The Thomas Blog

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

Jennifer Shore

Jennifer is the senior marketing manager at THOMASNET.com.

Author's Recent Posts

Takeaways from IMPACT Live 2017

The punchline of every presentation at the first annual IMPACT Live, a two-day conference for sales and marketing executives, this week seemed to be "If there's one thing you can takeaway from this to bring back to your own company..." Which, of course, means I have more than 15 "one things" as action items in my brain — in addition to the dozens of ideas I tweeted about and my boss logged in Trello.

But if you're reading this post, you probably weren't there or feeling as inspired as we all are (or maybe you did attend and you want to re-live the magic), and I think it's unfair for me to not share at least some of the knowledge I gained from: networking with 150 marketing, sales and business professionals; listening to presentations from big names such as Marcus Sheridan, Mike Volpe, David Meerman Scott and Mark Roberge; and bouncing ideas off of the Thomas team.

There were plenty of pointers on being genuine in your company and discussions on the importance of taking risks, but if I were to write out all of the takeaways from the event, this blog post would be about 25,000 words. So, I'll keep it short (but you can get a full recap on IMPACT's blog) — here are a few considerations for you:

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5 Supply Management Takeaways from ISM2017

Thousands of global procurement and supply chain professionals gather annually at ISM’s conference “learn, share and network with the best and brightest minds in supply management.”

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Insight on the Top Marketing Challenges for Manufacturing Companies

While most industries jumped into using social media, email marketing, SEO and other digital marketing tactics almost a decade ago, manufacturing is finally coming around.

Unlike traditional print placement and ads, we all know that creating an online presence isn't a "one and done" mentality. More and more companies in the industrial space are building up their websites and traffic — the marketplace is quickly getting crowded, so marketing is now more important than ever.

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Does Your Industrial Company Need a Marketing Agency?

With all of the uncertainties that exist in today's manufacturing climate, there's one thing that's guaranteed: Marketing 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 massive amounts of 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, it might not be worth it in the end.

Any business owner or person in charge of industrial marketing and sales has to do some reflection and planning to see what's right for the company, but we wanted to help get your thoughts rolling. Take a look at the below infographic to get help on answering a very important question.

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Marketing & Sales Insight from a Former Honda Engineer

Many industrial companies don't trust outside marketing services because they don't believe they understand their business or audience. Honestly, that's a true assumption when it comes to most traditional marketing agencies.

But we do things differently at RPM. Our founder, a mechanical engineer with more than 15 years of marketing experience, leads the team of marketing experts and engineers to deliver record-breaking increases in lead generation and sales. (See how we drove a 113% increase in lead generation and 60% increase in sales for CJWinter here.)

We've recently hired a new application engineer, Ryan Singler, from Honda, and while we (and our clients) have been taking in all of his insight, we thought it might be helpful for you to get to know him as well.

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While most manufacturers and industrial companies attend industry shows such as IMTS or FABTECH and some CEOs and presidents make their way to various networking events, very few in the industrial space make an effort to attend marketing-focused trade shows and conferences.

This is somewhat understandable, considering how different the industrial world is from other B2B areas; the same marketing tactics that work for many companies won’t always apply to you. (For example, while I love Snapchat and understand its value for marketing campaigns, I have yet to receive a buy-in by overlaying a “dog filter” on clients giving shop tours.) But there is still value in attending these more generalized events.

This week, 15 folks from Thomas spent the week at INBOUND — HubSpot’s annual conference, which brought together 19,000 marketers from 92 countries. And believe it or not, there were actually a few hundred of your fellow industrial companies — maybe even some of your competitors — in attendance.

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How To Create Effective Content For Industrial Companies

You’ve likely heard it before, but we’ll say it again: Content is king.

Even in the manufacturing and industrial space — where relationships and word-of-mouth referrals kept companies going for so long — content marketing is the most effective way to drive high-quality leads and dream customers to your website.

Creating strong content and engaging prospects is so essential to businesses that there are numerous books, webinars and entire conferences dedicated to getting marketing and sales professionals from across the globe up to speed.

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As we bring you the latest SEO, PPC, social media and other industrial marketing news, we sometimes forget to mention other exciting industry happenings — what is happening at our very own company.

So, as we approach our four-year anniversary of being in business, we wanted to give you a quick rundown of what’s been happening at RPM over the past few months.

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Summer shutdown is upon us.

When production on the floor halts this season and all your machinist colleagues are off-the-grid, you can do so much more than kick back while your MRO manager cleans and evaluates the shop floor.

This is a great time to get introspective about what you've accomplished this year, how you can continue growing as a marketer and re-evaluate what's left to meet Q3 and Q4 goals. Let's take a look at your opportunities.

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