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Manufacturers, What Does Your Dream Customer Look Like?

Posted by Justin Phillips on March 26, 2015 at 8:30 AM

Article Read Time: About 6 Minutes
Bonus Content: Persona Development Worksheet

In all elements of marketing, strategy is always paramount. Inbound marketing can easily be misused and turned into a content overload for your customers. To effectively carry out an inbound marketing engagement, we recommend clearly understanding your dream customer's needs, wants and language. Based on this, develop an ideal customer persona, and create a content calendar that your persona will relate to and appreciate.

Know Your Dream Customer Well

The first step is doing your research. Spend time talking to your ideal customers and understanding them. Making sure you clearly understand your customers will ensure that the conversations you have with them are correct.

Conduct Interviews and Research

Conducting interviews, performing surveys and researching your current customer base is the best way to determine who your ideal customer is, and to create a persona that represents that customer. Remember to include your sales and customer service teams, as they should already have a good understanding of your customers. Below is the type of information you should try to ascertain during your research.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Manufacturing Marketing

Google Changes Are Coming This April... Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?

Posted by Justin Phillips on March 24, 2015 at 8:30 AM

Google has announced their next algorithm update and have revealed that it will be heavily based on whether or not your website is mobile friendly. This change is scheduled for April 21, 2015.

Although this algorithm change may seem early in adoption, the statistics are showing the trend in mobile viewing is here to stay. Multiple search engines are providing data that shows that traffic from mobile devices is rapidly approaching 50 percent of the total share.

“Traffic to the two major U.S. search engines (Google & Bing) shows that a substantial proportion of their traffic comes from mobile devices. For Google, mobile comprised almost half of all traffic from June to November 2014, with 52 percent coming from desktops and 48 percent from mobile. For Bing, the portion of mobile Web visits is smaller, accounting for roughly 33 percent of visits against 67 percent from desktop.”  - ClickZ from January 7, 2015

Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?

When it comes to search engine results, the over arching theme with any search engine provider is to provide the best search result for the end user. In trying to accomplish this, the search engines constantly update their search formula to better improve results. Past algorithm updates have always included cues that ensure the website's listed are up to date in multiple ways like... browser compatibility, load time and code quality. Beginning this April Google will be including whether your website is mobile-friendly in these variables.

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Topics: SEO, Inbound Marketing, Google

Will Hiring a Salesperson Solve Your Manufacturing Sales Problem?

Posted by Greg Cawood on March 19, 2015 at 9:00 AM

Article Read Time: About 8 minutes
Video: Make Your Next Tradeshow Booth Stand Out From The Crowd

I have some very good relationships with a number of manufacturers across the United States. Over the years, I’ve noticed one recurring event which seems to play out, time and time again. I’ve noticed that they all rely very heavily on a “boots on the ground” approach to generating new business. When they want to grow their company, they turn to their sales teams and ask them to bring in larger accounts and more of them for their company to service. To help their sales team, they supply them with cold-call lists (based on SIC codes) and they also send them to trade shows all over the country. Neither of these tactics work very well, because they lack strategy.

When Business Is Down, Management Looks At Their Sales Teams.

They scrutinize their salespeople’s daily activities and lack of work ethic. Management quickly comes to the decision that the poor overall sales numbers mean that somehow their organization has become infested with poor quality salespeople. Normally, management focuses their indignation on one or two sales people that haven’t posted good years. In short, sales people are never able to generate enough business to make management happy.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Manufacturing Marketing, Sales

Inbound Marketing Offers That Every Manufacturer Needs

Posted by Greg Cawood on March 17, 2015 at 8:00 AM

Article Read Time: About 9 minutes
Video: Make Your Next Tradeshow Booth Stand Out From The Crowd

The data shows that the majority of the people who go to manufacturers’ websites are first time visitors. This means most people have their first experience with your company online. Therefore an important question to ask yourself is, “What would you normally want to accomplish during that conversation?” 

Think about this. If you were to speak with a potential customer for the first time, what would you talk about? Most likely, you would want to spend time talking with them about their needs and problems. Eventually, you will want to discuss how you could help them solve their problems. But you recognize that from the first time that you meet them, to the time when they decide to buy your solution, there is a process of building a relationship and understanding their goals.

Interestingly, this is where we see a major disconnect with how websites are structured and what visitors are looking for. The majority of manufacturing websites’ content is slanted towards someone who is much further along in their buying process than a first time visitor. They incorrectly assume that their visitors are closer to a buying decision than they actually are. They skip the “needs & pain point conversations,” and go right for a sale.

If you are a client of ours, then you know that we recommend a different approach. We recommend that manufacturers position 80% of their content towards people who are in the very early stage of investigating  your company. In this stage, you don’t want to appear too pushy. You want to quickly and efficiently provide them with the information that they are looking for. We have found that the best way to determine what kind of content to produce is to split your conversations into three parts targeted towards three clearly definable phases in everyone’s buying process.

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Manufacturing Marketing

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