[Image above] Credit: Rebecca Geier; TREW Marketing
With topics covering everything from market research and product introductions, to case studies and marketing plan creation, the program promises an all-inclusive forum for helping your company improve marketing ROI.
One workshop in particular, “Smart marketing for engineers” offers best practices for developing a marketing plan specific to engineers and the manufacturing industry. Rebecca Geier, CEO of TREW Marketing, will address common marketing challenges and guide attendees through the steps to create a marketing plan.
In a recent phone interview, I asked Geier about the marketing advice she gives to her clients, including misconceptions many business owners have about marketing.
What are some of the typical marketing challenges clients in your industry face?
Our target customer of engineers and scientists is unique. When targeting technical audiences, the marketing needs to be as smart as the audience you’re targeting. Think about your customer—how they think, how they use data. This audience tends to have a skeptical mindset.
Google has completely transformed marketing, where the power is now in the buyer’s hands. Prospects can search all kinds of information about your company and products. Our research has shown that with engineers, 60% of their buying process is done online. The opportunity here is to get found where the engineers are searching.
What does your typical client look like?
The majority of companies we work with (our ideal customer) ranges from $5 million–$200 million in annual revenue. They are companies that target engineers and have an internal marketing person, but are missing the strategic piece and can’t afford to hire a marketing director (nor is that a good hire for them). We work directly with their marketing teams for specific campaigns and product launches.
What are some common misconceptions clients and prospects in your industry have about marketing?
One common misconception is they believe marketing to be a “sprint.” For example, you can spend money on Google AdWords and other tactics, but if you don’t have something to keep the prospect engaged, the money is a total waste. Marketing is a marathon, not a sprint! You can’t just go to a trade show, get leads, and think you’re done with your marketing.
Another misconception companies have is what they believe to be the expected ROI of a particular activity. For example, if you expect to get 150 leads from a trade show, you have to know the cost—how much you spent to get those leads. What’s hard about the newer marketing channels [online] is that some companies will spend a few hundred dollars on search advertising, not get any sales, and think it was a waste—when that tactic may have brought prospects to the top of the funnel. You have to be clear about having the right expectations for the right marketing investment.
What are some of the biggest successes you’ve seen your clients achieve in their marketing?
I’ve seen them increase their revenue. They get it—they buy into the “marathon” concept, and they understand that it takes time.
They also understand that everyone needs to do their part and be held accountable. For example, they involve the sales team in the marketing process. If sales doesn’t follow up on leads in a timely manner, marketing won’t work. Everyone knows what’s expected of them.
When we interview our prospects, we have 19 criteria we use to see if they are a good fit for our services. The first question we ask is, “What are your business goals?” Have we convinced them that marketing is a marathon? Do they understand marketing has changed? We help them develop a 12-month marketing plan that takes into account their business goals and measures the impact at the sales level.
What is the most important idea or concept about marketing that you want attendees in your workshop to leave with?
That marketing has completely transformed in the past 10–20 years. And there is a method to the marketing. It absolutely can work for a technical, skeptical audience of engineers—and it takes a commitment by everyone, up to the highest levels of the organization, for it to work.
Click here to register for the Marketing for Manufacturers Forum to receive a special rate before March 24, 2017.
Geier will be signing copies of her book, “Smart Marketing for Engineers,” at the ACerS booth #308 at Ceramics Expo on Tuesday, April 25.