All posts by Bruce McDuffee

MM 069 – Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Marketing

This week we discuss the pros and cons of outsourcing marketing. Learn about pitfalls to avoid, 5 questions to ask when you are deciding whether or not to outsource and a few great examples.

Highlights:

  • Manufacturers are well positioned to go through the process of choosing whether or not to outsource because they are likely to already have a process in place for other business functions. Here are 5 questions to ask: [4:00]
    1. What is the specific work that you want to accomplish?
    2. What is the frequency of the particular marketing activity?
    3. Do you have an in-house resource that can do the work?
    4. What is the cost for us to do the same work in-house?
    5. What is the opportunity cost to do it in-house?
  • One of the important considerations for risk is that you are going to have to devote time to your outsourced resource. If you are unable to devote time to communications and management, the outsourcing project will not be effective and productive. [9:10]
  • Outsourcing can be a very efficient means to get your marketing activities done. [12:00]
  • To find good fit agencies or consultants to outsource consider LinkedIn groups, colleagues, web search or local business networking groups. Find a company that is already doing the activity that you need to get done. [13:55]
  • Pitfalls to avoid include, choosing based on lowest price, watch out for buying more than you need especially when it comes to technology, not having the capacity to communicate with your outsourced marketer. [18:50]

Interview Questions:

Question 1 –  Steve, what are some important considerations a manufacturer should look at when they are trying to decide if they should or should not outsource marketing or a portion of their marketing?

What are the risks a manufacturer should be aware of with outsourcing?

What are the possible gains a manufacturer could realize from outsourcing?

Question 2 –  OK, let’s say there’s a manufacturing marketing leader out there who has decided they are ready to outsource. What are the first steps to take? Is there a process they should go through?

Question 3 – The biggest question on the minds of some listeners might be, “How do I find the right agency for me?” Could you offer some advice on finding a best fit agency?

Question 4 – How about pitfalls? I’m sure there are some folks out there who have had bad experiences with outsourcing. What are 3 to 5 pitfalls to look out for when outsourcing marketing?

Challenge Question –  This week our challenge question comes from a business development manager at a packaging equipment manufacturer. Here it is, “The reason for my email is that I was hoping you might be able to point me in the right direction of other packaging equipment manufacturers that have been approaching marketing this way (stopping the product pitch and sharing expertise). Even with the metrics, I’m having a hard time getting management to see the value. My thought is, if I can build a portfolio of examples of similar type companies along with our metrics, that I can successfully demonstrate the opportunity it holds for us.”

  • Share some examples of what competitors are doing, even if it is the opposite. Show opportunity or even create a little fear that the competition is moving ahead with a similar tactic.
  • It will be hard to find manufacturers who are using this tactic. That, in itself, is the opportunity. Be the first. Be the early adopter. The winners will be the first movers. Do an A-B test comparing a product webinar to a knowledge based webinar to prove the concept. The best way to get buy-in is to show how the strategy is driving revenue.

Takeaways:

  • It’s not too late to put your marketing strategy in place for the year.
  • Marketing is a skill set, not something that can be done on the fly or as a side activity.
  • Know what you need before you start to search for a firm to outsource marketing.
  • Outsourcing can be a very efficient and effective way to get marketing done, but it’s not the solution for all firms.

MM 068 – CAD Files for SEO and Awareness

This week we discuss how to use CAD files to increase website traffic and generate awareness. If you are manufacturing parts whether configured or stock, this tactic is a must have.

Highlights:

  • The crux of the idea is that as a manufacturer of a component, you should provide downloadable, usable CAD that makes it easy for them to use that file in their own drawings without having to create the model themselves. [4:45]
  • Most engineers will not stick on a site that does not offer CAD. But, only about 50% use this tactic. That spells opportunity. [7:00]
  • The 2D drawing can be more important than the 3D. The 2D has a much wider audience. [9:00]
  • Learn how CAD works to help with SEO. You don’t want the person looking for a part to leave your website to get the CAD file.  [15:00]
  • Those companies that do not use this tactic will start to lose business to companies that are already doing it. [21:10]

Interview Questions:

Question 1 –  Let’s start with the logistics. How does it work? A real example would be great.

Question 2 –  It seems like any company selling a part would be all over this. Is the practice widely adopted or are only a few savvy manufacturers reaping the benefits?

Is it hard to do and/or very expensive?

Question 3 – Would you please walk our listeners through the strategy and then through the tactical steps from a prospective customer visiting the site to downloading the CAD file to making the purchase?

Question 4 – How does offering CAD drawings on a website affect SEO? Web traffic in general?

Are there other benefits related to marketing and sales that we haven’t discussed?

Challenge Question –  This week our challenge question comes from a VP Sales & Marketing of a Midwest manufacturer of steel tubing. Here it is “We’re a mid-size manufacturer of all types of steel tubing. We’re sold on the idea of gaining brand awareness and differentiating by sharing expertise. Our challenge is that we have no idea about how to get started since it’s all new to our sales and marketing team. What would you advise being the first steps?”

  • The best way to get started is to understand a common problem that your audience faces where you have expertise. Share knowledge around that pain or problem. Build some content and distribute it to your target audience. As that content is consumed by your target audience, your reputation as the go-to expert will begin to grow.

Takeaways:

  • Don’t wait any longer to start using CAD for your business.
  • Be aware that you may never know the amount of business you are losing because they are going to the competitor who does offer CAD on their website.

MM 067 – Digital Marketing for Manufacturing – do or die

This week our guest expert Marcelo Prado and I discuss the huge importance of digital marketing for manufacturers. It is really a matter of survival. Those manufacturers who are willing and able to build their go-to-market strategy around the digital world will win, those unable or unwilling will become extinct. Marcelo shares the why and the how.

Highlights:

  • See a webinar by MAPI, Invent to Survive.
  • One of the problems is that many manufacturers and the leadership do not understand what ‘digital marketing’ really means. First you have to educate about what it means. A pilot program helps to demonstrate the strategy. [5:30]
  • The most exciting part of digital marketing is that it allows manufacturers to engage with their audience in many different ways as they go through their buying process. [7:00]

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MM 066 – The Power of Agility for Small & Medium Manufacturers

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In this episode, we discuss the advantages that are available to small and medium size manufacturing companies because of their innate ability to make quick marketing decisions and relatively quick strategic or tactical changes. Adam is a practitioner who has proven this idea as a marketing manager working with and marketing to manufacturers.


Guest: Adam Robinson, Marketing Manager at Cerasis

Highlights:

  • The reason that SMB manufacturers have an advantage is, simply, there is less bureaucracy and fewer people to approve content. You can also spread the word internally faster and easier. Take advantage of this difference. [6:00]
  • LinkedIn Groups are a great place to share your message, knowledge or expertise with a target audience.  Choose a group and share knowledge. Ask a question and post answers. [11:00]
  • Action Items – build a content plan to create content that your audience wants to consume; distribute content on a regular schedule; get the sales team and leadership involved with your content marketing strategy and execution. [14:30]
  • Adam shares ideas how to get over the perception that marketing is a servant to sales. Show sales that marketing can be a powerful force to help sales achieve their goals. [20:00]

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MM 065 – Using LinkedIn for Business Development

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In this episode, we discuss the power and potential of LinkedIn for business development in manufacturing organizations. Bill Sterzenbach from Upward shares ideas, suggestions and real stories about how you, the manufacturing marketer, can and should use LinkedIn for business development; more qualified leads, higher conversion rates and a full sales pipeline.


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Guest: Bill Sterzenbach, Partner at Upward Brand Interactions

Highlights:

  • There seems to be a bias against social media, therein lies a huge opportunity for the industrial enlightened. [2:50]
  • LinkedIn is a place where professional go for growth. [5:50]
  • 62% of B2B marketers find LinkedIn to be the most effective way to engage with their target audiences. The people who get the most benefit are those who understand the people who make up their target audience. [7:00]
  • It’s about people talking to people more than a brand talking to an audience. [9:30]
  • Bill shares a case study about Parker Hannifin and Caterpillar are using LinkedIn well and having had great success on LinkedIn. [12:20]

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MM 064 – Website Tips for Manufacturers

website tips manufacturers

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MM 064 – Website Tips for Manufacturers

Guest: Tim Doyle, VP Sales at TopSpot

Highlights:

  • A top performing website must be first, aligned with your business goals. For example, one goal for a website may be to act as a sales generation engine. Another often forgotten goal is to make the website useful for customers and employees. [5:25]
  • Tim estimates that less than 10% of industrial websites are top performers. Therein lies the opportunity for competitive advantage.Don't Make Me Think[7:50]
  • Is your website designed as a ‘don’t make me think’ design? Tim mentions this resource, ‘Don’t Make Me Think’ by Steve Krug. [9:15]
  • Well crafted content that is relevant is one important essential piece of an effective website. [11:05]

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MM 063 – Channel Partner Sales Strategy for Manufacturers


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MM 063 – Channel Partner Sales Strategy for Manufacturers

Guest: Debbie Pierce, CEO Nitromojo

Highlights:

  • Sometimes trying to decide exactly who the manufacturing customer really is can be confusing for manufacturers. [4:00]
  • The most successful manufacturers have great communication, visibility, and transparency with their channel partners. Lack of transparency can cause fear on both sides. [7:10]
  • An automated feedback loop can be a huge benefit for attribution and sales projections. [9:50]

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MM 062 – Differentiation – What is it? How to get it?

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MM 062 – Differentiation – What is it? How to get it?differentiation

Guest: Andrea Olson, Founder & CEO Prag’madik, Author of No Disruptions – The New Future for Mid-Market Manufacturing

Highlights:

  • “Marketing is about communicating, positioning and perception” [3:00]
  • When you ask your customers about how they perceive your differentiation or position, be sure to maintain objectivity, sometimes a 3rd party is best.[5:00]
  • You can get differentiation on features and benefits if you have a huge, unlimited marketing budget, but it can be a bit disingenuous. [7:20]

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MM 061 – Top Episode of 2016 – And the Winner is ….

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Top Episode of 2016 (by downloads) is MM 025 – Marketing to Scientists, Engineers and other Technical Disciplines

Guest: Hamid Ghanadan, Founder of The Linus Group

Highlights:customer centric marketing is the focus of persuading scientists

  • Scientists, engineers and other technically trained professionals approach the purchasing process in very similar ways where customer centric marketing works.
  • Persuading Scientists: Marketing to the World’s Most Skeptical Audience – learn more about the book.
  • Interesting comparison of scientists to engineers by Hamid Ghanadan.
  • This new way to market is an evolution from technology-centric to product-centric to application-centric to customer-centric marketing.

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MM 060 – Manufacturing Marketing Predictions for 2017

How are we doing? What topics should we cover in 2017? Please complete this short 4 question survey if you have a few moments.


Manufacturing Marketing Predictions for 2017

Guest: Tom Repp, Owner and Principle of The Repp Group 

Manufacturing Marketing Predictions:

Tom Prediction 1 –  In each mfg. sector there will be one company that will emerge as brand leader by virtue the fact that they hired a marketing evangelist that knew how to leverage the web for brand awareness & lead generation. [3:20]

  • Tom also talks about the idea of content saturation to get first page results on the SERP.
  • Manufacturers who embrace this idea and develop educational content will emerge as winners in their markets while others may languish and, perhaps, even perish.

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