hand, give you the opportunity to iron out more kinks beforehand. You can make sure your message is honed to perfection.

    If you’re really worried about going on-camera and screwing up in front of a ton of people, this is a fantastic solution. You can practice until you’re polished, everything comes across the way you intend it, and you don’t stray into any rabbit holes along the way.

    Another one of the benefits of having pre-recorded versus live is that you can reduce some of the technical issues.

    In other words, let’s say you start on the live webinar– then all of a sudden, your wifi disconnects or slows down. Perhaps Powerpoint glitches. Some technical issue pops up…and you’ve got all these people sitting there, watching you.

    Pre-recorded webinars are one way to reduce the chance of that happening. They do take a bit of work behind the curtain, and we’ll address that in a future vodcast about how to fake a live webinar. But they’re very valuable, polished assets once they’re complete.

    And while the audience may not see or hear the answer their questions on the screen, some interaction is still possible in the pre-recorded webinars. Your presenter (perhaps under a different name) and the rest of your team can potentially answer questions in the written chat while the recording is played.

    SO WHICH IS BETTER?

    Honestly, in the debate about pre-recorded vs. live webinars, choosing your particular webinar depends on what’s most important to you.

    There are ways of doing hybrid webinars, but neither is necessarily better than the other. It just depends on the use case. If you want interactivity and the ability to answer questions, you should probably go live. If you want to make sure your message is clear and concise and on-point, then you might want to look into pre-recorded webinars.

    Either way, we definitely believe in using certain production techniques that will make your presentation as high-quality and personable as possible. After all, the quality of your video could in fact make or break your pitch.

     

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    If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

     

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    Webinars are extremely valuable tools, but everyone assumes they HAVE to be live. However, pre-recording them is also an option now. So which is better? Webinars are extremely valuable tools, but everyone assumes they HAVE to be live. However, pre-recording them is also an option now. So which is better? Danny Gonzales clean 5:09
    Training Distributors Is a Value-Add for Industrial Marketers https://www.industrialsage.com/training-distributors-is-a-value-add/ Sun, 05 Nov 2017 10:00:41 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=919 Tyson Ferraro of Control Solutions, Inc. joins us to explain how his company's complex distributor model has required a different approach in their marketing. As it turns out, offering training and educational courses is one investment that's really paying off and solving not only the challenges of end users, but also CSI's actual customers: distributors. This week we’re joined by Tyson Ferraro: Marketing Director of Control Solutions, Inc: a specialty chemical company in Houston, Texas. And as it turns out, their outreach methods have to be even more particular than standard B2B marketing.

    Since CSI is selling to distributors instead of to end users, their marketing model has its own challenges and best practices.

    Ty is here to discuss CSI’s current challenges and favorite tips for their own different customer model, and how offering instructional courses is actually one of their best industrial marketing assets. Because of this, they’ve come to see that training distributors is a value-add to their business.

    CHALLENGES OF THE DISTRIBUTOR MODEL

    CSI is a specialty chemical company that sells into three key markets: structural pest management (companies like Terminix and Orkin); golf course, turf, and ornamental/landscaping organizations like John Deere; and the market of animal health and insecticides, like mosquito, flea, or tick treatments.

    In all three cases, CSI isn’t selling to the final end users, but rather to distributors who will then in turn have to sell the products to their own prospects. That means that defining the customer is trickier than in other markets.

    Even though they don’t sell to end users directly, Ty’s team still has to know who those end users are and how best to reach them.

    There are some very big companies in the specialty chemical industry, and many of them have more distribution capabilities. In fact, CSI’s sales reps are usually outnumbered three-to-one.

    CSI has overcome their comparative lack of staff by being very relationship-based in their outreach; and their value proposition has to be strong for both consumer groups.

    HOW TRAINING AIDS THE DISTRIBUTION MODEL

    One of CSI’s biggest tactics is product launches. They have many every year, and they do need to focus on successful outreach.

    However, in their case, they especially need to make sure that distributors will feel comfortable selling these products, just as the end users need to feel comfortable using them.

    Rather than focusing entirely on generating demand or awareness, Ty and his team are always looking for ways to incentivize and push distribution.

    It’s important to make their message resonate further since they have less manpower than their competitors: whether they do so through Youtube, social media, or digital ads.

    One of their top practices is offering online training.

    Training isn’t a sales seminar for talking about how great the products are. They’re educational sessions so that distributors or end users can do their own job better and solve other people’s problems.

    CSI learns a lot about their end users by offering these training courses; and that helps them to continue the education of their own customers: the distributors.

    This data give distributors confidence and education about the products, so they can then reach the end users more easily. Then CSI’s training helps those end users utilize and trust the products more than they might have previously.

    NOT ALL COMPETITORS ARE INVESTING IN TRAINING

    Offering this form of education for leads is also key for another reason.

    No other company this size is even thinking about investing this much in online tactics, let alone online training.

    One of CSI’s central goals is to change the perception of their company from “generic” to a differentiated and proprietary partner in the industry, alongside DOW, Syngenta, Bayer, and BASF; and that’s a whole journey in and of itself.

    Training is turning out to be a valuable asset to that mission. As an example, if Ty’s sales reps manage to get 10% of 20,000 private golf courses into a training session, that means a few thousand superintendents spent time learning about their products.

    Getting distributors on their side could be like hitting a gold mine, since any one distributor may in turn have hundreds if not thousands of sales reps of their own.

    And the training is valuable in connecting with end users, too. Ty and his team like to offer educational courses to “warm” end user leads, and then send those leads to the distributors to finish the buying cycle.

    Of course distributors will follow up if you hand them warm leads; why wouldn’t they want to?

    THE COSTS VS. THE RETURNS

    After the distributors follow up, Ty and his team measure how many sales were closed as a result of the training; and the numbers are pretty darned good. They help not only to show effectiveness, but they also generate a measurable ROI so that the marketing team knows how much they can invest in future training sessions.

    “If [the reps] get 5% of 20,000 golf course owners… to sit in on a half-hour of incentivized training where they get, say, a $50 gift card afterwards… Think of what they’re spending to get that exposure.”

    “It’s really a matter of, what are you willing to pay for a person to sit down and take your training?”

    “What it came down to in our discussions was, my CEO and executive vice president said, ‘I’d happily pay X amount of dollars if I could know that they sat and took training about our products.’ ”

    That’s how they gauge a lot of their marketing successes. Training distributors isn’t their only tactic, of course – they spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on print media… but they have “very little to no understanding of what success is, or what traction we’re getting from those tactics.” Tyson explains.

    There’s still value to traditional methods, but digital is much more concrete.

    “Nobody besides [us] are even thinking about doing anything [like training distributors], because it doesn’t tie back to sales. They have a hard time understanding that you have to spend money like this to train and to educate and get your word out.”

    Training distributors is a lead gen tool for building awareness. Even if people don’t finish the module, they’ll learn who CSI is and what they’re about.

    A GRADUAL AND ONGOING TRANSITION

    And naturally, if the marketing team wants to continue growing properly, their digital methods require a digital CRM database and an automation system. It’s not a quick process to build, though. Tyson and his team have spent a lot of time constructing the database, and it’s a gradual process.

    “It’s a journey; and this [year] is one step, and we hope that this will be the first year of several to come.”

    As we often repeat in this video-podcast, the transition over to digital is not an immediate or small one. For example, to this day, CSI’s website is still undergoing changes.

    The site has to somehow to meet the needs of two different distinct parties: CSI’s customers, who are distribution; and the end users, who are the people who are using those products. To make matters even more difficult, CSI’s end users are also three different kinds of individual, very separate personas.

    “How do you have one site that tailors to all those different needs and all those different types of people? You can’t.”

    CSI’s competitors have separate sites for their distributors and customers. Tyson says that while there’s some overlap, that’s probably the cleanest way to do it. Their own company is still working on that change.

    Another obstacle for them is one that is ever-present no matter your industry: budget.

    Fortunately for Tyson, one of his own executives had a good point even before he was quite sold on the training module. “We need to take a risk,” he said. “If we don’t do anything different, by definition we’re going to be doing the same thing over and over again. And while it’s not hurting the company, it’s definitely not helping.”

    “There’s a chance… any digital tactic we do… it could fail. But this way, if it fails with a digital marketing tactic, at least we know that it failed.”

    “Don’t be the guy who says, ‘I know I’m wasting half my marketing budget; I just don’t know which half.’ If you do it right, you’ll know which half.”

    So, to Recap…

    Any company that markets to their end users through third parties may find great value in training distributors and offering them educational courses. Digital resources are becoming more and more valuable to B2B industries, because the data they produce will help you to track just how much you’re getting out of each investment.

    In the case of training distributors, you might spend a bit more at first – but you could end up solving not only the challenge of your end users, but also your distributors. And if you make their lives and their jobs that much easier, they will come to love you for it.

    Want to find out more about Tyson? You can follow him on Twitter @tysonferraro!

     

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    If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

     

    Sponsored by Optimum Productions

    ]]>
    with Tyson Ferraro of Control Solutions, Inc. Tyson Ferraro of Control Solutions, Inc. joins us to explain how his company's complex distributor model has required a different approach in their marketing. As it turns out, offering training and educational courses is one investment that's really paying off and solving not only the challenges of end users, but also CSI's actual customers: distributors. Danny Gonzales, Ty Ferraro clean 28:12
    How Manufacturers Can Use Their Digital Marketing Data https://www.industrialsage.com/how-to-use-digital-marketing-data/ Sun, 29 Oct 2017 09:00:07 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=927 "I have data. Now what?" Barbara van der Walt of Eagle Technology, Inc. joins us to discuss how analyzing their CRM helped the company identify why their 'hot' leads weren't going anywhere, and the steps they took to change their marketing process and reach the right people. This week we’re joined by Barbara van der Walt, Marketing Manager of Eagle Technology Inc. The company specializes mainly in computerized maintenance management systems for assets, inventory tracking, manufacturing inspections, and much more.

    Want to learn more about Barbara? Follow her on Twitter or shoot her an email at barbarav@eaglecmms.com!

    In today’s episode, we’re going to answer a simple question.

    I HAVE DIGITAL MARKETING DATA. NOW WHAT?

    Originally from South Africa, Barbara moved over from the field of public relations to marketing almost seven years ago. She joined up with Eagle Technology when they arrived in the US eighteen months ago.

    When Barbara came onboard, Eagle Tech had a CRM that simply piled all leads and customer accounts – both old and new – together.

    They had spreadsheets full of contacts, but no applicable plan to use or even organize them.

    The company was focused on some financial data like incoming revenue, but nothing else. To make matters worse, many of the contacts they had were from purchased lists that were old and “dirty.” Using expired “black market” data like that could easily get a company blacklisted by modern spam and security systems.

    “It was just a mess,” Barbara recalls.

    “Where do we go from here? We’ve got all this [digital marketing data], we have the ideas, but we have no method of moving forward.”

    1: ANALYZE WHAT YOU HAVE.

    Once Eagle Technology decided it was time to do things differently, they sat down with a digital marketing agency and plotted out exactly what they wanted to get out of the change. It was important to them not just to have analytics…they also needed to know how to use digital marketing data.

    Just having a CRM wasn’t enough.

    “It doesn’t matter the data, because…it shows us where we were. But it doesn’t show us where we need to be.”

    Since everything is data-driven now, the company had to take their digital marketing data into account. However, they also looked at the goals of the sales team, too.

    “Our marketing goals have to align with the sales goals. Because at the end of the day, your marketing is sales.”

    As it happened, the data that they got from the sales pipeline turned out to be invaluable to the marketing team.

    That information helped them see that previous leads which the marketing team had considered “credible,” never actually went anywhere when they were passed on to sales.

    Finally they were able to see which leads had actually turned into buyers. It redefined their definition of a hot lead.

    The deeper the team got into the research, the more they learned that the leads from their purchased lists were already getting bombarded by the list vendors. So, that by the time Eagle called, those customers had no interest in any sort of marketing pitch.

    As it turns out, data about the list sources was just as important as data about the leads on the lists.

    “Looking at that [data], we were like, ‘Okay, we’re spending money on that, and it looks really good on paper. But it isn’t going anywhere.’ ”

    2. START CHANGING ACCORDINGLY.

    And that wasn’t the only realization that the marketing team had as they got into the weeds. Google Analytics showed that their web traffic was very high. However, as it turned out, the majority of visitors to their site were around the age of eighteen. Not exactly the final decision makers in B2B transactions.

    “Oh, we have all this traffic! Well the question is, is it the right traffic?”

    As they looked at their digital marketing data for the year and prepared for 2018, they noticed that their re-brand had brought in more leads. Unfortunately, they also noticed that the leads were of the same quality as before.

    Pausing to look at their data showed them not only where they had been, but also where they had gone wrong.

    Uncovering this information helped Barbara and her team to realize that they had been promoting the wrong thing. They’d been pushing the bells and whistles of their products that competitors didn’t have…but they weren’t actually addressing customer needs.

    As they brainstormed ways to present their own message, inspiration struck recently at a trade show. Barbara saw an ad by Duke Energy about saving money by switching to better light bulbs. It said simply, “Sell 15,000 bushels of peaches. Or switching to LED lighting. Same results, your choice.

    Barbara was inspired. That message put action into the hands of the customer by asking whether they wanted to save money or not.

    “Keep looking at what other people do. Even if it’s not your industry…you’re going to learn something.”

    Of course your marketing strategy is a guide; but that doesn’t make it set in stone. You need to pause every now and then to look up and see where where you are, so that you can change your plans where necessary.

    3. STAY ON TOP OF IT.

    Many times, Barbara’s day starts by looking at the past year’s revenue so that she can see which campaigns have been successful and which ones may need adjustment.

    “I think the big thing – and it’s hard and it’s time-consuming, but it’s worth it – is, we have once-a-week meetings with the sales team. And then once a week I have a meeting with the digital marketing agency.”

    Meeting with the sales team is vital, Barbara says, to Eagle Tech’s marketing evolution. “They work with the customers. They know what the challenges and needs are.”

    The digital agency used by Eagle Tech is just as invaluable, too. Yes, there are sad stories about bad agencies out there, but Eagle Tech has had a great experience with their agency thus far. It’s been very helpful in managing what they might not have otherwise been able to comprehend on their own. Just measuring social media on a weekly basis could be a full-time job.

    So, to Recap…

    As far as advice to companies with low digital marketing data or even an untouched CRM, Barbara recommends Google Analytics – with FastBase plugged in – to identify and track your visitors as well as what companies they work for. That way you can build a proper, targeted emailing list.

    “It’s a little bit more legwork, but you can get a lot more quality from it.”

    But don’t stop there.

    “If you don’t have a CRM system, get one as soon as possible… Otherwise, when the leads leave the marketing department, where do they go?”

    Your CRM doesn’t have to be a fancy system, either. If the software is simple enough to give you the information for concrete solutions that you need, then stick with it for as long as you keep growing.

    “You can’t manage what you don’t measure.”

    Take a look what you have already, and where you came from. Then you can move forward.

     

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    Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

    If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

     

    Sponsored by Optimum Productions

    ]]>
    with Barbara van der Walt of Eagle Technology Inc. "I have data. Now what?" Barbara van der Walt of Eagle Technology, Inc. joins us to discuss how analyzing their CRM helped the company identify why their 'hot' leads weren't going anywhere, and the steps they took to change their marketing process and reach the right people. Danny Gonzales, Barbara van der Walt clean 26:06
    Why Cybersecurity for Digital Marketers is Especially Vital https://www.industrialsage.com/cybersecurity-for-digital-marketers-is-vital/ Sun, 22 Oct 2017 09:00:46 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=913 James Azar of CyberHub Summit joins us to discuss cybersecurity breaches like those at Equifax, Yahoo, and other companies. One hacked social media account can compromise your entire company, so it's vital to be prepared. This week we’re joined by James Azar: Co-Founder and Chairman of CyberHub Summit, which is hosting a summit on cybersecurity awareness in Atlanta, GA on November 8th and 9th at the Omni Hotel.

    The summit is going to be a great event for all companies, regardless of industry; and it’s going to be focused on explaining issues and solutions in layman’s terms, so you don’t have to be an expert to attend.

    1. WHY IS CYBERSECURITY FOR DIGITAL MARKETERS SO RELEVANT?

    Even if you aren’t necessarily attending the summit in Atlanta, it would be very hard nowadays to admit that it is not timely. Recent events like the Equifax breach and the Yahoo hack have turned society upside-down.

    Yahoo alone said as many as 3 billion accounts were affected… and the world only holds 6 billion people! You do the math.

    50% of the world had a Yahoo breach this year.

    Your digital marketing stack is no longer all that’s at stake. Your company is. No matter your industry, if you or your bank get hacked, then you could potentially lose all your money; and therefore all your business. And should your warehouse employ instantly-connected machinery via the cloud…well, then cybersecurity for digital marketers should be a requirement, and not a nice-to-have.

    “It’s no longer ‘If.’ It’s ‘When.’ So how do you handle it when you get hacked?”

    If your database exposes your contacts to intruders, then your customers could get hacked through you: a company they trust.

    And since there are over 5k marketing softwares now, there’s no guarantee that you’ve chosen one that’s as secure as possible; or that’s constantly updating to meet today’s evolving threats.

    “Humans are the weakest link in the chain.”

    Even a reputable cybersecurity company was breached this past July. How? Through one of their digital marketers.

    FireEye’s social media marketing was controlled by a third party individual; and when his Facebook account was hacked, the entire company was compromised.

    All it takes is one moment of complacency, and one email can shut you down and hold you for ransom while a hacker demands payment in bitcoin; and one bitcoin nowadays is worth $5,000!

    2. WHAT TO DO WHEN A CYBERSECURITY BREACH OCCURS

    The main problem with Equifax (besides their insider training scheme) was the fact that they didn’t report their breach for months. That, James points out, was their largest key mistake.

    If you suspect a hack, report it immediately.

    Of course, it’s still terrifying if you’re the employee who may have compromised everything by accident. Many individuals fear they could lose their jobs for their mistake. But James has never seen anyone’s career ruined over a breach – provided it was brought to the company’s attention as soon as it happened.

    No one’s going to fire you for making a mistake. They will fire you for covering it up until it can’t be fixed.

    “You won’t lose your job in most companies for saying, ‘I clicked on the wrong link,’ right away. You’re going to lose it for clicking and not letting anyone know.”

    “If you speak to as many CISOs or CIOs or IT guys [as I have], they’ll tell you: ‘I’ll never fire someone for reporting it. I’ll fire them because I’ll find out a week later that I got hacked and we lost this much information, and they didn’t tell us.’ ”

    3. WHO HANDLES THE CLEAN-UP AFTER A CYBER-BREACH?

    Part of the reason why time is of the essence in such situations is because many hacks don’t come from within the same state as your location. That makes it a federal crime, or even an international crime. That puts you in the hands of the FBI or the secret service – and they’re busy.

    Cybersecurity law enforcement is always busy with bigger fish; so minor hackers are free to prey on the weak like looters after a natural disaster.

    That means your salvation is going to come from companies like CyberHub, as well as your own IT teams. And just like a more localized law enforcement team, they are more likely to crack a case when the trail is still hot.

    The sooner a breach is caught, the sooner it can be shut down.

    Everybody has or will, at some point, accidentally click on something they shouldn’t have. It just happens. When it does, make sure your company is already prepared ahead of time.

    • Have a plan.
    • Warn your clients and customers.
    • Work with IT and security to find the breach.

    Keep your business credible by keeping it transparent. Many security breaches go unreported because companies don’t want to lose face or a large portion of their customer base. But that’s a bigger gamble than many realize. Cybersecurity for digital marketers is important– but so is the marketers’ outreach afterwards to repair any damage.

    A company is more likely to keep their customer base if they’re honest about making and then fixing mistakes. It’s certainly understandable that companies would want to avoid bad PR at all, but customers realize we’re all human.

    4. HOW TO PREVENT FUTURE CYBERSECURITY BREACHES

    After (or, if you’re lucky, before) your network is compromised, there are many ways to ensure that hackers have a harder time getting in again.

    The key is to be proactive.

    The most common step, says James, is to always use multiple passwords. Many people use easy-to-remember or nearly-identical passwords for the sake of convenience, and that’s the greatest threat to cybersecurity for digital marketers.

    Using a third-party random password generator, like LastPass, is a step in the right direction – but even that’s not ideal since you don’t know who or what is on the other end of that network.

    James recommends just keeping a hard copy notebook or a text document – something not internet based – where you keep a record of your passwords. It’s not the fastest or flashiest of methods, but it’s the most protected.

    “Cybersecurity’s not supposed to be easy…but that’s part of security. No one wants to take their shoes off at the airport. But if you want to get on an airplane, you have to pass through the TSA and take your shoes off.”

    There are other recommended methods of cyber protection. If money isn’t as tight, try to keep two phones: one for communication, and one for verification and account storage. Be careful about letting your phone automatically sign into wifi hotspots.

    That’s especially relevant as Industry 4.0 becomes more and more commonplace.

    So, to Recap…

    You need to insure your business for cyber threats.

    Not only is it a good investment; but insurance companies have private investigative teams that are invested in recovering your property.

    “[Manufacturing] companies are the bread and butter of our economy… it’s vital that the leaders of those companies start to have that conversation about cybersecurity.”

    In short? Be prepared. Be vigilant. And start taking preventative measures now. Because a security breach in your company is no longer a matter of “if”…but when.

     

    ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

     

    Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

    If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

     

    Sponsored by Optimum Productions

    ]]>
    with James Azar of CyberHub Summit James Azar of CyberHub Summit joins us to discuss cybersecurity breaches like those at Equifax, Yahoo, and other companies. One hacked social media account can compromise your entire company, so it's vital to be prepared. Danny Gonzales, James Azar clean 29:33
    6 Steps to Getting Organizational Buy-In for Digital Marketing https://www.industrialsage.com/6-steps-to-organizational-buy-in/ Sun, 15 Oct 2017 09:00:34 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=917 If you're a marketer struggling to get funding for digital techniques, there are six steps to getting organizational buy-in. Just ask Malika Waller of Landis+Gyr. If you’re a marketer struggling to get funding for digital techniques, there are six steps to getting organizational buy-in.

    • Educate Yourself.
    • Educate the Company.
    • Evangelize.
    • Gain Advocates.
    • Celebrate Successes.
    • Start Small.

    This week we’re joined by Malika Waller: Digital Marketing Manager of Landis+Gyr. The company focuses on energy measurement solutions for utilities, and especially on “enabling the smart grid of the future.”

    Malika told us just how she got the organizational buy-in she needed to turn her company’s digital marketing from zero to 100mph. Spoiler alert: it took hard work.

    1. EDUCATE YOURSELF

    When Malika first came onboard at Landis+Gyr two years ago, the marketing was very siloed – more by product than by skill set. Now, as they’ve evolved, the teams vary according to their tasks (pr, events, digital outreach, social media, etc.) and do so for all of the different products they offer.

    Two years ago, the company had no digital strategy…but they did know they needed one.

    So they looked for an expert, which is why they brought in Malika. Her role morphed as their digital value grew. One of her biggest challenges was the fact that though Landis+Gyr was a utilities-based company, they were also relevant in other fields like software.

    Fortunately, thanks to her education in marketing, Malika was able to recognize what they needed to improve upon.

    The company had a website and an email newsletter, but there was no nurturing or measurement of engagement. The potential for data was there…it just needed to be utilized.

    2. EDUCATE YOUR COMPANY

    Trying to wedge oneself in the door of digital marketing takes a lot of education. Out of habit, people tend of fall back on what they know. In the case of the aging utilities industry, what they know is traditional marketing.

    One of the first things Malika did to push her company towards digital and win organizational buy-in was present the management team with hard facts, numbers, and data.

    “Educating people on what digital is, in the context of the business and why that would be relevant to them, was really important.”

    A big aid in this conquest was a Martech 2017 infographic about the rapid growth of digital marketing.

    Just like marketers need to speak the language of prospects, Malika had to speak the language of engineering-minded, industrial executives. To this day, she holds a monthly meeting to show the companies their latest marketing data, what it means, and where marketing will likely go from there.

    3. EVANGELIZE

    Malika didn’t just stop with her executives, either. She took every opportunity she could to speak with her peers about digital marketing.

    “Educate yourself. Educate your company. Be the evangelist. Anytime, anywhere you can talk about digital, talk about it.”

    It wasn’t about making a sales pitch. It was genuinely being excited about something new in her field.

    Marketers should be able to (and want to) gush about their work to anyone who’s listening. It should be natural, but also intentional. Let your coworkers know where you are, and what baby steps the company is taking at present to adapt.

    Any movement forward is better than none. Movement is where momentum comes from.

    4. GAIN ADVOCATES

    Once you start educating others, that makes organizational buy-in a lot easier if you’re starting with a marketing team that don’t yet have the skill sets they need to handle new technologies. If imparting marketing information is already second-nature to you, educating them will be a cinch.

    The more you naturally gush about new marketing technologies, the more you’ll find and build a network of coworkers who believe in the value of those technologies.

    Marketing is considered a major spend nowadays. If you want to convince upper management to investigate new techniques, it can be a huge advantage to have more than one person at the table who’s supporting your claims.

    “Gain some advocates. If you have an advocate who can speak on your behalf in those meetings, getting budget is a little bit easier.”

    5. CELEBRATE SUCCESSES

    Adapting to digital is sometimes difficult because it’s not yet well-understood. If you’re not setting expectations or letting people know what’s worth getting excited about, they’ll assume nothing good is coming of their investment.

    “Take time to celebrate whatever little or big success you have…and show results.”

    For Malika, she recommends waiting 6 months or so after launching digital techniques. That’s when the data generally starts to show blips on the radar. After that, it’s all about building longevity.

    Talk about success when it happens so that the higher-ups will let you continue exploring.

    6. START SMALL

    The first technique that Landis+Gyr dipped their toes into was creating landing pages for events they visited. They didn’t try to start something huge and automated. They just “piggybacked” on their traditional techniques to start.

    Instead of paper flyers to follow up after an event, they sent out links to a single page with more information.

    For one thing, the launch helped to build their web presence. It was also a great resource for customers who were curious about Landis+Gyr, but unable to investigate during normal business hours.

    The website saw great upticks in traffic, and the sales department also loved being able to refer buyers to those pages.

    Once Landis+Gyr started to realize that digital marketing was going to be a worthwhile effort, one of their first tasks was to overhaul their own website without overwhelming themselves. Their content and press-releases weren’t very easy to find, and the navigation itself wasn’t intuitive. Soon Malika figured out why.

    The site was very terminology-heavy, using “internal speak” that was native to the sales team or the industry experts, yet not to the buyers.

    Malika and her team started using BrightEdge to find out the terms their personas were likely searching for, as well as what similar websites were doing to improve their own strategies.

    “Changing the language was huge.”

    Landis+Gyr customers may not always search for the terms “smart meter,” “smart meter tech,” or “smart meter analytics,” for example. That’s why it was important to change. Those words were something that the company could (and still can) continuously refine and improve.

    AFTER THAT…JUST KEEP BUILDING.

    Another tool that “doubled the marketing department without adding actual people,” was Hubspot. Both programs helped the company change their online presence enormously, without necessarily needing to create anything strictly new.

    Their webpages and content started showing up and solving customer problems faster, once they edited the copy to include relevant words and phrases.

    The key to gaining organizational buy-in, Malika maintains, was working with what the company already had…then simply asking, “How can we make this better?”

    Now Landis+Gyr is building a social media presence and is growing their brand with pay-per-click as well. This way they can show their customers by example that their services are “future-proof,” as Malika puts it.

    It’s all to achieve every marketer’s number-one goal: getting on Page 1 in Google Search.

    And it is possible. Because – as her Twitter handle says – @Malikadidit.

     

    ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

     

    Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox! You can also subscribe wherever you download podcasts so you can listen on the go!

    If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you. If your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

     

    Sponsored by Optimum Productions

    ]]>
    with Malika Waller of Landis+Gyr If you're a marketer struggling to get funding for digital techniques, there are six steps to getting organizational buy-in. Just ask Malika Waller of Landis+Gyr. Danny Gonzales, Malika Waller clean 33:08
    One Industrial Manufacturer’s Transition from Traditional to Digital Marketing https://www.industrialsage.com/transition-from-traditional-to-digital-marketing/ Sun, 08 Oct 2017 09:00:41 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=888 Darragh Grove-White of LJ Welding Automation joins us all the way from Canada to discuss his company's journey into digital marketing. Hear his tips on best practices, and learn how that transition transformed them from a single warehouse into an international $30M powerhouse! This week’s guest hails all the way from Victoria, British Columbia! Darragh Grove-White has been the Digital Marketing Manager at LJ Welding Automation for two years, and has been deep in the world of online marketing for eight years.

    THE COMPANY’S HUMBLE BEGINNINGS BEFORE DIGITAL MARKETING

    LJ Welding is an industrial automation manufacturer based out of Edmonton, Alberta. They began largely in the field of oil and gas (and the many sub-industries thereof) forty years ago. Over time, they started to branch out after the economic crash in 2009 to include nuclear power, military contracts, and even companies involved in space exploration.

    With so many different industries to reach, LJ Welding’s marketing has to be very persona-specific in order to reach the right people and appeal to them in the right way.

    You can’t market to a business owner in the oil and gas industry with the same message that you use for a nuclear plant’s health and safety officer.

    When Darragh came on the scene, he knew they needed to transition into digital marketing. But first, he helped LJ Welding to differentiate their target audiences until they had a list of six distinct personas for each industry. Each of these personas has distinct pain points and buying motivations.

    Knowing these personas is particularly important because many end-users feel that their jobs are threatened by automation…the very thing that Darragh is trying to market. Because of this, Darragh makes sure to categorize each lead when they come in. He also makes sure his sales team knows what each persona means. That way, they can communicate more effectively with each lead.

    But coming up with such a streamlined process took a vast amount of effort.

    While the company is over forty years old, it was purchased from Larry John in 2006. At that time, the business was only based in Edmonton in a single garage bay, and marketing consisted of little more than paper flyers and a select few loyal, local customers. Since then, the company has grown exponentially.

    That little single-warehouse business grew into two facilities reaching 45 countries, with an annual revenue of $30 Million. And Darragh contributes it all to their transition into digital marketing.

    LJ has spent several thousands of dollars on paid ads, from Facebook and LinkedIn to even Reddit. Additionally, the company got a head-start on Google Adwords and gained more targeted traffic for a few years before their competitors even realized what was happening.

    RECOGNIZING THE NEED TO TRANSITION INTO DIGITAL MARKETING

    After the company originally came under new management, one of the first changes they made was to create a website. However, that site was little more than an online photo album and “glorified mailbox,” according to Darragh.

    He came onboard just as the company was deciding to increase its online content. At the time, they were producing a few blogs here and there without any purpose.

    They were just posting content for content’s sake. No one was asking customers what they wanted to know or see.

    Darragh had just gotten his university degree, and his HubSpot Inbound Certification. To this day he asserts that taking the free online marketing course is one of the best choices he ever could have made. His previous experience in sales prepared him to transition into digital marketing without issue.

    “To be a really good marketer, you have to first be good at sales.”

    Once he came in, Darragh figured out LJ had no clear ROI on their ad spend or lead generation. They weren’t even tracking conversions; just counting leads (qualified or not). That was a serious problem.

    “If you’re not able to track things, you’re not able to improve things.”

    The company’s problem also wasn’t that it was necessarily ignorant of its needs. Rather, the staff were just too busy to implement the changes they needed.

    As Darragh recalls, the COO was trying to do the marketing himself, while being the central deal-closer for the business. Because of that, his energies and focus were split between two very key departments. Each really deserved a single person’s whole attention.

    Was the arrangement functional? Sure. Was it cost-effective? No.

    “Good marketing is expensive. Bad marketing is even more expensive.”

    To complicate matters even further, LJ was employing an outside marketing agency to manage their PPC at the time. On the surface, that decision was just fine…until Darragh dug deeper.

    LJ was getting some leads from their agency’s marketing. However, none of those leads were differentiated, or necessarily even qualified.

    As it turned out, the agency was chosen mainly because they were local. And without other agencies to compete against, they were able to charge a high price for what the company now knows was pretty poor paid advertising.

    “If you’re using an agency for your PPC and they aren’t asking enough about your customers, that should be a red flag. And the trouble is, they weren’t. And although we were getting a lot of traffic to the website, it was not targeted traffic… They were doing the bare minimum, because they could see LJ was doing great on its own.”

    As Darragh dug deeper into the agency’s work, he found that they were blending metrics to make results look better than they actually were. They were taking credit for results that they couldn’t clearly measure as their own.

    THE FIRST STEPS INTO DIGITAL MARKETING

    As well as phasing out that agency, Darragh started implementing changes for his company. They started to take control of their own transition into digital marketing by using HubSpot for Calls-To-Action and link tracking.

    The first and perhaps biggest change was contact forms. Rather than using one “contact us,” form for the entire website, they started creating multiple landing pages for quote requests.

    That way, leads would go to a more personalized page that matches their dilemma, their persona, and their needs. They could also be more easily tracked that way. Darragh and the sales team were able to see which products and services were driving more traffic and conversions.

    Darragh also emphasizes that their landing pages were just that: landing pages.

    That means the pages had minimum distractions, even going so far as eliminating menu bars and excessive text. One large image or video, a few bullet points, and the form: that was all. The pages were guiding each lead into finishing what they came for, rather than wandering away.

    Tweaks and A/B tests like that have gotten Darragh’s average conversion rate on Request-a-Quote pages up to 30%!

    20% is acceptable, Darragh says. Less than 10% on a page means you probably need a change…especially if the submissions that you are getting aren’t right for that service.

    “Our job as marketers is to get qualified leads.”

    Differentiating landing pages and forms for different personas is also a great help to the sales team. By knowing which form a lead came through, sales can identify the needs and pain points of that individual so they know how to talk with them.

    If conversions are still a struggle, Darragh recommends trying to decrease the number of questions you’re forcing leads to answer. Otherwise, increase your emphasis on the value of what they’re getting. If you’re giving a free ebook about how to save $1200 per year, remind them what a deal that is in exchange for their contact information.

    As well as contact information, there are other questions about leads that might be more valuable to you than others.

    One good question to add to your forms is asking your leads what they expect the price range to be.

    It’s a very valuable technique for you and for your sales team to see how much a lead values your product or service before going in. And communicating with sales in this way is not an option to Darragh: it’s a way of life. What marketing does will always affect sales.

    “For a really good marketing job, your sales person’s job should be little more than a cashier. For a really bad marketing job, your sales person has to be close to a used car salesman.”

    Darragh always makes sure to communicate with the sales team to try and make their job easer. He especially makes a habit to ask what common questions sales is fielding from leads. Those could be the subject of new, valuable blog posts.

    REDDIT: A SECRET WEAPON FOR MANUFACTURERS?

    One unexpected source of leads that Darragh touched on in our interview was Reddit. Frankly, we couldn’t help but ask for more information about that.

    As it turns out, Reddit is one of the top nine most visited sites in the world. It even ranks fourth in the United States. It’s the “front page of the internet,” and it’s a bit of an anomaly. Reddit is its own self-contained ecosystem, says Darragh. If you can swing it, it can also be a really cheap source of advertising. But…you need to do it right.

    The site is comprised of a predominantly 60% male audience under the age of 38, who are moderate to liberal in their thinking.

    So if one of your personas is a millennial male, then Reddit might be an untapped resource worth literal millions to you.

    But before you dive into that gold mine, the site requires a lot of understanding before one can really begin advertising there.

    Spend some time browsing the sub-reddits (think forums). You’re guaranteed to find one dedicated to just about any hobby in existence, from welding to unplugged woodworking to knitting.

    The more popular a post, the more “up-votes” it gets from readers. The poorer the post, the more downvotes it gets. Each vote literally helps to move the post up or down the front page of that sub-reddit.

    If you’re just getting started on a sub-reddit, you can also pay around $5 for 30 upvotes to garner some attention. It’s a bit of a black-hat technique, though. Besides, your content still has to be valuable if you want to keep getting upvotes.

    Pay close attention to how the popular titles are phrased and how their content is delivered. They’re great examples of how to attract viewers.

    “It’s up to us as marketers – industrial or whatever – to stay up on [the times].”

    Forums of any kind are great resources, because you can see firsthand what your prospects and personas are discussing. That can help you determine what content to create or release. Weldingweb.com is another forum that Darragh loves to use as inspiration for source material on LJ’s own blog.

    Either way, he says, the process involves constant adaptation and change.

    There’s no guarantee that certain techniques (especially slightly shadier ones) will work tomorrow. That’s why it’s key to be aware of your personas and their issues, so that you can continue to meet their needs wherever they are.

    “It’s this constant process of learning, applying, and testing new things…because the things that work today may not work tomorrow.”

    So, to Recap…

    In short, a high-quality transition into digital marketing takes…well, work.

    You need to identify your personas and figure out what’s relevant to them. Differentiate and track your conversions so that you can make life easier for your sales team. Keep up with the times and find out where your personas are online.

    Most importantly, you. Need. To. Measure. Everything.

    It was hard to end the interview, with all the amazing tips that Darragh was willing to share. We certainly can’t wait to have him back, but in the meantime he can be reached at darragh@ljwelding.com, and also on LinkedIn.

     

    ACCESS THE FREE PERSONA BUILDER

     

    Thanks for reading. Don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter to get each of our weekly episodes sent directly to your inbox. If videos aren’t your style, subscribe wherever you download podcasts and listen on the go!

    If there’s a particular topic that you’d like for us to talk about, or if you have a particular a challenge that you’d like us to take a crack at, send us an email. We’d be happy to answer them for you – and if your topic gets picked for a future episode, you’ll win a free IndustrialSage t-shirt!

     

    Sponsored by Optimum Productions

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    with Darragh Grove-White of LJ Welding Darragh Grove-White of LJ Welding Automation joins us all the way from Canada to discuss his company's journey into digital marketing. Hear his tips on best practices, and learn how that transition transformed them from a single warehouse into an international $30M powerhouse! Danny Gonzales, Darragh Grove-White clean 38:04
    How Industrial Manufacturers Can Create Quality In Their Marketing Message https://www.industrialsage.com/create-a-quality-marketing-message/ Sun, 01 Oct 2017 09:00:29 +0000 https://industrialsage.com/?p=827 Jordan Quackenbush discusses how finding the right message can be difficult for industrial manufacturers, since machines don't always feel exciting or "sexy." He explains why it's important to bring in outsiders to take a fresh look at what you're trying to say and do… but he knows firsthand that handing over your marketing baby to newcomers takes a whole lot of vulnerability! In today’s episode we’re joined by Jordan Quackenbush, Creative Director at Atlanta-based video marketing agency Optimum Productions.

    Originally a motion graphics editor, Jordan now controls most of the creative decisions for each video project. He’s involved from writing scripts and shooting interviews to creating animations in AfterEffects. In talking with IndustrialSage, he explains how creating a quality marketing message means more than just rotating a product on a pedestal for all to see. It’s also about utilizing stories to their full potential, and being open and vulnerable to what your audience actually wants to see.

    MARKETING MATERIALS ARE YOUR FIRST POINT OF CONTACT NOW.

    Companies put a ton of effort into the visual quality print ads. Yet despite that, they’re not always as concerned with the quality of their message. But message has a major impact on the first impression given to potential buyers, much like the decor and menus at a restaurant. By the time you walk in, take a seat, and place your order, you’ve already formed an opinion long before tasting a single morsel.

    “If you’re looking to trust someone…you will automatically be drawn to a company that has put forth an effort to look professional.”

    If your business has a poor message – or no message – then you’ve already taken a backseat in the minds of your prospects. You need to think about the first impression you’re providing.

    A quality marketing message is seen as a reflection of company competency.

    That might not seem fair – and it isn’t entirely. Back to the restaurant metaphor, there are a lot of dives that have fantastic food with rather terrible ambience and plain, grimy menus. Their regulars may love them. But all the same, they may not be getting a lot of new business because their appearance can drive people away.

    Being the “Best Kept Secret,” in the industry is good for your customers, but bad for your business.

    That’s not to say you have to be flashy in your marketing (unless that’s how you want your culture to come across). Still, you should want to increase your reach.

    Being a big Star Trek fan, Jordan talks about one of the show’s key subjects: “first contact” with each new alien species. Each new race (aka: prospect) may know nothing about you. Therefore, their first glimpse of you needs to be a very carefully-considered one.

    1. FIND YOUR HUMAN STORY.

    Of course, coming up with a carefully crafted quality marketing message is easier said than done. In some cases, you may already know what to say or how to introduce yourself with exact clarity. You just may feel like it’s hard to actually make your work sound… well, interesting.

    Optimum has worked with companies in all sorts of fields, from medical research to logistics to power lines. Many of them tend to put themselves down when asked what makes their work interesting.

    “A lot of industrial manufacturers…tend to get down on themselves. ‘We’re distributors…we’re moving boxes… there’s nothing sexy about it.’ “

    There’s some truth to that. Machines are not exactly the first thing that come to mind when attempting to connect with the human spirit.

    Nobody wants to portray their company as boring. Sometimes they’ve just never seen it in any other light. But the last thing you want is for that feeling to translate into your videos.

    It certainly is hard to connect emotions with automations, or to make a coil of electrical wiring feel like something glorious. Fortunately, there’s actually an easy way to close the gap.

    You need to remember the significance of what you’re doing and how your work will impact other people.

    All you need to do to tell your story is to find the human element within it. Maybe you’re behind the scenes day after day in countless lives and they take your success for granted. Or perhaps you cater to a rare few and can launch them far ahead of their competition. Either way, seek out and pinpoint that moment of human connection.

    Story is how we communicate, but humanity is what makes each s