Get Your Targeted Message Noticed

October 17, 2013

Today we have a guest blog post by Sandy Bucher, Media Engineer at Sonnhalter, sharing advice on how to reach the key people for your message.

TargetedInsertPicIf you are a manufacturer and want to reach a certain job title in a particular industry, in a particular market you want to focus on, targeted demographic inserts are another option to the standard print ad and are offered by most publications. Inserts can be one sheet, two-sided and are printed on heavier stock than the publication uses, but can also be a postcard or even a multi-page brochure. The inserts can be bound into, or glued into the publication, depending on the publication’s specifications.

Why inserts?

The purpose of using a targeted demographic insert is that a company can select just those readers they want the message to reach, and the publication will send it only to those selected, rather than sending it to the entire circulation. For an example, if you only want to reach the engineers or the plant operations people, you select just those titles. The cost for placing a targeted demographic insert is generally less than placing a full-run advertisement because you’re reaching fewer people. But you also have to consider the cost of printing the insert. If you’re using a one-page, two-sided insert, remember it’s like placing two ads (you get two pages, more real estate), so that may validate the expense of doing an insert.

Get noticed.

A targeted insert will get noticed. The paper stock is usually different than the paper stock the publication uses, so when flipping through the magazine, the magazine will naturally open to the insert, making the reader stop to see why the magazine keeps opening to that particular section of the magazine. A client of ours that uses the demographic inserts had someone call to voice his displeasure because the magazine kept opening to their insert and he was getting frustrated. But that’s what you want…you want to get noticed and the insert did exactly that for our client.

What Do You Want From Your B-to-B Lead Generation?

October 16, 2013

We all have an end game hopefully on both generating and converting leads. What are the critical factors that you’re looking for?

I recently read in MarketingProfs highlights of a recent study by surveying 500 active pay-per-lead advertisers that identified what’s important to them. Some are obvious while others are nice to haves but almost impossible to get. Here are some highlights of what marketers want:

  • Know the purchasing horizon time line
  • Know the size of their business (# of employees)

Further, here are some things they find useful of leads that are generated from content marketing:

  • Whitepaper leads
  • Webinar leads
  • Sponsored emails
  • Case studies
  • Product feature guides

Are you capitalizing on these types of content marketing? If not, maybe you should consider it.

Are You Missing out on Mobile Marketing Opportunities to the Professional Tradesman?

October 2, 2013

We’ve talked many times about the importance of having a mobile strategy when wanting to reach the professional contractors. Their office is a jobsite and they need to be and stay connected. Mobile is changing the way we reach these important people.

A recent article by Bob Oord in marketingprofs outlines the explosion in this market and ways we can maximize our efforts there. An amazing stat is that their usage has doubled in just 1 year! The integration of mobile apps with CRM and business intelligence has changed user expectations.


  • Responsive website – so it can be read on any device
  • Mobile-friendly campaigns - optimize landing pages.
  • Mobile advertising - can be tailored by location, time and device so take advantage of them.
  • Mobile email - make sure your HTML can be read properly on these devices.
  • Mobile apps - apps let you secure a prominent presence on your customer’s device.

Please note that a recent report by Forrester, “Don’t Confuse Tablet And Mobile Marketing,” a B2B marketer needs to differentiate between smart phones and tablets. Smart phones have a much smaller screen for content experiences and is used “on the go,” while tablets are used more at home and in the office offering rich content opportunities.

If you liked this article, you might want to read:

Mobile Marketing to the Professional Tradesman: What are you Doing?

Why Mobile Marketing is Important for the Professional Tradesman.

Direct Mail or E-blast – Which One Works Best for You in the B-to-B Space?

August 20, 2013

I have this running conversation with clients about which is better, a traditional direct mail program or an e-blast. It’s a tough question to answer and I’m not too sure there is only one answer.

There are challenges for using both methods and we have seen it become more and more difficult to get emails delivered even if we use opt-in lists from trade publications and have them send it out under their name.

I think that when reaching out to our target market, the professional tradesman, you have just as good if not better of a chance of reaching them with the traditional snail mail.

We recently did a sampling program for a client who wanted to focus more on the electronic side of things and wanted to use more, if not most, in this media. They assumed that direct mail was a thing of the past and was too costly (neither of which are true). We convinced them to give both a try and the results were surprising.

The DM portion of the program outperformed on average 3 to 1 over the e-blasts. We used the same criteria for both lists and did both within 2 weeks of each other. We’re doing a second test using the same message and list parameters and it will be interesting to see if it still holds true.

We’ve all used both of these marketing tools. My question to you is have you found one better than the other in reaching contractors or the professional tradesman?

B-to-B Lead Generation: Let’s Not Forget the Basics

August 14, 2013

B-to-B marketers are always trying to identify more/better qualified leads. Does it surprise anyone that social media ranked very low in this category? The traditional methods of telemarketing, event marketing, webinars, trade shows, email marketing and yes, even direct mail pull better results according to a Survey in MarketingProfs from

They surveyed 423 B-to-B Sales and Marketing professionals that cited that generating and improving leads was their biggest challenge.

I think sometimes we’re all so focused on the new tools available to us to generate leads that we forget about some of the old standbys.

I have found that we usually have more success using traditional marketing tools when it comes to actually generating good qualified leads.

What are you finding out that works best for you in a B-to-B environment?

Social Media Studies for 2013 That Are Worth Reading

August 6, 2013

Today we have a guest post, courtesy of Kimberley Laws and Media Shower.

You’ve got hundreds of Facebook friends, an ever-expanding Google+ circle, and an eye-catching collection of Pinterest boards. Yes, you are a masterful user of social media, but how much do you really know about the tools that you devote so much time to using? The answer is likely “not nearly enough.” Here are a few social media studies that will tantalize, educate and make you say a-ha and help make you a fully informed social media user.


Image courtesy of:

Become a social media expert by reading up on the latest studies.

1) Who uses Pinterest?

Pinterest is the perfect way to create your own on-line recipe box, collect great ideas for your kitchen remodel, or hoard shots of the 1968 Mustang Fastback that you’ve always dreamt of having. But what else do you know about this relative newcomer to the Social Media world?

Econsultancy has recently published a series of helpful statistics that offer an in-depth glimpse into Pinterest, its users, and its value as a marketing tool.

According to Econsultancy, Pinterest is growing at a monumental rate “enjoying a traffic increase of 786% in the UK” and is now the third most popular Social Media tool. To help put its growth potential into perspective, Pinterest also boasts a record of keeping its new users much more efficiently than Twitter did during the same phase of its development.

The most popular pins fall under the categories of Food and Drink, DIY and Crafts, and Home Decor. This is great news for online retailers in these sectors as Pinterest accounted for 17.4% of all social media revenue at e-commerce sites in April of last year.

You can find more interesting Pinterest facts at

2) Are your buying habits influenced by the reviews you read online?

As a social media user, you have likely come across some scathing comments directed as businesses who failed to keep their customers happy. Perhaps, you have even composed a few, yourself. If so, have you ever wondered if your cleverly crafted reviews “good or bad” has the power to influence the decision of another prospective shopper?

According to a recent survey conducted by Dimensional Research, the answer is a resounding “yes!”


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Both negative and positive reviews overwhelming affect consumer decisions, proving that a company’s online business reputation is one of its most valuable assets. Interestingly, the most common source of aggravation “according to a whopping 72% of respondents” is the need to repeat one’s complaint to several different company representatives.

Another remarkable fact gleamed from this study is that individuals with an income of over 150K are more likely to share both positive and negative experiences with others. In fact, 100% of respondents in this income bracket stated that they would share a negative customer experience.

If you’d like to find out what other types of infractions annoyed respondents, what factors affect brand trust, and more juicy information on online reputation, visit

3) When is the optimum “tweeting” time?

According to a report issued by, the size of your tweet’s potential audience is hugely impacted by the time of day in which it is posted.

twitter cake

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Maximize your “tweets” with perfect timing.

It would appear that employee productivity drops significantly between one o’clock and three o’clock in the afternoon from Monday to Thursday as this is the prime time for tweeting. The absolute worst time is after eight o’clock pm.

Facebook’s ideal posting time is three o’clock in the afternoon on hump day, otherwise known as Wednesday.

For more statistics that will help you reach a larger audience, visit

4) What role do women play in the social media arena?


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Gender does play an important role in social media.

KRC Research and Weber Shandwick conducted a survey to uncover information on female social media users for marketing purposes and here are some of the discoveries that they made. 81% of North American female internet users have a Facebook account, making it their go-to social media tool. And the average online woman spends two hours a day on social media sites.

Shockingly or not, online women also admit to preferring spending time on social media sites to dating or spending quality time with their significant other. Yes, they prefer their laptops and cell phones over their men.

If you’d like to learn more interesting facts about the social media habits of North American women, visit

With social media tools playing an increasingly important role in the lives of us all, it is important to learn as much as we can about it. This smattering of social media studies offer a glimpse of what these important venues mean for your business, your social life and, in some cases, even your marriage. And, if nothing else, the facts contained within are sure to surprise, reaffirm, and entertain. Enjoy.

What study findings do you find the most astonishing? Why?

Kimberley Laws is a freelance writer and avid blogger. She is a huge fan of lists, useful and sometimes, useless factoids, and easy-to-read infographics. You can contact her at

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

July 31, 2013

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.

Software Advice’s recent 2012 B-to-B demand generation survey found that video was the second most type of content used across channels.

I recently read a 3-part article in Content Marketing Institute by Mark Walker that outlined how to use video to drive awareness, leads and sales. He gives great tips on how to develop and execute a video strategy.

Here are some highlights:

  • Define your purpose. What do you want to accomplish – educate, entertain, sell?
  • Define your message. You’re better off doing targeted messages which will be shorter and on point. It’s better to do several short targeted videos than one catch-all one.
  • Don’t overlook existing video. You might be surprised at what already exists on your products, training, etc.
  • Leverage event’s show interviews, live demos, contractor interviews.
  • Keep it short. 3-5 minutes is the ideal length to hold someone’s attention.
  • Promote videos. Other than SEO, promote on your blog, website and social platforms, along with the appropriate tagging so folks can find you.
  • Ask your Audience to share and make it easy for them to do.

Mark does an excellent job educating those who may not be familiar with all the ins and outs of videos.

If you like this post, you might like:

B-to-B Marketers: Are you Taking Advantage of Online Videos?

Busy Executives Prefer Videos Online

Make Videos Part of your Direct Marketing Plans to the Professional Tradesman

Are you Using Influence Marketing to Connect with your Target Audience?

July 30, 2013

In today’s world where social media has become an integral part of our overall marketing plans, we can’t rely solely on the old standby of the Four P’s – Product, Price, Promotion and Place. We now have to learn how to manage and measure the brand influencers in social media marketing.


In a recent article in Convince and Convert by Danny Brown, he highlights ways to influence the customer with the Four M’s - Make, Manage, Monitor and Measure. He concludes that by incorporating the M’s and the P’s, we’ll be better serving the customer.

  • The customer must be the center of our efforts. We need to find out what stage they are in the buying cycle and address the needs at that particular stage whether it’s information gathering or ready to buy.
  • We need to manage the responses of the messages we send. Did they have a positive or negative impact?
  • We need to monitor the relationship between the small core  group. Who is the influence? What factors are coming into play?
  • If we do all these we’ll be able to measure our influence on customers.

Danny Brown and Sam Fiorella have written a book, Influence Marketing, which I plan on reading. It certainly makes sense that by incorporating the old methods with the new it gives us better ways to communicate and measure.

Are You Using Storytelling to Connect With the Professional Tradesman?

July 24, 2013

Have you ever met a contractor that hasn’t tried to talk your leg off? Most are talkers and mean no harm; they just want to connect. So what better audience to connect with if you make something that can help them do their job better?


Stories are ways to make life a little more interesting and who (let’s be honest) doesn’t like a good story? So you, as a manufacturer, are you telling your customers stories or are you just trying to sell them something? You know there’s more than one way to make a sale. Storytelling should be entertaining and engaging, not boring and one-sided.

But you have to know who you are before you can communicate it to someone else. Storytelling can be used to talk about your founders and why they got in business, to the challenges that you face today. You can talk about your people and company culture and what makes you different to do business with.

I recently read an article by Debbie Williams on the Content Marketing Institute’s site. She focuses her storytelling around 6 questions:

  1. What’s your reason for being? What’s your purpose? What’s important to you?
  2. What’s your history? How does what you do come into existence?
  3. Who are your main characters? Not everyone can have a Steve Jobs, but someone had the foresight and passion to start your company. Who was he/she (them)?
  4. What’s your corporate mission? Why are you in business? What kinds of problems are you trying to solve?
  5. How have you failed? This a hard one for some folks, but a reality for all of us. None of us are perfect, so show some of that humanity. Chances are, people will connect because they’ve been there, done that.
  6. Where are your gaps? You can’t be introducing new products every month of every year. No one really expects that. Use a timeline to highlight major milestones in your history.

One key point that Debbie makes is that brand stories can be told in many different forms. We need to make sure that whoever the content creators are that they are vigilant about continuity and consistency.

So are you taking advantage of telling your story to those contractors out there? If not, you may be missing a huge opportunity to bolster your brand.

Manufacturers: Benefits of Using Social Media

July 10, 2013

Although the manufacturing sector usually lags behind in newer marketing tools, it’s time for you to embrace some of them, namely social media.

I’m not saying you have to be active in every venue, but in the  B-to-B world there are certain elements like YouTube, SlideShare, LinkedIn. I’m also not saying that social media will be that silver bullet that will have customers lining up to buy your products. I will say that you probably won’t sell anything from being on social media. Then why waste your time?


The key to any tool is to know how and when to use it. Manufacturers are used to having control of the message and where it goes to which is fine. Social media is just a different way to gain exposure and increase traffic. A recent post by Heidi Cohen, 31 Actionable Social Media Marketing Tips Based on Research outlines the benefits of using social as well as tips that might help you. Here are some helpful hints from Heidi:

  • share content across social media platforms
  • make sure social sharing buttons are on blog and website
  • write guest posts
  • nudging customers to rate your products
  • ask customers to share their photos using your products
  • educate the market and continue to be a thought leader

What are you doing to maximize social media in your business?


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