Archive for the Social Media Category
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A Marketing Quadrant For Manufacturers – Content & Social Media

You must have 'the talk.' Whether you're beginning your marketing journey or restarting, the first step has to be discussing what your content proposition is and should be - to serve your customers, and win new business.

You must sit down and have ‘the talk.’

Far and away, the the most common mistake I see made by well-meaning but frustrated manufacturing businesses is ignoring ‘the talk’ about what their Web site & Social Media strategies should be. They discuss colors, or layout. They jump head-first into building a web presence, or establishing a Social Media voice – but rarely discuss content. It just doesn’t seem to matter much.

‘What will we say? What resonates most with our clients and prospects? What are they looking for? What are they trying to do? And what do they need that we can give them to make those things easier? Or better?’

In a perfect world, you’d think manufacturers would be the last to make this mistake. When you receive an RFQ or or inquiry from a prospect, the first thing you want to do is assess what’s needed – review the print, discuss the processes, dissect the job, find a better way. Do it right.

But with mixing marketing & most manufacturers, reality goes into suspended animation. They tend to make it up as they go along. And it’s probably like that at your company.

Here’s a guide to get your conversation about content marketing started. No matter where you are in your marketing journey, use this Marketing Quadrant for Manufacturers to get yourself on track & help ensure that you’re more successful in your own markets.

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Steve Jobs’ Life & Death Leave A Legacy For Manufacturing

Steve Jobs left a legacy that will affect many lives, in many walks, and in unique places. His legacy for manufacturing is compelling, and worthy of some reflection.

I’ve been up half the night and since early this morning reflecting on the life and passing of Steve Jobs. While we all knew he was ill and likely suffering a setback, news of his death shook me harder than I expected.

For me, it feels similar to the JFK and MLK assassinations but different at the same time. Like a slow, simmering introspection – but with the same gravity. Like losing John Lennon, without the flash of powder burns. Like “Uh-oh, this one’s really gonna hurt.”

So I’ve found myself thinking about this man and what he left us. There will be so many more eloquent eulogies in the coming days for this brash, tyrannical, brilliant, honest, spiritual, creative, flawed & perfect soul. But whenever we lose something like Steve Jobs, we have a responsibility to translate what we had and lost into terms that make sense to ourselves. To grow & build on. Personally.

Here are some thoughts about his life & passing and what they maybe mean for our unique place in this world.

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Why Compliance Is Transforming Social Media For Manufacturing & B2B

The more rigid or regulated the business or industry, the more likely we'll see tighter controls on Social Media access and communications channels.

Social Media is still in its infancy. Not to say the adoption rates are low – we’re already well on our way to critical mass now – but it’s only just developing in defining its specific roles to bring real value to myriad demographics, groups & industries. This is nothing new.

When the Internet cow left the barn in the mid-90s, its applications were basic, unrefined and simplistic. Investments were made based on potential rather than actual value. Even today, the rules are still being rewritten as to how the Web in general influences and serves behaviors and markets. And Social Media is in the same spot the Web was back then: just now leaving a period of great discovery, and entering an era of vast underutilization and redefinition.

This is particularly true for business. And especially for industries in manufacturing with complex design and supply chains.

Compliance – and for that matter, governance, too – will become the defining topics for how and why industrial and technology companies utilize Social Media over the coming decade. And it may already be effecting the results you’re seeing now, without you even knowing it.

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The Impact Of Marketing Content Types On Industrial & ManufacturingTechnology Buying Cycles

Specific media serve specific needs at various stages of the capital equipment and industrial technology buying cycles.

In 2009, Google commissioned a survey with the company TechTarget to measure the behaviors around IT technology purchases, and how content types served those prospects throughout the buying cycle.  A compelling feature of this study is that Google used actual keywords and phrases that prospects searched for, as well as the content types they selected.

In short, this is no survey – actual behaviors, keywords searched upon and content types selected were OBSERVED. Real-time, and without the fog of interpretation, memory or recall.

While there are differences between IT and industrial technology buying cycles, there were compelling and surprising conclusions drawn from this study, and industrial marketers should consider these findings to maximize the effectiveness of their marketing strategies.

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Are Social Media Right For All Manufacturers? Maybe Not

Social Media these days may not be worth it for some manufacturing niches and their industrial marketing needs. At least not yet.

I’ve just read an article that eloquently and accurately explains the dramatic differences between industrial marketing and marketing for the consumer sector. It’s so good, that I wish I’d written it myself. I don’t care if you’re a small manufacturer in the heartland, a massive capital equipment OEM on the West Coast, an industrial marketing consultant that serves ’em, or anyone involved in the industrial manufacturing genome – stop what you’re doing:

Read it. Now. Because it’s great.

Great articles often transcend their initial concepts and take us to unexpected topics and conclusions. And this one does that. But more about that in a minute. Continue Reading

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