Forbes: On CRM: When To Buy HubSpot, And When Not To

When to Buy HubSpot and When Not to Buy

We love HubSpot, but it’s not for everyone. Forbes Magazine contributor Gene Marks does an excellent job of breaking down the most often asked question, “should my company buy HubSpot?”

Forbes: 

“HubSpot is one of those sales and marketing platforms that, when mentioned, always raises questions from my clients. Is it a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system? Is it just for marketing? The answer is both. It’s an excellent, cloud-based marketing and CRM platform. But whether it’s right for your company depends not so much on what HubSpot does, but what you’re able to do with it.”

Read the full article here

Additional resources:

HubSpot Products, a platform for growth

HubSpot pricing

 

3 Business-to-Business Manufacturing Lead Generation Strategies That Work

Are you a manufacturer seeking to connect with prospects, increase brand awareness, and generate qualified leads that ultimately convert into customers? Keep reading to learn 3 B2B manufacturing marketing strategies that can help you do that!

1.Utilize Influencer Marketing to Grow Your Brand’s Following

Manufacturing decision-makers more often than not will make purchasing decisions based upon recommendations from industry experts and their peers. Many of our manufacturing clients have seen success by utilizing influencer marketing strategies. 

To start, meet with your marketing and sales teams to make a running list of industry influencers. Industry influencers are not necessarily individuals with gigantic social media followings; rather they are people who are considered ‘thought leaders’. 

We suggest ‘micro-influencers’, meaning industry leaders with under 10,000 followers on their social media channels, but with high engagement from their audience (which aligns with YOUR target audience or “persona”.) 

Contact your target list of influencers to discuss collaborating via guest blogging, co-presented webinars/events, and social media post strategy. When reaching out to influencers, it is important to have a clear understanding of what marketing tactics would be mutually beneficial. 

2. Develop an Event Marketing Strategy

Events are tried and true ways to generate leads and close sales. However, it is important to have a clear strategy behind your events. When considering participating or hosting events, start with your goal in mind. For example, if your goal is to build stronger relationships with prospects and shorten the sales cycle, self-hosted events like webinars, small-group plant tours, or live video demos could be a great option. If your marketing goal is growth, large events like trade shows or conferences can generate a large number of leads. 

At the forefront of any successful event is the promotion strategy. Pay-per-click ads or social media advertising (especially on LinkedIn), could be a great way to generate new leads from your events, while email marketing is the best way to get existing prospects in your database to register for your event. 

Once you’ve started your event, encourage your audience to post about it on social media, further impacting registrations and getting the buzz started. 

3. Enhance Lead Capture and Email Automation

It is essential to have a strong lead capture strategy to identify who is on your website and then, have a solid email automation strategy prepared to nurture those leads and turn them into customers. For more, read our blog The Power of an Automated Marketing, Sales, and Service Platform. 

Our clients utilize HubSpot to automate their sales process. HubSpot is a powerful tool that captures leads in one easy-to-use platform, and tracks all contact interactions back to their first visit to your website.  Valuable information for your sales team, such as the contact’s website page views, content read or downloaded, and email read is automatically logged. 

When a prospect fills out a form on your websites, that prospect will automatically be enrolled into a workflow (automated email campaign) based upon the product, service, or topic that prospect is interested in. Thus nurturing the prospect and building a relationship, all the while providing interesting, relevant and informative content. 

At the core of what we do, we believe that each prospect should have a personalized experience with your brand. By utilizing the lead generation strategies in this blog, your manufacturing company will build brand awareness, generate better leads, and close them as customers quicker and more efficiently. 

Check out these helpful related blogs to learn for great B2B manufacturing marketing tips!

Podcast interview: Pursuing Media & Press Releases in a Digital Age

One of the most rewarding benefits of being part of the HubSpot community is the selfless peer to peer support. There are as many HubSpot partner agencies as there are niche markets to serve. Agencies and their owners go out of their way to help each other with strategy, technical hurdles even live prospect sales calls. One of the coolest, most energetic and giving partners is Alysha Dominico from Tangible Words. Alysha resides just north of me in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

Last “American” Thanksgiving, before the world entered into the Twilight Zone, we had a fun and carefree discussion about digital marketing and public relations. We joked about chicken and waffles at my daughter’s college (never imagining that fun little midnight-delight would succumb to some virus we never heard about yet).

We discussed three key strategies:

  • Press Releases & Media Coverage vs. Inbound Marketing
  • What to Do When Press Releases Do Not Get Picked Up
  • The Personal Touch in Business and Why It’s Crucial During Tough Times

Have a listen and enjoy

Podcast interview: Pursuing Media & Press Releases in a Digital Age

Tangible Words and the entire blog post can be viewed here. 

 

PR for Manufacturers

4 Ways to Determine if Your B2B Manufacturing Content is Newsworthy

Oftentimes, we are asked if a piece of content should be utilized on a client’s website or pitched to an industry publication. Your piece must meet at least one of the criteria below in order to be worth pitching either a local or industry publication. Continue reading to learn the 4 main factors of newsworthiness.

Timing

Timing is a key element of newsworthiness. Does your story relate to a current event in your industry? Does your story tie into a hot new trend in your industry? If so, your content is timely and could potentially be newsworthy. Editors at local and industry trade publications are looking to cover current news, not old stories. So, if you have been sitting on a case study for a year or a story idea, it may be better suited for your blog or an email campaign to prospects and customers. 

Significance

Another key component of newsworthiness is the overall significance of the story. Ask yourself, who will care about this story? Would the story appeal to manufacturers as a whole or only to manufacturers utilizing 3D printing? It is important to have an understanding of who may be interested, as it directly impacts where to pitch the story. For example, a general manufacturing story could be good for IndustryWeek Magazine, while a story about 3D printing might be better suited for 3D Metal Printing Magazine. For tips on industry publication, read our blog: How to Use Publication Media Kits to Target Better Prospects

Next, determine if your content is niche (only appealing to 50 people perhaps) or is it widely interesting and applicable to the majority of a publication’s circulation? This is a key element to understanding if your story concept should be pitched to a publication, and one point much appreciated to the editor of the magazine.

Finally, ask yourself what are 3 reasons someone would want to know this information? If you cannot answer this quickly and without hesitation, the story probably isn’t right for the industrial trade media. 

The Industrial Manufacturer’s Guide to Public Relations

Proximity

Proximity is an important factor when determining where your story should be pitched. Does my story relate to a specific region? For example, is your story relevant just to Northeast Ohio manufacturers? Then perhaps, pitching to the Crain’s Cleveland Business’s manufacturing reporter would be appropriate. Is your story relevant worldwide? Then you should consider an industry publication with a readership around the globe. 

Human Interest

Most of the time, editors are looking for stories that are timely. However, there is one caveat. A story does not necessarily have to be timely if it fits into a human interest piece. Do you have a story idea that evokes strong emotion? Emotions such as happiness, amusement, sadness, or laughter make for a good human interest story. Examples include the following: an employee-owned manufacturing company raising significant capital for a childhood cancer charity, a 4th generation manufacturing owner reinventing a 100-year old manufacturing company to keep its doors open, or a manufacturer who started a high school apprenticeship program for underprivileged kids and establishing paid internships.

Conclusion

We hope our tips help you have a clearer understanding of what makes content newsworthy. By pitching your story to an industry publication (and getting it published), your manufacturing company has the potential to reach 100s of thousands of readers. Do you need help with content development and media relations strategy? At Felber PR & Marketing, We Get Manufacturing. We understand how editors and reporters think. Relationships with media need to be fostered, just like relationships with your best customers. Need help?

How to Host a Virtual Manufacturing Day 2020 Event

virtual-manufacturing-day-events-2020

Due to limitations with public gatherings and social distancing, it’s clear that manufacturers won’t be able to host the on-site tours this Manufacturing Day (MFG Day) on October 2nd, 2020. However, as we have come to realize with other aspects of our daily lives during quarantine, there is always another way! 

Although there is no replacing the hands-on experience of watching a manufacturing process in person, virtual events still provide ample opportunities to connect with potential employees, engage with prospects and past customers, and increase community engagement with your company. 

What is Manufacturing Day? 

Manufacturing Day was an initiative started by The Manufacturing Institute, the workforce development and education partner of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) in 2012. This year it falls on October 2nd, 2020, although people host Manufacturing Day events throughout the month of October. Manufacturing Day is an annual national event that “has been designed to expand knowledge about, and improve public perceptions of manufacturing careers and manufacturing’s value to the U.S. economy.” 

Participants of Manufacturing Day use the hashtag #MfgDay to join the movement and support US manufacturing as a whole around the country. Popular Manufacturing Day events in the past have included plant tours, job fairs, manufacturing community events, webinars, and celebrations. If you plan a Manufacturing Day event, don’t forget to register your event on the website here in order to drive participation in your event!

Why You Should Start Planning Your Virtual Event Now

While virtual events may seem easier in some ways, they come with their own complications. It is essential to have a strong digital format, a compelling topic, and your technology in order. Oftentimes, in order to draw larger event crowds, manufacturers have partnered with other organizations (which takes time and extra consideration.) The Manufacturing Institute developed a Manufacturing Day Host Toolkit. The toolkit is a guide to successful Manufacturing Day plant events which we highly recommend you review before planning your event!

Current Manufacturing Day event requirements include either:

  • A tour of a manufacturing facility, office, innovation center or another site
  • A manufacturing-related jobs fair, career day, or other student-focused events.

Manufacturing Day is also meant to be open to students, parents, or the community. While you can make it a closed event and only send the link to register to a select list of individuals, we recommend keeping the event open. Our clients have seen participation from new prospects they hadn’t previously interacted with due to individuals finding their event when searching the Manufacturing Day website!

Determine the Goal of Your Manufacturing Day

When planning your Manufacturing Day event, it is important to have a clear idea of your goal for the event before getting started. The purpose of Manufacturing Day is to give the manufacturing industry visibility and inspire the next generation of manufacturers. What would your company like to achieve from the event? Would you like to develop a strong pipeline of talent? Maybe you want to engage with prospects, current customers, and past customers to show them your company’s latest innovations? Perhaps, you would like to cultivate stronger community partnerships with trade school and high school guidance counselors, staffing firms, community development staff, or other manufacturers in your region that you could partner with in the future? 

Whatever your goal, highlight your strengths and have a compelling reason behind your event to attract your target audience. Also, if you are planning months in advance, think big! Invite chambers of commerce, notable city workers, local schools, prospects, and customers to attend!

Adapting Your Event for the Virtual Format

Virtual events may have some unique challenges that should be considered when planning your event. For example, a full tour of your facility could not be feasible due to your technology limitations or cost. However, developing a shorter video tour around a few product demos or hosting a virtual panel discussion with an event partner via Zoom Webinars on a great topic like automation, workforce development, or 3D printing!

With Zoom Webinars, for instance, you can add an interactive element to your event. Zoom Webinar offers the option to develop polls, interact with your audience through the Q&A tool, or utilize breakout rooms to divide your audience into smaller groups for more intimate discussions and networking. 

Also, if you are concerned about a live tour or demo, you could mix previously recorded videos with live streams to keep your audience engagement (and ensure everything runs smoothly.)

Take the Time to Research the Plethora of Technology Platforms Out There

A significant factor in planning a successful virtual event is choosing the right technology platform and performing a ‘dry run’ (or even better a few) before the event to ensure no hiccups happen on the day of the event. While the idea of a virtual event may seem daunting, keep in mind that pre-quarantine, many people didn’t know what Zoom was and now, it is commonplace in business. There are many technology platforms available with varying complexity and cost. Confused about where to start? Ask your local chamber of commerce, trade association contacts, or fellow manufacturing owners what video platform they recommend. 

Manufacturing Day is a great way to showcase your company and what makes you special. There are many ways your company can stand out during this virtual celebration of manufacturing including plant tours, job fairs, and manufacturing celebration events. For more information on Manufacturing Day visit www.mfgday.com or to discuss event ideas, email robfelber@felberpr.com

Yes, I'm ready to talk marketing strategy

Why B2B Manufacturers Should Utilize HubSpot

Oftentimes, we are asked why we are a HubSpot Partner Agency and if HubSpot really makes a difference in a successful inbound marketing strategy. In this blog we’ll take a deep dive into why manufacturers who have invested in HubSpot to automate their sales and marketing processes report better lead generation, sales efficiencies, and campaign reporting. (read what our clients are saying)

 

1) What gets measured gets done!

Better tracking of marketing campaigns & contact engagement 

How are you currently tracking the effectiveness of your blogs, landing pages, web pages, forms, emails, social media posts, and advertising? Phew, that’s a lot to track, right? Can you easily track individual tools and tie it all back to a campaign in order to measure return-on-investment?

The campaigns tool in HubSpot empowers manufacturers to easily determine how landing pages are performing individually and as a campaign. Is one page outperforming another by visits, conversions, and new leads?. Your marketing team can now make informed decisions and adjust campaigns for ultimate success. 

Additionally, HubSpot is an incredible resource to tie your entire team together. Your marketing, sales and customer service team needs accurate information, and they need it now. With HubSpot, everyone has access to the same, central database. No need to wade through multiple platforms on different servers. If you are using the FREE HubSpot CRM, all data from both sales and marketing efforts syncs seamlessly into one easy-to-use system. 

2) “Dear Bob, do you want to know how engineers are reducing failures in product design.”

Personalizing your prospect’s experience with your brand 

Marketing to your ideal buyers, or in marketing terms ‘buyer personas’, comes down to building trust in order to turn strangers into visitors on your website, and visitors into qualified leads, (and ultimately, customers).

You have been in business for decades. Your reputation as a manufacturer is known. Your website may very well be generating new visitors and consistent traffic but what comes next? Are you actually seeing leads converting into real names and companies? Leads that you can see in your CRM. How do you bring back visitors time and time again to your website? The answer lies in continuously providing prospects with valuable content related to their unique goals and challenges. To capture this valuable marketing data, utilize HubSpot tracking forms. And, with automated email workflows, you can better assess who the prospect is (and what buyer persona category they fit into), their current challenges, and where they are in their decision process (Read our blog on the buyer’s journey).

This may sound great to you, but how does it really work? Let’s use email for an example. If a contact reads a blog post or downloads your technical paper, you can automatically send them a personalized follow up email, thanking them, and additionally, guiding them to even more valuable resources (i.e. your product catalog, a customer case study in their industry, or.your inventory webpage). By immediately following up with a personalized message, you are increasing the likelihood of your emails now and in the future being read and action to be taken. Now, when you call this prospect, you know what they have read, allowing you to start a conversation based on their interests. 

 

3) Social likes, clicks and comments turn into leads

Determine if your social media strategy is really generating leads and customers

Social media can be a time-consuming process. Marketers schedule posts multiple times a week, reply to comments, and follow prospects and customers. Oftentimes, we are asked by manufacturers if it really makes a difference. HubSpot streamlines social media efforts by allowing you to schedule and manage posts, set up keywords to follow and track activity, and most importantly, track the traffic to your website, leads gained, and customers acquired from your social media efforts. Regular, timely, and intuitive social content generates new leads.

4) Call just when they’re ready to buy – and not before

Sales Only Receives Leads That are Deemed ‘Sales Qualified’

Long gone are the days of sales calling every contact that fills out a form on your website. By utilizing HubSpot, you can set qualifications to define what a sales qualified lead looks like at your company. Then, HubSpot has the capability to track what Lifecycle Stage a contact fits into (e.g. subscriber, lead, marketing qualified lead, sales qualified lead, opportunity, or evangelist.)  

After a lead is labeled as a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) for example, your sales team will be notified to follow up with that lead. Since HubSpot tracks all contact interactions back to their first visit to your website, all of the contact’s website page views, content read or downloaded, and email read is shared with sales as well. With HubSpot, manufacturers can set up triggers to automatically label contacts as SQLs based upon various criteria, such as filling out a form to download a sell sheet or product catalog, or answering ‘yes’ to the form question, e.g. “Would you like to speak to a [ABC Manufacturing Company] sales representative?”  

5) Measure twice, cut once

Improved tracking of ROI from your sales and marketing efforts

One of the biggest challenges manufacturers face is determining ROI from their various marketing tactics. It is important to take into account all the money you’ve spent on trade shows over the years. We see manufacturers spend thousands if not hundreds of thousands a year on trade shows simply because ‘my competitors are going and we HAVE to be there too.’ Can you currently answer how much of your marketing budget is allocated to trade shows, print advertising, pay-per-click, content development and other digital marketing efforts? 

Now, answer this: Do we know how many leads were acquired and customers were closed due to your various marketing tactics and dollars spent on each tactic?

By utilizing HubSpot, manufacturers can easily track marketing efforts and determine how many net new leads and customers were acquired from each tactic. Manufacturing leadership can then best determine which efforts and campaigns are performing well, and which ones are underperforming, and adjust their budgets and efforts to meet their goals. 

How are you connecting your sales and marketing teams together? 

Interested in learning more about how HubSpot can streamline your marketing and sales efforts? At Felber PR & Marketing, we are a HubSpot Partner Agency that works exclusively with business-to-business manufacturers. We help our clients drive quality leads, determine the best tactics for their unique goals, and integrate HubSpot with our manufacturing clients in order to track net new leads and customers acquired from your marketing and sales tactics. 

Why Manufacturers Should Invest in Digital Advertising Right Now

digital-advertising-covid-19-manufacturing

Digital advertising such as pay-per-click and social media ads are increasingly becoming a marketing budget replacement for in-person events such as conferences and tradeshows. This is undoubtedly due to the “new normal” being forced upon manufacturers by the COVID-19 Pandemic. With no end date for COVID-19 in sight, this trend will continue to grow, making digital advertising a great strategy for reaching your prospects and customers. If you read our blog, “Why Manufacturers Need to Utilize Inbound Marketing to Survive COVID-19”, you understand that now more than ever is the time to invest in digital sales and marketing tactics.

 

Many manufacturers have made the choice to decrease or pause all marketing spending, which is often the first knee-jerk reaction to a crisis or recession. We have always professed this is NOT the time to back off of revenue-generating tactics. Consider that your competitors might be doing the same, which strategically puts your manufacturing operation in a position to actually GAIN market share. And, digital advertising is one of those tactics that are affordable, measurable, and easy to quickly deploy. In comparison to pre-COVID digital ads, there is likely a significant reduction in CPM (i.e., impressions) and cost-per-click (CPC) costs due to your competitors reducing or completely pulling their digital ads. This creates an opportune environment to amplify your share-of-voice (meaning your relative portion of ad inventory within a defined market over a specific amount of time) and increase customer acquisition at a lower digital cost-per-sale than in the pre-COVID world.

Digital advertising is a strong lead generation tactic if there is a strong inbound marketing strategy behind it. 

We have many B2B manufacturing clients who are currently utilizing digital advertising to generate strong, qualified leads. (We’re also practicing what we preach for our own lead generation – and it’s working beautifully!). Social media advertising (primary LinkedIn ads) has been especially valuable for our clients as this is the leading B2B social media platform for the industrial sector. 

When meeting with new manufacturing clients, more often than not, they tell us that they are or have in the past utilized digital ads and saw an uptick in traffic. However, when we go further and ask how many of those website visitors converted as a lead by filling out a form, more often than not, the ads aren’t generating conversions. Consider all this great traffic coming to your front door (website), but it’s 5:55 pm, lights are out and the door is bolt locked. Leads cannot get in! Consider our free Inbound marketing assessment to discuss your situation now, for free.

If the visitors from your digital advertising efforts aren’t converting into tangible leads, your salespeople have no way to build relationships and ultimately, close them as customers. Wouldn’t it just be great to have these leads coming into your database live, every day?

When developing digital ad campaigns for our clients, we have the ultimate goal of conversion in mind and developing strong, compelling content offers such as technical papers and free eBooks to offer your prospects. Your website visitors want to learn and be educated on your products and processes. By offering engaging content, your prospect is getting something valuable in return for filling out your form.

In contrast, if your digital ad sends a prospect to your website with a general contact us form on it, they may be less likely to fill it out for a few reasons:

  1. Your company is an unknown entity and they aren’t comfortable being called or emailed by you before doing more research.
  2. They may be in the beginning stages of their buyer’s journey and aren’t ready to talk to sales.
  3. There is no compelling reason for them to fill out a form because they get nothing valuable in return

Be honest, don’t you pause too when faced with a form to fill out, especially when you’re not even sure if the company will solve your problem? Nobody gets married on the first date. Simply put, the value they feel they will gain must outweigh the angst they feel when giving up their email address and contact information.

How to create a successful digital strategy

Although launching a digital ad campaign is a fairly quick process, the work of optimizing your paid search campaigns and maximizing your return takes time, and patience. Achieving success requires data analysis and commitment to test and tweak over time. There are a lot of variables to your campaigns, so it is important to manage expectations and not expect a huge success and ROI right after your first launch. 

Having a strong inbound marketing strategy behind your pay-per-click and social media ads are imperative in driving lead generation. You may have a beautiful ad that people click on but what happens afterward? In order to have a successful digital ad campaign, you must have a compelling content offer that prospects will want to convert on in order for your manufacturing company to utilize digital ads as a sales tool. Need content help?

Interested in revamping your marketing strategy? Are you not seeing ROI from your current marketing efforts? We can help. At Felber PR & Marketing, we work exclusively with business-to-business manufacturers and help them drive quality leads, determine the best tactics for their unique goals, and provide our manufacturing clients with optimal return-on-investment from their marketing efforts. 

I'm ready to increase lead generation with inbound marketing

How to Adapt B2B Manufacturing Sales Strategy for the COVID-19 World

b2b-sales-manufacturing-covid-19

For manufacturing salespeople, it’s been challenging to navigate selling in our COVID-19 world. The tried and true sales tactics such as face-to-face meetings, trade shows, and conferences have been canceled for the foreseeable future. According to a study by McKinsey & Company, 90 percent of sales have moved to a video conferencing or phone sales model, and while some skepticism remains, more than half believe this is equally or more effective than sales models used before COVID-19. It is hard to know how our post-COVID world will look, but it is evident that the shift to implementing more digital sales efforts will remain.

 

Digital trends have been growing for many years now, with more and more manufacturers adopting inbound marketing and actively working to improve their digital footprint. Now, with people unable to travel and sell as they normally would, digital trends have accelerated. B2B sales operations are going to be drastically different from our pre-coronavirus world and it is important that manufacturers adjust their marketing and sales strategies to not only fit our world now but also how our business operations will look moving forward. 

Below, learn 3 considerations you should use when adapting your B2B sales strategies to fit our ‘New Normal’ Business World During COVID-19:   

Amp up your customer outreach

Sitting and waiting for leads to come to you and relying on your great industry reputation is simply not an option. Now, with face-to-face meetings, conferences, and trade shows canceled for the foreseeable future, it is time to develop a clear approach for prospect and customer outreach and lead generation from all possible channels: outbound lead generation (direct mail, cold calls, and emails) and inbound lead generation (search engine optimization, social media marketing, public relations, pay-per-click ads, and email automation.)

 

Meet with your sales and business development team to discuss what leads they are actively working on. Additionally, take inventory of what professional associations, personal networks, and LinkedIn groups each of your team members are involved in. I guarantee there are great prospects from your team members’ individual networks that are not in your CRM. Just as important, do you even have a coordinated, central, and easy to use CRM?  Now, as salespeople are confined in their homes or offices instead of on the road, take this opportunity to figure out where your prospects are and develop a strategy to reach them.

Review your sales process & develop a consistent, structured process

In busy times, it is easy to get complacent and go through the motions of your B2B manufacturing sales process. Complacency is not an option in our ‘new normal’ and every deal matters–more than ever. Making assumptions based on past data or interactions with customers is simply not an option. 

 

Adapting your approach to an inbound marketing and sales approach is an excellent way to personalize your prospect’s interactions with your brand. Inbound marketing allows you to track engagement all in one easy-to-utilize platform (web page views, document opens, email read, content downloaded, etc.) That way, your salespeople are informed about who that prospect is, how close they are to making a purchasing decision, what that prospect needs, so that your salespeople are better equipped to provide prospects with the solutions they need.  

Adapt to our digital-centric business world

In times like right now, the saying “the only constant is change” rings truer than ever before. It is important to understand that every customer you are selling to is doing business in uncharted territory. Prospects that have gone dark may get acquired by another company, giving you an excellent opportunity to re-engage. Companies are all evaluating their current suppliers, so it could be the perfect time to follow up with previously cold leads. While making the switch to a new vendor, product or solution may not have been in the cards pre-coronavirus, making the switch could seem more advantageous to your prospects now. Always come from the perspective of first helping your prospects and customers and second, improving how they do business. Run your typical sales pitch by your team and brainstorm how you all can adapt it to speak to the unique challenges and concerns your prospects and customers are facing right now. 

 

It’s hard to believe that we are months into the ‘new normal.”. B2B manufacturing sales need to shift to an inbound marketing and sales approach in order to stay competitive and relevant. While COVID-19 has presented many challenges for salespeople, it also provides great opportunities for salespeople to take inventory of their sales and marketing efforts, streamline the sales process with a systemized digital approach, and refine messaging to resonate with prospects and customers’ biggest challenges. 

I'm ready to increase lead generation with inbound marketing

Interested in revamping your sales strategy to a more digital approach? We can help. At Felber PR & Marketing, we work exclusively with business-to-business manufacturers and help them drive quality leads, determine the best tactics for their unique goals, and provide manufacturing salespeople with real-time data and insight into their prospects so they can sell smarter not harder. 

The Power of an Automated Marketing, Sales and Service Platform

 

 

 

In the video above we share three of the most powerful tools within the HubSpot Platform. For those not familiar, HubSpot offers a complete marketing software that aligns the tasks of three critical components in a company – Marketing, Sales, and Customer Service. In our past blog Why Now is The Time to Get Your Database in Order – From Your Kitchen, we provided an overview of the tasks you can accomplish with a central CRM.

For marketing teams, automating the process of qualifying leads is a huge time savings. Not every website, trade show booth, or incoming phone call lead is ready to buy. HubSpot allows you to nurture your leads over time with helpful, relevant, and most important prospect-specific content. These automated workflows can deliver content, assign tasks to sales teams based on prospect behavior, and help you measure the effectiveness of your campaign. Your leads will naturally progress to become marketing qualified or can drop out of your system, saving time that would be wasted on unqualified prospects.

A huge part of the effectiveness of HubSpot is central CRM. Every user, regardless of their role, has access to the prospect record. As marketing leads progress to sales qualified leads, the handoff is beautiful. Sales can see how engaged a prospect has been based on website visits, content consumed, and even how the prospect converted to a lead in the first place (did they respond to a paid ad or download an eBook for example).

As the sales team naturally hands over their newly minted customers to the service team, it’s great to know, once again, that every detail of the journey from first contact to prospect to customer remains in the central record. Keeping customers engaged is achieved with the frictionless experience within HubSpot Service. Whether your customer wants to chat with a live person, search a knowledge base, or simply track their job ticket, all is done on the same platform. No longer does a company need to cobble together multiple platforms that do not integrate seamlessly. Interested in a product demo? Call us at (330) 963-3664 or email RobFelber@FelberPR.com

 

 

 

 

Why Manufacturers Need Inbound Marketing to Survive COVID-19

manufacturing-inbound-marketing-covid-19

COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of manufacturing business operations and most significantly, how we sell. Manufacturing companies have long relied on word-of-mouth referrals or benefited from their years in business and strong industry reputation to sell. Business-to-business manufacturers have also utilized annual industrial trade shows and exhibitions as sales tools to network and build customer relations. 

 

Due to COVID-19 shutdowns and regulations, manufacturing salespeople now more than ever are having to change the way they sell. Barriers such as limited face-to-face business meetings and canceled events and conferences have left manufacturers with the challenge of planning how to sell without being able to rely on past practice and the traditional sales tactics they know and love.

 

The key to resilience in this challenging time is to develop a digital sales and marketing strategy to mitigate this loss. Alternatively, and not to sound too alarmist, it could be a significant factor in which manufacturing companies survive and which companies do not make it through COVID-19.

 

If you are a B2B manufacturer that has not considered inbound marketing, it’s time to go digital to meet the demands of selling in our COVID-19 “here to stay” world. 

 

Let’s face it, nobody has any idea how long this will last nor what long-term changes COVID-19 will bring to how we do business next year, next month or even next week. However, in the coming months, your prospects and customers are going to be hesitant to shake your hand or allow you into their facilities.

 

By adopting inbound marketing, you are creating an environment via web and social media where relationships can be built and introductions to prospects, and influencers can be fostered. This is very similar to the transition in the auto industry. Absolutely everyone goes online to look at cars before visiting a dealer (if they even go to the dealer anymore!)

 

Manufacturing salespeople who typically would be on the road visiting customers or exhibiting at trade shows are now confined to their homes or offices, making it the perfect time to work on an inbound marketing strategy. 

 

Steps to success with Inbound Marketing

First, take the time to research where your prospects and customers spend their time online, what they read, and where they get their advice. Second, review your front door image – your website. Has your old website not been generating leads for a long time? Or even worse, did you invest money into a pretty new website that has more bots and college students filling out your forms than prospects? Are you seeing traffic convert to qualified leads in your CRM?

 

Right now is an excellent opportunity to also take inventory of your website, social media, the content you are offering via blogs and the efficiency of your sales CRM. The great thing about adopting inbound marketing principles is that it doesn’t have to be a massive overhaul of your website. Your inbound marketing strategy could be as simple as updating your website copy to focus on your ideal buyers (or as we call it in marketing terms buyer personas).

 

Use this time to update forms so you are asking better qualifying questions. Better questions will keep your salespeople from wasting time talking to weak leads. Find good technical writers and develop content that your prospects find valuable. This helps to build stronger relationships with prospects and customers. 

 

Once you have your website up-to-date, Google Ads and LinkedIn Ads are great tactics to drive better leads to your brand. We have many clients right now who are utilizing digital advertising and have seen an influx of strong, qualified lead conversion through targeted ads offering a strong content offer such as a technical paper or eBook.

 

An inbound marketing approach isn’t about changing every aspect of how you sell. It’s about enhancing what you do well, creating a digital footprint so people can discover you. Developing content that drives sales, and giving your salespeople the knowledge to identify which prospects are good leads and which ones are not will help your team sell smarter, not harder. 

 

Interested in adopting an inbound marketing strategy? Unsure where to start? 

 

At Felber PR & Marketing, we work exclusively with business-to-business manufacturers and help them drive quality leads, determine the best tactics for their unique goals, and provide our manufacturing clients with optimal return-on-investment from their marketing efforts. 

 

Do you have 30 minutes to discuss your manufacturing company’s marketing strategy? No fee, no pressure. We’ll answer as many questions as we can in this half-hour.

 

Yes, I want to talk about my marketing.