CSIA Executive Conference 2014: Create marketing that engineers love
Shape marketing efforts so engineers can appreciate and measure it, according to speakers at a CSIA Executive Conference session.
Marketing efforts can be lost on engineers, but there are ways to shape marketing so it can be effective, according to speakers at a CSIA Executive Conference session on April 24 in San Diego. "Create marketing that engineers love" was a session presented by Jim Campbell, president, Viewpoint Systems (a CSIA member); Rebecca Geier, CEO and co-founder, TREW Marketing; and Wendy Covey, president, TREW Marketing. Geier shared the following session summary with CFE Media, discussing efficient, proven, and measurable marketing methods, with examples and results that appeal to engineers. The graphic shows the process.
Geier's session summary
Over the past decade, marketing has transformed. Once a vendor-controlled approach was used, with tactics such as trade shows, e-mail campaigns, and telesales, as well as a heavy reliance on word-of-mouth interactions. Today, however, thanks to Google, the power has shifted, and our buyers are firmly in control of when, how, and what they search for.
The currency for this transformed marketing environment is content-plain and simple. Much of what you hear today regarding marketing surrounds channels such as search engine optimization (SEO), Google AdWords, and social media, but how do all of these drive new leads and opportunities, and what does all of this have to do with content? Often, system integrator company leaders are ready to invest in marketing to fill their opportunity pipeline and grow sales, but they aren't sure how to do it in the new marketing environment. Because of this, company leaders may forge ahead with ad hoc marketing activities or go back to what they know, which leaves them frustrated with poor results. [subhead
4 steps for effective marketing
In reality, to effectively market today, a straightforward methodology that can be broken down into four building blocks is required:
- Build a foundation
- Get found and drive traffic
- Generate leads
- Nurture leads and create opportunities.
Recent data, case studies, and best practices provide more details on each step. Here is a quick overview:
1. Build a foundation: The first step in building your foundation is defining your business goals. Once defined, these directly inform your company positioning and messaging; marketing strategy, including your goals and channel focus; website; and key themes or campaigns. At this stage, it's also critical to define your metrics-or scorecard-that will indicate how marketing is performing.
2. Get found and drive traffic: Once your foundation is in place, you are ready to build your content strategy and commit to generous, consistent publishing. This is also where SEO, blogging, and social media come into play as channels to publish and amplify your content across the web with keywords aligned to your business.
3. Generate leads: With traffic coming to your site, the next step is to offer premium-in-depth, technical-content that is "gated" with a lead form required for access. This takes a great deal of time to be done well, and often a stumbling block at this stage-in addition to time-is knowing what content to create. Having a content strategy in place-aligned to themes with authors and timing assigned-provides a documented process to drive content execution.
4. Nurture leads to drive opportunities: With leads now coming into your marketing funnel, you can use yet more content-and tools such as marketing automation software-to efficiently drive new leads down the funnel. Using e-mail marketing and nurturing processes, leads get "scored," and the highest scoring ones automatically go to sales for follow-up and further qualification.
- Rebecca Geier is CEO and co-founder, TREW Marketing. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coming soon: Link to other advice from Geier, provided in a video, at a CFE Media event, Marketing to Engineers.
Coming soon: Link to other coverage from the 2014 CSIA Executive Conference.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.