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Three Secrets to Enjoyable Internet Industrial Marketing

Mon, Jan 13, 2014 @ 10:07 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Email Marketing and Advertising, Blogging and Blog Content Creation, Internet Marketing, Industrial Website Design, Business to Business Marketing, B2B Marketing, Internet Development

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  1. Create top-quality content that aligns with your buyer personas. If you don't have any new content, re-publish news from your industry associations and educational institutions.

  2. Share your knowledge by blogging, email and paid search engine adwords

  3. Take your time, reflect on your goals and enjoy yourself.

Industrial Marketing FlowchartThe pressure to improve your website, gain more visitors and hopefully customers has never been more acute. Yes, the tools and resources are available to do that instantly, but that doesn't mean you have the time or budget to do it. Industrial marketing is driven by product quality and responsiveness. Your current customers come first, with an eye to absolutely, positively, always doing the highest quality work possible. It's the foundation of your company and nothing will undermine a company's marketing quicker than poor quality work. The old saying is true, "When you're happy you tell two friends, when you're unhappy you tell twenty."

Manufacturing is a private business, you have the confidence and money of your customers. However, you can't share their information, their problems or even resell their ideas on your own. It's perfectly alright and good business to promote your customers and their successes if they allow it. We're like doctors ascribing to the Hippocratic Oath. You swear to practice business honestly and responsibly.

So, if you want to grow your business because the business you're in doesn't allow you to grow to the size you want, you'll have to find new customers. Alternately, you might have to find a different business that doesn't have competition. Traditional ideas say you can grow your business by marketing. You really can't. If you do fantastic work and your business doesn't grow -- it's not your fault, it's the economy. What you offer isn't that special or there's no need for your services. Get over it and find a new business or buy another one to grow.

prod 200 PORTEKThat brings to mind a wonderful presentation on innovation I heard last summer. It was held at the famous "Eureka! Ranch" of Doug Hall in Newtown, Ohio. Doug rose to the rank of Master Marketing Inventor at Procter & Gamble, inventing and shipping a record nine innovations in 12 months. Hall retired from P&G and started teaching innovation at his ranch. The process starts with brainstorming new product ideas. Ideas that could serve your existing customers or could be made with the manufacturing equipment you currently have. They advise against creating a new product using manufacturing equipment you aren't familiar with, or offering a new product to a market you don't know. The second step is to prove there is a market for your idea. They suggest conducting a patent search to assure that the idea hasn't been tried by others. Also, you need solid economic data on size of market and cost to bring it to market. Ask yourself this question, "Is this product really needed?" The third step is to go to market as quickly and inexpensively as possible. As an example Eureka! Ranch showed a video from a chipper-shredder company whose innovative idea mounted a wood saw on a sawhorse. The 'lumberjack' can stand upright at table height and easily cuts small trees into firewood. The cut limbs fall into a wheel barrow positioned under the saw. The video was made on a cell phone by an employee. It went viral on YouTube and launched the product. The only prototype was in the video and they mocked it up in an afternoon! Thanks to Portek for the photo.

Keyword WorksheetWhich brings us to the chart at the beginning of this blog, if you have news, great, you can share it or at least news from your industry associations and educational institutions. If not, focus on other inbound type of advertising such as search engine ad words. You want to be in front of your buyer personas when they are looking for products and services. It used to be OK to advertise in the yellow pages and industry magazines, but that's not where your customers are hanging out. They are going to the internet and industrial directories and if you're lucky one favorite technical journal. A good source of information on purchasing ad words is available from Hubspot. Their chart to the left illustrates that you need to know the keywords your prospects may enter into the search engines during the three stages of the sales funnel: looking, learning and buying.

The final tip was to enjoy yourself. We love attracting attention at trade shows, getting positive buzz from advertisements and writing a great case history. But budgets are smaller, time is shorter and marketing is so fragmented that it's hard to focus on the most important media, even if you knew. Your customers will tell you, ask them. In the end, joy comes from two simple steps: listening and responding. If you get lost, listen to the folks in your industry. Next month we'll put that thinking to test at the big construction trade show, CONEXPO- CON/AGG in Las Vegas.


If you liked this post you may also like: Create a Customer Path with Website Marketing Communications

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10 Step: Process Equipment Web Design and Website Marketing Communications

Fri, Apr 12, 2013 @ 09:51 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Marketing Communications, Email Marketing and Advertising, Inbound Marketing, Industrial Advertising, SEO - search engine optimization, Internet Marketing, Industrial Website Design, Website Design, Business to Business Marketing, B2B Marketing, B2B Advertising, Web Design Company, Cincinnati Web Design Agency, Business to Business Advertising, Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Cincinnati Website Design, web development, Cincinnati Advertising Agencies, Web Design

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Applying best practices to chemical and food processing equipment website marketing communications.

  1. Review your site's SEO (Search Enegine Optimization) and Pay-Per-Click
  2. Review your email newsletter strategy
  3. Review your web design for visitor anxiety
  4. Understanding buyer personas
  5. Site architecture for encouraging longer visits
  6. Google analytics
  7. Competitive comparisons
  8. Social media
  9. Content strategy
  10. Retargeting

Review your site's SEO and Pay-Per-Click

Web design for Website Marketing Communications

We use Web Position Gold to analyze positions of keywords but there isn't any better way than to do it manually. Remember to sign out so the search engines don't send you to the pages you regularly visit. Also while you are searching, you can observe competitors, AdWord positions, related industries for adding negative keywords and whatever else pops up. Baidu is the most popular search engine in China and Yandex in Russia.

Review your email newsletter strategy

Email newsletter design for Website Marketing Communications

Email newsletters, like blogs, are the core of your growing content. This company follows a consistent pattern: Technical tips, application story and a product review. Hubspot has some great pointers to follow.

Review your site design for visitor anxiety

Web Design for Website Marketing Communications

Every page must focus on one communication point. If content isn't contributing to the communication get rid of it. Every visitor is asking himself three questions: 1. Is this what I'm looking for?, 2. How can I learn more, 3. Where can I find what I'm looking for? The page on the left was our old site home page, cluttered and confusing. The page on the right is our new Hubspot site home page, simple and engaging. You don't need to give visitors's choices until they need them.

Understanding buyer personas

 Web Design examples for Website Marketing Communications

Chemical and food processing includes all sorts of liquids and powders. These visitors are engineers, technical operators, managers, and administrators. Sure, many of the visitors may be inexperienced amateurs or students, but they all are trying to solve a processing problem. These include variables like volume, ambient conditions, processing speed, quality considerations, and many special problems. These examples illustrate a common solution, show a pictural index of product and applications.

Site architecture for encouraging longer visits

Web Design Examples for Website Marketing Communications

The only way to keep pages simple and offer a large amount of content is to have the content change according to the path a visitor travels on your site. This machine tool manufacturer is a great example. In this case the path was: home > manufacturing > products > type. Breadcrumbs (site content that shows how you got to the page) are a good way to help the visitor remember their journey.

Google analytics

 Google Analytics view for Website Marketing Communications

Similar Web is a great comparison site that illustrated many of the things you can learn on Google Analytics. Study your bounce rate (percent of visitors that leave after that page), pageviews and time on page. Don't worry if your home page has a high bounce rate, 20 percent of your visitors went there to get your phone number.

Competitive comparisons

Website comparison for Website Marketing Communications

There are numerous ways to compare your site to competitors, but remember to measure ROI. The internet is but one part of the marketing communication mix. As you can see from this comparison, Twitter isn't important, one company has a huge Facebook following but they are owned by a marketing company. They all have room for improvement.

Social media

Social Media for Website Marketing Communications

Newsgroups, list servers, industry forums and LinkedIn forums are the only important social media for processing equipment marketing. Facebook might make for a great company newsletter, but it can't begin to answer the technical questions serious marketing communications must focus on. We won't go into Pinterest, Instagram or Reddit. Google+ is growing because you can post to select groups.

Content strategy

Web Design Content Strategy for Website Marketing Communications

The foundation of the new internet success strategy is content. Massive amounts. But it must be serious, coordinated and buyer persona focused. Then it's called inbound marketing. Once you start to look at your different visitors it will become easier to edit content and add better content.

Retargeting

Retargeting examples for Website Marketing Communications

Finally, investigate new targeted marketing communications opportunities. Retargeting banner ads shows visitors ads based on the sites they have visited. In this case we were studying fire suppression systems and that's why an ad came up when we were reading "Grist." Like AdWords, you pay only when the visitor clicks. Finally, industrial advertising has some real estate again.

 


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Apply Business Process Analysis to Marketing Communications

Tue, Apr 02, 2013 @ 11:16 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Marketing Communications, Email Marketing and Advertising, SEO - search engine optimization, Blogging and Blog Content Creation, Trade Show, Internet Marketing, Website Design, Trade Show Exhibits, Web Design Company, Cincinnati Web Design Agency, Web Design

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Either work on being more productive with your marketing communications or cut costs of overhead.

When you think of website marketing communications as a business process, you can start to see what needs to be done. Either improve your efficiency or cut your costs, that's what a manufacturing company does to improve performance. In this case we are evaluating ways to improve customer communications for the fire sprinkler system industry.

Here are the steps we'll walk through:

  1. Review web site design of two competitors who rank highest on Google
  2. Write suggestions based on our Top Ten Tips for natural Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  3. Alexa, Similar Web and Hubspot competitive tracking
  4. Segment customers into buyer personas for email
  5. Internet banner advertising/retargeting, Adwords
  6. Efficiency - Return on investment
  7. Cost cutting strategies

1. Review web site design of two competitors who rank highest on Google

Search Engine Marketing Communications

This is the search result when we were not logged in as having been on their site and located in Cincinnati.

Search Engine Marketing Communications

This is the search results we saw when we were logged in; Simplex Grinnell comes up #1. Simplex Grinnell is a national firm so local results aren't relevant. The Cincinnati office's address is hard to find on the site so they're not showing up because they are optimized for Cincinnati. We had been to the site and Google remembers everything, because we let it.

2. Write suggestions based on our Top Ten Tips for natural Search engine optimization (SEO)

Web Design and Web Site Marketing Communications Ranking 3

One suggestion for this page, Use dashes to separate the keywords in the URL and that's about it. The keyword phrase "fire sprinkler system" is used in the page title, headline, body and alternative text for a photo. These are some of the reasons it is ranked so high. This isn't the home page but Google publishes the home page before the specific page sometimes.

Web Design and Web Site Marketing Communications Ranking 4

Eckert Fire Protection Systems comes up second in Google. Not really sure why this site is ranking so high. "Fire Sprinkler Systems" isn't in the URL, title, headline, body and no alternative text for the photo. It may be a case that the site is older than the number one. There are no links to the site. The only thing is a local connection.

Web Design and Web Site Marketing Communications Ranking 5

Cintas comes up number three. "Fire Sprinkler Systems" isn't in the URL, title, or headline. It is in the body and "fire sprinkler" is an alternate caption to the photo. This is a classic "Call To Action" page, it is designed to have you fill out the form or call and consult. There are no links to the page but there are 228 links to cintas.com.

Web Design and Web Site Marketing Communications Ranking 6

On the same day we searched "fire sprinkler systems" and came up with a different Cintas page. This page has the keyword phrase in the URL and title but starts to drop some of the words in the headline and alternative photo caption text. A common mistake to watch out for.

3.  HubspotAlexa, and Similar Web competitive tracking

Web Design and Web Site Marketing Communications Ranking 7

Hubspot has the best competitive analysis tool because it compares a holistic measure of a site's online presence as measured by HubSpot's Marketing Grader on a scale of 0-100. Still it's a mystery how Eckert Fire Protection ranks so high when it has the lowest Marketing Grade. It must be the local office. According to the Internet Wayback Machine it hasn't existed before 2008 where as Cintas and Simplex Grinnell have been indexed back to 2001.

Web Analytics and Web Site Marketing Communications Ranking 9

 

Similar Web shows Cintas consistent with Alexa. Simplex Grinnell and Eckert didn't show up on Alexa but on Similar Web Simplex Grinnell is strong and Eckert is zero. The high number of Simplex Grinnell and Cintas visitors that entered the exact site address (Direct) indicates a lot of customers or reps are accessing this site to check orders or accounts.

4. Segment customers into buyer personas for email

With the basics under control, it's time to get down to business analyzing what can be done to improve communications for the Midwest territory. The industry can be broken up into these categories:

MARKETS: Commercial, Education, Government, Healthcare, and Industrial Solutions

PRODUCTS and SERVICES   

  • Fire Detection and Alarm, Fire Sprinkler, Residential Sprinkler Systems, Special Hazards Sprinkler Systems, Standard Sprinkler Systems, Testing, Inspection & Preventive Maintenance
  • Integrated Security
  • Emergency Communications, Sound and Communications, Healthcare Communications, and Time

Any list needs to be broken up into these buyer personas. An annual calendar needs to be created to time communications with annual events such as trade shows, sales meetings, promotions and incentives.

Considering that this type of market may only contain several thousand contacts, it would be best to selectively communicate in a personal email system with a dozen or two related contacts at a time.

Five Story Emails and Web Design

Here's some great tips for emails, personalize, personalize, personalize!

5. Internet banner advertising/retargeting, Adwords

ReTargeting Banner ads and Web Design

The sites we are evaluating are for Fire Sprinkler Systems. As I browsed "Grist" I noticed a banner ad for one of them popped up. This isn't a coincidence. Tyco's site put an id number on my computer (I allow it) and then "Grist" noticed it and displayed the ad.

5. Efficiency - Return on investment

  1. Figure out exactly what numbers you need to know for your business’ marketing, and do deeper dives into specific metrics as needed. It’s a better use of your time, and frankly provides more actionable advice than running hours of reports at the end of each month that you never use.
  2. If you’re resource-strapped, there’s a blogging volume sweet spot you can rest comfortably in. 92% of businesses that blog multiple times a day have acquired a customer from it. But 78% of those that blog on a daily basis have also acquired a customer from it. That differential isn’t too big. And if we bring down the volume just a tad to 2-3 times per week, still, 70% of businesses acquire a customer from their blog.
  3. Onpage SEO, while something you should certainly spend a couple minutes checking out before you publish new web content, isn’t something marketers should be obsessing over anymore. Google’s algorithm is much more sophisticated than it was even a few years ago, so keyword optimization isn’t going to cut it anymore.

6. Cost cutting strategies

  1. If you’re dumping money into completely untargeted PPC, it’s kind of like emailing your entire contacts database without doing any segmentation. Turn off your paid media spend that isn’t leveraging targeting functionality.
  2. It’s not that you positively do not need a website redesign in 2013 -- you very well may -- but before you overhaul what you’ve got, ask yourself if you can work in smaller chunks. Consider a series of A/B tests in which you incrementally improve upon parts of your website, and apply your learning on a wider scale once they’re statistically significant. And if you do learn that a bigger redesign is needed, assess whether you have the in-house resources required to pull it off without derailing all your other initiatives. If you don’t, for your sake and your marketing’s, outsource it to a vetted professional.
  3. If the social networks you’re using aren’t working -- 2013 is the year to stop using them. For example, if you gave LinkedIn the old college try, and it simply is not driving any meaningful business results for you, cut the
    chord. Just make sure you’re making your decision based on analytics, not gut feelings.

If you liked this blog post you might also like "How to Create a Marketing Communication Email."


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How to create a marketing communication email

Thu, Mar 07, 2013 @ 02:21 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Marketing Communications, Email Marketing and Advertising, Technical Writing, Business to Business Marketing, Advertising Design, Business to Business Advertising

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People are consuming so much online content that the art of scanning and filing away for more in-depth reading later has become a fine art.

This blog post will show you ways to first, get noticed and second, get read.

Email Marketing 5

Breakthrough communications today take a three-step process:

  1. The attention getter, much like a billboard you notice on the highway. It gets your attention and you decide if it's for you.
  2. Learning more about what intrigued you. This stage is like one PowerPoint slide, an image and a few bullet points
  3. The money shot is the meaty content, today this is best delivered as a video. If you can't deliver a video, you're going to have to be a very good writer to complete the communication, educate your audience and get them to take action. Plus, you'll need to be a good photography editor, too.
Email Marketing 3

Let's take the case of a highly technical maintenance program offered by an international machine tool company. The service is a two-tiered offering, the first is a yearly machine assessment, and the second is a twice-yearly tuneup. The first problem is coming up with the headline. Corporate came up with "One Stop Shop" but that's more for their five-tier programs including control retrofits and oil changes. We need to focus on just the assessment and tuneups for the North American market. The senior sales manager has correctly selected the services that will most likely be chosen by operations and sold to upper management here in North America. We're not going after the high-end shops; they already maintain their equipment to high productivity levels. And we're not going after the low end of the market that will not spend until the machine fails. This leaves a middle ground that demands high productivity requirements from their equipment, can't afford to have machine downtime, and trust the Original Equipment Manufacturer to know what is best. They will also benefit from their own inexperienced service staff learning how to properly inspect and maintain their equipment.

We're using wildlife images in place of the client's machine tool photos to illustrate the different benefits. Leaf cutter ants are the strongest life on the Earth for their size, but they can't do it alone. Harris Hawks are the only bird of prey that hunts in packs like wolves. Chimps use sticks as tools to eat termites. Elephants nuture and teach their young for decades. Crows are very good at solving puzzles. All together they illustrate experience, team work and documentation.

First we need a common metaphor for maintaining things:

  • A stitch in time saves nine; an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, Benjamin Franklin
  • A penny saved is a penny earned, Benjamin Franklin
  • Low maintenance is having low expectations of others and high expectations of yourself
  • 4 hugs a day for survival, 8 for maintenance, 12 for growth
  • High maintenance, but worth it
  • A cell requires energy for its functions, and for the maintenance of its structure
  • Marriages may be made in heaven, but man is responsible for the maintenance work
  • The best way to inspire people to superior performance is to convince them by everything you do and by your everyday attitude that you are wholeheartedly supporting them, Harold S. Geneen
  • You can't improve what you don't measure
  • Employee engagement boosts organizational performance, Gallup
  • High Performance Teams, Donald Bodwell
Email Marketing 1

Let's go with:

Your High Performance Team and Pit Crew

Inspection (blueprinting) and Maintenance Service

Professional analysis for reliable production

Regular assessments and tuneups by experienced service engineers will keep your system running smoothly and ensure that it retains its value.

Our goal is to give you a high level of productivity and autonomy.

  • Assessments
  • Tune Ups
  • Employee participation welcome
  • Accurate measurements of your tooling
  • Predictive maintenance and estimates of future performance
  • Accurate history is the best predictor of future performance
Email Marketing 2

Those are the facts, now we need to get the reader into the scene and generate a benefit in their mind.

  • You'll be proud of your verified manufacturing capabilities after a through assessment and performance report is completed on your press
  • The key to peak performance is regular monitoring and maintenance, let a factory technician benchmark your performance every six months.
  • Your staff will learn by doing the assessment and tuneups along with the OEM technician. You'll be prepared for maintenance and troubleshooting.
  • Our special measuring equipment is used to precisely record the dimensions and tolerances of your tooling and press. You can't get this anywhere else.
  • Benchmarking your performance is the best way to maintain it and improve it.

Next we'll tackle the graphic that will bring this all together and reflect the bullet points.

  • Assessment - blueprinting an engine
  • Tune up - mechanic smiling
  • Education - group conference around machine
  • Unique measuring devices
  • Future maintenance predictions
  • Chart of past performance
Email Marketing Communications resized 600

We hope you've enjoyed this romp through the narrow window attention span of emails. We'll start out our email with a simple headline and image. Start the converstion with a compelling subhead. Then back it up with a set of bullet points and images. Finishing with a chart illustrating continual improvement. What operations manager can't want to see that on their wall! Finally, signing off with a "Call-To-Action."


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