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Archive for the ‘Manufacturing’ Category

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Marketing for Manufacturing in the Age of the Self-Directed Buyer [Lunch & Learn]

By | April 15, 2014

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Retooling Your Marketing for Exponential Growth & Profitability
If you’re serious about understanding the new ways of marketing and selling, attend the Fathom/NitroMojo “Lunch & Learn” seminar on May 8th. You’ll walk away with a concrete plan for growing your company in the age of the self-directed buyer.

WHAT: Lunch & Learn: “Retooling Your Marketing for Exponential Growth & Profitability

WHERE: Richard Shatten Board Room, Greater Cleveland Partnership office. 1240 Huron Road E, Suite 300 Cleveland, OH 44115-1717

WHEN: Thursday, May 8 (11:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m.)

Space is limited to 25. Don’t miss out: Register today!

Join us to talk about:

  • Your sales goals
  • Your growth plan
  • The black hole in your distribution channels
  • Lead generation
  • Lead nurturing and sales conversion
  • Staying current in a rapidly evolving marketplace

WHY: In the old days, your customer came to you knowing nothing except that maybe you were the place to buy from. They needed you to hold a hand through the buying process, explaining every aspect of the thing they were purchasing. Information—and the advantage—was on your side.

Fast-forward to today: Buyers might be anywhere from two-thirds to 90% of the way through their buying journey before they contact the vendor (Forrester). What does this mean? The buying process has been transformed. Customers often know what they’re looking for; they just don’t know YOU have it. And chances are, before they even know your name, they can easily investigate every aspect of what they’re ordering and discover your rivals in the course of that research.

THE ANSWER: Manufacturing executives, all is not lost! We can show you ways to capitalize on this information overabundance and your customers’ hunger for knowledge/help. Your company need not get tossed overboard in the sea change.

Stay for lunch, leave with a plan. We look forward to seeing you there!

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Photo courtesy of Steve Jurvetson via Flickr.

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LinkedIn Eliminates Products/Services Tabs in Lieu of Showcase Pages

By | March 27, 2014

LinkedIn recently announced that it will discontinue the Products & Services tabs on April 14th in favor of the Showcase pages it released back in November 2013.

Don’t worry, it’s a good thing!

Showcase pages act as an extension of your company, particularly useful if your company has multiple product/service lines, brands or business initiatives. This will enable your company to gear specific messages to followers of your brand to heighten engagement. You can share dedicated content on your Showcase pages, just as you do now with your main Company page. And since followers of your Showcase pages will be interested in that product line or service, you can serve them more targeted content that could help lead to conversions.

In other words, it’s better for LinkedIn members because they can follow the parts of your business they’re truly interested in. It’s better for your business because those who’re following you are really interested.

Things to note:

- You are initially limited to 10 Showcase pages, and only 3 will be highlighted from your main Company page
- Showcase page updates work exactly like Company page updates, so take advantage of the ability to post blog updates, newsletters about your products, etc.
- LinkedIn members can find your Showcase pages through the search tool, as well as from your Company page
- You can optimize the text throughout your Showcase pages for SEO

Visit LinkedIn’s Help Center for additional information on setting up your company’s Showcase pages. http://help.linkedin.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/44865/kw/showcase%20pages

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The Epic Journey of an Industrial Marketing Hero:

By | March 25, 2014

How can you transform your company from an entity that simply manufactures a product into a company that people look up to in the very same way that generations have been drawn to Superman, Spiderman, or Luke Skywalker?

The answer: By choosing a purpose far bigger than yourself and forging forward no matter the obstacle.

The thing is we don’t look to Superman as our hero because he beats up bad people or Spiderman because he stops a bank robber or even Luke Skywalker simply because he blew up the Death Star. No. We all love these heroes because they are a part of something bigger than themselves, and all of us crave to be part of something more than just the day-to-day.

So whatever your role is at your office, the next time you complete a task, ask yourself: “How is this goal connected to my hero’s journey?” Remember, Spiderman doesn’t string bad guys up in his web just for the sake of crossing it off his to-do list—Spiderman fights bad guys because his very purpose in life is to stand in the face of injustice.

So what is your company’s GREATER purpose?

Joseph Campbell, the renowned and leading scholar in the study of cultural heroes explains the five stages in the process of finding your purpose:

1. The Call to Adventure – Luke Skywalker is called to train as a Jedi and fight evil. What is calling you to action? This is something you feel, not something you are given.

2. Refusal of the Call – Just as Luke, Spiderman and the others – the task is daunting and you will question your ability to succeed. But remember, all good missions will challenge you.

3. Supernatural Aid – No hero does it alone. Ask yourself, who is your Yoda, what are your tools for success? Maybe it is a trusted partner (sidekick), or perhaps a following of friends or colleagues who believe in you.

4. Crossing of the First Threshold – This is more significant than simply taking the first step. It’s the equivalent of climbing to the top ladder of the highest diving board with a line of kids behind you.  You’re committed, fear and all.

5. The Belly of the Whale – this is the last stage but hardly the end of the journey. In fact, it’s the very beginning. You have metaphorically jumped off the diving board and now have no place to go but forward. You are in the belly of the whale and failure is not an option.

So how in the world does this all relate to industrial marketing?

Simple. Pursue every day with your greater purpose in mind, and launch every product or service campaign with this greater purpose in mind. Not only will this give you and your industrial marketing team a feeling of a great mission, you will begin to notice your audience growing exponentially (a great result for all companies). Because like Superman, Spiderman, and Luke Skywalker, we are all attracted to those who stand for something bigger.

Stand for something bigger and watch a crowd rally around your cause. This is the formula, and this is the takeaway. Now, JUMP!

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Content Ideas for Manufacturers

By | March 19, 2014

As a manufacturer, you may initially struggle with the concept of content strategy. You may wonder if it’s possible to produce interesting and engaging content around your product. The good news is that you most likely already have a wealth of content that your customers, existing and potential, will find very interesting. You’ve also got content that could be made interesting for just about everyone else, too.

Trust, Support, Educate

Fathom’s Caroline Bogart recently outlined how your content should be unique but shouldn’t over-promote your products or services. It should support your products, establish trust in your brand, and educate your customer base.

Product guides, FAQs and regularly updated technical information are rich in SEO keywords, and they show customers that your products are proactively supported. Such documents show that your company is dedicated to making sure that the relationship with the customer doesn’t end once you’ve got their money.

Can you now take this content and expand upon it? Can you write a blog entry about that item, how it was developed, how it functions? Can you produce a video showing how to install the product? Find ways to turn your technical content into educational content for both your existing and potential customers, and your sales team will thank you.

Community

If you manufacture parts for other products, you may be able to reach out to the communities that surround those items. For example, you may manufacture spare parts for a certain model of automobile. Your direct customers may be mechanics or auto shops, but their customers are the drivers, collectors and restorers of those cars. There are active and fanatical communities who would be fascinated by the technical content you can produce, especially if you reposition it in interesting and accessible ways.  Identify these communities, then reach out. Build relationships with the influencers and develop links and connections to the websites that are the best fit with your product, brand and content that they’ll find irresistible.

You can take the concept of community more literally. Your local community is probably aware of your presence, and grateful for hiring locally, but they may not know exactly what you produce. Your local Chamber of Commerce and nearby community organizations might be very interested to link to your site and your content. That’s more than just a point of community pride, it’s an opportunity to create and share engaging content that builds trust, goodwill and your brand.

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8 Steps for Your B2B Content Marketing Strategy

By | March 13, 2014

If 93% of B2B marketers say they use content marketing and you’re not in that 93%, what are you waiting for? If you’re waiting for a clear road map for how to develop a B2B content marketing strategy, then look no further! Here are the eight essential steps to developing a sound strategy.

1. Goals

First and foremost, your marketing efforts should tie directly to the goals of your organization. So consider how your B2B content marketing plan will support your overall organizational goals, otherwise, what’s the point of putting all this effort into your content marketing plan?

2. Target Audiences

Next, determine exactly who you’re marketing to. Find out as much as you can about their demographics, and then find out what topics they’re talking about and where they’re having these discussions on the web. Listen to what they want; because it might not be the same as the information you’re planning on sharing with them.

3. Develop Messaging and Content Marketing Strategies

Now that you know what your target audiences are talking about, craft your messaging and develop your content marketing strategies. Your messaging should be based on what your audience needs and wants to hear, as well as how you can differentiate yourself from the competition.

With variations of your key messaging, your content strategy can be developed. It’s best to include a mix of long-form (blog posts, articles and whitepapers) and short-form (social media updates and graphics) content strategies. In addition, develop a strategy for engaging in existing conversations that your audience is participating in. This could include commenting on blog posts, LinkedIn group discussions and more.

4. Develop Editorial Calendar

Right up there with the content itself, your editorial calendar is one of the most important pieces of your content marketing plan. Although it’s incredibly important, your editorial calendar should also be flexible because things have a tendency to change. Ideally, it should include strategies, tactics, deadlines, and who is responsible for each deliverable.

5. Develop Content

Content marketing doesn’t exist without content, so it’s time to get writing! Your content should be unique and support the messaging you came up with. However, be careful not to over-promote your products or services. The content you create should educate and establish trust, not overtly sell your products.

6. Establish Relationships

Relationships are always a two-way street, so when you establish relationships for content marketing, they can’t be all about you. Give more than you receive, and you’ll find more success with content marketing. This means you should share valuable content curated from other sources more than you share your own content.

7. Broadcast Your Content

There are many things you can do to spread the word, but the first thing you need to do is develop your SEO strategy. Do some thorough research to find out what people are searching for and how it relates to your content. Also make sure you’re pushing the content out on your company’s social media profiles, but only to the profiles that make the most sense.

8. Measure Effectiveness

There are many ways you can measure the effectiveness of your content, some of which include social sharing metrics and web analytics. Revisit your goals and make sure the metrics you’re measuring match your goals.

The final bit of advice for your content marketing plan: If something isn’t working, change it! Your plan is meant to be a living and breathing document. If you find something isn’t working, figure out why and make the necessary changes.

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Learn why the Internet is manufacturing’s best friend, including reliable ways to generate cost-effective leads:

Digital Marketing 101 for Manufacturers

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