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The Thomas Blog

Industrial marketing and manufacturing sales tips to help you grow your business.

Customer Delight: 3 Ways To Ace The Last Phase Of The Inbound Marketing Funnel

There are four phases of the inbound marketing funnel: education, evaluation, and conversion. What? You say we only listed three? Nice catch. Unfortunately, a lot of marketers don’t even consider this last element and instead spend all their time and energy on the first three phases, only to forget about the fourth. But that fourth phase, customer delight, is perhaps the most important of all.

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Top 6 Benefits Of Local Sourcing

In today's increasingly global business landscape, it's no secret that many manufacturing and industrial businesses maintain supply chains that stretch all over the world.

However, what may be a secret is just how much procurement professionals would prefer to source locally instead.

According to a recent survey conducted by THOMASNET:

  • 72 percent of industrial/B2B buyers "always or generally" prefer to source locally.
  • In comparison, just 10.8 percent of respondents "always or generally" prefer to source globally.
  • In fact, nearly half of buyers (46.7 percent) actually "rarely or never" prefer to source globally at all.

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12 Tips To Begin PPC On The Right Foot

Incredible numbers of businesses, many of them your competitors, continue to pour time and money into paid search. The reason? There is a lot of valuable traffic and new customers to be gained there. But it’s not an easy (or cheap) process—getting a return that justifies the expense takes careful planning and precise execution. Many business owners have a lingering feeling that they should at least be experimenting with paid search but are understandably reluctant begin.

Probably the single most compelling characteristic of paid search is the tremendous amount of data you’re able to collect in order to make decisions and improve the performance of your campaigns. But when you’re just getting started you don’t have any of that data, so starting off on the right foot is challenging. What’s more, it’s in the interest of the search engines to get you to spend as much money as possible right out of the gate so their default settings—and the advice of their representatives—are often at odds with your own goals.

We put together this list of 12 tips that will give you the best chance of starting off on the right foot before you have any data at your fingertips to make increasingly more informed decisions. This guide is intended to be closer to a FAQ than a complete list of all the considerations inherent in launching PPC. That said, we think that if you follow these tips you’ll be off to a great start.

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The 7 Reasons It’s Great To Work In Manufacturing

The manufacturing industry is one of the largest and most influential sectors of the United States economy. It also accounts for a similarly large piece of the American workforce — the industry employs 8.7 percent of the country, making it the third-largest industry in terms of jobs.

But what is it like for the millions of people who actually work in the industry? The truth is, it's pretty fantastic. Here are some reasons why:  

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Website Content Creation For Custom Manufacturers

By and large, most custom manufacturing businesses and service providers have an extensive list of their capabilities, services, materials, machines, and certifications. These are the basics that help potential customers understand what you can do for them.

Unfortunately, the basics don't separate you from the competitors and non-competitors in your space. That’s right, we said non-competitors. Remember, your potential customer may see that you do the same type of machining as another company, work with the same materials, have the same machines, and have secured the same certifications — they won't see a difference.

How will they know that your specialty is very small medical parts, with extremely tight tolerances in very large volumes? It is tough for them to make this distinction without talking to you … and odds are you won’t get that chance.

So how do you fix this problem? Through smart content marketing.

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Why You Need To Expand Your Business To New Markets

The manufacturing industry can be unpredictable. One minute you might be entering into a lucrative contract with a great new customer; the next, that customer could be going out of business — putting your own company at risk in the process.

The best way to guard against this risk is to diversify your business and expand into new markets. Here are three reasons why you should consider it in your shop:

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8 Awesome STEM Toys & Gifts For The 2017 Holiday Season

The holiday season is in full swing, and so is the rush to buy the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Unfortunately, we can’t help you track down that intentionally hard-to-find retro gaming system or the ridiculously overpriced squishy toys that makes no logical sense whatsoever. However, if your list includes aspiring scientists, teenage technologists, endeavoring engineers, or number-savvy whippersnappers, you’re in luck.

We compiled a list of the best Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) toys for the 2017 holiday season.

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4 Things To Consider When Choosing A Marketing Automation Tool

To stay ahead in today’s increasingly competitive B2B marketing landscape, automation is key. Essentially what it sounds like, marketing automation software allows companies to automate various marketing tasks, such as emailing specific contacts or posting on social media.

Not only is this great for eliminating the boredom factor (no more repetitive emailing jobs that leave you blurry-eyed and dazed), it’s also great for creating a more dynamic, multichannel marketing strategy. And through automated tracking and data collection, companies gain better insight into prospects, enabling them to fine-tune their offerings as needed in order to reach valuable leads.

Streamlined processes, more efficient outreach, and time and cost savings are all part of the deal, no matter which specific automation tool you choose. But how do you decide on the best option for your company? To start, consider these four key factors.

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10-Step Checklist To Turn Your Existing Website Into A Lead-Gen Machine

There are many good reasons to update and redesign your website — to make it mobile responsive, to bring it in line with your current branding, or perhaps to move onto a new Content Management System (CMS) or Marketing Automation platform. But the most important reason of all is to improve your results and generate more leads. 

If your current site is falling short in terms of lead generation, you should probably consider upgrading. But we'll warn you: a website redesign is no joke, and it requires a lot of careful planning.

To keep things simple, we've created this handy checklist that you can use to turn your website into an inbound marketing machine.

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