Why Videos are Such an Important Way to Reach the Professional Tradesman

If you're not utilizing this tool to reach the contractor and professional tradesman, you're missing a great opportunity. Some recent studies show that videos are on the rise in the B-to-B world. B-to-B Content Marketing: 2013 Benchmarks, Budget and Trends North America found that video had the largest increase of any market content in 2012. read more >

Things to Consider When Using Mobile to Reach the Professional Tradesman

Mobile is probably one of the fastest segements right now from a consumer's point of view, and it's only a matter of time before it impacts manufacturers and their distributor partners on how they will be conversing with their customers. read more >

Major Trends in the B-to-B Space According to Google

Since Google touches us all it's good to get some trends from "Big Brother" especially when it relates to the B to B markets. emarketer.com recently had an interview with Mike Miller director of business and industrial markets at Google and some new market research they just completedread more >

Business Marketing Association’s International Conference Was a Real Winner

I'm just back from one of the most intense 48 hours I've ever spent at a marketing event. The BMA's International Conference, "BLAZE" just ended in Chicago where nearly 800 marketing professionals gathered to talk about and learn ways to deal with the ever-changing challenges facing all of us.read more >

YouTube: An Excellent Way to Reach the Professional Tradesman

Are you looking for ways to get in front of tradesman?If you’re a manufacturer and don’t have anything on YouTube, you’re missing a great opportunity. What better way to show a customer or prospect how to use your product, highlight features and benefits or even have a customer testimonial.read more >

Manufacturers: Are You Missing an Opportunity to Build Better Relationships With Your Distributors?

Most of the manufacturers we deal with sell through various distribution channels. The relationships range from true partnerships to a necessary evil. Most manufacturers have missed an opportunity to build relationships by not utilizing an old technique called a distributor council. We recently did a survey to a group of manufacturers who sell through distribution and 85% of them haven't used this marketing tool. read more >

From A Manufacturing Perspective: What’s Your Year Looking Like?

I can't believe that 2013 is almost half way done. There's some mixed messages out there on how things are going this year. I'd like to talk the pulse of the industry to see how you're doing. Can you take a quick poll? read more >

For B-to-B Marketers, Email is Still an Effective Way to Communicate

Sometimes as marketers we tend to gravitate to the newest or hottest thing out there to give it a try.What I might suggest we all do is go back to some basics like e-mail marketing. This is a proven method of communicating with both existing and potentail customers.read more >

Market Overview: Industrial/MRO Market

Sonnhalter is deeply involved with the professional tradesman. We recently completed an overview of the Industrial/MRO market. The purpose of the document is to give the reader a quick snapshot of the industry, its players and trends for 2013.read more >

Podcast: SEO in Manufacturing – 3 Things You Need to be Doing

I recently caught up with Sage Lewis, president of SageRock, a digital marketing agency that’s one of our strategic partners, to talk about the importance of SEO especially in the manufacturing sector. Sage gives us some good tips and references to use.read more >

Are You Getting the Most Out of Your Trade Association Meetings?

Most associations are stuck doing things the way they have for years. I wonder if it's because they're afraid of change or don't know how or why to try something different. Two models that I think work well are the National Association of Electrical Distributors(NAED) and the Industrial Supply Association (ISA). They both have tried different things that seem to be working. read more >

AmazonSupply – How Has it Affected Your Business in the Industrial, Construction Markets?

With an 800 lb. gorilla like Amazon, once they come into your playground, things will certainly have to change. Big online giants are not new to this market. We're used to the Grainger, McMaster Carr and MSC's of the world. The difference in my mind is that while price is important to them, they are selling more of a convenience. The Amazon model is a bit different and price points are more critical. AmazonSupply has been up and running for about a year now. I wrote a post last summer and asked how they might be influencing your business. Back then it might have been too early to tell. (I sure would like your input now.) I assume many manufacturers are using them as another outlet for their products. The trends are indicating that the traditional distribution models are declining. I recently read an article by Scott Benfield in Industrial Supply, Trials and Tribulations of Sales Growth in an AmazonSupply World that outlined the difference and suggested ways traditional distribution can effectively deal with them. According to Scott, it comes down to the way traditional distribution goes to market. He calls it the bundle approach (full service) as opposed to a transactional model with a much lower cost base. He also recommends strategies moving forward for the "new normal." In my mind, I'd hate to see the traditional distribution model go away. There's lots of value in their expertise, but if they are not willing to change, then the future might be dim for some of them. Manufacturers, what are your thoughts on the different distribution models and where is your sales staff spending their time and efforts? Better yet, what can Associations like ISA do to help their members?read more >

Are You Using Inbound Marketing to Reach the Professional Tradesmen in Construction?

Inbound marketing is and can be an effective tool. The Construction Marketing Association recently conducted a national survey of construction professionals to see if and how they are using this tool. read more >

What Are Your Thoughts on Buying Groups and Trade Associations?

I recently came back from STAFDA which for those who don't know is an association of Construction distributors and the manufacturers that sell into that market. What struck me at the trade show part of the event was it was obvious which manufacturers didn't belong to a groupread more >

Podcast: Manufacturers and Distributors – What Are You Doing to Stay Relevant? New Rules of Engagement

Staying relevant to customers today has become much more complex. Traditional marketing and customer service, based on transactions, isn’t enough anymore. Customers want to pay less for faster, better service. The new rules focus on content, commerce and community building, integrating online platforms with traditional marketing methods.read more >

What Does 2013 Look Like For Your Business?

Now that the election is over, I'd like to see what you are anticipating 2013 to be like. I know a lot of you were waiting to see the election results, and they are what they are and we need to deal with the fiscal cliff, Obamacare and more.read more >

Podcast: How Contractors are Utilizing Mobile Media

We interviewed John Mesenbrink from Mechanical Hub about how contractors are using mobile in their daily routine. He talks about opportunities for manufacturers and distributors to communicate to them using mobile and gives examples of those that are doing it right.read more >

How Are You Reaching Your Targeted B-to-B Audiences?

I recently attended the Content Marketing World in Columbus where I got a glimpse of the 2012 Channel Preference Study by Exact Target. The study gives insights to different channels - Ddirect mail, email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Mobile Twitter and SMS.read more >

No Surprises in GlobalSpec’s Industrial Marketing Trends Survey

GlobalSpec recently released their annual marketing trends report for the industrial sector. The online survey identified trends, challenges and anticipated expenditures in the Industrial market. Their surveys usually give a relatively good pulse of what's happening in the space. Here are some highlights.read more >

Buying Groups: What Is Their Role Moving Forward?

Several years ago you couldn't go to a manufacturing/distributor function where Buying Groups weren't a big topic of discussion. Today it seems they are not brought up very much. Do you think it's because everyone who wanted to has joined one? Or have they run their course?read more >

What Kind of B-to-B Challenges Are You Having with Social Media?

In the B-to-B space it's not unusual for us to lag behind the B-to-C market, especially when it comes to trying and embracing new things. Social media is one of those new things. Penton Marketing Services did a survey recently of 5,000 B-to-B marketers.read more >

Why Do B-to-B Companies Ignore Social Media Feedback?

It still boggles my mind that companies who rush into social media ignore feedback once they do get it. I wonder if they do that with traditional feedback? Why get into it if you aren't going to participate? What I don't get is why many companies are ignoring social media on a day-to-day basis. The object of the medium is to engage with like-minded people who are looking for information or products.read more >

What’s Amazon Supply Going To Do For Your Business?

It's been a few months now since Amazon announced its serious entry into the MRO market with Amazon Supply. The new service directly goes head to head with Grainger, Fastenal, McMaster Carr and MSC Direct.read more >

Webcast: Mobile Marketing

Our vision architect, Matt Sonnhalter, will be presenting on CFE Media’s webcast, “Mobile Marketing: What Impression Are You Making and How Will You Measure It?” Matt, along with Kim Dushinski author of The Mobile Marketing Handbook, will discuss how B2B marketers can make a good mobile impression. Whether you’re ready for mobile, or not, it’s here. If you have a website, you’re already being viewed on mobile devices. Join Matt on Tuesday, June 19 at 2 PM EST for this free, informative presentation. You can register here.read more >

Have You Drawn a Line in the Sand Yet?

The reality is you can't be all things to all people. Pick a side, draw a line in the sand. Your company will be better for it. Content marketing over the last few years has become the big buzz word and is often associated with social media. While it can be used to foster social media relationships content marketing goes way beyond that. As a matter of a fact it defines who you are and what you stand for.read more >

How Can We Get the Most Out of Trade Association Meetings?

I just got back last week from the ISA (Industrial Supply Association) Show in San Antonio, and I have to tell you, if I were a manufacturer, I'd have to think about what I was getting out of that show.read more >

B-to B-Marketers: What Are Your Most Effective Sales Channels?

​B-to-B customers are doing more homework online when it pertains to buying well before they start the actual buying process. So what are you dong to take advantage of these "opportunity zones" to be successful? B-to-B marketers - are you prepared for a more educated buyer?read more >

Benchmark Report on Email Marketing Sheds Light on Top Priorities and Challenges for B-to B-Marketers

A recent report by MarketingSherpa outlines the top priorities and challenges facing those of us that use this marketing tool. A free copy can be downloaded here. This report re-emphasizes the fact that email marketing is not only alive but is still an important part of the overall marketing programs of most companies.read more >

Innovation Roundtable – Getting the Trades, Distributors and Manufacturers Together

What was so unique about the event is that there were manufacturers, distributors, electrical contractors, electricians, building inspectors and even representatives from the IBEW and NAED there.Topics included industry landscape, building partnerships, media revolution, marketing best practices, emerging technologies and innovation and culture.read more >

Interesting Stats on B-to-B Marketers Thoughts on Social Media

We all are getting into social media in some fashion. Some more active than others, but how are we doing and what do we think of this new media? Penton Media just released a B-to-B Marketing study called Truth in the Trenches that surveyed 3,000-plus folks like us.read more >

Why a Mobile Strategy Is So Important to Reach the Professional Tradesman

We all know how busy contractors and the trades are. Most of their time is spent on the job site. They rely on their smartphones, and more and more are using tablets in the field. Mobile is not going away. Consider this stat: 77% of the world's population (5.3 billion people) are mobile subscribers! read more >

Should Google+ Be Part of Your Content Marketing Strategy?

Some of you may have already jumped into Google+. According to recent stats, as of January 2012, there are over 90 million users (Twitter has 100 million active users). To put this in perspective, they launched Google+ by invitation in June of 2011 and opened it up to the public in September of 2011. Google is positioning Google+ as their Facebook for B-to-B.read more >

Media Companies are Changing Ways They Deliver Content

Here's an interesting Stat-in December of 2011 eMarketer released a study that showed mobile had surpased print readership. Mobile increased by 30% in 2011 to 65 minutes a day compared to print at 44 minutes. Magazines are finding that their content consumption on smartphones and tablets are beginning to boom.read more >

What’s Your Mobile Media Strategy for 2012?

Moving forward in 2012, is mobile media going to be part of your overall marketing strategy? According to a recent survey by the Association of Marketing, 2011 Trends in Mobile Marketing, 58% of respondents indicated that they were not using mobile marketing.read more >

Trends for B-to-B Marketers to Focus Their Efforts in 2012

Today's Internet-enabled customer has made it clear that they decide what content looks like and how it should be distributed. Content Marketing has emerged as the primary mode of engaging business prospects. read more >

Market Overview: Alternative Energy Market

A lot of our clients know they need to get into the “green” arena but do not know how to approach it or how to bring value to the “green” market. Thus, the following is both an overview of the alternative energy industry (focusing on certain segments within the larger context) to be used as a means of educating, and a list of trends and issues to be used for planning for the types of products and services needed in the future.read more >

Webinar: 8 Content Initiatives You Need to Seriously Consider for 2012

Content marketing expert and founder of the Content Marketing Institute, Joe Pulizzi will review the practice of content marketing and why it's one of the fastest growing areas of marketing today. In this hour presentation, Joe will discuss eight initiatives that all marketers need to consider now when it comes to corporate storytelling and social media.read more >

Why Are B-to-B Marketers So Reluctant To Embrace Social Media?

The B-to-C space has been using it successfully for the last 3-5 years. So why are B-to-B practitioners slow to adapt? I think it's because they don't know where to start. You should probably start by developing a strategy that is included in your overall marketing plans. If you use social media to help build better relationships with your customers, I think you'll find that it can help with more than just brand building. read more >

How Are You Handling Customer Complaints?

I can't believe that many marketers still ignore customers who are dissatisfied. Especially since most of the complaints make their way to social sites. Ignoring them won't make the problem go away, and if the non-responsiveness continues, you may get a tweet with #FAIL attached to it and you'll be part of an elite group (where you don't want to be in) who have failed their customers. This is more of a problem for B-to-C companies than B-to-B, but none the less, you still shouldn't ignore people. read more >

The 2012 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets and Trends Report Is Out

The Content Marketing Institute and Marketing Profs second annual research report is out and as usual, both CMI and Marketing Profs have a great handle on what's happening in the B-to-B space.read more >

2012 Looks Like Companies Will be Investing More Into Social Media

According to a recent report in eMarketer.com, companies are looking to invest more in social in 2012. According to a study completed this summer by Booz&Co and Buddy Media, social media will become a higher percentage of their total digital spend in the next three years.read more >

Tablets and Smartphones are Changing the Way Manufacturers Will be Reaching the Tradesmen

With smartphones, tablets and other connected devices, consumers have become digital omnivores according to a new study out by comScore. Their new white paper, Digital Omnivores: How tablets,smart phones and connected devices are changing U.S. digital media consumption.read more >

Podcast: Trends in Distribution and What it Means to the Distributor-Supplier Relationship

I recently caught up with Lindsay Konzak, editor of Modern Distribution Management (MDM) newsletter.We talked about how things are changing, especially since the downturn in the economy .She shared with us "Four Trends in Distribution" from the MDM's 2011 Distributor Landscape Report and what it has meant for the supplier-distributor relationship. read more >

Lack of Resources is Biggest Challenge for B2B Marketers

I don't know who said it but it's a timeless truth. With the soft economy over the past few years and downsizing of staffs, the overall business climate has changed. Marketing departments are being asked to do more with less.read more >

New IBM Study Addresses Major Challenges Facing CMOs

A new IBM study of more than 1,700 chief marketing officers reveals that most CMOs are well aware of the changing marketing landscape and the need to make fundamental changes to traditional marketing methods of brand and product marketing. But they are struggling to respond. read more >

Podcast: Why Manufacturers Should Be Using QR Codes

I recently spoke with Scott Chapin from Circle 44 Mobile, a division of DigiKnow who is a strategic partner of ours, on how and why manufacturers should be using QR codes in their everyday marketing efforts.read more >

Podcast: Overview of Recent HVACR Week and Comfortech Show

I had the chance to catch up with Mike Weil, the editorial director of Contracting Business magazine. I wanted to get his views on the recent Comfortech and HVACR Week show that just ended since I was unable to attend. Mike gave an overview of attendance, the mood of contractors and what the show buzz wasread more >

What Are You Doing to Reach the Young Professional Tradesmen?

I know one of the biggest challenges for manufacturers that we represent is getting to the young entrants in the trades. They know how to get to the old guys, they've been doing it for years and know that traditional things like trade ads and direct mail programs are effective tools to reach them. read more >

Do You Put the Cart Before the Horse in Your Social Media Strategy?

I still am amazed that marketing executives especially in larger companies (80% of companies with 100 plus employees) acknowledge that social media is a legit marketing tool, but yet fail to take the time to develop a strategy for it. It's like ready,fire, aim! read more >

Smartphone Users: What Are They Using Them For?

As the world grows more mobile, it's inevitable that smartphones are and will become a more intricate part of our daily routine. It's my contention that in our world of reaching the professional tradesmen these phones are being used on a regular basis . read more >

B-to-B Marketing Trends 2012 Study

The Institute for the Study of Business Markets recently released their new finding on B-to-B Marketing Trends for 2012. The study highlights the need for change from investing in the best tools available to truly understanding the needs of your customers. This means getting access to meaningful market and competitive insights and helping clients understand the power of business segmentation.read more >

B-to-B Marketers: Have you forgotten the basics?

The last two years for most of us in the B-to-B space hasn't been much fun. Budgets cut, every move or project had to be justified seven different ways. When leads came in, ALL were followed.We ran a tight ship. Today, business is beginning to improve, budgets are increasing, new products are being launched and for some of us, social media has been introduced which needs our attention.read more >

New Study Shows Best Way of Reaching Manufacturing Professionals

If you're looking to reach the professionals who run and manage manufacturing facilities which media would serve you best? It appears that an integrated plan is best.read more >

Free QR Code Webinar For B-to-B Marketers

Marketing trends and tactics are ever changing and keeping up can be overwhelming. Mobile technologies are the next big deal in marketing and QR codes are a large part of that.read more >

Mobile Marketing to the Professional Tradesman: What Are You Waiting For?

The professional tradesmen don't go anywhere without their cell phones, and there's a good chance that those phones are smartphones (50% of Americans will own a smartphone by the end of 2011).They depend on them everyday on the jobsite. So are you missing an opportunity?read more >

QR Codes Are Gaining in Familiarity: Are You Using Them?

I'm sure you've seen these strange looking symbols and some of you (over 60% according to a recent post in eMarketing.com) know what they are.read more >

Manufacturers: Are You Taking Advantage of QR Codes?

Since there are more smart phones being sold now than PCs, maybe it's time you consider doing something that will take advantage of this technology. One of the nice things about QR codes is that they are contextually relevant.read more >

LinkedIn Logins See Big Rise in 2010

I've alway been a big supporter and advocate of B2B companies engaging social media with LinkedIn. According to a recent article in eMarketer.com, social media Gigya saw a 17% increase of logins using LinkedIn in a six month period from July 2010 to Jan 2011. read more >

What If You Modeled Your Company After Google?

Think about it. Wouldn't you want to model your company around the most successful company in the world? We all use Google in our everyday lives, but have we really thought about what makes them so great?read more >

U.S. Leads in Global Use of Mobile Barcodes

We're all seeing more and more of these strange looking square boxes (2D codes) in ads, on billboards and packaging that connect people to mobile sites for more info. According to 3GVision a global pioneer and leader in mobile barcode solutions and advanced image processing technologies to fast-track consumers to the mobile Internet,The USA is leading for the 1st time in terms of absolute numbers of scans.read more >

The Economy Isn’t Holding You Back: It’s Your Aging Workforce!

Here's an interesting interview in The Smart Van from one our own, Aylie Fifer, on how the aging workforce may put companies at risk and what they need to know about technology trends. read more >

2010 Social Media Trends in the Industrial Sector

This is the second year that GlobalSpec has surveyed engineering, technical, industrial and manufacturing professionals on how they are using social media. You can download a free copy of the complete report here: The survey shows that for work related purposes this audience are slow adopters.This audience is largely passive in that prefer to read and watch content as apposed to create it. They are increasing in certain areas but aren't progressing as fast as the rest of the world. read more >

Can Twitter Followers Be Better Than Facebook Fans?

Some people still don't see the advantage of Twitter as a B-to-B tool. According to ExactTarget's "Subscribers, Fans and Followers" report, it concludes there is influence on customer loyalty between e-mail, Facebook and Twitter.read more >

2011 Trends: Content Marketing is Critical for Social Media Success

I think we all agree that one of the main reasons we're in the social media scene is to generate new business. What we need to do is put our brand out there along with original content so our thought leadership will come through no matter what business you're in. read more >

Do You Have a Customer Loyalty Program That Includes Mobile?

According to a recent article in eMarketer.com, interest is high for smart phone users who are relying more on their phones when they are out and about. They use their phone to get pricing information and check their status on loyalty programs for coupons or to access their points.read more >

2010 Highlights of the State of Social Media for Business

To effectively use social media for business development, it is important to know who is using social media, how they are using it, what social media channels are being used, what goals are being pursued and tactics deployed that are providing measurable results. More than 6,000 SmartBrief readers participated in a benchmarking study of social-media usage by business. The results provide insights of how social media is changing the way we do business and just how companies are using social media for business. The State of Social Media for Business 2010 report, released at the beginning of 2011, provides information on the biggest trends and challenges. read more >

2011 Trends for B-to-B Blogging

So what’s next for B2B blogging? What trends are likely to emerge in the coming year? To answer those questions, the founders of the B2B Marketing Zone asked 22 of the most influential b2b marketing and PR bloggers—including Roxanne Darling, Jay Baer, Ardath Albee, Erik Qualman and Chris Abraham—for their prognostications. You can get the whole story in B2B Blogging Trends in 2011, a free (and no registration required) white paper from Aggregage (the software that powers the BMZ site). Among the findings: read more >

Overview of the Construction Market

Sonnhalter is deeply involved with the professional tradesmen. We recently completed a market overview on the construction industry. The purpose of this document is to give the reader a quick snapshot of the industry, its players and trends. Markets covered are residential, commercial (light commercial), highway/heavy, institutional and industrial/manufacturing. read more >

What’s Changing With Social Media?

Businesses are getting more comfortable with social media and are continuing to integrate it into their overall marketing programs. I recently read an article in Social Media Examiner, 8 Social Media Trends Impacting Businesses, that I thought made some good points. read more >

What is your Level of Participation in Social Media?

Each of us are at different stages in the social media process. Some are in "denial" while others have drank the "kool aid" and have jumped in with both feet. If you're a serious marketer though, and represent a brand or company, you really need to get on the bus. read more >

Mobile Apps: Are You Thinking About Them to Reach the Professional Tradesmen?

Professional tradesman, for the most part, do more field work so they have a mobile office. The smartphone is coming more and more into play, so if your company doesn't have an app, you may be missing an opportunity. According to Nielsen, as of the 3rd quarter of '10, 28% of mobile phones are smartphones with 41% of recent acquirers moving in that direction. read more >

What is Augmented Reality?

Augmented reality is a new technology that is starting to take flight in many different ways. Think of a flight simulator – the pilot goes into a “cockpit” and can use the actual controls of an airplane, but the visual is a non-real place – a video or computer generated environment to simulate the environment of a real world situation. In essence, this is very much like Augmented Reality. read more >

2011 Industrial-Construction Marketing Spend Survey

It's that time of year again for our annual spend survey (8 questions). We'll be happy to share the results with you and compare them to what you said in 2010.read more >

White Paper: Trends in Mobile Media

It seems like these days that everything is moving as fast as a digital download. Information is at your fingertips with smartphones getting more and more popular and with access to everything you could possibly want to know in the palm of your hand. read more >

QR Codes: Are Manufacturers Missing an Opportunity? Part 2

Yesterday Aylie Fifer from Sonnhalter gave us an overview of what QR codes were and how they can be used. Today she'll talk about the differences between Microsoft tags and Traditional QR codes. read more >

QR Codes: Are Manufacturers Missing an Opportunity? Part 1

B-to-B Marketers need to take advantage of every marketing tool especially if your target market is the professional tradesman. Most of these folks are on the move and depend on their cell phone not only to stay in touch, but to get valuable info that will help them do their job. One tool for mobile smart phones that probably is overlooked are QR codes. read more >

STAFDA 2010 – Manufacturers and Distributors More Upbeat

I just returned from the 34th Annual Specialty Tools and Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) convention and trade show. Attendance was up and so were the spirits of all who attended. Georgia Foley and the team once again put on a great event.read more >

2010 Industrial Marketing Trends: How Do You Stack Up?

GlobalSpec is an internationally known portal used by engineers, technical and manufacturing professionals. They recently released a new study: Trends in Industrial Marketing 2010. Of the 464 respondents, 70% hold management positions in sales or marketing. These companies had marketing budgets from 50,000 to over a million dollars. read more >

What Are You Doing To Track Leads?

Everyone is talking about ROI especially when it deals with social media. What I would like to know is what/how are you currently dealing with what I call Traditional leads from ads (print and electronic), trade shows and websites? read more >

Made in America: It Still Matters!

Manufacturers continue to wrestle with the question - Does American-made make a difference? I think it does if you have a product that some value added and it's not considered a commodity. According to a recent by Harris Interactive, made in America does boost purchase appeal.read more >

Have You Started a Company Blog? Maybe You Should.

Blogs are a great way to build thought leadership within specific catagories. While personal blogs have stalled in recent years as consumers move towards social networking and microblogging, company blogs are on the rise. read more >

Social Networking is on the Increase Among Older Adults

So what does this all mean? Manufacturers who still think the only ones using social are the 18-29 year olds should think again. You might be missing a golden opportunity to reach your target audience. read more >

White Paper: Overview of Plumbing Market

Sonnhalter is deeply involved with the professional tradesmen. We recently completed an overview of the Plumbing market. The purpose of the document is to give the reader a quick snapshot of the industry, its players and trends for the balance of 2010 and what to look for in 2011. read more >

Podcast: What the Plumbing Industry is Doing about Water Conservation

I caught up with Bob Mader, editor-in-chief of Contractor, Radiant Living and Green Mechanical Contracting magazines. Bob shared his thoughts on what the industry is doing for water conservation and what's coming down the line that will affect us all. You can hear the interview here. read more >

Using Social Media to Market an Event

When doing an event ,from a press conference to an open house or a new product launch, are you using social media to capitalize on it? Social is an inexpensive and cost-effective way to enhance the buzz around what you're doing. I'm not suggesting that social replace traditional methods, instead use social to enhance them.read more >

Podcast: What are STAFDA Distributors Doing to Weather This Downturn?

I recently caught up with Tom Hammel from Contractor Supply magazine, and he was able to share some insights as to what STAFDA distributors were doing to get them through the 2009 downturn. Tom shares his thoughts here. read more >

B-to-B Marketers Are Slow Adopters of Social Media

This should not be news to anyone in the Industrial or B-to-B space. We have always been lagging when it comes to new technology. When the web started in the early 90s, we were some of the last to jump on board. So it should be understandable that we lag our B-to-C counterparts.read more >

Mobile Apps to Reach Tradesmen: Are You Ready?

What's one of the most important tools a contractor has with him? If you said his phone, you win the prize! With the advent of smart phones like the iPhone and now the Android, there are opportunities to reach your customer on a job site. Are you planning that far ahead?read more >

Social Media: How Can Manufacturers Get the Most Out of It?

In our day-to-day marketing for manufacturers, we focus on selling the products or services they offer. We talk about the features and benefits and how we can solve their problems. A good and sometimes a one-way conversation centered around us. Then we jump into social media and expect the same tactics to apply. Unfortunately they don't.read more >

Social Media Catching On In The B-to-B Markets

B-to-B marketers are slowly catching up with the rest of the world regarding social media. They are finally seeing that there are opportunities to generate leads and position themselves as thought leaders, according to a new report from eMarketer.com.read more >

Hispanic Contractors: What Are You Doing to Reach Them Online?

Although this market segment is rated low, currently the projections for the next 5 years shows exceptional growth. According to a study by eMarketer, 70% of Hispanic population will be online by 2014. read more >

White Paper: Overview of the HVAC Market

Our agency is deeply involved with the professional tradesmen. We recently completed an overview of the HVAC market. The purpose of the document is to give the reader a quick snapshot of the industry, its players and trends for 2010. Highlights include interviews with editors of the top two trade publications. Also included are association and buying group contacts, trade show/meetings, industry trends and media publications.read more >

Social Media Marketing Continues to Grow: Great Way to Reach the Professional Tradesmen

Social media continues to grow to no one's surprise, and both B-to-B and B-to-C are utilizing this medium at a higher rate than ever before. Different industries are adopting social at different rates and many haven't positioned it as one of their top priorities to reach their customers.read more >

Podcast: Industry Interview with Jack Keough-Industrial Distribution Market

I recently interviewed Jack Keough, former Editor and Associate publisher of Industrial Distribution magazine. He's given us some insight into the challenges both Distribution and Manufacturing face moving ahead in 2010.read more >

White Paper: Overview of the Electrical Market

Sonnhalter is deeply involved with the professional tradesmen. We recently completed an overview of the Electrical market. The purpose of the document is to give the reader a quick snapshot of the industry, its players and trends for 2010. Highlights include interviews with editors of the top two trade publications. Also included are association and buying group contacts, trade shows/meetings, industry trends and media implications. read more >

E-mail Marketing: Is It Still a Viable Way to Reach the Professional Tradesman?

When looking at what marketing tools to use, you have to look at your target and find out how they like to receive info. For the contractor that's on the go, e-mail is still a viable option. In a recent survey by eMarketer.com, they found 70% would rather talk to their friends and family via e-mail as opposed to social sites.read more >

White Paper: Overview of the Industrial/MRO Market

Sonnhalter is deeply involved with the professional tradesman. We recently completed an overview of the Industrial/MRO market. The purpose of the document is to give the reader a quick snapshot of the industry, its players and trends for 2010.read more >

3 Tips for Using the Apple iPad to Reach Professional Tradesmen

The iPad has some great applications when it comes to calling on Contractors and Distributors alike. Its size for one and ease of use are the first two that come to mind. I have an iPhone and I sure wouldn't want to watch a presentation on it and it has one of the bigger screens for the smart phones.read more >

Can Social Media Results be Quantified?

That's the $64,000 question. Marketers are split on whether social media will deliver measurability according to a recent study by Datran Media's 4th Annual Marketing and Media Survey. 87% of those surveyed said that accurate online measurement was at least somewhat important for driving increased brand awareness, revenues or performance. Marketers Worldwide Who Believe Social Media Will Generate Quantifiable Results in 2010 (% of respondents)read more >

80% of Visitors to Your Blog are First-Timers!

Those of us who have been blogging for sometime may be under the assumption that once someone finds our blog they become a groupie and read every one of our posts. Well here's a wake up call. Would you believe that 80% of the people who come to your site are first-timers? This is true for most bloggers. Even the big boys like Jay Bear and Jason Falls have 65% plus who come to their sites for the first time. read more >