February 13, 2014
Each month we’ll be featuring a blog post from our friends at MAGNET (Manufacturing Advocacy & Growth Network). MAGNET’s mission is to support, educate and champion manufacturing in Ohio with the goal of transforming the region’s economy into a powerful, global player. You can visit MAGNET online at manufacturingsuccess.org.
This post originally appeared on MAGNET’s Manufacturing Success blog and is reposted with permission.
The Future of Manufacturing in Northeast Ohio
In today’s market, several of the country’s most valuable manufacturers are finding a strong and beneficial base in Northeast Ohio. Producers of globally distributed products have found that Northeast Ohio provides a great deal of resources to make their efforts a reality. This video, produced by the Greater Cleveland Partnership for MAGNET’s Partnership for Regional Innovation Services to Manufacturers (PRISM) program, explains why so many manufacturing companies have found tremendous success by calling northeast Ohio their home.
Click here to read the original post.
February 12, 2014
As marketers in the industrial B-to-B space, I think we all recognize that our potential customers have several options beyond the traditional ones we’ve used for years. The challenge for us is to identify where they are getting their info and to make sure we’re there when they start looking. That means we need to embrace the digital world, and a recent study by IHS GlobalSpec shows that only about 35% of industrial marketers are satisfied with their online efforts.
IHS GlobalSpec has recently released a white paper, Taking a Strategic Approach to Digital Media that gives you some guidelines and recommendations on developing a plan and monitoring results.
Some highlights that I found interesting were:
- Almost half of the industrial professionals visit 10 or more work-related websites each week.
- Top four resources for these professionals are search engines, online catalogs, supplier websites and GlobalSpec.
- 56% of buyers don’t contact a vendor until the research phase is done, and 19% wait until they are ready to buy.
What does that mean to us who don’t want to miss these opportunities?
- It means that we need to identify the channels that our customers use to gather info. The best way to do that is ask them.
- Once you identify the channels, you need to develop content for the different stages in the buying process for your product.
- Implement and monitor a program. The beauty of digital is we can immediately get feedback on what’s working and what’s not.
Don’t let digital scare you. It’s just another way to communicate with customers. Don’t worry about reinventing the wheel on content. Chances are you already have great stuff, you just need to identify it and maybe change the approach of features/benefits on how your products can help customers with their issues.
February 6, 2014
By Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect, Sonnhalter
I attended the 66th International Air Conditioning, Heating, Refrigeration Exposition in New York City (January 21-23, 2014). For those not familiar with this trade show, it is the largest HVACR show in the United States, endorsed by 33 leading HVACR industry associations and co-sponsored by ASHRAE and AHRI. This year’s attendance was once again very strong, with more than 61,000 people attending and more than 1,800 exhibitor booths.
Here are five of my observations from the show:
- Strong 2014 Outlook – in addition to the positive sentiment of almost everyone I spoke with at the show, the recent ASHRAE/AHR Expo survey forecasts a pretty good year for the HVACR business. Of the 1,000 HVACR manufacturers worldwide surveyed, 79% of the respondents said their prospects for business were either “excellent” (19%) or “good” (60%) for the coming year, 90% of the HVACR manufacturers believe sales will increase and hospitals/healthcare, light commercial and data/telecom centers were the top three market segments identified to be the most promising for 2014.
- Trade Publications Are Not Dead – 35+ publications had a presence at the this year’s show, each with their army of sales people combing the aisles for new and potential advertisers; there also seemed to be an increase of international publications covering both Latin/South America as well as Asia.
- Technology Continues To Play Strong Role – it seems every year at this show more and more technology is introduced to the products and services showcased, whether it is the software driving these products or the tablets used to control and monitor them. Again this year, there was a dedicated AHR Expo app for the show which not only helped you find your favorite booth, but also had valuable information about the speakers, educational sessions, transportation and local NYC attractions.
- Growing International Attendance – exhibitors from more than 30 countries attended the show. Asian manufacturers have been coming to this show for a number of years and 2014 was no different; however I did notice an uptick of Latin/South American as well as European exhibitors and attendees this year.
- “Efficiency” Is Still The Buzzword – with the way the economy has been over the last few years I think we have all gotten used to “doing more with less.” In the HVAC market that is nothing new, no matter which aisle you walked down during the show “efficiency” rang out in booth messaging, product benefits and sales pitches.
These are just a few of my observations, but if you attended, I would love to hear any key takeaways you had from the show.