The Industrial Revolution, 2012.

The industrial Revolution

When the first industrial revolution happened, change came at a lightning pace. Maybe it doesn?t seem that way looking back; to our eyes, the old Ford factories, textile mills and production lines at the turn of the 20th Century can seem downright archaic. But you must step back and understand that we learn from experience, and this is no different. There is a lot that we can take away from the revolution that reshaped our world.

Revolution Requires Change

Change is scary. imagine the farmers, factory workers, business owners, entrepreneurs and plant workers who transitioned from fields and put down their trade looms to sit at a painfully dizzying machine for nine to ten hours a day, six days a week. This was the beginning of a revolution that triggered the development of systems and automation in a way that was incomprehensible to our kind. Remember, as you look forward, that even basic machinery was fine innovation at one time.

During those times, going from a standing to sitting position while working was a revolution for many people. In the blink of an eye, life as they knew it, life as we knew it, life as the country and even the world knew it, had changed forever.

Those who resisted the change lost more than just their jobs or their livelihoods; they lost valuable and game-changing momentum. Opportunity comes to those who see potential and act on it, not cross their arms and lament change until it literally passes them by.

Oppose, and you fail

Every revolution has its naysayers, doubters and grumps. Once upon a time, they said cars would never replace horses, that radios would never replace live performance, that TVs would never replace radios, that phones were a luxury item that few would embrace. Today those products are ever enhanced with TV-DVRs, Satellite Radios, and multimedia communications giving buyers more power to determine what they are marketed and what they?re not. Commercials are now skipped, radio advertising passed, and direct mailing non-existent on electronic devices which are continuing to build a force behind what runs our society. This transformation is causing companies to transform their own communication methods, not as a way of adopting new technology, but as a way of being adopted in a technologically savvy world.?

Prepare yourself.? Prepare your company. Its only going to come stronger.

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How to Win Business When Pricing is the Same

Internet users expect to get the lowest prices on most of what they buy because information about pricing is readily available, faster than you want it.   Of course this makes markets more competitive when companies have to compete on the basis of price. In addition to this, most markets have low barriers to entry because it is easy to replicate business teams and business models.  That means that it is easier for new entrants to recreate products and relatively low pricing, while undercutting established players.

Win business when pricing is the same.

The same dynamic exists with service companies, as both clerical and technical assistance is available to be sourced at extremely low rates allowing new players to match the pricing of established players very easily.  As a result of these factors, both product and service oriented companies are always under pressure to cut pricing to meet both new and existing players.

This pressure to cut pricing causes companies to attract new clients through discounting.  Of course this is not the best way to build a marketing funnel.  Clients attained in this way typically won’t be loyal if another company offers them better pricing on accessories or on replacement items.

Don’t Always Move Quick to Price Cut

The result of competing in a market on the basis of price is that a company must tear away at both their revenue and subsequent profits in order to bring new prospects into their marketing funnel.  When tactics like these are used to gain new prospects for the long term industrial marketing plan, it is a viable strategy.  When it is executed as a routine part of the company’s business model, it is unsustainable.

So how can a company compete when other entrants can match product and service offerings very quickly in the marketplace?  In what way can established companies distance themselves from the competition and/or new players?  Is it possible for companies to build a sustainable competitive advantage into their marketing for manufacturing plan?  It is here that industrial marketing consultants can partner with business to accomplish this.

In order for companies to create space for themselves in the marketplace, they must be skilled at adding value to every transaction.  This involves knowing what their clients want and how to package as much of what they value as possible into each sale.  To accomplish this, managers can use internet technology to add value to its transactions at a relatively low cost of human and capital resources.

3 Ways to Differentiate Your Company with Content, NOT Costs

How can companies take practical steps to use these marketing for manufacturing tools to add value to their products and services?

  1. Companies should utilize YouTube.Com to explain every aspect of the proper use of their products and services.  By providing explicit directions and demonstrating them visually, they can minimize confusion and increase chances to develop customer loyalty.  Because YouTube is free to upload content, companies can do this for relatively low cost.  Other video directions can include proper website navigation as well as ways to use the product to solve common problems.  To find out what to create the video subjects on, companies should use the email contact information as well as the telephone to survey users to find out what they would like to see covered in the videos.
  1. Companies should provide online classroom settings to keep clients aware of changes in relevant uses of the products or services they have purchased.  For instance, when there are changes in laws and policies that affect the use of services, management can conduct webinars (internet/web seminars) to discuss alternatives for buyers. While companies should survey their clients to find out what they would like to learn, they should also share non proprietary industry research as they are learning it. This kind of education can increase loyalty as it helps clients to improve their companies, save money and/or increase revenues.
  1. Companies should provide private social networking opportunities using existing technologies (such as Facebook) or create proprietary ones.  This will allow users to share solutions and converse around the product.  These relationships can make it more difficult for clients to leave for a competitor.  Companies can create groups around individual products and services, or they function out of one large community with many sub-groups.  The only requisite for entry should be the purchase of the company’s products or services.

Closing Thoughts

Creating value in this manner places the premium not only on the product but on the expertise underlying the product.  By giving customers private access to this expertise, a business can set it self apart from their competition.  This is important if a firm looks to position itself to compete in areas other than price and ask for premium compensation.

Does your company use information technology to add value to every sale?  Do you know what constitutes additional value to your customers?

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Video Marketing: 10 Steps to Make it Work for Your Business

Businesses know that a message conveyed through video is effective, and one of the best examples can be seen in the United States at beginning of February, when the National Football League holds it championship game called the Super Bowl.  Businesses are willing to pay up to $3.5 million for the opportunity to have their 30 second commercial shown to 111 million viewers.  It is debatable as to whether or not any of the companies actually get their investment back; however, it is clear that companies value being able to get a message out through video.

Video Marketing

Video Marketing Has Become Too Expensive…Offline

Most small businesses don’t have an advertising budget that will allow them to spend that much for a one-time ad campaign.  Of course, industrial marketing typically doesn’t require small businesses to pay for an ad during the Super Bowl, but television time on a smaller scale is still very expensive. A typical airing of one commercial apart from any production expense,  costs between $90 and $2,500. That rate makes it cost prohibitive to run any extended television ad campaign for small businesses.

However, that doesn’t discount the need to have the benefits of getting a message in front of viewers in a video format.  Video allows for a unique form of social proof that viewers can see, as well as a solid connection point with the owners or managers.  Moreover, video allows for business owners to personally engage their viewers.  Video is much too vital a tool in a company’s promotional arsenal to allow it to go unused.

Then the question is, how can a business get the benefit of airing a commercial campaign without incurring the costs?  How can a marketing for manufacturing campaign reap the rewards of connecting with video?

Creating Marketing Videos to Increase Search Presence

Companies can create videso for online search to get their message in front of potential customers.   Management can utilize SEO tactics in order to make video messages visible to searchers as they seek to find information.  Because the videos would have to be strategically placed on the path of those who type specific keywords into the search box, the video’s content would need to be targeted.

For example, if the keyword that a company was most concerned about was “forklift safety”, a generic video about using a forklift would be inappropriate.  The company’s video content would need to address the issues surrounding “forklift safety”.   As a result, one of the key benefits to employing a video strategy is to be able to tailor the presentation to answer the specific questions that searchers have.  This positions the company’s ownership and staff as experts in solving problems that searchers are truly looking to solve.

How To Implement an Online Video Campaign

Online video campaigns do not cost what a television commercial might cost.  As a matter fact a video is free to upload to YouTube.Com.  However, the optimization process is somewhat technical and very involved.  Undertaking it would take time away from the company’s primary business.  Therefore, to truly benefit from the process of an extended ongoing campaign, it is best to assign a staff person or hire out a consultant to conduct the campaign.

Having an industrial marketing  consultant or staff person take on the tedious tasks can keep executives unencumbered to manage the business, while moving the video campaign forward.  However, even with hiring a consultant, management’s involvement at the beginning is critical to building a good foundation to an extended online video promotional plan.

The necessary steps to build the plan are:

  1. Work with staff to determine the 10 frequently asked questions in your niche or industry and rank them by those that are most urgent to those asking
  2. Do the same for the 10 questions that should be frequently asked.
  3. Work with a marketing consultant to determine the top ten search phrases relating to your industry.  Then take all three lists and combine them to one prioritized list.
  4. Select the first video’s subject based on the list of questions you have put together.
  5. Create a marketing funnel based on your current products and services, including lead capture, relationship building and multiple offers.
  6. Create the video, using a script, and keeping the marketing funnel in mind.
  7. Upload the video to YouTube.Com, set up contact information to be notified of comments and questions.
  8. Work with an industrial marketing consultant to optimize the video and video channel for search.
  9. Take the script of your presentation upload it to the video area.
  10. Use social media to notify all followers, friends and connections.  Request that they share your content.

Closing Thoughts

An online video campaign is inexpensive when compared to a television campaign, yet more targeted.  Companies should work to make sure that they are using video not only to sell but to brand themselves.  Video can be used in the same way that television commercial can, but also have a range of uses that it doesn’t have.  Has your company disregarded video marketing because doing commercials is cost prohibitive?

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Effectively Using Calls to Action in Social Media

Calls to action are the cherry on top of a well-built sundae. Without it, the magical sales pitch doesn’t quite have the effect that the sales pitcher wants to achieve. Although some might believe the classic print call to action works best and use calls to action in social media the same way, social media require a much simpler approach. In social media, all you want the reader to do is click on the link, which means a simple direct, last word-style call to action works best.

calls to action in social media

Calls to action in social media work…When Done Properly

Poorly placed calls to action result in low conversion, even in social media where all you need the reader to do is click the link. The location or quality of the call to action might not be to blame; the rest of the pitch has to connect with the reader and make them want to learn more. Still, even the most well-written pitch can be turned on its head with a misplaced call to action.

Without an effectively placed call to action, the sale pitch falls flat. On some social media platforms, like Twitter, the call to action might take up one-third of the allotted space. The call-to-action becomes even more important and essential in social media. All effective social media calls to action meet the following criteria.

Inspire action.

The call to action should encourage the reader to act. Social media makes up the top of your sales funnel. You want them to click on the link and continue to the next part of the funnel. Most calls to action has a strong verb upfront, like “tweet this” or “click to read more.”  Of course, it’s possible not to have a verb at all.  (There’s an example as the no verb approach in the examples section.)

Be Direct.

Don’t beat around the bush or lead them on. You want the reader to do something; the most effective way is just to say it.

Give Back.

When the reader clicks the link, they should receive something for their efforts, like additional information or warm, fuzzy feelings from passing the information onto others.

Located Last.

Calls to action most often come at the end of the social media post. Think of the preceding text as a short introduction or paragraph long sales pitch. It should be the last thing read by the reader, so they click the link. It should either be the link or the link follows immediately after.

Don’t Sell, Sell, Sell.

It’s tempting to oversell in social media, but your followers will just remove your business from their list of companies they follow.

Examples of Calls-to Action for Social Media

  1. Request a catalog. (Follow with a link.)
  2. Like us on Facebook
  3. 20% off today only (Follow with a link to online store.)
  4. Please retweet.

In comparison, print calls to action look something, like the ones below. Keep in mind, calls to action like these won’t work for social media. In essence, these examples are what not to do. There are easier ways to get them to take advantage of the offer.

Print Call to Action Examples

  1. For more information, please call us at 1-800-NUM-BERS
  2. Book a free trial by calling 1-800-NUM-BERS
  3. Order by the 15th and receive a free teddy bear with your order.

Social media calls to action use similar concepts as their print predecessors, but short, conversation-like style of social media has forced them to be shorter and inspire action in the moment. What was the most effective call to action you used in your social media campaigns?

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