When you look at a company with a heritage lasting more than a century, that’s obviously a company that knows what it’s doing. However, many longstanding companies still face the monumental challenge of adapting to meet the demands of today’s increasingly digital world. When it comes to marketing, many companies with legendary capabilities don’t showcase those capabilities effectively online.
In our recent Crafted webinar “The Highly Effective Manufacturing Website”, we discussed how to create a highly effective manufacturing website. The discussion covered topics ranging from how to develop an intuitive user experience to ways to build an effective lead generator.
Mark: All right. Hello everybody and welcome to the Crafted webinar on the Highly Effective Manufacturing Website. My name is Mark O’Brien and we’ve got as the main speaker here, Rob Hawse. Hey, Rob.
Rob: Hey, Mark. How are you?
Mark: Doing well, doing well. Rob is founder and president of Crafted. In that role and with this firm, what he and the firm have been able to do for the past 20 years … Actually, 20 plus years now, right? 23 years now?
Rob: Yes, that’s right.
Mark: 23 years, he’s been working with manufacturing companies to really figure out how to properly brand them and, ultimately, really generate business for them. That’s the business he’s in, of really figuring out what marketing tools and techniques are responsible for reliable business generation. Today we’re talking about the Highly Effective Manufacturing Website. Just the outset here, I want to mention that what we mean by highly effective is that it actually has a very clear, and consistent, and deep impact on the business by generating leads for your firm. That’s where the bar is. Aside from that nothing else really matters. as long as that box is checked, then we’re in good shape. Rob and his firm have decades of experience doing this. Today he’s going to share with us the main tenants of that. What are the key indicators, what are the real things that need to be in place in order for your website to work for you as hard as possible.
Quick housekeeping item before we get into the actual content, over in the right-hand pane, you’ll see a Q&A tab. You can go ahead and ask any questions you’ve got in there. I’d encourage you to just go and ask them as you have them. If you think of a question or something you want to make sure that we touch on, just go ahead and jot it down in that window, and we’ll see it, and we’ll keep it for the end. We’ll do a Q&A. We’ve got about 40 minutes or so of content for you today, and then we’ll probably get into a 15 minute Q&A session, time permitting. We’re looking forward to that. Don’t hold those questions to the end, just go ahead and send them as soon as you think of them. For now, I think we’re ready to get going. Rob, are you ready to take it away?
Rob: Yes. Thanks a lot, Mark. Thanks for the nice intro. Okay, so let’s ago ahead and get started with just a real quick agenda here, just to give you an idea of what we’re be going through today. 4 simple items. First we’re going to talk about getting it right. This is going to be about your business foundation and getting your company prepared to take on a project of this size. Then we’re going to hand it over to Mark and he’s going to be talking about digital strategy and technology. Both of those are about 15 minutes each. From there, we’re going to go into a particular case study. We’re going to look at dynacast.com and talk about that particular success story. We’ll spend about 20 minutes in there. As Mark mentioned, we’ll leave about 10 minutes for Q&A. We always get more questions than we have time to answer, but don’t let that stop you because we’ll answer everyone of them via email after the event, so we encourage you to please send those in.
All right. We’ve got a ton of stuff to cover, so let’s jump right in here. We’re going to start focusing on your business. I want to start with some really common pain points that we found in the industry. We’ve talked to many founders, CEOs, marketing directors within manufacturing over the years, and found there’s really 5 common points of pain when it comes to managing their existing site. The funny thing about this, and that is actually a sad part about this, is that these pain points come up even after someone has completed a site, which is really unfortunate. Let’s go through those quickly.
Number 1, our site looks dated and doesn’t look like who we are. We found manufacturers, for whatever reason, tend to emulate their competitors instead of looking within for direction. We’ll talk more about that later.
Number 2, our site doesn’t do anything. It’s like a digital brochure. You have to remember today that customers are very savvy, and they’re expecting an engaging user experience that changes on a regular basis.
Number 3, everything we go to update our site it’s like an act of congress. The days of being held hostage by your web master are gone. At the core of any dynamic website is a powerful CMS. It allows you to update your site, very simply, one click at a time.
Number 4, we’re a thought leader in our industry and no one knows it. You know, we haven’t met a manufacturing company yet that isn’t loaded with talent when it comes to unique talent. The trick is to transform the culture to a content generating machine. We’ll get into that with more detail in a bit.
Number 5 and possibly the most important, no one can find us in search. Everyone today uses Google or some other search engine to find you on the internet. All manufacturers we’re working with are making the same mistakes. They’re not adding enough unique content to their site each month, and when you do add content, you’re adding it trapped up in a PDF, or some other unsearchable format, and seldom are your sites optimized for search. They’re just simply not set up for Google to go in to look through them, so they simply can’t find you.
Let’s move along here and talk about what’s trending in marketing for manufacturers. Basically, we’re going to go through just a couple of quick trends here to set this up.
Number 1, new methods for selling. It’s getting harder to close deals using traditional selling methods. The years of traditional selling methods in manufacturing are really far gone. Manufacturers are looking to come up with alternative methods because it’s getting hard to get market share. What we want to focus on is inbound marketing strategies by adding unique content that Google can help your customers find.
Number 2, is savvy customers thanks to the internet. Remember that B2B customer is also B2C customer. We’re all behaving in a similar way when it comes to research on the internet.
Number 3, more transparency and authenticity. Customers are looking for more access to the process. They want to know what you do, how do you do it, and why they do it. This is something that’s really important to them, and it’s a way for them to connect like belief systems, which is how you create raving fans and loyal customers.
Number 4, the customer experience that’s unique to you. The interesting statistic out right now, that suggests that 89% of business leaders believe that the customer experience or spending time working on the customer experience will be their primary basis for competition. Think about that. Primary basis for competition. Companies are starting to unpack their customer experience to make sure that they’re including in the customer throughout the entire experience. Remember that your website should play a huge role in this experience. You have envision the customer weaving in and out of your website, from when they first hear about you all the way through to when they’re referring you to one of their colleagues. If they’re not interacting with your website throughout this process, you’re missing a huge opportunity.
All right, let’s move along to some common strategies that manufacturers seem to overlook. Too many manufacturers begin a web project at a complete disadvantage and they never have the chance to reach their potential. For whatever reason in manufacturing everyone takes the “me too” approach when it comes to marketing. They pay more attention to their competitors, and they end up emulating them. Mark and I have spent a great deal of time perfecting the process to build the Highly Effective Manufacturing Website, but you have to make sure your company is prepared, and we’d like you to include these 5 strategies in your planning.
Number 1, a strong brand foundation. Having a strong brand foundation is like a foundation of a house. It’s hard to build a house on a weak foundation. No matter how simple or how complex your house is, if you want to survive a storm, you need to have a strong foundation. The same holds true when you’re building a new site. Without a strong brand foundation, you could be putting your site project at risk, so take the time to dust off your brand positioning, your foundational attributes, your brand personality, brand story, and your value proposition, because without clarity here, it will be hard for your audience to understand what differentiates you from the competing brands.
Number 2, are you being authentic? You know, if you offer incredible service, why show the same picture of the cute brunette with the headset on? I don’t know why everyone does this in the industry, but over 50% of manufacturers use these type of photographs to represent their customer service. Do you really think anyone believes that she works there or, better yet, that she’s going to take your call, or even be good at servicing your product? You want to make sure that you take the time to create your own video and photographic library. It’s a foundational step towards portraying yourself in an authentic way. Your customers are demanding this. Remember? We talked about that when we were reviewing the trends. Don’t take this the wrong way. We’re not asking you to share all of your trade secrets, but just get customers excited about you and your brand. You got to give them more than you’re giving then now. Your goal is to make your customer envision what it would be like to work with you.
Number 3, know who’s visiting you. This is an area that’s often missed very early on. Who are we talking to? Who’s going to be visiting our site? Understanding that you can’t create messaging that resonates with everyone is one thing, but knowing who it resonates with is the real difference. You have to spend some time on that early on before you start the site. Take the time to identify your ideal customer and then write their personas. Have some fun with it. Name them. We do that. You can take a look at the ones that are here, in the visual, it suggests that amongst any given crowd, your customers could be hiding in there. We have Victor, the Visionary, and then Ollie the Omnivore. This is the person that absolutely consumes every part of your website. In the manufacturing industry, that’s typically the less experienced engineer. You can see we have several of them here. We’ve got Barry the bottom liner. He’s kind of the captain last resort web user. He’ll go to the website at the very, very last moment and only if he’s not able to achieve that on a phone calls. It’s really important to know who these people are so that, as you build the site, and as you shape the content, you’ll know what to say.
Number 4, facilitating thought leadership. This is a big one, and it’s always met with adversity. You’ll hear Mark talk in a few moments about how much content you should be adding to your site each month, and it’s going to blow you away because it’s a lot. The beauty of thought leadership within manufacturing companies is it already exists. We’ve been so surprised at just how much content is really out there, so it’s really about formalizing who writes it or who adds the content to your site, and we like to call those subject matter experts. In the photograph here, we’re suggesting that amongst all of the office cubes, and if you were to go out into your facility and look through the cubes today, you’re never really sure which one is going to be the biggest contributor. Our favorite quote, consists among all of our customers is, “Everyone’s already working 10 hours a day. How are we going to ask anyone to do anything more?” But you will be so surprised at how addicted they become to adding content. A simple success story. We have a particular manufacturer that we’ve worked with for quite some time now, and when they started off, they came kicking and screaming, and didn’t want to participate in this at such a high level. They started off with 4, and less than 2 years later, there’s over 50 people in the company blogging on a regular basis. They’ve become a content generating machine. This is very important topic. Trust me when I say the content exists. It’s about transforming your culture.
Number 5, is all about alignment. How many times have you started a project when everyone is not on the same page? You may be able to get it past some departments, but is it really right? Is it really as effective as it can be? How aligned your organization is around what, how, and why you do what you do will be the difference in a site that embraces your ideal audience versus one that tries to cast the net too wide. To get laser focused you need everyone in the company on board.
Rob: That covers the preparation side of building the Highly Effective Manufacturing Website. I’d like to hand it over to Mark now, and we’re going to start talking about how to get it right, and the digital strategy and technology. Mark?
Mark: Hi, Rob. Well, thank you very much. Now it’s time to get into a different level of this. It will continue on all the themes Rob was talking about. When he was talking about how the selling dynamic has changed, and how traditional methods aren’t really working anymore, the importance of having the right brand foundation, the importance of understanding who you’re speaking to, and all of these high level and, in many ways, age old marketing maxims, they are the foundation of how to create a website that actually has a significant and measurable impact on your business which, again, is all we’re talking about. Significant and measurable impacts by creating high qualified late stage leads. What you see here is that it’s really not just about the website.
Up here on the screen we’ve got the 6 primary elements that affect the effectiveness of the lead development system. We often times call it that. For a webinar like this, we can’t call a lead development ecosystem because you wouldn’t know what we were talking about, but now that we’ve got you, and that we’ve laid the groundwork here, we can tell you that. It’s actually not about the website. The website is a critical part of it, but for the website to do the job it needs to do, it needs some help. These 5 other components are that help. Here, from the top, you see we’ve got CRM. That stands for Customer Relationship Management. Some popular CRM tools are Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Sugar CMR, Zoho. On the right hand-side of MA, that’s short for Marketing Automation. Some popular automation tools are HubSpot, Pardot, ELOQUA, Marketo, Act-on. Lots and lots of good tools out there for that.
Then you see, you’ve got the contacts, content and positioning. What I want to do is, break this chart down a little bit, and talk about what’s really going on behind scenes, and why these things are so important. We’re going to break this into 4 sections. The tools, the roles, the fuel and the foundation. Again, it’s of the lead development ecosystem, this combination of 6 elements that allow your digital marketing to really shine. First you’ve got the tools, and you do of course have the website, but we also have CRM and automation, that top line of the chart we just looked at. The thing about these tools is that they’re amazing. You can do things now that the biggest companies of the world were not even dreaming of 10 years ago.
Now this functionality, the technical horsepower is available to businesses of all sizes. That’s great. The problem is, a lot of people have these tools. Having the tools is easy. Buying this stuff is incredibly easy. What’s hard is actually using it. We’ve liken this to having a gym membership. You’ve got 10 people sitting around the table, and you ask, “Who has a gym membership here?” You might get 7 or so people raising their hand. Then you say, “Okay, everyone who is actually using that membership on a regular basis keep your hand raised.” If you got 3 people with their hand still up, you’re lucky. [The participation with marketing automation is like that.
Automation and the technology that’s available here is so alluring. It’s really captivating. We’re going to look at some of these things, but I don’t want to look at these things until I give you this in a very real, pragmatic preamble here, which is, in it of itself won’t do anything. These companies are great at selling incredibly attractive stuff, and they’ll ask you in the sales process, when they’re showing this, they’ll ask you, “How could your business not benefit from this?” You’re going to say, “Well, clearly it can right?” At that point you don’t even want to let them down, right? You’ve seen this stuff. It looks like it’s magic, but nothing is magic.
What really matters is whether or not you’re using it, and 60% of businesses, not just manufacturers, but businesses who have marketing automation are not using it. This stuff’s expensive. It’s affordable compared to what it used to be, but it’s not free. What’s really not free is the opportunity cost lost. What we want to do is have these systems and use them properly. What is required to get something out of these tools is the fulfillment of these 4 roles. We want to make sure your system is doing an incredible job of attractive, informing, engaging, and nurturing qualified prospects. Let’s break this down. Of these 4 roles, the first 3 really belong to the website.
The website’s responsible attracting, informing, and engaging. Attracting is primarily about search engine optimization. About having a great relationship with Google. When we’re seeing of the attract role, it goes back to Rob’s point about knowing who serve, knowing who your customers and prospects are, what we want to attract, the type of person we want to attract is what we refer to as specific masses. Those who desperately need your help, but don’t know you exist. When you think about marketing, was it marketing? Marketing is, bring greater exposure to your brand. That’s the whole point of it. We want to make sure we’re reaching the unreached, the people who need you but don’t know you’re there. That represents the greatest opportunity in order to grow your business.
Now, that’s not to say, all the people who already know about you, that people are coming to your website, it’s not we don’t care about them. We care about them plenty, as much as we ever have, but we want to make sure that we’re also tapping into that untapped potential. Google is a great way of doing that. That’s our way of reaching these people. Basically what happens is, a prospect of yours, who doesn’t know they’re a prospect of yours, they’ve got a manufacturing problem. They got a real issue. They have no idea what your company name is, they don’t know your name. They don’t know anything about you, but they know their problem in great detail, and they know they need to solve it, so they do what we all do when we have questions.
They go to Google and they search. This happens all the time. I have yet to meet a business whose customers don’t use Google. I just haven’t met one. They go to Google and they search but, again, they’re not searching for you. They’re searching for an answer to their specific problem. At Google, if your site has that answer, sends them to the page on your site that has that exact answer. I can guarantee you, it is not your homepage. This is one of these new rules or marketing. Your homepage is not your homepage. Your homepage is every single page of your site. A great exercise to run through is to go to your site and find the deepest, darkest page you can, and look at it, and ask yourself, “Okay, if I were a prime prospect for my business and this were my first experience with my site, would I stay or would I go?”
It can be quite sobering test, but it’s a very valid test because that is how it is. We’re going to look at very clear example of this after this section, when we go to dynacast.com and actually take a close look at how this is working, these roles of attract, inform, engage. With inform, there’s this person that lands on a blog post that you wrote a year ago, which is an incredibly common scenario. We want to make sure when they land there, within the 10 seconds, that they understand where they are, they understand who you are, what you do as a business, and what else is on the site that they might be interested in. That’s a lot of work to do in 10 seconds and an intelligently crafted website will do that. It’s going to nail that.
There’re different tools we use. We use related content, we use intuitive navigation, we use something called predictive search that we’ll show you. Various tools that can be created to basically make sure that when the right person lands on your site, they know they’re in the right place. The greatest crime that’s committed here at this stage, and in fact happens all the time is that the right person does land on your website, but they do not realize they’re in the right place, and they go back to Google. If we put up any barrier at all to our prospects, if we make it the least bit difficult, they know they’re one back button away from a million other results.
Your site, your brand is 100% guilty until proven innocent. They don’t owe you anything. They don’t care about who you are. Until the moment you answer their question, there’s no bond. The moment you answer their question, there’s a significant bond. We’ll talk about that. Actually we’ll talk about now because that’s all about engaging, right? When people get to your site, and they ask Google a question they don’t know the answer to, and Google says, “Oh, yeah. This manufacturer of Toledo, this page on that site, has the answer” you get to that page, the prospect gets to that page, and low and behold, that page actually does have the answer.
That’s a double trust bond that’s been created. The first trust bond is Google referring you. That’s the world’s most trusted and largest referral network, is Google. When we get to a Google search end results page, we believe that the organic results are good results. That’s why we went to Google in the first place. We trust them. When Google recommends you, that trust is extended to your brand. Then they click through to your site, to the exact page, and that page does answer their question. Wow, okay. Now they’re really interested. When they’re on that page and they’re informed in the right-hand sidebar, they see links to 3 other articles that answer other question you have recently. They start clicking through these articles and they realize, “Wow, this site, I feel like this is built for me.”
When you build a site that is built for a firm that does have a strong brand foundation as Rob mentioned, that does have a keen awareness of the key audience members, as Rob mentioned, when those audience members, when the right kind of person gets to your website, they feel like they struck gold because they did. Because what we all want is a good partner. We all want to find the right company. No one’s selling anything. We’re all businesses building trust and putting ourselves out there, and doing great work. When you’re in that position, all that you really need to do is allow Google to connect the right people with you, but the integrity of your brand, the expertise, the quality of the product, that is what’s going to sell it.
That’s what sells. Not any salesmen, not any fancy brochure. It’s you. It’s what you’re made up of, it’s what sells the stuff. You site simply needs to be a very clear representation of what your firm is actually about. A big part of that is creating content, which we’ll talk about. When this individual gets to your site and realizes they’ve struck gold, that your site is an incredible educational resource, and educational resource for them, not a sales tool for you, that is not what your site’s about. Your site exists to educate your prospects, to build a trust based bond with those prospects. When they realize that, that’s when you want to engage them.
That’s when they can sign up to receive more information. That’s when they can register for a webinar, download a white paper, subscribe to a podcast stream, whatever it might be. You want them to just be able to continue that relationship based on whatever stage they’re in in the buying cycle, be it the research stage, the evaluation stage, or the purchase stage. That’s what we need to have happen. Too many manufacturing sites, in fact the vast, vast majority of manufacturing sites, at least in North America, I go to those sites, and read them, and Rob’s done this a thousand times, what they’re basically saying is, “If you’re ready to buy now, great, otherwise we couldn’t care less.” They’re saying that by not having any options for engagement for anyone other than the people in the purchase stage.
The strange thing about that is that those same manufacturers fully expect to be in business 2 years from now, and today’s researcher is tomorrow’s purchaser, so we want to make sure that we’re doing a great job creating as many relationships as possible with the right prospects, so that they sign up for whatever it is they’re thinking about in the research stage, and from that point forward, you’re nurturing them through your content. Again, through this educational stuff, so that by the time they are the purchasers, often times years later, you’re the first brand they think of. That’s how this stuff works. We looked at how the tools of the website CRM and automation really are beholding to the roles. If these roles of attract, inform, engage and nurture aren’t being fulfilled, it doesn’t matter what tools you have, or how much you paid for, they’re not going to do anything with you, or do anything for you.
These roles are actually completely dependent on the fuel. We’ve mentioned this a number of times now, the content and the contacts. The right quantity and quality of both. The key number here is 3000. 3000 words of unique, expert indexable content added to your site every month. 3000 words of unique, expert indexable site added to your site each month. Then, at least 3000 contacts in your system. 3000 of these kinds of people. The right prospects, the people that you want to be calling you. 3000 of those. We understand that you’re not looking to have 3000 new clients tomorrow, but there’s a set of maps that we have behind the scenes that we’d be happy to share with you that basically shows how many people you need to be nurturing in order to always have enough highly qualified leads at the end of the funnel.
We’re talking about big, big, big numbers, and it doesn’t cost any more, take any more energy to nurture 300 thousand people than it does 3 people. You just put all that in the bucket, you have your system, you’ve got your content, you’ve got your website, you’ve got your automation tool, and you want to as many good prospects being exposed to that system as possible. The contact side is actually quite easy. There’re lots of great effective and morally upstanding ways to amass those contacts in short order for relatively low investment. The content side is hard. It’s really hard to shortcut that. As Rob mentioned earlier, you’ve got experts right underneath your nose. Tons of them, way more than you think.
Rob’s team has created systems for extracting that knowledge out of those experts in a very easy, painless, regular way, so we can gather up all that wonderful expertise inside of your firm and put it on your website, so that Google can read it and then do the otherwise impossible job of making sure that every single person around the planet who cares about stuff finds you. That’s how that works, but without the right content, and without the right contacts, it’s impossible. It really does come down to this, but even this thing, the ability for you to create this right content, and to amass the right contacts relies, let’s come back full circle, right back to what Rob mentioned towards the beginning of this webinar, the foundation. Your positioning, your understanding of what your unique value proposition is, your understanding of who your prospects are, of why they’re buying, of what pain points you’re solving for them. It all comes down to this. Anything you want to add to that, Rob?
Rob: Yeah, I’ll just throw in that basically one of our requirements on all of our sites is that the company that actually put their positioning statement front and center on their website, so everyone is aligned and believing in the same topic, the same foundational aspect, and you’ll see that when we jump in here to Dynacast. This is it, the time to switch over to Dynacast.
Mark: Let’s do it. All right.
Rob: All right. If you could go ahead and bring up the site …
Mark: Sure. All right.
Rob: We’re going to come into the traditional homepage, even though all of the pages, as you’ll see, are capable of being the homepage, but I do want you to see the actual homepage. Basically, what you’re greeted with here at Dynacast is, you can see above the full picture at the bottom of the screen, is their positioning statement. Dynacast helps world leading organizations turn their most ambitious ideas into the highest quality, precision metal components. You remember we talked about authenticity, and I’ll take you to another section in here in just a second, I want you to just see that what was important to Dynacast was that we were able to show a video as the greeting element on their homepage.
Basically what this does is, it gives you an idea of what it’s like to go to one of their manufacturing facilities, what their people are like, what their processes are like, and what it might be like to work with them. You can see that this has a real, authentic feel to it. They specialize in die casting and metal injection molding of small precision parts. One of the things that was really important for us is to identify the personas that we talked about. Who’s visiting this site? We’ve got product designers, engineers, purchasing agents, entrepreneurs, investors and, lastly, students. Yes, students are a really, really important visitor because they’re going to be our customers of the future, so the manner in which your site embraces them is really important. Mark, let’s navigate over to … Go to under Corporate.
Rob: Then let’s go to careers because I just wanted to just say off something.
Mark: Okay, go ahead.
Rob: Yes. It’s that Corporate, Career. Basically you remember when we were talking about authenticity I showed you the picture of a customer service photography that everyone seems to use. This is Mary. Mary has been with Dynacast for quite some time. The average tenure there is about 10 years. I’m sure in all of your facilities, which is very common with manufacturing, you’ll find the same thing. I wanted you to just be able to see how genuine this picture is. It’s a lot easier for us as customers to envision interacting with her than it is with this stock photography shown in the beginning of the presentation. I encourage you to take the time to go through the site. We’re going to take you to a couple of other places, but remember, this site is nearing 700 pages of unique content, and they’re adding more each week. Google absolutely loves them and it’s showing up in their search results. Mark, let’s take a look at some common search phrases in this industry.
Mark: Okay. All right. What we want to do now is tie this actual live site, you can see I’m on dynacast.com, this is the real deal, we want to tie this back to those roles we were talking about, of attract, inform, engage, and nurture, and see how this works through this specific manufacturer site. The first thing I mentioned was attracting, and about bringing the specific masses, people who desperately need your expertise but maybe don’t know you exist. The way to do that is through organic non-branded search. Here’s an example of a organic non-branded search phrase. The benefits of multi-slide technology.
This is a very generic industry term that makes a lot of sense inside of Dynacast industry. Doesn’t mention Dynacast, doesn’t mention their locations, doesn’t mention any key personnel. It’s wholly non-branded, but Google knows that the answer about benefits of multi-slide technology happens to be found on the Dynacast website. You click right through it. As of that click we, as a potential prospect, have been effectively attracted. We’re on this site. But as I mentioned, when you get to the site, we’re not going to land on the homepage because we were not asking about Dynacast. If we were, it would have gone to the homepage, but we’re asking about the benefits of multi-slide technology, so we’re here, and the first job of the site is to deliver, to talk about what those benefits are, to give us some real information.
Okay? This is one blog post among many. When you’re adding 3000 words of content to your site per month, you’re adding roughly 60 pages per year. Some of Rob’s clients in the manufacturing space are doing much, much more than that. Often times they’ll start doing a little bit, they’ll see it start to work, and all of a sudden you can’t stop them from creating this content. It’s extraordinary and it can ratchet up exponentially. Even hitting the minimum of 3000, that’s 60 new pages a year. On any page, Google is indexing all sorts of different phrases. It’s not as if this is the only phrase that brings you to this page from Google. Google actually goes through this page and reads all the content. They know what you’re saying. They’ve judged on your grammatically quality, quality of the grammar on the site. Google is paying close, close attention because they want to merge the right person with the right page. That their mission. We’ve got here. Now the next job is to inform the prospect. How does that work, Rob?
Rob: There’s a couple of ways that work. We have opportunities here on the web page to stay informed. You’ll see that we have, Mark, if you’ll click through that, we have a real simple message. You just enter your information and submit, and whether you have newsletters or blog posts which you send out on a regular basis, this would be the way that you do that. We have related blog posts. What’s happening, even though Google directs you to this particular blog post, we have other blog posts that that customer may be interested in. The idea is to draw them deeper into your site. Then, one other point I wanted to bring up is the share feature that we have.
A really important aspect of your site is to make sure that you have this on every page. Not everyone wants to raise their hand and enter their information during their first visit, but if they find you to be a tremendous resource, they may want to share that within their network, and so this is a great way to send articles to your boss, or to a co-worker, through whatever social means you would like. There was another point I wanted to bring up, Mark. If you could go back to the previous blog.
Rob: It’s actually one of the most addictive parts of writing blog posts. If you scroll down to the bottom, you’ll see that there’s comments. This is what we refer to as the sales people of our future. In manufacturing, we’re finding that the traditional selling methods, which we talked about in the beginning when we were talking about trends, they’re starting to get more and more difficult as the space becomes more crowded. How do you find customers and maintain those customers when they weren’t really looking for you? What we’re finding is that the blog writers are actually becoming the salesmen of the future.
You can see here, through just basic interaction, they’re a great opportunity for someone to just raise their hand, maybe have a point clarified. Not necessarily ready to buy yet, but if they have a trusted resource, they’ll come back to them every single time. That’s a real, real critical part. When your blog writers start doing this, and this starts happening to them, they become addicted, and they want to share more and more of their knowledge.
Mark: Absolutely. This is sort of interaction is so interesting because this is an article Dynacast wrote, but then the public starts to contribute and this content gets indexed as well. Google is reading this content you got for free. It also helps to expose you, your brand, to a more personal dialogue. Here you get to see how Dynacast interacts with its prospects, which makes a more human kind of brand as well. Continue on the inform roll. Since they’ll get here and they need to find their way to the right things, Rob mentioned the related blog posts. That’s great. Basic logic there is, you got in this page, you probably care about these things, and it makes it really easy for you to get to those things. We also want to make sure that the navigation is incredibly intuitive, so you can go through, scan over the nav and give yourself a very quick virtual tour of what’s going on in this site. We also have this really interesting tool that’s been creating, called predictive search. You want to talk about that, Rob?
Rob: Yeah. It’s a really handy feature that customers can basically type in whatever they want. During the web build, we get to control what these answers are. This is a point where we’re working closely with you to try to determine what these results are going to be. As you type, predictive search starts feeding up different parts of the site, whether it be web pages, or blog posts, or what have you, whatever that content can be found. Let’s go into the MIM tooling here. This is just mental injection molding. This is basically, as I mentioned before, not unlike the homepage. You’re greeted with the same level of content, it’s rich indexable content. It’s authentic photography. You still have your share feature in place. You’ll notice that we have the CTAs on the right-hand side. We still have the Stay Informed there. If you, in fact, have already entered your information in there, that would no longer be an option. Mark, you want to talk a little bit about that feature?
Mark: Yeah. That’s something that’s sort of the 202 level of this material, which is called progressive profiling. This is where automation starts getting into the mix. With automation, basically what’s happening behind the scenes is that we’re watching every single thing someone does on the site, and if the purpose of the site is lead development, that’s why we have the site to generate leads for your business, then, this real estate here is actually the most important real estate because this is how people become leads. This is how people enter those trust based relationships with you. This is how you educate your prospects and nurture them over time, and escort them through different stages of the buying cycle. This is how you do it.
If, for example, you’ve already filled out the Stay Informed CTA, and they’ve given us that first name, and last name, and email to the process, well, we’re never going to show them that CTA again because we’re basically wasting space. We’re selling what’s already been sold. Also, we already know the first and last 7 emails, so the next time we show them the CTA, we’re going to show them different fields, and then learn more about them. One nice thing about this page that’s critical is that, we mentioned how important it is to engage people at different stages of the buying cycle. The research stage, the evaluation stage and the purchase stage. In this page and every other page in the site, you’ll see that we’re able to do that. If you’re a researcher or evaluator, you want to be educated because you’re going to stay informed. If you’re a purchaser, well, great. You may request your quote and you can go right to this page to do that. This page is pretty interesting and what’s going on in this beginning. This location targeting here.
Rob: Yes, what happens here is that the site predicts where you are based on IP addresses, and it serves up the appropriate information for that particular location. In this particular case you’re seeing who’s going to be your sales contact, what their phone number is, their address, what country they’re in. Dynacast, they have 11 different sites going on at the same time, all updated by one CMS, which is really impressive. This particular Request a Quote form gives you an opportunity to opt in to different levels of information along the way, ultimately down to Leaving a message down at the bottom.
Mark: This is a very clear example of attracting, informing, and engaging. Once people do go through all those different levels, then it’s time to go back in automation because it’s time to nurture. As we’re nurturing people, as people are filling up these forms, we’re learning about them. We’re actually watching every move they make. This is what lead scoring is all about. When you’ve got thousands of people on your website per month, and you have thousands of people you’re mailing out to, no one inside of your organization has the time to look at these individuals and see what they’re doing. We’re attracting all of them, but you don’t have the time to look at this.
What we do, at the very beginning, if the purpose of this system is to regularly generate highly qualified leads, at the very beginning we want to ask you, what are the highly quality high lead look like? Demographically, where do they work? What’s their title? What are their responsibilities? That kind of thing. This is just an example of how this would look, but we can attribute points to different demographics. What we can also do is attribute points to different behaviors. What pages have they visited? What forms have they filled out? What assets have they downloaded? What emails do they open and click through on? We’re watching everything.
When the right kind of individual, the good demographic match for your prospect, does the right kind of things, they’re hitting the right pages and exhibiting the right behavior, we tell you proactively. There’re all different ways you can get alerts. You get alerts, when the right prospect says the right stuff. You can get alerted when specific companies use it. You can get alerted when any individual visits regardless of their behavior. All kind of alerts you get, and you get an alert, all you do is click the link that’s sent to you in an email and you get into a screen like this. This is a quite powerful prospect viewing screen that exists only inside of your system. This is private information that only you can see.
As soon as someone engages on your site, they fill out any form, anywhere on your site, we take that email address and we see what’s publicly available. We’re not stealing anything. We can just see what’s publicly available through primarily social network. We may be able to see where they work, what their title is, what social networks they’re a part of. We can actually click into their instance of their social networks and see whatever they make public. Where they live, what their interests are, that kind of thing. You can also go down here and click this play button, and watch a video of everything they’ve ever done on your site.
What Rob’s firm is so great at, is creating these systems that do genuinely represent the brand in a really honest trustworthy way. These systems bring in the right prospects from all over the globe, who really need to know about this brand. They do a great job of educating these people as to what the brand is about, bring them into engagement with the brand based on whatever stage in the buying cycle they’re in, and then keep the relation going, and track them, and watch them. Once these people get into the right stage of the buying cycle, once it makes sense to reach out to them and talk with them … Only then. We’re not going to rush this, right? Then, putting these people in front of you so that you can go to a screen like this and we, in probably 15 seconds, get a sense of who they are, what they might be interested in, if they’re a good prospects of not, and if so, how you may want to follow up with them intelligently.
For 43 minutes or so here, we’ve given a lot of information out. I’m sure there’s lots to ask about here, and we’re really excited to hear about your questions, so any questions you might have, please go ahead and start typing them in. We’ve actually already gotten a few. Thank you so much to those who have put the questions in already. We’re going to start with those but, by all means, as you got questions, go ahead and fill them in. Rob, let’s see. I’m going to pull some out here. Harry, out of Des Moines. He says, “Okay, could you talk a bit about ROI? My boss would never go for a website unless we focused on that piece, so what’s the ROI of a system like this?”
Rob: Mark, and I think you and I both can answer this. I’ll start with one that we hear the most, is really what you’ve talked most about today, and that’s the lead development. What we found with manufacturers is that, when we start off, typically what happens is, whether it’s independent distribution, or it’s distribution that you run, they basically have a sales network. It doesn’t necessarily trust these leads. They’re not used to getting them and they’re not really sure that they’re going to be worth anything. What happens is, as the company starts to digest the fact that you’re site is generating leads on a regular basis, you can start attributing that to closed sales. You can start to close the loop and create what’s known as close loop marketing. Much of that depends on the available resources to do that. Anything you want to add to that?
Mark: Yeah, well, again, we want to go back to the top of this and talk about what the goal of this is to regularly create highly qualified leads. This is where the CRM piece, which we really haven’t talked much about, the CRM piece is critical. When you have the CRM in place, you’re actually looking at the sales numbers and everything else, and you’re able to look at specifically which marketing assets contributed to close sales. Over time, it usually takes a good year for that data to develop, because often times, sales cycles for manufacturers are quite long, and we’ve got to get beginning to end sales cycles in to this system. After the first year kicks in, you’re able to actually map back all sorts of driven marketing assets to the specific closed business, and then, what’s really powerful is, you’re going to start to see trends among those close sales. That’s pretty powerful. That’s something that’s revolutionary. That was not possible a few years ago. The idea that we’ve actually got clear cut ROI that directly translates to actual bottom line dollars, and how many bottom line dollars. It’s pretty exciting from our marketing perspective.
Rob: I’d like to also add that one of the more challenging pieces of ROI to sell really is when you go back to the foundation that we’ve talked about before. If you were to go back to your office and say, “Our biggest return of investment is going to be that we’re completely aligned, and we have strong brand foundation, and a strong position in the marketplace, everyone in the leadership team is on board” it’s still not the ROI they’re looking for. They want a dollar figure before they end up investing in a site, but I will tell, after this year goes by, I’m fortunate to get together that that’s the single biggest take way into that year, is how together the company is and how aligned they are around this one mission.
Mark: Yeah, makes perfect sense. Let’s go to the next question. Sarah asks, “How long does it take to create a website of this caliber?” which is a fair question.
Rob: It is a fair question. It’s a great question. We like for our customers to budget 9 months to a year. The reason we add the additional 3 months, the web build is about 9 months, but prior to that is all this preparation, all this planning. Getting the company ready to take on a project of this size. We talked about how important that was in the beginning of this webinar and I’ll say it again. If you’re not completely prepared to take on a project like this, then you could be investing a lot of money and end up with disappointing results, so 9 months to a year is what we like to budget.
Mark: That certainly makes a lot of sense. To think of that kind of investment. What’s funny about this is, often times, once manufacturers decide they want to do this, they want it live tomorrow. That’s not the kind of investment you’re making here. This is not about putting up something in 2 months just to get it up because you’re so horribly sick of your current website, you can’t stand anymore. This is a long term investment and you have to put a serious structure in place here, if you actually want it to be able to have a significant impact on your bottom line. Okay, we probably have time for 2 more questions before we break here. Mark asks, “How much involvement should be expected from us during the project?” I’m not sure what Mark’s title is, but assuming he’s director or marketing or something, how much is he going to be involved in a project like this?
Rob: That’s also a great question. The involvement is a big one because we’re working together to create this site. The expectation is that you’re going to participate in just about every facet of it. With the exception with the actual coding of the project, but for the first several months, we’re going to be working closely together. We do this much like this webinar, depending on your location. Sometimes we do them in person, but it’s quite often we get on the phone several times a week, and we’re working through 1 hour sessions that are pretty intense. We’re literally building the site together as we go. It’s a phenomenal technology. Mark, can you talk a little bit about that?
Mark: Before talking about the technology, Rob, what you guys are so good at is applying these deep, and in some cases profound, marketing best practices to the manufacturing industry specifically. You’ve got the goods from the marketing perspective. We spend a lot of time on the technology side, but what really matters is the client. You can’t create this in a vacuum, no matter how good you are, Rob, with the firm. You can’t just go ahead and create a website in vacuum and come out with this perfect product. What really is necessary is for the client to show up and, the way I would say it is, Crafted, they’re the marketing experts in this equation. The client is the expert of their business, their own personal business. In order for this thing to work, it’s got to be closely related and closely reflect the deep, and often times, intricate truth of that business. There’s a lot of involvement from the client. It’s work, right?
Rob: It is work, but it’s fun work because it’s very organized and very structured. It’s probably one of the most enjoyable parts, minus going live, of the site experience, is just literally getting through and build it together, and watch it come together right in front of you. What’s the nice thing about this is that, no matter how many of these projects we do, every single one of them is very different. The reason they’re very different is because we spend so much time trying to work with you on sharing more of yourself, which makes a big difference in the end.
Mark: The thing about this is that, what you’ve guys have done is you’ve cracked the code, and you’re pretty open about sharing all the basic components of that code today. You figured out how to create these marketing systems that do reliably generate leads. That’s figured out, but it’s NOT easy. I’ve always found that no matter how hard the effective solution is, it’s so much easier than the sum investment of all the ineffective solutions. We’ve seen manufacturers pursue a lot of ineffective solutions over the years, spend a lot of money, spend a lot of time, and get nothing out of it. This works, but it takes work, right?
Yes. All right. Let’s take one last question here. Let’s see. Okay. Derek asks, “Our sales funnel is increasing from the leads we are generating to our business. However, we’re facing bottlenecks of leads not being followed up on in a timely manner.” This is classic. “Do other clients customers face this issue as lead generating increases?” Okay. This is huge, Derek, and thanks for asking this question. This, again, is where CRM comes in. This could actually easily be a part 2 webinar here. When we’re looking at business development we’ve got 2 aspects of that, Derek. We’ve got marketing and we’ve got sales. Everything we’re looking at here is marketing. The marketing’s job is to generate qualified leads. That’s it. Sales job is to close those leads.
Now, the traditional dynamic in the manufacturing industry that is horrible, and incredibly inefficient, and very frustrating for everybody involved is that sales always says, “Marketing sends us junk leads.” Marketing always says, “Sales never follows up on the leads.” With this system, especially because of the relationship between the CRM, which is a sales tool, and the automation tool, which is the marketing tool, there’s a bridge there. Keep in mind, when creating a system like this, the very thing we talk about is actually sitting down with sales and marketing at the same table, and ask them, “What is a highly qualified lead?”
You tell us. Specifically, demographically, point by point, behaviorally, point by point. “Who is it, sales, you want to see? Marketing gives you junk leads? Fine. Tell us what a great lead is, specifically” and we build the entire system around that. When that great lead shows up, that sales person, and that rep in that territory gets that link that we looked at earlier, and that sales person is watching that video, and marketing knows sales got that link. That sales creates the opportunity in CRM, logs on the follow up, and then closes it. That shows up in the revenue attribution reports that marketing has access to.
The bottleneck of sales can be solved in part by technology. Now, we also need good old-fashioned human-to-human cooperation, but we know what things to look out for, and you know culturally, where the hang ups tend to be. Working with the culture realities of your particular firm, along with the technological solutions that we’ve seen Crafted deliver to many firms like yours, that’s how this is solved, but basically the harmony between CRM and automation is key, as long as everyone has the right goals going into this, and everyone understands what a highly qualified lead is. Anything you add to that, Rob?
Rob: I think you nailed that. I will say just quickly that this is very common. Much like the adding content to your site, you become really, really good at that, the same thing happens with how you manage leads. In the beginning you may be very overwhelmed, and these bottle necks may pop up, but then as you start to use the technology to solve some of those challenges, it starts to get easier and easier. The beauty of it is there’s great time to get really creative with using marketing automation. There’s all kinds of really interesting things you can use to enhance the customer experience using automation.
Mark: For me, one of the most exciting things I’ve seen as somewhat of a by-standard in this process is watching Rob, your firm, work with companies with this exact problem. I’m thinking of one particular manufacturer, not Dynacast but a different one, will remain unnamed at the moment. This was an age old issue with them, that the sales people never followed up with the leads. We had a call with them, 2 weeks ago, and the sales people are all over these leads now. All it takes is one. As soon as one rep sees that the website is generating good leads, those reps talk to each other, and they know what’s going on. It catches on like wild fire. As soon as that first good lead closes, then all of a sudden, the website is no longer the enemy. It’s the ally.
Rob: With that same client, one of the interesting things that happened was, you basically have a sales force that is “cow pathing”. Or at least we like to refer to it as “cow pathing”. They’re calling on the same people over, and over, and over again, and quite possibly if it’s a generational business. Their fathers called on the same people over and over again. There are certain companies that become taboo. You would never call on these companies because that’s the competitors’ customer. The beauty of getting involved with building sites like this is that now, you’re attracting people to you outside of that network, and all of a sudden, you’re doing business with people that you never thought you had permission to go in and call on.
It’s that moment that your sales people become addicted to the leads. When they see that they can use the site and they can use the marketing automation as a tool to crack into companies that they’ve never been able to call on before. This is how you get market share. This is how you increase market share because, typically, your market share is defined by a sales force that’s used to calling on the same group of people. Sometimes you’re often limited by your sales force. To expand that, we open ourselves up. We share more of ourselves and we welcome the world in. This is a great way to just increase your market share.
Mark: Great. All right. Well, that’s all we’re going to have time for today. We’re about the top of the hour. Rob, thank you so much. Really enjoyed this. Hope everyone who attended got a lot out of it. Rob, I think you’ll be following up with everybody after this webinar, over the next week or so?
Rob: Absolutely. Thanks a lot for participating.
Mark: All right. Thanks everybody. Have a good day.
Rob: Thanks everybody.
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