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Gear Designs - OEM New Product Launch

Sun, May 21, 2017 @ 11:28 AM / by Lisa Eitel posted in Public Relations PR, Industrial Public Relations PR, Technical Writing, Metalworking Equipment Marketing, Industrial Marketing Handbook, Business to Business Marketing

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The fundamental transmission of mechanical power hasn’t changed in several hundred years. “Coupled to most rotary electric motors is either a chain-sprocket drive, a belt-pulley drive, or a gear drive,” said Brian Dengel, general manager of KHK USA. "Each has its advantages and disadvantages, but none of them have become obsolete,” he added. Nevertheless, gear design has seen the recent rise of custom gearing; a trend towards manufacturing for better gearboxes and servogear sets; and industry migration towards helical gearing and other efficient choices.
 
4 ABM Drives Synchronous Motors and Drives 400.jpg


“Many things in power-transmission design for automation have changed over the past decade,” said Marc Halliburton, engineering manager at Motion Index Drives, manufacturer of precision indexing machinery and seventh-axis robot transfer systems. “We’ve seen a huge shift to smaller OEM and end-user designs and applications, which in turn allows use of smaller transmissions and servomotors in automation,” added Halliburton. For electric motors, many engineers specifying indexing machinery are concerned about motor efficiency and want to ensure the ac motors used are more than 90% efficient to conserve electricity. “Here, the power transmissions we use as gear reducers have improved integral designs for space savings as well as efficiency.” That’s just one example of the move to have motion-component suppliers do more integration and design work to meet user objectives such as efficiency — and one would be hard pressed to find a geared design not touched by the near-universal OEM and plant-engineer demand for upfront engineering to satisfy specific geometries as well.
 
So with more such requests, gear makers have devised ways to simplify gear integration. Case in point: Around 2000, GAM Enterprises was a cost leader on several motion components, but saw the rise of low-cost overseas manufacturing was going to change that. “So we shifted to offer mass customization, which lets engineers configure end product from a broad range of standard components — a new concept then,” said Craig Van den Avont, president at GAM Enterprises.”In fact, we took the concept a step further to design even custom motion components quickly.”
 
The company has its origins in the sale of bellows couplings, but is now known for its gear products, which it began making in 1998. Its customized gearboxes came to dominate the expansion into customized products; its latest suite of offerings addresses trouble in another area ... that of linear-actuator installation.
 
“A supplier could get a standard actuator in one or two weeks, but if they
needed a motor mount to go on that actuator, especially one that wasn’t part of a standard product line, it could take six or eight weeks,” explained Van den Avont.
 
“So we replicated what we were doing with gearboxes to offer motor-mount kits. Today, we can take anyone’s actuator, anyone’s motor, and anyone’s gearbox and we can custom-design that mount, machine it, and ship it in a week.” As a testament to how useful that is to industry, today myriad actuator companies source standard and unique motor mounts from GAM. Others also serve the uptick in demand for semi-standard products.
 
“Traditionally, we supplied a large selection of gears with minimum plain bores and oversized hubs to let end users modify our stock gears,” said Dengel.
“Users could turn the hub down, open the bore, add a keyway, tap threads
for set screws, or otherwise modify the stock gear to meet their design requirements. But with significant demand for finished-bore products, we established a line of value-added gears to meet this need. We looked at the most common bore and key sizes for each gear we offer and established a semi-standard product that we call our J series,” said Dengel. These just-in-time products are made-to-order items with standardized bores and keyways produced within two to three business days from stock gear product — so the specifying engineer doesn’t need to allocate shop time to that, and it goes directly into assembly.
 
1 ABM Drives Economical Custom Motors and Drives.jpg
 
“Many of our system designs are modular, and we sell less costly solutions to complex gearmotor integration — especially if the designer knows upfront what problems were solved in previous iterations and talks to us prior to finishing the design of their new machine or product. After all, why reinvent the wheel?” said Gabriel Venzin, president at Cincinnati-based ABM Drives. Expanded services are required for such in-house engineering support. “We reorganized our technical sales support to ensure maximum response time of 24 hours to customer or field-sales requests. Plus we expanded our global footprint with a technical center in China. It’s important to have a local presence, speak the language, and understand customers’ culture,” Venzin said.
 
“We believe to sell proper products to end users, a gear maker must have experienced engineering staff to support end users and confirm
the gears they select are suitable for the applications at hand. We let
design engineers download 3D CAD models from our website so
they can pick what they need and avoid designing something from
scratch — a great timesaver. We’re currently working on adding a
custom-gear CAD-model generator which will let end users view their
design before requesting a quote — which will shorten the time to
quote once we review their design,” said Dengel. Certain industries — including e-mobility, packaging, and offroad equipment — are currently prompting the newest gear design.
 
3 ABM Drives Custom Angular Drives and Motors 400.jpg
 
“Electric vehicles will continue to push the industry with the need for lightweight high-efficiency drives and motors. This applies to human-powered material handling and UTVs as well as autonomous in-plant vehicles and AGVs,” noted Venzin of ABM Drives. “We find the packaging-equipment industry is the most dynamic regarding custom-product requirements,” said Dengel. “Many machine builders have a standard design but customize every packaging line to their customers’ specifications. This results in a custom setup in almost every case. Although some of the components are interchangeable, design differences can require custom product for each machine.” One specific application showcases where engineers use myriad gear components to improve a given design. “Nobody likes noisy heating and cooling systems, and that goes for biomass systems incorporating auger.
 
(This article appeared in the April 2017 edition of Design World, featuring Lisa Eitel's Motion Control feature articles. In this article, our client Gabriel Venzin of ABM Drives was quoted extensively. Tom Lazar, Design World's sales representative, and Lisa stopped by ABM's booth at the Cleveland Advanced Manufacturing Design show and have helped ABM get their very successful 2017 public relations campaign launced.)
 
Here's another article by Lisa on motion control trends, "How online configuration tools are changing motion control system design."

Read this page on our website if you would like to learn more about how to establish good media relations for OEM new product launch campaigns.


 

Trade Display Designs by Lohre Advertising to Boost Presence and Impact

 

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Win With PR Technical Articles - the Heart of Your Industrial Marketing Plan

Mon, Mar 21, 2016 @ 09:07 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Public Relations PR, Mining Equipment Marketing, Equipment Marketing and Advertising, Cincinnati public relations

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How do you break through the clutter? Literally. That's our problem as we commence a new campaign for mining equipment. Here'a a peek behind the creative process.

Winners of the "Play Ball Raffle" are:
George Mahama, MUC
Dave DiPilla, JWK Technologies
Clark Noland, BarrelMover 5000
Duane Patnode, D-A Lubricant Company
Bill Ganger & Girish Dubey, Star Inc.
Dennis Zeiger, Polydeck Screen 
Mark Strader, Phoenix
Rob Dietrich, Halma Holdings
Dan Grabowski

To claim your two tickets please leave a reply or contact Chuck Lohre, cell 513-260-9025, chuck@lohre.com. Thanks for playing. 


 

Art Dickinson Industrial Photography

At first, we thought some great photography of their employees would stop everyone on the page. Photos of people are always effective in that respect. Even if the person's face is no larger than a postage stamp, eye-tracking software proves it makes viewers stop and look. But we're not the only creatives to note that -- it's why there are (reliably) a dozen or so such ads in every industry pub. Testimonials from customers are better but don't hold your breath if your under deadline. Photo courtesy Art Dickinson Photography.

Creative Commons Industrial MarketingWhat are some other, stop-you-dead-in-your-tracks visual attention getters? Babies, dogs and scantily clad women tend to work for the roughneck set, but we don't care to go there. Recently we got involved in using Inventor and Light Wave to produce some 3D technical drawings of equipment. It inspired us to think about using the technology to use a cutaway of the machine and show how it operates. Then the question is: Does an overall picture of the machine tell the viewer instantly what the machine is good for? It's sort of like looking at a sports car versus a dumptruck. If you're selling either and the viewer is looking for that product, they will look at your ad. That's why a product line ad illustrating your product range, is normally a safe idea. Not particulary attention-getting, and actually very boring.

Thanks to Creative Commons for the photo.

Industrial marketing illlustrationSo what about an extreme closeup? Showing the technical details of how the machine works? If so, how to make that interesting? There's a new smartphone app, Actable, that allows you to look at a two-dimensional page and up pops a 3D object. The app is programed to identify the photo and then serve the 3D image through your tablet or smartphone. The viewer can move the phone around the page and see the different angles of the 3D illustration. We think that this just might be the ticket to getting attention. Thanks to Powder Bulk Engineering magazine for the image on the left, which could be very entertaining to rotate and zoom in on. We particularly like including a person in the illustration. But a machine cutaway is not personal enough to persuade. To persuade you need to strike the problem nerve.

Marketing Illustration: Rock and a Hard PlaceWhat problem are you solving? What problem does the viewer have? It may not be the operation of the machine. It may be in the choice of crusher. Thanks to Embracing My Journey for the photo.

And that's why we chose to create a series of educational articles for the aggregate and processing trade journals. Articles that describe in detail the benefits and features of the different types of size reduction crushers. The client offers all those types of machines and a basic "How To" article on cage mills, horizontal and vertical shaft impactors, hammer mills and fine grinders will serve as the foundation for marketing for years to come. See this article on Cage Mills which ran in "Pit & Quarry." Editor Darrren Constantino uses it as an example of how to write if you want to get published in P&Q. The next series of campaigns will focus on actual application testimonials.

Marketing Communications Problem Solver

 

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Traits of a Good Public Relations Professional (From Consumer to Mining Equipment Marketing)

Tue, Dec 29, 2015 @ 09:32 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Public Relations PR, Industrial Public Relations PR, Mining Equipment Marketing, Business to Business Marketing, B2B Marketing, Industrial Marketing Content, Marketing Content

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(Great post by Karla Jo Helms, it's a partnership between the media and the publicist. Unbranded educational material always helps your client and the publication whether SOARING Magazine or Mining Equipment Marketing.)

How do you find a PR professional that the media will listen to?

By Karla Jo Helms

How do you go about choosing a good PR professional or company?  There are many businesses that are in the dark about what makes a good PR professional simply because they are also in the dark about what constitutes effective PR.
 

Whether we like it or not, the media does represent a larger portion of the nation and the world and has a profound influence on the communication lines of our society.  If you are not crazy with the way the media portrays certain subject matters, that is understood.  But you may want to think twice before you completely write them off.  The media can present things in the improper light due to the fact that they just do not have all of the facts and the data they need to present a topic in the right way.  With all of the information and “facts” circulating out there can be difficult to gather the data one needs to cover a story the way it should be covered.  That is where a true PR pro comes into play. 

The PR Professional’s Duty

If the media is presenting things in an improper light due to the lack of the necessary data and facts, the origin of this problem stems from the failure of good information which should be coming in to the journalist which would provide them with the notion that there is more out there and more should be looked into.  

Perhaps there is another point of view that they could offer to their audience which would help more people?  Or perhaps there is something else they should pursue that would be beneficial to their reader or viewer base?  There is really no way for them to know so they go on the data that they have.  This is where a good PR professional can be beneficial to the manner in which the news is presented.  How? 

We see it as a PR professional’s duty to keep journalists informed of what is available to be known. This places a PR professional in a very important position, because they have the ability to have an impact on how the world is perceived by others.  The reality is there is a lot of good going on in the world and there are a ton of great businesses that are improving the lives of others on a daily basis.  There are also many people who are accomplishing great things for the betterment of communities and different causes that are often overshadowed by the doom and gloom stories.

The media will listen to you IF you understand the rules of engagement for dealing with the media.  The media has certain guidelines by which they operate and a great PR professional will know what these criteria are so they can communicate effectively.  A good PR professional will help the media as well as their own clients and customers; and one that can do this will be able to get their clients’ stories told.   

If you are genuine in your dealings with others and you have a product/service that improves the lives of others, a good PR professional can help you get that message to your target market in a big way.  Using the media as a resource in an invaluable avenue that can help you get a terrific return on investment for your marketing dollars, if done right!

Call JoTo PR for more information 888-202-4614, JoTo Extreme PR, 411 Cleveland Street, Suite 204, Clearwater, FL, US, 33755

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Editorial Opportunities for Process Equipment Marketing

Fri, Nov 20, 2015 @ 09:15 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Public Relations PR, Industrial Public Relations PR, Process Equipment Marketing, Business to Business Marketing, B2B Marketing, Food Process Equipment Marketing, Industrial Process Equipment

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By Kevin Cronin, Editor-in-Chief, Powder Build Solids, 973-786-6401, kevin.cronin@ubm.com

(This just in from Kevin, we've just started a PR campaign for our client Roto-Disc. You'll see Kevin's placement of our product release at Powder Bulk Solids Online.

 Process_Equipment_Marketing_Roto-Disc_PBS_PR.jpg

All editorial submissions are considered for inclusion on our website at www.powderbulksolids.com, as well as for our e-newsletters, and our print edition, and are free of charge. Call with any questions.

  • Equipment Reviews

- Roughly 150 words; preferably a Word document

- High-resolution jpg that is 300 dpi/ppi at 3 inches wide or larger

- Consideration for front cover/Editor’s Choice page

  • Case Studies/Application Stories

- Exclusivity: not previously published or offered elsewhere

- Roughly 1,000 to 2,000 words

- Few high-resolution images (jpg, 300 dpi/ppi, 3 inches wide) with short captions

  • Technical Articles/“How To” Articles

- Exclusivity: not previously published/offered elsewhere

- Educational/objective, non-promotional

- Up to 2500 words

- Few high-resolution images (jpg, 300 dpi/ppi, 3 inches wide) with short captions

  • Guest Column (“Industry Insight”)

- Appears on page 6 of every issue

- Topic coincides with the editorial focus of the issue (see editorial calendar)

- Educational/objective, non-promotional

- 700 words and a short bio on the author and head shot of author

  • Industry News

- Mergers, acquisitions, expansions, partnerships, promotions, new hires, new reps, etc.

- Includes a link to your/your client’s website

- Notification from me when it is live


For more information on how to write an application story go to the page in our Marketing Handbook.

Strategic Content Creation Handbook by Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Lohre & Associates

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Advancing Information Sharing Through Digital Industrial Marketing

Thu, Aug 21, 2014 @ 10:00 AM / by Lauren Campbell posted in Industrial Marketing, Industrial Advertising, Marketing, Industrial Public Relations PR, Internet Marketing, Marketing Strategy

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National Association of Electrical DistributorsThroughout the entire three days at NAED AdVenture, there were several panel discussions and break-out sessions specifically designed for electrical manufacturers and distributors to discuss their relationship together; outside the realm of marketing. They were designed to help each sector better understand the other and to address key issues or topics that each had. Bringing the industry together in this fashion is extremely helpful to both parties and gives each party something to strive for in bettering relationships and processes with one another.

Problem:

One of the most common themes that kept appearing throughout these discussions was the passing of information from one entity to the other; granted it was sometimes presented as ‘product information,’ ‘company information,’ ‘event information,’ or ‘order/delivery/process information’ but regardless, overall it was a discussion surrounding the ability to share information between manufacturers and distributors. The great thing about information is that any way you present it it is still information. If you can address the issue you are having with any specific informational process, you can address the problems you are having with all informational processes.

Manufacturers in the electrical industry and most industrial markets for that matter offer great information about their products, services and events and they are good at getting that information out for others to see. Distributors are very good at distributing the products they get from manufacturers and are good getting information about their distribution process out for buyers to see; however based on what I gathered at this conference, there seems to be a disconnect regarding information making its way from manufacturer to distributor to consumer.

From what I experienced at NAED AdVenture I would attribute this lack of information sharing to a lack of perceived value. Information is viewed differently than product but is almost more important from a marketing standpoint. Distributors know that product is important, and it is what pays the bills; however, the perceived value of information in this sector isn’t quite to where it needs to be. This is a HUGE problem, especially given that we currently live in the Information Age. Information is what makes the world go ‘round, and if you aren’t providing it, you are losing; losing money, losing potential clients, losing the game if you will.

Solution:

Many of the marketing presenters discussed that people in this industry aren’t spending enough money on digital marketing, and I think that the issues between manufacturers and distributors are a direct reflection of this. Some of these companies are well established and have been successful for a long time, without large marketing budgets, so the perceived value is diminished and the lack of informational sharing and the same issues keep being discussed at these conferences.

However….

What is even better about this issue is twenty-first technology can solve it; through social media, emails, text messages, phone calls, etc. It’s easier than what many people think! With that said, however, users of this technology don’t always make such solutions quite as easy as what they can be, but that’s what being human is all about right? That’s another reason that Lohre & Associates strives to better understand and utilize new technology in the marketing realm. Allowing customers, businesses, and potential clients access to your employees and company is all too important these days; whether that is through email notifications, a website, or even just allowing them to talk to a human when they pick up the phone, today’s world is all about access, access, access… end of story.

Becker Electric Webcast CenterThis is where effective exchanging of information is so important between both parties (and this is applicable to any industry). And given today’s technology, this exchange has never been easier; websites, email, e-newsletters, videos, social media, blogging, text message alerts, google generated phone numbers that allow you to record and track sales calls, etc. is all available to help bridge the gap so that information is readily available. As an industrial marketing firm, we advocate daily for the use of these mediums and after hearing what I heard from multiple panel discussions, presentations, round table discussions and audience questions, I can’t figure out why more manufactures and distributors haven’t utilized the technology available to solve their problems or at least reached out to someone who can. 

Hopefully, it isn’t a simple case of the fear of the unknown, but if you are afraid, Lohre & Associates can help you.

Above: Screen Shot of our client, Becker Electric's Webcast Center. A tool on their website that offers up-to-date information from electrical manufacturers.

 


If you liked this blog post you might be interested in how Lohre & Assoc. is implementing successuful marketing campaigns by focusing on using new internet tools to acquire prospects, convert them into customers and delight them with customer service.


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Social Media 101: Creating a Successful LinkedIn Group

Thu, Feb 06, 2014 @ 02:46 PM / by Lauren Campbell posted in Marketing, Social Media, Public Relations PR, Industrial Public Relations PR, Internet Marketing, Branding and Identity, LinkedIn, Internet Advertising, Cincinnati public relations

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Maintaining a social media presence is all too critical these days. How many followers, likes, and connections someone has seems to be part of our daily language and we have seen individuals, brands, and businesses benefit heavily from it.LinkedIn logo design

One of the many great things that social media offers is access to instant information. This has been great for many consumers; people and businesses alike. I personally have used social media to ask questions about a product and received very timely and professional responses. It is access to customer service and information like this which makes social media platforms such a valuable tool in the business realm. One of the more popular platforms, LinkedIn, is a great example. It is the platform best known for its professional foundation and has become one of the most trusted and credible social communities on the web.

LinkedIn provides users with the ability to connect to other professionals and to join professional groups to engage in meaningful discussions. Creating a group on LinkedIn for any business would be advantageous, but in order to get the full reward you must nurture your group, which takes time. We have found a few guidelines for creating and maintaining a successful LinkedIn group to help you aquire the full return on your time spent.

Narrow Niche and Specialty Category

A good way to get started is by having a narrow niche. This helps you attract the right kind of individuals to your group. As a group creator you should focus on driving current clients/consumers to your group so they can utilize it as a forum for asking questions and gathering information; however, you also want to drive potential clients/consumers to your group too. Establishing yourself as a leading contributor to your industry through your group (by answering questions, posting industry relevant material), you build credibility, which helps drive potential clients/customers your way. This is why a specialty category is important; recognizing that not everyone using LinkedIn is going to use your service/product is a great way to begin thinking about investing quality time into those who will.

Participate, Engage and Closely Monitor Your Group

Participation and engagement are imperative to making a successful LinkedIn group, you must pull your weight. When people post articles or information regarding your niche, comment or ‘like’ the post. This shows individuals in your group that  engagement with individuals is important; again, helping establish credibility. When someone new joins the group, greet them. LinkedIn has an option to send a specialized message after someone joins, use it.

commercial photography: Ant carrying leaf.It is also well known that people use LinkedIn to promote themselves and their qualities. Granted, people didn’t join your group to be inundated with spam and job postings, but helping people in your niche find jobs is always a plus. According to Jessica Faye Carter owner of Nette Media, creating a subgroup that allows individuals and companies to post job opportunities and resumes is a great way to mediate the situation and everyone is happy; people can look for jobs and those not looking do not have to be flooded with those posts.

It is also important to monitor what is posted in your community. A well moderated group typically outlasts those that aren’t. If an individual is contributing too much self-promoting posts, tell them. Do not be afraid to set strict guidelines for posting; LinkedIn also has group settings that allow for all posts to be approved, yet another great feature of this platform. Also, good moderating of your group typically means no 'auto-posting' by you. While, auto-posting seems to be a growing area, Susan Tatum, from the Conversion Company, explains that it isn't always beneficial. Different social media platforms are approached differently and auto-posting often doesn't take that into account; this can harm group engagement and even hinder sucess of the group. 

Promoting, not just LinkedIn, but your group too

We see the blue LinkedIn icon everywhere. Websites, trade shows, commercials, etc. But it isn't often we see specific companies/people promoting their specific LinkedIn group. This is a great way to get people to check out your group, especially if you are promoting to the same audience you want to join your group, like at a trade show event. Taking your LinkedIn icon to the next level and incorporating your group can really help generate group members.

No Selling!!

Another important rule to follow regarding your group, DON’T push sales. Individuals who join your group are doing so because of the information that you provide through answering questions, engaging, and sharing interesting industry news, not because they want to buy more of what you have to offer. If they want to purchase from you, they will do so via a phone call or email, not through your group. Many groups do not recognize this down fall. Yes, sharing a blog post you or your company has written is ok, after all, that is information you are giving away, but to try to sell group members something will get you absolutely nowhere and no sales and group membership will drop off quickly. Remember, this platform is used as a tool for nurturing relationships with people, actual humans, they aren’t credit card machines looking for a purchase. This will also devalue your credibility, which is exactly what you do not want. Remember to use this as a way to build relationships with other people, not get into their wallets. 

With these tips success will follow. Moderating a group is no easy task and one that takes due diligence and time, building a relationship never is. But when done properly, the benefits outweigh the costs every time. 

If you enjoyed this blog post, be sure to check out: FAQ's What are the Best IndustrialMarketing Social Media Sites   

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Industrial Marketing Public Relations (PR) in the Information Age

Fri, Jan 24, 2014 @ 12:26 PM / by Lauren Campbell posted in Industrial Marketing, Public Relations PR, Industrial Marketing Media, Industrial Public Relations PR, Internet Marketing, Business to Business Marketing, B2B Marketing, Industrial Marketing Content, Internet Development, Marketing Media, Cincinnati public relations

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Public Relations (PR) have gone hand in hand with marketing for decades. Over the years, both industries have seen huge changes with the advent of technology, the development of the internet and the rise of the social media phenomenon. In addition to keeping up with the ‘Jones’, globalization has increased, not only the markets available, but also the competition, making it more difficult to have a competitive edge.

Our Cincinnati Marketing and Advertising AgencySurviving in the Information Age has been difficult for industrial PR and marketing firms; the ever changing landscape of print media, digital media, and technology have made it more important than ever to ‘know your stuff.’ Because I am new to both of these industries, I haven’t been around to experience these changes myself and have not had to adapt to a changing landscape. My job here at Lohre & Associates is my first ever marketing gig, and even though we are a Marketing and Communications Firm, we also do a little bit of PR for our clients, introducing me to both fields of work and teaching me how to navigate through both. But, after all, the map is not the territory and no matter how much information is fed to me about ‘how this should be done’ or ‘this is how it used to be done,’ I had no idea what was needed to be successful in these industries until I started working here.

Given my short experience working here, there are some important best practices that I have picked up on. Practices that aren’t taught in college, nor are they often regularly discussed at large firms, but here at Lohre & Associates, they are discussed. Maybe this goes back to the longevity of this firm, but even though these may be considered ‘Old School,’ they are valid, useful and pertinent for a lasting company.

Build a rapport with editors and publishers:

Sending out email after email to individuals regarding your client and/or their product requires a lot time in these industries. When I think about how long we’ve been around, some of these individuals have known our company for decades, making for lasting relationships. This is why being polite, genuine, and patient are so crucial for success. You must recognize the individual on the other end of the email/phone are people too, with lives and events happening all the time. When you interact with them, be polite, listen and be genuine with your statements. When they don’t get back to you immediately, be patient. As someone in charge of the PR for a client/company, you represent them as well, don’t forget that. No one wants to deal with an impersonal, time crunching, fast-talking marketer. It isn’t going to do anything but waste people’s time, and that isn’t going to get you anywhere.

Be organized!        Important Marketing concept: passing the football

When reaching out to publications or a person about your client/product keeping up with all forms of interaction is crucial, especially in PR where publication dates, submittal dates, and advertising dates reign supreme. I regularly reach out to dozens of publications, sometimes daily and keeping track of who has responded, who works for whom, what deadlines are for what publication and what information is required for those publications, can be a daunting task. This is why keeping an organized spreadsheet or something similar is important. This helps keep track of whom you need to contact and whom you are waiting on to respond to you. In the industry, this is referred to as ‘the football’ and keeping track of the football can make or break a sale or worse, a client’s involvement.

Lastly and most importantly,

Don’t let the internet fool you.

Again, I didn’t know much about Industrial Marketing and PR when I started here, but luckily I have a great teacher, Chuck Lohre, who has taken me under his wing to teach me; but I, being the Millennial I am, do have a full understanding of the internet, social media, and how hard one must work to obtain valid information from both.

Yes, online Public Relations is a huge, booming business. Yes, everyone says that print media is dying. Yes, online content creation is important. But, big BUT here guys, don’t let the internet fool you. Print media is alive and well in the industrial sector. People who work in these sectors are more than happy to pick up a magazine and read the articles. Even though most industries aren’t seeing such staying power in print media, there is still something to be said about it. Not to mention, the validity that these publications provide. Even in digital form it is important to find a credible news source.

Industrial Marketing Advertisement from the Precast ShowFinding valid, credible resources online can be a little discouraging. With everyone giving their opinion on topics and social media blatantly bombarded with ‘news’ all the time, sifting through the BS, if you will, can take up a lot of time. That is time well spent for consumers, businesses, and individuals to compete for the attention needed to see your product. Utilizing legitimate resources for your PR outreach is imperative to establishing credibility and maintaining that credibility. If a valid news source has a digital presence then PR outreach should be done; those types of suitable sources probably send out e-newsletters and other forms of electronic communication with their subscribers. These avenues are great for PR and can be useful in reaching your targeted audience.

One thing that the internet can’t always provide for PR outreach is quality information. That is why it is important to remember that just because something has a lot of ‘likes’ on Facebook, or is trending on Twitter doesn’t make it useful, valid, or credible.

Hopefully the newsworthy information that is available on these social media platforms will begin to take a hard right turn towards validity; focusing on objective, trustworthy, and responsible publication, at least I hope they do.

If you enjoyed this blog post, you would also enjoy Industrial New Product Introduction.

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The Nitty Gritty of Creating an 2014 Industrial Marketing Media Schedule

Fri, Jan 03, 2014 @ 12:05 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Industrial Marketing Media Schedule, Public Relations PR, Industrial Marketing Media, Industrial Public Relations PR, Marketing Media, Cincinnati public relations

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Seven steps to a relevant, customer-focused industrial marketing media schedule.

From the headline of this post you know a checklist is coming as you prepare to create a media schedule. Here it is:

  1. Survey your customers
  2. Check out where they hang out
  3. Place the frequency to match the use
  4. Use blogging best practices to create content
  5. Establish a metric to track
  6. Test new media
  7. Rinse and repeat

Industrial marketing survey formIt's easy to survey visitors who request information from your web site. Contrary to giving information away, many industrial sites request contact information for Material Specification Data Sheets and other proprietary information. Those request forms are a perfect place to ask where your customers "hang out." You'll quickly see that one third of your leads come from the dominate industry publication, another third from search engine, whlle the other major industry publications deliver the balance.

There are additional questions you'll want to ask yourself before planning your 2014 campaign.

  1. What are your goals?
  2. How do you compare with your competitor's sites?
  3. How does your PR compare?
  4. How does your advertising compare?

Normally the goal of an industrial marketing site is to increase traffic and thus gain new customers. The site that a plant manager finds and gets a quote from quickly has a very good chance of getting the order, but it takes a combination of efforts from sales reps, manufacturing and financial approvals. One site we did generates sales from around the world, letters of credit are essential for your protection.

Hubspot Marketing GraderHubspot's Marketing Grader is a good place to compare your site against others. Maybe you can't have as many indexed pages or links to your site as a multi-national, but you must have a site that loads quickly, has unique content and uses the keywords you want to be found on.

PR is a topic that is coming back. The new inbound marketing concepts are really a throwback to a strong PR program. Good writers can always find a new spin on an industrial product and that's what will get your reader engaged.  They'll remember you when they are looking for your product. Take a look at a good list of how to blog and it's practically the same as the PR manuals from a century ago. Also, PR is put in front of traditional advertising for a reason. You must prove your media with PR and only then will the media be worthwhile for paid display advertising.

Finally your display advertising budget needs to go to the publications your customers read, the directories they refer to and the ones that provide sales leads. The old-fashioned bingo card is back in digital from and just as relevant.

Now for dicing up your budget. The 80/20 rule works here as well. So, 80% of your budget should go to the top 20% of your markets. The 20% left can be used for PR. For a small manufacturing firm with say a $100,000 budget for round numbers use $10,000 for industrial directories that will provide about 50% of your web traffic. Your site should produce about 50% of your sales leads. Another $70,000 goes to display advertising that provides a similar 25% of your leads. And the final $20,000 split between adwords and PR which will generate the final 25% of your leads. Typically, your PR is a compelling visual and description appropriate for the media's editorial schedule. As you update your PR also update your site site content. In fact, the PR can be a blog post that's distributed to the media and linked to inside the site.

McGraw Hill ManThe process of industrial marketing media changes incrementally and slowly over time. You need to stay in front of you regular customers, but also need to continue to explore new markets. You never know where those will come from, but then again we invented the Internet to solve that problem! So your 70% traditional media marketing goes to your regular customers and 30% goes to keep your name out there in the best industrial directories, search engine ad words and potentially new media and businesses with PR. Thanks to Business2community.com for the McGraw-Hill magazine ad, "I don’t know who you are. I don’t know your company. I don’t know your company’s product. I don’t know what your company stands for. I don’t know your company’s customers. I don’t know your company’s record. I don’t know your company’s reputation. Now…What was it that you wanted to sell me?"


If you liked this post, you may also enjoy "10 Step: Process Equipment Website Marketing Communications Review."


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Industrial Marketing Media Schedule Planning for 2014

Tue, Dec 10, 2013 @ 10:11 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing Media Schedule, Public Relations PR, Industrial Marketing Media, Industrial Public Relations PR, Business to Business Marketing, B2B Marketing, Cincinnati public relations

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Now is the time to fine-tune your 2014 industrial marketing editorial schedule. The trend's toward digital newsletters produced by industrial publications versus strictly print ads.

This might seem a bit old fashion but industrial marketing is slow to adopt consumer trends. These days consumer email boxes are brimming with newsletters from their favorite stores and brands. Not so much with industrial marketing. Industrial marketers know, though, they can contribute expert-authored articles to technical trade journals. The best publications factcheck and vet the articles for their audiences and everyone wins, right? Well, you still must make some decisions about where you're going to place your space for the year.

Common wisdom tells you to pick the top two publication in your industry and schedule twelve time frequency in both. To do that effectively you need to place the largest ad you can three or six times and fill in with classifieds or calling card size ads. Now we need to include the publication's digital newsletters as well. For the best short summary of industrial marketing techniques, download Business Marketing Association Director Rick Kean's presentation, "Marketing Skills Assessment," delivered to the 2005 AdVenture Electrical Industry Marketing Conference.

This blog post will give you some tools to help evaluate digital media.

Alexa Industrial Marketing Media Schedule resized 600

Alexa.com is a great site to evaluate large internet sites like Thomasnet.com and Globalspec.com. We've included Google.com and Skf.com as control sites. They rarely change and are nearly linear in their internet industrial marketing media. For that matter Thomasnet.com and Globalspec.com are too. A modest Thomasnet program can increase traffic almost as much as a good ad words program. The ad words program will be more targeted and deliver about twice as many sales leads.

But here is where the comparison really points out what is happening in internet industrial marketing media mix - the number of indexed pages of a publication. The following charts illustrate the difference between Thomasnet.com and Globalspec.com.

Industrial marketing media thomasnet.com resized 600

Industrial Marketing media globalspec.com resized 600

Thomasnet.com has 2.8 million indexed pages and Globalspec.com has 5.8 million. Even though Globalspec is just a media baby compared to Thomasnet it has almost twice as many indexed pages. This is mainly because Thomasnet.com and Google didn't get along and Google couldn't index their huge number of pages. Thomasnet has since made aliances with Google and has started to recover in the industrial media wars. Thomasnet being almost hundred years older has a leg up on Globalspec. Globalspec was recently purchased by IHS, a global industrial intelligence service company. The jury is still out on how that will affect its industrial product sites.

If you're considering investing in digital newsletters for your industrial marketing media schedule for 2014, you need to be sure that they are indexed by Google and have a life of their own by continually being present on the interent. Here's an example of a Powder Bulk Engineering's newsletter and its proof that Google has indexed it.

Industrial marketing media Powder Bulk Engineering resized 600

Industrial marketing media Powder Bulk Engineering Google resized 600

You don't want to invest in any media that can't pass this sniff test. Pick out a unique sentence from the newsletter and search on it in Google by putting quotation marks on either side. If it doesn't come up, your customers won't be able to find it either. "Not allowing content to be indexed by Google" is the single biggest mistake media makes in trying to provide digital services.

Our recomendations for industrial marketing media schedules for 2014 include moving 15% of your media budget to digital newsletters. We don't recommend banner ads on publication home pages. The internet is only reached by searching on keywords and those searches shouldn't take you to home pages. They should take you to the page with the specific search keyword you searched on.

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


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Industrial New Product Introduction Marketing Communications Part 2/2

Fri, Mar 01, 2013 @ 10:37 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Marketing Communications, Inbound Marketing, Public Relations PR, SEO - search engine optimization, Industrial Public Relations PR, Branding and Identity, Business to Consumer Marketing, Business to Business Marketing, Business to Business Advertising, Business to Consumer Advertising, Cincinnati public relations

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Now, with all your ducks in a row, it's time to get up on a soapbox!

Internet marketing is now called inbound marketing
The most successful established companies in business-to-business marketing utilize the Internet to extend and complement their current marketing methods. For example, by using the Internet to move important marketing, product, and sales information more quickly to interested prospects, a company can shorten the time it takes for a prospect to make a buying decision, thereby shortening the company's sales cycle. Write technical articles or presentations for the trade and publish these articles on your site. Include a contact form with opt-in request. Send out a quarterly newsletter to those contacts that opt-in as a willing recipient. Have visitors sign in for access to download your value added information. Forward those sales leads to your salespeople. Ask the visitor what sources they use when purchasing your type of product. Spend more of your budget on those media. Start with an informative site that educates your viewer. Follow up with customer services that make it easier for your customer to do business with your company.

New Product Intruction Marketing Communications 3 resized 600
These eye movement images shows where the viewer is looking on the search engine pages.

Advertising
  • Run modest web site advertising programs with Google (AdWords),Yahoo (Sponsored Results), Facebook and LinkedIn.
  • A telltale sign that an ad generates good sales response is the fact that it repeats, month to month, in every issue of a publication.
  • Smaller, inquiry-generating ads run by trade, industrial and business-to-business advertisers prove this point, and pay their way by generating sales response, not merely brand awareness, with every placement.
  • To maximize the cost, impact and coverage of your new product introduction advertising program, run the largest fractional ad your company can afford, with a minimum three-time placement schedule in the two top publications.

Public Relations
The guiding principles of successful business-to-business public relations programs include seeking high-quality editorial coverage by making news announcements only when your company has "something to talk about," and thinking of how your press release or announcement will be perceived by the writer or editor at the trade publication. Since "hard" news events occurring in your company, such as new product announcements, have the highest chance of receiving coverage in your field, they should be the focus of most of your PR planning efforts.

Direct Mail Marketing Communications resized 600
This advertisement had a business reply card added to the bottom and tri-folded into a letter size direct mail piece. It was a survey mailed to their customer list. They received a 20% response. Typical for customer mailings.

Direct Mail
  • The most important part of any direct mail project is, by far, the mailing list used for the project.
  • The "quality" of the names on this mailing list i.e., their propensity to become purchasers of your company's products determines the ultimate success or failure of the mailing.
  • Even a poorly-written or implemented mailing piece stands a better chance of being successful if mailed to a top quality mailing list; however, the best mailing piece mailed to a poor-quality mailing list is unlikely to generate adequate response.
  • Alternative marketing options, such as print advertising campaigns, often generate far less response compared to making the basic changes often necessary to correct a poorly performing direct mail program.

Telemarketing
Follow-up phone calls made by sales reps to prospects who have recently received the company’s direct mail packages are often a necessary step in the sales process for many companies in business-to-business markets, and underperforming direct mail projects will often require additional follow-up contacts by the company’s sales reps to boost mailing response. Some say that it takes up to 11 contacts to close an industrial sale. So if they are real prospects, that have a need and a budget, stick with them!

Trade Show Display Marketing Communications resized 600
Simple visuals that back up your benefits will communicate your message quickly. The average person has an attention span of 8 seconds.

Trade Shows

Just as prior sales experience is a major advantage in a marketing manager’s professional background, getting live “face time” by talking with prospects and customers at the trade show provides invaluable response that helps marketing managers improve their company’s marketing program, by helping marketing managers improve the sales copy, presentation, and targeting of their marketing program. Booth locations that directly face the show entrance at the front of the show floor are the best locations for your tradeshow booth because they attract interested show visitors early, prior to visiting other exhibitors’ booths.

A sale is the bottom line
  • Salesmanship is always the most important element in the development of marketing projects.
  • It is the catalyst that makes every aspect of marketing deliverables effective and persuasive in the market from copy and design to layout and production.
  • The role of creativity is to serve the salesmanship that determines the product’s key sales benefit, positioning and call to action.
  • Creativity also plays a role in the downstream aspects of copy, design and layout for marketing deliverables, but always works in service to salesmanship.
  • Underperforming ads, mailings or other marketing deliverables are most often caused by poor presentation in deliverables, poor execution of marketing projects, incorrect prospect targeting, wrong allocation of marketing costs to underperforming media and methods, and other problems directly related to the marketing program.
  • The genesis of these problems usually stems from lack of leadership and poor management on the part of marketing managers in supplying outside ad agencies with the essential direction in copy and strategy required to drive the process of creating, developing, and executing successful marketing projects

If you don't succeed at first, try, try again. It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
In many instances, the result of a marketing program for a start-up or new product launch is neither a success nor a failure. Ultimate success is determined by your mindset. The measures you take to assess the causes of poor sales response and the steps you execute to correct the problems identified by the results of the marketing communication are key. Smart marketing managers realize they must be alert to detecting the clues from these first efforts - such as copy changes, media selection or better prospect targeting - that can yield better results on the next implementation. Prior research, or market surveys usually do not reflect the actual reality of sales response to a product, and are never a substitute for - asking for the order - in live advertising, mailings and other hard dollar marketing projects. The need for “branding” and brand reinforcement generally applies to those kinds of companies who can afford to implement massive saturation advertising campaigns to gain incremental market share in very large and mature markets. The importance of “branding” as a goal has been grossly overstated for small and mid-sized companies selling their products in industrial markets and is often a costly distraction from the far more important goal of using effective salesmanship and clear, persuasive presentation in company marketing projects.

References:
  1. “You and the Law,” Editor: Henry V. Poor, Assoc. Dean, Yale Law School
  2. "Marketing Skills Assessment," Author: Rick Kean, Director, Business Marketing Association
  3. “Diversity in the Workplace - Unleashing the Power of a Multi-Generational Workplace,” Author: Janice Urbanik, Construction Process Solutions, Ltd., Global Lead Management Consulting
  4. “NPCA Plant Certification Program,” NPCA Web Site•"10 Rules On Creating Business-To-Business Ads," Author: Ed Lawler, Professor Northwestern University
  5. “How to Write a Case History,” Editors “Powder Bulk Engineering” Magazine

Industrial New Product Introduction Marketing Communications Part 1

Creative marketing communications

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Chuck Lohre's AdVenture Presentation of examples and descriptions from Ed Lawler's book of the same title - 10 Rules On Creating Business-To-Business Ads

Industrial Marketing Creative Guide by Lohre Marketing and Advertising, Cincinnati

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