On September 15, hundreds of industrial marketers gathered in Cleveland, Ohio for the Industrial Marketing Summit (IMS). Attendees participated in four separate sessions led by industry experts. The CADENAS PARTsolutions team listened, learned, and reflected to present these top four takeaways.
Integrate your teams to build stronger relationships
During the first session of the IMS, MJ Peters, the Vice President of Marketing of CoLab Software, spoke on how she built an entire team to support CoLab’s marketing efforts. The key to her success? Engaging internal teams in a new way.
“Marketing and finance are far apart in most organizations, but they are two sides of the same coin,” Peters said. She explained that understanding the quarterly finance reports for her company provided great insight into how to better run her team. “Being able to understand finance’s needs helped me pitch for budget. If I wanted to run a new campaign, I knew how to justify the cost.”
Additionally, Peters advocated for marketers working more closely with their sales team. Sales teams know clients’ needs inside and out, and utilizing that knowledge builds stronger, more relevant content.
The second IMS session raised similar points. Daniel Williams, CIO at Samtec Inc., and Ashley Quinlan, Samtec’s Vice President of Global Distribution and Marketing Strategy, spoke on the relationship they’ve built between marketing and IT at their company. After much collaboration, the two found a new appreciation for the other’s work. That understanding led to a more streamlined content delivery system.
Williams said, “We now meet our customers where they are.”
To which Quinlan responded, “That sounds so simple, but it really takes a lot of research and relationship building – both internally and externally.”
Technical information needs to be digestible
Kicking off the afternoon sessions, TREW Marketing’s CEO, Wendy Covey, and Senior Brand Strategist, Morgan Norris, discussed how marketers can better deliver highly technical information. The stakes are high when it comes to technical purchases, which is why technical buyers research more deeply, consume more content, and have a longer buyer’s journey.
“Stats show that leading buyers to relevant content can make a big impact when handing leads off to your sales team,” Covey explained. Marketers should approach content planning using a buyer-centric strategy. Thinking of the buyer first leads industrial marketers to the right questions and, ultimately, to more relevant content.
Norris wrapped up the session with tips on delivering technical information. Doing research prior to content creation leads marketers to better understand the topic, which in turn allows them to more easily break down and explain the topic to the end user. Essentially, if you know what you are talking about, so will your readers.
“As someone new to the industrial industry, I found Morgan’s insight wildly beneficial,” Shelby Huber, Content Marketing Manager for CADENAS PARTsolutions, said. “I have already carved out time to consume more content from our clients as well as seek out content created for our clients’ customers.”
The most useful resources are the ones you already have
The final session of IMS was a panel discussion with Lara Schneider, Senior Marketing Manager at Toshiba International Corporation, Eddie Saunders Jr., Head of Demand Generation at Flex Machine Tools, and John Vander Linden, Director of Digital Customer Experience at Columbus McKinnon.
Using current resources more efficiently was the resounding theme of this discussion. Saunders discussed using distributors and existing contact lists to better understand customer needs. Vander Linden spoke on how understanding current customers can help marketers understand future customers. While Schneider focused on the importance of optimizing key performance indicators to best match present data.
“Tie your KPIs to your current business goals and customer feedback to help your leadership team understand the importance of your work,” finished Schneider. Internal communication is a must when optimizing your content strategy.
After the session, Allison Williams, the Account Based Marketing Team Lead at CADENAS PARTsolutions noted, “IMS taught me how to use the resources within our company to gain ideas and knowledge about our technology. Our team is an asset and can be used to its full potential just by asking questions.”
The CADENAS PARTsolutions team is full of support
Around 20 employees from CADENAS PARTsolutions attended the IMS. Backgrounds ranged from sales to engineering to user experience and design. Although each attendee engaged through a different lens, everyone had a similar takeaway. The IMS was educational and a lot of fun!
“I already knew I would learn a lot from the Industrial Marketing Summit, but I did not expect to build such strong relationships in just three days,” Kelly Obbie, the team’s Social Media Coordinator, said. “I have talked with all these people virtually for over a year, and meeting everyone in person for the first time and having longer conversations about work and life was a blast. It’s a great way to network within the content marketing industry and for CADENAS to grow as a team.”
Sheri Haan, a Business Development Representative with CADENAS, shared a similar sentiment. “It makes me excited to work with a group of such smart, fun people. I am so happy to have a strong team to grow with.”
The team is looking forward to more events in the future!
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