Monday, March 31, 2014

Getting Noticed

Here are some great tips about your digital content that I found on Twitter.  Click here for the article.  It is more important than ever for companies to carefully use all of the resources available to them to publicize their business and products or services.  There are just so many avenues available today with all of the social media options.

This article should help companies to plan and carry out their content marketing activities to maximize exposure and effectiveness.  This does not mean that traditional media is out of the picture for delivering content.  In fact, we play a bigger role than ever.  This is especially true for media entities that integrate all of their content.

At Design World, we produce great content in print and leverage that same content over our digital network including websites, e-newsletters, webinars, white papers, and more.  We back it up with our own social media network.

If you would like to more consultation about integrating media, content marketing, and social media, please contact me at mference@wtwhmedia.com.  I would be happy to share what I have learned.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Fluid Power Product Information

The Design World website offers users a display of fluid power products and you can access that information by clicking here.  You will find an archive of product reviews for all types of fluid power components.

If your company is a manufacturer of fluid power components and related products, I invite you to send us your press releases.  We can publicize them in our print edition of Design World and on our website.  We also pick up these product reviews for our e-newletters.  Please contact me if you would like assistance with that at mference@wtwhmedia.com.


  


If video learning is your strength, we offer extensive video content about how things work.  You can access that by clicking here.  And again, if your company has fluid power instructional videos, please contact me about getting those posted on our website.

Here is a sample video.

We do have a wealth of fluid power content and it is available worldwide through our digital network.  In June, we will publish our 2014 Fluid Power Handbook and that will be adding more great fluid power content to our existing information.  Again, would your company like to contribute?


Monday, March 24, 2014

More Manufacturing News

The month of February was good for manufacturing according to a report by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) that shows a rebound form the January decline.  There was some speculation that severer weather in January affected the overall performance of the manufacturing sector of our economy.

It looks like that might be true because some Federal Reserve numbers released for March show strength in manufacturing also.  Furthermore, manufacturers seem to be upbeat about the next six months.  This perception is very important for continued growth of manufacturing in the U.S.  Of course, such growth will help the fluid power industry as mobile and industrial machinery continues to be built and ordered for many OEM markets like Construction, Machine Tools, Medical, and more.

Housing starts showed a slight gain in February to an annualized rate of 907,000 from 905,000 in January.  Again, good news for fluid power because of the need for all kinds of mobile components on small construction machinery like skid steers.  This is a very important fluid power market.

I just feel that it is so important to continue seeing positive or at least encouraging economic reports.  I am looking forward to the next NFPA economic update because it so carefully frames all of the economic news and how it impacts the fluid power market.  For more information on how you can be included in those webcasts, go to their website.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Using your website as a sales tool

I often hear from my clients that they are either not happy with their website or are in the process of updating it.  A company's website is a key sales tool whether they admit it or not.

Search engines have forever changed industrial marketing.  Often, a prospective customer for an industrial company's products has his or her first contact with that company through their website.  While many companies have done a great job of making their site graphically appealing, some have fallen short in the area of inclusiveness.

Here are some very good website tips from Core Element that I found on Twitter.  This article uses some common sense to advise companies to regularly update their website with the kind of information that their prospective customers want and need.

I have found that the Contact Us or About Us functions of industrial company websites vary greatly and often omits important contact information.  I can't help to think that while companies are attempting to block unwanted e-mail solicitations, they may also be shutting out potential business.

It is much more inviting to click on a Contact Us page and find

          For sales, contact Joe Smith at  - and then give his phone number and e-mail
          For service contact Mary Jones -  same

While this may invite unwanted contacts, it also invites prospects to make the contact.  It is a fine line that companies straddle to privacy versus ease of contact.  What does your company do?

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Relaxation is important in business

Success in business requires lots of effort and, often, lots of time.  It is important to balance your work with down time and relaxation.


This really is a beautiful world that God gave us.  Take time out of your busy week to enjoy and appreciate it.  Often the most pleasant things are free like a simple walk in the woods on a Saturday afternoon.

You need to be re-energized and get away from your work, even if you love it!  Take time away each week, maybe even each day to enjoy nature, fresh air, and relaxation.


I'll see you on the trail.  Then back at it.


The two forms of fluid power - pneumatics - hydraulics explained

I have been around the fluid power industry for many years so the term fluid power to me instantly means both forms, pneumatics or compressed air, and hydraulics.  Here is an article from Josh Cosford from Design World that thoughtfully explains the difference between the two.

Both have their specific areas of strength.  In mobile equipment like construction, agriculture, and mining, hydraulics is the logical choice because of the force required and the mobile nature of the machinery.  For automation applications, pneumatics is the logical choice.



As Josh points out in this article, the two forms of fluid power, pneumatics and hydraulics, are very similar in that they use many of the same types of components like valves and cylinders.  The big difference is the medium meaning air for pneumatics and oil for hydraulics.

Thanks to Josh for this explanation for those who do not have that instant recall because of experience.  It makes a lot of sense.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Service and Social Media

As I have posted before, I believe that social media will continue to increase it's role in marketing in both consumer and business markets.  I don't it will replace traditional media but it will certainly work with it and be a factor going forward.

Companies should have a social media strategy that includes the content that should be put into the social stream about their company and which of their employees are authorized to tweet, blog, and more about the company.

On the flip side, social media can play a negative role for a company.  Consider the capability of social messages about service problems with a company or product.  Negative experiences, shared on social, get attention.

This factor needs to be considered by companies in all businesses.  They need to be aware of what is being posted so that they can use that information in a positive way about their company and products.  It gets more complicated as this medium grows.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Webinars, they work

What exactly is a webinar.  Well let me refer to Joe Pulizzi author of Epic Content Marketing who, in his book chapter 19 on Content Types spells out:

Take your presentation and put it online, that is the essence of the webinar or webcast.  Visually the content is delivered slide by slide in the online equivalent of a live presentation.

Thanks again Joe, I really like the book and recommend it to all marketers!

At Design World, we offer webinars to our fluid power customers.  We deliver information and resources that enable an engineer to design products faster, easier, and under budget.  At the core of the Design World media platform is to deliver information to the user on their terms in print, online, social media, and on-demand.

The Design World webinar series enables the OEM supplier community to work with Design World editors on preparing and delivering both editorial and custom content.

We have a fluid power webinar planned for October.  Would your company be interested in sponsoring?  Please let me know at mference@wtwhmedia.com

Monday, March 17, 2014

Fluid Power e-books

Design World offers our audience e-books on a variety of topics including fluid power.  What is an e-book.  Here is one definition:

An e-book is a report, generally 12 to 40 pages or more in length, that presents complex information in a visually attractive, reader-friendly format.  From Epic Content Marketing by Joe Pulizzi.

Design World Tech Tip e-books combine DW editorial content with advertisers' to produce a custom online optimized interactive PDF e-book to position them as a leader in their field.

If this sounds interesting, please give me a call at 408-769-1188 and I can help you to get an e-book published.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mobile Hydraulic Tips

One of the great features offered to our audience and to our advertisers by Design World is our website titled Mobile Hydraulic Tips.  This website reviews and features components and systems for mobile equipment including construction, agricultural, mining, and more.

Check out this site as a resource for technical fluid power information and as a source for your advertising.  Couple that with our Mobile Hydraulic Tips e-newsletter that is sent to 60,000 opt-in recipients, and you have a great connection between buyers and sellers of mobile hydraulic components.

You can subscribe to the e-newsletter to ensure that our great content is delivered to your inbox.  Visit our Mobile Hydraulic Tips website often for product updates.  If your company is a supplier to the mobile markets, let us publish your press releases in both places.

For more information, contact me at 408-769-1188 or mference@wtwhmedia.com

Having Fun at IFPE

I know that I have posted lots of information about how successful IFPE 2014 was a few weeks ago at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  It was a fantastic display of fluid power technology, opportunities for interacting and learning more, and a real boost for our industry.

It was also fun.  Many companies hosted hospitality parties during the week.  One in particular that catches my attention was one hosted by Brennan Industries.  At the top of the Las Vegas Hotel, we were treated to great food and beverages, super entertainment, and excellent opportunities to network with other industry professionals.

As a representative of Design World, I had the opportunity to interact with fluid power professionals from many of our industry's leading companies.  I also had some fun.


We had a great time with Elvis, Marilyn, Frank, Sammy, and Dean.  It was a wonderful evening.  Thank you Brennan Industries!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Fluid Power and Social Media

I am often asked about social media by marketers of fluid power components.  Most of them are using social media to some extent.  Here are some helpful tips about SM that I actually found on Twitter from @Danielle_Prager.

This is an ongoing and unfolding medium that continues to find useful ways to help companies to market their products, including fluid power companies.  My advice from the beginning was to have a company strategist manage the process so the correct messages are getting out.  Now that advice is much more complicated and I think that Danielle, has some great advice that I agree with.

All of SM can be useful to your company's marketing program.  It does not replace more traditional media but works with it.

At Design World, we offer some great service in the area of Social Media.  I would be happy to assist you in finding was that we can help.  Just give me a call at 408-769-1188.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Did I say it was hard to believe?

Well if I didn't, let me say it now, ConExpo/ConAgg/IFPE happens once every three years and I can see why.  There is so much going on there, it is hard to believe that it gets set up in three years (not really.)  But it is an amazing display of machinery.


I have been to a lot of trade shows and there is none quite like this.  There is so much machinery on display, a visitor can hardly take it all in.  It is a fantastic event and a huge boost for the construction equipment industry.

Of course, the construction industry depends on growth in construction.  But, this show alone should provide a lift to the industry simply because visitors can see just how advanced the newest equipment has become.  Great job by AEM in producing this excellent show!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Coming in June

In June 2014, Design World will publish the Fluid Power Handbook.  This special edition was initiated a few years ago to serve great fluid power content to our readers.  Here is a link to the 2013 edition.


In June, we will once again deliver tutorial fluid power content on several component groups that make up the fluid power industry.  Engineers need information on how components work and how they fit into a fluid power system.  This edition will offer many design solutions.

While you are reviewing our 2013 edition, you can also subscribe for you own digital edition of Design World.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Learn through fluid power videos

If you were at the IFPE Show in Las Vegas last week, you may have seen our video team lead by John Hansel doing video shoots right there at the show.  This is a great way to capture the live action at a trade show and especially to showcase fluid power technology.

On the Design World website, we feature several educational fluid power videos and you can access that information right here.  Our editors, Paul Heney and Mary Gannon, do a great job of explaining the functionality of the various component groups that make up the fluid power industry.

Video is a great way to deliver content to our audience to go along with print, websites, and e-newsletters.  Some people learn faster with video.  For educational videos on general design engineering topics, click here.  This will take you to our general video page.

Stay tuned in the coming weeks for all of the great content captured at the IFPE last week.  They will provide yet another opportunity for our audience to experience fluid power content.

Monday, March 10, 2014

More good signs

Well as I thought last week, the ADP jobs report for February showed an increase of 1,000 manufacturing with a total of 139,000 new jobs.  It appears that the rough weather throughout most of the country did have a negative but temporary effect on the economy.

Combined with last week's solid ISM Manufacturing report, it appears that the trend for manufacturing is positive again.  167,000 manufacturing jobs have been added since August 2013.

Last week, ConExpo/ConAgg and the IFPE Shows were held at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  While I do not have the overall attendance count yet, the shows were very successful with large crowds in attendance each day.


A combination of official economic reports and a sense for how things are going is often the best way to gauge the state of the economy.  With the positive reports coming out plus the high level of activity at the Con/Expo Show last week, I would say that we are moving in the right direction.

This is good news for the fluid power industry.  Remember, the predictions at last year's NFPA Industry and Economic Outlook Conference were for good years in 2014 through 2016.  It appears that we are following that path.

Read 30 Minutes Each Day in Your Field

I have often quoted one of my favorite authors and business experts, Brian Tracy.  If you want to know more about him, check out his website with many tools to help your career.

One of my key takeaways from reading and listening to Brian, is his advice to read 30 minutes every day in your field.  If you just commit to reading that much, you will gain an advantage in your career that is so very valuable.

If you have a career in sales, find authors like Brian to follow.  If you are an engineer, find excellent sources of information to study every dat to add to your knowledge base.  I now represent Design World Magazine and Digital Network.  We offer an abundance of great engineering content in print and online.

I recommend that you visit our website to access our volumes of engineering content including our fluid power articles, product reviews, company reviews, and much more.  You can also subscribe to our monthly magazine and our e-newsletters.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

The Magic Story

I have written about this story in the past but I feel that it is important enough to mention again.  Reading the Magic Story could provide your career and life a great boost.  I am not guaranteeing that but it is a pretty amazing story.

It is basically a self-help story that should be applicable to most people if not everyone.  I actually stumbled upon it because it was included in another audio program that I purchased.  Give it a try and link to this story and you will see what I mean.

Essentially, there are two possible versions of every person, positive and negative.  We can slip into the negative and not even realize it. We may always live in the positive version of ourself and never experience the negative.

At any rate, if you strive for the positive, you should find it and achieve it and the negative will fade away.  I believe that I have found the positive in a very big way recently.  It feels great and I just wanted to share this story with you.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

IFPE 2014 a great ride for 5 days

Well, today is the last day for the IFPE Show held in conjunction with ConExpo/ConAgg at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  The show only takes place every three years and I can see why, it is massive.


The IFPE Show is a pretty big deal for the fluid power industry, not only in the U.S. but for the whole world.  There were exhibitors and attendees from everywhere.  It is impressive.


But the ConExpo/ConAgg Show is almost beyond belief.  It is so huge that I almost can't imagine anyone visiting every booth in the five day period that the show is open.  If you have never visited ConExpo/ConAgg, it is hard to actually explain the immensity of the event.


I compliment the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and the National Fluid Power Association for managing and hosting really one of the greatest events in U.S. industry.  It is an amazing five days and it seems to get better every three years!



Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Valves, Transducers, Hydraulic Filters, Seals, and Cylinders

There is so much to see at the 2014 IFPE Show being held this week at the Las Vegas Convention Center.  The show is held concurrently with the ConExpo/ConAgg Show.  This combination features the largest display of construction equipment available anywhere in North America.

All of the products listed in the title plus many more will be displayed at the IFPE Show. These are the basic components that make construction machinery work.  For a list of companies displaying these products, click on this link.

The IFPE Show began in 1984 in Chicago as the International Fluid Power Exposition and was held every four years.  It has evolved over time to a triennial show held in Las Vegas and the actual name of the show how is the International Exposition for Power Transmission.  The intention of the name change was to incorporate electrical and mechanical components into the show.

This year, there is not an actual printed show guide.  You remember those books that were available in the lobbies of all major trade show?  Well, it looks like mobile apps have taken over the job of the printed guides.

There are advantages and disadvantages of this arrangement.  On one hand, the printed material is always there if you have the guide.  On the other hand, the app is there on your phone that you have with you anyway.  You can get the app at www.nfpa.com

At any rate, we are offering a complete list of exhibitors and you can access that in our February issue.  You can also visit this site for the list.

Monday, March 3, 2014

So Sorry

This post does not directly involve fluid power or sales and marketing.  Instead, it refers to a very simple life skill, the ability to apologize.

I have been a fan of Ken Blanchard, author of many helpful business books.  I saw this post on Twitter that caught my attention because of Mr. Blanchard.  The post referred to apologizing and here is the article titled 8 Essentials of an Effective Apology.

Actually, in the field of sales and customer service, saying that you are sorry in an effective way can be critical to success.  Mistakes happen, orders arrive late, we sometimes serve up defective or wrong orders.  Not only do we need to make good, we need to convey to our customers that we are sorry.  This article offers help.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Gaining Customer Affinity

In his book, Epic Content Marketing, author Joe refers to success criteria with regard to many topics including content creation and management.  One particular sentence really caught my attention and it refers to primary criteria for success being customer and employee affinity.

The Merriam-Webster definition for affinity reads:  a feeling of closeness and understanding that someone has for another person because of their similar qualities, ideas, or interests.  Wow, while Joe was referring to content, that also rings true for every customer relationship.

If a salesperson shares the same qualities, ideas, and interests as their customer, and that includes the success of the customer's business, then that salesperson has the very foundation of success in their profession of sales.  That foundation paves the way for matching up the salesperson's offerings with the buyers needs to achieve success.

This holds true across the entire sales profession, whether it is components, materials, finished machinery, service, or  even advertising.  If the salesperson shares an interest in the success of the buyer, he or she has the primary criteria for success.