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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.)


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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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Food Engineering Magazine Field Report Preparation Guide

Tue, Jun 21, 2016 @ 03:46 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Technical Editing, Blogging and Blog Content Creation, Technical Writing, Process Equipment Marketing, Industrial Marketing Content, Marketing Content, Content Creation

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Content Creation: Food Engineering Technical ArticleHere are some pointers for preparing a Food Engineering Field Report—also known as an application story, success story or an application brief for our Dry Processing Technology section.

A Dry Processing Technology Field Report describes a problem and its solution. It may involve any product used in the food processing industry; for example, feeders, screening equipment, size reduction equipment, mixing/blending, bulk bag filling & discharging, mechanical conveying, pneumatic conveying, dust control, weighing systems, storage systems, micro and macro ingredient handling systems, thermal processing equipment (ovens, dryers) packaging equipment, metal detection/magnetic separation, process control system hardware and software, and so on. If you’re not sure whether your product, application or service applies, please call and we’ll brainstorm it. See sample Dry Processing Technology Field Reports attached.

Absolute requirements for publication

A submittal must contain the following or it will not be used.

  • Body copy of 500 to 700 words
  • At least two end user (food processor) quotes: perhaps one describing the problem and one suggesting that he/she is pleased with the solution, which should be quantifiable. That is, for example, it saved xx amount of time, reduced energy costs by xx percent, or the process improvements increased OEE by xx percent.
  • If you are unable to get end user (food processor) quotes, we may still have interest in the application story. We use this version online and in our bi-monthly eNewsletter. Think of these stories coming from a well know cereal manufacture or leading snack producer perspective. We require the same information, without the processor quotes or references.
  • Name of user company and name and title of person being quoted at the user Company

Quotes from supplier companies will not be used, and will be turned into straight text when appropriate.

  • Photograph of product, service, software at the food processor’s site—not a straight

product shot! Photograph must be print quality; that is high resolution jpg at 300 pixels per inch (ppi). Recommended physical size is at least 5x7 inches. Do not send Web quality. Don’t forget a suggested caption and photo credit. You may send more than one photo. Do not save screen dumps as jpg files! Use a non-destructive format (tif). Call for instructions!

  • Real name of a person, phone number and email at the supplier for more information

(sales contact)—no web addresses or sales@email.com addresses! 

  • Your contact info: Name, phone, email, address.

Please advise as to where this story may have already been published. If it has been used on a

competing publication’s website or in a printed magazine, we won’t be able to use it. If it’s been

published on a supplier’s website, we can use it as long as it’s not more than a year old. Obviously, if exclusive rights to use the story have already been given to someone else, please don’t send it to us. Please make sure of this first. Also, be sure you have cleared the story with the processor.

Please note: These stories are used on a FIFO basis (first in, first out). Publishing dates cannot be guaranteed, but complete submissions, of course, will be published before incomplete submissions.

Contact Debra Schug for more information: Debra Schug, Features Editor, Food Engineering,

schugd@bnpmedia.com, 847-405-4068.

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Thank You Vac-Con for Your Tribute to Dave Berube

Thu, Jun 09, 2016 @ 02:38 PM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Process Equipment Marketing

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I was very touched by this tribute of Vac-Con's about of the loss of their dealer, Dave Berube.

Those of us that grind out as relevant content as we can, day in and day out, need to take a step back and realize that industries are made up of people. People that have families, friends and business associates. I feel that way about my clients and it's a privilage to have their sincere interest in my family and interests.

My most recent revelation about marketing is that all those digital clicks and links are real people so treat them like real people. Sure the analytics make it all seem like a bunch of robots but you need to filter that out and pay attention to what matters.

I'm lucky to have some great employees and my wife who polishes my copy and keeps me from being silly. I might be over stepping my bounds now but thank you sincerely Vac-Con, your message shows you're a great company and care deeply for your associates. Thanks for helping keep all of us grounded and reminding us to take pride in our communities and thank them for what they mean to you.

Vac-Con Dave Berube

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Can you teach an old firm new tricks? One firm's story…

Tue, Jun 07, 2016 @ 10:29 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Process Equipment Marketing, marketing agency, Advertising Agency

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(From Richard Friedman of Friedman Partners e-news June 7, 2016. Thanks for the great example of how marketing is changing in the informationn age.)

Across the AEC and environmental consulting industries, firms that have been around a long time get lulled into doing things the way they've always done them. That's not always the best path forward — even when it's working well enough. In this issue of The Friedman File, I'm sharing the story of what happens when a firm that's been around for 120 years starts thinking very differently about its future. (In the interest of full disclosure, the firm highlighted is a client of Friedman & Partners.)

WaveShaperInstallation1.jpgAlden Research Laboratory (Holden, MA), a 100-person hydraulic modeling, flow testing, fisheries biology and engineering firm, has a clear market niche. Just 2 or 3 private firms in the U.S. do what they do and their workforce is comprised of highly specialized technical experts. For more than 100 years, they've built a business on trusted relationships and a passion for solving difficult fluid dynamics problems.

But like many firms in the AEC and environmental consulting industry, that alone doesn't insulate them from the ups and downs of the economy or the industry. That alone is not a plan for sustainable, reliable growth or for energizing and recruiting great talent.

For Stuart Cain, Alden's president, growing the firm's business into its next century means doing it in a way that offers more control over their workload and deepens the firm's sense of purpose as well as its profit margin.

Adding disciplines and becoming an EA firm — an option they considered — didn't fit the firm's core purpose or its small firm values. It would also put them into competition with a portion of their client base. Instead, Alden is reinventing their value proposition from the ground up, transforming the business from back-end service provider to visionary engineering partner and technology incubator.

"You have to take a hard look at how you've been doing business for the last 50 to 100 years and start asking what's a better way to do this?" Cain said. "Often we can solve a problem quicker and more cost effectively and help the end-user drive the design and construction process, and that is what we want to be doing."

To get there, Alden has embarked on a three-pronged strategic approach to future development, each of which is designed to build on the firm's unique history, core mission and current operations.

  1. Shifting the value proposition. While well-regarded for their ability to answer their clients' tough challenges with strong, innovative solutions, Alden's modeling, testing and engineering services are most often requested well into the design and construction process. Yet Cain knows that his firm can best serve utilities and municipalities, as well as the EA firms who service them, when they're consulting on the front-end to advise and influence facility design, construction and operation.
  2. So they're intentionally repositioning the firm to be that partner. For facility owners, that means shifting the value from buying modeling services to a more comprehensive solution: identifying the needs that they may not realize they have, preparing and complying with changing regulations, and reducing cost and time by testing and modeling up front to determine needs.
  1. Sharing knowledge and education. In-house seminars, webinars and professional articles are a part of the marketing toolbox at Alden. But rather than simply positioning the firm's expertise, the focus has switched to knowledge sharing, advising and engaging with clients on a more academic level as a leader in fluid dynamic consulting and education.
  2. "We've always followed the traditional marketing plan of visiting clients, conducting seminars and attending trade shows," Cain said. "We want to do it differently. We now see our role as teaching clients and helping them become more educated in areas they did not know would benefit their business, whether it's identifying facility challenges before they become problems and adversely impact operations or helping utility owners minimize the impact of regulations on their bottom line."
  1. Developing technology. Alden has a documented history of innovation, from the invention of the Alden dynamometer in the 1900s to the advanced hydro turbine technology it developed for the Department of Energy in 1998 and continues to refine to this day.
  2. "We come up with innovative ways to solve client problems all the time," says Cain. "We've thought that we could be helping others with these innovative design modifications, instruments and technologies in cases where we own the intellectual property, but developing that has not been a focus for us."
  3. It will be now. By leveraging their in-house technical skill and encouraging employees to incubate new ideas, Alden aims to become a global innovator of products and technologies that are essential to in the industries they serve.

Reinventing your firm's mission and vision isn't an overnight proposition, but Cain reports the effort has already begun to energize Alden's staff. Three director-level employees have been tapped to champion each of the three strategy areas, with employee input. Another is tasked with leading efforts to financially invest in the firm's bold vision. One staff proposal for a new technology product is already under evaluation. They're also soliciting important external feedback through a comprehensive survey of key clients.

When presenting the new direction to employees, Cain challenged them to think about where they see themselves fitting into the Alden of the future and invited personal discussions with those who weren't sure where they fit in.

"It's got our people thinking in more creative ways and that is already proving to be great for our clients," he said.

Are you, as a leader, encouraging bold ideas that have the potential to transform your firm? I'd love to hear about your challenges and successes. Call me at (508) 276-1101 or email me at rich@friedmanpartners.comch@friedmanpartners.com

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"Disrupted," Book Review - If industrial marketing was easy, everyone would be doing it.

Tue, May 31, 2016 @ 09:50 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Inbound Marketing, Process Equipment Marketing, Cincinnati Marketing Agencies, Cincinnati Advertising Agency, marketing agency, Industrial Marketing Agency, Advertising Agency

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Disrupted Book Cover DesignHey, Dan Lyons, you don't know what you are talking about. I'm talking about marketing, but he's talking about tech start-ups and mid-life displacement. His book "Disrupted -- My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble," was released in April. Lyons' memoir traces his career -- he's a journalist with deep roots in the tech industry-- through being hired by a Boston area-based marketing software company start-up. But don't read Disrupted if you want to learn about Internet marketing.

Three years ago a prospect asked me to find a web site program that integrated a customer relationship management program with an easy-to-use content management system. After some research into WordPress, Eloqua, Marketo and Pardot; I pitched HubSpot (the company Lyons joined as a Marketing Fellow). I found the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editing screens were easy and the price was right for what the prospect wanted. Never got the job with the pharmaceutical machinery company but signed the agency up for Hubspot and became a Partner.

From reading his book, Lyons hasn't described the basics of marketing. Know you audience, get to know their pain and offer solutions that move them to your solution. After nearly 40 years in the industrial marketing world, that method is similar to Dale Carnegie, Sandler Sales System and what I learned of P&G's marketing methods from coming across their educational tools to marketers. "Know your audience, where they are in their purchasing process" and create marketing materials that move them toward your solution. Sure Hubspot Culture (which we adopted with a grain of orange salt) fits the start-up culture Lyons describes but I always looked at them as offering good tools to measure and accomplish marketing goals.

Probably the most eye-opening thing I learned was HubSpot's call center. The whole idea of Inbound Marketing is to get away from call centers, but at least it's a warm call center and HubSpot is designed to create a pool of candidates that will finally need a call to move the needle.

But then his book returns to employee hijinks. Halloween Parties? Dan, everyone has dressed up for Halloween at their companies to one extent or another. I think you would be better off writing about accounting procedures rather than marketing. Marketing isn't a science. It's a bit of personality, a bit of application knowledge and a ton of perseverance. You have to contact prospects almost ten times to get the opportunity to make a sale. In the industrial world, you make friends for life because just like pollution, "Nothing Goes Away." The industrial marketing world is made up of hard working engineers that care about their customers and stick around. So my company isn't like Hubspot, but their software will teach you how to leverage the internet to market an industrial product.

Chuck Lohre, of Cincinnati Advertising, Branding, and Marketing Agency, Lohre & Associates inc.The really great thing about HubSpot is its educational track. They provide very detailed and expertly written videos to learn and a good test to take. I've gone through to "Partner" status and our programmer has accomplished the "Design" level. It's been hard to get our interns and even others on staff and associates to take the "Inbound" test so we all get-together and take their test together. It's fun; we re-enforce the methodology and the candidate get their badge. I wish you would have reported just a little bit about the history of industrial marketing, the perfect match for HubSpot, it started with the industrial revolution patent models and now has morphed into YouTube videos and webinars.

Back in 2013, internet marketing was starting to overwhelm me and I was lost as to how to advise my clients. When I learned about HubSpot and how to break down the sales education process into specific steps I could understand and had the software tools to implement; I was relieved. Now there is no internet marketing problem that I can't diagnose and solve. Hubspot gives you all the tools, white papers, spread sheets and calculators to take any good product from zero to 60 overnight. And to upgrade your website. Don't reinvent your website, fix the problems and measure results. Are committee meetings and irrelevant parties in your company throwing wrenches into you site redesign process? Try HubSpot's' "Growth Driven" site re-creation template. But be prepared to lock upper management, sales, marketing, and manufacturing in a room for a few days. Hubspot has the finest marketing education materials I have ever seen. The problem they face now is how to make it fun. Real learning, means turning the tv off, unplugging the phone and studying. "Inbound," HubSpot's annual conference puts a fun spin on the hard work of marketing. There's nothing wrong with that. I'm looking forward to seeing in person my teachers and counselors. They are my "Peeps." And I'm a 60 something, enjoying learning from kids that could be my children.

"Disrupted" is a good read and history of tech start-ups and the new business of selling a mysterious "Secret Sauce" from a company that loses money. To me, Google is the only one pulling it off. Its model is to create a search engine, sell ads on it, and give advertisers the tools to measure it. It's the fox guarding the hen house. We spend thousands of dollars per month on internet advertising. Very hard to measure success and very easy to lose thousands, instantly. Google sells me ads for chemical processing equipment and their measurement tools tell me that girls 18-24 in southern California are the majority of the folks that click on a machine that, "processes three cubic meters of material in an hour." That's the text of the ad! LinkedIn at least allows me only to advertise to specific companies or job titles. For that chemical processing equipment, they are only 13,000 appropriate titles worldwide. I only get chemical and mechanical engineers to join my LinkedIn Group from our advertising. I hope LinkedIn does make some money for their investors soon, but it doesn't matter to me. The "Emperor's New Clothes" have been the latest fashion for as long as an invisible thread has been sold.

Internet Marketing Graphic on Lead ForensicsI enjoyed the chapter on Salesforce, everything about the excess and nothing about the reason the software has such possibilities. Next week I'll be looking over a demo of LEADForensics. A program that mashes up your visitors Internet Provider (IP) address and the people that work at the company. Like Salesforce, this only works well if the company you are trying to sell to has their own IP address. The people that work there come from an open source, voluntary database that is maintained by users. I've used it since it was Jigsaw and is now owned by SalesForce. The possible power of all this is that you will be able to see who is visiting your site and what they are looking at. Normally you can only do this with HubSpot, and the other providers, because the visitor has given you their email address. But the time is coming, because of increased computing power and the cloud, that you will be able to know who is looking at your website without their giving you that information. Call it artificial intelligence or just guessing; it's coming. But I'm not convinced that I'll be persuaded next week because the engineers that are the salespersons for the companies I work for don't have time to chase luke warm artificial intelligence leads. Which brings up another problem inbound marketing has to solve, the buyer persona of one. When you are selling a quarter of a million dollar piece of equipment which includes a lifetime of service and maintenance, AI's not up to it yet. But it's coming!

Oh, and spending way too much on trade shows and conferences is no stranger to industrial sales, just worse! One of our clients told me once, "If the customer wants to go to a whore house, you go to a whore house, if he wants to go to church, you go to church!" But those "Mad Men martini lunch" days are long gone, today industrial equipment firms are very well run and good places to work. They are that way because many times 60 percent of their sales are from parts. You don't fire experience when you need it to stay in business. One firm I've worked for offers parts on machines made in 1946!. There are still very few women in manufacturing, mining and engineering and the trade shows are 95 percent men. The only real benefit in the young is smarts. If you can get along with others, have a high IQ (or just work harder) and are goal oriented, you will easily get a high paying job for life.

The apology that Lyons gives to Spinner, the person that nabbed the Times article (that Dan pissed all over) points out what's wrong with his disrespect for marketing. I'm the one that gets my clients published in the trade journals and my clients appreciate it. They would have gotten coached and would have been demoted if they pulled the stunt Halligan did. I'm past the midpoint of the book and Dan still hasn't explained what it is that makes Hubspot great software. Why I enjoy their educators, my small group coach and my account manager. We're focusing on basic marketing principals and developing content that gets the phone to ring. Instead of making fun of Marketing Mary I wish Lyons would have described her typical day and the understanding her boss has about internet marketing and the realistic goals they work together to accomplish. That's what makes Hubspot great, nowhere to be found in Disrupted.

In the end, Disrupted is about awful office politics and the journey of a 50-something displaced journalist. (I get that because I'm married to someone who has been through a similar career disruption). That happens when a company doesn't have employees that just do the right thing. I've found that if I have to micro-manage anyone, I made the wrong decision to hire them. It's my fault and I have to deal with it. I've struggled since 9/11 with trying to get the rudder back on the ship, but it's the economy that rises all boats. We work on the principal that we will always deliver the best job possible for our clients even if we lose money on the job. At least we'll know how to quote a similar job the next time. That's the base of our marketing pyramid, next is the referrals of the clients we have. The next level is the companies we meet at the major machine tool, chemical and mining conferences. Companies that are in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana. At the top of the marketing pyramid is our web site. It's always been an educational site that gleams from nearly 40 years of learning best practices from creating attention-getting advertising to working with the technical journal editors and designing literature. We have the number one page on "Literature Design" on Google and Bing. HubSpot helps us focus these resources, add to them and properly promote them. That's what every good company should be doing and HubSpot can help you and your company do it. I'm all in.

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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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Win With Technical Articles

Tue, May 03, 2016 @ 12:33 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in industrial photography, Process Equipment Marketing, Industrial Marketing Content, Marketing Content, Content Creation, illustration, technical illustration, Content Marketing

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Dear Powder Bulk Solids Show "Win with Technical Articles" winners,

  • Will Dartnall and Mark Gruber, Buckhorn
  • Jim Kinder, Carrier
  • Greg Boyer, Hosokawa
  • Steven Misiak, B&P Littleford Day
  • Wes Vinson, PEBCO
  • Mike Mullins, TEMA
  • Jasilyn Fuller, VEGA
  • Rob Driscoll, Robatel
  • Maria Petsola-Crawley and Dean Wicks, Macawber
  • Courtney Ridenour, ADF Engineering
  • Greg Thomas and Paul Hancock, Lewellyn

Thanks for visiting our website and claiming your prize. We hope you'll enjoy the game. Just go to Major League Baseball's site and let me know what game you would like to attend. Chuck Lohre, chuck@lohre.com, cell 513-260-9025.

### Beginning of the most successful Technical Article we have written. The phones started ringing as soon as it was published. We hear a lot about content marketing and social media (and we believe in it), but in the industrial marketing world we have always been about content marketing. 

And content doesn't get any better than a feature article in a major trade publication like this one that ran in April 2016 Pit & Quarry magazine. To succeed, you must be honest and educate readers even if you don't manufacturer every sort of variation of a particular process solution. Editor, Darren Constantino, uses our articles as examples of what it takes to get published in his magazine. Don't worry, they are calling you, not your competition.

Vertical Shaft Impactor (VSI) Primer

By Eric Marcotte, Inside Sales Manager, Stedman Machine Company 

Technical Article, Graphic Design, and Illustration for Stedman Machine

Introduction

All roads, you might say, lead to the Vertical Shaft Impactor (VSI) because these crushers make it possible to create roadways and just about everything else. Francis E. Agnew of California patented one of the first Vertical Shaft Impactors in 1927. His configuration stacked three VSIs atop each other to produce sand, thus starting the VSI evolution. 

Today, VSI crushers – and the folks who rely on them – have produced many configurations to include everything from the addition of cascading material into the crushing chamber, to air swept separation of lighter product. One version suspends the shaft from above like a sugar centrifuge. It’s also one of the most feature-patented crushers, so some of the things mentioned here might be unique to a single manufacturer. VSIs apply a large amount of energy to crush material and that’s why it’s one of the most versatile crusher configurations today.

VSI Benefits

When it comes to producing materials such as aggregate for road making, VSI crushers use a high-speed rotor and anvils for impact crushing rather than compression force for the energy needed for size reduction. In a VSI, material is accelerated by centrifugal force by a rotor against the outer anvil ring, it then fractures and breaks along natural faults throughout the rock or minerals. The product is generally of a consistent cubical shape, making it excellent for modern Superpave highway asphalt applications. The rotor speed (feet per minute) controls final particle size.

The VSI’s high cubical fracture percentage maximizes first-pass product yield and produces tighter particle size distribution. It has a high-throughput capacity ideal for beneficiation (elimination of soft material). Properly configured the VSI accepts highly abrasive materials. It has simple operation and maintenance. You can quickly change product size by changing rotor speed or cascade ratio. Some models have reversible wear parts to reduce downtime. The VSI typically has low operating costs even in high-moisture applications because of reduced energy costs and low wear cost per ton.

VSI Disadvantages

There are some feed size limitations with a VSI because of the small feed area available in the center of the rotor. Tramp material in the feed such as gloves, tools, etc. can cause problems with imbalance. The high RPM and HP require careful balance maintenance such as replacing shoes on both sides of the rotor at the same time. High wear part cost may be a problem for some hard abrasive materials, but the VSI may still be the best option.

Technical Article for Marketing Client Stedman MachineVSI Applications

Major limestone applications are for Superpave asphalt aggregates, road base, gravel, sand and cement. Industrial uses include: corundum, corundite, ferro silicon, glass, refractories, silicon carbide, tungsten carbide and zeolite. Mining applications include: bauxite, burnt magnesite, iron ore, non-ferrous metal ore, perlite and trona sulfate. VSIs are excellent for everything from abrasive materials to waste and recycling applications.

VSI Crushing Method

The VSI is typically used after a primary or secondary crusher. This makes a VSI ideal for making sand and for making coarse and medium aggregates for concrete/asphalt production.

Feed size and characteristics will affect the application of a VSI. The feed size is limited by the opening in the center of the rotor. Normally less than 5-inch material is desired, but very large VSIs can handle up to 12-inch feed. Another feature that will affect application is moisture, which can make the feed sticky. Required production capacity is the final limiting criteria. Large primary horizontal shaft impactors can output up to 1600 TPH and more. 1000 TPH is about the maximum for a VSI because of the limiting motor size and the rising G-force of a high-speed rotor, which is calculated by multiplying the radius times the square of the RPM.

Shoe configurations are many: rock on rock, groups of rollers, special tip wear parts and many others. The metallurgy of the shoes is also highly varied. Rotors can have three to six shoes. The number of shoes is typically governed by the diameter of the rotor. The larger the diameter rotor, the more openings are possible. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) mathematical models are utilized to simulate the flow and collision forces to reveal solutions for lower wear cost, consistent final product, and higher energy efficiency.

The material to be crushed is fed into the center of an open or closed rotor. The rotor rotates at high rpm, accelerating the feed and throwing it with high energy into the crushing chamber. When the material hits the anvil ring assembly, it shatters, and then the cubical shaped product falls through the opening between the rotor and the anvil and down to the conveyor below.

The rotor speed (feet per minute) controls final particle size. Speeding up the rotor will produce more fines, slowing it down will produce fewer fines.

Feeding methods

Center feed

The typical VSI is fed, from above, into the center of its rotor. The material is then flung across an open void to the crushing chamber.It then impacts the outer anvil ring. This crushing action imparts very high energy to the material and is very effective on most types of material. It gives a very uniform and consistent grade of product.

Cascade feeding

In cascade feeding, material bypasses the rotor and enters the crushing chamber from above. It’s called cascade feeding because as material fills up a large feed bowl, with an outer diameter larger than the outer diameter of the rotor, it spills over the side and falls into the crushing chamber from above, bypassing the rotor. The effect of increasing feed through cascade is similar to slowing the rotor. Cascade feeding in amounts up to 10 percent may have no effect on particle size distribution or quality. The product gradation curve and product shape will change, if an increased amount of cascade feeding is used.

(caption: Vertical Shaft Impactor, No Cascade vs. With Cascade Feed, Particle Size Distribution Chart)

Technical Article for Marketing Client Stedman Machine CoRotor and Anvil Configurations

The VSI features multiple rotor/anvil configurations for various applications. From open or enclosed rotors to the tubular rotor, each machine is configured for their unique application. In many cases the rotor table, rotor assemblies, anvil ring or rock shelf are interchangeable, allowing maximum application flexibility.

• Open top metal rotor shoe on metal anvil

The open top metal rotor is good for large feed or medium to very hard material, but it will work best for softer materials. It can handle medium abrasive, dry or wet, but not sticky materials. High reduction ratios are common, which are excellent for sand and gravel production in closed loop systems. Shoe shape can change the production size range. A straight shoe face design produces finer product, and a curved shoe face design produces coarser material.

• Tubular metal rotor shoe on metal anvil

The tubular rotor creates higher tip-speeds, which increases first pass yield with tighter particle size distribution and also reduces the recirculation loads. One unique feature is that the rotor rotation is reversible, allowing wear on both sides of the tube. Rotating the tube itself one-quarter turn also doubles the wear.

• Enclosed metal rotor shoe on metal anvil

The enclosed top plate on a rotor primarily prevents material from escaping from the top of the rotor, which could happen with an overfed open top rotor. (caption: Rock shelf when VSI at rest. In operation, the brown rock fills the chamber to the upper roof ring. Rock impacts rock in operation.)

Technical Article for Industrial Marketing Client, Stedman Machine• Enclosed autogenous rock rotor table on autogenous rock shelf

Any time the material or rock is used as an impact wear surface the term autogenous is used. Putting a top on the rotor table and shoes allows autogenous use. During operation of the VSI, a bed of material can be designed to build up inside the rotor against each of the shoe wall segments. The bed, which is made up of material that has been fed to the rotor, extends to a wear tip. The bed protects the shoe wall segment from wear.

Concerning the rock shelf anvil, it forms a near vertical wall of material upon which the accelerated material impacts. “Rock-on-rock” crushing reduces maintenance but can require up to 30 percent of material recirculation before meeting size requirements. Also, the rock shelf anvil absorbs energy that could otherwise be used for breaking, which may reduce efficiency. More RPM may be needed to achieve the same result as a solid metal anvil.

Good for medium abrasive materials, rock-on-rock configurations of either or both rotor and anvil may produce consistent material with low-wear cost and can handle wet but not sticky conditions. Reduction ratios from 2:1 to 5:1 can be expected. It’s widely used for quarried materials, such as sand and gravel.

_________________________________________________

Due to the many configurations of the VSI feed, rotor, anvil and open- or closed- system design; testing is the only way to ensure proper application of a VSI crusher.

_________________________________________________

Summary

The VSI is one of the most versatile crushers available on the market today. Even with some limitations, like feed size and output capacity, VSI features have been and continue to be developed to maximize first-pass yields and lower operating costs. If you test your process on full-scale equipment before choosing your VSI, you won’t be disappointed.

Stedman Machine Company, 129 Franklin Street, Aurora, IN 4001, 812-926-0038, www.stedman-machine.com, sales@stedman-machine.com

### End of technical article, thanks for looking it over. Now let's, "Play Ball."

About the author: Eric Marcotte joined Stedman Machine Company and its affiliate Innovative Processing Solutions in 2010. He has a Mining Engineering Degree from the University of Kentucky. 

About Stedman Machine Company

Stedman Machine Company works closely with its customers to determine the best, most cost-effective, efficient size reduction method and equipment for specific applications. Stedman’s line of equipment includes: Cage Mills, Grand Slam™ and Mega Slam™ Horizontal Shaft Impactors, V-Slam™ Vertical Shaft Impactors, Hammer Mills, Aurora Lump Breakers, Micro-Max™ and Vertical Roller Mill Air Swept Fine Grinders. Stedman operates a complete testing and toll processing facility staffed by experienced technicians with full-scale equipment, allowing customers to witness accurate crushing test results, predicted output capacities and processing data. Support services include system design and 24-hour parts and service.

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Food industry forecast to grow through 2022

Mon, Apr 25, 2016 @ 09:48 AM / by Chuck Lohre posted in Industrial Marketing, Process Equipment Marketing, Food Process Equipment Marketing, Industrial Process Equipment, marketing agency

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Industrial Food Process MachineryArticle snippit from April 2016 VALVE Magazine. By Kate Kunkel, Senior Editor. Greg Johnson president of United Valve also contributed.

The U.S. food industry is forecast to grow at a steady rate of 2.9 percent compound annual growth rate through the year 2022, according to a recent report from PMMI, the Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies. The fastest growing two seg­ments are meat and snack foods.

The 2016 Food Packaging Trends and Advances also reported that the U.S. trails the global market-global growth is forecast at almost twice the U.S. rate. The report says overall growth of the food industry, including food packaging, is driven by emerging markets such as Argentina, Brazil, China and India. It also says that the most innovative food industry segments (snack food, meat, fruits and vegetables, and pet food) are using tools such as films that keep products fresher longer, recycled or biodegradable materials for packaging and single-service portioning.


(Lohre & Associates specializes in marketing food processing equipment, this new product release for our client Roto-Disc is appropriate for this topic so we added it to this post. Currently we are researching economic predictions for future posts on the food, chemical, primary metals and warehousing industries. They will be posted during the Powder Bulk Solids Conference in Chicago next week.)

New Process Transitions Solve Dry Processing Equipment Installation Problems

Industrial Process Transitions by Industrial Valve Marketing Client, Roto-DiscRoto-Disc, Inc., now offers a full-range of process transitions that make the task of mating equipment and piping with non-matching dimensions easier and quicker. Now the dry process industry has a selection of piping, flange and duct transitions available from stock, eliminating the time, expense and hassle of specifying, designing and fabricating transitions from scratch. 

Among the many options available are round-to-square pipe transitions, square and conical reducers, flexible stub adaptors and sanitary pipe/tube extenders with clamp ferrules. Transitions are available with flanges on one or both ends as are flangeless/weld stub transitions. The entire line can easily be adapted to meet custom take-out space requirements and flanges can be drilled to suit. Custom shapes such as offset/oblique, rectangular and double-cone types can also be provided upon request.

Typical materials of construction include type 304 & 316 stainless steel, abrasion resistant steel (AR400), mild steel and Hastelloy but many other materials are also available. Various finishing options are also available including mechanical & electro polish, nickel, chrome & tungsten hardfacing, polymer coatings & glass-bead blast.

Roto-Disc, Inc., www.rotodisc.com, 513-871-2600

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