I recently met with two Presidents in the same week. One was a mid-size manufacturer of machine tools. The other was the owner of a third-generation industrial supplier.
Almost in lock-step they both, passionately, howled, “Tom, our trade shows, cold calls, and e-mails blasts just don’t work as they used to!”
Both went on to admit they are woefully behind when it came to using the web to brand and market their businesses. They both wanted to know if the web could improve lead generation and customer retention…i.e. industrial branding.
Both, wanted to know if there was some recent marketing data on the buying habits of their customers. Frankly, neither executive had any idea of where to begin and wanted some solid marketing data on what others are doing in their sectors in terms of web marketing.
I was aware of two recent studies that would provide guidance and intelligence for these two industrial executives as they re-tooled their respective industrial marketing strategies.
I viewed this opportunity as a teachable moment to instruct both on the value of industrial content marketing. I told both, “Tell you what, I know of two excellent studies and I will publish them on my blog right after New Year’s. I knew both were subscribers to my blog so I instructed them to keep an eye on their inboxes as they will be notified when I publish my post.
So…if you are looking for some critical intelligence concerning your industrial marketing strategy here are two recent reports: One from GlobalSpec.com titled, IEEE GlobalSpec Releases Findings from Its Annual Industrial Marketing Trends Survey. The other from Engineering.com titled, How Engineers Find Information 2018.
Continue reading “Industrial Marketing Strategy & Insights in the Age of Google”
First, if you are not serious about retooling your industrial marketing strategy to create sustainable lead generation and top-line growth, you don’t need to bother reading this post or follow up on the valuable links below.
If you are serious about creating top-of-mind experiences for your industrial prospects and sustainable lead-generation, then spend 10 minutes to educate yourself from two of the most reliable resources on the web, Forbes.com and Search Engine Land about the need for industrial content marketing.
For those you that follow me and read my blog, you know that I have been consistent concerning the opportunities for the savvy industrial marketer. The articles below provide further evidence that my customers are on the right track when retooling their online strategy & taking advantage of opportunities in the industrial market:
- Many of your industrial competitors are far behind, in terms of a quality web presence, leaving gaping opportunities for many industrial suppliers and small to mid-size manufacturers.
- I have also been an evangelist for marketing automation (Such as HubSpot, ActiveCampaign, etc.) for content deployment. Using these affordable platforms provides industrial marketers consistency and measurement, both requirements for marketing success. Marketing automation can also provide a significant competitive advantage. Most industrial marketers will ignore the benefits of industrial marketing automation or industrial content marketing. There is just something about “industrial” and “marketing” that don’t mix..like oil and water.
- Coming from my previous company, Market Pipeline, a leader in search engine optimization for the industrial market, I have always felt that SEO research was one of the first steps in creating a web marketing campaign (the other; developing a strong brand message in the age of search, mobile & social) that provides positive results. Again, most industrial marketers don’t even know the right questions to ask when it comes to the benefits of SEO.
Can you say, “OPPORTUNITY”?
Continue reading “Further Evidence of the Opportunity for Industrial Content Marketing”
I have found smart phone apps such as Google News, Feedly, Flipboard & others extremely helpful when it comes to keeping up with industrial marketing strategies & trends. For example, I monitor my favorite blogs & authors with Feedly, Also, apps like Google News, Flipboard can be customized to my exact interests. For me, some of the feeds/categories include “industrial marketing”, “industrial content marketing “. When I discover an article that I want to read or reference at a later date, I save it to www.getpocket.com, one of the handiest tools on the web.
For me, this system is an invaluable time-saver. In fact, this past weekend I caught up while waiting for my wife outside the dressing rooms at Macy’s. Told ya’ it was an invaluable time-saver
Continue reading “Your Industrial Customer Marches On & You Fall Farther Behind”
Many times, I get the question, “Can you show me the ROI of improving our digital presence”?
To be frank…probably not. Sure, larger organizations with tons of capital can afford to have great software and great talent to build a measurable online strategy that will, in the end, render a real ROI figure.
But to be honest, it is not reasonable to expect that kind of culture change and granular metrics from a mid-size industrial company.
It can be done, and I have seen it done. But it is a rare leader that can pull it off.
Given the following three market dynamics, I think a better question is, “What happens to my business if we don’t pursue a more aggressive digital presence…more specifically, industrial content marketing?”
Continue reading “Show Me the $: Industrial Content Marketing & Your ROI”
I am sorry, but I am beating the drum again.
While I was at the company I founded, Market Pipeline, I started to notice alarming trends when Google continued to make changes to their algorithm to improve the search experience. These changes would have profound effects on our customers’ industrial marketing strategies.
First, Google was improving the search experience at a daunting pace. My industrial friends & buyers were now relying on Google as “gospel” for all things related to industrial…products, services, specifications, technical data, etc.
It was clear to me that if our Market Pipeline customers did not greet their customers with the information their buyers wanted…then, our customers were missing out on their buyers’ with specific intent, (i.e. A great lead). Our customers were also missing a great opportunity for top-of-mind awareness. (i.e. Industrial branding)
Continue reading “Are Your Industrial Eyes Wide Open to Opportunity?”
You say, “What’s an industrial franchise?”
Allow me to continue.
Before we continue let’s define “franchise” from Merriam-Webster:
Franchise: “a special privilege granted to an individual or group”
Here’s why your industrial company can build “special privilege” or a “franchise” in your industrial niche pumping up your industrial marketing strategy using the web as your branding megaphone .
First, let’s agree your industrial buyers’ behavior has changed dramatically in the last few years. For information about your products or services they will always check Google first. After all, you checked the web for your next vacation, didn’t you?
If you are like most industrial marketers, your branded sales materials are not there to greet your buyers that have specific intent when searching for your products. They want quality information in a format and time frame of their choosing.
Just this morning I had coffee with a prospective customer and he told me about a particular project they stole from a competitor because their competitor did not have the technical expertise to complete the project to perfection. This prospect’s brand revolves around completing highly technical systems, where many of their competitors do not have the technical expertise.
So, I came back to my office and checked several of the technical keywords phrases associated with the engineered materials and project mentioned above.
Continue reading “Use the Web to Build Your Industrial Franchise”
Many of you that follow my blog know that I am a big fan of David Meerman Scott. David is a real thought-leader in the age of search, social and mobile. He is also a best-selling author when it comes to marketing, sales and service. David understands the fast changing marketing landscape better than anyone.
(David was kind enough to endorse my recent book, The Essentials of Industrial Marketing,..The Inbound Way)
I am often approached by B2B industrial owners that truly struggle with the web and the effects the digital channel has on their industrial marketing strategy & sales strategy going forward.
They know things have to change, they are just not sure where to begin.
I recently had the President of a 30-million-dollar machine builder tell me, “Tom, I don’t even know the right questions to ask.”
So…when I came across one of the David Meerman’s Scott’s recent blog posts, I thought it was ideal for the CEO strategist trying to wrap his sales & marketing mind around the alien digital channel.
David outlines 10 concepts that ALL industrial owners need to embrace before they develop a new industrial marketing & sales strategy. David’s 10 concepts are a great place to start.
Continue reading “Industrial Marketing Strategy: 10 Concepts to Grow By”
It is clear that marketing on the Web is moving the revenue needle for tons of businesses. Call it digital marketing, call it content marketing, call it inbound marketing, call it new media marketing.
Call it whatever…just don’t call it “marketing” to an industrial CEO, President or CFO. To these guys “marketing” is an expense and therefore has little relevance to top-line growth or sales.
In the early days of the web, when I founded Market Pipeline, we could get away with saying “SEO marketing” or “web marketing”. Both a web presence and SEO were seen as necessary. After all, their competitors were all doing it….so, “What the heck, let’s launch a web site”.
Very little top line growth came from our search engine optimization and web development efforts. Oh yea…occasionally we would get a few “attaboys” because one of our industrial clients did a quote from a previously unknown customer that found them on the web.
Did our SEO or web development efforts really contribute to top-line growth? Some, but not enough to get CEO’s excited.
Our “marketing” efforts reminded me of a large expense, like a new roof on your home. Lots of expense, but adds no value to the property. So, when an owner of an industrial company turns his nose up at any kind of marketing, especially online marketing, I certainly understand. That is why I started The Repp Group, to render better results.
So…is it time to give up on industrial “marketing” on the web?
Not by a long-shot.
Continue reading “Is it Time to Give Up On Industrial “Marketing”?”
Let’s keep it brief & refer to the authorities at my ol’ stand by for great marketing information, Search Engine Journal.
I have done several industrial content marketing campaigns and have struggled with every element listed in this blog article from Search Engine Journal; 5 Signs It’s Time to Stop Your Content Marketing Campaign.
Based on my experience in the industrial market, Aaron Agius’s “5 Signs” are dead on.
Continue reading “Industrial Content Marketing: Is it Time to Stop?”
Tom, do I really need to get involved with social media to market on the web?
I get this question all the time. So, I thought that I would address that thorny subject head-on and also support it with a recent article from the authorities, Search Engine Journal.
The short answer is “Yes”!
As briefly as possible, let me explain by making a basic assumption.
If you are to dominate your online industrial niche, you must be ranked on the first page of Google for your company’ specific keywords…right?
Of course, we call this search engine optimization or SEO.
Although Google’s algorithm is one of the most closely guarded secrets in the world, SEO authorities keep tabs on what Google’s techies say at conferences and also perform many case studies that give industrial marketing folks some pretty good signals on the importance of social media for the savvy industrial marketer.
The bottom line…
Continue reading “Does Social Media Help Your Industrial Marketing Strategy?”