The Manufacturing Executive
The Manufacturing Executive

Episode · 2 years 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 shows to generate pipeline. Well, here we are, 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 do come back, will they be as valuable as they once were? Welcome to the manufacturing executive podcast, where we explore the strategies and experiences that are driving mid size manufacturers forward. Here you'll discover new insights from passionate manufacturing leaders who have compelling stories to share about their successes and struggles, and you'll learn from B tob sales and marketing experts about how to apply actionable business development strategies inside your business. Let's get into the show. Welcome to another episode of the Manufacturing Executive podcast. The show is 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, and among the biggest of those challenges that I've seen in the industrial sector is that so many manufacturers rely on trade shows to generate pipeline. Well, here we are, 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 do come back, will they be as valuable as they once were? Will they draw the same crowds that were used to? Be distancing efforts in place that will make them feel different, less social? Do we want to invest at the same level that we have in the past, and what kind of our why are we going to get on these shows anyway? Well, regardless of how big or small you are or what Industries Your Business touches, these are probably the types of questions you're starting to ask if trade shows have been part of the mix for you. So today I'm going to do a solo cast just me, drawing on my conversations that...

I've had with manufacturing leaders since things got crazy earlier this year, and I'm going to share my best advice with you about three tactical things that you can physically do to replace the whole in your 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 things in a way that mitigates the loss of face to face human interaction that's really difficult to replicate outside of in person events, and how you can use technology to make some of this less intimidating. I'm hoping this is both helpful and actionable for you, so let's jump into it. Back in March, as the COVID situation really began to take shape, I wrote an article titled While the world is upside down, seven things sales and marketing can do. Six months later, I don't have to tell you to consider shifting your production lines to making hand sanitizer face shields. But a lot of what I published in that article still really applies. So for the purpose of this podcast, I've condensed my list of it. I'm going...

...to run you through three tangible ideas for 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 number one here. The first one is make the shift from brochure marketing that's all about you to genuinely helpful content marketing that's about your prospect the bottom line is this. Your prospects care about themselves, so we need to stop talking about ourselves. Instead of saying this, we sell the world's best blank. Here are some of the incredible features. Blank, blank, blank, blank and blank. Also, our competitors or our customer service is unparalleled. You've never worked with people like ours, and our competitors a bunch of phonies. Instead of saying that, let's do marketing that sounds more like this. We help blank achieve blank when they're struggling with blank or trying to achieve blank. Now build your marketing strategy around those things,...

...instead of filling your website and your social media channels and brochures and outbound emails with typical propaganda about yourself. I'm talking about genuinely or creating genuinely resourceful content that answers the most common questions your prospects and your customers have, addresses their most common problems and helps them achieve their goals. This type of content is so powerful because it helps you get found 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 the door 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 typically the ones who understand them the best. These experts on your team see your customers problems and their challenges and action all the time. So have conversations with them, learn with those problems and challenges are, tap into their brains and pull 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 them organically on Linkedin or in other social channels. Put a budget behind those same small videos using linked in or facebook, and tell the platforms to show those videos to people with these job titles, from these types of companies and these geographic regions with these interests. transcribe your videos using a transcription service like speech pad or revcom and publish the text in your blog, or hand that text to 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 use in emails. The possibilities really are endless here, but the biggest point is that you can't fake great content. It all starts with your company's experts and what's in their brains. People. You can build your entire marketing strategy on this platform, I guarantee you that,...

...and it's simplest form. All you're really doing here is, one, focusing on your best prospects to creating amazing content 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 through inbound, throughoutbound and through paid media. At Gorilla we've built our business on the strategy. We do it for ourselves, we do it for our clients and it works. So if you want to learn more about how to extract expert knowledge to create content, I recently interviewed our senior Copywriter, Toby Wall on this podcast and he breaks down how to do it. Recommend listening to that episode. Okay, so that's the first thing that we can be doing here, in the absence of trade shows and without being able to be facetoface with with customers and prospects and make that shift from brochure marketing to genuinely helpful content marketing. So let's go to number two of three on this list of tactical things that you can do, and...

...that is a market to your existing customers. Seems like a really obvious one, but it's often overlooked, low hanging fruit. 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 workshops of new clients. One, how big is your email database and to how are you currently using it for marketing? And answers to that first question usually go something like this. Oh, I don't know, maybe we've got two or 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 really not doing a whole lot with the email. We sometimes send out any blast before a 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 out a press release from time to time. But I guess my point here is that your email list is gold. I mean we're talking about people here that already 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. Tried delivering an email twice per month, making use of that same amazing content that you're creating that we were just talking about, extracting those insights and knowledge from your experts. That content doesn't have to be just used to attract new people and generate new leads. It's often just as relevant for the people who already know 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 with press releases and all kinds of stuff about you. The latter is what's probably is going to generate on subscribes and eventually will help you find your way into their spam boxes. The former. You know, this idea of actually delivering value and insights on a regular basis is...

...often welcomed with open arms, but you need to be helpful, you need to make it about them and study you and you need to create value. Do that they'll listen. We're going to take a thirty second breather here for a word from our sponsor, cadinis part solutions. Let's talk real quick about getting specified. Are you a component manufacturer? Maybe you sell architectural products to parks or large facilities. Engineers and architects need models of your products to test fit in their designs. That's where cadinis comes in. They help you create a dynamic, shareable cad catalog you put on your website. Designers can preview the product from any angle and download it in the format they prefer. They get the data they need for their design and you get a fresh lead to add to your marketing pipeline. To get one of your products turned into an online d model for free, use the 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 sales folks, is learn how to do video based prospecting. This is actually a lot easy, easier than you might think. If you think about five years ago or so, sending a talking head video of yourself and a sales outreach email probably never even crossed your mind. But here we are in two thousand and twenty and the tools we have are both accessible and idiot proof, and frankly, they're really cheap. To just a few months ago, or, I guess, as you say, earlier this year at this point, I wrote a thorough and really unintentionally well timed article titled Video Based Prospecting and easy but comprehensive guide, and I would recommend checking that out if you if you would find that helpful, or this, if this topic interests you more, gets into the weeds, you know, the find details and the tools and technology and some strategies and tips are on that, but in the meantime here's a quick summary for you. So free or very inexpensive software tools, my preference being loom. You can go to...

...loomcom. There are other tools like soapbox and vide yard bomb. Bomb is one I've been hearing about a lot lately, that there's so many tools like this that let you record yourself and or your screen right from your browser. You literally click a button and chrome and 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 thinking behind why we would use a tool like this. And so I'm going to give you three reasons why video based prospecting makes sense from my perspective. The first one is that video breaks through the clutter. When everything else in your prospects inbox is long form text, your video message is immediately different. Second thing is that video humanizes you. This one, I think, is super important. This is a place where you...

...can make up some ground that is lost by not being able to be in person with people the way you you used 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 you know, 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 from some guy or Gal behind a curtain of words on their screen into a real human being, and the effect of that, impact of that can just be so huge. 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 being in person, of course, but it's kind of the next best thing in a lot of ways. It's going to make you a real person rather than just a bunch of words on screen. Okay, next one. Third, the third thing that I think video helps you do. It lets you say and show things that are often hard to do with text. You could walk through your facility. You could film a...

Selfie of yourself or walk into your facility is showing your equipment and action. You could rescord your screen in sitting at your computer and point out what competitors are doing by having the screencast going on their website. You can hold up a product in your hand, depending on what it is that you sell, and tell them about it and the problem it solves. You have something physical, they're in front of you. So those are a few reasons why video makes sense for my perspective, in the prospecting process, specifically in this outreach process. You might feel some technology and timidation at first, and that's normal. I felt it myself the first time I used it, for sure, but you know, the hurdle is a 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 that we have these tools available at this moment in time. So take advantage of all. Be a pioneer there in your space. And you know, still one thing to mention here is is stage fright might set in when the camera starts rolling but no one's watching your practice rounds. Remember that. Give it as 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'll you know, the world is really upside down and there's we've got to be thinking 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 not sure how to build a list of prospects to physically deliver these videos, to check out the article that we published earlier this year titled Four ways to build your ultimate list for cold outgound email, and that one. All of these resources I'm mentioning will link to in the show notes and you can find in our learning center at Gorilla Seventy sixcom learn. Okay, well, that kind of sums it up here. I hope this was helpful. Try to keep it short and sweet give you some tangible things that you could jump into and start working on. If you'd like clarification about anything I've said here, please feel free to just email me, joe at Gorilla Seventy Sixcom or message me on Linkedin. You'll find me if you just look for Joe Sullivan, the Gorilla Seventy six on Linkedin, and I...

...encourage you to go to our learning center, where we do our very best to practice what we preach, publishing purely resourceful industrial marketing content at least once a week, so gorilla seventy sixcom learn. Finally, I want to say a big thank you once again to our sponsor, cademist part solutions, for helping make this episode possible. That'll do it for today. I hope to catch you on the next episode of the Manufacturing Executive. You've been listening to the manufacturing executive podcast. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. 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 for BTB manufacturers. At Gorilla, seventy sixcom learn thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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