ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 31

To avoid the mistakes made above,
below are five crucial steps to identifying an experienced marketing agency
for your manufacturing company.

Finding the right
marketing firm
When searching for the right marketing firm, first consider how much
experience the firm has, not only in
working with manufacturing companies, but also its actual manufacturing
industry experience. Finding an agency that specializes in manufacturing is
vitally important when thinking about
your marketing needs.
Agencies that handle various businesses typically create campaigns and
strategies that aren't effective in the
manufacturing and industrial industries. These strategies lead to wasted
time and money while the agencies
figure out your company's needs.
Often this hinders you, the client,
tremendously, the relationship dissolves and then you have to go back
to the drawing board.
You want to look for people with
experience in what you do. This
doesn't necessarily mean that if you're
a plastics company you must look for
people who specifically work in plastics, but you should look for an agency
that only works in the manufacturing
industry from a marketing standpoint.
Preferably, the CEO, the key officials
and the employees will have experience in this niche.

What capabilities does the
marketing agency have?
There are several questions you should
ask when selecting an agency: Does this
marketing agency just concentrate on
one type of marketing? Does it do web
design, content marketing and social
media management? Does it specialize
in LinkedIn marketing or just Facebook
and Twitter? Asking these initial questions helps you narrow down which
agency will work for you.

Something important to keep in mind
is that social media management will
only be effective for your manufacturing company if the agency specializes
in LinkedIn. Facebook and Twitter
aren't effective for reaching your target
demographic. Where is the attention
of your target demographic? Where are
engineers, purchasers and operators at
these OEMs? Where are they spending
time online? It's not necessarily Facebook. They're usually on Facebook, but
not for business. Where are they from a
business position? They're on LinkedIn,
because it produces the best return on
investment (ROI) for manufacturers.
Think about it this way. The capabilities of the marketing agency you choose
are extremely important, because you
don't want to use two to four different
suppliers - you want one. Manufacturing companies try to get business
from OEMs by offering a value proposition that they can be a single source.
A single source is a one-stop shop that
can handle all your needs.
Ideally, in the same way, one marketing agency can help you develop
your brand, modify your brand and
keep your brand consistent across all
platforms. That's what you want - a
uniform brand - and the best way to
achieve that is with one agency that
understands and supports your brand.
Whether it's web, search engine optimization, online presence, search engine
management, trade show displays,
graphics, pitches, decks or print collateral, you want one marketing agency to
cover all aspects or be willing to expand
into those areas.

Choosing your marketing
partner
The next step in choosing a marketing
partner is to look at examples of its
work, talk to existing and previous
clients, and ask for references. If you're
looking for web design, evaluate how
the firm has designed its own sites. Are
the designs outdated center column

stacks with unused real estate on the
left and right sides, or are they fullwidth? Full-width web design has been
the standard since 2014, and yet many
new websites are still being developed
in the old style. This is a complete
waste of time and money.
Also look at the agency's graphics,
the campaigns it runs and whether
it focuses on LinkedIn or social with
LinkedIn. Look at its own LinkedIn
efforts, at how many connections it
has, how much content it produces
and its engagement. Past examples
of its work will help you decide if it
matches your style; not every agency is
going to be in sync with your aesthetic. Creativity is 100 percent subjective
to the person viewing it. Keep in mind
that marketing agencies don't have total control over creative output. If the
client wants something a certain way
and the marketing agency disagrees,
the marketing agency can fight it,
but at the end of the day it is not the
agency's company or website, and the
agency has to do what the client asks.
Most importantly, utilize data -
it doesn't lie. Everything should be
data-driven, especially decisions about
how to adjust campaigns and tactics.
Ask for data, stats, graphs and charts
that can actually show the marketing
agency is an expert. If you don't get
enough information from the agency,
then speak to existing clients. Ask
them about the process, how efficient
it is, how smooth it is, whether the
agency is responsive and how the
clients feel about working with that
specific agency.
Remember, the opinion of your
target demographic matters, and you
need to divert your creative control
over to the agency. If the agency works
in manufacturing, then it knows what
works and doesn't work. Just because
you enjoy reading industry magazines
doesn't mean your target demographic does, and therefore you shouldn't

31



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ILMA Compoundings March 2018

LETTER FROM THE CEO
INSIDE ILMA
WHAT’S COMING UP
INDUSTRY RUNDOWN
In the Know
International Insight
Market Report
IS A JOINT VENTURE THE ANSWER?
WHERE’S YOUR INVENTORY?
SPEAKING YOUR LANGUAGE
BUSINESS HUB
COUNSEL COMPOUND
WASHINGTON LANDSCAPE
IN NETWORK
Member Connections
Cross Connections
PORTRAIT
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - Cover1
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - Cover2
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 1
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 2
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - LETTER FROM THE CEO
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - INSIDE ILMA
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 5
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 6
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 7
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 8
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 9
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - WHAT’S COMING UP
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 11
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - INDUSTRY RUNDOWN
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - In the Know
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - International Insight
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 15
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 16
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 17
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - Market Report
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 19
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - IS A JOINT VENTURE THE ANSWER?
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 21
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 22
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 23
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - WHERE’S YOUR INVENTORY?
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 25
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 26
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 27
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 28
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 29
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - SPEAKING YOUR LANGUAGE
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 31
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 32
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 33
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - BUSINESS HUB
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 35
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - COUNSEL COMPOUND
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 37
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 38
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - WASHINGTON LANDSCAPE
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - Member Connections
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 41
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - Cross Connections
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - 43
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - PORTRAIT
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - Cover3
ILMA Compoundings March 2018 - Cover4
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