The Manufacturing Executive
The Manufacturing Executive

Episode · 1 year ago

3 Things Manufacturers Can Do In The Absence of Trade Shows w/ Joe Sullivan

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Many manufacturers rely on events to generate pipeline. What do you do when events shut down?

On this episode of the podcast, I share three tangible ideas for reallocating your marketing budget to keep a steady flow of leads coming while trade shows can't help you do it.

  1. Make the shift from brochure marketing that's all about you to genuinely helpful content marketing that's about your prospect.
  2. Market to your existing customers. Your email list is gold.
  3. Learn how to do video based prospecting. It's a lot easier than you might think.

Resources we talked about:

To ensure that you never miss an episode of The Manufacturing Show, subscribe on Apple Podcasts, or Spotify, or here.

So many manufacturers rely on trade showsto generate pipeline. Well, here we are, headed into queue four andlooking ahead to two thousand and twenty one, wondering when will all these in personevents be back and, when they do come back, will they beas valuable as they once were? Welcome to the manufacturing executive podcast, wherewe explore the strategies and experiences that are driving mid size manufacturers forward. Hereyou'll discover new insights from passionate manufacturing leaders who have compelling stories to share abouttheir successes and struggles, and you'll learn from B tob sales and marketing expertsabout how to apply actionable business development strategies inside your business. Let's get intothe show. Welcome to another episode of the Manufacturing Executive podcast. The showis being brought to you by our sponsor,...

...codinis part solutions. I'm Joe Sullivan, your host and a cofounder of the Industrial Marketing Agency guerrilla seventy six. Obviously, two thousand and twenty is presented a lot of challenges, andamong the biggest of those challenges that I've seen in the industrial sector is thatso many manufacturers rely on trade shows to generate pipeline. Well, here weare, headed into queue four and looking ahead to two thousand and twenty one, wondering when will all these in person events be back and when they docome back, will they be as valuable as they once were? Will theydraw the same crowds that were used to? Be distancing efforts in place that willmake them feel different, less social? Do we want to invest at thesame level that we have in the past, and what kind of ourwhy are we going to get on these shows anyway? Well, regardless ofhow big or small you are or what Industries Your Business touches, these areprobably the types of questions you're starting to ask if trade shows have been partof the mix for you. So today I'm going to do a solo castjust me, drawing on my conversations that...

I've had with manufacturing leaders since thingsgot crazy earlier this year, and I'm going to share my best advice withyou about three tactical things that you can physically do to replace the whole inyour marketing and sales funnel that's being left by the absence of trade shows,in the foreseeable future at least. How you can do some of these thingsin a way that mitigates the loss of face to face human interaction that's reallydifficult to replicate outside of in person events, and how you can use technology tomake some of this less intimidating. I'm hoping this is both helpful andactionable for you, so let's jump into it. Back in March, asthe COVID situation really began to take shape, I wrote an article titled While theworld is upside down, seven things sales and marketing can do. Sixmonths later, I don't have to tell you to consider shifting your production linesto making hand sanitizer face shields. But a lot of what I published inthat article still really applies. So for the purpose of this podcast, I'vecondensed my list of it. I'm going...

...to run you through three tangible ideasfor how to reallocate your marketing budget to keep a steady flow of leads coming, while trade shows can't help you do it. So let's start with numberone here. The first one is make the shift from brochure marketing that's allabout you to genuinely helpful content marketing that's about your prospect the bottom line isthis. Your prospects care about themselves, so we need to stop talking aboutourselves. Instead of saying this, we sell the world's best blank. Hereare some of the incredible features. Blank, blank, blank, blank and blank. Also, our competitors or our customer service is unparalleled. You've neverworked with people like ours, and our competitors a bunch of phonies. Insteadof saying that, let's do marketing that sounds more like this. We helpblank achieve blank when they're struggling with blank or trying to achieve blank. Nowbuild your marketing strategy around those things,...

...instead of filling your website and yoursocial media channels and brochures and outbound emails with typical propaganda about yourself. I'mtalking about genuinely or creating genuinely resourceful content that answers the most common questions yourprospects and your customers have, addresses their most common problems and helps them achievetheir goals. This type of content is so powerful because it helps you getfound in search engines when people are out there looking for help with these things, and it helps you earn their attention and their trust and it opens thedoor to sales conversations. So think about who knows your customers the best.Inside of Your Company, your engineers, your sales professionals, your account managers, the people on your team who interface with your customers every day are typicallythe ones who understand them the best. These experts on your team see yourcustomers problems and their challenges and action all the time. So have conversations withthem, learn with those problems and challenges are, tap into their brains andpull out the amazing insights that are stored...

...up there. Interview your experts,turn the camera on if you can, and then record your interviews using zoom. Publish those videos on Youtube, break them into smaller videos and use themorganically on Linkedin or in other social channels. Put a budget behind those same smallvideos using linked in or facebook, and tell the platforms to show thosevideos to people with these job titles, from these types of companies and thesegeographic regions with these interests. transcribe your videos using a transcription service like speechpad or revcom and publish the text in your blog, or hand that textto a professional copywriter and let them turn it into a written piece of content. Break down that long form text in a little snippets that you can usein emails. The possibilities really are endless here, but the biggest point isthat you can't fake great content. It all starts with your company's experts andwhat's in their brains. People. You can build your entire marketing strategy onthis platform, I guarantee you that,...

...and it's simplest form. All you'rereally doing here is, one, focusing on your best prospects to creating amazingcontent that helps with the things that they care about the most and, three, getting it in front of as many of those people as you can throughinbound, throughoutbound and through paid media. At Gorilla we've built our business onthe strategy. We do it for ourselves, we do it for our clients andit works. So if you want to learn more about how to extractexpert knowledge to create content, I recently interviewed our senior Copywriter, Toby Wallon this podcast and he breaks down how to do it. Recommend listening tothat episode. Okay, so that's the first thing that we can be doinghere, in the absence of trade shows and without being able to be facetofacewith with customers and prospects and make that shift from brochure marketing to genuinely helpfulcontent marketing. So let's go to number two of three on this list oftactical things that you can do, and...

...that is a market to your existingcustomers. Seems like a really obvious one, but it's often overlooked, low hangingfruit. I'm often stunned by the answers I get, in fact,when I talk or when I ask these two questions specifically doing Stra edgy workshopsof new clients. One, how big is your email database and to howare you currently using it for marketing? And answers to that first question usuallygo something like this. Oh, I don't know, maybe we've got twoor three thousand people in there. Bunch of are stored in people's outlook accounts. And then the typical reply to question number two. Well, we're reallynot doing a whole lot with the email. We sometimes send out any blast beforea trade show which, as we're talking about now, aren't happening,to let them know we're going to be there, or maybe we send outa press release from time to time. But I guess my point here isthat your email list is gold. I mean we're talking about people here thatalready know you and for many of you they also like and trust you already. This really is low hanging fruit,...

...so let's go pick it. Trieddelivering an email twice per month, making use of that same amazing content thatyou're creating that we were just talking about, extracting those insights and knowledge from yourexperts. That content doesn't have to be just used to attract new peopleand generate new leads. It's often just as relevant for the people who alreadyknow you and like you, and it's a way to build additional trust,to stay top of mind. You know, delivering an email twice a month,of being in Inboxes your contact regularly, when you're delivering genuinely valuable resources,it's a very different experience for them then you being in their inbox withpress releases and all kinds of stuff about you. The latter is what's probablyis going to generate on subscribes and eventually will help you find your way intotheir spam boxes. The former. You know, this idea of actually deliveringvalue and insights on a regular basis is...

...often welcomed with open arms, butyou need to be helpful, you need to make it about them and studyyou and you need to create value. Do that they'll listen. We're goingto take a thirty second breather here for a word from our sponsor, cadinispart solutions. Let's talk real quick about getting specified. Are you a componentmanufacturer? Maybe you sell architectural products to parks or large facilities. Engineers andarchitects need models of your products to test fit in their designs. That's wherecadinis comes in. They help you create a dynamic, shareable cad catalog youput on your website. Designers can preview the product from any angle and downloadit in the format they prefer. They get the data they need for theirdesign and you get a fresh lead to add to your marketing pipeline. Toget one of your products turned into an online d model for free, usethe code executive at part Solutionscom. Slash executive. Okay. And finally,number three, the third thing that I'm...

...going to encourage you to do here, in the absence of trade shows, this one's kind of for you salesfolks, is learn how to do video based prospecting. This is actually alot easy, easier than you might think. If you think about five years agoor so, sending a talking head video of yourself and a sales outreachemail probably never even crossed your mind. But here we are in two thousandand twenty and the tools we have are both accessible and idiot proof, andfrankly, they're really cheap. To just a few months ago, or,I guess, as you say, earlier this year at this point, Iwrote a thorough and really unintentionally well timed article titled Video Based Prospecting and easybut comprehensive guide, and I would recommend checking that out if you if youwould find that helpful, or this, if this topic interests you more,gets into the weeds, you know, the find details and the tools andtechnology and some strategies and tips are on that, but in the meantime here'sa quick summary for you. So free or very inexpensive software tools, mypreference being loom. You can go to...

...loomcom. There are other tools likesoapbox and vide yard bomb. Bomb is one I've been hearing about a lotlately, that there's so many tools like this that let you record yourself andor your screen right from your browser. You literally click a button and chromeand you start talking and and these platforms will host the videos for you.So all you need to do is just push the button, start talking.Say we need to say copy and paste the link right into your outbound emails. So what more importantly, though, is the strategy here and the thinkingbehind why we would use a tool like this. And so I'm going togive you three reasons why video based prospecting makes sense from my perspective. Thefirst one is that video breaks through the clutter. When everything else in yourprospects inbox is long form text, your video message is immediately different. Secondthing is that video humanizes you. This one, I think, is superimportant. This is a place where you...

...can make up some ground that islost by not being able to be in person with people the way you youused to be on a regular basis, or at least in the short term, at least, while we can't be traveling to trade shows. But youknow, video humanizes you when the recipient of your emails seize your vent,your face and they hear your voice, all of a sudden you transform fromsome guy or Gal behind a curtain of words on their screen into a realhuman being, and the effect of that, impact of that can just be sohuge. So give yourself. You know it's not going to make up. It's not going to make up all the ground you're losing by not beingin person, of course, but it's kind of the next best thing ina lot of ways. It's going to make you a real person rather thanjust a bunch of words on screen. Okay, next one. Third,the third thing that I think video helps you do. It lets you sayand show things that are often hard to do with text. You could walkthrough your facility. You could film a...

Selfie of yourself or walk into yourfacility is showing your equipment and action. You could rescord your screen in sittingat your computer and point out what competitors are doing by having the screencast goingon their website. You can hold up a product in your hand, dependingon what it is that you sell, and tell them about it and theproblem it solves. You have something physical, they're in front of you. Sothose are a few reasons why video makes sense for my perspective, inthe prospecting process, specifically in this outreach process. You might feel some technologyand timidation at first, and that's normal. I felt it myself the first timeI used it, for sure, but you know, the hurdle isa heck of a lot smaller now than it was a few years ago.And you know, I think you can consider yourself lucky in that sense thatwe have these tools available at this moment in time. So take advantage ofall. Be a pioneer there in your space. And you know, stillone thing to mention here is is stage fright might set in when the camerastarts rolling but no one's watching your practice rounds. Remember that. Give itas a few practice rounds before you do a real one. And is it? Is it now a good time to...

...be courageous? Anyway, while I'llyou know, the world is really upside down and there's we've got to bethinking differently and trying new things. So let yourself get a little uncomfortable,and I think video is a great way to do it. If you're notsure how to build a list of prospects to physically deliver these videos, tocheck out the article that we published earlier this year titled Four ways to buildyour ultimate list for cold outgound email, and that one. All of theseresources I'm mentioning will link to in the show notes and you can find inour learning center at Gorilla Seventy sixcom learn. Okay, well, that kind ofsums it up here. I hope this was helpful. Try to keepit short and sweet give you some tangible things that you could jump into andstart working on. If you'd like clarification about anything I've said here, pleasefeel free to just email me, joe at Gorilla Seventy Sixcom or message meon Linkedin. You'll find me if you just look for Joe Sullivan, theGorilla Seventy six on Linkedin, and I...

...encourage you to go to our learningcenter, where we do our very best to practice what we preach, publishingpurely resourceful industrial marketing content at least once a week, so gorilla seventy sixcomlearn. Finally, I want to say a big thank you once again toour sponsor, cademist part solutions, for helping make this episode possible. That'lldo it for today. I hope to catch you on the next episode ofthe Manufacturing Executive. You've been listening to the manufacturing executive podcast. To ensurethat you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcastplayer. If you'd like to learn more about industrial marketing and sales strategy,you'll find an ever expanding collection of articles videos, guides and tools specifically forBTB manufacturers. At Gorilla, seventy sixcom learn thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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