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Gotham, LLC , serving industrial B2B companies internationally with comprehensive marketing services, has released a new website: www.industrialmarketingexperts.com. For over 30 years, Gotham has helped many companies tell their stories in a wide array of industry sectors. Gotham’s unique process of strategic marketing planning and charting measurable results for greater ROI make the marketing company a leader in its space.

The new website features a three-minute overview video detailing how Gotham often operates as the external marketing department for manufacturing firms. Additionally, the company’s methodology is detailed along with the varied services Gotham provides, including responsive website design, SEO, social media marketing, email marketing management, video production management, trade show marketing, media, and much more. The repository of articles in the blog section explores subjects like achieving consistent sales growth, marketing techniques, branding, strategy building, and more. Gotham owner Woody Stoudemire said, “Our new website is just one more way Gotham continues to provide value to industrial companies.”

Gotham’s specialty is helping companies with annual marketing budgets manage creative, execution of marketing tactics, and expenditure.  Gotham’s industrial experience enables the team to offer best-performing marketing services to achieve critical return on investment. Gotham is composed of a core team of highly skilled strategic marketers and designers dedicated to the success of their clients. Stoudemire explains, “Our mission is to help our clients build stronger lead generation, customer acquisition/retention, and overall higher company profitability.”

About Gotham, LLC
Established in 1989, Gotham, LLC is a North Carolina-based industrial marketing firm that specializes in marketing for the B2B industry. During its 30 years, Gotham has served manufacturing clients nationwide and internationally. Services include strategic marketing plans, branding, website design, print design, signage, media, and more.  Information about Gotham is available at www.industrialmarketingexperts.com or 828.327.8099.

 

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For more information, contact:

Gotham, LLC

Woody Stoudemire, President

Phone: 828-327-8099 / Email: info@gothamstrategic.com

Remember the movie scene from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade where he had to choose from the grails wisely to avoid death?

Like Indy choosing drinkware, decisions regarding marketing help can make or break you.

My 30-year career has been devoted to helping industrial companies strategically market their products and services, build revenue, and, in many cases, improve the valuation of these firms for a better “cash out.”

Industrial companies that depend on business-to-business (B2B) relationships have a few options for marketing:

1. Do it yourself

2. An “everyman” agency that will work for you . . . and the vet clinic down the street

3. A focused, industrial marketing agency

4. Thomasnet

The “do it yourself” option is the worst of these. It steals time from valuable internal staff, is typically disorganized, often suffers from poor and inconsistent creative, and is the least cost-effective.

The “everyman” agency most likely doesn’t have industrial experience and will require significant hand-holding time while training the agency. They may not understand current best practices for B2B industrial success, either.

Full disclosure: Of these choices, my company, Gotham, is a focused, industrial agency. For many industrial companies, we are their marketing department. We invest time to understand a company, the competition, and their goals to build an annual strategic marketing plan. We then uncover the competitive differences/advantages and leverage it in professional, branded communication. This results in attracting the right prospects, improving close rates, and building sales.

Thomasnet is a directory of 500,000+ industrial companies. Some are free listings with minimal descriptions, while others are paid listings that can be a literal web presence within the directory. I have marketed my own company, Gotham, on Thomasnet and engaged them for some of my clients. Thomasnet was formerly an aggregator of data regarding industrial companies. Each company was charged a fee to appear in the Thomas Register® or the “Big Blue Books.” Once the digital age took over, they created a huge digital database known as Thomasnet.com.

I have found Thomasnet effective for some companies and not for others. This information is based on personal experience and clients’ comments. For some customers, they deliver quality web visits and leads. Primarily, Thomasnet is used by corporate purchasing departments to quickly compare vendors and their offerings.

Thomasnet also offers marketing services as an additional revenue stream for their primary goal of directory building. The websites I have reviewed have a homogenous, “Thomasnet” look. If carving out a custom identity is what you desire, it makes sense to hire an agency for web and collateral design and then Thomasnet for the directory benefit.

Industrial marketing agencies will provide a more personalized approach to understanding your company and crafting a message that really sells. Agencies will be more experienced at both inbound and outbound marketing, whereas Thomasnet’s focus is primarily inbound.

Choosing the right industrial marketing company is a monumental investment of time and resources. Start with an organization that is immersed in B2B industrial marketing for the best path to success. If you feel we can be of benefit to your industrial marketing effort, don’t hesitate to visit our website at www.IndustrialMarketingExperts.com and submit an inquiry.

ThomasNet is a registered trademark of Thomas Publishing Company. All product and company names are trademarks™ or registered® trademarks of their respective holders. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by them. 

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is more accessible and affordable now more than ever. Popular services such as Salesforce, HubSpot and Dynamics365 offer immense leverage over big data for manufacturing businesses of all sizes. Most companies are adopting inbound marketing strategies that are yielding a higher volume of qualified leads. Purchasing and implementing a CRM system can greatly enhance the ability to capture and act on this higher volume of leads, automate follow-up and task reminders and ultimately lead to growth in sales and customer satisfaction. Let’s break down how you can get the most utility from a CRM system for your business.

Most popular CRM software vendors offer their products using a cloud-based platform. Outside or field sales personnel run these services as an app on their smartphone, tablet or PC. The software enables users to log customer information in real time such as size, category and industry type, create maps for customer visits and access order history. Imagine making a customer visit or receiving a call inquiring about your product. You can enter the details of your visit or inquiry and process quotations, check stock levels and add valuable follow-up information that seamlessly adds appointments to your integrated calendar.

For inside sales, customer service and sales management, a CRM system provides an efficient way to catalog and track leads and opportunities resulting from the company’s inbound marketing strategy. Users can enter and track the source of leads whether from a website visit (contact form), direct message on social media platforms, direct mail, repeat customer or email campaign. Having the ability to track the source of leads ultimately reveals the efficacy of marketing dollars spent. A CRM system also allows the ability to track and regain lost customers and identify emerging markets and industries.

Integrating CRM with your ERP and even your e-commerce platform can automate customer communications such as follow-up opportunities, customer satisfaction surveys and testimonial solicitation. Real customer feedback that you can use as website and social media content tells a more relatable story for your brand. It shows your customers you genuinely care about their feedback, loyalty and patronage. Using services like Microsoft’s free PowerBI, users can link data from Google Analytics, ERP, CRM and social media paid advertising services to track target audience buying behavior, geographic density of sales activity and product seasonality.

These are only a few examples of the utility of a proven CRM software. The automation and integration across your company’s platforms versus manually tracking these ubiquitous selling processes are where the real value lies. At Gotham, we advise our industrial clients on how to adopt CRM software to leverage data from their marketing campaigns. Are you ready to start taking advantage of the latest CRM products to grow your sales and increase customer satisfaction?

Do you know with certainty what your target audience truly thinks, feels, or believes regarding your brand, products, and/or services? Would the truth about these things change the way your products are promoted, or would you even modify the products you make and sell? Surveying your customers and prospects will yield specific data and critical insights that can be used to build and grow brand awareness, perception, and customer loyalty, thus positively impacting the bottom line.

First, let’s unpack what exactly a brand perception survey is. These surveys include polling your customers and prospects with open-ended questions regarding what they think about your products, how they explain your products to their friends or colleagues, or what emotions they feel when they use your products. Understanding these behaviors and actions can reveal a lot of information that may not be intuitive in product design and testing. Learning about your target audience’s actions and emotions toward your brand can help you respond with better, more tailored products.

Product quality and reputation are certainly important, but a large component of brand perception is how your message resonates with the target audience. A company should always strive to align the company values with the product experience. Surveying customers on how they feel about your brand and products will reveal whether your company is perceived positively, negatively, or neutrally. A neutral perception is almost as bad as a negative impression because a neutral impression generally means you haven’t done a good enough job educating your audience on who you are, what you stand for, or the purpose of your products.

Reliable subscription services like SurveyMonkey and SurveyAnyplace simplify and automate the survey process and quickly help you determine customer loyalty. These services allow subscription holders to benchmark their results against other companies in their respective industry. This will help your company identify and act on best practices to better serve your customers and set goals that align better with customer behavior and habits. Most capable survey management services offer CRM integration to further enable data collection for trend analysis and other stratification goals.

Don’t let your company’s brand perception be a mystery. Be proactive: poll your current and potential customers during all stages of the sales cycle. The knowledge and feedback you receive may change your company’s perception dramatically and ultimately yield more sales. Gotham’s industrial marketing strategists can help you plan, design, and execute surveys in a variety of channels to best understand what your customers think of your company. We’ve been helping B2B companies since 1989 do just this. Are you ready to enhance your brand’s perception and awareness across the board? Get started at  www.industrialmarketingexperts.com.

Many industrial companies outsource their marketing efforts. A primary reason to contract with an industrial marketing firm is the overhead to maintain an internal marketing team that can keep up with strategic planning and the demands of ever-changing best practices of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), social media marketing, paid digital advertising (AdWords, Pay-per-click), print ads, media reps, maintaining the company website and more. It is critical to select a team that understands your business goals and is agile, responsive and experienced enough to build your brand both online and off. Below are a few tips to help you make a wise choice.

1 – Make sure the marketing firm you are considering knows your business.

Evaluate their current and past customers. Have they worked with your industry in the past? There are many marketing agencies out there with broad appeal (serve everyone) and those that only focus on one or two verticals because the demand is high and it has allowed them to specialize in targeted markets. If you are in the industrial products business, you should seek industrial, B2B experience. These agencies will already be up to speed on the pain points your customers experience, the industry jargon and other nuances associated with your business. This will give you a tremendous head start in building a productive relationship with your marketing contractor and they can get right to work building on your brand.

2 – Consider the size of the agency you want to work with.

Typically, the bigger the agency, the higher their services cost because they have to pay for all those heads and the facility to house them. Larger agencies also require retainers and long-term contracts. Smaller marketing agencies are nimbler and more adaptive. Inherently, there is less turnover in a smaller agency because there are less people. This typically means the staff are generally more involved with you and your business. Properly building a strategic marketing plan and subsequently executing it requires constant communication between the client and the marketing agency. Having fewer points of contact that are devoted to your goals and mission is extremely important.

3 – Clearly define your goals.

It may sound simple but knowing what you want to achieve is the most crucial part of succeeding with your marketing agency. If it’s conversions you are after, make sure the agency you choose can provide you the metrics tracking campaign efficacy and the ROI of your marketing spend. If you are looking for a heightened awareness of your brand across social media channels, your agency should provide you with growth numbers of followers and engagement. You are looking for proof that your goals are aligning with the achieved results. An effective marketing agency provides a myriad of reports like those from Google Analytics, Facebook Ad Services and LinkedIn Sponsored Content.

Are you ready to outsource your B2B marketing? Contact Gotham, LLC, an industrial marketing company comprised of a tight-knit team of marketing experts that provide strategic, creative services to manufacturers worldwide. Learn more at www.GothamStrategic.com.

Does your company sell industrial products to other businesses? Here in the digital age, there are many compelling reasons to add to your company’s sales channels using e-commerce. Let’s explore whether or not e-commerce is right for your industrial company and how adding online selling can not only increase your sales growth but also your overall digital footprint through enhanced search ranking, referring links, content and validity. 

E-commerce is accessible 24/7, 365 days a year. This gives your target audience or market ultimate flexibility to purchase your goods anywhere and anytime. A well-executed e-commerce website gives businesses the perfect opportunity to add comprehensive item descriptions, related items in submenus and application data in one easy-to-find place. One could consider it a repository of product information that subsequently makes it easier for your customers to purchase. E-commerce versus traditional customer service and inside sales offers a much more agile, real-time advantage furthering your company’s value proposition. Making it easy for your customers and prospects to do business with you should be your top priority.

Maintaining a product catalog on an e-commerce platform is good for SEO (Search Engine Optimization). The catalog not only adds validity to your brand and website, but it also adds valuable content. Showing how a product works for different applications through thorough descriptions, videos, high-resolution imagery and real-world examples not only helps the customer determine the right item but also becomes a helpful resource for reference data. There is also the opportunity for customers to review these products and offer even more “free” product support through their own experiences. When companies maintain an effective e-commerce portal in their respective industry, they own a competitive advantage.

E-commerce can help separate the winners from the losers in a company’s catalog. Search ranking, volume and frequency for certain keywords and keyphrases show the popularity of products. Interpreting this data could also reveal trends in demand, seasonality and cycles. If you sell your products online, you will quickly learn what your end users are looking for and will be able to adjust inventory stock levels and responsiveness accordingly. The integration of e-commerce with your company’s ERP and CRM programs add even more capability. You will have the ability to show real-time inventory and synchronized order processing, confirmation, and tracking and notifications all from one login. Relationship management is enhanced because sales now expands the follow-up channel with even more customers that may not have been discovered otherwise.

Consider whether or not building an e-commerce portal is right for your business. Gotham Industrial Marketing can objectively evaluate your business model, target markets, customers and goals. We then help determine the best course of action using best practices of e-commerce website design, function and performance to create an online marketing strategy and most importantly, consistently measure and leverage the results. Are you ready to use e-commerce as a tool to add to your sales growth?

Expanding into North America
Many foreign businesses recognize the importance of a physical presence in the North American market. The world’s largest economy won’t wait for delivery delays or communication breakdowns that can occur ordering products from overseas. Lean manufacturing demands that products and support be readily accessible. Once a North American based satellite is established and staffed, it needs to be properly promoted for success.

Gotham has worked with companies in both Europe and Asia to reorganize and adapt the messaging of their marketing communication for the North American marketplace. In every instance, product inquiries have increased exponentially as those companies increase their
business in the Americas and Canada.

Begin With a Great First Impression
Today, a single email or web page can reach people around the world within a few seconds of hitting “enter” on a keyboard. International manufacturers who desire to communicate a new product launch or recruit new customers now have access to tools that were unavailable 20 years ago.

However, while technology has created a single online community, a manufacturer’s customers have to do business within unique cultural dynamics and national communities. What is important to a customer in Japan or Austria may not be the same as what is important to a customer in the United States, South America or Canada. And, even if those needs are similar, smart marketers still approach customers in these regions with unique messages and tactics. This is especially true when a marketing campaign needs to use creative or humorous images and copy. Cultural differences alter how people perceive messages and, if not handled appropriately, can result in poor marketing material and – even worse – an offensive campaign that alienates prospects. Hiring a North American marketing agency, like Gotham LLC, helps a manufacturer avoid common problems and ensure more targeted and effective communication with potential customers.

Building Local Relationships and Leveraging Market Knowledge
Strong marketing starts with an understanding of the target audience. Even companies that have a local sales force or engineering team in North America need professionals that understand local cultures, customers, media and industries. An experienced, national agency like Gotham offers value in many ways that marketers working across national borders cannot, including:

  • Strong relationships with media, industry associations and trade show organizations.
  • An understanding of best practices to reach audiences in North America.
  • The ability to work in real time without concern for time zones.
  • The ability to develop or interpret marketing materials as a native of the country.
  • A better understanding of national economics and politics.

Keeping the Focus on the Company’s Message
Engaging the right marketing agency specifically focused on the North American market ensures that regional activity always meets global objectives. Gotham uses a proprietary six step program, called LAUNCH, to develop regional marketing programs consistent with a company’s overall strategic vision. Those steps include Listen, Analyze, Understand, Narrow, Create and Hatch.

Strategic implementation of the LAUNCH process means that Gotham can effectively act as a regional extension in North America for an international company. Agency marketing experts gain the knowledge they need to execute the most effective – and efficient – program possible.

Understanding Return on Investment
All of these factors help maximize return on marketing investment, while still implementing marketing programs that resonate with customers and support business goals. Gotham has saved companies hundreds of thousands of dollars by eliminating time consuming – unnecessary – problems.

Here’s how Gotham improves marketing return on investment:

  • Quality Control and Assurance. Marketing communication should always be developed with local customers and cultures in mind. By approaching these initiatives with knowledge of the North American markets from the beginning, Gotham will produce marketing materials that more effectively protect branding integrity.
  • Eliminating Redundancies. Likewise, the national approach means that there is less likelihood that materials will have to be redone or eliminated entirely.
  • Only Using the Necessary Resources. Gotham differs from other agencies in the scope of the services offered. We can help a company with short-term strategic consultations or provide ongoing comprehensive marketing support.
  • Maximizing Time and Budget. Without the difficulties of time zone, language or cultural issues, Gotham can make better use of resources while executing an effective marketing program.
  • Measurement and Reporting. Gotham excels at developing measurable analytics to gauge campaign performance.
  • Experience. Since 1989, Gotham has helped manufacturers in diverse industries build profit and revenue through strategically planned campaigns.

Is One Website Good Enough for Global Audiences?
Some exporting manufacturers believe that electronic communication has eliminated the need for local marketing communications support in other countries – that cultural differences are not as wide as many believe. In truth, they are wider. How people consume media comes directly from their culture. A website that speaks directly to the American audience provides a significant competitive advantage for foreign manufacturing entities.

Strategically Approach the American Market for Sales Success
Gotham can help by tailoring the message for the North American, South American and Canadian marketplaces, improving readability in English and reorganizing the navigation tools to better align with North American standards and preferences. The same concept applies to brochures, ads, videos, photography and most other marketing materials.

No matter how big or small the business, manufacturers looking to expand or improve the way they do business in North America and Canada will benefit from engaging a national marketing communication agency for support.

To learn more about how Gotham can provide that support, visit www.industrialmarketingexperts.com or call 828.327.8099 x 800.

Ever wondered why your leads are thin, or your close rate isn’t happening for the leads you do receive?

 Google Analytics is a free website resource that monitors websites, allowing you to gain valuable insight into your audience.  Discover traffic sources, visitors’ demographics, which pages they visit and which cause them to exit. With this marketing intelligence, you’re able to improve areas of the site that are weak.

Products and services on pages that are trending upward can be relayed to the sales force to act upon.

By monitoring the traffic and the audience location, a more accurate connection can be made to the target audience. This powerful insight may influence the creation of your next marketing campaign.

One of the most valuable assets to Analytics is measurement of any digital campaign and whether the visits from those mediums are cost effective.

Some of the top reports we recommend adding to your Dashboard include:

  • Content – identify your most viewed pages
  • Traffic Sources – find out how people are finding your website (search engines, PPC, referrals, etc.)
  • Social – which social media platforms are sending you the most traffic
  • Conversions – set up and monitor conversion goals to directly relate visits to leads and online sales
  • Technology – learn which devices are used most to view your site – whether it be a mobile phone, tablet or desktop computer.
  • Demographics – understand the age, gender and geographic locations of your visitors

Google Analytics allows you to see the entire picture, monitor metrics and ensure your marketing efforts are yielding positive results.  The various reports pinpoint exactly what needs to be updated and also what’s working well—taking the guesswork away from your next marketing strategy. It can be a powerful weapon that leads to higher ROI, more conversions and keen insights.

To have Google Analytics installed on your website or your existing web results reviewed and analyzed, contact Gotham.

Although it can be difficult to quantify the value of social media, e-mail marketing and video marketing for industrial companies, there are three distinct ways that these tools can help your business.

1.  Relationships, Partnerships, Trust Building

Social media, e-mails and videos generate more exposure for your business on various platforms. Social media is immediate and welcomes two-way conversations with prospects. According to Psychology Today, studies prove that people retain stories told through videos better than any other medium. Video marketing offers customers a visual tour of the company or effectively highlights processes—building genuine trust and authenticity.

2.  Constant contact and exposure to more than one company

Not only is social media and e-mail marketing immediate, but it is also a form of constant contact. Customers need to be exposed to a brand multiple times before it’s recognized, and e-mail is a great touch point to accomplish this. Like other tactics, email is most effective if done on a regular basis, in a series. Be careful not to oversaturate your market with a flood of emails. They should be spaced to one a month at a minimum. Videos may be posted online, shared through social media/email and become searchable on Google’s network. Watch the number of views grow! As customers watch your videos and share them on their social networks, awareness grows exponentially. Social media posts for Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn become available within seconds for all of your followers to see. These networks travel with people and maximize the opportunities for interaction. The exposure and reach that you can receive from these tools is unprecedented and shouldn’t be underestimated.

3.  Show, rather than tell, what your products are capable of

You know the old saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words”? Well, we agree…and so do your customers! Through video marketing and posting pictures on social media accounts, your followers are shown the functionality of your products. What offers more credibility? Someone telling you that a machine can do x, y and z or a visual demonstration of exactly what the machine can do? Show what your products’ capabilities arend watch your business grow!

Through these three tactics, social media, e-mail and video marketing, in conjunction with one another, you will expand your customer reach and positively impact the bottom line.

Gotham can help you connect with your customers, edge out the competition and stay relevant. To learn more about online marketing for manufacturers, visit https://industrialmarketingexperts.com/.

It’s always nice to be number one—especially on Google!

Each second, Google processes over 40,000 queries—adding up to 3.5 billion searches each day. However, there are only an average of 8.5 results on page one and a measly 5% of people continue their search onto the second page. It’s critical for your industrial company to rank page one of Google!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a tool that allows you to receive natural and free (organic) web traffic from major search engines such as Google, Yahoo/Bing. These search engines represent 98% of all search traffic. For industrial manufacturers, SEO is a vital part of maintaining and improving lead generation, increasing ROI and creating long term value.

Although it’s difficult to keep track of the algorithms, search engine optimization is a crucial tactic in the promotion mix. In 2018, companies are expected to spend $72 billion on bettering their SEO, and it’s predicted that by 2020 it will rise to $79.27 billion. In fact, for 61% of companies growing their SEO for inbound marketing is their number one priority.

 

To improve your company’s SEO, follow these six tips:

 1. Have long and informative keyword-rich content.

This content generation can be in the form of web pages, blogs, news releases, or other targeted messaging. On average, top-ranking sites on Google’s first page have 1,890 words. Content should feature keywords related to the products or services that are most desirable to sell.

2.  Provide quick website response.

The average load speed of a top ranked website is under two seconds— which is nearly 17% better than a site that ranks tenth. According to Google Data, a website that takes longer than three seconds to load  risks losing 53% of visitors. Test your website speed here.

3.  Include engaging images.

Studies show that 97% of sites on page one have at least one image on their page. Each image should demonstrate your capabilities in a creative way. Be sure to include alt image tags so search engines can understand what the image is about.  Additionally, you can take it up a notch and add videos. Video is one of the most powerful marketing tools industrial manufacturers can include on their website. Since Google now owns YouTube, and there are less videos than websites, your chances of organic search success improve significantly. Learn more about how to include videos and images here.

4.  Integrate links on your site.

A top ranked site has almost six times as many on-site links as a site ranked tenth. These links should direct visitors to different places on the site and include a clear call to action. Ensure convenient and easy to follow direction to convert prospects to customers.

5.  Maintain a low bounce rate.

The bounce rate is the percentage of users who visit a site and leave after only viewing the home page. The difference between a top ranking and poor site is an 8.7% lower bounce rate. Achieve a low bounce rate by keeping the website’s speed quick and its content engaging to the prospect.

6.  Develop a mobile friendly website.

Google ranks mobile friendly websites higher than those that are not. More Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in ten countries including the U.S. According to Forbes, the average smartphone conversion rates for e-commerce are up 64% compared to the average desktop conversion rates in 2017.

 

Quality SEO is worth the hard work and expense to have your website functioning like a well-oiled machine. This tool helps raise your organic reach and expand your bottom line. Competing manufacturers are taking advantage of online marketing tactics, and it’s time you do too.

There are varying levels of expertise regarding SEO. If you believe your site is well-optimized just because you paid someone to do it, it’s important to have a third-party review to ensure it is fully optimized.

Take the next steps to improving your industrial website with SEO by contacting Gotham, LLC, an industrial marketing firm providing both inbound and outbound marketing services to manufacturers worldwide.

 

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