4 Great Examples of Industrial Digital Advertising

July 18, 2017 / By Marilyn Cox

This is a guest post. We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Send in your idea to bruce@mmmatters.com and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.

Guest blogger - Marilyn Cox, PMP - VP Marketing at The Second City


Manufacturers recognize the potential in leveraging channel partners. The same potential resides in digital channels. Traditionally, digital communications are relegated to emails, a website, and maybe some social media. Digital advertising, if done at all, is broad and ineffective. On average, digital ads only reach 33% of their intended target. The more specialized your product or industry, the harder it becomes to reach your intended audience. Now, with the right approach to strategy and use of available tools, digital advertising can become a new partner. Targeting and personalization can allow manufacturers to better service and educate their audience, understand engagement and interest, and communicate return on investment. It can deliver inbound results and provide continual pull through a sales cycle. First, ask yourself this question:

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What is a Positioning Statement?

July 15, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

You've probably heard the term 'positioning statement', but you may not be sure of the exact definition. When you ask the question, "what is a positioning statement?", do you have an answer? If not, read on.

Typically we see a vision, values, mission statements, strategy, and value proposition. The written positioning statement is rare. If your firm does happen to proffer a formal positioning statement, is each and every employee able to articulate that statement? Who is responsible for developing the positioning statement and who is responsible for ensuring that every person in the firm is able to articulate it? The answer is you, especially if you are at a senior director, VP or CMO position. If your firm has one, then I applaud you and place you at the top of the heap of manufacturing firms and marketers.

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Why User Experience Should Be Part of Every Manufacturer’s Search Marketing Strategy

July 13, 2017 / By Tim Doyle

This is a guest post. We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Send in your idea and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.

Guest blogger - Tim Doyle, VP Sales at TopSpot


When you think about how search engine optimization has evolved in recent years, Google’s latest algorithm changes probably come to mind. But behind the scenes of almost every search and algorithm update, there’s been an underlying theme in their evolution: improving the user experience.

The experience your website’s design and content provide is one of the most important things for your digital marketing program to succeed and drive new business opportunities.

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Talent Shortage - the Eighth Hidden Threat to Manufacturers

July 11, 2017 / By Andrea Olson

This is a guest post. We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Send in your idea and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.

Guest blogger - Andrea Olson, MSC and CEO of Prag’madik

This post is a follow up to Andrea's previous post, The 10 Hidden Threats to Manufacturers.


For manufacturers, securing talent is an increasing challenge. Many companies (over 80%) say there aren't enough trained, skilled workers to fill the current openings they have. Unless things change, it is projected that 2 million jobs will go unfilled over the next 5 years. Universities and colleges are working to fill the need, but

recruiting and retaining employees, especially millennials, has proved to be a huge issue.
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Long Live the 4 P's of Marketing

July 08, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Remember the 4 P's that make up the marketing mix;  Product, Price, Place, Promotion? The theme of this blog is to look at fundamentals and cut through all the marketing stuff we hear about day in and day out. Is anyone able to keep up with it all? So, my fellow Manufacturing Marketers, let's look at the fundamental ingredients of the marketing mix. I propose that marketing strategy and tactics built around the 4 P's of marketing is a lost art and should be brought to the surface.

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Why Are You Still Selling Like It's 1990?

July 06, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

We’re in the midst of the biggest communication revolution in the history of the world. The internet is revolutionizing our access to information and it's affecting your business every minute of every day. The last communication revolution started 575 years ago when Johannes Gutenberg invented the printing press. His invention, like the Internet, revolutionized how people got access to information and the amount of information that was available.

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Great Topic Ideas Generate Leads - here's how you find one

July 04, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

The Sweet Spot of Engagement

The best way to engage with your target audience is with a highly relevant topic. Here's the first clue, a highly relevant topic is not about your product, your company or your CEO. Nobody cares about those things. If you can come up with a topic that your audience cares about and one where you have expertise, it will be highly engaging. I call this topic, the Sweet Spot of Engagement. Here's how you can find great topic ideas and your sweet spot of engagement.

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How to Remanufacture your Marketing Practices

July 01, 2017 / By Marilyn Cox

This is a guest post. We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Send in your idea to bruce@mmmatters.com and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.

Guest blogger - Marilyn Cox, PMP - VP Marketing at The Second City


Remanufacturing is the process of disassembly and recovery at the module level and, eventually, at the component level. It requires the repair or replacement of worn out or obsolete components and modules. Parts subject to degradation affecting the performance or the expected life of the whole are replaced.

Typically, a used product's components are dismantled, cleaned, and dust and corrosion are removed. Through the process the parts are either restored or replaced. Remanufacturing is an accepted practice because of energy savings and reduction in raw materials. While a popular practice in product care, it's one that is also relevant in business process.

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Marketing - the Sixth Hidden Threat to Manufacturers

June 29, 2017 / By Andrea Olson

This is a guest post. We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Send in your idea and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.

Guest blogger - Andrea Olson, MSC and CEO of Prag’madik

This post is a follow up to Andrea's previous post, The 10 Hidden Threats to Manufacturers.


Marketing might be considered frivolous to some mid-market manufacturers. What can often be perceived as a waste of money, these manufactures choose to focus more on sales and relationship building, with the marketing role simply serving tactical needs, whether it be collateral creation or trade show management.

But the lack of strategically leveraging marketing for differentiation and customer retention is where these companies are missing out. While it's easy to understand the activities that marketing typically controls, it's harder to digest the strategic aspects where marketing can serve the organization. Things like identifying new markets, new sales channels, innovative ways to serve customers, and more.

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How to Do a Webinar - an 8 step framework

June 27, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Webinars are a fantastic lead generation tool or webinars can be a huge waste of time. If you prefer the lead generating webinars, this 8 step framework designed to teach you how to do a webinar that is highly engaging and generates high quality leads for your sales pipeline.

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Creating Content is Easier Than You Think - Repurpose!

June 24, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

I'm a big advocate of sharing expertise that solves a problem for the people in your target audience. Once they understand the concept, most manufacturing marketers agree that the concept and the strategy make sense. The challenge often comes in creating the vehicle to share the expertise. The vehicle could be a webinar series, white paper series, ebook, blog, podcast, etc. It is very difficult to maintain a steady stream of content over many months.

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Why Bother with Marketing in Manufacturing?

June 21, 2017 / By Andrea Olson

This is a guest post. We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Send in your idea and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.

Guest blogger - Andrea Olson, MSC and CEO of Prag’madik


Industrial organizations rely heavily on a direct, distribution or dealer sales force for growth. Many of these companies have built themselves from the ground-up through street smarts, sweat, and hustle. With many sales build upon long-term relationships, why does a manufacturer need marketing? Aside from creating the brochures, maintaining the website and coordinating trade shows, how can marketing help grow the business?

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4 Simple Webinar Tips

June 18, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

The painful truth is that most webinars are pretty bad. The reasons they're bad are numerous, but these are the big 3 culprits; we, I and us. Most webinars and the main presenters are excited to talk about their product, their company and themselves. That is a poor webinar strategy. Most companies who try webinars as a marketing tactic do not realize that the people in their target audience don't care about their products, their company or the presenter. The people in the target audience care about what's in it for themselves. The bottom line is that if the attendee does not perceive value in the webinar, they won't register. If they do register and attend, they will bail out fast if the content is self-centered. Don't talk about we, I and us, talk about the audience and help them solve a problem.

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[Revenue] How Manufacturers Can Get Great Marketing ROI

June 15, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

It was John Wanamaker, a marketer operating around 1900 who famously said, “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half.” The sad truth is that, according to a recent report by the Aberdeen Group, 51% of modern marketers in the 21st century aren’t doing any better than Wanamaker was able to achieve 117 years ago.

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Manufacturing Marketers Unite and Develop a Marketing Analytics Task Force

June 14, 2017 / By Marilyn Cox

This is a guest post. We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Send in your idea to bruce@mmmatters.com and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.

Guest blogger - Marilyn Cox, PMP - VP Marketing at The Second City


Analytics tend to be the most underutilized feature of marketing technology. It's not that people don't recognize the value potential, but often they don't know where to start.  And when you consider that many marketing teams don't have dedicated analytics resources, reporting can become an overwhelming activity.

If you're manufacturing organization without dedicated analytics resources, I suggest you consider a Metrics task force. Bring together team leads from across the organization and conduct interviews with those stakeholders who are impacted by marketing metrics. Talk with operations, sales, finance, and your internal marketing team to understand what insight they want. Don't ask what data they want, ask what information and insight would allow them to perform their jobs better.

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How to Become a Thought Leader - like a Neanderthal

June 10, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

This is a story you may use to help explain to your cavemen executives or cavemen sales team why a thought leadership content marketing strategy works and how to become a thought leader. Simply put, if you are willing to share your expertise with those people in your target audience with no strings attached, they will place your firm at the top of the credibility list leading to more business because you get TOMA, credibility and reciprocity. Great content marketing helps to make the lives of your target audience better in some way. The story of Ugah, the Neanderthal thought leader, explains how the concept of thought leadership is a highly effective marketing strategy. This story is meant to be fun and even a little whimsical to help gain the attention of your internal audience and spark some discussion around the topic. Let me know how it works out for your tribe.

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4 Simple Steps to a Great Elevator Pitch

June 09, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Does your firm have a value proposition? Is it developed into a messaging hierarchy that every single person in the company can articulate? If you were in an elevator with your absolutely best prospective customer, could you succinctly state how you offer value to that person and their firm? Could everyone and anyone in your company deliver the value proposition in, say, an elevator?

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Sales and Marketing Alignment – The Secret to More Revenue

June 06, 2017 / By Richard Hatheway

This is a guest post. We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Send in your idea and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.

Guest blogger - Richard Hatheway, Director, Product Marketing at Itron


Synopsis

This article will explain what sales and marketing alignment is, explain the benefits of sales and marketing alignment, and provide best practices to help more fully align your sales and marketing departments.

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[Strategy] What is a Marketing Plan? Why Should You Care?

June 03, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

You don't hear much about the good old fashioned marketing plan lately. By lately, I mean in the last 10 years. Instead, we hear about digital marketing, content marketing, social media and inbound marketing to name a few. Fundamentals like the 4 P's, value proposition and positioning statement are often perceived as quaint in modern marketing circles. Some would even say these concepts are obsolete.

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[Guest Post] What's Holding US Manufacturing Back?

June 01, 2017 / By Andrea Olson

This is a guest post. We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Send in your idea and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.

Guest blogger - Andrea Olson, MSC and CEO of Prag’madik


There has been an ongoing national conversation about bringing manufacturing back to the United States. The government, states, educators, and organizations have been pushing a resurgence through, addressing many of the roadblocks facing these organizations, including: lack of skilled labor, decreased sales, advancing lean manufacturing, integrating additive manufacturing, robotics, IoT and Big Data.

The middle-market manufacturers - primarily in the Midwest, in the range of $50-$500m in revenues, employing 10-800 people - face a unique set of challenges. While the advancement of things like 3D printing and robotics will undoubtedly change the manufacturing landscape, these manufacturers face much more basic challenges to compete - and more accurately - survive the next 3-5 years.

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Only 7% of Leadership Teams Can Articulate a Common Value Proposition! Can you?

May 30, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

According to the Newport Board Group, only 7% of leadership teams can articulate a common value proposition. This is an astounding statistic. Think about it. If your leadership team can't articulate the company's value proposition, how in the world can employees be expected to articulate the VP? Taking it one step further, if the employees can't state the VP, how can they ever hope to convey the value of the company to customers and prospective customers? The short answer is, they can't.

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15 Content Marketing Reminders for Manufacturers

May 27, 2017 / By Marilyn Cox

This is a guest post. We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Send in your idea to bruce@mmmatters.com and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.

Guest blogger - Marilyn Cox, PMP = VP Marketing at The Second City


In Manufacturing there is an increased pressure to focus on relationship selling. And the emphasis on relationships extends beyond the sale and into the customer and partner journey. You must engage throughout the journey.

You must leverage your communication channels and seize every opportunity to engage. 

Work with your channel partners to leverage product registration. Introduce advocacy programs to identify existing channel and end-user advocates, enhance relationships, obtain feedback on products and services, and identify future opportunities. 

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[Strategy] Social Media for Manufacturing Companies

May 25, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Many manufacturing companies have now set up one or more social media channels. By ‘set up’, I mean they have established a page about their company and products on various platforms deemed as “social media”. According to Content Marketing Institute’s annual research report, "B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing – 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends in North America”, B2B manufacturers favor the big 5 platforms in this order; YouTube, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Google+. Further, the average number of platforms used is five. But, is social media for manufacturing companies the right marketing tactic? In this post we'll explore the answer.

*2016 B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing Trends – North America: Content Marketing Institute/Marketing Profs

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[Strategy] A Simple 2 Stage Sales Funnel for Manufacturers

May 20, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Within the manufacturing buyer process, there are really only two sales funnel stages. The top of the funnel is where you market to engage with (or gain attention from) the people in the target audience. As mentioned in my book, The New Way to Market for Manufacturing, by determining the sweet spot of engagement, you introduce your brand and offering to the target audience using educational content that helps the people in your target audience relieve a pain, fan a passion, or just be better in their day-to-day professional activities.

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[Lead Gen] The Best Way to Generate Leads

May 18, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

The best way to generate leads is also the quickest and delivers the highest quality leads.

The tactic to which I am referring is the webinar. I’m not talking about the all too common, boring, product focused webinar where one single person drones on for the first 10 minutes about his company, then drones on for a solid 40 minutes about a product and wraps it up with some fake questions. Those types of webinars do not generate leads at all. I’m talking about a webinar that shares expertise and solves a problem for the audience, uses at least two speakers, includes interactive events throughout the webinar and, above all, is not, I repeat, not a product pitch.

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Content Marketing - What is it? Why Should Manufacturers Care?

May 17, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

"Content Marketing" seems to be the latest buzzword on the Manufacturing Marketing scene. Sure, you can search on your favorite search engine and get 100s of thousands of page hits.I just searched 'content marketing for manufacturing' on Google and returned 9 million results! In this post, I'll define and qualify the term, content marketing, in the context of a B2B manufacturing business. I'll also offer some ideas and concepts that will grow your business by getting more awareness and more leads.

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[Lead Gen] Lead Management for Manufacturers

May 13, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Leads, every manufacturer wants them. In fact, every manufacturer I've ever talked to wants more. If only the marketing team could generate more leads, business would be better. But it doesn't end there. Marketing says they generate plenty of leads and Sales won't follow up. Sales says all the leads Marketing sends over are craptacular so they just ignore them. Where does it end?

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[Guest Post] The 10 Hidden Threats to Manufacturers

May 11, 2017 / By Andrea Olson

This is a guest post. We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Send in your idea and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.

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[Strategy] Do You Know Your Customer Buying Criteria?

May 09, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

How well do you know the people who make up your target audience?

Do you know why your existing customers decided to buy from your firm and not your competition? Do you know your customer buying criteria? How about your target audience, do you know their buying criteria?

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[KSF] A Strong Relationship with R&D

May 06, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

KSF Number 5, The Manufacturing Marketer Must have a Strong Relationship with R&D.

For the R&D group to develop and deliver products or services that fill a need and differentiate in the marketplace, they need to have access to market information and hear the voice of the customer. This market and customer information must be objective and based on data. It's up to the marketer to deliver this information; not sales, not the C-suite.

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[KSF] Sales and Marketing Alignment

May 04, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

KSF Number 4, Sales and Marketing Alignment

  • Does the sales team know what the marketing team is doing on a daily basis and on a strategic basis?
  • Does each sales person know the value proposition, target market, and associated messaging?
  • Does the marketing team have a clue about the daily activities of the sales team or their needs, wants, frustrations, likes or dislikes about marketing activities or content?
In many cases, the answer to these questions is 'no'. There is much writing and commiserating about this topic. In this post by Kapost, there are numerous statistics shared about the details.  Alignment between these seemingly disparate functions is very hard to achieve. However, data shows that the firm that is able to accomplish alignment between sales and marketing will significantly outperform those firms that do not achieve alignment thus it is a KSF for the Manufacturing Marketing Team.

As a past marketing director in charge of global marketing strategy and regional execution, I experienced the difficulty in achieving alignment every day. Sales is busy and focused on doing everything they can to sell more. Marketing is working hard to generate demand through events, brochures, emails, etc. and never the twain shall meet, as they say.

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[KSF] Have Excellent Knowledge of the Offering

May 02, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

KSF Number 3: Excellent and complete knowledge of the firm offering

The consummate manufacturing marketer must be highly knowledgeable about their firm offering whether it’s products, services or a combination of both. The marketing strategy and tactics must position the offering and the brand in the market place aligned with core competencies and the target customer's buying criteria. It's impossible to devise and execute a strategy without a thorough and comprehensive understanding of the offering in order to realize how it will or will not be accepted by the target market.

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[KSF] Thorough Understanding of the Company Capabilities

April 29, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

KSF #2: Understand the Real Capabilities of your Firm

The Marketer needs to understand what his firm is capable and willing to produce for the customer. It probably seems obvious, but I'll say it anyways; it could be a disaster if the marketing message makes a promises operations is not willing to produce or deliver.

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[KSF] Complete Understanding of Target Audience

April 27, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

A 5 part series about key success factors for a manufacturing marketing team

The manufacturing marketing team is under duress. We are inundated with information about marketing automation, content marketing, SEO, SEM, cloud connectors, digital body language, sales and marketing alignment, revenue performance management, ad nauseum. The only way the manufacturing marketer (at any level) can survive is to understand the fundamentals as the foundation for all else.

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The Manufacturer's Growth Manifesto

April 22, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Manufacturers, this is your time! Seize the opportunity to gain an edge in your market space. Times have changed for manufacturing. Your customers are buying like it's 2017, but are you still selling like it's 1999?

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[Lead Gen] They Laughed When I First Suggested Webinars, but When the Leads Started Pouring in...

April 20, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

This is a story about a lesson I learned early in my marketing career.  It's hard to buck the status quo.  It's hard to introduce new ideas to an old company.  But when you push through and just do it, you can be a big winner.

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[Revenue] Two Marketing Formulas You Can't Live Without

April 18, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

When was the last time you were asked to prove your marketing roi? In other words, prove that the marketing spend was driving results? If you've never been asked, then now is the time to prepare because it's coming!

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[Lead Gen] 5 Ways You're Wasting Money on Trade Shows

April 15, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Trade shows are usually a big waste of money for manufacturers. When you include the cost for booth space, booth collateral, and travel expenses, even a small 10 foot booth at a 3 day show can cost $20,000 or more. Many manufacturers will spend upwards of $500,000 for shows that require shipping large equipment and renting large booth spaces. And don't forget to include the opportunity cost of having your sales team standing at the booth instead of doing their usual selling "thing".

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[Lead Gen] 7 Tips for a Lead Generation Webinar

April 04, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Most webinars just plain suck. There, I said it and I don't regret it. Many manufacturers have put on webinars and nobody came to the party. The conclusion, webinars don't work, are a waste of time and don't generate leads. There is some truth to this conclusion because most webinars are done very poorly and are about a topic nobody cares about; your product or your company.

If you're one of those manufacturing marketers who are a bit skeptical about webinars and may have even reached the conclusion that they don't work, ask yourself this one question. Was the webinar about my product and/or my company or was it about something the target audience actually cares about? I bet your answer is "it was about my product".

Webinars can be fantastic lead generators!

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[Lead Gen] Get More Leads with Top of Mind Awareness TOMA

April 01, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

TOMA is top of mind awareness. Before we talk about how it works, here's a list of the benefits of TOMA:

  1. More qualified leads - when the need for your product arises, they remember you!
  2. Credibility
  3. Filters out unqualified prospects
  4. Increases awareness
  5. Increases word-of-mouth referrals

Here's how it works.

I started out in marketing as a salesman for ad specialties and eventually started my own ad specialty business. I'm talking about the stuff affectionately known as swag, tchotchkes, promotional products, etc. I learned from an old pro that the really successful distributors didn't sell the mug, pen or shirt, they sold the purpose of the product and what it meant to the buyer. If you wanted to create good will, you chose a higher end item and made a strong presentation. If you wanted to make them say 'wow', you found something different or new. If you wanted them to remember you, you gave them something they would keep with them at the place where they made purchasing decisions like a desktop, car dashboard, kitchen, etc. Naturally, each and every product has a logo, phone number, web site, email or some contact info so that when the day came and they needed to purchase something that the gift giver offered, the gift giver achieved top of mind awareness and they got the call. That is how TOMA works.

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[Buy-in] Manufacturers Want More Leads, More Awareness? Do This First.

March 30, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

In the olden days of marketing (the 1990s), we talked about positioning statements, the 4 Ps, marketing plans, branding, etc. Some pundits and bloggers might claim that these old style concepts and practices are obsolete and have been replaced with content marketing, social media, marketing automation, SEO, SEM and so on. I suggest these so-called old style, obsolete concepts, strategies and tactics are more important than ever. As professional marketers, I suggest we go back to the future and embrace the fundamentals before we begin to use the modern tools like content marketing.

Embarking upon a plan to ‘do content marketing’ or ‘do social media’ without first preparing a proper marketing plan is like building a house with no blueprint. Adding rooms (marketing tactics) on a whim without an understanding of how each room supports the overall structure (business goals), the purpose of each room (objectives) and how you will decide if the room is successful (measurement) is a recipe for disaster at worst and poor performance at best.

We manufacturing marketers (all marketers) get excited about new technology, new ideas, new media. It's the shiny object syndrome. We're itching to get started with the next promising tactic or tools we are convinced will launch our business onto the next great growth trajectory. The momentum and the enthusiasm are great.

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[Buy-in] 6 Ways to Start Gaining Marketing Respect

March 28, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

You may not know Jacob Rodney Cohen, but you probably do know his stage name, Rodney Dangerfield. There are some days I know that manufacturing marketers feel his pain. Many days, the lament of Marketing in a manufacturing company is the same as Rodney's lament, "I don't get no respect!"  This post is meant to inspire marketers. Respect is not given, it is earned. It's time for us marketers working in manufacturing to take a stand, make our voices heard, prove our high value, and claim our places as crucial, strategic contributors to the business.

Based on anecdotal experience and evidence, I feel confident in saying that the vast majority of B2B manufacturing companies do not respect their marketing team or marketing as a discipline.

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[Buy-in] Help, My CEO Hates Marketing!

March 25, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

This post was first published on the CFE Media blog, Marketing to Engineers March 7, 2017.

Maybe ‘hate’ is too strong. In a survey conducted by the Fournaise Group, they discovered that 80% of CEOs freely admit that they do not trust or are not very impressed with marketers and the work they accomplish. To add more salt to the wound, 90% of those same marketing hating CEOs do trust their CFOs and CIOs. Ouch!

It might feel like your CEO hates marketing, but it is more likely he just has no respect for the function of marketing. The painful outcome of your CEOs lack of respect for marketing is that marketing is the first place to cut budget and the last place to add resources.

When I was a global marketing director for an electronic manufacturing company working under a CMO,

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[Buy-in] How to Get Buy-in For The New Way to Market

March 24, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

These next series of blog posts will be about gaining buy-in for the New Way to Market. I've heard so many stories from bright, enthusiastic marketers who really understand the new way and know what they need to do to grow the business (or save the business). They know that to gain awareness and credibility their company MUST share knowledge and expertise. They know that old ways of pitching product to gain awareness and break through the noise don't work any more.

Then, they either roll their eyes, shrug or shake their head in frustration as they recount how they just can't get their CEO or owner onboard. He wants to keep pitching the product, driving his sales team and creating more product content. It's extremely frustrating.

Over the next few weeks, I'll share with you some strategy, tactics and ideas to help you get buy-in and ease the frustration.

Here's the first idea:

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[Awareness] Benefits of Webinars, 10 Questions & Answers

March 21, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Let's say, for the purpose of this post, that you are an executive at a manufacturing company. You're CAGR (combined annual growth rate) is about 3% over the last 5 years because of global competition and overall low GDP growth rates in the macro economy where you operate. You've been tearing your hair out trying to figure out how to get back to those heady days of double digit growth. You've tried pushing your sales team to do more, but realized they are doing as much as they can. You've pushed your business development managers to innovate and be more creative in their product road maps, but they just can't come up with anything really unique that resonates with your target audience. You've tried acquisitions, but they just never really work out as expected in spite of those glorious hockey stick graphs.

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[Awareness] Does Your Content We-We All Over Itself?

March 18, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Lesson 1 for gaining awareness and attention is to get over ourselves. Effective manufacturing marketers realize the people in their target audience don't care about their company, their CEO, their sales people or their marketing people. Great manufacturing marketers know the best awareness content is about the people who comprise their target audience and not the people who comprise the executive team, the sales team or the marketing team.

Please note that in this post I'm talking about awareness stage content, not decision stage content. I know it is important to make available information about your product and your company. When your prospective customers are ready to make a purchase, they want to know the details of who they are about to do business with and details about the product.

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[Guest Post] Get 50% Sales Conversion Rates with CAD Models

March 16, 2017 / By Jeff Drust

This is a guest post. We welcome guest posts about helping manufacturers increase sales and/or advance their marketing function. Send in your idea and you too could be a guest blogger on MMG.

Check out the companion podcast on Manufacturing Marketing Matters - John Major, CEO at CDS shares the strategy behind this great, lead generating tactic.


 
Of all the types of online marketing content that manufacturers and distributors can use, none beat 'CAD Model Downloads' for sales conversion rates!

We understand that content such as white papers, case studies, brochures, videos, demos, recorded webinars, reviews and others typically convert to sales, at best, in single figure percentages. CAD downloads can easily trump that and here is some supplier and user survey evidence to prove it.

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[Awareness] Trouble Getting Your Message Heard? 5 Ways to Cut Through the Noise

March 11, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

B2B manufacturing organizations are having a rough go of it lately. The old go-to-market strategy of trade shows and cold calls just doesn't work any more. Is it even possible for a B2B manufacturing firm to break through the noise without a huge budget? Yes, it is!

Before we start listing the 5 Ways to Cut Through the Noise, let's stipulate that for these ideas to work, your manufacturing company must already have the infrastructure, supply chains, production and most other critical production and delivery functions in good shape as a whole. Because manufacturers have been focusing on their products, i.e. the production and distribution for so many years, most are pretty good at production. This makes it extra hard to cut through the noise by talking about your products and your company.

So, what's left that you can use to cut through the noise? Marketing may be the final frontier where manufacturers can gain an advantage. Manufacturers can win big by being better at marketing their offering. By marketing, I don't mean setting up more trade shows, re-configuring the web site, creating a new brochure or coming up with a clever advertisement. That's not the type of marketing that will make any difference at all.

5 Ways B2B manufacturing can cut through the noise and win big with marketing:

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[Awareness] Audience Engagement versus Shouting

March 09, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

If you want to get more awareness of your brand and your offering, stop shouting about your company and your product and start engaging by offering helpful, useful, and relevant information to the people in your target audience.

If you're interested in a deeper discussion about using engagement and content to gain trust, listen to this podcast, How to Build Trust with Your Target Audience, where I interviewed Brice Bay at EnVeritas Group.

As humans living in the modern age, we are being shouted at during nearly all of our waking hours. I am equating shouting to interruption advertising. TV commercials, Internet ads, billboards, magazine ads, telemarketing calls, unsolicited email, et al. These methods of marketing or advertising interrupt whatever it is you are doing when the ad shows up. We have all become experts at filtering and tuning out these messages. Shouting or interruption marketing can work if you are able to shout the loudest. The loudest shouter must also spend the most money.

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[Revenue] Manufacturing Business Growth Strategy

March 07, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

If you're a manufacturing company executive who is satisfied with your 5 year CAGR and/or your annual projected growth rate, you should pass on this article.  This article is about some not-so-obvious things that could be holding back your firm's growth in our present era of global competition, commoditized products and customer empowerment.  There are really only 3 ways to grow a business:

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[Revenue] 2 Simple Ideas to Improve Trade Show ROI

March 04, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Manufacturers love trade shows. 9 out of 10 manufacturers allocate the majority of their marketing budget to this venerable marketing institution. Therefore, it is more critical than ever to ask, "what is the return on investment for our last trade show?" It's not unusual to spend 10s or even 100s of thousands of dollars on a single show. When I ask manufacturers about the ROI for a trade show, it is a rare VP Marketing that can answer conclusively. One of the easiest benchmark metrics is the cost per lead or cost per qualified visitor. These days, that number is likely to be in the hundreds of dollars. One strong, and valid, argument sales people like to throw in the mix is that they get to see a large group of prospects and customers at one time. When you compare the cost of travel to see a bunch of prospects to the cost of a trade show, that alone could make the business case.

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[Revenue] Content to Revenue, a 7 Piece Puzzle

March 02, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

It's not easy to convert content to revenue.  According to the B2B (North America) Content Marketing 2016 Benchmarks, Budgets & Trends survey published by CMI,  88% of B2B marketers are using content marketing (down from 93% in 2014) and only 6% consider their efforts as “very effective” (down from 9% in 2014).  Although we are not sure what the term “very effective” means to those responding, it is safe to assume that revenue generation influences whether or not the effort is effective at some level.  In the B2B world of marketing, if our content and associated content marketing efforts are not generating revenue, then we should fix it or stop the effort altogether so budget and resources can be diverted to those tactics that are generating revenue.

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[Revenue] How We Got an 800% Boost in Audience Engagement and You Can Too

February 28, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

When you stop pitching products and start sharing expertise, you too can get an 800% boost in responses.

Manufacturing companies that are able to stop pitching their products and start educating their target audience to gain awareness and engagement will win in their market space. Sharing expertise instead of pitching products is a far more effective means of marketing. This concept has been proven to work over and over in other industries and even in some manufacturing organizations. If used consistently, it is the secret to winning big in your market.

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[Revenue] The 10 Best Marketing KPIs

February 23, 2017 / By Bruce McDuffee

Perhaps the best we can do with measuring marketing performance or ROMI (return on marketing investment)is to employ the age old statement made by John Wanamaker more than 90 years ago, "Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted; the trouble is I don't know which half". We like to think we can do better with modern tools like marketing automation integrated to CRM, the ubiquitous spreadsheet with pivot tables, etc.

Sure, we can attribute a closed opportunity to a marketing campaign or to a type of marketing activity, but it's only as good as a person's interpretation. At some point, someone has to decide how to attribute a closed opportunity. If the last touch before a closed opportunity was a trade show, does that mean the revenue should be associated with the trade show? In this modern age of buying behavior, we can never really know, nor should we try, to attribute revenue to one particular source. Thus, are we back to a modern version of Wanamaker's interpretation?

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