So, this morning I read a piece on Seth Godin's Blog about creating an algorithm for your business.
Not a completely unique idea by any means – make your business model simple, reliable, repeatable. My take-away was that the strength of having developed an algorithm is that it "… allows you to be smart about problems you haven't seen before." That is what good industrial marketing sounds like.
Today I'm not talking about the "outside -in" part of industrial marketing. That part of marketing is focused on getting people to find you. No, I'm talking about your company's algorithm for dealing with potential customers who HAVE found you, and are on your website.
You don't know who that next prospective customer is, what company she works for, exactly what her company will need you to do – but, you know she is out there. As long as the two of you have a shorthand for communicating – together you can solve that problem and in the process acquire a new customer. In industry, where off-the-shelf solutions are a rarity, you need an algorithmic solution – simple, reliable, repeatable – that allows you to react quickly to that prospective customer's needs.
And so you build your website with strong response mechanisms. A 'Request a Quote' form. 'Call Now, Toll Free' language and phone number. Your website has a 'Send Your CAD Drawing' button. You have created a simple algorithm that allows people to get in touch and communicate their needs while on your website.
But the substantial part of the algorithm isn't the technology that allows your prospect to raise her hand. At your end you need to have sales application staff who can receive and interpret her RFQ. You need to have technical staff that can interpret a shared language that allows you to "see" what her problem "looks like" – her CAD drawing. Your manufacturing operation needs to have an engineer available to talk though the problem with your prospects over the phone. The key here is your engineering staff and their ability to solve prospects' problems.
Take a piece out of the algorithmic equation – engineering staff to understand and interpret the potential customer's problem – and all of a sudden the mathematical equation – your algorithm – fails you.
During this economic crunch, when you are wrestling with eliminating staff positions, keep those engineers available, engaged and ready to solve client problems.
About the author:
Rick Brown is the founder and president of NetTrack Marketing, a leading provider of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) working exclusively with industrial manufacturing companies that sell business-to-business. To learn more about how Rick and his associates can boost your industrial business' website traffic, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 888-517-2269.