by tradesmeninsights | Apr 22, 2015 | Marketing Tips, Marketing Tools, Marketing Trends, Social Marketing, Traditional Marketing
By Chris Ilcin, Account Superintendent at Sonnhalter
Photo Courtesy of Osborn
Do your employees know where your products are used? Do they know the applications the parts they make make possible? Are they aware of the history and critical nature of your company? There are many simple, cost-effective ways to increase productivity and morale by implementing a program that lets them know.
To land new business, you’re always told to “Tell Your Story” well. It’s just as important to tell it internally. Why?
• It makes employees feel like part of the plan – Let them see the big picture and where you as a company fit into it
• It helps them see the long view, not just their day-to-day part in it – There’s a plan, not just a daily task
• It builds internal networks – If Engineering tells their story to Customer Service, everyone sees people and faces, not silos
• It allows them to be brand ambassadors – If they know the story you want told, then that’s the story that gets re-told
So how do you reach them? That’s the easiest part—the same way you reach new customers:
• Host an Employee Open House – Let them show off to their kids, and see what goes on in other departments
• Giving a tour of your facility? Engage employees – Don’t treat them like an extension of the machine they’re working, but have them describe what they do, and the cost savings, quality assurance or other aspect of their work
• Start an internal newsletter – It’s a great place to either post external press releases, or develop case studies for outside use
• Cover the Walls – Advertising blown up as posters reinforce your brand internally and when guests tour your facility
• Let them hear & be heard – Have a quarterly or monthly meeting of non-managerial representatives from every department, and allow for an open exchange or ideas, complaints and stories
• Highlight your company’s history whenever possible – Old ads, press clippings or photos give a sense of pride and place
• Have a mission statement – And stress it internally. Print it on business cards, coffee cups in the vending machines; anywhere it will be seen regularly
You don’t need to be told that Manufacturing has gotten a bad rap. For years it’s been the butt of jokes, seen as a “dead end” and been declared all but extinct in this country by countless talking heads.
Well those people are wrong. And the house they left to get into the car they drove to the studio where they made their comments is testament to it. And it’s time your employees knew that too.
I once heard a really cool story about the Gateway Arch in St. Louis. It has a unique elevator that kind of side-steps its way up to the top of the arch. Well if you look into the arch, instead of out at the view, along the way you’ll see large welder-generators. They’ve been there since the Arch was built in the mid 60’s. Because of the way the arch was made, it was impossible to move them, so they just left them, placed another (which also got left behind) and kept building.
As a former employee of that welding manufacturer, I think that’s fascinating, and if I could ever get over my nagging fear of heights, it would be the best part of the trip up. To know that something that was made in the same building I worked in was instrumental in a project like that, it just boggles the mind. All the “ordinary” people, doing their “ordinary” job at factories all across the country added up to a modern marvel like that. Inspire that sense of awe in your employees, and they’ll help do the heavy lifting of establishing a brand.
by tradesmeninsights | Jun 12, 2014 | Events/Trade Shows, Marketing Trends
By Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect
I recently attended the Business Marketing Association (BMA) global conference which was held in Chicago May 28-30, 2014. The largest B2B marketing conference in the world, BMA14 was attended by a record 950 B2B marketers from 450 firms, 33 states and 12 nations.
The 2014 BMA conference also deployed two digital platforms—Livecube and ISEBOX—to enable speakers to take polls and attendees to ask questions, follow tweets, share photos and access conference content. If you are in charge of planning live events/conferences, I would suggest checking out these two resources.
The 3-day conference was jam packed with content – featuring 79 speakers and presenters leading 41 sessions—three pre-conference programs, nine panels, 12 keynotes and 17 firestarters. These sessions covered a wide array of topics and trends of critical interest and importance to B2B marketers today. Someone at the conference referenced the amount of information presented was like drinking from a fire hydrant!
Here are a few themes I saw throughout the entire conference:
It’s becoming more and more difficult for marketers in today’s environment and I thought one illustration that did a great job of representing our challenge was the Marketing Technology Landscape graphic by ChiefMartec.com. We are surrounded by data, but starved for insights; that is, data does not automatically equal insight. Today’s marketers need to solve both analytical and creative issues as we continue to trend toward extreme personalization…segments of one.
Since mobile devices are the predominant way people globally access the web and information, mobile is a critical factor when planning future marketing efforts. Here are a few stats from the conference that help reinforce the importance of mobile:
- Mobile data usage doubled in 2013
- In the US, 1 of every 5 minutes spent on mobile are on either Facebook or Instagram
- More Facebook users globally now engage the site via their mobile device compared to their desktop
- 78% access Twitter via a mobile device
Social media continues to be a key component of the B2B marketing mix, with Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube still being the main ones utilized by B2B marketers. There was a great session by Tim Washer from CISCO on “How to bring humor to B2B storytelling.” Just because you work in B2B marketing does not mean you need to be devoid of humor…check out some of these examples shared by Tim:
You can view/download videos and documents from the entire conference here: http://bma.isebox.net/.
by Sonnhalter | Mar 28, 2013 | News, Press Release
Sonnhalter Makes BtoB Magazine’s “Top Agencies” List for the Fifth Year in a Row
BEREA, Ohio – March 2013 – Sonnhalter, a communications firm marketing to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, has been listed by BtoB magazine as one of the top business-to-business agencies in the U.S. for the fifth year in a row.
Sonnhalter is featured in the small agency category in the March 4, 2013 issue of BtoB magazine. Annually, BtoB magazine editors pick the top large, medium, small and interactive agencies that exhibited positive revenue growth, new client wins, innovative work and expanded service capabilities, to compose its top agencies list.
“Many of the top b-to-b agencies registered double-digit growth last year through new clients and organic growth,” executive editor, Kate Maddox wrote in the March 4 edition of BtoB magazine.
“We are pleased to be on the BtoB magazine ‘Top Agencies’ list for another year, making it five in a row,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “In 2012 we continued working with our great client base and began working with new b-to-b clients in our core B2T niche. The B2T, business-to-tradesmen, a term coined by Sonnhalter, reputation that we’ve built has opened many doors to do award-winning work with companies that market to professional tradesmen.”
Established in 1976, Sonnhalter is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target professional tradesmen in construction, industrial and MRO markets. Sonnhalter’s brand identity highlights its expertise in marketing to the professional tradesmen. Its tagline, “Not Afraid To Get Our Hands Dirty,” promotes the employees’ willingness to roll up their sleeves and dig deep into clients’ businesses, also, it refers to the market it targets: the tradesmen who work with – and dirty – their hands every day. Sonnhalter developed the acronym “B2T,” which stands for “business-to-tradesmen” to capture the essence of its specialty. Sonnhalter is listed as a BtoB Magazine’s Top Agency for 2013 and has received the honor annually since 2009. For more information, visit the company website at www.Sonnhalter.com or visit the company blog at www.TradesmenInsights.com.
by Sonnhalter | Mar 28, 2011 | News, Press Release
BEREA, OHIO – March 2011 – Sonnhalter, a communications firm marketing to the professional tradesman in the construction, industrial and MRO markets, has been selected by BtoB magazine as one of the top B2B agencies in the U.S. for the third year in a row. Sonnhalter is the only Cleveland area agency to be listed.
Sonnhalter is featured in the small agency category in the March 14, 2011 issue of BtoB magazine. Annually, BtoB magazine editors pick the top large, medium, small and interactive agencies that have orchestrated the most challenging, inventive and effective campaigns, to compose its top agencies list.
“We are pleased to have made the BtoB magazine ‘Top Agencies’ list for a third year in a row,” said Matt Sonnhalter, vision architect at Sonnhalter. “We have started 2011 off with the addition of several new B2B clients, which reaffirms Sonnhalter’s continued focus on its core niche–the B2T (business-to-tradesmen, a term coined by Sonnhalter) realm.”
Established in 1976, Sonnhalter is the leading B2T marketing communications firm to companies that target professional tradesmen in construction, industrial and MRO markets. Sonnhalter’s brand identity highlights its expertise in marketing to the professional tradesmen. Its tagline, “Not Afraid To Get Our Hands Dirty,” promotes the employees’ willingness to roll up their sleeves and dig deep into clients’ businesses, also, it refers to the market we target: the tradesmen who work with – and dirty – their hands every day. Sonnhalter developed the acronym “B2T,” which stands for “business-to-tradesmen” to capture the essence of its specialty. In 2009, 2010 and 2011, Sonnhalter was named one of BtoB Magazine’s Top Agencies. For more information, visit the company website at www.Sonnhalter.com or visit the company blog at www.TradesmenInsights.com.
by tradesmeninsights | Apr 17, 2009 | Marketing Tips
Blogging – you have so much to say and you want to be sure someone out there will read all those golden nuggets of information. Promoting your blog should be no different than promoting a new product. Your marketing strategy should include both push and pull strategies.
For social media, the pull part of the equation includes:
- solid content
- sound SEO strategy
- select key words
- encouraging incoming links
Push strategies can include many things, but the most obvious is e-mail. A recent post by Dean Rieck, How to build your blog using good old e-mail outlines ways to drive people to your blog. Here are 5 highlights:
- Offer an RSS feed. Many people prefer a reader over e-mails. Dean suggests that if you offer a subscription to your blog by e-mail, many will take you up on it.
- Start an opt-in newsletter. This is a great way to build a list with people outside your blog. Remember if you start a newsletter, make sure your readers are getting value or they’ll opt-out as quick as they came in.
- Post a subscription box on your site. Sign-up boxes usually work better than links that take you to a sign-up log.
- Encourage subscriptions everywhere. Beyond your home page, put your subscription box everywhere. Most blogs have templates so each page can include one. Put on your web site, your Linkedin and Facebook accounts. Some even include it in their e-mail signature.
- Manage your list. This by far is one of the most important elements. The old saying “garbage in garbage out” applies in this case. I use Constant Contact, but there are others like Aweber and Icontact, to help manage my e-mail lists. Their fees are minimal for what you get and are an easy way to deliver and monitor your activity. You need an accurate list to promote special products, pricing or events.