Successful Industrial Websites Require Part DiY and Part Professional Help

One trend that I have noticed lately with my industrial and engineering clients is that they want to take more of the work in-house. I am referring to updating, maintaining and sometimes marketing their industrial websites. Is that a good thing?

My opinion is somewhat biased because I am an industrial and B2B marketing consultant. I make my living providing marketing services including designing and marketing industrial websites. However, I think it is a new and permanent reality of the current economy and have learned to adjust my business model accordingly.

Adding value to industrial website development and marketing

I am going to illustrate my point about part DiY and part professional help by using three real-life examples from my own industrial marketing business.

Success story #1: Manufacturer of electronic passive components
We built an online parametric search application for the client’s website to help site visitors quickly find/build the exact part number based on selecting a number of design and/or performance characteristics. Our expertise was used in designing the database schema, backend programming, creating the user interface, testing and integrating the application into the current site. After that, we turned it over to the client’s IT department. They have streamlined the weekly updating task by tying it into their existing inventory system. Other than some initial hiccups, the updates and the usage have been flawless with our client receiving very favorable comments from their customers.

Success story #2: Developer of software suite for the upstream oil & gas industry
The client’s old corporate website was designed by us to put a sharper focus on their target audience of reservoir and production engineers, operations personnel and upper management in oil and gas production companies. The client’s engineering team created Flash demos of their software, which we incorporated into the new site. We converted several of their PowerPoint files into online Flash presentations to highlight the primary benefits and features of their software suite. The client uses their in-house resources to regularly update the site content without spending more money on our professional marketing services.

Success story #3: Consultant specializing in accelerating business growth for global companies
Redesigned his business website with personal branding and highlighting his expertise using an online article library. We built HTML templates that protect the integrity and the functionality of the site from accidental changes while the client has complete freedom to add new site content, edit images and add new articles and white papers using a simple content management system (CMS). The client is very happy with how easy it is to maintain the site himself and is thrilled that the site is always stocked with fresh content without having to spend money each time he needs an update.

In all three instances, we brought additional value to the table by working together with the client and their in-house resources instead of fighting it.

Of course, I could have tried using scare tactics by saying, “If you think hiring professionals is expensive, try hiring amateurs” but today’s industrial and B2B marketers are too smart and resourceful to fall for that line. Instead, I choose to keep my credibility intact and provide the professional help my clients need to supplement their do-it-yourself (DiY) industrial and B2B website capabilities and online marketing efforts.

For DiYMers: Read my earlier post Do-it-Yourself Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Your WordPress Blog.

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