How Lake Effect Snow was No Match for the (HubSpot) Cloud

lake-effect-snow-hubspot-cloud-hubspot-grand-river-rubber-and-plasticsMarch 2nd, 2018 was a chaotic winter workday that all Northeast Ohioans know too well.   Our city’s school district was on a 2-hour delay with heavy snow on the roads, the dog wanted to go out and play, and the driveway needed to be cleared. I quickly accepted that getting to the office that morning would also be delayed.

Once I finished my “snow day” tasks and my teen drivers were off to school, I felt like everything was falling back into place. I ran my 10 am video call from my kitchen and afterward, took a much-appreciated shower The plan was to dress quickly and drive to the office. But as we all know, in business and life, sometimes things don’t go according to plan and you have to be prepared to adapt.  I came out to find three text messages and an urgent call for help from our client, Grand River Rubber and Plastics.

The Client Crisis:

Apparently, our client further north of us got slammed with heavy snow, sleet, and ice so bad that all power and phones were knocked out for 24 hours with no relief in sight for another day. Customers’ orders were not being received or acknowledged and they had lost several shifts of production.

Despite the unfortunate act of fate and the chaos that came with it, Grand River Rubber & Plastics wanted to notify customers and colleagues of the situation as quickly as possible. Flashback one year prior to today’s snowmageddon, the company had hired us to impact lead generation via inbound marketing as well as utilizing public relations and social media. Customers were increasingly using new forms to communicate and marketing activities were generating new leads – – all being recorded and documented in their new customer relationship manager (CRM), and you guessed it, in the cloud.

The Communication Solution: The cloud came to their rescue that day. With my laptop still warmed up from my video call, I quickly accessed their HubSpot CRM online, drafted an email with pertinent information and sent to their 750+ registered contacts. Simply the urgent message and what was being done. Within the same HubSpot portal, the message was immediately posted to their company LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The Aftermath:

Fortunately, power was restored over the weekend. I updated the Grand River Rubber & Plastics social channels. The company was now able to once again access their server, the internet and update their customers directly.

Grand River Rubber & Plastics’ HubSpot platform, a CRM and inbound marketing platform in one portal, allowed our team to share the urgent message with customers quickly and efficiently across email, social media and web. Snow, sleet, and ice may have started the fight but the cloud (and inbound marketing) came to the rescue. Contact Us

5 Tips Manufacturers Can Use to Drastically Improve Email Marketing Effectiveness in 2018


Email marketing is a powerful way manufacturing companies can showcase their products and services to prospects, customers, distributors, and partners. Think about your day so far. How many times have you opened, searched, or read through your emails? According to HubSpot’s 2017 statistics, more than 3 billion people in the world will be using email by 2020. Unfortunately, a lot of manufacturers still do not know how to utilize email marketing effectively. Below are 5 tips to improve your email marketing strategy and create stronger relationships with your prospects and customers.

Personalization is Key

Avoid sending the same generic email campaign to all clients. Each client is unique and the email should be personalized to the client based on their industry, interests, and products and services that individual uses or could use. Segmenting individuals in your database into appropriate marketing campaign lists allows you to reach them more effectively. It will also make you more aware of their wants and needs based on what marketing campaign list they are in. For example, you wouldn’t want to send the same email to a returning client as you would a potential one because they are at different stages in the buyer’s journey.


Offer Quality Content

Email marketing is a powerful tool to inform your prospects and clients about new products and services, company press and awards, and also, share your company’s knowledge and expertise. Emails should always provide value to your reader and be more informational rather than sales focused. Whether you are talking about what your company can offer or reach out to potential clients, providing clear and relevant content could shed light on what your contacts are interested in based upon the content they consume, and allow you to better tailor your email marketing strategy to your contacts.s.  Along with creating quality content, it is essential that your email template is mobile friendly. According to Litmus, 54% of all emails are opened on a mobile device, and more people are not only utilizing their mobile devices for email but other forms of social media as well.

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Automation and Tracking

It is important to track your email campaigns properly, as well as keeping the same talk-flow throughout your emails. You want your customers to believe they are talking to a real person, not an automated machine. Automation doesn’t mean you are necessarily sending the same email to everyone, but an email with the same content. These two useful tools will allow you to track your clicks, traffic, sales, bounce rates, unsubscribe rates, open rates, and much more to see how engaged your audience is with your emails once you start a campaign. The tools will also allow you to know how to target different customers based on their engagement with one email versus another, if your email campaign is working effectively or not, and what adjustments should be made in your strategy.

Avoid SPAM

One of the last things a company wants is for their emails to end up in their customer’s junk folder. Before starting an email marketing campaign, make sure you are up to date with the CAN-SPAM Act and all of its regulations. Failing to comply with this act could result in a hefty fine for your company as well as loss of potential customers. To prevent this, make sure your company is not sending a million emails in one day, as that could also turn away potential clients from your business. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and think about how you would react! Also, avoid purchasing an industry database and doing large email blasts to individuals and companies that have not heard from your company before. This puts your company at risk of violating SPAM laws, as individuals who haven’t heard from you or agreed to be in your email database are more likely to flag you as “spam”. Instead, reach out to people in your email database individually and make a personal touch before adding them to your company’s email marketing database.

Coordinate and Track Email Marketing and All Marketing Efforts on One Platform  

A great way to reach potential new clients and bring them through the sales cycle quicker and more efficiently is by tracking and coordinating your email marketing efforts, website optimization, blog, social media, and sales follow up in one platform. An inbound marketing platform, such as allows you to track prospect and client engagement throughout your website and various marketing efforts in one space. An inbound marketing platform allows you to view what pages an individual has viewed, what emails have they opened, and did they answer any follow-up questions. It allows you to not only tailor your email marketing strategy to the buyer but also, helps provide your sales team with a 360 view of who that lead is and how they move through your sales funnel based on documented behavior.

Although the manufacturing and distribution industry is often using outdated tools for promotion, having possession of a potential client’s email means they have already shown a sign of interest in what your company can offer. Email marketing gives you the tools to increase this interest level and hopefully convert leads into returning customers. If the email marketing is done right, there can be a great return!

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Manufacturing Salespeople— It’s Time to Let Your Prospects Nurture Themselves

Manufacturing salespeople, I’m going to tell you something that may shock you. It’s time to take a more hands-off approach to prospect nurturing. I know, I know, that goes against everything you’ve been taught. However, just like you cannot expect to get married on a first date, you cannot expect to meet a prospect and close a deal immediately. The biggest mistake I see salespeople making is not customizing the sales approach based on where the prospect is in the buyer’s journey.

Not everyone is ready to buy, especially when you are approaching your quota deadline and fielding update requests from your sales manager. So, what are manufacturing salespeople to do to stay top of mind to their prospect and develop a relationship that ends in a sale? Also, what about all the TIME it takes to follow up with key prospects? Use the 3 key steps below to streamline your sales cycle and customize your approach to each prospect’s stage in the buyer’s journey more efficiently.


3 Key Steps to Streamline Prospect Nurturing Quicker and More Efficiently

  • Targeted a specific type of buyer (prospect persona)

Need help? Why Developing Buyer Personas is Invaluable for Manufacturers

  • Developed relevant and interesting content

Need help? Why Manufacturers Need a Content Map for Inbound Marketing Success

  • Setup an automated way to personally communicate while you do another task

I know, the 3rd point is daunting to most manufacturing salespeople.  Have you not found a way to clone yourself? Would be nice, right? Read on to hear how you can essentially “clone” yourself and multi-manage your prospect nurturing.


“I Like Pizza” Watch the movie Multiplicity. Not all clones are created equal!

Well, it is possible to save time and clone yourself, if executed correctly! Automated email sequences are the closest thing to cloning in the sales world and it works amazingly for us and our clients.

What Are Automated Email Sequences?

Email sequences are a pre-written, customizable series of emails and task reminders. Turn repetitive tasks, such as follow up reminders into simple, easy-to-launch messages. We utilize sequences to following up with prospects when they do the following: download an eBook, we see them at a trade show and think they can benefit from our media interview services, we identify a prospect that should parlay company announcements into published industry news stories, or even when we are trying to reconnect with a lead we have not spoken to in months or even years.

At any time, our agency may have multiple, buyer’s journey staged sequences with 4 or more emails, timed to send over a series of days. We can set reminders to call or even remind us to send a LinkedIn invite to prospects once emails have been automatically sent. Sometimes we get a response from a prospect on the very first email, which prompts an immediate conversation. Other times, the entire series plays out and we get nothing (which is good!)

Why You Should ‘Go For the No’

What’s good about hearing nothing back from a prospect you may wonder? Ever heard of ‘going for the no’? Not everyone who you meet in a target industry or who views your website is a prospect. The technology we use allows us to see if a prospect has opened an email and if they have clicked a link we provided. This inside knowledge of the prospect’s behavior, such as a download or reading of an eBook makes the follow-up call so much easier and more focused on their behavior.

Now sit back, use data to help you identify the best-performing sequences and bam, a successful use of your time and the perfect appearance of professionalism from your new cloned self.

Related Articles You May Enjoy:

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Ginni Rometty, IBM and the Future of AI


Ginni Rometty, chairmen, president, and CEO of IBM

I had the pleasure of hearing Ginni Rometty, current chairman, president and CEO at IBM speak at the Ideas For Tomorrow Series at The Cleveland Clinic yesterday.  Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a hot topic throughout every industry you can imagine. Rometty spoke about the infamous Watson computer, the future of AI, and the need for transparency from companies using AI.  Below are my takeaways from her seminar.

The Current State of AI

When most people hear the term AI, they think that it is some science fiction nightmare but you may be surprised that you are using AI in your daily life. Fraud detection service from your bank, online customer support, news generation (the Associated Press, Yahoo! and Fox all use it for simple story writing), music and movie recommendations from services like Spotify and Netflix and the list goes on and on.

The current AI systems most companies and individuals utilize are “speech to text to search”. The systems are built with some basic Natural Language Processing (NLP) capabilities or the ability to understand language. These systems can answer basic customer service questions or tracking behaviors and find customers suggested products based upon their purchasing patterns. However, these AI systems are not as helpful in highly technical professions or with companies that must mine a significant amount of data.

IBM and the Future of AI

IBM’s AI system is far more advanced and is utilized in technical professions and by large corporations. Rometty made the distinction that IBM refers to the system as “cognitive computing”, instead of AI. IBM’s cognitive computing system was designed to help people make better decisions.  According to Rometty, “A study said on average that a third of your decisions are really great decisions, a third is not optimal, and a third is just wrong. [IBM has] estimated the market is $2 billion for tools to make better decisions.”

Cognitive computing works alongside individuals to help them make informed decisions. Unlike the “speech to text to search” systems to which we are accustomed, cognitive computing systems are designed to solve problems the way that humans do. An example of how AI and cognitive computing differ and be explained when discussing the medical industry.

If both an AI and cognitive computing system were analyzing a large medical records database and medical journals, the AI system would tell the doctor the treatment for the patient, whereas the cognitive computing system would provide the doctor with information, percentages for success with certain treatments, and allow the doctor to reason and make the ultimate decision. Cognitive computing is also being used heavily in the legal research, investment and geo-analytics industries read more here.

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When asked about skepticism from consumers regarding AI and big data, Rometty stated that AI is powerful and companies need to have ethical standards regarding their use of AI.  “There needs to be transparency from companies utilizing AI.” She stressed that consumers have a right to know, “who trained the computer, who are the experts behind the data, and where the data is coming from.” Rometty also stated that consumers should be told that the company owns their intellectual property and where the data will be utilized.

AI’s Role in the Manufacturing Industry

AI or cognitive computing is a growing and ever-evolving industry. Rometty stated that she believes “100% of future jobs will be changed by AI.” There will be growing pains implementing AI into business, just like there were growing pains in the Industrial Revolution for manufacturers. AI will soon play a great role in the manufacturing sector. HubSpot, the inbound marketing and sales software Felber PR & Marketing utilizes for ourselves and our manufacturing clients, recently acquired Motion AI.

Manufacturers utilizing HubSpot can automate the chat and messaging process and deliver hyper-personalized content to their prospects and customers. AI is the way of the future and will be a resource and a tool for humans to do their jobs more accurately and efficiently. The sooner manufacturers embrace the technology, the more they will succeed in the business world of today and tomorrow.

What Manufacturing Sales Reps Are Missing in their Lead Generation Strategy


Manufacturing sales reps can compare the sales of the manufacturing sales process to a retail experience. From fast food to retail clothing, the phrase “How may I help you” is uttered repeatedly, almost unconsciously by armies of clerks, waiters and yes, sales representatives. In retail, the assumption is you are searching for something, otherwise, why would you be in the store, a brick and mortar store no less (read on).

Free Inbound Marketing for Manufacturers Assessment

In manufacturing sales, especially with high-ticket equipment, the sales cycle might be 12 or even 18 months. A consultative approach almost always requires in-depth questioning, audits, assessments and maybe even sample projects. Are you there to help? Of course you are.  If your prospect feels more like you are selling then consulting, a natural distrust creeps into your relationship. No one wants to, let alone admit to, being sold.

In our eBook, The Industrial Manufacturer’s Guide to Inbound Marketing we explain how building trust, converting visitors to leads and retaining customers is all about your prospect’s self-discovery of just how you can help.  And, here lies the success for manufacturing sales companies, focus on how and IF you can help. We find prospects more willing to discuss goals, challenges, and plans if they understand that your questions are just trying to determine if you and your company can help. How you can help, why, with what tools and tactics are best received if the prospect discovers this fact for themselves. See the inbound sales funnel here.

There is plenty of time, later in the process, to show your fancy presentation. I often repeat the phrase:
‘I am just trying to determine if I can help.’ Your questioning, unlike an inquisition, should be bolstered with tips and tactics that not only provide value to your prospect but position you as a caring expert in your field.

Can you help? Perhaps. You still need to gather information from your prospect to not only move them through the buying cycle but to discover for yourself if your services are a match. Also, do you like this prospect and can you do something spectacular together? This part of the process is most similar to dating. You’re not proposing marriage, talking about future kids and picking out china patterns on the first date. Dating is questioning. Keep asking and keep stating, you’re just trying to see if you can help. And, through mutual self-discovery you and the prospect both determine there is a way you can help, now your sale is closed.

The Biggest Change in Internet Search: How to Beat the New Keyword Algorithm


The biggest change in internet search may shock you—keywords no longer are the key determining factor for SEO success. Google’s Natural Language Processing (NLP) system has advanced the search engine’s ability to serve unique content based upon location, time of day, format of query, device type, and context clues. Now, more than ever, it is essential to have a strong content strategy and a website architecture built for the new search algorithm. Learn how to create a vibrant and exciting content strategy that drives prospects to your website.

How Search Has Changed

Search has changed and evolved over the last 5 years since Google adopted its NLP system. As a result, it is difficult to know the magical formula to make your content appear in someone’s search. Now, you can no longer “own” keywords through Google AdWords. The reason is simple:  People are no longer searching specific keywords. Instead, they are typing in questions like they would ask to a friend. Also, according to Sundra Pichai at Google I/O 2017, “20% of mobile search is done by voice”, and growing.

How to Win in the New Search Space 

The way to beat the search algorithm is by writing a significant amount of content on a certain topic and categorizing all the related the content together. This is referred to as cornerstone content by WordPress users or topic clusters by HubSpot. Linking into the pillar content is a range of content that covers individual, more specific subtopics, otherwise known as cluster content.

Each cluster topic page for the pillar focuses on providing more detail for a specific long-tail keyword related to the main topic. The pillar page links to each cluster page and each cluster page links back to the pillar with the same hyperlinked keyword.

Topic clusters or cornerstone content are comprised of the following:

  1. Pillar Content– A landing page or main page which gives broad information on the topic. Note, this content must be ungated, meaning readers do not need to fill out a form to read this content. Pillar content should be a few thousand words.


  1. Cluster Content– Blog posts or landing pages related to the pillar content. Cluster content pages should focus on providing more detail for a specific long-tail keyword related to the main topic. There should be a minimum of 8 and a maximum of 22 pieces of cluster content connected to each piece of pillar content.

The benefit of using this content strategy is not only that it improves the organization of your site’s architecture but also, that a high performing cluster page can elevate search rankings for all the pages linked to the same pillar content.

The Essential Steps to Developing a Content Cluster Strategy

Step 1: Map Out Buyer Personas’ Core Problems

Buyer personas are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer based on select educated speculation and real data about customer demographics, behavior patterns, motivations, and goals. Developing buyer personas and determining their pain points is invaluable for your content strategy.  Check out Why Developing Buyer Personas is Invaluable for Manufacturers for strategy tips during this step.

Step 2: Group Problems into Topics

Review the pain points you determined each ideal prospect has which you determined through the buyer persona development process. Then, categorize each problem within topic clusters.

Step 3: Map out topics and content ideas

Content mapping is a great way to make sure that you are attracting each ideal buyer or buyer persona during each stage of their buyer’s journey. Read Why Manufacturers Need a Content Map for Inbound Marketing Success for a detailed breakdown of what should be included in your content map.

Step 4: Validate Each Topic and Determine If It is Worth Categorizing

Use keyword tools research if a topic is worth clustering. You only want to cluster content on a topic with steady search volume.  Also, use keyword search to identify subtopics for each piece of pillar content. HubSpot’s keyword tool is especially great for this.

Step 5: Put Pillar Content Proximately on Site Where People Can Find It

Once you’ve developed the content, it is time to map out the content clusters. If your website is in WordPress, read Cornerstone Content: a simple how to guide. If you’re website or blog is in HubSpot, read Topic Clusters: The Next Evolution of SEO.

Download Here Industrial Manufacturer's Guide to Inbound Marketing

Automating the Manufacturing Sales Process with Inbound Marketing


Let’s face it, the manufacturing sales process needs a refresh. While manufacturing has evolved tremendously over the last 20 years, the manufacturing sales process has remained stagnant. Manufacturing sales managers are still using cold calling and door-to-door sales methods that are not only time intensive but also have little return-on-investment. Learn how inbound marketing can automate the manufacturing sales process and close sales quicker and more efficiently.

Real Time Analytics

Inbound marketing software allows manufacturers to get real time analytics about the visitors on their website. You can view a prospect’s log of every page they’ve viewed, every email they’ve opened (and every time they’ve opened that email), and every content offer to which they have subscribed. The insight sales managers can get from inbound marketing is powerful. Based upon a prospect’s behavior, you can learn what products or services they needs, gauge how seriously the prospect is considering your company, and determine where that prospect is in the sales process. Then, sales managers can tailor the sales tactics to the customer and have a more successful close rate.  Check out How to Convince Your Manufacturing CEO to Invest in Inbound Marketing for more information on the insight you’ll receive from implementing an inbound marketing platform.

Automating the Sales Process

Automation is a powerful tool that saves sales managers valuable time during the sales process. As your prospect continues to visit your website and read your content, they can automatically be enrolled in what we in the marketing world call “workflows”. A workflow is a series of content that is sent to that prospect that they are enrolled into based upon doing a certain action. We do a variety of workflows for our clients.

Sometimes, they are triggered by the prospect’s job title and industry, other times they are based upon a prospect visiting a certain page more than once or a series of pages on related products or services. Once the prospect completes a workflow or continues to visit your website many times and we are fairly certain that the prospect is in the decision making stage of the sales cycle, we can create “triggers” to tell a sales manager to pick up the phone and call a prospect.

Inbound Methodology

Inbound marketing works and saves sales managers time and money that they would have wasted pursuing prospects that weren’t ready to buy. However, the inbound marketing process isn’t as easy as it seems. There is considerable research required to develop engaging content that leads prospects through the sales funnel and learn the nuances of each individual buyer and how they liked to be engaged with by your company. On top of a need for constant keyword research and content development to keep attracting prospects to your website.

Long gone are the days of cold calling and door-to-door sales. Inbound marketing and automation give sales managers insight on who that prospect is and where they are in the sales process. Interested in learning more about inbound marketing? Check out our blog The 5 Biggest Inbound Marketing Mistakes Manufacturers Make for more information on how to avoid inbound marketing blunders.

Download Here Industrial Manufacturer's Guide to Inbound Marketing

What Manufacturers Can Learn from That Poppy About Branding and Social Presence

that poppy

Internet sensation “That Poppy” is a branding genius who has created a defined, unique presence unlike anyone else online. Everything, and I mean literally everything that this internet star posts to YouTube gets millions of views. You do not really know what she’s talking about, to whom or even why. That is until you dig deeper. Like a Netflix original, you cannot help but binge on Poppy. Let’s take that deeper dive into how manufacturers can create intriguing content, like That Poppy that leaves your audience wanting more.

Headline Begs For Attention

That Poppy knows how to craft a great title for her videos, which we in the marketing world refer to as “click bait”.  Her videos range in title from “The Queen of YouTube” to “I Am Not In A Cult” and creates buzz that makes viewers click on her videos.

Like That Poppy, we use strong, compelling titles to get people to read or watch our content.  How to Convince Your Stubborn Manufacturing Customers to Participate in Case Studies showed our readers just how it easy it is to let your customers take part in promoting your brand. Our article How to Convince Your Manufacturing CEO to Invest in Inbound Marketing went right at the heart of our best prospect, Sales Managers at manufacturing companies and their timeless battle for budget to invest in worthwhile marketing tactics. Both of the examples above showcase strong, targeted titles that make our prospects want to click and learn more.


That Poppy has a strong, consistent message and has found her voice on the internet. Her innocence, the way she makes fun of fame seeking wannabe stars and even mass media is uniquely hers. She talks about pop culture, politics, the illuminati and most of all, understands the content resonates with her viewers.

Manufacturers can learn from Poppy by developing strong branding guidelines and developing a persona for the company. Ask yourself what makes my company unique, what do my manufacturing clients want, and how can I share my expertise. Everything from your website, to your social media, and white papers should be cohesive and written in a relatable, consistent voice. Difficulty determining your branding and differentiating factors? The Felber PR & Marketing team would be happy to talk branding and messaging with you.

Consistency is Key

The greatest tip That Poppy has for manufacturers is that with consistency you can grow a significant following organically. Poppy established her YouTube Channel in 2011 and has worked her way up to receiving hundreds of thousands to millions of views per video.


Have you seen this stare at a trade conference?

Whether it’s a short video about your company’s recent accomplishments or a list of top five lists of items to consider when specifying (insert your service/product), you can create amazing content if you set your mind to it. Manufacturers are posting to YouTube every hour. Trade publications and industry magazines search for news every day. And, like That Poppy, you can develop a loyal fan base that shows up virtually to your webinars and in person when you present at your industry’s must-see trade conference.

Maybe Poppy is just a reflection of who we think celebrities are or should be. What would celebrity status be for your manufacturing firm? Who would you love to read about your expertise?  Check out this article if you think you cannot develop content on your company or this one on how to get Why Manufacturers Still Need Traditional PR & Marketing in a Digital World

Warning: do not look up That Poppy at work. You will fall down the “Poppy rabbit hole”, miss deadlines, creep out your colleagues, and perhaps, if you are not careful, you will blog about her. Maybe Poppy told me to write this. Did she? Does Poppy know me at all? I think Poppy would smile if she read this…. wonder what she is posting today. What’s with Charlotte the mannequin? Will she marry computer.boy? Is Titanic Sinclair behind all this? Will Mars Argo return?

Request Your Free Inbound Marketing Assessment

The Biggest Mistake Manufacturing Sales Managers Make

Why Connecting with Past Customers to Grow Manufacturing Sales Works


Persistence, heart, effort pay off for Cleveland Indians in 2017

The key to manufacturing sales success that you’re probably missing is connecting with past customers. People, by nature are drawn to familiarity. It is much easier to sell to someone you have a previous relationship with than sell to a new prospect. You know that feeling when you run into an old friend at a restaurant? You went to high school, perhaps served in the same military unit or simply lived in the same neighborhood. We love to share past experiences and we all know what it’s like when you hear “You just had to be there!” When it comes to manufacturing sales, being familiar wins.

Customers relationships should be viewed the same way. You provide a reliable, memorable experience. Perhaps you spent weeks or months working on the sale, maybe another 6 months delivering your products and services. We also know that each experience with your customers, let’s call them ‘touch points,’ only further cements the relationship.

Past customers, like old friends, want to hear from you. Simply reaching out to tell them about your recent projects, sharing an article they might enjoy or announcing a new initiative (as we just did, click here), brings people back to the table.

Wait, you mean those folks who trusted you, gave you money willingly and occasionally return with more money in their hand? Create memories and build on familiarity. “You remember that time, Mr. Customer, when we went to the Indians’ game and they broke the record for the most consecutive wins in the American League?” How can you keep the same feeling alive with your customers?

When we announced our international marketing collaboration with Adexma, we received countless ‘congratulations, nice to hear it, way to go’ messages even from past customers who have not purchased in months or years. We, Felber PR & Marketing, are the familiar. We were established in 1993, so we have many past friends, shared experiences, and stories. Oh, do we have stories. Sharing our knowledge with our network, whether in an email, via social media, or even as a speaker for a colleague’s association, creates more ‘familiar’ touch points. Add up the points and you’re winning the relationship game.

So, then, why are we so fixated on always attracting shiny new prospects? Well, we all need new customers and they really do keep us on our toes. New customers help our companies grow and further develop our offering. Are you starting to see where I am headed? You have invested so much in the new customer relationship. And, just when they trust you and are comfortable with your service, billing and culture, you close the door. You can almost hear your mother now, “you don’t call, you don’t write, you don’t even like the photo of your father in his plaid golf shirt I posted to that book site…”

Keeping in touch with your network is simple in the digital age and one simple touch can make a huge impact.

Sending regular emails, a hand written now, commenting on their LinkedIn post, sending a “customer exclusive offer” are all examples of keeping in touch. Be the familiar, not the lost friend. Use the resources you have in social media and email communications to keep your family close. Keep the pressure on, now and throughout the season and you too can string manufacturing sales, win after win for your firm.

10-Week Program to Ace European Manufacturing Trade Shows

Blog provided by Cedric Le Rouge of ADEXMA


Attending a European trade show can reward even the busiest manager with a fresh outlook, new connections, and great opportunities. Feel like you don’t have the time to spare? In just ten weeks, your business can benefit from all that some of the biggest trade shows in the world can offer, such as the Hanover Messe. What makes the travel to Europe even more worthwhile is the benefit of the prep work and research that you do before you go, and the follow up when you return. The trade show is not just a one-week event; rather, it is a chance to communicate with fellow attendees and organizations before, during, and after the show.

Six Weeks Before the European Trade Show

By selecting the trade shows related to your target audience, you can engage with a large number of prospects in a short period of time. Understand your target business environment and market information. Europe is a large market, so you might choose to attend multiple trade shows during a two-week trip.
Download Your Free Trade Shows For Manufacturers eBookMake your research on the exhibitors list. Most trade shows give you access to the exhibitors list with contact information and sorting capabilities. Some even help you organize business-to-business meetings by sending a message to the company to ask for a specific time during trade show hours. I usually engage with attendees six weeks ahead of the exhibit to start asking for appointment. Even if the trade show has a platform that organizes meetings, I confirm with a direct email to the prospect to validate their contact information and make sure that they also have my information in their mailbox.

The more you do your research and keep your customer relationship information up-to-date prior to your trip, the better your business trip and your follow up when you return will be. You should know why you want to meet with a specific person and what you have to offer that is unique.

Two Weeks During the European Trade Show

Forget the car. In France and Europe in general, public transportation by train or bus is the easiest. I remember trying to find a parking spot in Paris, at Porte de Versailles, to attend a trade show and after more than an hour and a half I still had not found a place, so I ended up parking far away from the show and came in by metro.

You can also download the trade show app, but for location capability you need to have a good data plan solution for international mobile phone service. This can be very expensive if you do not plan ahead. I now purchase a European SIM card to have the same freedom of use than in the United States, and it is often less expensive.  Call me old fashioned, but I always keep a backup paper copy of my schedule, transportation, and lodging documents. You never know if your phone will run out of power or the train controller will want a paper receipt.

During the meeting, make sure to respect the local etiquette and start by talking their language, even if it is just to ask if someone to speak English + your name + your company’s name: “Bonjour, Il y a-t’il quelqu’un qui parle anglais s’il vous plaît? Je suis Monsieur LE ROUGE de la société ADEXMA.”

Use Your Research to Your Advantage

Have your pitch ready and adapted to your audience. This is where your research will pay off at a European trade show. If your prospect sees you have put the time in to look at their website and their information, they typically respect your interest and answer some of your questions. Make sure to have more business cards than you think you are going to need; they have the tendency to go faster than expected. For the brochure or handout, I prefer send it by email because at trade shows we all have too many brochures and it gives you a reason to follow up.

Keep some extra time between your connections and meetings in case something happens. Often, something happens: transportation delays, or you get sick. If all goes well, I have a list of contacts who I was unable to confirm an appointment with beforehand. You would be surprised at the number of people you can simply meet at the show. Exhibitors are ready to talk about their company and products. I typically double my number of appointments directly on the show floor.

Follow Up Two Weeks After the European Trade Show

Follow up is key in the two weeks after the event. You are coming back home and the exhibitors are packing before going back home. The result is that everybody is tired, but don’t throw all that work out the window. Register their contact information in your CRM database, record what you talked about, send an email, and schedule a follow up reminder. If you are exhibiting, VAT can be refunded on some items. For example, if you exhibit in France, you can contact your local French-American Chamber of Commerce and they will assist you with the paperwork.

In conclusion, doing the research before attending a European trade show and following these tips will help you make the most out of your visit. There is no substitute for meeting contacts in person, which is why international trade shows are such an important part of the marketing mix. Contact an international marketing company like ADEXMA to get help with research, build a strategy, and conduct follow up that will give you measurable results.

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