Nobody Will Fall in Love with Your Industrial Logo

industrial branding, Nobody Will Fall in Love with Your Industrial LogoHear I go again…beating the drum for industrial branding.

Forgive me.

I write often about industrial branding, as recently as November 9; Industrial Branding: You Get What You Pay For!

I will be the first to admit I have always been influenced by a quality brand message. When I first became involved in marketing the companies that created a strong brand captivated me.

“How, in the world, did they do that?”

Then, years ago, I became good friends with Greg Miller, Michigan’s grand guru of branding.

At our weekly coffees at “The Club” (Tim Horton’s or Grand Traverse Pie), Greg further convinced me how many of my industrial friends were not capitalizing on branding and how it could benefit them…particularly in the age of search, social and mobile. We both felt that the web & new technologies were brand multipliers…if done properly.

Every time I approached the concept of branding the typical response was, “We have a good logo and re-did our tag line recently” …or something similar. I would then check out their website, sales literature, brochures, social accounts, etc.

And what did I find?

PABLUM.

Absolutely nothing to distinguish them from their industrial competitors.

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Industrial Branding: You Get What You Pay For!

you get what you pay for when it comes to industrial brandingWe all know our parents had the best advice. As I baby boomer, I still recite my Father’s favorite axioms: “If you want something done, give it to the busiest people”, “The cheapest insurance you can buy are the best quality tires”, “The will to prepare comes before the will to succeed”…and of course the most time-honored quote of all:

“You get what you pay for.”

Still true today.  Thanks Dad.

Often, I am asked to start an online marketing effort including website, content deployment, e-mail, blogs, the “whole shootin’ match” (thanks again, Dad).

But…before they embark on a comprehensive online marketing effort, I always suggest they start by taking a critical look at their company’s brand.

Often the discussion ends with, “I don’t believe we can afford to spend the extra dollars on brand development”…or something very similar.

A well-defined brand message is the most misunderstood and underutilized marketing asset for most businesses, especially for industrial companies.

Why?

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Industrial Marketing Strategy…IS Mobile Marketing

smart phones for industrial marketing strategyDo a little research on your own for your industrial marketing strategy. When you last researched a product, service or topic, did you search on a laptop/desktop or your mobile device?

I think I know the answer.

You are not alone.

Referencing comScore, smartphones now display half of the digital content…& no signs of slowing down.

Again, referring to the comScore research, 20 per cent of your millennial buyers don’t even have a desktop any more.  Unbelievable.

You might think, “Oh, my engineering prospects will go back to their offices to research our products, so having a mobile friendly website is not a big deal for us?

Hogwash.

Did you wait to go back to your laptop/desktop to check out that set of golf clubs or vacation spot for next spring?  No, you searched on your smartphone as you were watching TV, at dinner or in the airport.

Is your industrial marketing strategy offering content for mobile prospects in a user-friendly, helpful manner?

I hope so.

For more info on what The Repp Group can do for your industrial marketing & lead generation…CLICK BELOW

Your Industrial Brand Should Be Your “Publisher”

If you are on the road to content marketing for industrial, then allow your brand theme to lead your publishing efforts

for_industrial_branding-pitch_the_dream.jpgThat’s right, your industrial brand should be your “publisher”.

Let me give you an example of what I mean. Maybe the concept will help a few industrial marketers pick up the mantel of content marketing for industrial & run with it for competitive advantage.

I have always considered Harley Davidson to be one the best companies in the world at branding.  Harley sells “The Dream” better than anyone. Just read some the copy on Harley-Davidson’s current website, each associated with one of their fine machines:

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Industrial Content Marketing: Best Way to Improve Industrial Brand

Over the long term…the best way to improve your industrial brand is by using industrial content marketing.

Brand_strategy_on_black_board.jpgWhen I first meet a customer, one of the most common complaints is, “Tom, we just need more awareness. We have a great product/service, but more people need to be aware of what we do”.

Without hesitation, I say, “Industrial content marketing”

Then the classic, “deer in the headlights” look.

After a brief introduction to content or inbound marketing, I share the following example:

We are doing an industrial content marketing project for a large industrial supplier.  After polishing up their brand theme to communicate their unique capabilities, we deployed a new website and a lot of new content such as, blog posts, premium e-books, etc.  More content, such as webinars, podcasts and videos are to come.

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Inbound Marketing for Industrial is Not a One-Trick Pony

Inbound marketing for industrial can be tempting. Do not think it can work in a vacuum. It has to work with traditional channels to be successful

inbound_marketing_is_not_a_one_trick_pony.jpgMany times my business peers accuse me of just promoting content or inbound marketing for an industrial marketing strategy.

I guess that is the hazard of passion.

You bet…I am excited about inbound marketing for industrial, but I have never advocated JUST inbound marketing as the only channel to market.

I am excited about the early adaptors of inbound marketing for my industrial marketing friends. Long term, a coherent inbound marketing strategy can build a significant competitive advantage…or, as I call it, a “digital moat”.

However, inbound marketing alone will not provide sustainable marketing success.

No way…

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6 Justifications to Outsource Your Industrial Content Marketing

Industrial content marketing is hot…& a necessity. These 6 justifications will convince your owners and management to get outside help.

industrial-marketers-discussing-inbound-marketing.jpgIt seems as if all you hear about in industrial marketing departments is, “We have to get involved with content marketing…Joe Competitor is eating our lunch with some great content on his website”.  (i.e. content marketing: blogs, white papers, ebooks, webinars, podcasts, etc.)

OK…so you assume that Joe Competitor is taking some of your online exposure and leads. It is time to get serious about content marketing or inbound marketing for industrial, as some call it.

Here is why you should outsource your industrial content marketing:

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For B2B Lead Generation…It Is ALL SYSTEMS GO

HECO Industrial Services Group takes advantage of the gifts that Google has given them and deploys an inbound marketing strategy with a fresh brand theme…All Systems Go

HECO-All_Systems_Go.jpgEvery now and then, I need to participate in a shameless plug and demonstrate some of the work we are doing on behalf of our customers. We are changing the face of industrial marketing by creating a web-based, growth-driven, lead generating machines.

At The Repp Group, we recently launched a new website for HECO Industrial Services at www.hecoinc.com.  Allow me to toot HECO’s horn…and ours.

First, with help from Maxwell and Miller, we pumped up the HECO brand theme.

After exhaustive interviews with the owners, engineers and the sales group, we knew we had to distance HECO from the typical industrial supplier.  HECO sells much more than electric motors. They provide piece of mind on the plant floor by optimizing the performance of the entire electric motor-driven powertrain.

As I have written in several blog posts, industrial suppliers have a wealth of content stuck in their file cabinets and banker boxes.  It was no different at HECO. Continuing our interviews, we found plenty of content in their file cabinets to build a strong brand case…and years’ worth of blog posts. We also found plenty of great content in HECO’s mental “file cabinets”.

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How to Pump Up Your Industrial Brand

In the age of search, mobile & social, your industrial brand strategy should be front & center. And, NOT BORING.

Brand_strategy_on_black_board

Have you ever really thought about your industrial brand? I have.

Just yesterday, I reviewed nine boring industrial websites. We are doing an inbound marketing project for a local industrial supplier.  A critical component of an effective inbound marketing initiative is monitoring the online competition. (Once we start these projects, it is so much fun to watch them squirm.)

Talk about boring. Even the websites that were graphically superior, were boring.  All of them said, “Here, we provide these products…you want to buy some?”

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Your Industrial Marketing Strategy. Outsourced or In House?

Industrial marketers are plagued with the question: Do I outsource my industrial content marketing tasks or bring it in house? Try a hybrid approach

industrial content marketingAs digital disruption engulfs many industrial marketing departments, they struggle with…what to do?

“Should we go in house or outsource our content and digital marketing”?

There is no easy answer.  In fact, the whole content and digital marketing onslaught is happening so fast I’m not sure anyone has the right answer. The successful marketers are finding their own successful formulas with a hybrid approach.

One thing I do know, all industrial marketers need to get started with a digital, industrial marketing strategy to find their own way.

For virtually every industrial client I work with, all will need to outsource much of their digital marketing to maintain online relevance. They simply do not have the in house skills to mount a successful online branding & lead generation effort.  Frankly, most still do not even know the right questions to ask or the right people to hire.

I recommend a hybrid approach to content and digital marketing success.

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