June 20, 2013
Today we have a guest blog post by Sandy Bucher, Media Engineer at Sonnhalter, sharing a little-known tip on an easy way to keep up with news in your industry.
If you are interested in finding out what’s happening in your trade, there are many trade publications available at no charge to tradespeople of all kinds, if you qualify. If you want to learn about the latest industry trends, read about upcoming trade shows or industry events or see new products available, all you need to do is request a subscription from these trade publications.
As long as you qualify for those magazine’s specifications, you should be able to receive your own copy of that magazine. Depending on your market, most of the qualification questions asked when requesting a subscription are the type of organization you work for, your job title or function, types of work your company does and do you buy or specify certain products/services. Sometimes they also ask for number of employees at your location, what types of construction fields is your firm engaged in or would you like a print or digital version.
Most subscriptions can be requested online from a publication’s website, or if you’ve been given a copy of a publication, most have tear-off cards that can be filled out and placed in the mail. It’s a pretty easy process. Take a few minutes and sign up for those publications that would benefit you in your work.
March 5, 2013
Manufacturers are trying different ways to get and stay in front of the professional tradesman, and your website is probably one of the first places they will look for info. Is it mobile friendly?
I recently read a post by one of my mentors, Michael Gass, on ways to test your site that I thought I’d share with you. Good info.
In preparation for new business opportunities, it is important that your company’s website be mobile ready.
The number of smartphones in use worldwide has now broken the 1 billion mark, according to Strategy Analytics. Only 15% of companies have a mobile optimized site even though Google estimates that there will be more Web traffic via mobile, than through PCs this year. According to a survey conducted for Compuware, 40% of users have turned to a competitor’s site after a bad mobile experience.
You’ll want prospects to have an easy experience learning about your agency or accessing your agency’s blog content via their mobile device.
Here’s a collection of best practices, white papers and case studies for your review and to help get you started:
There’s nothing like first hand experience so check out your company’s website on your mobile device. Sig Ueland, contributing editor for Practical Ecommerce, pulled together a list of 19 tools for testing your site’s mobile readiness. You can use any of these following 12 for free:
- W3C mobileOK Checker
- iPhone Tester
- iPad Peek
- Mobile Phone Emulator
- The Responsinator
- Matt Kersley’s Responsive Design Testing
- Opera Mini Simulator
You can make your agency’s website mobile ready until you can create the mobilized version of the site.
If you have a WordPress site, you can use plugins like MobilePress and Mippin which will automatically enable mobile users on your website to access a mobile version of it. Until the mobile version of Fuel Lines has been developed, I’m using another WordPress plugin called WPtouch to mobilize this site. There are also a number of online services such as Mobilize Today that will have your website ready for mobile in a matter of minutes.
Click on the following link for Sig’s complete list and description of each: 19 Tools to Test your Site for Mobile Devices
September 3, 2012
Happy Labor Day! We need to take time to say thanks to all the tradesmen that we come into contact with on a regular basis. What would we do without the electricians, plumbers, HVAC professionals? How would our factories run smoothly without all the MRO professionals out there?
Sonnhalter salutes America’s professional tradesmen and laborers on this very special holiday. Our working force built this country. And it’s because of each and every American’s labors that we enjoy the freedoms we have today.
At Sonnhalter, we earn our own living by marketing to professional tradesmen in industries like yours…from construction to industrial to MRO. To show our appreciation for such hard-working individuals, we offer a tip of the hardhat and our sincere thanks.
However you celebrate your Labor Day, enjoy it. You’ve certainly earned it.
June 27, 2012
It should come as no surprise to anyone that smartphones and tablets are changing the way we all communicate and do business. This couldn’t be more true, especially for small businesses like contractors. These guys are “time starved” and are not sitting behind a computer all day. They are out taking care of business.
A recent survey by Cargo and Inc. Magazine in emarketer.com showed the vast majority (915) of U.S. small companies place importance on wireless communications and smartphones for their businesses. Tablets were not far behind at (64%). You can certainly bet that contractors of all kinds are on the top of this list.
So, if you’re not considering mobile as a key way to communicate with those professional tradesman, you should be.
Here’s a simple tip to get started: Adapt your mobile web presence for Apple OS-based devices (iPads make up 79% followed by Android devices at 39%).
June 19, 2012
We’ve talked a lot about mobile and what it means to both manufacturers and distributors when trying to reach the professional tradesmen. For those who are still on the fence about mobile and where it’s going, here is some useful info.
I recently read a few articles in emarketer.com on mobile that brought up several good points. emarketer.com interviewed Geoff Robertson from Grainger on how they are using mobile in their sales process.
Here are some highlights:
- Over the past 12 months, Grainger has seen a 400% increase in mobile activity.
- Beyond the location and availability issues, Grainger is trying to help companies streamline their workflow by giving those who are requesting the parts to list them, and then those responsible for purchasing can sign off all using mobile technology.
- Over 50% of their users feel comfortable ordering over mobile devices.
- Google has an entirely separate algorithm for mobile device searches.
- Google reported that 1 in 7 searches are now done on mobile devices.
If you don’t have a mobile strategy in place, it should get on your radar screen soon or you’ll be missing lots of opportunities.
If you like this post, you might want to read:
Are You Targeting Emails for Your Mobile Marketing?
Why a Mobile Strategy is so Important to Reach the Professional Tradesmen
What’s Your Mobile Media Strategy for 2012?