creating strategic, integrated B2B marketing communications
"Mr. Lohre, and I have been working together for many years in various aspects of advertising. He has taken an active interest in learning as much as possible about our products, our company, and even our competitors. Chuck attends most of the trade shows in which we exhibit to obtain as much information about our products and industry in order to create effective advertising campaigns for us."
Dave Greek, Jr., President
The Hill and Griffith Company
Go out in the field and get to know your customer and their customer's customers. For the best short summary of industrial marketing techniques, download Business Marketing Association Director Rick Kean's presentation, "Marketing Skills Assessment," delivered to the 2005 AdVenture Electrical Industry Marketing Conference.
Communicate with your customers and prospects three or four times a year by telephone, mail or email. This requires maintaining a good database of your customers and best prospects.
Spend more on better customers than marginal customers or prospects. This means mailing new product and service information to customers and key prospects and emailing to marginal customers and prospects. Design your web site and literature as an introductory education resource for new prospects.
Have an informative web site that loads fast. Publish in-depth information, engineering guides, etc. on your site and collect names, phone numbers and e-mail addresses from them. Quality content will help your search engine rankings. Use economical, high frequency advertising to promote your site in a few important publications. Follow our media relations tips.
Run modest web site promotion programs with Google (AdWords),Yahoo (Sponsored Results) and submit to the Open Directory Project (http://dmoz.org). Be a part of the industrial marketing internet community through social media, news groups and blogging. If your industry doesn't have a group, start one. You can't use a shotgun to publish on the internet, you have to cultivate your associates, just like you do in real life, one by one.
Only after you have done all of the above consider display advertising. And when you do, be prepared with an application story or at least a press release with high quality photography or video. If you don't submit articles or publicity in addition to paying for advertising, don't do it. You would be better off running small classified web site promotion ads every month in a few publications. Classified ads are less expensive because they don't share the publication's cost for producing the editorial content you should be providing. Work with your publication sales rep.
The purpose is to go to a trade show and "Meet People Face-To-Face." You should have a plan for engaging the visitor and speaking to him, try arranging breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings or visiting customers in the area. If you don't come away from a show energized about your business because you talked to the people changing the industry you didn't do it right. This includes the editors of the industry publications and making presentations at the educational seminars.
Never do anything half way. "To do a common thing uncommonly well, brings success."
Henry John Heinz
- H.J. Heinz Company
Don't worry about technology, communicate personally with the industry movers and shakers (editors, competitors, associated business leaders) to stay ahead of the game and be grounded in sound practices that work. Don't believe everything you read or are presented to by industry consultants. We're one of them but by telling it to you straight and backing it up with objective reporting we hope you can come to your own decisions. Marketing communications is not a science. The only way to succeed is to know the market and communicate to it creatively, economically and often. Repeat and improve the things that work. Drop the unproductive ones and replace them with new ideas.
Our goal is happy employees because that is the only way to have happy customers.