marketing for foreign manufacturers

One of the surest ways to acquire a valuable long-term client is to be referred by an existing client. This can save 20–50 percent of typical new customer acquisition costs and eliminates the time-consuming and challenging three-way bid process most companies engage in because the prospect already trusts your ability to effectively handle their challenges.

Interestingly, only 30 percent of all industrial companies have a formalized referral program. To join their ranks and grow your business, here is an outline to help create a stream of regular referrals.

  1. Define goals for your referral program—what type of prospects are most desirable?
  2. Create a database of satisfied customers.
  3. Develop a communication strategy that encourages customers to provide referrals.
  4. Delineate what your expectations are for referrers/ambassadors.
  5. Provide them with simple messaging to communicate.
  6. Determine incentives for referrals—this could be a discount on future services, a cash reward, or a dinner coupon.
  7. Measure the impact of different incentives to determine what’s most effective.
  8. Reward referrers/ambassadors throughout the year with simple thank-yous, swag, and other helpful items.

Customer referrals are important to your company for many reasons and almost always have a positive effect on your bottom line. For more information regarding referral programs for manufacturers, visit

Written by Woody Stoudemire


We’re living in the digital age. Traditional marketing methods for selling industrial products are being replaced with digital marketing strategies that embrace evolving technologies. But the replacements don’t stop with your marketing department.

Even traditional sales strategies are receiving an upgrade with the emergence of new tactics. Long gone are the days where you have to spend all day trying to find customers. Today, through the use of new sales techniques, customers have the information and technology to find you.

An Overview of the New Way of Selling Industrial Products

21st century selling puts the buying power into the hands of the consumer. This is great news for industrial businesses, because they don’t have to spend as many resources manually tracking down cold leads. Today’s sales funnel would look something like this:

  • Prospect uses search engine to find solution for a need
  • They find your industrial website due to SEO or news releases
  • Your website educates them and provides a solution
  • They reach out to you, ready to discuss a buying decision

Seems much easier, doesn’t it? By the time a prospect reaches out to you, they’re near the bottom of the funnel. That makes the sales department’s job much easier.

Tips to Succeed With the New Way of Selling

When it comes to this new type of sales funnel strategy, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Test Your Sales Funnel: Digital marketing analytics provides metrics like time on site, bounce rate and other key metrics. Monitor these on a regular basis to find gaps in your sales process and improve the overall funnel.
  • Understand Conversion: The marketing and sales departments work closely to make the sales funnel successful. It’s important to understand the conversion rate. This is based off how many visitors visit the site vs. how many become paying customers.
  • Make Conversion Simple: Your contact information should be easy to spot on the website. The easier you make it, the more likely a prospect is to convert into a customer.
  • Develop a CRM Protocol: Leads won’t convert right away. It’s important to have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) protocol in place to rank leads by importance and follow up in a timely manner.
By investing in this new type of sales strategy, you can dramatically increase your leads, conversion rate and overall revenue. Don’t get left behind. Invest in a powerful marketing strategy that will work in this new way of selling your industrial products.

Learn More

To learn more about selling industrial products in the 21st century, visit



Industrial B2B marketers often invest more in trade show marketing than any other medium. Why? Because the opportunity for interpersonal access and influence to ideal customers is optimized.

The Center for Exhibition Industry Research (CEIR) provides insightful statistics about marketing effectiveness among trade show visitors:

  • 88% have not spoken to your sales staff in the past 12 months.
  • 76% say the trade show influenced buying decisions.
  • 64% talk about the event with at least six other people.
  • 76% requested a quote from a company.
  • 26% signed purchase orders at the show.

Like most good things in life, trade show success doesn’t come easy. This six-step system provides you with insight for industrial trade show marketing success.

1) Understand Objectives

This serves as the “why” behind all your effort. Most manufacturers build exhibits to increase brand awareness and generate new leads. But you may also want to introduce a new product or build deeper relationships.

Once you understand why, you can set measurable goals (e.g. “How many leads do you want?”). Finding measurable objectives will provide insight on success that qualitative goals cannot.

2) Select the Right Industrial Trade Shows for Your Company

North America has thousands of trade shows each year that feature companies competing for the attention of millions of attendees. An understanding of your objectives will help narrow down potential trade shows to the ones that work best for you.

What shows do your customers feel will add value to their operation?

3) Design a Great Trade Show Exhibit

Your booth will compete against tons of other exhibits. And everyone wants to gain the attention of attendees. A great trade show booth design will help you cut through the clutter and broadcast your message to the perfect audience.

Graphics should communicate who you are, what you do and the benefit you provide to prospects. Also keep in mind that you’ll also use your exhibit as a temporary workspace. Optimize the layout and flow to give staff room gather leads, meet people, demonstrate the product and store personal items.

4) Develop a Trade Show Promotion

Veteran marketing managers know the power of a good trade show promotion. A solid offer can boost your lead count by 33%. Pre-Show Promotions boost awareness of your exhibit before the show. It’s about spreading the word and getting people excited. At-Show Promotions work to attract more visitors to your booth.

Create promotions that speak specifically to your target customer. Don’t give away something that everyone would sign up for (e.g. an iPad). You may get a lot of “leads” but they won’t be qualified or targeted.

5) Train Your Staff for the Show

The trade show staff will mean the difference between a prospect having a meaningful experience at your exhibit, or not. Your booth staff needs to understand how to entice customers, quickly connect with them and transform a brief conversation into a qualified lead. Whether you enlist the help of sale professionals or not, you’ll need to properly prepare your team.

Each interaction will last less than 10 minutes. In fact, the more brief, the better. You want to convert someone to a lead as quickly as possible, because then you can move on to the next prospect. This guideline will help you train your staff for the show:

Engage. Stop the attendees and engage with them using leading questions. Find ways for them to share with you and avoid yes or no questions.

Qualify. Determine if they qualify as a good lead for your offering. If not, move on to the next prospect.

Present. Demo the product around the prospect’s needs. The more personalized this process feels, the better.

Close. Have them fill out a lead card and move on to the next prospect.

Prepare questions and scripts for each stage of this process.

In general, it is not recommended for trade show staff to sit down or eat in the booth. However, providing complimentary water or coffee at your booth for visitors does make a positive impression. Also, pay attention to potential barriers, like chairs, that could block access to your booth.

6) Follow Up With Leads

Once you’ve completed the trade show, it’s time to follow up with leads. According to the CEIR, a shocking 80% of leads never get a follow-up after the show. Follow-up as soon as possible. You want to remain top-of-mind and engage with leads while they still remember their interaction with you at the show.


Industrial trade show marketing can add immense value to your manufacturing business. But you have to do it correctly. With all the competition, make sure to use these six tips to stand out and generate as many leads as possible.

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For more information on making your next trade show a success, go to

Mass marketing is not as effective as it once was. It had its heyday when we had a choice of three major channels on TV and limited options for mass media otherwise.

We’re all but immune to the huge campaigns that bombard us from every angle, especially since we know that the same message is going out to millions of people and it has little or nothing to do with us.

But, when personal correspondence is received, we immediately take notice, because it involves us as individuals.

Target Marketing leverages personalization by delivering a marketing message so perfectly focused on your prospect as an individual, it impacts them on an emotional level.

How to Personalize Marketing Messages:

Target marketing combines the most personal of messaging channels – direct mail and e-mail – with powerful personalization, including PURLs (Personalized URLs) and careful measurement of the results, to create incredibly effective marketing campaigns.

To accomplish this, start with this checklist of necessary items:

  • Budget
  • Clean database of solid leads
  • Clear customer demographic
  • Feature-rich e-blast program
  • Bulk mail permit for traditional mailings
  • A time dated special offer
  • Access to comprehensive analytics for both online and offline tracking

By fine-tuning the customer demographic, you understand the ideal prospect’s motivation, and messages can be crafted to meet those needs. Expert marketers use “A-B” testing of marketing messages to understand which messages are most compelling to a demographic.

By matching the target demographic with your database of leads, the list can be narrowed to those targets most likely to respond to your messages. This results in significant cost savings over time.

A solid e-blast program like Constant Contact, AWeber or MailChimp offers list segmentation, which will be invaluable in organizing your target marketing campaigns.

Finally, comprehensive analytics – available through the e-blast program or Google analytics for online campaigns, allows you to continue to define the campaign until it is converting incredibly well.

Learn More

If any of this sounds foreign to you, and you’re interested in a full turnkey solution to your target marketing needs, contact Gotham Strategic, target marketing experts.

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