Wade Business Media

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Wade Business Media is a diversified media company serving the needs of suppliers and service providers to the resources, construction and heavy industry sectors.

25/03/2014

Sitting across from you right now is a stern looking prospect – an end user in mining of the type of plant, equipment and services that your company provides.

“I don’t know who you are,” he says.

“I don’t know your company’s solutions.

“I don’t what your company stands for.

“I don’t know your company’s record.

“I don’t know your company’s reputation.

“I don’t see your name in any of the mining publications I receive.

“I don’t see you mentioned in any of the mining websites I visit.

“I don’t read your blog. I don’t subscribe to your newsletter.

“I don’t hear my peers or suppliers talking about your solutions.

“I don’t see you at any mining events.

“I don’t find your content in Google Searches.

“I don’t connect your solutions to my problems.

“I don’t feel the gravity of your credibility or credentials.

“I don’t have a tangible way of gauging your expertise or experience.

“Now what was that you wanted to sell me?”

The moral of the story here: sales in mining start long before your sales people call – with marketing. But I’ll return to this later.

The biggest problem I find among mining suppliers and service providers that invest in marketing is that they typically ask themselves, “How and when I am going to get a sale?” This is completely the WRONG question to ask.

Investing in marketing is like putting petrol in your car: it’s a necessary, but not a sufficient step to get to your final destination.

Will you have a better chance of reaching your destination with a tank of petrol? ABSOLUTELY!

Will you get to your destination on an empty tank? – NO WAY!

Rule #1: SELL the same way you BUY

The first less in marketing is that you need to sell the way you BUY.

When was the last time you bought plant and equipment or industrial services over the phone from someone you never met? – NEVER?

When was the last time you bought plant and equipment or industrial services via a SPAM email? – NEVER?

When was the last time you bought plant and equipment or industrial services just based on a brochure or flyer? – NEVER?

When was the last time you bought plant and equipment or industrial services just based on an ad? – NEVER?

So why don’t you buy this way? – Because there is zero value for you.

YOU don’t BUY this way, so why should your prospects?

The question you have to ask yourself is: what VALUE have I added to my prospects to EARN THE RIGHT to engage them and offer solutions to their headaches, pressures, demands, challenges and needs?

Rule #2: Referrals are great, but end users in mining aren’t MORONS

The second key lesson in marketing is that referrals and recommendations are great, but don’t hang your hat on them because end users in mining aren’t stupid.

Now I know what you’re going to say: ‘We don’t have to invest in marketing. All of our business comes by word of mouth.’

If that’s your attitude good luck!

You may get by on referrals for a while, but sooner or later a competitor will come into the market and take market share from you or market conditions will weaken – or all of the above.

The problem is you have no idea what’s driving customers and prospects buying decisions. But trust me: your customers and prospects will check you out before they pick up the phone or drop you an email.

And how do you think your prospects react when they discover:

Your outdated website. Look and feel from 2004? – Bad. Products and services on your site that you don’t offer any more? – Very BAD!

Your lone testimonial from five years ago from an unattributed source. C’mon. Who are you kidding?

Your sporadic blogs. You started blogging every week for a month or two but then stopped for six months before posting your next blog. This is disconcerting and makes people ponder ‘why did they stop blogging?’. Make time to blog or get someone to blog for you.

Your lame News page. Your last post was about what the workshop supervisor likes to do in his spare time – and that was six months ago. I hear crickets chirping.

Web links that don’t work. Outdated websites are a sin, but broken links, documents that don’t load or applications that don’t suit all types of mobile devices …these are cardinal sins.

Articles and press clippings from five, 10 or 15 years ago! Reminds me of that Bruce Springsteen song Glory Days. Get my drift.

Your bare bones LinkedIn profile. Would you rather connect with a person you’d never met whose LinkedIn profile has a photo of themselves on their last fishing trip with a one-sentence bio and one testimonial – and that’s from someone with the same surname? Alternatively, would you rather connect with someone you’d never met who had a LinkedIn profile with a professional photo, a fully and concise employment history, referrals and five quality recommendations?

Referrals and great, but they’re no substitute for relevant, up-to-date, and informative content on your website, and social media platforms.

Neglect RELEVANT and UP-TO-DATE content at your peril. Why? Because you run the risk of EMABARRSING yourself to advocates if they hear back from referrals about your outdated information or a lack of information.

The question you’ve got to ask yourself is this: does my overall online presence reassure and reinforce my credibility as a solution provider? Is there enough VALUE in the information about my company and me online for an end user in mining to make an informed decision about the purchase, procurement and specification of the plant, equipment and services that I provide? – If not, then you’ve got some work to do.

Rule #3: Become a TRUSTED ADVISOR

The final key point about marketing is that it is a process NOT AN EVENT. It is the sum of those events that leads to you being a trusted advisor and winning the work.

The process of building customer relationships begins with your REPUTATION; it is the beating heart of your business. Having a great company record in project delivery, for example, is not enough. If you think you work ‘speaks for itself’ then good luck and may the force be with you.

The second part of the marketing process is AMPLIFICATION. This is about COMMUNICATING what you do to your prospects and customers. This is where PR, social media, blogging, content marketing and SEO come into to play. Communication is king.

The third stage of the marketing process is LEVERAGE. By building a profile based on providing VALUE through articles, whitepapers, videos, interviews, blogging, case studies and social media you can then start to connect with customers and prospects using the credibility that you’ve built. It’s where you bait the hook – but not just any old bait, hook or rod; it has to be the right content, delivered via the right channel to the right people. Communication is king, but ENGAGEMENT is queen.

The final stage is GRAVITY. This is the payoff part of the marketing process. All the momentum you’ve built through REPUTATION, AMPLIFICATION and LEVERAGE starts to pay dividends. Prospects start approaching you. Not the other way. Customers and clients turn to you for advice and guidance. Your customer base will grow and size of your customers will grow. As a result, you can charge a premium for plant, equipment and services with confidence because you know that people are getting more than a widget or a service; they’re getting VALUE.

As a mining supplier or service provider, do you want to make more sales to strangers or do you want to develop stronger, deeper and more rewarding relationships from people who come to know you and your company when they have a challenge, headache or problem they need solved? If the answer’s yes, stop trying to be another same-o lame-o supplier and start becoming a TRUSTED ADVISOR.

So let’s go back to that stern looking prospect sitting opposite you that I mentioned at the beginning.

How can you sell to this person without laying the necessary groundwork?

Answer: you can’t.

You can’t just like you can’t drive from Perth to Port Hedland if you haven’t first filled up on petrol, planned your journey, set your GPS, stopped off along the way for refreshments, and put in the hours and kilometres to reach your final destination.

25/03/2014

Half of the prospects called on by mining suppliers and service providers know nothing about the supplier’s company.

And half of the customers called on by mining suppliers don’t have an adequate understanding of the supplier’s capabilities.

This was according to a recent survey by Wade Business Media and its online lead generation serviceProjectory on brand awareness among 57 individuals with mining suppliers and service providers – mainly based in WA.

A total of 47 per cent of prospects called on by mining suppliers and service providers for the first time know nothing about the supplier/service providers’ company, according to mining suppliers and service providers.

Nearly 60 per cent of prospects knew nothing about what the supplier/service providers’ company stands for and just over half knew nothing about the supplier/service providers’ reputation.

Roughly two thirds of prospects knew nothing about the supplier/service providers’ company record, accreditation and special techniques.

Just over 70 per cent of prospects know nothing about the individual calling them from a mining supplier/service provider.

Roughly half of the mining suppliers and service providers surveyed said their customers and clients had an adequate knowledge of their company’s core values; company record; products, equipment and services; capabilities; and special techniques and accreditations.

Knowledge about mining suppliers and service providers’ core values was most lacking, followed by accreditations and special techniques, company record, capabilities and products, equipment and services.

Just over a third of mining suppliers and service providers said their company’s marketing effectiveness was unsatisfactory (30 per cent) or terrible (6.5 per cent). Little over half said it was satisfactory and only 11 per cent said it was ‘pretty good’. No respondents said their marketing effectiveness was ‘excellent’.

The most effective channels to market to overallBUILD BRAND awareness about their company – with 1 the most effective channel – according to respondents were:

Company website
Trade shows
Social Media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
Public relations
Advertising – trade press
External company e-newsletter
Content (news, whitepapers, articles, videos)
Search (Google, Yahoo etc)
Event Sponsorship – in-house (road shows, seminars, workshops)
Advertising – online (web)
Advertising – online (newsletter third party)
Event Sponsorship – third party
Direct mail
Online directories
Google Adwords

The top five most effective channels to market to build awareness about their company’s CAPABILITIES – excluding the company website – were as follows:

Advertising – trade press
Trade shows
External company e-newsletter
Advertising – online (web)
Content (news, whitepapers, articles, videos)

The top five most effective channels to market to build awareness about what their company STANDS FOR – excluding the company website – were as follows:

Trade shows
Advertising – online (web)
External company e-newsletter
Event Sponsorship – in-house (road shows, seminars, workshops)
Social Media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)

The top five most effective channels to market to build awareness about their company’s REPUTATION– excluding the company website – were as follows:

Public relations
Event Sponsorship – in-house (road shows, seminars, workshops)
Trade shows
Advertising – online (web)
Event Sponsorship – third party
The top five most effective channels to market to build awareness about what their company’s RECORD – excluding the company website – were as follows:

Content (news, whitepapers, articles, videos)
Event Sponsorship – in-house (road shows, seminars, workshops)
Advertising – online (web)
Public relations
Trade shows

The top five most effective channels to market to build awareness about their company’s ACCREDITATIONS AND SPECIAL TECHNIQUES – excluding the company website – were as follows:

Content (news, whitepapers, articles, videos)
Event Sponsorship – in-house (road shows, seminars, workshops)
Advertising – online (web)
Public relations
Trade shows

The top five most effective channels to market to build awareness about what THEM as an individual – excluding the company website – were as follows:

Social Media (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter)
Public relations
Trade shows
Event Sponsorship – third party
External company e-newsletter

A total of 88 per cent of respondents said they had a LinkedIn in profile with the average person having a total of 270 contacts.

About the survey –

The Wade Business Media-Projectory survey canvassed the views of 57 individuals with mining suppliers and service providers in Australia.

Most respondents were based in WA (40 per cent) followed by Queensland (21 per cent), Victoria (16 per cent) and New South Wales (12 per cent).

Most respondents were in a marketing or sales role (42 per cent) or management role (23 per cent) with 16 per cent owner/operators and 16 per cent in product or technical roles.

A quarter of those surveyed characterised their company’s core business as manufacturer (25 per cent); Tier 2 servicing EPCMs – e.g. engineering design, civil construction (18 per cent); Tier 3 sub-contractor – servicing EPCMs or Tier 2 firms (12.5 per cent); professional services (12.5 per cent); Tier 4 sub-contractor – servicing Tier 2 and Tier 3 firms (11 per cent); distributor (9 per cent); EPCM (7 per cent); and Tier 5 materials and services supplier to Tier 3 and Tier 4 firms (5 per cent).

25/03/2014

An objection I often hear from mining suppliers and service providers is ‘We don’t need to market; all of our business comes from word of mouth’.

This is particularly the case with contractors and service providers from the ‘dad and Dave’ operators to the multi-disciplined engineering companies at the big end of town.

You don’t need to be a marketing genius to know that word of mouth is the most potent form of marketing, but beware relying on it to promote your business.

Here’s why.

#1 – Word of mouth is SLOW

You may get business based on a referral or recommendation tomorrow, but you may not get one until next month or in three month’s time.

You have no control or influence over the sales cycle.

Why leave the fate of your business to chance?

#2 – Word of mouth is UNRELIABLE and INACCURATE

Studies have shown that businesses that received work as a result of referrals and recommendations won that work contrary to what they thought.

This could mean that you won work because you thought you had a superior product, but in fact you won the work because of your after market sales and support.

‘So what?’ you say. ‘It’s all good.’

Well, yes and no.

Yes because you won the work, but no because you don’t know WHY you won the work. This can be a big problem, because if business slows due to factors other than market conditions you won’t know why and you won’t know how to fix it.

#3 – you’re at the MERCY of market conditions

If the market’s good – which it has been – you may get by on word of mouth referrals, but if business slows your order book or pipeline of work will start to shrink – unlike your overheads!

Effective and well-executed marketing and promotion will balance out the feast or famine peaks and troughs of work and provide a more consistent stream of work.

#4 – You have NO CONTROL over word of mouth

If you’re not controlling the message the message will control you.

What I mean by this statement is that if you’re relying on winning work from referrals you have no control or influence over what people are saying about your business or service. Which brings me to my final point…

#5 – BAD word of mouth TRAVELS FAST!

Trust me. If you f****d up on a job or failed to deliver through incompetency and poor service your customer will tell an average of 10 people. And those 10 people will tell someone and so and so on. No guesses as to how that’s going to affect your chances of winning more work.

Bottom line: word of mouth is great, but if you want my advice – don’t hang your hat on it.

13/02/2014

From time to time I get emails or calls from people seeking insight or asking me to solve their marketing dilemmas. Here are a few that may relate to your job, your life, and (most important) your marketing thought process right now.

Dear Jamie, I supply and service pumps for the mining industry. Can you explain all this social media stuff? Mick

Mick, Here goes…
Twitter: I’m installing a .
Facebook: I like your pump.
Linked In: my skills include pumps.
Youtube: here’s a video of me installing a pump.
Instagram: here’s a vintage photo of some pumps.
Pinterest: here are some interesting pumps.
Tumblr: here’s my collection of pump pics I found.
Wordpress: read my comments about pumps.
Foursquare: this is where I go for lunch :)

Dear Jamie, I look after the marketing for a small supplier of equipment to the mining and oil and gas sector. For some time, I’ve been trying to convince the managing director to advertise in print, but every time I raise the subject of advertising he says it’s a waste of time and money. What should I do? Mark

Mark, subscribe to the six key trade publications relevant to your target customer base. Cut out your competitor ads and keep them in a scrapbook or folder. Also, create a spreadsheet and enter all the key data about your competitors’ ads such as the publication they advertised in, the edition, the feature, the ad size, the ad size as a number i.e. 1 for a full page, 0.5 for a half page, 0.25 for a quarter page etc. At the end of each quarter analyse the results present the data to your MD, but DON’T ask for funds to advertise. After about 12 months of monitoring and analysis of print advertising one of two things will become apparent: a THREAT or an OPPORTUNITY to your company. If your competition is advertising, that is a threat to your company; they are taking market share away from you. But if your competition isn’t advertising then there is an opportunity for your company to TAKE MARKET SHARE. Either way you’ve built a tangible case to justify your argument to the boss to invest in an advertising campaign. If he still says ‘no’ without a valid reason find another employer. Don’t waste your time with people who don’t get it.

Dear Jamie, I run a small multi-disciplined engineering company and my business has been doing it tough. Late last year I had to make a number of redundancies including the person that managed the development, production and printing of our marketing collateral. I still need marketing collateral though. What should I do? Phil

Phil, things like graphic design can be easily outsourced and at very competitive rates. Same with copywriting, but ensure you get someone that understands your market and lingo. Stick with your printer if you’re giving them frequent work – you’ll get a better rate – but every now and then ask them to quote on a job to ensure they keep their pencils sharp :)

Dear Jamie, We’re a communications equipment company. We’re about to launch a new mobile communications unit that we believe will radically improve the way personnel on minesites will communicate. What’s the best way of launching this product? Peter

Peter, the first thing you’ll need to do is prepare a press release. What I mean by that is to write – or commission – a 400 word statement about the equipment with a focus on the technical specifications and the BENEFITS to the end user. When you’re press release is ready, send it to the editor of every mining trade publication in Australia with two three high-resolution images. You should also look at placing ads in at least two mining publications in editions where there are communications features. I also highly recommend some content marketing delivered through a lead generation channel to market.

Dear Jamie, We’re a supplier of bulk materials handling equipment to the mining industry and been running an ad campaign for the last 12 months with half page insertions in six editions in a nationwide mining publication. We haven’t received one phone call from our ads though. Have I just blown all that money? Dave

Dave, absolutely not! Rarely do end users in mining see an ad for big ticket mining equipment then call the advertiser to place an order. The sales cycle is long when it comes to mining equipment. Advertising is a process – not an event. What your advertising campaign has been doing is building share of voice in the readers’ minds so when they’re ready to buy the sort of equipment and services you supply your company will be front of mind or close to it. Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to measure this so you’re right thinking ‘what the hell is going on?’. Advertising campaigns will only pay dividends providing you continue to advertise year-in year-out and in good times and bad. My advice is to continue advertising, but put some lead generation into your marketing mix. If you can’t afford to do both scale back a little on your advertising.

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