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News and info that works for you, from ThomasNet.

Stand Out on the Shortlist: The B2B Buying Cycle, Part 4

Posted by Jeff Morgan , April 11, 2014

short-list-imPut yourself in the buyer’s shoes. What’s most important to them when sourcing? Early on, speed and efficiency are key – conducting research on their terms, without worrying about an email or a call back. That doesn’t change once they reach the shortlist stage – they’re still not ready to spend time on queries. In fact, you likely won’t even know you’re on the shortlist until the first time they contact you. How does the shortlist work, and how can you improve your chances of getting there – and getting selected?

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Manufacturing, Manufacturing and Industrial, B2B Strategies, Branding, industrial marketing, online strategy

Learn What Your Prospects Are Really Looking For: The B2B Buying Cycle, Part 3

Posted by Jeff Morgan , April 3, 2014

IM-Blog-QuestionMark-040314It’s not enough just to be listed. Keep that in mind as you consider the third stage of the industrial B2B buying cycle: Evaluation. Buyers arrive at this stage once they’ve identified a need and begun a high level, general search. You’re a possibility to reach their shortlist – but you’re still not a lock. Buyers need to see that it’s worth their time to keep considering you. How? It’s all in the details.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Manufacturing, Manufacturing and Industrial, Website Strategy, B2B Strategies, online strategy

Don’t Play Hide and Seek With Buyers: The B2B Buying Cycle, Part 2

Posted by Jeff Morgan , March 28, 2014

seeking-buyers-imHow do you search for information when you already have a general idea of what you need? Often, you go right to a niche source rather than conducting a web search. For example, if you’re looking for a book, you head to Amazon. Need yesterday’s basketball scores? Right to ESPN.com. Many industrial buyers get started the same way.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Manufacturing, Manufacturing and Industrial, Website Strategy, B2B Strategies, Branding, online strategy

Impacting Prospects Before the Sales Funnel: The B2B Buying Cycle, Part 1

Posted by Jeff Morgan , March 20, 2014

funnel-imLast week, we took a bird’s-eye view of the entire B2B buying cycle, and how you can impact each stage of it. Over the next several weeks, we’re going to zoom in on each step of the way to a sale, and take a closer look at the strategies that can work best for you in reaching buyers.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Manufacturing, Social Media, Manufacturing and Industrial, B2B Strategies, industrial marketing, online strategy

Impact Your Prospects at Every Stage of the Buying Cycle

Posted by Jeff Morgan , March 13, 2014

web-buying-cycle-funnelContent marketing is a great tool for reaching your prospects at every stage of the buying cycle – it’s a benefit we’ve revisited time and again. This week, let’s take a closer look at that B2B industrial buying cycle – and the marketing tools that are best suited to making an impression at each step of the way.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Social Media, Manufacturing and Industrial, Website Strategy, B2B Strategies, Branding, SEO, online strategy

Manufacturers Need Google+ – Here Are 4 Reasons Why

Posted by Jeff Morgan , March 7, 2014

google-plus-TIME
Is Google+ a sleeping giant? Has it already awoken? Is it at the peak of its potential, or is there even more impact to be realized? Whichever camp you’re in, the one thing you can’t do is ignore Google+, or take a “wait-and-see” approach. It’s a key factor not only in today’s social media landscape, but in your overall digital strategy – so it’s time to embrace it. Here are four reasons why.

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Topics: Manufacturing, Social Media, Manufacturing and Industrial, SEO, industrial marketing, online strategy

Six Reasons You Need Responsive Design On Your Website

Posted by Jeff Morgan , February 28, 2014

responsive-design-IM-largev2We talked a few weeks ago about some first steps toward optimizing your website for mobile devices – and responsive design is a great start. Need a refresher? Think of responsive design this way: imagine if movies were only available in the original dimensions they played in at the theater. Whether you later watched it on the flatscreen in your living room, a smaller set in your bedroom, or on your iPad, it only came in that one, giant size.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Manufacturing and Industrial, Website Strategy, B2B Strategies, Content Marketing, online strategy

5 Organization Tools to Clean Up Your Marketing Strategy

Posted by Jeff Morgan , February 21, 2014

cleanup-marketingCan you think of a brand where their marketing strategy doesn’t always seem like it’s on the same page – where it seems like throwing darts to see what hits? For me, the Geico commercials come to mind: there are the ones with the gecko. The ones with the banjo players. And let’s not forget “Hump Day.” They’re memorable ads, and no doubt effective – why else would Geico keep rolling them out? – but does this sort of “purposely disorganized” messaging work for every company?

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Manufacturing, Social Media, Manufacturing and Industrial, Website Strategy, B2B Strategies, Branding, industrial marketing, online strategy

Marketing on the Move: 4 Ways to Optimize Your Mobile Strategy

Posted by Jeff Morgan , February 14, 2014

BusinessPhone-IM
Are you still unsure if you need a mobile strategy? Let’s look at some numbers: 91% of all American adults own a cell phone, and 55% have a smartphone. 63% of U.S. smartphone users use their device to access the internet – and 34% of them get online primarily via mobile. Worldwide? There are 1.2 billion people getting online through their phones. And if you thought the first digital revolution happened quickly, buckle up: mobile web adoption is occurring eight times faster. Here’s the good news: even if this is the first time you’ve considered a mobile strategy, you can get up to speed with just a few steps.

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Topics: Social Media, Website Strategy, Branding, SEO, online strategy

6 Ways to Dig For Content When You’re Stuck

Posted by Jeff Morgan , February 7, 2014

truckinsnow-imYesterday morning, I walked past a truck driver stuck in some snow. I didn’t want to get too close, because he was really having a hard time getting out and looked a bit out of control: wheels spinning, back end fishtailing, not making any headway. Luckily, he had a coworker with a shovel helping to dig him out and get unstuck. It can be easy to get stuck with our content creation in these early months of the year, too. Business has yet to pick up, news is slow, and we’re in danger of just spinning our wheels with uninteresting, uninspired content. How can you dig yourself out?

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Manufacturing and Industrial, Website Strategy, B2B Strategies

Branding, Baseball, and B2B: A Case Study

Posted by Jeff Morgan , January 31, 2014

B2BBASEBALL-IM-BLOGThe Super Bowl is the big sports event on everyone’s mind this weekend, but baseball’s spring training starts in just a few short weeks. Both sports have their share of scary head injuries, and this week we learned about a possible breakthrough in headwear to protect pitchers from those blazing line drives that can create some frightening scenes. Let’s take a closer look at the company behind this development, Isoblox – and what it can teach us about B2B branding. 

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Manufacturing, Manufacturing and Industrial, Website Strategy, B2B Strategies, Branding

5 Ways for Industrial SMB Owners to Make Time for Marketing

Posted by Jeff Morgan , January 23, 2014

manage-time-IM“Really work morning to night. Think about it in your sleep. Seven days a week. No breaks.” Those are Elon Musk’s (Tesla CEO and real-life Iron Man) words of advice to budding entrepreneurs – but, as you probably know, they apply to just about every small business owner, regardless of your company’s age. With the day-to-day grind of making sales, fulfilling orders, and generally keeping the lights on, who has time for sleep, let alone marketing?

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Manufacturing, Social Media, Manufacturing and Industrial, B2B Strategies, Branding, industrial marketing, online strategy

3 Tactics to Change the Way You Think of Traditional Marketing

Posted by Jeff Morgan , January 17, 2014

C-is-for-content-imThere’s no denying that content marketing is one of the most effective tools for reaching your prospects. The "inbound" philosophy can maximize results for any marketing budget, large or small - and it makes the most of existing resources, like your own voice and expertise. While we often focus on sharing some of the most effective ways of applying the relatively new concept of content marketing, it's important to keep in mind that you can still engage in more traditional tactics – though those have changed, too.

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Topics: Social Media, Competitive Strategy, ROI Analytics, B2B Strategies, Branding, online strategy

The Science of the Perfect Social Media Post (and Why You Should Ignore It)

Posted by Jeff Morgan , January 10, 2014

science-socialmedia-imManufacturers and engineers typically fall into the “left-brained” mold: analytical, data-driven, and scientific. From schooling and training through to our professional lives, most any problem can be solved with the right formulas and numbers – every puzzle can be pieced together. It’s a big difference from the often-subjective world of marketing, which can hold all kinds of complexities: nuances of communication, complications in messaging, and most of all, the whims of the audience. Wouldn’t it be so much easier if there were a formula to solve it all?

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Topics: Social Media, ROI Analytics, Manufacturing and Industrial

What Are Your 2014 Marketing Resolutions?

Posted by Jeff Morgan , January 2, 2014

3It’s that time of year again: holidays are over, and it’s time to focus on what’s ahead. In all honesty, we’re not huge fans of resolutions here – we think any time is a good time to change for the better. Let’s take a look at some of the most common (and quickly-forgotten) resolutions – and how you can use them to prime your marketing plan for success throughout the whole year.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Manufacturing, Social Media, ROI Analytics, Manufacturing and Industrial, B2B Strategies, industrial marketing, online strategy

5 Predictions For Industrial Marketing In 2014

Posted by Jeff Morgan , December 30, 2013

IMblog-2014v2Looking back, 2013 will go down as the Year of the User for industrial marketing. We’ve learned that the best way, by far, to reach prospective buyers is to deliver interesting content on their terms: what they want, when they want it. It’s no small task! But with the wealth of information, technology, and access options available to your audience, the old, interruptive model by itself won’t cut it anymore. The Year of the User: when marketing learned to ask “what can I do for you?” So what’s next?

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Social Media, Manufacturing and Industrial, B2B Strategies, Branding, industrial marketing, online strategy

Social Media Marketing: A Look Back, and A Look Ahead

Posted by Jeff Morgan , December 13, 2013

social-networks-IMv2
It may sound a little strange, but social media is reaching a mature stage in its development. Its importance as a communication tool is no longer in question, and its legitimacy as a marketing platform is clear: 77% of the Fortune Global 100 use Twitter, and 70% of Fortune 500 companies are on Facebook (including 9 of the top 10). The social networks are vastly different places now than they were even just a few years ago – and the best ways to use them have evolved as well. Let’s take a look back at some of the changes – and how to take advantage of the social landscape of today and tomorrow.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Social Media, Manufacturing and Industrial, B2B Strategies

Marketing and Sales for Today’s Buyers: Three Tips to Get the Most Out of the Relationship

Posted by Jeff Morgan , December 6, 2013

sales-marketing-im
It’s always been a tough relationship to nail down, but today’s landscape of buyer behavior has thrown yet another money wrench into the workings of your sales and marketing unit. On the marketing side, the challenge is to address the diverse needs of prospects who get as far as 70% of the way to a purchase before contacting a salesperson. Just a few of the difficulties that salespeople now face include less cycle time to build a relationship, more competition, and buyers who are increasingly immune to traditional sales methods. What’s a manager to do?

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Competitive Strategy

Are Retailers Embracing Content Marketing in Their Holiday Ads?

Posted by Jeff Morgan , November 26, 2013

family-cooking-thanksgiving-dinner
Are mainstream advertisers embracing the gift of content marketing as the holiday season kicks off? At first glance, it might appear so – according to AdAge, not only are holiday ads down 8.3% so far this year, but the ads that are out there are “holiday subtle” – that is, they’re focusing more on atmosphere and less on screaming Black Friday promotions. Viewers are getting a little break – but we shouldn’t jump to call it content marketing just yet.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Branding

Don’t Go Changing: A Look at Google’s New Hummingbird Update

Posted by Jeff Morgan , November 22, 2013

google-al-imblog
Moving targets are the hardest to hit. With several hundred updates each year - yes, more than one a day - few move faster than Google's search algorithm. Although it can drive SEO analysts and content developers alike up the wall, the constant shifting does have benefits - to customers, and ultimately, to suppliers like you.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Website Strategy, SEO, online strategy

Know Your Audience: The Key Role of Buyer Personas

Posted by Jeff Morgan , November 15, 2013

buyer-persona-blog-im
Imagine a trade school instructor working with a brand-new class of students and jumping right into the finer points of programming a 5-axis CNC machine. Or a presenter at an executive seminar who just goes over the basic concept of a balance sheet. Neither one would make much of an impact on his or her audience, and they’d only be memorable for the worst of reasons. They failed because they didn’t know their audience, and therefore couldn’t address the audience’s needs.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Manufacturing, Social Media, Manufacturing and Industrial, Website Strategy, B2B Strategies, industrial marketing, online strategy

You Are Your Content

Posted by Jeff Morgan , November 8, 2013

shutterstock_161191172
Your content typically takes the form of blog posts or portfolios – educational content that lives on your site. Readers find it in the course of searches for topics that they’re interested in, come to your site, and we see content marketing at work. In order to really supercharge your reach, though, it helps to expand – expand what you think of as “content,” and expand where it’s going to “live” – beyond your site.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Manufacturing, Social Media, Manufacturing and Industrial, Branding, SEO, industrial marketing, online strategy

When Marketing Gets Scary: Three Tales of Terror

Posted by Jeff Morgan , October 31, 2013

skeleton-im-blog-large
Who doesn’t love a good, fun scare? With Halloween now come and gone, that season may be winding down, but unfortunately the potential for a frightening marketing situation stays with us year-round. Fortunately, like the hero left standing at the end of our favorite scary movie, we have ways to fight back against the horror of marketing gone wrong.

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Social Media, B2B Strategies, Branding, online strategy

Want to Write Better Headlines? Follow These Three Tips

Posted by Jeff Morgan , October 25, 2013

IM-blog-newspaperIt’s almost like a cruel trick: you read a great headline or Twitter post, click the link, and expect to see more of the same: useful information, instruction, advice, or humor. Once you get to the article, though, it all falls apart – poor writing, worn-out topics, or it’s just plain boring. You can spend all the time you want on a killer headline – it might even get you some better click metrics – but without the quality content to back it up, it’ll never turn into leads or customers. 

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Topics: B2B Marketing, Social Media, online strategy

There’s More to Your Supply Chain Than Just Products

Posted by Jeff Morgan , October 18, 2013

suppy-chain-largeWhen we talk about content marketing and connecting with your customers, we often come back to sharing the stories and background behind your business – what are your values, what’s important to you, who are you? It’s the backbone of your identity and your brand.

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Topics: Manufacturing and Industrial, Branding

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