The Two Types of Marketing Essential to Your Success Reply

stijn-swinnen-145895

Most industrial marketers are familiar with the terms push and pull marketing. Others use the phrases outbound and inbound marketing, or creative and directional. Whatever their names, these two types of marketing are essential to your success.

Though they are different, creative and directional advertising must work together to form an integrated marketing strategy. As you begin your initial marketing planning for 2018, keep these two approaches in mind.

Push, Outbound, Creative

These are the classic marketing tactics, where you push your message out to create brand awareness or raise a need in your audience.

  • Examples: Direct mail, email blasts, online ads, mobile text marketing, event marketing, telephone calls
  • Benefits: The marketer controls the timing, channel, content and frequency of outbound promotions. Tactics help build brand visibility in the market and awareness among your audience.
  • Challenges: Because push marketing is disruptive, many of those you reach will have no interest in your message at the time when it arrives. Also, while the marketer is in control of the campaign, the customer decides whether or not to pay attention to your marketing efforts.
  • Best practices: Segment your audience as much as possible by advertising on industry-specific sites or emailing only to a target audience.

Pull, Inbound, Directional

Although this type of marketing has been around for years (i.e., a person with a recognized need used to turn to the yellow pages), the rise of the internet and the digital age has led to the dramatic growth in pull marketing.

Directional advertising is placing your business in front of people who are actually looking for your product or service. Your audience has a recognized need and is searching for a solution. Your goal is to make sure they find you.

  • Examples: Supplier websites, presence on industry websites, search engine optimization/paid keyword search, social media recommendations, public relations/article placement
  • Benefits: Ability to connect with your target audience when they are motivated and searching, particularly early in their buy cycle before they make contact with a vendor. Typically, lower cost per opportunity generated
  • Challenges: Requires optimal allocation of resources across the variety of channels that your customers use today to access information and search for products, services and suppliers
  • Best use: Focus on maintaining an effective company website as well as building a broad and visible presence on industry sites that your customers use on a regular basis

Putting Creative and Directional Together

You need both creative and directional tactics to execute an effective marketing program. By implementing both strategies, you will build awareness among the potential customers you want to reach, and be highly visible to them when they are researching or making a purchasing decision.

Push and pull tactics work hand-in-hand for greater efficiency and effectiveness. For example, a web page optimized for specific search terms (pull) that you also drive prospects to using email blasts or banner advertising (push).

Another example is a supplier hub on Engineering360.com where engineers can find you when searching for solutions like those you offer (pull), and where you can also drive traffic to your hub or products through display ads on the site or by advertising in a targeted e-newsletter.

According to the upcoming Trends in Industrial Marketing research report, 69 percent of industrial marketers use both push and pull marketing tactics, but say they could be diversifying their mix more. How do you find the right mix? You can get more tips about creative and directional advertising, plus tools and recommendations to build a stellar marketing plan, in the just-published 2018 Marketing Planning Kit. Download your complimentary copy today.

How Many Marketing Channels Are You Using? Why the Cross Media Multiplier Can Work For You Reply

rawpixel-com-252130

By this time of the year, you should have a good idea of how your 2017 marketing plan is performing. You may even be looking ahead to 2018.

The recently updated Marketing Planning Kit is designed to help you assess your current marketing mix with an eye toward creating an even stronger marketing plan for next year. Let’s take a look at why the channels you’re using matters.

Many digital channels are available to marketers and engineers.

Technical professionals have more digital tools and information sources than ever before to do their jobs better and more efficiently. When customers have many tools at their disposal, you need to broaden and deepen your presence to engage them in ways that match their searching and sourcing preferences.

With your customers being exposed to more companies and having many options when ready to buy, you might discover competitors you never knew existed.

Only by diversifying your marketing spend across multiple channels can you generate the results you need, including brand visibility as well as contact quantity and quality. Expanding your media program to multiple channels will put your company and products front and center during the early stages of the buying cycle, when prospects are seeking suppliers and before they are ready to make contact.

Simply stated, you will earn higher ROI investing in well-designed cross media campaigns than by relying solely on any single media channel. This is known as the Cross Media Multiplier.

Marketers are expanding the number of channels they use.

Analyst firm Outsell anticipates the number of tools in the marketing stack to increase between the years 2016 and 2018. In 2016, 58 percent of companies used between 1-5 marketing channels and 18 percent used between 6-10. By 2018, 45 percent will use 1-5 marketing channels and 23 percent will use 6-10.

According to the “Industrial Marketing Trends Survey” conducted by IEEE GlobalSpec Media Solutions, 69%  percent of industrial marketers use both push/outbound marketing channels (email marketing, e-newsletter advertising, et al.) and pull/inbound marketing channels (company website, SEO, catalog listings, et al.)

Content marketing tactics and distribution channels are on the rise.

Most B2B marketers are making extensive use of content marketing to demonstrate thought leadership, increase brand awareness, educate potential customers, and generate quality engagement opportunities.

Research from Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, “2017 Manufacturing Content Marketing,” found that:

  • B2B manufacturing marketers report that their organizations use an average of 8 content marketing tactics, including e-newsletters, videos, white papers, and social media.
  • On average, manufacturing marketers use four paid advertising methods to promote/distribute content.

For your 2018 marketing plan, choose a number of key channels you know work for you, and also experiment with several newer opportunities.

When researching a work-related purchase, the top three channels for technical professionals are search engines, online catalogs, and supplier websites.

In reality, your audience uses many other digital channels to keep up with the latest technologies, product news, companies and brands—all of which influence buying decisions. E-newsletters, industry sites, social media, video sharing sites, webinars and email are all important industry information sources for your customers.

Include your media partners when evaluating marketing channels.

Planning an integrated, multichannel marketing program is no easy task, and you shouldn’t have to do it alone. Take time to consult with an experienced digital media partner that understands and has the attention of the industrial audience you need to reach. Discuss your marketing objectives and have them show you multichannel plan that will help achieve your goals and objectives.

IEEE GlobalSpec Media Solutions produced a Marketing Planning Kit to help you evaluate the effectiveness of your current marketing choices, calculate the value of existing marketing programs, understand today’s marketing landscape, and plan more effective strategies for 2018. Our intent is to help you define and achieve your marketing goals and objectives for the year ahead.

Download your complimentary copy of the Marketing Planning Kit and get a head start on your 2018 plan today.

How to Connect with Younger Engineers Reply

As a marketer, you likely have long-term relationships with many seasoned engineers who are in leadership roles and in a position to influence decisions and make purchases. You’re probably comfortable communicating with this engineer. They are likely comfortable with your brand and know what you stand for.

These engineers are the strongest advocates for your products, services, brand, and company. Additionally, they can pass their preferences to younger engineers or to colleagues at other companies if they change jobs. Clearly, you should continue to focus on nurturing these technical professionals in your marketing efforts.

At the same time, many older engineers are nearing retirement. Forty-seven percent have been in the engineering field for 30 or more years, and 22 percent for 20-29 years, according to the “2017 Pulse of the Engineer Survey” from IEEE GlobalSpec Media Solutions. Younger engineers, many of them millennials, are beginning to step into positions of authority. This requires you to cultivate new relationships with the next generation of customers.

While many aspects of marketing to engineers hold true regardless of your customer’s age, younger technical professionals have their own preferences that vary slightly from the habits of their older colleagues. Follow these tips to make stronger connections with the next generation of engineers:

Make digital your primary focus.

According to the “Digital Media Use in the Industrial Sector” research report from IEEE GlobalSpec Media Solutions, millennials use a variety of channels in their buying process and there is no single channel preferred. They use social media more than their older colleagues, conduct more product searches , read more news and more e-newsletters. The three most popular channels to research a work-related purchase are general search engines, supplier websites, and online catalogs. You can connect with engineers young and old by having a broad and consistent online.

Build a presence in online forums.

Online forums have seen a significant growth among younger engineers, with 39 percent now using them. The top three activities in online forums are finding technical support (57 percent), searching for product information (52 percent) and viewing videos (40 percent).

Use content to build trust.

Younger engineers may not be familiar with your brand or value propositions.. It’s important that you provide relevant, educational information to them to help build trust for your brand and to increase your younger prospect’s confidence in choosing to work with your company. You can also build trust through Customer case studies that demonstrate ROI, clear warranty and support policies, as well as white papers and articles. Consider working with an industry analyst or respected media partner to sponsor a white paper or research. You can also sponsor a webinar hosted by a trusted third party.

Develop quick-hitting content that is easily consumed.

Sometimes your younger audience wants to dig deep with a 3,000-word white paper. But often, they prefer nuggets of valuable content. This can include a few charts and graphs showing industry trends or product performance, or A two-minute video that explains a technical process or how your product works. You can usually parse longer content such as white papers and webinars into smaller, discrete chunks that can easily be consumed and shared.

Update your website regularly.

Engineers of any age want the latest information, whether it comes from their news feeds or your website. Make sure the content on your site is fresh and reflects your most recent positioning and product portfolio. Purge the old and outdated. If you work with media partners to publish an online catalog or gain industry exposure, make sure your catalog, featured products and banner ads represent and highlight your newest offerings.

Optimize for mobile devices.

While engineers still do the majority of their heavy-lifting work on desktop computers, their mobile usage is increasing. This is especially true for younger engineers, who use their phones for reading email and articles, and conducting product searches. Websites and email should adhere to responsive design standards, so that they can easily be scanned, read and searched on mobile devices. Make sure that media partners and other vendors you work with are mobile friendly and follow best practices for displaying websites on mobile devices. It’s frustrating to users when they have trouble viewing content on their mobile devices. Younger technical professionals might quickly turn elsewhere.

What do you think? Have you struggled to connect with the next generation, or do you already have a strategy in place?

Ten Tips to Put the “Wow” in Your Webinars Reply

One of the reasons why webinars remain an effective marketing tactic is that your attending audience is motivated and interested. They are taking time out of their busy day to listen to your message and interact with your presenters. 

According to the research study “Digital Media Use in the Industrial Sector”, 70 percent of technical professionals attended at least one webinar in the past year, with 32 percent attending four or more.

Make the most of this engaged audience with these ten tips will make your webinars stronger and more successful.

1. Forget the hype, be helpful
Engineers do not want to listen to your marketing hype in a webinar. They want straightforward information to help them solve problems, learn about new technologies, or perform other work-related tasks. Choose a webinar topic that allows you to be an expert and to teach your audience something they will benefit from. It’s the best way to build credibility for your company.

2. Perform dry runs
Have you ever attended a webinar and there’s been a glitch? We all have. Whether the cause is technical difficulties, or an unprepared speaker, the result is still a loss of engagement. You can prevent these problems by thoroughly testing all technology and have speakers prepare and rehearse before the event.

3. Don’t read
Only the most experienced presenters can read from a script and sound like they aren’t reading. The rest of us can’t pull it off. You still might want to prepare a script and practice reading it, but when the time comes to present, put the script aside and use bullet points to prompt y our speaking. You’ll sound more natural and be more interesting.

4. Interact with your audience
Today’s webinar platforms offer all kinds of features that allow you to interact with your audience. Add real-time poll questions to your webinar. Polls also give you an opportunity to collect data from your audience. Use the chat function to answer questions during the webinar. You can also drive engagement by posting updates during the webinar to social media.

5. Entertain your audience
It never hurts to be entertaining, especially when the topics are serious and technical. Feel free to inject little asides and anecdotes that are related to your topic, or add a slide or two that is unexpected and memorable. When the webinar ends, your audience will be grateful that they not only learned something but also enjoyed the time they spent with you.

6. Be creative with your schedule
Although many studies shows that the most popular days to hold webinars are Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, try breaking out of the mold. Schedule for a Monday or Friday. There will be less competition for your audience’s attention. At IEEE GlobalSpec, we’ve seen excellent results from Monday and Friday webinars.

7. Promote everywhere
Typically less than half of registrants actually show up for a webinar. That means you need to heavily promote your event and drive registrations to get the numbers you want. Post your event prominently on your website, and promote through email, social media, banner ads, partners and any other channel you use. Be benefit-oriented and compelling in your promotional efforts.

8. Rebroadcast the webinar
Many of the people who register but don’t attend are still interested in your webinar content. Archive the presentation on your website where engineers can access it in the future.

9. Follow-up with everyone
Follow-up with attendees, as well as with those who registered but did not attend. Plan ahead how you will add them to nurturing campaigns and help move them along toward buying. Give those who attended an opportunity to ask follow-up questions and send them additional related content. Those who missed out can attend the rebroadcast.

Consider co-hosting a webinar with a business or media partner. IEEE GlobalSpec Media Solutions offers a variety of webinar options as your partner. You can develop and present the content, and we’ll invite a targeted audience that might be hard for you to reach on your own. Or you can sponsor one of our webinars presented by a team of industry experts, or have one of our subject matter experts co-present with you. There’s a webinar solution for every marketing objective. Find out more here.

How to Match Content to Stages of the Buy Cycle 1

Through research and direct experience, we’ve learned a lot about the engineering buy cycle. According to the IEEE GlobalSpecIndustrial Buy Cycle Study,” a buy cycle averages 12 weeks in length, is continuously beginning anew, and consists broadly of three stages: Research & Analysis, Comparison & Evaluation, and Purchase.

Here’s what else we know:
• Supplier websites, general search engines, online catalogs and colleagues are among the most popular sources of information during all stages of the buy cycle. But in reality, there is no single “go-to” resource preferred by industrial professionals at any stage of the buy cycle, which reinforces the importance of having a multi-channel marketing strategy to connect with potential customers.

• Engineers prefer to search independently for products and services, and make contact with a supplier only later in their buy cycle. This illustrates the importance of providing high-quality, educational, and easily accessible content to your audience so that you are not passed by.

• Purchasing is a collaborative effort, with influence from engineers, management, operations, purchasing and more. As a result, industrial marketers need to have a consistent overall message to market, but they also need to ensure that they are communicating with these different personas, addressing their key concerns and making a connection.

• When evaluating a potential purchase, an engineering team will typically get quotes from three different suppliers. The challenge for suppliers is to make the final three, and to be the supplier chosen. Most of them are using content marketing to attract prospects and move them toward purchase, but not everyone is matching content to the different stages of the engineering buy cycle.
It’s not only important that you reach engineers and provide them with the information they need to make an informed decision – you need to tailor what you provide them to where they are in the buy cycle. Here’s how:

Research & Analysis
Blogs, newsletters and articles help engineers keep up on trends and technologies, and become aware of innovative companies and new products. They learn possible approaches to solving problems and may even discover needs they didn’t know they had.

This is a good stage for offering thought leadership content that showcases your unique approach to solving problems or that distinguishes your company in the market. Webinars, white papers and articles are also good content marketing options.

Comparison & Evaluation
Powerful and persuasive content to provide for this stage includes easy-to-read specifications, data sheets and infographics; “how-to” tutorials or videos that show products in use; and customer success stories or testimonials.
Comparison & Evaluation is also the stage at which engineers are most likely to contact a supplier’s sales team or technical staff. At this point your customers likely have some knowledge of your company and a potential purchase in mind. Make sure your team has the content they need to answer questions from customers.

Purchase
It’s time to make a decision. It could go several ways. If you’re ready with the right content, it’s more likely to go your way. At this stage, you’re more likely to see financial and procurement professionals also be involved.

A customer obviously wants to know about pricing, but also terms of the purchase. Are you selling an annually renewable license or contract? Are any product upgrades included? What is the warranty? What is the technical support? In addition to providing this content, you can gain an advantage if you can offer an ROI calculator or other tool to help customers understand the financial impact of their decision.

Provide the information and the resources that engineers require—at the time they need it—to drive preference for your brand and create loyalty for your products. For a deeper understanding of this topic, download the complimentary white paper “The Industrial Buy Cycle Study” from IEEE GlobalSpec Media Solutions.
 

Save

Five Essential Thought Leadership Guidelines Reply


 

Establishing your company as a thought leader provides benefits beyond what a marketing or advertising program can deliver on its own. As a thought leader, your company will gain credibility in the market and become a trusted adviser and partner. Potential customers will gravitate toward your products and services. Journalists will seek you out for quotes. Analysts will call you for your expert opinion. Industry websites will link to you. 

Thought leadership requires a substantial portfolio of content to support your leadership position, and therefore thought leadership is realized through content marketing efforts.

Follow these five guidelines to give your company an opportunity to earn a successful thought leadership position in your market.

1. Develop a point of view

What is happening in the market today and why? What is the best approach to overcoming challenges? What changes or advancements can we expect over the next 3-5 years? Answers to these questions represent your possible points of view.
Another way to approach point of view is to think of a Venn diagram. One circle represents what your audience cares about. The other circle represents your unique expertise. The overlapping area—where you have knowledge and expertise that your audience cares about— is likely to inform your point of view.
Your point of view needs to be original, but nothing too extreme. It must be respected and you must back it up.

2. Follow the thought leadership hierarchy
The hierarchy of thought leadership marketing looks something like this: Point of view>Themes> Stories. You embrace only one point of view, but may use a number of themes that reflect it.

For example, if your point of view is that your market is moving toward deeper collaboration between suppliers and customers, the supporting themes might be trust, transparency, and technology sharing. Each theme should represent an area of value you bring to your audience.

Stories are the content you create to support your point of view and themes: the white papers, articles, webinars, videos and more that you distribute to your audience.

3. Choose a thought leader
An individual or a company can be a thought leader. Furthermore, any company can become a thought leader; you don’t need to be big.

If there’s an executive who has the passion and the ability to articulate your thought leadership point of view, have them become your spokesperson. Conversely, you can position your entire company as a thought leader by instilling your point of view and themes in all of your content and messaging.

4. Focus on your audience
Recently, a contributor to the Marketing Maven participated in a webinar hosted jointly by two companies partnering in a thought leadership initiative to help customers solve problems. However, fifteen minutes into the webinar, they were still talking about themselves, with each company getting time for introductions and for sharing their successful histories.

What came after in the webinar remains unknown, since the Maven contributor dropped off. The mistake these companies made? The webinar was about them, not their audience. Always spark interest and relevancy from the beginning by diving into what the audience cares about.

This is an important guideline to follow when developing thought leadership content: make it first and foremost about your audience. That alone demonstrates real leadership.

5. Be patient
Positioning your company as a thought leader requires a long-term commitment. Unlike marketing campaigns that often have an established beginning and end, thought leadership is an ongoing process. It takes time for the word to spread and your reputation to grow.

However, the results of your thought leadership strategy can and should be regularly measured—especially your online efforts, which easily lend themselves to measurement.

You can track whitepaper downloads, web page visit, video views, and webinar engagement, blog post comments, social media mentions, and more. You can use tools such as Google Alerts to notify you when online media mentions your company.

By tracking the results of your efforts, you will discover what type of thought leadership content your audience finds most relevant. What is downloaded the most? What gets clicked on most often? You can use this data to help guide future content creation and media choices.

Why You Should Take Time for a Mid-Year Marketing Checkup Reply

Believe it or not, you’ve been executing your 2017 marketing plan for six months. How’s it going? Whether you’re floundering or charging full steam ahead, we recommend you perform a mid-year marketing checkup.

A mid-year checkup will help you take steps to keep your marketing plan healthy and on course. You’ll discover what’s working, what’s not, and what you can do to improve results (there’s always opportunity for improvement). This post offers you several ways to approach the checkup and how to take action based on what you find.

Analyze Quantitative Data

If measurable marketing objectives are part of your plan, you can compare a snapshot of current marketing data against those benchmarks. Gather up reports from your online media partners, social platforms, and web analytics programs, as well as your in house reporting tools. Take a good look at your click-through rates on e-newsletter ads, attendees and engagement opportunities from webinars, video views and time spent viewing videos, and white paper downloads.

Are you halfway to your goals? Are there any surprises—pleasant or unpleasant?

A challenge arises if you didn’t set up measurable goals at the beginning of the year, are using programs that are difficult to measure, or established only general objectives such as “increase brand awareness in our target markets” or “generate leads for sales” or “increase customer satisfaction.”

If this is your situation, take time now to determine what metrics are important, re-allocate resources to measurable programs, and commit to tracking performance for the remainder of the year.

Collect Qualitative Data

Talk to sales people about their volume and quality of engagement opportunities. Ask if they have any feedback on your marketing programs. Ask if any of their customers have said anything (positive or negative) about your company’s marketing presence or messaging.

Speak to customer service managers to find out what customers are saying. Ask your company’s executives what they’re hearing in the market. Perhaps the best strategy would be talking to a few customers or prospects and asking them what they find engaging about your market presence.

If you work with partners or distributors, make sure you check in with them. Are they aware of your marketing programs? Have they noticed anything about your company’s presence in the market?

Look for common themes in the anecdotal information you compile. What story does it tell? Between quantitative data and qualitative data, you’ll have a great understanding of how marketing is performing.

Look ahead

If you’re halfway to or ahead of year-end goals, you deserve congratulations. But if the metrics and anecdotal evidence show that your marketing is not as healthy as it needs to be, now is the time to make adjustments. If your business is dependent on the seasons or if the fourth quarter is always your biggest, you should account for those variations before drawing conclusions and jumping to make changes.

When deciding where to make changes for the second half of the year, follow these tips:

• Take resources from programs that aren’t working or whose performance you can’t measure, and put them into measurable programs that are more specifically aligned with your goals.

• Add more resource to programs that are working well. Keep in mind that at some point a program could be “saturated” and you’ll experience diminishing returns.

• Diversify your marketing spending across a greater variety of programs—as long as each one can laser target your audience and the programs work together as a cohesive whole.

• Share your results with your media partners and/or your marketing agency to get their recommendations.

• Change your marketing goals. This isn’t the cover-up it might sound like. If your industry or the economic climate has changed, or if something occurs beyond your control (budget reduction, acquisition, elimination of product line), you may need to change your plans for the second half of the year.

• Pick one or two new or revised objectives you want to achieve over the rest of the year, determine the measurements of success, and adjust your marketing resources to achieve them.

Most of all, stay optimistic, make decisions based on data whenever possible, work hard, and keep marketing. You’re halfway there.

Should Marketing Take a Summer Vacation? 2

 If you’re marketing sunglasses, beer, or barbecue grills, this question is a no-brainer. But if you work in the industrial sector and your prospects are engineers and technical professionals, you might pause. Are your customers on vacation? If they’re in the office, are they too distracted to pay attention to your email, read your whitepaper, or register for your webinar?

In reality, summer is not the time to take a break from marketing. In fact, this is the perfect time to push aside competitors who mistakenly scale back marketing efforts during summer. Here are five reasons why marketing is for all seasons:

 

1. Numbers support continued marketing. Even though we know it’s not reasonable, let’s assume for argument’s sake that every technical professional takes a vacation in summer. Summer lasts for approximately 13 weeks. That averages out to less than 8% of engineers being on vacation in any given week (if everyone takes a summer vacation, and not everyone does). So you might ask: Can you afford to spend on marketing programs when 8% of your prospects might not get your message during the week it arrives? A better question is this: Can you afford not to market when 92% of your target audience is working and likely to receive your message? By the way, your marketers will miss 100% of the messages you don’t send.

2. The pressure on engineers doesn’t let up. Engineers are working on an average of five projects at any given time, according to buy cycle research from IEEE Engineering360. The work pressure on technical professionals doesn’t ease up just because summer has arrived, which means your customers are still searching for products, components and suppliers. Engineers are still busy seeking information and knowledge, preparing to wrap up their projects in Q4 and looking ahead to their plans for next year. It’s a good time for you to connect with your audience.

3. Frequency, Consistency. Because you’ve been regularly marketing to engineers all winter and spring—building brand awareness, cultivating relationships, generating engagement opportunities, filling the pipeline—if you stop or slow down in the summer months, you’ll feel the negative impact later in your customers’ buy cycle. They can and will forget about your company, products and services if you stop keeping in touch.

4. End of year planning. For many companies, summer is the season when they plan a push to finish the year strong. They might start new projects or pounce on short-term opportunities. If you’re in front of customers and prospects now, they’re more likely to remember that you can solve a problem they’re struggling with, increasing the chances they’ll include an investment in your products and services. In fact, summer is a good time to remind them to do just that.

5. Always connected. Sure, we all take vacations, but we also all have our jobs to do. For better or worse, more and more technical professionals are staying connected to work during vacation to keep projects moving along. Many of them might take along a work version of summer reading to stay up-to-date on recent news, industry trends, hot new technologies and other information they seek, but may not have time to interact with when in the office. This is a good time to send out valuable content, such as a key white paper or important article, maybe even labeled “Summer Reading.”

Before you head out on your summer vacation, let us know – what’s your summer marketing push?

Eight Ways to Transform Your Technical Content Reply

For some engineers, component specifications and technical details are all they need to make a buying decision. But as purchases become more complex and the risk associated with making the wrong decision increases, a greater number of decision makers, recommenders and influencers get involved. Technical content on its own is no longer enough to sway buyers. You have to articulate benefits and demonstrate value.

Here are five ways you can build the bridge from technical content to business value in your marketing:

1. Group features under benefit headings —Take all the key features of your products and map them to a core set of benefits. For example, “Increased safety” or “lower cost of ownership” might be benefits associated with your products. Which features prove those benefits out? You can create headings that announce and describe the benefit and/or value and then list the features that support the benefit claim.

2. Discuss benefits one step at a time —A staple of industrial marketing content is the step-by-step tutorial that demonstrates how to use a product or explains a highly-technical process. You might find that each step along the way has associated benefits. Why not mention it with each step as a way to reinforce your value-propositions?

3. Answer the question: So what? — If you’re only talking about the marvelous technology that goes into your products, busy skeptics will wonder “So what?” Your product’s benefits and value will help you answer.

4. Spin a story —Every good story has a hero—why not make it your customer? The hero faces a problem which is costing money and time, and you step in with the solution to save the day. Corny? Not really. Customer testimonials and case studies are sought after by prospects and highly effective in helping make technical concepts relatable and win business.

5. Use visuals —Use charts, graphs and infographics to display quantitative data, explain technical ideas and support your marketing claims. These types of visuals can be quickly understood by your audience and make great additions to white papers, web pages and marketing collateral.

6. Make it move and talk —Video is an important medium for educating your customers and prospects, and many busy engineers and executives prefer to watch a short video over reading text. Video is ideal for showing a technical product in action, animating complex processes or ideas, or showing customer testimonials.

7. Choose a classic pattern of development —When writing white papers or technical articles, choose a pattern of content development that is proven to work for making technical content easier to understand. Step-by-step is one example, as mentioned above. The problem-and-solution approach works well for case studies. Cause-and-effect can help persuade readers, for example, why using old products or technology can be detrimental, or to help readers understand the effect of increased water flow on pump performance. In this case you are describing a situation that has a cause (increased water flow) and an effect (pump performance).

8. Create content for three types of buyers —Some industrial marketers create content only for the technical buyer—the engineer whose primary focus is whether a product meets their specification requirements. There are two other types of buyers: the analytical buyer and the economic buyer. Analytical buyers want to know they will be able to solve a problem using your products or technology. Economic buyers want to know the financial impact in terms of return on investment. Be sure to create marketing messages and content that speaks to all three types of buyers.

How to Take Advantage of Mobile Trends in the Industrial Sector Reply

While engineers still do the majority of their heavy-lifting work on desktop computers, their mobile usage is increasing, especially for reading emails and articles, and conducting product searches. This trend has real implications for industrial marketers, who must build and maintain a persistent digital presence.

According to the “Digital Media Use in the Industrial Sector” survey by IEEE Engineering360 Media Solutions, engineers are using their mobile devices more often to search products, read news article, access work-related email, view supplier websites, and read e-newsletters. Smartphones are used more often than tablets for all work-related purposes.

Here are some tips you can follow to make sure that customers interacting with you on mobile get what they’re looking for.

Use a responsive design for your website and email.
A responsive design allows a website to be more easily viewed on smartphones and other mobile devices. According to Gorilla Group, 50% of all B2B companies have implemented a responsive design for their websites. That was almost double the percentage of sites with a responsive design in 2015 (26%). That trend will likely continue in 2017.

Research from Google shows that 57 percent of people say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed site. Forty percent have turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience.

If your business doesn’t have the time or resources for a website redesign, you can still make progress in the mobile arena. Seek out professionals to create campaign landing pages that are responsive in design, or choose a few key pages on your site that you can convert to responsive design. Work incrementally until it’s time for your next website overhaul.

The same holds true for making email responsive. If you are working with an email service provider, they probably offer responsive design email templates. Take advantage of them. Users are much more likely to delete an email that does not look good on their mobile device—and a lot more email is being read on mobile devices these days.

Create mobile-friendly content
Your marketing content should make an instant splash and be quickly understood by your audience. This is especially true on mobile devices where the screen real estate is so small.

Use strong headlines, scalable images and clear text. PDF content is notoriously difficult to read on mobile devices. Consider creating HTML versions of PDFs.
Videos tend to be mobile friendly and are popular with an engineering audience. Put them near the top of pages and emails so they are noticed right away on mobile devices.

Add click-to-call and click-to-chat features
What could be more user friendly than having a convenient click-to-call button on your website? It’s a great feature that allows you to take full advantage of the device in your customer’s hand at a specific moment in time. Click-to-chat is also an effective feature for mobile device users.

Take advantage of text marketing
While it’s not always easy getting customers and prospects to hand over their mobile numbers (think of using incentives and other value-added offers), marketing via text can be extremely effective.

According to SlickText, 99 percent of text messages are opened, and the average text marketing click-through rate is 36 percent, compared to 6-7 percent for email. You can do many of the same things through text as you can through email, as long as you keep your message short. Offer white papers, videos and other content that your audience is interested in.

If you want to improve your mobile marketing game, start by having a discussion with your media partners. Ask them in what ways they can help your marketing become more mobile friendly and help you take advantage of your audience’s growing use of mobile devices.