Archive for the Social Media Category
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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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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More On Compliance & Governance And Their Impact On Social Media In Manufacturing

Last August, I dropped a post titled “Why Compliance Is Transforming Social Media For Manufacturing & B2B” that pointed out the unique conditions of industrial markets with regard to Social Media use and their real – versus perceived – value to manufacturers.

It’s awfully hard to find examples of these qualities, for many reasons. For one thing, industrial marketing just isn’t sexy (well, to some of us it ain’t) and it doesn’t get the press. But more importantly, most industrial and manufacturing companies like to talk about what they’re DOING with media as opposed to how the media is BEING USED.

But two recent events – one from the financial industry, and one anecdotal – drive home the realities that manufacturers in tightly secured or self-regulated industries must consider before embarking on a Social Media journey to grow their businesses.

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To Create A Successful Social Media Plan in Manufacturing, Look To Your Supply Chain

To Begin Your Social Media Strategy, Look To Your Supply Chain

I work with many companies in manufacturing and industrial markets. And most of the skepticism I hear about marketing from these folks has to do with Social Media.

While most understand the rapid Social Media growth rates and sheer numbers, they say they aren’t seeing the adoption by their customers or within their industries. Add to that the lack of marketing expertise in these companies, and it’s easy to see why they’re reluctant to dive in.

But I say, whether you’re with a manufacturing business that’s gonna “wait and see,” a business that’s tried it and didn’t find the value, or trying to find the right strategy, look to your supply chain(s) for success in your business through Social Media.

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