The Thomas Blog

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Business Tips

How To Improve Your Supplier-Distributor Relationship

A prospect that you’ve been chasing for months has been researching you as well, checking out your product catalog on a distributor’s website and downloading your CAD models. They’ve narrowed down their shortlist to you and a couple of your competitors, and now they’re visiting your website to gather additional details.

But when they arrive on your site, what they see doesn’t quite match what they saw on the distributor’s site. Part numbers are off, and specs aren’t aligning 100%. Plus, basic company information doesn’t match with what they read before and content looks outdated.

Reconciling the differences would take way too long, so instead they just cross you off their list. And you never even knew they were interested in the first place.

Unfortunately, this scenario plays out all too frequently and prevents the supplier and distributor from meeting their goals. In some cases, the scenario results in a dropped key customer and the existing customer base begins to diminish.

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Marketing Strategy

Does Your Industrial Company Need a Marketing Agency? (Take The Quiz!)

With all of the uncertainties that exist in today's manufacturing world, there's one thing that's guaranteed: Agencies will cold call and email you to try and sell you their marketing services. And it makes sense — industrial companies are set up for successful marketing programs and typically don't even know it.

After decades of relying on word-of-mouth referrals to bring in new business, you might be hesitant to bring in someone new to your process. But marketing agencies can be very helpful in generating qualified leads and helping your sales team close your dream customers. But if you don't have certain goals or a budget to put behind their services, how will you know what's worth your time and how to spend your money effectively?

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SEM/PPC

For Manufacturers: 11 Steps To Begin Your First PPC Campaign

More manufacturers and industrial companies are investing their time and budget into paid marketing  — it's a model that targets consumers online based on their interests or intent using different tactics like display ads or pay-per-click (PPC). PPC is a must-have for any inbound strategy — over time, B2B marketers are able to effectively reach their target audience and drive leads based on their searches. One of the most compelling characteristics of paid marketing is the tremendous amount of data you’re able to collect in order to make decisions and improve the performance of your campaigns. The more you learn about your audience, the easier you can market and sell to them effectively. Who doesn't want that for their business' bottom line? But getting a conversion through PPC that justifies the expense takes careful planning and precise execution.

Also referred to as "cost-per-click" or CPC, PPC can be challenging to begin. Especially when you don't have any data, how do you get started? We put together this list of 12 PPC tips that will give beginners the best chance of starting off on the right foot. And we'll address one of the main challenges of managing PPC — how to target business customers when there is a large volume of consumer or retail traffic searching similar keywords. 

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Business Tips

What To Do If You Lose A Key Customer

Customer retention can often mean the difference between your company thriving or dying. This makes the loss of major customers one of the greatest risk factors for manufacturing businesses. Your consistent goal should be to go to any lengths necessary to retain these keystone clients. However, over the course of even a vastly successful company’s lifespan, this kind of paradigm-shifting customer loss can — and will — occur. 

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Sales

MQLs Vs. SQLs: What's The Difference

Studies show that 68% of B2B marketers struggle with generating quality leads. And lead generation strategies are successful for only 13% of marketers in the space.

All in all, only a mere 5% to 10% of B2B leads actually turn into paying customers. So what can be done to boost these numbers?

First, industrial marketers must understand that not all leads are created equal — and the industrial buyer's journey is actually pretty complicated. 

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Lead Generation

Lead Nurturing: How To Convert Website Traffic To Leads

Sellers know all about leads. You know the difference between marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) and sales-qualified leads (SQLs). You know you need more of the former in order to get more of the latter.

That’s great. You can see the destination. But what about the traffic that's on your website? How can you identify MQLs in your sales pipeline and, more importantly, how can you offer effective nurturing that turns them into SQLs? Let's break down the basic steps.

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SEO

SEO Vs. SEM Vs. PPC: What’s The Difference?

The industrial manufacturing sector is constantly seeing new technological innovations and advancements as businesses compete to stay ahead of the competition and at the forefront of their industry. Similarly, digital B2B advertising and marketing practices undergo the same rapid rate of change and advancement. But with so many options and platforms available today, getting started can be daunting — especially if you're new to the industrial marketing world.

Some of the most common questions we field at Thomas involve a slew of acronyms — SEO, SEM, and PPC: What’s the difference between SEO, SEM, and PPC, and what can they do for my company?

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