Tuesday, September 29, 2015

The Demo Expo

Would you like to try operating a backhoe or riding on an arial lift high into the sunny Kentucky air?  Does your company sell to the utility equipment market?  If the answer to either or both questions is yes, then consider attending the ICUEE Show in Louisville, KY this week.  This is one of the largest fluid power shows of the year.

Only hydraulics can provide the power and accuracy demanded by many of the vehicles serving the utilities industry.  Both the machinery and the components will be on display at ICUEE 2015.  The Demo Expo.

Teamwork @FluidPowerWorld

Working as a team is the best way to achieve success in business, sports, in community events and efforts, and all areas of activity. A team is a group of individual who bring their individual talents together for a cause.

I have heard it said that ordinary people working together for a common cause can achieve extraordinary things and I believe this to be true.  There is a synergy that is naturally created when people work together.  Not only do team members work together for the common goal, they constantly have each others' backs.

Working on a great team might even be much more rewarding than being a superstar individual.  I have worked on great teams but have not experienced superstar status at anything, so I can't speak from experience.  I do know that real teamwork does work!

I am a member of a great team now and it is called WTWH Media and Fluid Power World.  We have excellent management, experienced and insightful editors, a solid sales team, and a great support team.  This is a formula for success.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Staying Current

I think that it is reasonable to say that younger people (generally 35 and under) grasp things more quickly than older people (your guess). While that may be true, it is also true that there is no substitute for wisdom.

While younger people are quick to grasp technology i.e. cell phones, computer technology, fashion, and even lingo; this does not equal wisdom. Likewise, just because a person (over let's say 50) does not easily adapt to technology like video games, computer technology, and lingo; that does not mean thay they are irrelevant.

We cannot and should not establish relevance of a person by their modernization. For example, if a person does not adapt to Social Media or current entertainment, it does not mean that they are "out of it." Rather, we should look at their level of wisdom. How have they taken what thy have lived and learned and applied it to their daily lives and shared it with others.

I think that history shows that over time, most people adapt to current technology and living environment. I do not think that history shows that wisdom is a given.

With regard to fluid power and media coverage of the technology, Fluid Power World serves information in a variety of platforms.  This is not to say that a certain age group prefers print vs. digital, rather it is intended to surround the audience with information on their terms.  We help to build fluid power wisdom in the marketplace.  Our audience members are all relevant.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Knowing Your Market

No matter what business you are in, it is essential that you know your market.  If you are in sales, you need to know what your customers are interested in and capable of buying.  If service is your business, it is necessary to know what services your customers want and can afford.

It is not enough to simply state your goals at the beginning of the year claiming that you will increase sales by 10% or 20% without a roadmap of where the sales will be because of the needs of your customers.  Don't plan to sell a $20,000 product or service to customers that are only capable of buying $5,000 things.

If you are a manager of an organization or a teacher, the same rules apply.  You must know your market and know what they want, need, and are capable of acquiring.  Then and only then can you set about achieving your goals.

I would call this market intelligence and this kind of information needs to be observed, recorded, and passed on to other members of your organization.  Your marketing plan, sales plan, and management plan must be based on the knowledge of your market.

At Fluid Power World we know the fluid power market very well.  Our team can assist your fluid power company in reaching and surrounding your customers and prospects with fluid power information including your sales message.  For assistance with planning for a very successful 2016, please contact me at mference@wtwhmedia.com

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Consider Joining Our In-Person Fluid Power Event in 2016

There are many ways for sellers to stay in touch with buyers in our current business-to-business environment.  The use of social media continues to grow and most fluid power companies are now taking advantage of it in some way.  Of course, we have grown dependent on e-mail and voice mail to communicate.

However, it is still important to be able to meet and shake hands with one another and share our product story and successful applications.  For that very reason, Fluid Power World along with parent company, WTWH Media LLC, will host the inaugural 2016 Fluid Power Technology Conference (FPTC) at the Milwaukee School of Engineering, on June 21 and 22, 2016

This event will be different from your usual trade show in that it will be held in a much smaller setting with only 30 exhibits surrounding a conference hall where two days worth of fluid power seminar sessions will be presented.  Our exhibitors will have a chance to share their success stories with engineers, technicians, and supply chain professionals.  And, they will have a chance to shake hands too.

Please contact me for more information at mference@wtwhmedia.com

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

20 Mile Marches

Fanatic discipline sounds kind of bad. In the book Great By Choice by Jim Collins, co-author of Good to Great, fanatic discipline is one of the foundations of a sustainable great companies.

But, it is good in the context of a 20 Mile March. This is an anaolgy of a walking trip from San Diego to Maine by taking 20 miles per day and toleratiing no less but venturing no more each day. If a company sets a 20 Mile March goal for the performance of their company and tolerate no less even in difficult economic times, then they have an excellent opportunity to become a 10Xer, a high performer in this book's description.

If a company or organization can set an attainable goal for every year, do everything in their power to reach it and never rest until they get there, this is a fanatic discipline, one that leads to financial success.

So, regardless of our current economic climate, companies need to move forward to achieve their financial goals.  Marketing and advertising will continue to play an important role for all fluid power companies and we can help you to reach your goals @FluidPowerWorld.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Good Reading

As a career publishing person, I also love to read.  My reading list has been slanted toward business books for many years and I just finished two books on content and blogging.  However, I still have a favorite business book from the recent past.

Ever since I read Good to Great by Jim Collins and Jerry Porras several years ago, I have commented that it is the best business book that I have every read, and I mean it. In this book, there are many key strategic business concepts explained.

I specifically remember Getting the Right People on the Bus, The Stockdale Paradox, Level 5 Leadership, and The Hedgehog Theory. I have thought about and tried to apply these concepts ever since reading (and listening to) the book.  I also read Great by Choice which continued the story about what makes companies great.

Early in the book, three new concepts (new to me at least) are introduced and they are Productive Paranoia, Empirical Creativity, and Fanatic Discipline. In this book, similar to Good to Great, there are comparisons between very successful companies referred to as 10Xers and their comparison companies.

Reading and listening to books and podcasts about your area of business specialty is a great way to stay current.  If you have any suggestions on books, I would love to hear about them.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Customer Service and Staying in Touch, yesterday and today

You may remember a TV commercial from several years ago, I believe it was for a major airline, where a manager was addressing his team of employees about losing a major customer.  Their customer had informed the manager that they had just lost touch.

Instead of in-person meetings between this manager's company and the customer, phone, mail, and perhaps fax messages had become all too prominent (this was several years ago.)  Thus, the customer had moved on to seek better care and attention from another vendor/supplier.

That was probably about 20 years ago, if not more.  Now, fast forward to today and add e-mail, Facebook, Twiter, texting, smart phones, voice messages, and more and where do we stand?  For companies having communication problems then, are we better off, worse, or the same now?

Has advanced electronic communication brought us closer to our customers, taken us further away, or has the dynamic stayed about the same?  Are we more in-touch with today's advanced electronic communication, more out of touch, or have things remained the same?

Here is my argument.  While technology has changed communication dramatically and continues to evolve, it is our attitude that remains the critical constraint in effective business communication.  We can, and probably will, choose to use the communication tools available in the current world.  If those tools are used to aid and enhance a great attitude of customer-centric activity, we will be successful..

If we stay focused on the needs of customers regardless of which forms of communication we use most predominantly, we will be effective.

I still believe that face-to-face contact and communication is preferred and most effective.  But, in a climate where we are asked to do more, the latest tools con be the most effective if coupled with the best attitude.  Let me know how we can communicate best to review the many values of Fluid Power World to your marketing plans.

As the manager in that commercial said, I'm going to see that customer that we lost to get reacquainted.  I hope that he sets up an Outlook meeting first.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Whales, Minnows, and thoughts on selling

I once heard an analogy about selling that compares selling to fishing.  The story advises sales people to go after the big fish because that is what will yield the greatest return.

After all if you catch a thousand minnows, what do you have, a bucket full?  On the other hand, catch just one whale and you have a ship full.

This story is far from complete though.  First of all, only bait stores would be interested in catching minnows and they probably don't catch them but farm them.  Secondly, consider the cost of catching, transporting, and processing one whale?

A better place to be, especially for a small business, is somewhere in the middle.  For example, for a single fisherman or a crew of two or three, catching hundreds of a variety of edible fish seems to make sense.  If you depend on whales, what happens if you don't catch any?  On the other hand, if you fish for a variety of fish, your chances of success seem greater.

Selling requires a lot of common sense, just like fishing.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Use print to show your product and digital to tell your story

If you have read my posts in the past or talked to me personally about advertising as it relates to the fluid power industry, you know that I advocate for integrated advertising packages for all of my clients.  That simply means using print and digital advertising as well as content marketing to most effectively reach your customers and prospects.

Print and web advertising still do a great job of showing your products to the audience while telling them who you are.  Here is where you increase your brand awareness by repeatedly putting your sales message in front of a qualified audience.

Content marketing has enabled companies to get the attention of customers and prospects by telling their stories.  How do these products work, why would the customer select this products, what kind of performance is required for success?  All of these are questions that buyers and specifiers need answered.

Fluid Power World offers an excellent blend of print, digital and content marketing to all manufactures and marketers of fluid power components.  Let me help you with an integrated marketing package for 2016 to increase brand awareness and increase sales.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sharing Information - Use it to Your Advantage

Many people are cautious or even inactive all together when it comes to social media.  One of the apprehensions is that people really don't want their information out there on the internet for just anyone to see.

That is a reasonable caution since all of  your pictures that you post become rather public in a way.  Your thoughts and ideas are read and interpreted by others.  I am somewhat active on SM but, I must admit, I only post what I assume everyone and anyone will see.

Now think about using that concept to your company's advantage.  If you are posting information about your products and services to attract new customers, then the more people who see it the better.  Everyone could be a prospect.

So, for those people who you don't want to see your personal information, they can feel free to buy a cylinder or pump.  Rather than worry about who sees your posts and information on social media, use it to your advantage.

What I really mean is that you can use the power and draw of social media to your advantage if what you are diseminating is public knowledge about your produce and services.  You still have to be careful but when you are actually seeking a larger audience with public information, it is a different story.

Friday, September 11, 2015

How Do I Know Print Advertising Works?

I have been asked this question for well over three decades.  How do I answer it?

The answer remains the same with even more authority than ever because of digital media.  If you put your print advertisement in the magazine with the right audience for your products, over time, with the right message, it works.

How do I define "it works" you may ask.  Well advertising will increase your company's brand awareness making it more likely that your customers will at least consider  your brand when they make a future product selection in your category.  It will also generate sales leads, not only the ones we deliver but the phone calls and e-mail inquiries to you and your distributor partners.

Answer these questions:  Do you like to read?  Do you learn from reading?  Are you selective in what you read?  Your answers to all three questions is probably yes!  People still read and they learn from interesting and informative material, including magazines.

That is why we are expanding our print offering for Fluid Power World in 2016.  We are adding two more issues.  We will publish 8 issues of FPW plus a combined issue in January with Design World called Leadership in Engineering.

Every issue will be 100% devoted to fluid power technology and sent to an audience of OEM Design Engineers and supply chain professionals.  If your company sells fluid power components, we have the right audience for you.

I stated earlier that digital has helped make print even more attractive.  How?  Well, we send our issues of Fluid Power World through digital delivery to 100,000 recipients.  So, even if you really did not believe in print (and you really should), then just consider that every print ad is also a digital ad.

For fluid power companies, Fluid Power World is the place to be in 2016.  Contact me for advertising  information and for my consultation mference@wtwhmedia.com

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Planning for 2016

For all marketers of fluid power components, now is generally the start of the planning season for next year's marketing programs.  Early indications are that 2016 should be a reasonably good year and getting better as we head toward a stronger 2017.

At Fluid Power World, we have made plans that can help all marketers in our industry in 2016.  A solid program of print, digital, e-mail, custom, and in-person will raise awareness of any company's products while generating sales leads and we can help with all of the above.

In 2016, FPW will be expanding to a total of nine print issues starting with our combined Leadership in Engineering Issue with Design World in January.  This is one of our most popular issues of the year as it features profiles of all of our advertisers.

The remaining months for print issues in 2016 are February, March, April, May, June - Fluid Power Handbook, August, September, and November.  Every issue will feature mobile hydraulics, industrial hydraulics, pneumatics, a product focus, and may great monthly departments.  We have greatly to our editorial team as Ken Korane, a well-known fluid power editor, has joined out team.

We have also added the Fluid Power Technical Conference scheduled for June 2016 in Milwaukee making our marketing portfolio even more complete.  Join us in 2016 to increase your sales and market share.  Contact me for consultation at mference@wtwhmedia.com

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

The Future of Precision Hydraulics: A Webinar

Would you like to know more about how smart cylinders are helping to shape the future of precision hydraulics?  If so, then sign up today for this free webinar that will be taking place on September 25, 2015.

The sponsor of the webinar is Prince Manufacturing, manufacturer of mobile cylinders, valves, pumps, and more.  In the video, Prince will explain Smart Cylinders as to how they function, how to utilize the signal information, the benefits sensors provide, and cost considerations critical to making the switch to position sensing cylinders.

Join us for this video webinar.  When you click register for the webinar, we will send you a reminder e-mail.  You can join the video feed on that day or pick up the archived webinar.  Either way, you will learn about the future of precision hydraulics.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

2015 ICUEE

The ICUEE Show is right around the corner.  That stands for International Construction & Utility Equipment Exposition also known as the Demo Expo because exhibitors will allow some attendees to actually operate their machinery on display.  Others demo how their equipment works in an expansive outdoor exhibition area at the Kentucky Exposition Center in Louisville.

This show has always been a place where mobile hydraulics can been reviewed by attendees.  I counted at least 70 fluid power component manufacturers exhibiting at ICUEE 2015.  In addition to that, most of the equipment on display gets its power from fluid power.

If your company uses utility and utility construction equipment, this is the place to be.  Learn more form their website by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Traditional Media

In the fluid power world, traditional media works very well.  It creates brand awareness and educates buyers and specifiers.  That is why we launched Fluid Power World last year.  Our magazine has grown from two issues in 2014 to six issues this year to eight issues planned for 2016.

Print is truly traditional media in the industrial B-to-B marketing space and we at FPW are becoming leaders in this space.  We have a great editorial team led by Paul Heney and Mary Gannon who oversee and produce great fluid power content in our print issues.  They have lots of help from our internal assistant editors Michelle DiFrangia and Michael Santora.  We have awesome contributors like Josh Cosford and Ron Marshall.

Website advertising in the form of banners is now traditional media in my estimation.  Web banners have been around for almost 20 years in the fluid power space, thus making it traditional.  In my opinion, it still works to increase brand awareness for our advertisers.  We provide content that your audience finds interesting and surround that content with our advertisers' messages ...  traditional.

The same can be said for e-newsletters as they have been around for many years and have functioned well to carry editorial content surrounded by sales messages to interested, opt-in audience members.  Yes, the content is repurposed for print, web, and e-news and some is unique to the format.  These are still all traditional media and they all work very well.

As I have written about in this space before, all of the media world is in a transitionary phase and we at Fluid Power World are participating in that as well.  We offer custom media packages for disseminating content from our advertisers to our audience and have carried them out very well.

Please contact me anytime for plans to use our traditional and newly designed media options to work for your company mference@wtwhmedia.com