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Incorporating Your Buying Cycle Into Your Website Design

Manufacturing companies are like people: they are unique but have many similarities that allow us to generalize. This next series of blogs will generalize a few things, but keep in mind they are not the “rule” for all manufacturers, all the time.

This series will be breaking down our latest e-book “28 Elements of a Modern Manufacturer’s Website.” In the e-book, we give an overview of all the elements you’ll need to have a modern website, from concept to creation.

When developing the concept for your website, one thing that is consistently overlooked is considering the buying cycle into your website design.

Some manufacturers sell directly on their website to the public, some sell only to dealers with a unique login, some are more of an industrial model.

Your website should mimic and enhance the buying cycle that you are currently using to sell to the public, your dealers, or industrial purchasing.

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Topics: Accelerated Lead Growth Program, manufacturers, manufacturing, Manufacturing E-commerce, Optimizing manufacturing websites, websites for manufacturers, website design, ecommerce, mobile website, buying cycle

Manufacturers CAN Create Amazing Content

 

Is Creating New Content Worth It?

When it comes to their marketing, most manufacturers have three main goals: brand awareness, lead generation, and customer acquisition.

Efforts to focus on these goals often leave little room for ongoing conversations with customers, or establishing the company as a thought leader; it’s all about the immediate revenue impact.

Whatever your specific goals are for your company this year, the overarching goal usually is to effectively and efficiently engage customers.

Interruption marketing is no longer effective in a digital world where anyone can create and publish content. Your customers are expecting to be educated, informed, and entertained by what they find online.

This is where your content marketing comes in; creating relevant, useful content such as blog posts or spec sheets, and distributing it to your customers.

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Topics: Lead Growth Webinar Series, manufacturers, manufacturers content, content marketing, leave a trail, content curation, content creation, content distribution, content for manufacturers

Why Your Current Promotions Are Not Working (And How to Fix Them)

The “Promotion Rut”

Within every company and even industries as a whole, there is a tendency to create marketing strategies and promotions in the same fashion. It may be because the same person or team is in charge of marketing year after year, or because one channel or promotion has worked well in the past.

This practice runs the danger of getting you into the “promotion rut”, meaning using the same promotions year after year, such as magazine ads or un-monitored pay-per-click campaigns.

You may still be receiving a response  from these promotions and think that is good enough, maybe it covers your costs and brings in a little extra money.

However, the danger of the rut is missing out on potential new revenue. There are already a lot of manufacturers out there using the same promotional techniques across the same channels.

The manufacturing industry as a whole has been thought to be more latent to take their promotions online, but that is changing. A whopping 54% of industrial marketers planned to spend more on online marketing last year (Source: GlobalSpec).

Trade shows or certain publications may generate business, but how many of your competitors are in those exact same spaces, competing for the exact same customers?

You need a way to stand out.

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Topics: Lead Growth Webinar Series, digital marketing, Online marketing tools, offline marketing, leave a trail, promotions, tradigital marketing, manufacturing promotions

Effectively Market to Your Resellers

 

What are Resellers?

In the manufacturing industry, you are likely very familiar with resellers. Resellers are those who purchase goods from you in order to sell them; such as dealers, distributors, agents and independent reps. Many manufacturers have resellers that sell their products.

The benefits of using resellers are:

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Topics: Accelerated Lead Growth Program, Lead Growth Webinar Series, resellers, reseller agencies, distributors, manufacturing reps, reseller programs, reseller marketing, leave a trail, dealers

Branding Your Manufacturing Company

What Is a Brand?

The word “brand” brings many things to mind, from logos, to packaging, to an experience with a particular company.

It is a word that encompasses so much, that not only do marketers across all industries define it differently, but your manufacturing company brand may be defined differently in each division.

Building your company brand is no small feat, and maintaining it can be even more challenging. However it is important to your overall marketing strategy, as described in our latest e-book, “Leave a Trail- The Manufacturer’s Marketing Guide for 2014.”

To do it right, it is important to understand what a brand really is in the first place, how you define it, and how to maintain it over the decades in order to drive new business and foster customer loyalty.

The Approach to Your Branding

In a simple statement, your brand is your “big picture”. It is who you are and what you do.

You know who you are and what you do, now how do you communicate that to the marketplace? That is branding.

The difference between your “brand” and “branding”, is branding focuses on your unique selling proposition. It is your competitive advantage, and connects who you are with how you deliver your brand message to your market.

When deciding on your branding and how you will position this brand in the market, the very first thing you need to do is define things like your:

  • Approach to doing business
  • Principles
  • Company Story
  • Relationship with your customers
  • Strengths

These will help you create the solid foundation that is your branding and brand position.

This is an important distinction. Your branding is NOT your colors, your logo, your products, or even your name. These are things that can change with your brand, the parts of the house you build on the brand foundation.

A good foundation will allow the moving parts of your brand to grow freely.

Defining Your Brand

The branding of your manufacturing company is critical, but it does not have to be overly complex. There are four criterias in brand definition, beginning with the reasons your company exists in the first place.

1.      Why you are in business?

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Topics: Lead Growth Webinar Series, building a brand, leave a trail, brand definition, brand marketing, brand

The Problem With Your Swag (aka your promotional products)

What is Swag?

If you have ever been an attendee at a trade show or expo instead of a presenter, you know what to expect. A lot of walking, a lot of handshakes, overpaying for lunch, and a plastic bag full of branded stress balls, pens, lanyards, keychains and sticky notes.

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Topics: Tradeshow Marketing, Trade show success, Trade show giveaways, Trade show products, Trade show marketing, Trade show swag, manufacturing trade shows, Trade show, promotional products

Marketing Trend Alert for 2014: Metric Analytics Solutions

Begin to Overcome Your Biggest Marketing Challenge

According to a report published last year, measuring ROI of marketing initiatives is the biggest challenge manufacturers face.

Thirty-one percent say it is the biggest challenge in their profession, while 58 percent consider sales attributed to marketing campaigns as a measure of success.  

If manufacturers could find a way to easily and effectively measure the ROI on their marketing initiatives, they would be free to focus more on other challenges, like lead generation and customer acquisition.

This means if you do not already have an analytics solution tracking all of your marketing activities, you are creating challenges for yourself that do not need to exist.

In this post, we will explore some of the most important metrics to track so you can take it a step further and start to measure ROI and optimize your marketing strategy.

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Topics: Accelerated Lead Growth Program, Lead Growth Webinar Series, Accelerated Lead Growth solution, return on investment, Analytics solutions, ALG, metric analytics, ROI, analytic solutions, analytic consulting

Marketing Trend Alert for 2014: Mobile Engagement

Mobile Is Here to Stay

Few industries have the luxury of ignoring the impact an increasingly mobile world is having on their online strategy. Consider the following statistics:

  •  Mobile internet usage is projected to overtake desktop internet usage this year. (Source: Microsoft Tag)
  • If all US mobile internet time was condensed into an hour, 25 minutes of it would be spent on email. (Source: Return Path)
  • 48% of e-mails are opened on mobile devices (Source: Litmus). Yet only 11% of e-mails are optimized for mobile (Source: Equinux)
  • 47% of marketing companies plan to increase their efforts in mobile apps in the next year. (Source: Experian )

A Google report showed that 90% of online users utilize multiple screens sequentially to accomplish a task over time. So research on your company that may start on a desktop may end up on a phone, or vice versa.

This means if you plan to conduct any kind of marketing online in 2014 or beyond, you need to make sure the experience is optimized for a mobile experience as well as the traditional desktop experience.

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Topics: Accelerated Lead Growth Program, Lead Growth Webinar Series, mobile engagement, responsive mobile design, geo-targeting, mobile application, mobile app, mobile optimization, text marketing

Marketing Trend Alert for 2014: Customer Relationship Management

The World of Marketing Acronyms

There are no shortages of acronyms being thrown around in the world of online marketing. From CMS to SEO to PPC, there are a hundred different acronyms that pertain to digital marketing alone.  

It can be challenging and confusing to sift through the jargon to learn what it all means and what really matters in your day to day marketing activities as a manufacturer. Our latest e-book, “Leave a Trail- The Manufacturer’s Marketing Guide for 2014”, explores those trends and activities that are most important to manufacturers.

A few of these terms and acronyms are really worth exploring as a manufacturer interested in increasing your marketing activities and effectiveness. The one we are going to explore in this post is CRM.

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Topics: Accelerated Lead Growth Program, Lead Growth Webinar Series, Lead Generation, marketing trends, lead scoring, CRM, marketing software, ALG, customer relationship management

Marketing Trend Alert for 2014: Content Management Systems

 

What is a Content Management System?

A content management system, or CMS, is a tool someone can use to publish, edit, and modify content on a website. 

The demands of keeping up with your website and online marketing today are challenging, and great tools can help ease the process.

This is why one of the marketing trends to be on alert for this year is a good CMS. For additional marketing trends to look out for in 2014, check out our free eBook, “Leave a Trail- The Manufacturer’s Marketing Guide for 2014”.

There are lots of content management systems out there; from free to expensive, and from basic to intricate. You may have already heard of popular solutions out there like Joomla or WordPress.

Without knowing much about content management systems, or why you need them, it can be almost impossible to choose from the vast options.

This is a basic guide to what content management systems can do to help make the best choice for you as a manufacturer.

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Topics: Accelerated Lead Growth Program, Lead Growth Webinar Series, Website Development, Accelerated Lead Growth solution, marketing trends, ALG, Content management system, CMS

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