Archive for the Industrial Marketing Category
Forget ‘Lead’ Generation – Think ‘Need’ Generation

One of the greatest travesties I’ve seen in companies that serve manufacturing or industrial markets is the system for managing ‘leads.’

The approach I’m talking about  immediately renders the prospect or customer as a number. Less than human. It creates the impression that the primary concern of the company is gettin’ the dough and moving on to the ‘next one.’ It minimizes the problems  a prospect is trying to solve, while elevating the company’s bargaining position. And we rationalize this as ‘just how business is done …’

How many relationships – business or otherwise – are sustained or even last after a beginning like that?

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IMTS 2012 – Social Media, Technology, And The Manufacturing Vibe

I attended IMTS 2012 last month in Chicago, and of all that I’ve been to – each one since 1996 – this was, by far, the best. Ever.

Maybe it has as much to do with the fact that, considering where we’ve been recently, anything beyond a poke in the eye with a sharp stick would’ve been an improvement. But I don’t think that has much to do with what I saw and heard.

There were many unique qualities to IMTS 2012, but few deserve a mention more than the ‘coming out’ party for Social Media. And that’s as much for what it didn’t do, as much as for what it did.

Here’s a look at my observations about the 2012 show, and where Social Media are at in the manufacturing sector.

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5 Ways That Gamification & Apps Can Help Manufacturing

US Manufacturing is in a few quandaries right now. Between several rocks and hard places. It sometimes feels like we’re at the bottom of a pit, looking up at several Buffalo Bills who’re telling us to ‘put the lotion in the basket.’

But ingenuity has a way of changing the game. Despite misguided economists, debilitating trade deficits, and off-putting tax rates & regulations (all of which aren’t new, just more ominous than we’re used to), manufacturers have always managed to turn the corners for those that only think they’re driving the bus.

An example – albeit in its earliest stages – can be found in the convergence of cloud computing, mobile apps, and gamification within the manufacturing sector.

Here are 5 ways that this emerging technology landscape can help to solve many of the challenges faced by US manufacturing in the coming few years.

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Clamping Down On The Cloud – Why Manufacturing Should Take Notice

Many more manufacturing companies are clamping down on access to Social Media platforms to save bandwidth and maintain productivity.

Regardless of where you fall in manufacturing supply chains, you should take notice of cloud computing and its evolving impact on your customers, your suppliers, your productivity, and your bottom line.

Recently, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported that ‘Procter & Gamble Puts Clamps on Web Surfing.’ According to the story, P&G has blocked Pandora and Nexflix based on bandwidth issues. It seems that so many employees have been downloading music and videos from the cloud that it was dramatically slowing down P&G’s network, impacting its performance and productivity across the enterprise.

But buried in the story are references to other issues that the cloud and Social Media access are forcing companies to deal with in draconian ways, and that all of manufacturing should be aware of.

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Delimited Marketing And The Great Divide Between Manufacturing & Social Media

I have a problem with ‘manufacturing.’

Well, not with manufacturing itself – my problem’s with the term, and how it’s used to differentiate economic, marketing, sales & other business behaviors.

The problem is that ‘manufacturing’ is just too broad. It’s like describing ‘humanity.’ Cultures and traditions differentiate us in very important ways. I mean, when was the last time YOU ate monkey for lunch? But there are a LOT of people in this world that do eat things that would repulse others. Regularly.

Marketing the right food to the right market can work really well. But it won’t play EVERYWHERE. Several factors must merge for that message to resonate – need, familiarity, proximity, cost & value.

Manufacturing and its myriad subsets are similar to this analogy. Chemicals. Pharmaceuticals. Automotive. Defense. Consumables. Electronics. Furniture. Each come with nuances, regulations, verbiage, requirements and very real subtleties that differentiate what works well and where.

The type of manufacturer, the market, the priorities of price & cost, the constraints they must observe and navigate through, and the behaviors of buyers in those markets/industries all add up to Delimited Marketing. And it should drive and influence all of us as we construct effective marcomm strategies for our unique places in the manufacturing genome.

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