Traditional Marketing is Alive and Well for Industrial Companies

Despite all the buzz about digital marketing and proof of results, manufacturers, engineering and industrial companies continue to use traditional marketing tactics such as trade shows, print ads and telemarketing.

According to the 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks–North America: CMI/MarketingProfs report, 67% of the 1,416 B2B Marketers surveyed, continue to rate in-person events as the most effective marketing tactic they use.

It would be easy to dismiss the continued use of traditional marketing by saying decision makers at industrial companies are resistant to change and they just don’t want to hear anything about current best practices in online marketing. While true to some extent, it doesn’t tell the complete story in my experience.

I have found owners and executives at industrial companies to be sharp business people who wouldn’t continue to spend good money on marketing tactics if they weren’t producing the desired results.

Read more

Cool Stuff Manufactured in America

In the spirit of Thanksgiving later this week, this post is my way of giving thanks to those manufacturers who still believe in the value of “Made in America.”

Manufacturing has been a bright spot for a while now in our economic recovery despite the anemic growth and sporadic hiring. During these holidays, I’d much rather talk about the good news instead of Wall Street’s roller coaster ride or the recent failure of the Super Committee.

I came across a slew of manufacturing videos called “Cool Stuff Being Made” from National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). You will find lots of useful information on their site and if you like, you can join and get involved.

I’ve selected three for this post because they are about small manufacturers in the US. Some of these manufacturers are family-owned and operated and have been around for decades. Surviving the economic turmoil and thriving while bucking the offshoring trend are major accomplishments that need to be recognized. Read more

Manufacturer’s Marketing Video Becomes a YouTube Sensation

Industrial and manufacturing marketing doesn’t have to be dull and boring. Here’s proof.

Corning, a manufacturer of specialty glass and ceramics created a marketing video called “A Day Made of Glass” to demonstrate future applications of its specialty glass. Even though the original intent was to create a sales tool for its manufacturing customers, it went viral in a big way after the company posted it to YouTube.

I’m not talking about several thousand views; the 5+ minutes long video has been viewed 12,379,640 times since it was first uploaded to YouTube about two months ago.

View Corning’s “A Day Made of Glass” Video

Read more

How Videos Tell Compelling Stories About Consulting Engineering

In an earlier post, (see More Manufacturers Are Using Videos For Content Marketing) I had mentioned that 48% of manufacturers were using videos as part of their content marketing. That is slightly higher usage than other B2B marketers in general (41%).

How about consulting engineering firms, do they use videos too?

I figured this would be an interesting sector to checkout since consulting engineers come from a variety of engineering fields including civil, electrical, structural, mechanical, chemical, metallurgical, geotechnical and highway engineering. Many of these engineering firms serve both private and public clients.

Most of the videos on consulting engineering that I found on YouTube were from professional associations and universities and a few from engineering firms.

These videos have very compelling stories to tell with a strong human connection. They would make any engineer feel proud of the work that they do in shaping communities and affecting people’s lives on a daily basis.

These videos can inspire young people to pursue an engineering education and make a rewarding career out it.

Read more

More Manufacturers Are Using Videos For Content Marketing

According to a new report released by the Content Marketing Institute, manufacturers have some of the highest adoption rates for content marketing tactics as compared to other industries.

Videos (48%) are the preferred content format over other digital tactics (podcasts, virtual conferences and e-books) by a wide margin.

Even though social media (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) adoption is lower among industrial marketers, YouTube usage by manufacturers (50%) is higher than other B2B marketers (38%).

According to the same report, 82% of B2B manufacturing respondents indicated that they rely on content marketing to build brand awareness.

This increased focus on brand awareness is a surprising shift from the traditional industrial marketing goal of generating more high-quality sales leads.

Even though site traffic by itself is a poor measure of branding, manufacturers cited Web traffic as their most used (58%) measurement criteria for measuring the success of their brand awareness. This dependence on site traffic is even more pronounced among small and mid-sized manufacturers.

There must be a logical explanation for what seems to be a contradiction of everything I’ve read and have experienced in my 20+ years of working with manufacturing and industrial clients.

Read more

Using Video in B2B Marketing

The use of video in B2b marketing is on the rise and is expected to grow exponentially. In the August 11 issue of BtoB Magazine, Tom Simmons, President-Creative Director of PRTNERS+simons wrote,

"Web video will continue its rise in prominance. It is admittedly the preeminent marketing channel for all marketing communications—consumer, b-to-b and professional—and its role will become even more critical. The text-based content emphasis that has been the default Web strategy will continue to lose its prominence."

In a recent BtoB Webcast audience poll, 29.2% of the respondents said they used video in their marketing mix. This is second only to Blogs which are used used by 32.5%, followed by RSS Feeds (17.5%), Social Networks (14.2%), Threaded Discussions (4.2%) and Wikis (2.5%).

Jay Gulick, Director of BNET also makes a very strong case for the use video in B2B marketing in his post Video: The B2B marketing sweet spot. In his video he explains why B2B marketers should provide customers with resources such as white papers, case studies and Webcasts instead of traditional display ads.

Are you currently or thinking of using video in your marketing?