Only Online Event Focused on Marketing in the Industrial Sector Returns June 6

Hosted by IHS GlobalSpec, the Industrial Marketing Digital Summit (IMDS) is the only online event focused on marketing in the industrial sector. This year’s event takes place on Thursday, June 6. Registration is free and you can attend from the convenience of your desk.

Industrial marketers will lead educational sessions on content marketing, lead management, digital media use in the industrial sector and more.

In addition, leading marketing experts will discuss customer relationships and demand generation.

Register today for this informative event and get the ideas and knowledge you need to deliver more effective marketing, better connect with your target audience and gain a competitive advantage in your marketplace.

Educational sessions include (view complete agenda):

Keynote: Marketing – The New Normal
Stephanie Buscemi, Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, IHS

Panel: Opportunity for Growth through Efficient Lead Management
Laura Hoffman, Vice President, Global Marketing, Red Lion Controls
Greg Livingstone, Chief Marketing Officer, Fluitec International
Amy Campbell, Owner and Director of All That Happens, The Red Checker

Maximizing Thought Leadership through Online Events
Ralph Bright, Vice President, Marketing, Interpower Corporation

Winning with Customers
Keith Pigues, Dean of the School of Business at North Carolina Central University and co-author of Winning with Customers: A Playbook for B2B

The Digital Disruption and What it Means to You
Chris Chariton, Senior Director, Digital Media Solutions, IHS GlobalSpec

Demand Process: Taking a Strategic Approach to Demand Generation
Adam Needles, Chief Strategy Officer at ANNUITAS and author of Balancing the Demand Equation

Ten Practical Ideas for Content Marketing
Bob Russotti, Senior Director of Marketing, ANSI

Exhibitors include Annuitas, Business Marketing Association, BtoB Magazine and Exact Target.

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Explore. Connect. Share. All from your desktop.

The Industrial Marketing Digital Summit on Wednesday, July 11 offers an excellent opportunity to chat with industrial marketing experts and gain the insight and education you need to deliver more effective marketing, better connect with your target audience and gain a competitive advantage in your marketplace. This summit is the only online event focused exclusively on marketing in the industrial sector.

The Industrial Marketing Digital Summit is free to attend and you can register today.

A day of education and networking
Industrial marketing experts from leading companies such as DuPont, Edmund Optics, Indium Corporation and TE Connectivity will lead educational sessions on effectively using social media in your marketing mix, capitalizing on your content to build a thought leadership position, and more. Plus, keynote speaker Jeff Killeen, GlobalSpec Chairman & CEO, will share insight on how you can demonstrate marketing’s value to your CEO.

You’ll also hear about the latest important trends in industrial marketing and what other marketers like you are doing this year.

View the complete agenda.

A valuable summer trip, without leaving your office
This online event includes a networking lounge where you can connect with your peers in industrial marketing, as well as an exhibit hall where you can chat with exhibitors and learn about their products, services, and solutions. You can do this all from the convenience of a desktop and without having to budget and lose time out of the office for travel.

We’re confident you’ll gain valuable insight and ideas to help your marketing efforts through the rest of 2012 and beyond.

We hope to “see” you there. Click here for more information or to register.

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Seven Digital Trends Industrial Marketers Should Know

Changes in the digital world of marketing keep coming fast and furious. As a marketer, it can be challenging to know which online trends are important and which are nothing but fads. One thing most industrial marketers do know by now is that digital marketing is marketing — in other words, with your audience having fully migrated online to search for suppliers, products, and services, digital marketing is the most effective way to connect with your prospects and customers.

Here, then, are seven digital trends worth paying attention to.

1. Online events
According to the GlobalSpec Marketing Trends Survey, 47% of industrial companies are increasing their spending on online events. Online events, sometimes called virtual events or online tradeshows, are a trend made possible by high bandwidth availability and emerging technologies that allow media companies to produce and host highly-interactive experiences. Online events targeted to your specific industrial audience offer you an excellent opportunity to showcase your product line, build your brand reputation, provide content to your audience, and connect with prospects and customers. What’s more, you can do it all from the comfort and convenience of your desktop — as can your audience.

2. Video
Video is experiencing a significant growth spurt. 64% of industrial companies are increasing their spending on video, and it’s easy to see why. In the age of YouTube, videos are cheap to produce; homemade production quality is not only acceptable, but cool. Also working in video’s favor is the fact that many people like to watch, not read. Looking for some good ideas for video? Try brief interviews with executives, conversations among product managers, product demonstrations, or on-site visits to customers where your products are being used.

3. Social Media
Although many industrial companies are now implementing social media, make sure you understand the specific reasons and goals for your own social media strategy. For example, the top reasons industrial companies use social media are branding and lead generation, yet only 3% of companies state that social media is one of their top three sources for leads. At this point in the maturation of the social media market, increasing brand awareness and building relationships are the outcomes most effectively achieved. LinkedIn is the most popular social media platform in the industrial sector, followed by Facebook and then Twitter.

4. Digital Content
A few years ago, everyone was saying “Content is King.” Well, in many ways, content still is king — digital content — as attested to by the huge growth of e-readers, the iPad and other devices for consuming digital content. And it’s not just Web pages. There are videos, Webinars, downloadable PDFs, e-books, interactive tools, and more. Your customers and prospects are hungry for content to help them do their jobs and make better purchasing decisions. Your job is to create that content and get it to them in digital format.

5. Internet Banner Advertising
Internet banner advertising has become a strong value proposition for industrial marketers because of the availability of highly-targeted advertising networks that can place your ads on specific sites frequented by industrial and technical professionals. Online advertising networks also offer the convenience of reaching many sites with a single buy, helping you save time and make the most effective use of your budget. Banner ads are highly visual; they offer great branding opportunities and can drive qualified, targeted traffic to your Web site.

6. Testing and Analytics
One big advantage of digital media is that it is easy to test and measure. A/B testing is becoming a popular way to optimize e-mail campaigns, Web pages and other online media. A/B testing basically means you split your list in two and send each list a slightly different version of what you’re testing, changing only one thing at a time and measuring what performs better. In addition, every company should be performing some type of Web site analytics such as measuring traffic, page popularity, and visitor behavior to help make informed decisions about optimizing your site.

7. Online Marketing Budgets
The top eight channels for increased marketing spend in 2011 are all online — from social media and SEO, to Internet banner advertising networks and online newsletter sponsorships and more. In addition, according to GlobalSpec’s 2011 Industrial Marketing Trends Survey, companies spend an average of 38% of their marketing budget online and 50% report that online marketing is a bigger percentage of their overall marketing budget this year than last year.  Online marketing should continue to take a bigger slice of the marketing budget in subsequent years, as more industrial marketers experience the ROI associated with online programs and discover they can connect better with customers and prospects online.

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Adding Online Events to Your Marketing Mix

Online events are live events hosted from the convenience of a desktop. They bring together industrial suppliers who exhibit at online virtual booths and an industrial audience that clicks through the “showroom floor,” visiting suppliers and accessing information on products, services, and supplier capabilities.

More and more suppliers are adding online events to their marketing mix. According to the “Tech Marketing Barometer” study conducted by IDC in 2010, 60% of respondents indicated they will increase their investments in virtual events — a higher increase in spending compared to key marketing programs such as search engine optimization, search engine marketing, and e-mail marketing.

Why all the excitement around online events? Online events in the industrial sector are winners for both the audience and exhibitors.

Attendees experience comfort level
Industrial buyers and other professionals have largely migrated online to search for products, suppliers and services and are comfortable using online sources to access content. Online events allow industrial professionals to access information online and interact with many suppliers in a single session without having to incur travel costs or time out of the office.

Suppliers can achieve multiple goals
Industrial marketers can use virtual events to promote new product launches, gain exposure to a new market, build brand awareness, and develop and nurture relationships. These events present the perfect opportunity for suppliers to position themselves as thought leaders in their industries.

Exhibitors can showcase their entire portfolio
Webinars and e-newsletter advertisements are two other effective and popular online marketing programs for industrial suppliers. Webinars are usually single-topic focused and e-newsletter ads are typically centered on an individual product or offer. Both make sense when matched to specific marketing goals. On the other hand, online events give suppliers the opportunity to showcase their entire product and services portfolio and to demonstrate their expertise. At a virtual event, suppliers can offer white papers, research reports, data sheets, links to online catalogs and a wealth of other content that highlights the full depth and breadth of their offerings.

Connect with a targeted, yet dispersed audience
One reason suppliers like online events is they can connect with more of their target audience without bumping up against geographic limitations. Many decision makers and influencers who attend online events may otherwise be hard to reach because they are far away or do not travel to in-person events. Few other marketing programs can offer this type of reach and visible branding opportunity for suppliers.

Another advantage of online events is that engineers attend online events to stay abreast of the latest industry and technology trends that are useful to them; they are often in the early design phase of their buy cycle and suppliers that can get on their radar in the early phase are likely to be found on their prospects’ short lists in the purchasing phase.

A lasting impression
The most effective online events have both a live component that lasts for a full day, followed by on-demand exposure during which the audience can continue to access the content of the event for a specified period of time. This gives suppliers the opportunity to continue accruing the benefits of the event after the real-time version is past.

A resource for industrial marketers
GlobalSpec has recently published a white paper to help suppliers learn more about exhibiting at online events, including what to consider when evaluating virtual events and the four best practices for a successful event. Download your complimentary copy of “Online Events: What Every Industrial Marketer Needs to Know.”

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Online Events as Part of the Marketing Mix

Engineering, technical and industrial professionals have already adopted online events as a convenient and engaging method to learn about new trends and technologies within their specific industries, and to engage with manufacturers.  With online events growing in popularity, now is the time for industrial marketers to consider how they can be an effective addition to their marketing mix.

Learn more about online events and how they can provide value to your company’s marketing initiatives by downloading the latest GlobalSpec white paper, “Online Events: What Every Industrial Marketer Needs to Know.”   This complimentary white paper offers industrial marketers a comprehensive look at online events, including:

  • What are online events, and how their usage within the industrial sector is increasing
  • Benefits of online events for both attendees and exhibitors
  • Criteria to consider when evaluating an online event
  • The top four best practices for a successful event

Whether you are just beginning to look at online events as a marketing channel, or if you have attended/exhibited at an online event in the past, this white paper will give you valuable advice on how to make the most of your event experience.

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Five Overlooked Rules for Generating High Quality Leads

Anyone can generate large quantities of superficial leads by purchasing lists from unknown sources, counting anonymous clicks to their Web site, or giving away the latest electronic gizmo. But it’s quality leads that industrial marketers need to generate.

Here are five overlooked rules that can help you accomplish your goal. Keep them top of mind when planning your marketing spend.

1. High quality content begets high quality leads.
You may have visitors swarming your Web site. The best way to turn them into quality leads is to offer useful information relevant to the task they are trying to complete or the job they do. Prospects with a need will fill out your form if you have a white paper, application notes, Webinar invitation, or other content they want.

Asking prospects to register can help you generate quality leads — but only if you are offering the right stuff. If you’re driving traffic to your offer landing pages and experiencing significant drop off or your forms are being completed with invalid information, it may be time to analyze the quality of content you are offering. Also, ask only for the minimal amount of information that will allow you to communicate with the prospect: name, company, e-mail, phone number. You can fill in the rest of their information later.

2. Targeted tactics deliver higher quality leads.
As a general rule, the more targeted your marketing programs, the higher quality leads you will generate. For example, if your company sells hydraulic equipment, you will reach a highly targeted audience by placing ads in an e-newsletter published specifically for hydraulics industry professionals or by sponsoring an online event for the hydraulics industry. With these types of targeted programs, you are connecting with an audience you already understand and know how to communicate with, and you can craft your messaging to be specific and relevant, helping you to generate quality leads.

3. Generating high quality leads requires branding support.
Too often branding gets the short straw, especially when the mantra in your company is “More leads, more leads.” But branding is an essential component of lead generation. Almost any prospect would rather contact and do business with a company whose name and brand value is familiar. The unknown makes us uncomfortable. The unknown is risky. Sure, an industrial professional looking for a solution to their problem might contact a company they haven’t heard of to get a quote, but when it comes time to choose a vendor, the familiar name often rises to the top of the list and wins the business.

One strategy to consider is to invest in marketing programs that offer both lead generation and branding, such as a visible presence in online directories or sponsorship opportunities for online events. Also, spread out your marketing mix with a variety of programs so your brand becomes familiar with more potential customers in more places.

4. High quality leads can take time to develop.
Not all the leads you generate are high quality from day one and ready for handoff to your sales team. In fact, research shows that up to 70% of potential business comes from long-term leads.

A prospect you connect with might be in the early research phase of their buying process, compiling a list of vendors and products that might meet their needs. Your best chance of converting this prospect in the long term is to stay in touch through lead nurturing programs. Continue to reach out with targeted e-mails and phone calls. Offer relevant information such as articles, case studies, white papers, event invitations and more. If you continue to nurture prospects, they will remember your company and products as they move further along in the buying cycle and get closer to making a purchase.

5. Active, motivated searchers can become your highest quality leads.
One of the great advantages of online marketing programs is that you can establish a strong, visible presence 24/7 on directories, industrial search engines, and web sites. This way your company and products can be found when an active, motivated industrial professional is searching for products and services like those that you offer. Prospects with a clearly defined need who are actively searching can quickly become highly qualified leads if they find you and contact you during their search. Be sure to invest in those areas where your prospects are searching.

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Four Tips for Taking a Fresh Look at Media Buying

A new year offers an opportunity to take a fresh look at your media buying strategies. Industrial marketers are investing in online media more than ever before to more effectively reach their target audience. Online media options are plentiful: online directories and catalogs, e-newsletter advertising, banner ads, virtual events, and more.

Follow these four tips to take a fresh look at buying online media.
1. Do the math on audience demographics
You should have a solid profile of your target customer: title, purchasing power, industry, geography, business need. Your goal is to find marketing programs that capture the attention of your target audience. You can find out how closely a media source matches your target audience by taking a close look at media kits.
If you closely examine the audience demographics in media kits offered by publishers, you’ll likely discover that your specific customer profile is just a segment of the overall audience. There’s nothing wrong with this, but you should be aware of it so you can calculate your reach.

A breakdown of audience demographics is essential. What percent of the audience has titles that match your profile? Work in industries you target? Are involved in purchasing decisions? You should be able to do a few quick calculations to discover how much of the broader audience closely fits your target customer profile.

Along the same reasoning, a marketing tactic that reaches a smaller audience closely matching your target customer profile can be as effective as a tactic that reaches a broader, less targeted audience. For example, a highly-targeted industrial e-newsletter may have 100,000 subscribers, but the vast majority of them may be exactly the type of person you are trying to reach. 

2. Seek flexible options from a flexible media partner
A single media buy that delivers a turnkey marketing program that can meet all your needs is every marketer’s dream. And some media companies do have packaged, turnkey programs that include a variety of effective online tactics. 

But no one likes paying for program elements they don’t want in order to get the few they really covet. That’s why you should seek out a media partner that can be more flexible. A good media representative will work to understand your specific needs and put together a customized package of marketing options that fit. Also, look for opportunities to make more efficient use of your budget by increasing frequency or duration of programs

 3. Know the metrics and features that matter
Every online marketing program has unique metrics and features that are important. You should familiarize yourself with them and ask your media partner for the details.

Here are a few that matter.

E-newsletter advertisements
• Number of subscribers fitting your target customer profile
• Frequency of newsletter
• Average click-through rate on advertisements
• Placement of ad

 Online directories
• Audience demographics
• Value-added features such as links to PDFs, articles, videos or other content; use of imagery; integration with social media tools; searchable catalogs
• Lead capture and delivery
Virtual events
• Attendee demographics and numbers
• Various levels of sponsorship opportunities
• Ability to showcase thought leadership by offering white papers, sell sheets, videos and other collateral pieces
• Lead capture and delivery

Banner ads
• Individual site or network of sites
• Demographics of audience reached
• Number of guaranteed impressions over what period of time
• Average click-through rates on ads
• Placement of ad on page
In addition, you should carefully check out samples of media before committing. Read a few issues of an e-newsletter to get a sense of its editorial focus and what other types of companies are advertising. Attend a virtual event. View the listings of other companies on online directories.

4. Ask about measurement and reporting
The main question in any media buy is: Will it work? The only way to know is to measure your results. One of the biggest advantages of online marketing (in addition to the fact the industrial audience has migrated online to find suppliers, products and services) is that online programs are measurable. They are built around metrics such as impressions, clicks, and conversions.

Ask your media partner what metrics they report on, what data they capture on leads they generate, and how often they report to you or make data available for you to access. Of course, you are responsible for a portion of measurement and conversion. Online banners and e-newsletter ads should send prospects to a targeted landing page on your Web site with an offer that will help capture leads. Your online directory listings and virtual event exhibits should offer relevant, useful content. And the essential task of following up with leads and tracking them through the sales cycle is your team’s responsibility.

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This Thursday: Demand Generation Summit

As you enter the 2011 planning season, you will likely find yourself evaluating what did and did not work in your 2010 demand generation efforts.  Did you hit targets?  Were conversion goals achieved?  Did you attract as many new prospects as you needed? The truth is, B2B marketing requires a wide range of skills, strategies and tactics to rise above and out-market the competition.

Join a group of marketing visionaries as they share their secrets to attracting, engaging and converting qualified marketing leads at a Demand Generation Summit on Thursday, November 18. 

The summit lineup includes sessions on lead scoring, lead nurturing, using rich media to drive demand, and building relationships between marketing and sales.  Plus, join GlobalSpec Vice President of Supplier Marketing & Marketing Services Chris Chariton and Frost & Sullivan Director of Global Marketing Naylor Gray, as they present “5 Guidelines for Creating a Successful Content Strategy” at 3pm Eastern time.  This session will give you valuable insight and tips on how to create a successful content strategy, including the importance of content in B2B marketing, questions to ask when creating a content strategy and how to conduct a content audit.

Start the 2011 planning season with an understanding of the strategies, channels and technologies required to dramatically improve marketing’s performance across the entire sales and marketing funnel.  Register now.

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Looking for new ways to reach the industrial audience?

How can b2b companies in the industrial space continue to reach their market with print media, direct mail and trade shows hit hard in recent years?

With the continuing migration of engineering, technical, and manufacturing professionals to the internet to get information on products, services, and vendors, virtual events are an option to consider. They can help you to build brand awareness and generate highly qualified leads for your company, while providing many of the same (and even some additional) benefits of traditional tradeshows.

Learn what virtual events can do for your company and how they can be a significant part of your marketing plans – Register for a complimentary Webinar entitled: “Building Brand Exposure, Generating Leads with Virtual Events” on Wed., October 13, at 2:00 pm EST. 

Join us and discover why virtual events are gaining popularity with industrial professional and how you can take established trade show best practices and adapt them for an online audience.

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5 Tips for Adding Online Trade Shows to Your Marketing Mix

Online events—also known as virtual events—are trade shows for the Internet age, offering the benefits of traditional location-based events at significantly lower costs and without requiring exhibitors or attendees to leave their offices.

Online events bring professionals together in a similar way that traditional tradeshows do – through trade show booths within a virtual showroom floor. Virtual trade show popularity is increasing steadily. According to the “2010 Virtual Market Outlook,” published by the Lattanze Center at Loyola University of Maryland, 39% of event marketers anticipate an increase in their virtual meeting and event budget in 2010 and 48% indicated they participated in a virtual trade show.

With industrial professionals now going online for work-related purposes such as research and finding information about suppliers, products, and components, now may be time to add online events to your marketing mix, if you haven’t already. Before you commit to exhibiting at an online event, keep in mind these five tips.

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