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Industrial PR is the Social Media of B2B Marketing

Fri, May 12, 2017 @ 05:29 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Marketing Communications, Process Equipment Marketing, Industrial Marketing Handbook, public releations, Industrial pr

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Industrial marketing today is driven by the ease of getting information on just about anything quickly from the internet. Knowledgable engineers subscribe to many email newsletters and depend on them to keep them abreast of trends and best practices. Those monsters need to be fed!

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Industrial PR is easier to do today because of email.

Long gone are the photo prints, letters and stamps. Today a good industrial PR professional can write and distribute a release in a few days.

It's important to know the editors and media sales reps

Speak to them by name and know how the game is played:

  1. Publications need advertising to survive - Maybe if you are a starlet and every move you make is news you don't have to pay to play but that's not a good long term strategy for industrial marketing. Sure editors will always publish brand new products and technology but you'll die a death of a thousand cuts if you wait for new products. Normally that only happens every five or ten years!

  2. Purchase display advertising in your top three publications - Survey your customers and run advertising in the top three publications. Besides getting preference for publicity you will also be asked to contribute technical or application articles.

  3. At least purchase Buyer's Guide Listings in the magazines that publish your PR - You can't place expensive advertising in every publication but buyer's guides are very popular with publishers and you should be in them if they are a reasonable cost. You have to be fair to the publications. If you expect them to run you publicity, you would be a hypocrite if you didn't want your company's name included in their buyer's guide.

  4. Thank the editor for his work -  Editors and sales reps are human too. a thank you and a compliment go a long way for them to remember you and ask for your experience when needed. We always give the sales rep one of our famous Swiss Army knives when the stop by and pass them out at press conferences we have at trade shows.

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New is best, but a good cutaway is Okay too

You can't come up with a new product or application every quarter, but you do need to promote something on a regular basis.

  1. Brand new product - Will always get published and maybe even make the cover.
  2. General product release - Try to make them application specific to the publication.
  3. Business news - It might get into print. 
  4. Appointments - Usually this gets published online.
  5. New hires - Good luck. You'd be better off sending a letter of introduction.

Keep track of what's published, PR is worth four times advertising

People just believe it more. We value each release publication as if it was placed as an advertisement. If we only expect something to be published once in a year, it's a 1x rate. If it's our regular publication for advertising, we use the 6x rate. And we include color if it's color. We normally use the published rates, although publications offer deep discounts off the published rates.  It's not the perfect method, but it's easy and consistent. A typical quarterly campaign can generate ove $20,000 in publicity. Some PR professional say that PR is worth four times the ad space rate because it is perceived as more believable than advertising. Both work together. If you don't do publicity with your advertising, you're only getting 20% of the value you paid for.

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We're going the same work as ten years ago for less compensation

We face the same productivity pressures as our clients and their customers. You have to do the same work for less. Email and the internet help us do that. All of my communication is through email and we use an Excel spread sheet to keep track of what, when and who we sent things to. As well as the value achieved. 

Stay in touch with your customers and prospects

Now that you have received all that publicity online, it's time to share it across your social media. It should at least include LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook. Search the internet for your headline and bingo; you have a page to share. A quick tag line and a URL of the publicity is all that is needed. Use it to fill in between releases.

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Do you have more serious problems than worrying about publicity? To get your feet back on the ground, read the following e-Book for advice on the basics of marketing from your MBA class. Or learn more from our Marketing Handbook page.

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

 

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"Catch Some Rays" with Your Mining Equipment Marketing "Battery!"

Fri, May 05, 2017 @ 04:32 PM / by Bill Langer posted in Industrial Marketing, Marketing Communications, Industrial Advertising, Marketing, Industrial Branding, Process Equipment Marketing, Construction Equipment Marketing, Mining Equipment Marketing, Industrial Marketing Handbook, Business to Business Marketing, Industrial Marketing Content, Process Equipment Marketing News Release

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Gravel Batteries - As green energy proponents address its intermittent nature, good old-fashioned gravel may provide a solution.


Renewable energy is becoming more and more popular these days. We recently jumped on the band wagon and had solar panels installed on our home in Anthem, Ariz. On average, we have 299 sunny days per year, so it is a pretty darn good investment.

The down side to energy from solar panels and wind turbines is their on-off nature. When the wind stops blowing or the sun stops shining, the energy production stops. That is not a problem for us, because we are still connected to the grid and can get power even when the sun doesn’t shine. But believe me — they know how to charge rate payers who have solar! 

Mining Equipment Marketing Fun.jpg 

In order to make solar and wind commercially viable, there needs to be some method to store excess energy production for use when there is no sunshine, no wind, or during peak demand. Electricity cannot be stored easily, but construction of a new battery gigafactory in the United States, as well as other high-tech methods on the horizon, may be part of the solution.
 
While we wait for new technology to catch on, there are some pretty good solutions already in place. Some environmen-tally friendly methods use — you guessed it — gravel. In terms of supply chain, handling, and construction, few materials are as cost effective, easy to obtain, and simple to use as gravel.
 
The most common method to store energy is pumped hydro storage. During excess solar or wind production periods, water is pumped uphill into a reservoir. During low or non-production periods, the water flows down through a generator to a lower reservoir. Very simple; very easy. However, hydro storage takes up a lot of space. An idea is being batted around where the water and reservoirs would be replaced by huge buckets filled with gravel. Excess energy produced will be used to haul the rock uphill in a ski-lift kind of contraption. When energy is needed, gravity will carry the rock downhill, producing electricity on its downhill trip.
 
There are a few somewhat more sophisticated ideas in the works, where excess energy is converted to thermal energy and then stored in giant gravel “batteries,” thus evening out the intermittent nature of wind turbines and solar panels.
 
One example is in Steinfurt, Germany. Rather than build an expensive tank, the battery is constructed underground in a covered pit. The storage material is a mixture of gravel and water. The side walls, top, and bottom are heat-insulated. The pit has a double-sided polypropylene liner with a vacuum control to identify leaks, and the liner is protected from the gravel by a layer of fleece.
 
When excess energy is available, heated water (195 degrees F) ‘charges’ the battery, either by direct water exchange (right side of the illustration) or via plastic pipes (left side of illustration). The hot water is stored until it is needed, at which time the water flow is reversed.
 
The use of rocks for thermal storage is attractive because rocks are not toxic, non-flammable, and inexpensive. The main problem I see with gravel batteries is convincing my wife to allow me to tear up our entire backyard landscaping and fish pond so I can replace it with a big hole filled with gravel and pipes. Is that really too much to ask? AM
 
Read the original article here in AGGREGATES MANAGER April 2017, thanks Bill for contributing to our Mining Equipment Marketing blog. Have a great weekend.

If you would like to learn more about writing a process equipment marketing news release or an application story "One key to good public relations is writing a case study."


 

Trade Display Designs by Lohre Advertising to Boost Presence and Impact

 

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Process Equipment Marketing News Release Example

Fri, Apr 14, 2017 @ 12:50 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Marketing Communications, Industrial Advertising, Marketing, Industrial Branding, Process Equipment Marketing, Construction Equipment Marketing, Mining Equipment Marketing, Industrial Marketing Handbook, Business to Business Marketing, Industrial Marketing Content, Process Equipment Marketing News Release

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Chain Mill Breaks Up Material Lumps


Chain mills represent a cost-effective crushing solution for reducing a wide variety of materials. Stedman Machine Company’s chain mill crushers can handle a large volume of tailings per hour.

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An especially effective fertilizer crusher, the Stedman chain mill crusher series is engineered to break up lumps in superphosphate, triple-superphosphate, granular and conventional fertilizer tailings. Other applications include animal bedding, sawdust and many materials requiring lump removal for conveying or processing. The single or dual rotor chain mill crusher features heavy-duty construction with a welded plate steel housing and removable back plate. Capacities vary depending on feed size, feed rate, operating conditions, desired product output, characteristics of feed material, and equipment configuration. Full-scale material testing available at the Stedman Testing & Toll Processing Facility.

Stedman Machine Company, 812-926-0038, www.stedman-machine.com

If you would like to learn more about writing a process equipment marketing news release or an application story "One key to good public relations is writing a case study."


 

Trade Display Designs by Lohre Advertising to Boost Presence and Impact

 

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New Inbound Marketing Services Offered

Tue, Mar 28, 2017 @ 03:13 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Process Equipment Marketing, Metalworking Equipment Marketing, Construction Equipment Marketing, Mining Equipment Marketing, Industrial Marketing Handbook

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inbound-marketing-cincinnati.pngDo you need help with your inbound marketing initiatives? We have just launched a new marketing services selection that will work with you and your team to help you develop and execute your projects and programs.

Here are a few product services to build and repurpose content:

Dynamic White Paper
Let us turn your existing white paper into a 10-minute audio/visual experience. Our editor will create a narrated visual presentation from your white paper, and then we will promote it to your target audience for 12 months.
 
White Paper Writing Service
Let us write, design, and host a technical paper for your target audience. Consult with our editorial director and then let our technical writer work with you to create the white paper. We can host and promote your new content or you can promote to your already existing customer base and prospects.
 
Build a Tech Talk
Our editor will consult with you, construct a presentation, prepare slides, and craft a script for your company's expert, who will provide the voiceover. Our moderator will introduce your expert and close the presentation.
 
Audience Engagement Quiz
Our editor will consult with you and then write an audience quiz based on your white paper or e-book. We design and then deploy the quiz to your target audience. You receive full contact leads as well as statistics on how each registrant did on the quiz and who downloaded your white paper or e-book.
 
Let us help you to define content strategy and to distribute your new and existing material to build your brand.

To schedule a free consultation to discuss your next project, contact Chuck Lohre at chuck@lohre.com or call 513-961-1174

 
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If you liked this you might like to learn more about how effective industrial press conferences are at major trades shows.
 
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Strategic Content Creation Handbook by Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Lohre & Associates
 
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Custom ABM Drives' Right Angle Gearmotor

Mon, Mar 27, 2017 @ 04:35 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Process Equipment Marketing

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3 ABM Drives Custom Angular Drives and Motors 400.jpgTwo-stage angular gearboxes offered by ABM Drives have an efficiency of up to 96 percent. ABM Drives provides the complete assembly including geared motors and integrated motor controller. Typical applications include roller and belt conveyors, container conveyor systems, vertical storage and other material handling logistics. They offer dynamic and reliable operation even in harsh environments such as deep-freeze warehouses. 

 

ABM Drives' Right Angle Gearmotor is a highly flexible OEM drive solution designed for long service life and quiet operation. Flexible interface design provides a wide range of possibilities for installation, and a large number of available options can meet a wide range of electrical and mechanical drive parameters. Motor controllers can be mounted directly on the motor or installed in an electric panel. Typical output torques range from 60 to 800 Nm.

Light, durable and corrosion-resistant die-cast aluminum housings, pluggable connections, compact and maintenance-free combined with ease of installation, ABM angular gearboxes save assembly time and money. Compact design and high power density provide optimum flexibility for integrating the motor and drive units into tight spaces.  
 
ABM Drives Inc., 513-576-1300, www.abm-drives.com

About ABM DRIVES INC.

ABM DRIVES INC. engineers and manufacturers high-performance motor, gearbox, brake and frequency inverter solutions for machines, plants and mobile devices in hoisting technology, warehousing, material handling, electric vehicles, biomass heating systems, wind turbines and many other markets. Founded in 1927, the company belongs to the Senata Group with an annual turnover of nearly 400 million € and more than 2,000 employees. Approximately 300,000 drive units are produced annually. In-house manufacturing includes tool-and-die design, aluminum-casting foundry, CNC housing machining, manufacturer of shafts, cutting of gear teeth, motor development technology, assembly and final testing.


PRESS CONTACT
ABM DRIVES INC.
Gabriel Venzin, President
394 Wards Corner Road, Suite 110, Loveland, OH 45140
Phone: 513-576-1300
Mobile: 513-332-7256
E-mail: gabriel.venzin@abm-drives.com
Website: www.abm-drives.com

AGENCY
Lohre & Assoc., Inc., Marketing Communications
Chuck Lohre, President
126A West 14th Street, 2nd Floor, Cincinnati, OH 45202-7535
Phone: 877-608-1736, 513-961-1174, Fax 513-961-1192
Mobile: 513-260-9025
Email: chuck@lohre.com

Reprinting permitted - specimen copy requested
 
###
If you liked this you might like to learn more about how effective industrial press conferences are at major trades shows.
 
###
Strategic Content Creation Handbook by Cincinnati Advertising Agency, Lohre & Associates
 
Read More

Process Equipment Marketing Press Conference

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

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

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

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

 

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


 

Trade Display Designs by Lohre Advertising to Boost Presence and Impact

 

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Industrial Marketing Plan

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

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

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

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PART ONE - Publicity

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

PART TWO - Advertising

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

PART THREE - Technical articles

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

PART FOUR - Feedback and Improvement

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

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


Download our free guide to Sales Lead Generation.

Sales Lead Generation Guide by Cincinnati Marketing Agency Lohre & Associates

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Industrial Social Media for Quarries

Fri, Jul 29, 2016 @ 04:13 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Industrial Branding, Process Equipment Marketing, Metalworking Equipment Marketing, Construction Equipment Marketing, Mining Equipment Marketing, Industrial Marketing Content

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 (Thanks to Trevor Hall, Founder, Clear Creek Digital, for this great article in the July/August 2016 STONE SAND & GRAVEL REVIEW. We thought it was just going to be another marketer that was selling industrial social media to accounts that didn't use it industrially themselves let alone actually have experience working in a quarry, but Trevor is the real deal and has some good tips for quarries to improve their community relations.)


Social Media Can Help Improve an Operation

industrial-social-media.jpgOUR ONLINE NEWS FEEDS and social media accounts are more and more filled with websites and articles with catchy titles like "Top 5 Amazing Survivor Stories," "10 Apps for your iPhone," "8 Rocks That Look Like Celebrities." We all, myself included, get caught wanting to know more about these headlines. Many times we click and visit the information.

Called "listicles," these articles blend a list with short articles, and there are lessons to be learned from them. People read them because they appear - and typically are - quick to read, have an enthusiastic tone and spur creative disruption in our own minds. Most importantly, though, they grab our attention.

Everyone online is hammered with copious amounts of information every second of the day. Figuring out how to grab people's attention, even just for a few seconds, is a very challenging task. What is most daunting, espe­cially for quarries, is understanding how to communicate a very complex process like aggregates production with many different internal func­tions and processes in a quick, eye­catching and engaging message.

Finding ways to incorporate the kind of content that catches the eye of our industry and our communities, including residents near stone, sand and gravel operations, is a vital part of any community relations plan.

Know the Social Networks

Social networks like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube pro­vide new tools for aggregates opera­tions to tell their story.

Twitter: Posts are 140 characters or less, so it's important to link back to blogs or information on a different website.

Facebook: Users can share photos, videos and updates about a quarry or company with a "page" that is dedi­cated to that company or operation.

LinkedIn: A professional social network where users post their work experience and look for jobs. Companies also create pages on LinkedIn to share content.

YouTube: Users can share and com­ment on videos, which is one of the most popular and engaging forms of media today. These digital tools can/enhance a company's ability to engage neighbors, lawmakers and regulators. Also, these networks can be used to inform a pub­lic of something they may not know much about, including quarrying.

Online media's reach is huge and increasing. A majority of the global population is on some type of social network. With the growth of mobile technologies reaching even to rural Africa, many more people are likely to join. Further, the data shows that online social dialogues and infor­mation sharing are not just for a younger crowd anymore. Social media users 65 years of age and older have more than tripled in the past five years.

Recognize and Use Social Media Trends

It is vital that aggregates opera­tions recognize the trends of the online audience and appreciate its huge and growing size. Notice, I did not suggest that companies become "masters" of digital marketing. But recognition of best digital commu­nication trends can lead you on a wonderful path to exploring how to tell the story of your operation or your products.

Online and mobile video will also play an important role for every busi­ness and operation. It is predicted that by 2020, 80 percent of people will rely on video content to form opinions and/or support for busi­nesses and organizations. Aggregates producers are not exempt from this trend, and can enhance traditional community outreach with videos and photos.

Print publications or text on a screen can be enhanced with multi­media content that is easy to share with people who both support or are critical of a quarry.

Short and Shareable is the Way to Go

Try to grab attention of an online audience by using powerful and quick information. This is especially true for social media networks such as Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram because they rely on images and photos in addition to text.

Photos and video play crucial roles in grabbing the attention of view­ers. The more engaging your con­tent is, the more likely you are to see an increase in viewers. YouTube, the popular video-sharing site, is the second largest social network­ing site behind Facebook. More people are turning to YouTube to share and gather information than ever before.

For example, every day people are watching YouTube to learn how gran­ite is quarried and crushed, and there are videos with thousands of views on how limestone is produced.

Stone, sand and gravel companies can connect the value of their opera­tions to the personal benefit of the reader and their community. Right now, there aren't many aggregates producers in the United States fully utilizing social and digital media to share company information. So there is a great opportunity for companies and quarries to produce quality and positive content about the industry.

Using Social Media to Build a Brand

In print and online communica­tions, the words we use matter a lot. The recent presidential campaign has shown how audiences react to words used in tweets and images shared on Facebook.

Some people on social networks may negatively respond to a com­pany's content, regardless of how informative and engaging posts may be. One of the best ways to safeguard one's messaging from these tribula­tions is to make your content fun. Allow your organization to pull the curtains back a bit and show the human and humanitarian aspects of your company. It is harder for posi­tive and educational content to be perceived as anything but, and using facts and information is also a great way to address negative comments you may receive.

Staying positive, engaging and edu­cational is a great way to highlight employees, the communities you work with and the dynamic ways that rocks are quarried and crushed and shipped to customers. After all, the adventures of quar­rying are wonderful stories. It's up to you to share them. •

Trevor Hall is the founder of Clear Creek Digital, LLC, a digital communications and marketing firm focused on provid­ing those resources to mining and engi­neering organizations. Visit his website at www.clearcreekdigital.com.


(Thanks Trevor, Having a high performance site is the number one industrial marketing challenge, get it right and your industrial social media will pay off big.)


Cincinnati's Full-service Industrial Advertising Agency

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

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12 Questions Every Manufacturer Should Ask Themselves

Wed, Jul 20, 2016 @ 11:12 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Industrial Branding, Process Equipment Marketing, Metalworking Equipment Marketing, Construction Equipment Marketing, Mining Equipment Marketing, Industrial Marketing Content

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 (Thanks to Ken Maisch for this great article in the July 15, 2016 Cincinnati Business Courier. If you don't know the competition and the marketplace, you won't be able to grow your business.)

Ken_Maisch.jpgRecently I attended an economic briefing session to get some insight into where the economists saw us heading over a period of time. After the meeting, while I was reviewing the data we received, I began to think about TechSolve’s client companies and how they were preparing for changes in their customer’s needs, based on changing economics, and how they were and should be planning for future changes.

Over the last year, I have seen the business of some of my clients slow as much as 30%. On the other hand, I saw some of those client companies serving, growing, and thriving markets. I asked myself how each of these client groups was dealing with their particular circumstance. Our experience shows that client companies in a rapid growth mode are usually behind the curve and have to take exceptional steps to deal with this growth. It also shows that companies who see a drop in business usually go into a full blown pull back, as if their future will never be there again.

There will always be changes in our business cycles. There will always be new products and there will always be products that become obsolete. The “key” to sustaining a viable manufacturing company is based on its ability to deal with these changing environments. How nimble these companies are in changing times determines their overall ability to grow and continue a pattern of profitability.

There are twelve questions manufacturing companies should constantly ask themselves as they examine the future. Those are:

1) Are we intimately familiar with the market we serve?

2) How well do we know our competition?

3) What are the changing aspects of that market?

4) Is there a consolidation of players within that market?

5) How much of our overall revenue is represented by our top five customers?

6) Are we getting downward pricing pressure from that customer base?

7) Do we see increasing raw material costs?

8) Are we experiencing annual increases in our manufacturing costs that we can’t pass on to our customer base?

9) Are we consistently upgrading our equipment to maintain productivity?

10) Is “lean” thinking a part of our company culture?

11) Are we having difficulty in finding and keeping capable workers?

12) Is “productivity improvement” a part of our overall plan?

If you don’t know the answers to a majority of these questions I believe you will find life in a manufacturing environment to be difficult at best. Let’s take these questions and boil them down into three groups.

1) Market knowledge and marketing capability

2) Equipment capability and utilization

3) Productivity and cost control

Now let’s take a look at each area as they pertain to today’s manufacturing environment.

Market Knowledge and Marketing Capability

A thorough knowledge of your targeted market is essential. Knowing all the players, the competitive pricing levels each offers, and at what level you are competitive within this market enables more accurate quotations leading to a higher hit rate. We find this an area of weakness within some of our client base. Some know the names of primary competition, but aren’t sure at what level their pricing must be to earn new business. In the absence of this knowledge, companies price their products on what they perceive are the prices their competitors charge without a relationship between their real costs and the profit margins available at that level of pricing.

In addition to these pricing issues, it is imperative that companies understand the best way to address their target market. What is the best way to attract new customers? Is the internet and other electronic media the best way to find and get new customers? Is a more traditional sales approach preferable? Is direct customer contact better than a less direct approach. Does your product have an engineering or sales element? In all cases it is a must that you understand the “who” within your market. It is important to know who is the sales leader within your market, who is the “price” leader within your market, and which competitor has the strongest reputation and the “why” that is. Simply selecting a market in the absence of this knowledge can be a recipe for disaster. Growth in a new market or customer base can be much more successful if the answers to these questions are understood and addressed in the early planning stages.

Equipment Capability and Utilization

Businesses evolve and change over time. When manufacturing companies begin they usually locate and use the most economical equipment they can afford. Not always the most productive, but it gets the job done. Then over time they begin to invest in new technology and equipment that offers significant productivity advantages. They realize this is the long term answer to better controlling their costs. If new equipment is good, more must be better. Not always the correct solution. It is imperative that this new more productive equipment reach full utilization as quickly as possible. Otherwise the cost of having that equipment becomes a draw against profitability as our employees scramble to get it fully utilized and still keep the old equipment running.

New technology is only an advantage when it increases capacity and lowers cost. Owning and underutilizing the newest equipment will only increase cost, not improve the situation. As a process improvement company we understand and agree with consistently improving productivity, and when equipment is the answer, do the necessary economic justification and purchase the new equipment. Making sure that you understand your productivity levels and how it relates to your overall cost, is a must. And once you understand the importance of long term productivity improvements, budget to upgrade your equipment as your depreciation schedule dictates. The most productive companies we serve are those that justify and utilize the most efficient systems available and continually upgrade them as needs dictate.

Productivity and Cost Control

One of the greatest challenges manufacturing companies face is “how do I deal with the price reduction requests I get from my customers?” It would seem simple. We have to eat the loss of margin to keep the revenue. Well, you can only do this for so long. Sooner or later you run out of margin and unless you have taken steps to further control cost, you are suddenly in trouble. Once your organization has a firm handle on your real “fully burdened manufacturing cost/hour”, then cost control through productivity improvement is the answer. New equipment, as mentioned earlier, is part of the answer, but real productivity comes when our employees are empowered by understanding the real basis for our cost and the role they play in changing that basis. If your company is not actively involved in a Lean initiative, if you have not established “metrics” that confirm success, and if your company culture is not one of consistently improving performance then daily struggles can become a way of life. Having a thorough understanding of your manufacturing costs, and then implementing a plan to address those areas that need improvement, will go a long way in strengthening profitability.

In summary, our country has always been involved in “making stuff”. Our manufacturing capability is second to none. I realize this as I see companies who have off shored their production only to realize they need to come home. Back to where real efficiency is understood and embraced. Back where “being the best” is not a bad term. And Yes, based on what our economists tell us, we will have ups and downs in our business cycles. But the best deterrent to down business cycles is productivity and the ability to cost your costs to be able to meet changing price demands. Our manufacturing future has always been bright. But now it more important than ever to continue to take those steps that will allow us to continue to be most productive nation in the world.


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Analysis of Emerson Inbound Marketing Campaign

Fri, Jul 01, 2016 @ 01:29 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Internet Marketing, Process Equipment Marketing, web development, Industrial Inbound Marketing

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Emerson Advertisement Design GraphicSeveral months ago we reviewed one of Emerson's new ads that ran in Chemical Processing, "Chemical Processing Readex Research Response for Process Equipment Marketing Effectiveness." It was a reader survey about the effectiveness of the ads that ran in the January 2016 issue. "Eye catching ad but I can't believe their claims. What could possibly "look differently" at my rock crushing plant project and replace the 1000 years of experience going into it's design. Not to say modern analysis capabilities maybe could help but they are going to have to tell me a little bit more than "innovate." It promised a lot but delivered nothing. It said you could accomplish the impossible with their tools but didn't say what those tools were. Just wanted you to learn more and go to their site.

Now we see why. All the ads were Calls To Action to go to a landing page and provide your email for a white paper. We signed up June 17, 2016 and "Told them what was important to us." The usual round of emails and confirmations of confirmations took place and soon we are receiving information just about every day. The campaign is very well done and written. Luckly, Emerson can afford to pay what it takes to develop this type of marketing.

Emerson Whitepaper DesignThe most recent email I received today was about thier new piezo-resistive pressure measurement devise versus the traditional bourdon tube. If you have a corrosive or high pressure spiking process you'll need this new gauge technology. It's just one more link in the Internet-Of-Things that's transforming industry.

How do we know if this is working? I signed up for a half a dozen different topics and that's why I'm getting a lot of emails but it's about right. I did ask for it.

This is all classic Hubspot. I'm looking forward to seeing more of how they push the content out through the trade journals and social media. That's the hard part with these campaigns. Build it and they don't come. You have to appropriately, continue to put your content in front of the right audience. The best place to start is to write peer reviewed technical articles for the trade journals, bylined by a professional engineer with your company. Then you can leverage that content on your website, AdWords, Social Media and Trade Shows.

Emerson Marketing Campaign ResultsFrom the Alexa report you can see their traffic has gone off the charts since this campaign started in June 2016. Searches are up. They have a low bounce rate. Just about everything you would want in a marketing campaign. I wish I could report on how marketing is qualifying the leads and how sales is dealing with the leads. Wow!

Congratualtions Emerson on a great campaign. Keep it up and have a great 4th of July.

 

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