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U.S. Chemical Process Industries: Catching the Capital Spending Wave

Sun, May 22, 2016 @ 01:31 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Process Equipment Marketing, B2B Marketing, process industries

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From Chemical Engineering Magazine, Webinar June 14, 2 p.m. EDT, $95

Process_Equipment_Marketing.pngThis webinar examines the current status of the U.S. chemical industry as well as its outlook over the next several years. We will start with examination of the economic environment, with further emphasis on housing, light vehicles and other important end-use markets. We will then focus on: 1) basic chemicals and synthetic materials; and 2) specialty chemicals.

Our premise is that fortunes of the former segment represent a supply driven gain in output, the result of the shale gas revolution and the renewed competitiveness of the U.S. industry. Changing energy dynamics are playing a role and we will analyze the effects of low oil prices are having on competitiveness, uncertainty and the wave of announced investments. Our premise is that fortunes of the latter segment represent a demand driven gain in output, the result of the manufacturing renaissance currently underway.

We will analyze the effects of the current soft patch in manufacturing and how it affects the various specialty chemical segments. Of particular interest to those in process engineering and chemical company capital programs we will assess the unprecedented wave of capital spending (and capacity expansion) by segment, by asset, and by geography.

Register Now.

HEAR FROM THIS EXPERT

Kevin Swift, Chief Economist, American Chemistry Council

Dr. Swift is the chief economist at the American Chemistry Council (ACC) in Arlington, VA where he is responsible for economic and other analyses dealing with markets, energy, trade, tax, and innovation, as well as monitoring business conditions, identifying emerging trends, and assessing the economic and societal contributions of the business of chemistry. Prior to joining the ACC, Dr. Swift held executive and senior level positions at several business information/database companies. He started his career at Dow Chemical USA.

Dr. Swift is a member of the National Association for Business Economics (NABE), the Harvard Discussion Group of Industrial Economists, and the National Business Economics Issues Council (NBEIC). He is a member of The Wall Street Journal Forecasters’ Survey panel, NABE’s panel of forecasters, and a participant in the Philadelphia Federal Reserve Bank's forecasters' survey. He chairs the NABE Education Committee and for his service as a professional economist and contributions to the profession, he was elected a NABE Fellow. He was also one of the first to achieve NABE’s Certified Business Economist (CBE) designation.

Dr. Swift is a graduate of Ashland College with a BA degree and a graduate of Case Western Reserve University with an MA degree in Economics. He is also a graduate of Anglia Polytechnic University with a doctorate in business administration (DBA) degree and has completed studies at Harvard University and the University of Oxford. Dr. Swift is an adjunct professor of business economics for the MBA program at the University of Mary Washington. He is also a member of the Heritage Council of the Chemical Heritage Foundation.

VIEWERS WILL LEARN

The current status and outlook for the U.S. economy

The current status and outlook for the U.S. chemical industry and where opportunities lie within specialty chemicals and basic chemicals and synthetic materials

The current status of the wave of U.S. chemical industry capital spending

WHO SHOULD ATTEND?

Process engineers

Plant manager

Product managers and decision-makers

Market, planning and other analysts


About Lohre & Associates, Inc., Marketing Communications

Mission: To continually put in front of our clients the most cost effective methods of marketing communication.

Company Overview: Agency has provided clients with marketing strategy and execution since 1935. Whether it is through media and publicity, print media and advertising, trade show execution, photography, video or web site design, Lohre & Associates successfully integrates client needs and results.

Description: Full service advertising agency specializing in mechanical, chemical, food, electrical and sustainable building technologies. On May 5, 2011 Lohre & Associates' offices was awarded the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum Certification. The office is in the top 4% in the world in their category and included in a GreenBiz post on the top ten Green Building projects in the world. The certification represents the company's commitment to be a leader in advanced and sustainable building materials and services marketing. Learn more at http://www.gbig.org/activities/LEED-1000001850

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Kick Ass LEED Platinum Green Marketing

Wed, Jul 29, 2015 @ 08:00 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Marketing, Green Building Marketing, Marketing Strategy, B2B Marketing, Cincinnati Marketing Agencies, Cincinnati Marketing, Cincinnati Marketing Firm

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We compare NYC's Frye store with Lohre & Assoc.'s LEED Platinum Commercial Interiors

Yesterday we visited the Frye store in NYC's SoHo neighborhood. You might recognize Frye's heritage as a shoe and bootmaker, but today it's a lifestyle fashion brand. The Spring Street store serves as one of its flagship locations and this particular one earned LEED Platinum. The store manager didn't know much about the LEED certification (and the store doesn't point out its LEED status through graphics), so we enjoyed filling him in on what we saw and suspected. Both Lohre & Assoc. and Frye obtained LEED Platinum under v2009 so it's a direct comparison. Using credit sheets for each, we were able to quickly scan and compare the projects.

Frye Boots Green Marketing outside

Here's what we found: Frye didn't have much control over the store's exterior (one of the neighborhood's iconic iron facades) or landscaping and heat island effect, so it didn't score any points for site selection -- Lohre received 5 of 5. We both got all possible points for dense urban setting and alternative transportation.

 Frye Boots Green Marketing entrance 2

How Frye managed 11 out of 11 for water reduction I'm not sure because I didn't go into the restrooms. Lohre received 6 points for 30% water use reduction from a 1992 baseline. Frye must have installed a waterless urinal in addition to low-flush toilets. We both got points for a low-flow shower to encourage bicycle use.

Frye Boots Green Marketing LED

We both received maximum points for reducing lighting power density. Lohre's is .35 watts per square foot. In looking at Frye's light sources, they seemed too hot to be LED and many of them were incandescent. It's possible Frye may have claimed one type of light source, but another source actually made its way into the store. I didn't see any lamps I could specifically say were LED. The under shelf fluorescent appeared to be low-power T5s. To achieve the 5 out of 5 for Lohre, we used only LED and fluorescent. Frye got one point for lighting control versus Lohre's three. We have occupancy switches in every room, not the type of control you need in a store where lights need to be on during operating hours.

Frye Boots Green Marketing incandesent

Frye earned 5 out of 10 points for high-efficiency HVAC. Lohre couldn't score any in this category because it was beyond the scope of the project. The HVAC was already installed in the space when we moved in and we didn't change it. Ours was a SEER 10 AC, we'd assume that Frye would be a SEER 16 (and higher) demonstrating quite an improvement over ASHRAE 2007 code standards. We both got the maximum points for using Energy Star electrical equipment for over 90% of plug loads. Also, we both recevied points for enhanced commissioning and paying for our own gas and electricity. Commissioning has demonstrated that it saves 15% in energy use. Lastly, both projects were granted 5 points for purchasing renewable electricity.

Frye Boots Green Marketing old electronics

Regarding materials and resources, both projects signed 10-year leases which encourages less resources for moving and renovating. Lohre's project was able to retain all of the interior divisions in the space but Frye did not. Both projects received 2 points for limiting construction waste management. Lohre had zero waste -- recycling minimal amounts of carpet and aluminum blind scraps.

Frye Boots Green Marketing reuse

Both projects received 2 points for material reuse. Lohre reused aluminum blinds (trimming them to fit). Frye may have received points for reusing architectural window frames (above) as room partitions. Frye wasn't able to reuse any furniture (though they incorporated antiques into the store's fixturing systems), but Lohre reused all furniture from its previous location. Frye managed to use twice as much recycled content percentage in its project as Lohre. Both received 2 points for sourcing materials from within 500 miles of the project. Neither project was able to incorporate rapidly renewable materials, like cork, into the projects. Lohre was granted 1 point for using wood harvested from non-clearcut forests.

Frye Boots Green Marketing entrance

In indoor environmental quality Lohre got the point for providing a CO2 sensor. Neither project increased fresh air by 30% but both got credit for protecting air quality during construction. Frye flushed the store out with fresh air before occupancy to receive 1 point. Both projects used adhesives, paints, flooring and composite wood that didn't contain excess Volatile Organic Compounds. Only Lohre provided walk-off mats and improved air filters. Then again, only Frye used low-VOC ceiling and wall systems. Both projects provided well-designed thermal comfort systems and verified with employee surveys. Lastly, Lohre was able to provide quality views to the outside, not likely for Frye's shotgun configuration.

In conclusion, both projects can be very proud of their achievements. Frye is considered the first LEED Platinum store in New York and Lohre & Assoc. the first LEED Platinum Marketing Communications firm in the world. The Frye store was first class and a premier quality product presentation. Just wish I'd gone ahead and purchased those $218 dress shoes!

I read "Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things" by Michael Braungart and William McDonough on the flight back to Cincinnati and wonder about Frye's sustainable shoe manufacturing process. Lohre & Assoc. on the other hand could consider what it means to provide more sustainable marketing communications. At the end of the book, it provides insight for continuing education; practice what you preach and making it fun. If you consider shoes that don't degrade materials you wouldn't want to breathe, also consider marketing that doesn't encourage unnecessary consumption.

If you enjoyed this blog post you might want to learn more about our LEED documenation services.


describe the imageRequest your free guide to obtaining LEED Certification on your office, building or home.

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Industrial Marketing Sales is Tied To Content

Wed, Apr 15, 2015 @ 04:47 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Marketing Strategy, Industrial Marketing Content, Content Creation

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Inspired by a post by Kieran Flanagan, April 8, 2014 at 11:00 AM. Kieran is HubSpot's EMEA Marketing Director. He is an experienced inbound marketer, having previously worked for large brands in both B2C and B2B across EMEA.

In a recent study Hubspot conducted with SmartInsights, the top challenge for marketers was measuring the ROI of content. According to Driving Content Marketing Success45% of European marketers cited measuring ROI and producing enough quality content as their top challenge.

 

The Indicators of Content Success

A typical marketing funnel can be broken out into three sections -- top of the funnel (TOFU), middle of the funnel (MOFU), and bottom of the funnel (BOFU). 

Forging_Magazine_Mar-Apr_2014


Using Content to Power TOFU

Content being used for a company's TOFU strategy should:

  • Help to grow your audience and get them engaging with the content you publish.
  • Encourage people to spend time on your site, getting them to read your content and visit additional pages.
  • Increase your traffic from organic channels, and get them to take an action on your site that shows you're attracting the right kind of people.

Q. Are people on social engaging with your content?

Use LinkedIn Company Page analytics to give you a sense of how your content is doing, where your followers are coming from, and show you performance trends across defined periods of time. LinkedIn has also recently added more tools to help analyze the performance of your content with a content marketing score and trending topics site.

Q. What is the performance of the content you’re adding to your site? 

Looking at your marketing analytics can give you an idea of how the content on you're site is performing. Is it attracting people into your site (visits), what's the initial impression of that content (bounce rate), do people stick around to read that content (time on page), and are people clicking around to read more of your pages (page views).

HubSpot can show you the performance of that content across your entire funnel (what we call closed-looped analytics), and Google Analytics can be a nice complement, as well, to look at some of those valuable TOFU metrics.

Q. Is content helping you to increase visits?

Producing quality content should help to increase the visits. This is another strong indicator that your content is starting to produce positive results.

Q. Are people taking an action on your site that indicates they're the right type of people?

There is no point in attracting visits from inbound channels if they're not taking any action on your site. This action could be signing up to your newsletter, viewing a particular page on your site, or converting into a lead (contact). 

rohr_clamshell_dredge_bulletin


Using Content to Power MOFU & BOFU

Content being created and used for a company's MOFU and BOFU strategy should:

  • Educate people in your funnel about your product and how it can solve their challenges
  • Create opportunities, pipeline, and sales for the business

Q. How many people are opening your emails, clicking on links, and returning visitors?

Open and click rates can provide a proxy to determine if you're sending the right content to the right people. 

If you have lead nurture proceedures set up, you'll want to know if the people in that workflow are engaging with that content, and if it's successfully moving people through your funnel.

Q. Is your content helping to generate opportunities, pipeline, and customers?

You can start to measure content at this stage of the funnel by the number of customers it creates.

Look at the number of opportunities and pipeline that was created by a piece of content. This would give you a sense of how it performed, and it's how we measure the performance of our MOFU/BOFU content on my team at HubSpot.

planet_products_frankloader_ad


The Content ROI

Trying to figure out the ROI of time invested in content is the right thing to do, but you need to clearly define the goals of your content, align these across your funnel, and choose the metrics that are going to serve as indicators of your success. Doing this will give you a better picture of how content is performing across your funnel and what areas may need to be improved upon.


 If you liked this post you may like, "B2B Website Checklist for Industrial Marketing"


Download our free guide to Creative Marketing Communications,

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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NeuRoad Patchmobile Quickly Fills, Packs and Rolls Pothole in a Single Operation

Wed, Apr 01, 2015 @ 12:01 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Business to Business Marketing, B2B Marketing

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New instant pothole filling system operates at 30 mph

New technologies for pattern recognition, 3D analysis and 3D printing technology have allowed NeuRoad to develop an entirely new way to fill potholes quickly.

NeuRoad Pothole Patchmobile - Process Equipment Marketing

Using systems designed for process equipment assembly lines, NeuRoad’s Pothole Patchmobile drives over the pothole, calculates volume, ejects the exact amount of asphalt patching material, packs and rolls the patch flat and uses ultraviolet hardening to instantly solidify the patch – the patched surface is then immediately ready for road traffic. The Patchmobile is a self-contained unit about the size of a standard tractor-trailer. Everything required to patch potholes is carried onboard and the unit can operate at about 30 mph.

Operation of the NeuRoad Patchmobile requires very little training. In fact, the driver just has to drive over the pothole and the Patchmobile does the rest. A series of 3D scanners in the front of the unit uses lasers to image the pothole. Powerful air blasts clean and dry the area to be filled. Rescanning calculates the precise volume of the pothole and injectors much like a printer head, prints the material into the potholes as the unit drives by at up to 45 feet per second. Rollers then contact the special asphalt material and level it to the road’s surface. The final step in the process is the ultraviolet hardening that readies the patch for immediate use.

The entire operation only requires one operator. Daily operation requires filling the unit with the special NeuRoad asphalt material, which is similar in cost to other high-quality patch materials. The onboard electric generator and air compressor provide all the power needed for the NeuRoad Patchmobile. Municipalities will find this is a cost-effective way to quickly repair potholes as fast as the operator can drive over them. Approximately 10 miles of road can be repaired per onboard batch of NeuRoad asphalt patch.

About NeuRoad Industries, Inc.
NeuRoad Industries is a new company currently considering a Kickstarter Campaign to design and produce the first Pothole Patchmobiles. They can be reached at their marketing communications firm, Lohre & Associates, Inc., 126A West 14th St., 2nd Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45202; 513-961-1174. For more information contact Chuck Lohre chuck@lohre.com.


 If you liked this post you may like, "Green Marketing? Make a die casting plant Net-Zero Everything!"


Download our free guide to Creative Marketing Communications,

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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Green Marketing? Make a die casting plant Net-Zero Everything!

Sat, Nov 29, 2014 @ 03:08 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Green Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Sustainability, Sustainable Marketing, B2B Marketing

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You can get side tracked by life cycle analysis (LCA) or you can just go for Net Zero Energy, Water and Waste!

Demo of the high pressure die casting process with ProCAST and QuikCAST - Courtesy of ALCAN

It might sound improbable that one of the most energy intensive industries could be net-zero energy, net-zero water and net-zero waste but it is being attempted by other heavy industries and we'll highlight their techniques in this article. Why? Because industrial leaders are using these techniques to reduce costs and educate their employees. The skills and techniques applied to achieve these goals are the most advanced economic methods. As Abraham Lincoln said, “The best way to predict your future is to create it.”

Feintool Sustainable Company

One of the best examples of heavy industry with sustainable directives is the Franke Group of Switzerland. Their Feintool Division is particularly relevant as a heavy industry metalworking company. Here's what their President, Heinz Loosli, has to say about the future, "In other words, when it comes to strategic corporate investment decisions it is increasingly difficult to separate commercial and technological questions from geopolitics. Insecurity and volatile markets are the normality of the future. At Feintool our response to that is an equity ratio amounting to around 50-percent, because that gives us the capability to manage possible risks and thus to have the ability to invest even in more difficult times." From the Feintool Customer Magazine 2014

Michael Pieper, Owner and President/CEO Artemis Group (holding company of Franke Group) says on their Our Commitment page, "Ecological, economical, and social aspects shall be considered in whatever we do – from office to production floor. Sustainability means fairness towards future generations. Everything we do should be made in a way that all of us can face our children with a clear conscience."

NADCA and its member companies embrace continuous innovation and improvement, "We apply sustainability principles in the manufacturing and distribution of die castings. Many die casters have earned their ISO 14001 environmental management system certification. This achievement emphasizes current and future commitment to reducing their environmental impact, through the reduction of waste water, energy and solid waste." From NADCA Article

Zero-Energy

Increases in energy costs have prompted interest in what can be done to minimize energy usage in die casting plants. Empire Die Casting, an Ohio-based aluminum and zinc die caster, and other plants have installed advanced electric aluminum melting, distribution and holding systems that will cut the amount of energy needed to melt aluminum by 80%.

Many die casters have replaced the lighting in their facilities - benefits include lower energy use, better lighting and less heat generated by the lights. For example, on Becker Electrical Distributor's Lighting Energy Saving's page they illustrate a lighting project retrofit that pays off in only 1.28 years. Over ten years they project a savings of $198,040.

But how do you have net-zero energy? Microsoft purchases renewable energy certificates to offset its carbon. From Datacenter Dynamics, In trying to reduce the carbon footprint of its data centers and operations in general, Microsoft has signed a long-term power purchase agreement with a wind farm developer to offset carbon emissions associated with its operations, including its massive San Antonio, Texas, data center, which is plugged into the same utility grid the wind farm will be part of. Brian Janous, director of energy strategy at Microsoft, says the company will apply renewable energy credits (RECs) that come with every kWh generated to electricity consumed across all of its operations. “Microsoft will apply those REC’s toward the electricity consumed across our footprint, offsetting any emissions that resulted from carbon-based sources of electricity,” he writes in an email to DatacenterDynamics FOCUS.

From Microsoft Environment, In May 2012, Microsoft made a commitment to make our operations carbon neutral: to achieve net zero emissions for our data centers, software development labs, offices, and employee business air travel in over 100 countries around the world. To achieve this goal, we have implemented an internal carbon fee which places a price on carbon and aims to improve energy efficiency, increase our purchase of renewable energy, improve data collection and reporting, and further aligns to our ongoing goal of reducing our environmental impact. We established an internal carbon fee based on current market pricing for renewable energy and carbon offsets. Business groups are financially responsible for the cost to offset their carbon emissions. The carbon fee is part of broader company initiatives to demonstrate responsible environmental leadership. Microsoft has invested in programs that reduce environmental impact across its worldwide business operations, from facilities and supply chain to the efficiency of its software products.

From the U.S. Department of Energy - Voluntary RECs can be sourced either regionally or nationally. Most utility green pricing programs or marketers selling bundled electricity and REC products source their products from local or regional resources, with some exceptions. Buyers of nationally sourced voluntary RECs are often large corporations that have facilities in multiple locations across the country. In voluntary markets, RECs from certain regions may sell at a premium if they are competing with RECs used for RPS demand, or are coming from regions with limited renewable resources. For example, from 2007 to December of 2011, western wind RECs sold at higher prices than nationally sourced wind RECs. Nationally sourced voluntary RECs are typically derived from the most cost-effective renewable resources nationally.

REC Voluntary prices

  

National Voluntary REC prices, January 2008 to July 2014, Source: Marex Spectron (2014)

(In 2006) Twin City Die Castings Company of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Twin City Die Castings Company was awarded project No. DE-FG36-05GO15097 to perform plant wide assessments of ten (10) die casting facilities that produce zinc and magnesium alloy castings in order to determine improvements and potential cost savings in energy use. The intended benefits of the project were to improve energy use through higher operational and process efficiency for the plants assessed. An improvement in energy efficiency of 5 – 15% was targeted. From the Department of Energy

If you're not into 100% net-zero energy, Where do you start to understand what to reduce first? Here's an excerp from Stuart Lemmon of Carbon Clear who says to prepare for the worst. (say climate change impacts for example) "A good carbon strategy should begin by assessing the material risks and opportunities of climate change to the business. Establishing which parts of your business are most at risk from a changing climate will inform your carbon strategy by identifying key areas to prioritize to ensure future resilience and effective carbon reductions. Carbon Clear’s annual research into the carbon reporting performance of the FTSE 100 found that 76 of the index set carbon targets in 2014. Reviewing four years of the research results we see a correlation between companies with a robust emissions management strategy and the achievement of their reduction targets. This suggests that good strategy delivers good performance. However, the best performers are not typical of the group; in 2014 we found that while 76 companies have targets, not many of them report a clear strategic approach to target setting which may impact their ability to meet targets in the long term." Read the entire article.

But there's another way to meet aggressive sustainability goals. It's like going into orbit, for every pound, it takes 9 pounds of fuel. The less energy, material, waste you use or produce the less you have to regenerate or reuse. Rocky Mountain Institute is a leader in this field, from a recent article by IEEE THE INSTITUTE on their goals, "RMI believes that by implementing its applied research aimed at solving what it calls complex energy challenges, several exceptional goals can be met. It says that by 2050, transportation would not use any oil; renewables would meet 80 percent of electricity demand; a billion square feet of commercial space could be made more efficient; and total energy consumption, rather than growing, could be reduced by 9 percent from 2010 levels. And these targets can be accomplished with current technology and existing government policies. All it takes is to rethink a design—of just about everything. RMI calls its vision “Reinventing Fire.” Eric Wanless, manager and senior consultant with RMI, was the keynote speaker at the IEEE Conference on Technology for Sustainability, held in July in Portland, Ore., “I challenge IEEE members to think broadly about how they approach problems as they relate to transforming our energy system,” Wanless adds. “Think bigger than you typically do and challenge yourself to explore nontraditional solutions, take risks, and do things differently.”"

Zero-Water

Rainwater harvesting along with recycling can reduce your dependance on public systems. In one corner of Princetel's newly-completed Hamilton, NJ factory, two 5,000-gallon tanks collect rainwater for the facility's toilets and garden irrigation. CEO Barry Zhang said Friday that the water conservation effort embodied the company’s mission to remain sustainable, as Princetel's factory was named the first industrial building in the state to receive a LEED Platinum rating.  “This is the kind of thing that turned this building into a passion project,” Zhang said, referencing the massive water tanks. “Financially, this will never make any sense. We’ll never make the money back. But water is too cheap in this country, and we’re wasting it too much. We get a double benefit here by saving water and feeling really good about what we’re doing.”

Bullit Center Composting Toilets

But there's one thing you might not be thinking of, human waste! Here's "The world’s only six-story composting toilet system. Human waste is transferred to composters and periodically taken offsite to be used as fertilizer. Aerobic digestion heats material to 190 degrees and converts solid waste to compost. When nature calls at the Bullitt Center, you may be surprised to see waterless toilets. Instead of the normal fish bowl, the toilets at the Bullitt center are a specially designed waterless vessel that feeds into the basement composters through nearly completely vertical pipes. Once the cargo makes it all the way down, it begins a long aerobic process of decomposition in one of ten Phoenix Composting Systems, each about the size of a Fiat 500 (84” tall x 40” wide x 61” deep). The liquid and solid matter is mixed with wood chips and fluffed regularly using tines, or comb-like structures that can be turned using a special socket wrench.

From Stephen R. Schulte, P.E., REM, Hixson Engineering's article in PRODUCT FINISHING's 2015 Directory and Technology Guide, "Recovery/Recycling Methods for Metal Finishers - Recycling Technologies - Because the vast majority of chemicals used in metal finishing processes do not become part of the part, metal finishers have a number of technologies to recover these materials. In fact, through a combination of technologies, it is possible that a facitility can accomplish a 'zero' wastewater discharge to sewer or stream and generate only a small volume of concentrated liquid and or solid waste."

Zero-Waste

The die casting industry has long been built on recycling. The metal alloys used by die casters are produced from recycled raw materials, created with far less energy than is required for virgin alloys. Over 95% of the aluminum die castings produced in North America are made of post-consumer recycled aluminum, helping to keep the aluminum content of municipal solid waste to less than 1%.

Die casters have successfully implemented a closed loop system to recycle and reuse as much material as possible within their processes. They recycle everything from office paper to hydraulic fluid to machining chips. This results in very little waste being transported to the landfill. Closed Loop Recycling has developed a process to clean oil absorbent material and to refine the used oil extracted from the materials. 

As a wrap up here are the accepted best practice organizations for first accessing your environmental footprint and then a list of accepted tools to use to reduce your impact.

Cradle-To-Cradle Raw Materials

Besides the objective of not creating waste comes the concept of Cradle-To-Cradle which considers one processes waste as another processes raw material. In that manner there is no waste stream. From, "Cradle to cradle: How Armstrong World Industries has transformed the lifecycle of the humble ceiling tile." In addition, because Armstrong pioneered ceiling recycling, the company had to be seen to be constantly evolving the programme.

And while Armstrong ceiling tiles now contain up to 82% recycled content, the challenge here was to persuade specifiers such as architects and interior designers to select Armstrong systems over competitors’ on the basis that the product was already highly recyclable and a programme was already in place to recycle them.

Armstrong identified Cradle to Cradle certification as the way forward in this respect. The Cradle to Cradle philosophy differs from other sustainable certifications in that the process begins even before a product is manufactured.

They are developed specifically for closed loop systems in which every ingredient is not only safe but beneficial, capable of either biodegrading naturally and restoring the soil, or to be fully recycled into high-quality materials for subsequent product generations, again and again.

The programme was developed to meet growing customer demand for sustainable products, with certification already becoming a requirement for building projects in America and parts of Europe. It is designed to give specifiers and clients a transparent mechanism to compare the sustainability performance of competitive products.

Assessment:

Carbon Disclosure Project

ISO 14000 - Environmental management

Global Reporting Initiative

Implementation:

U.S. Department of Energy Energy Star

U.S. Green Building Council

Cradle-To-Cradle

Forest Stewardship Council 


If you liked this post, you would like, "How to Create Green Marketing Communications."


Chuck Lohre, LEED AP and Documentation ConsultantFor a no obligation green building consultation for your home or office please contact Chuck Lohre, LEED AP ID+C. He'll go over the U.S. Green Building Council Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Reference Guide with you and offer helpful suggestions for Green Building Consultants, Architects, Interior Designers, Building Material Suppliers and Contractors. You can even borrow the Reference Guide if you like. Article from the Cincinnati Business Courier.

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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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Internet Marketing: Google Analytics Best Practices

Mon, Aug 18, 2014 @ 10:24 AM / by Lauren Campbell posted in Inbound Marketing, Marketing, SEO - search engine optimization, Internet Marketing, Adwords, Marketing Strategy

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After attending a Google breakfast hosted by TopSpot last week, we at Lohre & Associates learned some valuable information on how to use Google Analytics most effectively and efficiently in the industrial market and we thought it would be great information to pass onto you, our readers.

Understanding User Behavior:

Google Analytics Best PracticesThis is a key component and probably at the heart of Google Analytics. The presenter, David Underwood from TopSpot, stated that the User Behavior tab in Analytics should be checked and monitored daily. User behavior includes New vs Returning visitor reports, Frequency & Recency and Engagement in time and pages. Knowing your user and how they function on your website is crucial to knowing how to maximize AdWords campaigns and your ROI in the realm of digital marketing. This allows you to better understand your users and provides information on behavioral patterns that can help drive content on your site. If you’re investing a lot of time and energy into developing one area of your website and don’t recognize that there may or may not be people using it, you are wasting time, energy and money on developing an unused portion of your site. This can even drive some companies out of the competitive market.

Internal Site Search:

One of the most valuable tools to have on your website is an internal site search. Allowing users to search through your site by typing in what they are looking for is not only extremely user friendly and makes their life easier, but it helps provide you with valuable information regarding how users are utilizing your website. This is prized data in the Google Analytics realm. This can not only help with SEO, but can also tell you where to invest more time and money into your website, if needed, and can give you information on AdWords campaigns and how to make great bids. Knowing what users are looking for gives you an advantage and helps you spend more efficiently on campaigns; getting more bang for your buck.

Analyzing Your Link Profile:

Building links can be very beneficial to your website, however if done improperly, it can be extremely detrimental. Previous Google algorithms rewarded link building, the process of linking to other websites from your website. Once companies realized that this could improve SEO, people went ballistic and now Google is much more stringent with linking and/or back linking regarding SEO. The newest algorithms reward the quality of the links themselves and not quantity. Mr. Underwood had some horror stories describing companies that had upward of 6,000 or more links (one horrible situation had 60,000!!) on their website to other websites and the detriment it caused to their Google search rankings. It is now very important to utilize Google Analytics to analyze your link profile. This will tell you if you have too many links or very low quality links. It should also be noted that sometimes it can take years to remove bad links from a website, so you want to be choosy in the first place. You should also expect that high quality websites may charge, upward of $1000.00, to have a link on your website; you must decide if the money is worth it or not. 

Conversion Quality:

This point really resonated with me. You must really define what a conversion is and make sure that definition is clearly explained to both the sales and marketing teams. Some platforms and programs define a conversion by receiving a click on the contact us button or by receiving an email from a potential lead asking for more information; however, if the person contacting you is asking for a product or service you don’t offer, then is it really a conversion? The marketing team might think so because it popped up in their data as one, but the sales team won’t because they can’t sell what they don’t have. Example: If someone reached out to Lohre & Associates through the website, filled out a form for us to contact them, it would show up as a conversion for us; however, if they contacted us looking for a pet to adopt, we really can’t help them because we sell marketing and communications services. How is that conversion going to generate a lead? It’s not! (But, I am sure we would direct them to the nearest animal adoption agency, but that’s not what keeps us in business). So be sure to clearly define conversions and don’t always allow the data to make the final quality assessment in this category. 

Puppies and bunniesDeep Breath:

Google Analytics can be very overwhelming for individuals and companies. There is a lot of information to digest and work through, but once you get the hang of it, the benefits outweigh the anxiety. Here at Lohre & Associates it has always been a commitment, but we still learn more and more each day and love being able to share, not only our knowledge with our readers, but also our journey. We are happy to help with any questions you might have about Google Analytics and how it can benefit your company. 


If you liked this post you would like, "Review: "Designing B2B Brands" for industrial marketing communications."

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3 C's of Internal Social Media: Collaborate, Communicate, and Connect for Industrial Marketing

Wed, Jan 22, 2014 @ 01:14 PM / by Lauren Campbell posted in Inbound Marketing, Marketing, Social Media, Internet Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Marketing Automation, Industrial Social Media Marketing, B2B Marketing, Marketing Content, Social Media Marketing and Advertising, Industrial Marketing Agency

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Social technology has revolutionized the way in which people interact and the social network phenomenon has invaded our lives in more ways than one. Many people in the corporate sector are beginning to recognize the benefits of sharing information instantaneously and are developing private social networking platforms for their employees to do so.

There are many benefits associated with integrating social media into corporate culture, especially one that is created, maintained and utilized for the company and by the company. Here are a couple of reasons how it could work for you:

Collaboration leads to more innovationCollaboration

Collaborative knowledge sharing has been shown to help increase teamwork and to help aid employees in developing innovative ideas. When all products, services, and ideas are located in a single space, open to individuals to consider, creative muscles are flexed and the development of innovative ideas increase. An internal social platform is a great place for all of this information to reside. It also allows employees the opportunity to engage with one another about these products, services, and/or ideas, aiding in team building, employee communication, and collaboration. Which brings me to my next point.

Thank you to University of Nebraska-Lincoln for the photo.

Collaborate, Communicate, and Connect

Engaging and ConnectingInternal social platforms help employees connect and contribute to help facilitate proper communication and allow for more efficient an effective work. When dealing with a large-scale global company, communication is key to decreasing time, maximizing efficiency, and of course saving money. If a multi-national corporation funds research to better their products and/or services, then communicating that research to other individuals in the company is crucial to prevent redundancy of that research. This also reduces time needed to find information on product/services/ideas within the company itself or having to find an outside expert, when typically most large multinational companies have their own on hand, again, saving time and money.

Thank you Sociable Blog for the image.

 Internal Branding

Most companies know what it means to brand, but most often the focus is on external branding; getting consumers, outside people or other businesses, trust, dependence, and use of your company. However, internal branding is not typically a focus of large multi-national companies. An internal social platform provides an environment that can encourage discussion of company goals, vision, and purpose and can allow conversation surrounding these topics to slide across silos in the company; i.e. engineers have the capability to discuss a product with the sales team, informing them on specifics of the product and answering any questions they might have about the development of the product.

Important implementation rules for an effective social platform:

  1. It is important to train individuals on use of the social platform. They must understand what is allowed to be uploaded, how to interact with one another, and to what extent the platform will be used. Time well spent on gathering, sharing, and engaging on topics relevant to the company and to products, services, and ideas the company provides is imperative for the above-mentioned reasons, but laying strict guidelines for usage will help prevent employees using the platform for other reasons. It could be beneficial to have a meeting to discuss usage and to have an individual or hand full of individuals to monitor the site and to make sure that employees are using it correctly.
  2. Engagement is also very important. Developing the dialogue for the site is just as important as rules, after all, what company wants to develop a site that won’t be used? Making sure that employees are engaging properly with one another is what allows the communication channels to flow openly. When a question is asked, answer it. When a video is posted, comment on it. This type of engagement is crucial to get a social platform self-sustaining; once employees see that the platform is useful for their inquiries and for their idea sharing, they will take it upon themselves to engage, but if there is no example of how to do this properly, it may never get done.
  3. Industrial Marketing Social MediaIncorporating a leadership role for individuals who do engage, and do so properly, may be an avenue your company wants to take. This helps motivate employees to begin engaging, and once they see others doing it, they too will want to take part. Many large social network platforms have implemented these types of ‘rankings;’ allowing those more engaged to receive ‘likes’ or ‘thumbs-up.’ LEED User, a social networking platform used by the U.S. Green Building Council's Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Accredited Professionals, allows individuals to ‘thumbs-up’ other participants who engage with worthwhile commentary and who provide credible answers to questions. This encourages new users to engage and also helps build credibility of the employees/patrons using the internal platform, creating a leadership role within the community.

Of course, these rules of social media etiquette apply to public social media platforms, as well. Good luck and we hope you find that your cyber friends can be just as important as your "real" friends. It has become that way for us.


If you enjoyed this blog, here is another one you may be interested in: Show LinkedIn Friends Respect If You Want to Maximize Your Industrial Marketing
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If Industrial Marketing Was Easy, Everyone Would Be Doing It

Wed, Jan 15, 2014 @ 11:56 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Business to Business Marketing, B2B Marketing, Industrial Marketing Agency

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Seven Trends Not to Worry about in 2014

Comment on a 1/14/14 post by

 the Ambassador of Fun and a B2B marketer at Brookfield, Wis.-based Johnson Direct LLC.

Here's the intro to Johnson's piece: "It’s almost tragic how so many B2B marketers still just rely on the old formula of trade shows, advertising in industry publications, catalogs/direct mail and a captive sales force or distributor network to market in today’s digital communication age. In case you haven’t noticed, the times are changing.

More progressive B2B marketers have added regular email blasts and enewsletters, as well as SEO/SEM, digital banner ads and landing pages/microsites, but they are still in the vast minority.

In 2014, we will likely see a large shift in the way B2B marketing is conducted and those who adopt and test will see big gains while those who cling tight to the model of days gone by will be left standing and watching as the competition runs by."

Johnson goes on to outline seven trends to watch. We agree on a number of key points, but we also see it a bit differently. For one, industrial marketing evolves slowly. It's a conservative business done with a handshake and eye contact.

Modern industrial marketers have exceptional websites that speak directly to their buyer personas. The best of them offer valuable educational information and polite assistance day or night. Digital banner ads on industry sites are like advertising on the moon. That's why the best journals don't deal with them. Sponsoring informative email newsletters is the proper way to push your message if you need more than adwords. Most advanced industrial brands use these tools: industry association meetings, technical journals, industrial directories, sales representative organizations and distributors. Sure they use email and every other form of instant communication but it's private.

We also agree with Johnson that, in 2014, there will be a continuing shift in techniques. However we think it will be slow. And right, there is no magic bullet.

Industrial Marketing Website

 

1.)   Continue to reflect on what you have to say of value to your industry
Everyone can contribute to the success of their industry. From educating students through internships to participating in industry associations, the successful industrial marketer will generate good content and publish it to their audience. Publishing isn't the hard part today!

2.)   There are only a few important places your customers hang out
Contrary to popular belief, the engineer that is purchasing a $2 million mining truck doesn't start his search on Facebook, LinkedIn or Google. He goes to the last person he purchased that type of equipment from, or he asks his associates in the industry.

Industrial Marketing Trade Show3.)   Traditional PR is still good, dust off that ancient handbook
There are new buzz words for PR like "Native Advertising," but it's still common sense. Leaders in industry are leaders in communication. You can't run a multi-national conglomeration without enjoying herding the hundreds of medium size "cats" that are your divisions. Which means you answer all of their questions and concerns. You hired the best and the brightest and you provide them the resources they need to succeed.

4.)   When will customer databases ever catch up?
Smart databases that mine the internet for information on your prospects and follows their every move on your website are great to a point. But how do you integrate their trade show appearances, personal visits and phone calls? Now that's available to the big boys but still in the dark ages for medium size companies. We recommend that you do the best that you can keeping track of your customers' and prospects' communications, but teach your employees how to use their smart phones. They are wonderful tools, but no good if you think you don't have to learn how to text. $10,000 orders for wear parts are being texted. Text is one of the most reliable communications. Have you noticed that you don't get the call or the voice mail until the next day but the text always comes instantly?

5.)    Social Media is an uncomfortable media
Facebook is great for a company newsletter. LinkedIn is even better for a broad circle of sales reps, association management and folks looking for a job. Top flight industry forums are one of the most valuable marketing tools but never talked about in the public media. News groups are still used in some industries. It's your job to find out if you're missing out by not knowing about these important resources. Many times they won't show up in a search engine.

Industrial Marketing Videos6.)   Video keeps coming
You can't say anything in 10 seconds, but shorter videos are a great trend. Wistia.com will give you the tools to improve your video but understanding how it is being viewed. Sort of like Google's In-Page Analytics for video. The best recommendation is the get a good quality remote mic for your smart phone. Most smart phones take great video for web speeds, you need to be sure you have great quality audio.

7.)   Media Mix is changing
You're just going to have to weed out the publications that haven't kept up their internet reflections. Search on the publication's name and see how many pages the search engine has indexed. Compare those numbers among your media. Some will be tens times more than others. The underperforming ones may suffer form the "Emperor's New Clothes" fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. But for really accurate media selection you need to survey the customers and prospects that email you from your website for technical information. Most will let you know what directories they visit, publications they read and shows they go to. You should go to them, as well.

Thanks Grant, for the inspiring post.


 If you liked this post you might like: Apply Business Process Analysis to Marketing Communications

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Some Do's and Don't's of Green Marketing

Thu, Jan 09, 2014 @ 10:26 AM / by Lauren Campbell posted in Green Marketing, LEED, LEED Certification, Marketing, Social Media, SEO - search engine optimization, Blogging and Blog Content Creation, Internet Marketing, Green Building Marketing, Marketing Strategy, Sustainability, Business to Business Marketing, B2B Marketing, B2B Advertising, Business to Business Advertising

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Sustainable products and services are everywhere and green marketing for these products and services is at an all-time high.

The green industry is currently the fastest growing market sector and knowing how to properly market your company’s sustainable initiatives and green products has never before been more important. What many companies fail to realize is that there are some serious dos and don’ts associated with the marketing of this sector.

Education

Education1Educating people about a product or service is not new to the marketing industry, but how to use it to market effectively in the green industry is. Practicality speaks to businesses first and foremost, so educating them on why your product or service is practical and how it will benefit them should always come first in your marketing approach; the green attribute is the icing on the cake. What is great about sustainability and going green in general? Both are tied very closely to saving money. High efficiency, more productive, use less energy, these are all aspects of sustainable marketing that provide practical use: translating into spending less money. For a business this is huge. Green building is a great example: they provide companies with lower energy costs, healthier, more productive employees, lower health care costs, etc. These are green attributes that save money and again increase practicality of your product or service. Thank you to Sumter County, NC for the image.

SEO and blogging

Most businesses and individuals educate themselves using the Internet. This is why Search Engine Optimization is so important in today’s marketing industry. You want to be sure that you are a relevant search result when people and companies are searching for green products/services. You want to make sure your website uses proper keywords, words built around sustainability, you, and what you have to offer. A great way to do this is by incorporating a blog into your website. Creating content and showcasing your knowledge, not just on your product, but sustainability in your industry and in general is a great way to establish credibility and to build trust with potential clients. Every blog post written is just one more page added to your website to help increase traffic, grow an audience, and to gain credibility in your industry and with your clients. This is very important for marketing and helps showcase your knowledge on industry topics and sustainability.

No Green Washing!

Greenwashing1One really important aspect of green marketing that is not discussed often enough is No Green Washing! Green washing occurs when companies label their products/services green, environmentally friendly, recycled, sustainable, etc. but they really aren’t. They are only using a PR ploy to grab attention and to try to gain trust. Businesses and people who are buying your product do not want the wool pulled over their eyes nor do they want to be outright lied to and given that we are living in the information age, if you aren't being honest, typically your clients will find out. This is why walking the walk and talking the talk is so important. You do not want to harm the credibility of your business by trying to be something you are not. Writing a blog, as mentioned before, is a great way to show that you are not a part of the green washing issue, so long that you are truthful in your words. Thanks to Print Eco Software for the image.

3rd Party Certifications

A great way to showcase your legitimacy and to prove that you are not a part of the green washing issue, is through third party certifications. Having an unbiasedLEED award entity become part of your company shows potential clients that you are serious about going green and are honest in your assertions. There are several third party certifications and verifications for all different industries: Leaping Bunny for the cosmetic industry, Green-E for the renewable energy industry, Energy Star for appliances, LEED for green buildings, etc. For example, by utilizing LEED in the green building process and becoming certified, individuals and businesses alike are able to recognize the commitment a business has made to their sustainable initiatives. LEED is such an established entity that there is no question about a business’s commitment once their office has become certified. This makes for a great showcase for your commitment to sustainable initiatives and is great for marketing. Photo by Lohre & Associates.


If you enjoyed this post, you will also enjoy How To Create Green Marketing Communications

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Chuck takes the LEEDFor a no obligation free consultation on how to best market your green product, green service or green office please contact Chuck Lohre, LEED AP ID+C. He'll offer helpful marketing suggestions for understanding your buyer personas, creating content that speaks to your customers, finding the best places to advertise and managing prospect lists and email news.  Article from the Cincinnati Business Courier.

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