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Mobile Friendly Website on a Budget

Sun, Mar 26, 2017 @ 10:39 PM / by Myke Amend posted in Industrial Website Design, Website Design, Web Design Company, Cincinnati Web Design Agency, Internet Development, Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Cincinnati Website Design, web development, Website Design Company, Cincinnati Advertising Agencies, Advertising Agency, Web Design

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Website Redesign Does Not, Should Not Always Mean Replacement:

We all know how increasingly important having a mobile-friendly website has become to search engine placement, but for many reasons, a company might not be ready, or able to do a complete overhaul of an antiquated website or website design.

I am going to go over a few ways a company can hold onto the site they have (as well as a few reasons they might want to) while quickly and inexpensively bringing their site into the 2010s with mobile-friendly styling.

Common reasons not to upgrade a website:

  • It is not in the budget: This might because money was already recently put into a new website design, or that the ideal and perfect website for the company will require more capital than is currently available.
  • There isn't time: Funding aside, major web development tends to require time from the client for gathering promotional literature and other collateral materials, approving designs, flow charts/site maps, discussions on what the new website should be able to do. When it comes to building a new website, some level of collaboration is necessary.
  • Google and other search engines really like old sites: It is true that the older a website is, the more reliable the website appears to search, but one must also consider that regularly-updated sites are also favorable. The perfect mix, we've found, is having a site with an old domain, and regularly updating it.


Rome wasn't built in a day - Good websites also take time.

The very best sites are not made in a day, or even a month - The best websites are the product of years or more of regular updates and upgrades, close attention to not creating broken links in the process, and minor design improvements made regularly. This is especially true when it comes to SEO.

Coming from an artist who has spent over 20 years as a web developer, over a decade more doing graphic design, and an entire lifetime creating fine art: There really is something to be said for works that have had a lot of time, passion, and care for detail put into them. This level of attention to detail does not happen with purchased templates, it does not come with even the largest budget for website redesign. Sure, it can begin there, but the very best websites come from many, many minor changes.

As important as it is to regularly update your CMS (content management system) software, update plugins, check your site's and servers security, check for broken links, create new blog posts, create new pages, create other content, check directories and other inbound links - making regular minor changes to design, function, and architecture is what brings a website ever-closer to perfect.

"Minor changes"?? Making our website mobile-friendly is a huge undertaking!!

It is easy to think this. Your site might have a lot of pages... hundreds, even thousands. You might even have several different templates for several different types of pages within your site. Your site might even be built on an older/outdated CMS, a long-extinct version of one, or something completely proprietary and unsupported **

Regardless of the type of server you are running on, whether your pages are php, asp, HTML, regardless of what CMS you are using or how old your site is, the end result is that all web site pages are outputted as some sort of HTML, the language a web-browser reads to present a web page for your viewing, and all HTML is, or rather should be formatted with stylesheets - which are all some form of CSS.

Restyling/Redesigning the website to work well with mobile from here is mostly a matter of adding of taking these steps:

  • Adding the viewport meta tag to the header is the first thing I do: Re sizing my browser, I can see how the site and its pages are going to look at different widths, but for a lot of mobile devices the site will not present the same without this tag, which can be easily forgotten.
  • Use media queries within the css to make the web pages and their elements behave differently at different screen sizes: This is mostly a matter of making sure all elements (images, layers, paragraphs) have a max-width of 100% or less (including their margins, borders, and sometimes padding), and that their contents will not overflow those boundaries (by declaring how to treat overflow).
  • Make sure things fall properly into line: Images, layers, and paragraphs ideally should, most-often each take up the full width of a mobile device. I tend to make elements expand to this size, then add  "clear: both" and "float: none" to their styling.
  • Make sure they fall into the proper order: Things that were floating left end up above the elements that were to their right, this is not always the best order for viewing. Sometimes element a, b, and c need to be read top-to-bottom as c, b, and a. To address this, I tend to go the Flex/ Flex-flow/Order method, but this and a number of other methods are covered in this stack overflow thread.
  • Make a simple mobile menu/thumb menu: You need only use CSS to do this. A very simple drop down thumb menu can be found here, on Medialoot. Sometimes, especially if there are few pages, it is even more simple. For both Dynamic Industries (large scale machining) and Vertiflo Pump Company (vertical submersible centrifugal pumps), I didn't even make a thumb menu - I simply made it so that menu items fell into new rows, evenly, and gave them a layered tab appearance on mobile devices.

Mobile-friendly Website redesign for Dynamic IndustriesMobile-friendly Website redesign for Dynamic Industries

Above (left and right) The pages of this standard HTML site were given a mobile-friendly re-design through simple CSS styling changes. A mobile menu was also added simply by re-styling the existing links/navigation

Foreseeable difficulties:

For a lot of older, really older sites, or for sites that were designed by people with limited design knowledge, or no design knowledge at all, these are some common snags run into:

  • The website, site pages, or site content were created in MS Word: The result of this is a massively huge file, horribly coded, and especially badly-coded for trying to restyle with CSS. There is a large amount of proprietary code in there, and unique styles are applied to most every element, if not each and every character. There are a number of ways to clean this up, I am not going to recommend any of them in particular (but advise you try several of the free ones first).
  • There is no CSS style sheet, and there are no CSS styles applied: Actually, often this is even better - it means that you will not be fighting competing style declarations and addressing most things element by element. CSS will override HTML in most cases (unless there is inline CSS). Just attach a stylesheet to the pages or template and work from there.
  • There are inline styles for a number of elements or for every element: I really hate to use it, but if a very object-specific CSS declaration won't do, you can use "!important" at the end of your declarations to override these. Use them sparingly. If all else fails, any good text editor with "find/replace" can possibly be used (locally) to remove these as you find them. If these inline styles are used within post and page content, a good find/replace plugin might be available for your CMS. If it is Wordpress, I use "Better Search/Replace".
  • Tables??... who still uses tables?? A decade after most designers should have stopped using them, they are still a fairly common thing. Sometimes, they are even necessary... at least until Mozilla Firefox starts handling flex correctly. Though tables are something to be avoided for layout, they are still handy as far as what they were intended for: Displaying specs and data. Generally, if tables are used to layout content, I break them apart with "display: block; overflow: hidden; float: none; clear: both;" and then work on the styling from there. Since a majority of our clients are Industrial, and more specifically: in the process industry tables filled with data are pretty common. I use CSS to break lines and to rotate the table headers at smaller sizes, like so (LEFT/top: normal website view of the table, RIGHT/bottom: Mobile website view of the table):

Website Design: Table Rotation example 1web-design-table-rotation.png

 

So... Why are we doing this again?

1. Search engines now favor mobile-friendly websites.

2. Content that is mobile-friendly reaches a wider audience/is more accessible.

3. Content that is mobile-friendly is more likely to be shared, if only because of the wider audience provided by being mobile-friendly and having better search placement.

4. It is actually not as hard as it might seem:

I know it might seem like a lot of work, all of these steps might not be necessary, and taking these steps could get help your website by in the mean time, and possibly for a while - maybe much longer if the website is regularly kept up to date with internet standards. It is also often easier, and more cost-effective to maintain a website than it is to completely replace it. Making your website mobile-friendly will put you back on the right path.

These changes, are changes that should be applied over a handful of days, and improved upon as time goes by. If you do not have a web designer who is capable of doing this in this time frame, we'd be happy to help - Just contact us.

Making a website mobile-friendly is very important in that Google and other search providers use this as a standard when giving search placement. If you also consider that an increasing amount of website visitors are using cellphones or other mobile devices, and that this portion of visitors and potential visitors is fast-becoming the majority, you know that not having a mobile-friendly site is like being on only a very small portion of the internet. It is not a very nice thing to do to yourself, your company, or all those who might wish to be connected with your product or service.


** In the latter case: Yes, I would suggest some sort of overhaul - because any CMS or plugin version even an hour old might have some exploit or other vulnerability that will end in your site being loaded with malware and pharmaceutical ads, if it is not already. I won't go into that here, You can read more about that here, for the sake of this article I am going to assume your site is secure and sound against these things.

Guide to Web Site Redesign by Cincinnati Website Design Company, Lohre & Associates

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Metal Working Equipment Marketing Plan

Fri, Mar 17, 2017 @ 05:04 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Marketing Communications, Marketing, Industrial Branding, Metalworking Equipment Marketing, Industrial Marketing Handbook, Industrial Marketing Content

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To ThomasNet or not to ThomasNet, that is the question. Hmm, it means blogging to the rescue!

Industrial marketing communications directoryThomasNet, or Thomas Register as it was called years ago, has become a Platinum Hubspot resaler. It's not much of a directory any more since they couldn't compete with Google.  They are a good blogger as a good Hubspot dealer should be. A directory program with ThomasNet runs at least several thousands of dollars to start, but like our advice for purchasing search engine ad words, "Don't do it until you have optimized your web site first." We've found that ThomasNet's directory is only good in certain industries that have adopted it as a platform to generate quotes. But even those are going away and Thomas' attempts to teach newbes is a losing attempt.

You'd think a "large machine shop" would be easy enough to get ranked for, but that's not the case. If metal working equipment marketing was easy, everyone would be doing it. The industry is quite sophisticated and run by those who have been operating computers longer than any of us. The second use of computers was to run a machine tool, the first was to calculate ballistic information for a canon. 

ThomasNet wasn't such a problem several years ago, it kept its data secret from the search engines, plus it didn't have very many pages indexed. And the search engines wouldn't show their pages anyway. Then ThomasNet signed agreements with the search engines and they are ranking better. But Google is fundamentally against a directory since Google would rather serve the company's web site rather than a directory. ThomasNet is a very good media for increasing your page visitors. We have seen traffic double in several cases. And our studies show that visitors coming from ThomasNet are just as high quality as those coming from organic searches. If your site is fairly well written and has all the regular features of a good site, like fast loading speed, there may not be any other way to increase traffic. See the chart results on ThomasNet.com for yourself at Alexa.com.

Metal Working Equipment Marketing.jpg
But all of this wouldn't be needed if you just blogged a lot more. It's the gift that keeps on giving. Looking at the chart above, we added all of the client's technical bulletins in the middle and started bloggin three times a week in the last third. If your website traffic isn't growing like this, you aren't marketing using the internet to your advantage.

So if there is one take-away it's this -- Program your site to measure goals. For industrial sites it's not a sale, it's going to be a contact us or a request for quotation page. Then you will be able to measure a tangible result of your industrial marketing efforts.


If you liked this post, you may like, "How To Realign Your Marketing Communications with Sales."

 Download our free guide to Sales Lead Generation.

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Green Education for Our Youngest Citizens – Krista Atkins Nutter

Mon, Mar 13, 2017 @ 08:23 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Green Building Marketing, Green Building, Business to Consumer Marketing

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Green-Education-1-1.jpgIn writing for the Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy blog, I often wonder what topics readers of this blog will find most interesting. To educate the public of Cincinnati about green building and green living is kind of a tall order and can encompass many valuable topics. As someone with a background in design and architecture, I sometimes find myself leaning in the direction of construction-related topics that might not resonate strongly with the general public, so for this piece, I thought I would concentrate on my other background: education. Since Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy focuses primarily on education anyway, I decided to take a look at one area of green education that’s becoming more popular internationally, as well as right here in Cincinnati.

 

Green-Education-2.jpgYou might have noticed that over the past decade or so, many K-12 schools in the Cincinnati area have been emphasizing sustainable or green principles in their construction or renovations. According to their website, about two dozen schools in the Cincinnati Public School system have achieved LEED Silver or higher, and all of the universities within the 513 area code are ranked highly by Princeton Review’s Guide to Green Colleges (2014). Schools such as Northern Kentucky’s Twenhofel Middle School, built in 2005-2006 and CPS’s Pleasant Ridge Montessori School built in 2009 were pioneer green schools in the Cincinnati area. Certainly all of these green schools are beneficial not only because they are green in and of themselves, but also in that they serve to educate those who work and learn inside of them every day. The schools themselves are learning tools.   However, what about early childhood education? In what ways can we reach the youngest of minds in green education and advocacy?

In September of 2010, I traveled as a faculty sponsor on a study-abroad trip called Sustainability in Scandinavia. I took 20 design and architecture students to Denmark and Sweden for ten days to study the region’s culture, industry, and policies as they related to sustainability. One of the “field trips” we took was to a children’s school in Copenhagen, where we learned about the adaptive reuse of the building - the school was located in a formerly abandoned factory warehouse building and used a myriad of green building techniques to reduce energy consumption and keep the interior healthy for the children. We also learned that Scandinavian children spend significantly more time outdoors during instructional time than American children, in all types of weather. They are encouraged to explore their outdoor environment as part of their learning, using nature itself as a tool to grow academically. Ironically, I have a cousin who lives in Karlstad, Sweden who works in a preschool there. She shares her insight with me often, reinforcing the ideas of outdoor learning labs, and sending me video of her little students exploring outside even during Sweden’s long and dark winter.

Green Education 3.jpgA few months ago, Emily Freeman penned an article called “The Outdoor Preschool Movement” for the Sierra Club online blog. When I read the article, I thought of two things right away: my trip to Scandinavia and my neighbor, the Cincinnati Nature Center. Freeman discusses nature-based learning of traditional concepts – such as counting chicken’s eggs for math lessons and learning colors by identifying different types of leaves in autumn – but also how outdoor preschool teaches children soft-skills such as preparedness, adaptability, result and consequence, and so forth. The children participate in outdoor learning regardless of weather, so they learn to dress appropriately and they learn what the ramifications are of a full day spent in the rain or snow versus the sunshine. They learn how to seek shelter or shade when needed, and how to take turns when climbing on downed logs instead of colorful playground equipment. They also learn about insects, plants, and animals; and caretakers feel they are “laying the groundwork for environmental citizenship.”   Here in Cincinnati, we have many preschools, but none as in-tuned with the outdoor preschool movement (that I know of), as the Cincinnati Nature Center’s Nature Preschool. The school’s philosophy is “the main purpose of outdoor education is to provide meaningful contextual experiences that complement and expand classroom instruction.”   They also note National Wildlife Federation research in a 2010 survey of educators which shows that 75% of educators surveyed: “believed students who spend regular time outdoors tend to be more creative and better able to problem-solve in the classroom. (NWF 2010)” The CNC Nature Preschool offers hundreds of acres of forest, creeks, and meadows for children to explore, in addition to seasonal activities such as maple syrup harvesting, birdwatching, tracking Monarch Butterflies and more. Instead of a playground, they offer a natural play-scape with logs, sticks, rocks, and other things from nature to build with and climb on – of course under the supervision of staff. The CNC also offers summer camps for older children and programs for scouts and homeschool children as well. You can read more about CNC’s Nature Preschool in this Cincinnati Magazine article, Childcare and Education by Mike Boyer.

Homeschool parents have long touted the benefits of outdoor education as well, using field experiments and outdoor exploration as a means to achieve (or exceed) state academic standards for their children. While her children were not homeschooled, a friend and neighbor of mine is a stay at home mom who did not send any of her four children to a traditional preschool. Instead, she created her own preschool curriculum and focused on outdoor learning as much as possible. She purchased a family membership to the Cincinnati Nature Center, so she had access to many of the programs and trails there on a daily basis for her children. In addition, she utilized Hamilton, Clermont, Butler, and Warren Counties’ park systems to supplement and offer variety in outdoor locations for her children. Her teaching style focused on outdoor play and real-world scenarios such as grocery shopping, hiking, and apple and berry-picking to teach her young children. She also spent a lot of time at the Cincinnati Zoo, Newport Aquarium, and the many libraries, museums and playhouses in Cincinnati to expose her children to theater, art, and music. Many weekday morning programs at these locations are free or low cost. Her four children are now in grades 5 through 9 and attend traditional public school. All of them have been tested as gifted and are straight A students, which she attributes to having spent their preschool years outdoors in the world exploring the environment and learning about citizenship, philanthropy, conservation, stewardship, and Leave No Trace principles.

The Cincinnati region has a number of places that align with these philosophies, and it’s clear that they are intertwined with green building, energy conservation, and many other green concepts. So, while Green Cincinnati Education Advocacy focuses mostly on green education for grown-up homeowners and business-people, it’s still important to remember that sustainability and environmental stewardship are concepts that even the youngest of children can learn and appreciate!

Green-Home-Design.jpg(This week's post comes from Krista Nutter, LEED AP, MS Arch. A college design educator and administrator at a CIDA-accredited program, a sustainable building consultant, and designer/owner of an award-winning, Energy-Star 5+, passive solar, solar electric, high-performance green home in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her home was on the USGBC Cincinnati Green Home tour in 2015. Learn more about it at the house blog.)

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Interested in learning more? Here's the "Greenest Home in the World."

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If you would like to "Do the right thing," join me for lunch. Click the button to send me an email.
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What's the best way to learn about Green Building? Join the local USGBC Chapter.
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Process Equipment Marketing Press Conference

Fri, Mar 10, 2017 @ 02:47 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Marketing Communications, Industrial Advertising, Marketing, Industrial Branding, Process Equipment Marketing, Construction Equipment Marketing, Mining Equipment Marketing, Industrial Marketing Handbook, Business to Business Marketing, Industrial Marketing Content

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Trade show press conferences are a great way to improve your return on investment.

You advertise in the trade journals and have sent out a series of press releases to promote the show. The icing on the cake is holding a process equipment marketing press conference and making contact and thank all the editors you work with throughout the year.

Press Conference 1.jpg

 

 

 

We also saw one of the first vertical roller mills at the show. We're writing a primer on this type of equipment.

 

If you would like to learn more about industrial publicity, you may like to read, "One key to good public relations is writing a case study."


 

Trade Display Designs by Lohre Advertising to Boost Presence and Impact

 

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High Performance Tiny Homes and Tiny Spaces

Mon, Mar 06, 2017 @ 06:26 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Green Building Marketing, Business to Consumer Marketing

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Hi Tiny Home Enthusists, from Grace and Corbett Lunsford.

First, thanks so much for following our #TinyLab's Proof Is Possible Tour across the U.S.! We're so thrilled that our adventure brought over 7,000 people through our high performance tiny house on wheels, and brought more attention to just doing things the right way in high performance tiny homes' construction.

 High-Performance-Tiny-Homes.jpg

We just today released an awesome online course called HOME PERFORMANCE FOR TINY SPACES, based on all we learned from the design, building, and touring of the #TinyLab (and there's nothing like it out there). If you'd like to dig deep into the invisible forces that make a tiny space feel, sound, and smell great (or the opposite), you'll love this 4-module lecture course!

It's got tons of amazing video content, worksheets and other downloads, and you have access forever. It's normally $75, BUT FOR OUR FRIENDS WHO PAID ATTENTION TO OUR TOUR, IT'S 20% OFF.

Until June 1, enter promo code PROOFTOUR to get your 20% discount on this course- and enjoy revisiting these unique lessons forever!

~CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS OR TO ENROLL~

See you down the road we hope! PS- Enjoy the 'Lessons Learned' video below to see Nanette steal the show. 
Corbett, Grace, and Nanette (#TinyLab crew)

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Interested in learning more? Here's the "Greenest Home in the World."

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If you would like to "Do the right thing," join me for lunch. Click the button to send me an email.
Complimentary Green Building Consultation
 
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What's the best way to learn about Green Building? Join the local USGBC Chapter.
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The Industrial Marketing Trade Show Dance at CONEXPO 2017

Sun, Mar 05, 2017 @ 02:10 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Trade Show Displays, Trade Show, Trade Show Displays, Industrial Marketing Trade Show, Trade Show Banner Stand, Trade Exhibit Modular Displays, Construction Equipment Marketing, Mining Equipment Marketing, Advertising, Trade Show Exhibits, Trade Booths, Trade Exhibits

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Everyone in the industrial market knows that the CONEXPO-CONAGG 2017 show is opening Tuesday March 7. The conference will be in Las Vegas from March 7-11 and is expecting over 125,000 attendees and 2,400 exhibitors. In terms of a conference, that is huge and provides quite the opportunity for any business. 

Radio_Conexpo_v5.jpgThe CONEXPO got its start here in Ohio in 1909, debuting as a ‘Road Show.’ The early exhibitors prided themselves on displaying ‘amazing new devices’ that could do the work of 15 horses. It continued to grow and did so at an unprecedented rate during the construction boom after World War II. In the 1970’s it opened its doors to the international community, as well as, the CON/AGG show, which also had began in the early 1900’s; by combining shows and creating CONEXPO-CON/AGG, both attendees and exhibitors alike we able to experience all the emerging products, equipment, and services in one place, maximizing time, money, and educational opportunities of the construction and industrial industries.

With so many people and exhibitions attending this show, most industrial companies recognize the importance of marketing their product or service. They know that this is an opportunity to reach other businesses, consumers, and influential individuals in the industry, which is why having a solid team, effective communication, and a game plan are so important for a trade show of this caliber.

Preparing for a Trade Show

This is the first step required for a good trade show exhibit. Everyone must be on the same page about what is required from him or her and how to, not just execute it, but to do so properly. This requires effective communication, clear guidelines, and stringent implementation.

Preparation for the show includes everything from how your booth will look to with whom you staff it; both should be of high quality.

Too many times have I been to a trade show that individuals are on their phones, talking to each other, or eating food when they should be grabbing the attention of the people passing by. This typically happens because stringent rules weren’t put into place to prevent such things from happening. Allowing such behavior to occur will only hurt the company and the reputations of those involved; possibly affecting your credibility and professionalism. Be sure to have educated employees and sales staff on hand who are dedicated to success and to achieving the purpose of the trade show: to gather leads and to make connections.

This is where effective communication comes into play. Let staffers know that they are there for a purpose and that purpose is to generate leads, not to eat McDonald’s in the back of the booth around noon. The typical trade booth staff will walk away from training with a good pitch to throw at people passing by, but an excellent staff will walk away knowing an immense amount of knowledge on the product as well as having a clear objective to what they are responsible for doing. Some booths include people who just catch the attention and move interested individuals to sales reps who know more about the product and while the assembly line is beneficial and provides an organized mechanism for all booth employees, reminding employees that everyone has the same objective helps keep everyone on track and can help prevent a lack of involvement from employees. Some companies sometimes implement contests, hoping to motivate employees and sales reps alike to drive in business.

Creating an Inviting Trade Show Booth

You want to make sure your booth looks welcoming, interesting, and clean. You don’t want something that is too ‘homey,’ people won’t take you seriously, but you also don’t want a both that results in looking so technological or industrial that a layperson can’t understand it and are too intimidated to stop by or don’t find it interesting. Having a well-balanced booth and a friendly staff of people who can clearly and concisely explain what you have to offer is the best route to go here. trade show

Providing information, good information, is crucial to the success of your booth. Pamphlets are great and are very popular at trade shows, but how many of those make it to the plane ride home? Not many, most natives to the city hosting the  trade show will tell you that most of them end up littering the streets once all visitors have left. This is where educated employees matter, reinforcing the point above. According to Skyline Exhibits 5 common Pitfalls to Trade Show Marketing blog, offering to take someone’s email address or telephone number on the spot and stating that they probably have enough to carry without you adding to their load can be a very effective means of gathering individuals’ information. Using technology, like a tablet for instance, in this situation can maximize your outreach. People may not have one of your pamphlets to throw away at the airport, but they will be able to check the email you sent or listen to the voicemail you left on the plane ride home; already making for a more personal experience and your booth, and more importantly your product, will stick out in their mind.

Effective Marketing of Your Trade Show Attendance

Standing out at a trade show is important and learning how can be difficult. According to Susan Friedmann, the Trade Show Coach there is more than one way to do this. One of the best strategies is having your company/client try and align new product announcements and trade shows together. Having a new product to premier at a  trade show is a good way to get some press prior to the show. We have had a couple of clients take this route for the CON/AGG conference and we have been shooting out press releases and public relations left and right. Most publications, whether print or electronic, are willing to take such information and publish it. They too recognize the enormity of the show and know that many people are reading publications to ‘be ahead of the game’ and to know what to expect from the trade show exhibits. Also be aware that most publications need this information well in advance, so having your own deadlines to accomplish the media announcements is necessary.

trade showUtilize social media. Make it known on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, etc. that you will be there and that you have something new rolling out. This also will build an interest with your followers who aren’t going to the show itself and could even prompt them to come along too.

Schedule a press conference if possible. Many media outlets, local and international, will be covering the convention; such large conventions can get a lot of coverage time via the media and having a press conference about your new product or your attendance can really increase your popularity at the show; not to mention the publicity involved with media coverage.

Learning the trade show dance can be difficult, especially when the convention/show itself has been around for over one hundred years; that makes for an evolution of dance. But, surrounding yourself with a positive, well-motivated team who is willing to work hard, combined with effective marketing and a welcoming booth should create a successful experience.

See you there!

If you liked this post, you will also enjoy Trade Show Display Exhibit Booth Marketing Trends

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Tiny Home - Tiny Lab - Tiny Space Needed

Mon, Feb 27, 2017 @ 10:43 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Green Building Marketing, Business to Consumer Marketing

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On a warm summer day in 2016 Grace and Corbett Lunsford brought their tiny home on wheels to Cincinnati.

Tiny-Lab-Home-1.jpg

"Corbett and Grace and their new baby went on a 20-city U.S. Tour from April 2016-January 2017 in the world's highest performance tiny house on wheels, the #TinyLab. Their mission was simple: to revolutionize the home market by teaching consumers and contractors alike to use scientific testing to prove the work gets done to quality standards." Learn more.

Tiny-Lab-Home-2.jpg

I spoke to Kathy Kennedy there and learned more about her efforts to build a simlar small footprint home that can have equally healthy indoor environment. Here's a letter she asked us to share with you.

Tiny-Lab-Home-3.jpg

I've illustrated this "Tiny Home - Tiny Lab" post with photos I took at the event, sponsored by Julie Toliver.and her business Energy Fitness For Homes.

Tiny-Lab-Home-4.jpg

 

Tiny-Lab-Home-5.jpg
 
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"I am planning on building a tiny home out of non-toxic materials. Once I get through the process, I would love to advise others on building this type of home. All materials used will focus on reducing off-gassing VOCs, i.e. attempting to optimize indoor air quality. We are planning on putting the home on a trailer but may consider putting it on a temporary foundation.
 
 
Tiny-Lab-Home-6.jpg
 
We are looking for a site to place this tiny home. We would most likely need electric, sewer and water access but may try to make this as off-grid as possible. If you would consider allowing us to build this on a property you own or if you know someone who might be interested, please let me know. Thank you! I have attached some photos on what we are considering building for your review. We will most likely make ours a little more attractive!
 
Tiny-Lab-Home-7.jpg

P.S. I, unfortunately, was having laminate flooring installed in my home a few years ago and the release of the formaldehyde damaged my lungs and my nervous system. I am one of the estimated 10 to 20% of those who can become sensitized to formaldehyde. Things I didn't know and now do - formaldehyde is added to ground beef to preserve it (attributed to Dr. Hari Sharma - Retired Director of Natural Cancer Prevention Research at The Ohio Sate University), formaldehyde is introduced in mattresses and most clothing is treated with formaldehyde to make it wrinkle-free or to reduce wrinkles during shipping (Consumer Product Safety Commission website).
 
Tiny-Lab-Home-8.jpg
 
Formaldehyde can also be found in glues, carpet, paints, pressed wood furniture, etc. Once exposed to formaldehyde, sensitization occurs with lesser and lesser amounts of exposure. Please don't let this happen to you! Here is a website that will give you additional information on the effects of formaldehyde: http://www.consultox.com/toxicology-formaldehyde.shtml.

Kathryn Kennedy
kathrkenne@aol.com
513-659-4951

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Here are a few videos from the tour.

 

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Interested in learning more? Here's the "Greenest Home in the World."

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If you would like to "Do the right thing," join me for lunch. Click the button to send me an email.
Complimentary Green Building Consultation
 
P.S.
What's the best way to learn about Green Building? Join the local USGBC Chapter.
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Industrial Marketing Plan

Fri, Feb 24, 2017 @ 12:39 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Marketing Communications, Industrial Advertising, Marketing, Industrial Branding, Green Building Marketing, Process Equipment Marketing, Industrial Website Design, Metalworking Equipment Marketing, Construction Equipment Marketing, Mining Equipment Marketing, Business to Consumer Marketing, Industrial Marketing Handbook, Website Design, Business to Business Marketing, Industrial Marketing Content

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Here's a three-year industrial marketing plan. The goal of the plan is to generate new opportunities and markets to apply the client's technology. Existing markets will also be targeted for new applications.

Our proposal starts with basic educational publicity as the foundation for a modern internet marketing campaign. Marketing today is based on the fact that customers are educating themselves well in advance, before contacting any potential suppliers. They are doing this almost exclusively on the internet. Unless a company plays a role in the engineer’s education, they stand little chance of being the preferred supplier for a new product component. Traditional technical journals, many still in print, are the gate-keepers of the best technical content. Good publicity campaigns work with the editors and publishers of the trade journals as well as technical conferences. If your educational publicity campaigns are picked up by the technical press, you can be assured that it is worthy of investment, because of the long life the educational material will have, and the many ways it can be repurposed as video, audio, slide shows, demonstrations and presentations.

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PART ONE - Publicity

The first part of the proposal is a publicity campaign that would publish information to markets that already use the client's technology as well as a broader audiences of manufacturing engineers. This publicity campaign would also include managing free listings in buyer’s guides across print and internet media. The estimated cost for the year-long campaign is $25,000, billable monthly. (The VALUE of the product information placement in print and internet media for the year is estimated to be $35,000.)

PART TWO - Advertising

The second part of the proposal is advertising in existing industry buyer’s guides and manufacturing engineering company capability listings in print and internet media. This modest campaign will reinforce the product publicity and provide introduction to the publishers and editors of our markets that we are a contributor to the news and education of the industry. Advertisement writing, design and production will be quoted separately. The estimated budget for the year-long campaign is approximately $25,000. We estimate this budget will include four of five placements, primarily in the media’s directories or special editorial focuses on our markets. High domain authority links to your site are on of the best ways to get Google to rank your pages higher. It's great that we can purchase such links at affordable rates.

PART THREE - Technical articles

The last part of the proposal is the educational publishing phase. The publicity and advertising phases need to be in place first. Strategic topics will be chosen, and articles pitched to the print and internet media editors to meet their needs. A series of blog posts for the client's site will be published and promoted to the internet channels manufacturing engineers use for product research and development. You can expect a THREE TIMES ROI VALUE on the yearly investment of $25,000. We estimate two articles could be published and approximately 24 blog posts written. This estimate for articles and blogging doesn’t include 100 percent of the writing of the articles and blogs. Blog and article topics will be estimated based on content. If sufficient educational material is available for Lohre to edit, the majority of the cost can be included. The primary article and blog topics will educate manufacturing engineers about designing and selecting your product or service for their application. They will not be specifically about the client's company. This is a requirement of the print and internet media editors. Here is an example of an article we wrote for Stedman Machine Company. The editor, Darren Constantino, uses it as an example of appropriate writing for feature articles in PIT & QUARRY.

PART FOUR - Feedback and Improvement

Continual improvement will be the focus in the following years of the continued publicity, advertising and educational publishing program. After the first year, enough data from website traffic and company contact information should be gathered to estimate the investment required to meet marketing goals.

In summary, the industrial marketing plan focuses on promoting the educational material developed. The web site will need to be front and center for promotion and also used as a tool to gather prospects' email contact information for nurturing with material suitable for the consideration and decision stages of the buying cycle.


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2017 Industrial Marketing Trends

Fri, Feb 17, 2017 @ 06:34 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Advertising, Branding and Identity, Business to Business Marketing, B2B Marketing, B2B Advertising, Business to Business Advertising, Advertising Literature, Graphic Design Agency, Cincinnati Design, Design Agency, Industrial Marketing Trends, Industrial Content Driven Marketing, B2B Sales Conversion Rates

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Industrial marketing is different for mining equipment, machine tools and chemical processing equipment. We'll review what is and isn't working in industrial marketing trends.

A short history of Lohre & Associates:

  • —1996 Second Wind, small agency coaching
  • —9-11-2001 The end of growth
  • —2002 Goal: More control over business growth
  • —2002 EDOC Outsourcing call center
  • —2004 Society for Marketing Professional Services (Engineers, Architects, Builders)
  • —2008 Recession, things got worse
  • —2009 Green Building initiative
  • —2013 Hubspot

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Green Marketing - A Tough Market

  • —Two major LEED projects went way over budget.
  • —Market can’t cover our cost – ½ of what it needs to be.
  • —Few passionate residential or small business owners. One in a thousand.
  • —Large local food movement – Earth Day
  • —Commercial and institutional only, they are too large for us
  • —Still searching for a building material client
Green Industrial Marketing Trends.jpgHubspot is Good Internet Marketing
  • —Up to date internet marketing strategies
  • —Structured marketing framework
  • —Adaptable to industrial products & services
  • —Focused on “considered” sales process
  • —Excellent training
  • —Excellent coaches for clients & prospects
  • —Formal growth plan
Hubspot Industrial Marketing Trends.jpg
Does Blogging and Social Media Work?
  • —Post three times a week
  • —Share across Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
  • —Follow Cocktail Party Rule, 1 for you, 2 for guests
  • —Keep it very educational & technical
  • —Monitor and interact with Social Media
  • —90% of internet content doesn’t get shared
  • —Google pays a lot of attention to a small amount of sharing and commenting
Social Media Industrial Marketing Trends.jpg
Hubspot Strategy Can Add Value
  • —The agencies that apply this sales process have been able to fundamentally change the way they sell
  • —Stop selling one off projects to selling to retainers
  • —Increasing the size of their retainers
  • —Retainers are capitalized income and the most valuable thing for an agency’s net worth
Construction-Industrial-Marketing-Trends.jpg
Society for Marketing Professional Services (SMPS)
  • —The best marketing methods for large expensive products or projects
  • —Starts with defining a real market need
  • —And then gives you the skills to fill that need
  • —Excellent for all licensed professionals such as lawyers, doctors, scientists, administrators, as well as architects, contractors and engineers
The biggest thing we have learned recently is that internet marketing isn't the best for industrial marketing communication firms. We have gotten one recent account from our web site, but more recently we have also gotten clients from referrals and targeted direct mail. So the most important thing for any company is to know what works for them.

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How to Write a Public Relations Telemarketing Script

Mon, Feb 13, 2017 @ 04:51 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Marketing Communications, Construction Equipment Marketing, Business to Consumer Marketing, Business to Business Marketing, Public-Relations-Telemarketing-Script

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Telemarketing for public relations is more than a list and a telephone.

To do it efficiently, you need clearly defined scripts for every possibility: calling, email, voice mail and snail mail.

Telemarketing is defined by the number of actions you need to take to get the job done. The number of computer screens you look at and the number of clicks you need to make. Just like any other industrial process, when you look at the full spectrum of events and actions needed to engage the customer and take action, small changes and improvements in your process can have the effect of cutting your time in half and doubling your results. It's all about clearly writing a process script.

Contact Science Telemarketing Marketing Communications resized 600

Image from Contact Science from klpz, we're a partner so get in touch if you're interested in doing telemarketing in half the time and getting four times the results.

In this blog post, we'll illustrate the process by writing a public relations telemarketing script. New product information is one of the centerpieces of industrial marketing. It's where equipment manufacturers get to tell the technical journal readers about the latest equipment. Many publications compete to publish the latest in energy and mechanical efficiencies.

The first stage in our contact process is identifing the prospects in our target industry and sometimes geographic region. We'll call the companies and get the name for the persons involved in marketing communications.

Second we will prepare a mailing of a published article along with a testimonial letter from the client. Here's the memo copy.

Hi Greg,

Do you need an innovative partner to help inspire your marketing department? That's what happened at Stedman Machine Company. Sure, it's easy to say, "Go do content marketing," but someone has to do it. And who better than a 20 year veteran. 

Public-Relations-Telemarketing-Script.jpg

 

The second major push with this campaign is to review the editorial schedule for the prospect's industry. When you can tell them on the phone that you have an article placed for them, you will get the work.

Hi Greg,

I hope you enjoyed the sample and letter last week from Chris Nawalaniec with Stedman Machine Compny. Kevin Cronin with POWDER BULK SOLIDS Magazine would like to publish your article on the selection of size reduction equipment.

Technical Article, Graphic Design, and Illustration for Stedman Machine

The final call to the prospect needs to clarify the scope of the work and the timeline.

Hi Greg,

Thanks for the conference call last week. I had watched one of the videos you mentioned and I've found the other two as well as the summary video. We can write a thought leader article on this subject by the deadline. Here's the proposed schedule.

Public-Relations-Telemarketing-Script-1 copy.jpg

This campaign is designed to keep us in touch with our clients and prospects throughout the year and every year. They all read the trade journals and sepecially the articles they wrote. We never take credit for the articles. 

If you liked this blog post, you might enjoy, "How to Write a Telemarketing Script for Trade Shows." 

 

Industrial Marketing Creative Guide by Lohre Marketing and Advertising, Cincinnati

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