I can’t believe that 2013 is almost half way done. There are some mixed messages out there on how things are going this year. I’d like to take the pulse of the industry to see how you’re doing. Can you take a quick poll? Results are shown.
Sometimes as marketers we tend to gravitate to the newest or hottest thing out there to give it a try. What I might suggest we all do is go back to some basics like email marketing. This is a proven method of communicating with both existing and potential customers.
Lauren Fisher from eMarketer recently did some benchmarking on email marketing which included key data, trends and metrics. Here are some highlights:
Sonnhalter is deeply involved with the professional tradesman. We recently updated our overview of the Industrial/MRO market. The purpose of the document is to give the reader a quick snapshot of the industry and its players for 2013.
Highlights include association and buying group contacts, distribution, training firms/certification organizations, online resources, trade shows/meetings and media publications.
A free copy for viewing/download is available by signing up here.
With the NAED show coming up in May and the ISA show coming up the first part of June, it got me to thinking about trade associations and how they try to get the distributors and manufacturers together so it’s a win-win for everyone.
Most associations are stuck doing things the way they have for years. I wonder if it’s because they’re afraid of change or don’t know how or why to try something different.
Two models that I think work well are the National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED) and the Industrial Supply Association (ISA). They both have tried different things that seem to be working.
The NAED for years now at their regional meetings have a dance card format that Manufacturers need to get on to get, I believe, 20 minutes with key folks from the distributors they want to talk to. Most manufacturers like this as they know who they’re going to see and can prepare accordingly.
The ISA, a few years back, initiated the FastMatch program in which the manufacturers are in the booth, but set up their dance card with the distributors they want to see. They like to have 20 minute intervals in which to have one-on-one meetings. This year, they are trying, “Take an exhibitor to lunch,” in which the distributors set up a lunch in the hall and invite select manufacturers to lunch. I’ll be curious to see how that works out.
I guess the point I’m trying to make is these associations are trying different things to bring more value to the table.
I’ve put together a quick poll to see what your thoughts are on this. Please take a minute to take and see the results.
For those going to San Diego, I’ll see you there.
With an 800 lb. gorilla like Amazon, once they come into your playground, things will certainly have to change. Big online giants are not new to this market. We’re used to the Grainger, McMaster Carr and MSC’s of the world. The difference in my mind is that while price is important to them, they are selling more of a convenience. The Amazon model is a bit different and price points are more critical.
AmazonSupply has been up and running for about a year now. I wrote a post last summer and asked how they might be influencing your business. Back then it might have been too early to tell. (I sure would like your input now.) I assume many manufacturers are using them as another outlet for their products. The trends are indicating that the traditional distribution models are declining.
I recently read an article by Scott Benfield in Industrial Supply, Trials and Tribulations of Sales Growth in an AmazonSupply World that outlined the difference and suggested ways traditional distribution can effectively deal with them. According to Scott, it comes down to the way traditional distribution goes to market. He calls it the bundle approach (full service) as opposed to a transactional model with a much lower cost base.
He also recommends strategies moving forward for the “new normal.” In my mind, I’d hate to see the traditional distribution model go away. There’s lots of value in their expertise, but if they are not willing to change, then the future might be dim for some of them.
Manufacturers, what are your thoughts on the different distribution models and where is your sales staff spending their time and efforts? Better yet, what can Associations like ISA do to help their members?
Staying relevant to customers today has become much more complex. Traditional marketing and customer service, based on transactions, isn’t enough anymore. Customers want to pay less for faster, better service.
The new rules focus on content, commerce and community building, integrating online platforms with traditional marketing methods.
Manufacturers, manufacturer representatives and distributors have to integrate traditional systems of record (transaction-based) with systems of engagement (differentiated value-based) to stay competitive in their markets.
We caught up with Tom Gale who is President of Gale Media, a publisher of business information, research, software and market analytic tools that make wholesale distribution companies and their business partners run better for his thoughts on this important topic.
Tom’s company has two divisions: Industrial Market Information, a 25-year-old industrial products market research firm, helps customers map markets and identify potential within existing accounts and new territories, customer segments and product categories. And Modern Distribution Management, which publishes industry news and research since 1967.
Listen to what Tom has to say. Great insights. Enjoy.
To Listen Click Here.
Now that the election is over, I’d like to see what you are anticipating 2013 to be like. I know a lot of you were waiting to see the election results, and they are what they are and we need to deal with the fiscal cliff, Obamacare and more.
I know we’re looking at a pretty fair year coming up. Most of our manufacturing clients have been doing well over the past 18 months, and those that are tied to the construction industry (especially housing) have positive signs that that segment is coming back.
I’d like to know what your thoughts are for 2013. Is it going to be a good, poor or flat year for you? Would you mind clicking on this quick survey and giving us your answer?