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Product Development: Asking the Right Questions August 15, 2016 -     Product Development: Asking the Right Questions Manufacturing companies are often looking for ways to develop new products and enhance existing ones. When this happens, they often start by asking themselves technical questions: How will it work? What materials will we use? Can we build it? How much will it cost? There are many […]
Should You Be Exhibiting at Trade Shows? July 19, 2016 - Should You Be Exhibiting at Trade Shows? Most sales and marketing teams carefully review their budgets each year and make changes if something isn’t working. But when it comes to trade shows, many teams seem to be operating on autopilot. If a company has attended the same show for many years, they might think they […]
Should You Focus on Social Media or on Good Content? May 10, 2016 - Should You Focus on Social Media or on Good Content? “Does my company need a Twitter account?” “What about LinkedIn?” “How often am I supposed to post?” Many companies are asking themselves questions like these. When it comes to social media, it seems like there are countless options out there, from established platforms like Facebook […]
When Not To Hire A Marketing Coordinator April 7, 2016 - When Not To Hire A Marketing Coordinator When a company is ready to take the leap and add marketing resources to grow sales, it can be a frightening commitment. Most companies want to start small and see where things go. As such, they allocate only enough money for an entry-level coordinator to work on growing […]
Using a Selling Process to Grow Sales November 3, 2015 - Using a Selling Process to Grow Sales In our last blog, we covered how to have productive meetings with your customers. Before that, we discussed the stages of the customer buying process. Understanding the buying process is just part of the activities needed to drive sales. Businesses should also have rigorous, documented selling processes that mirror the customer’s buying […]
How to Have More Productive Customer Conversations September 29, 2015 - How to Have More Productive Customer Conversations In our last post, we introduced the four stages of the customer buying process: awareness, interest, evaluation, and conversion. We also explained that customers don’t typically move through the buying process by themselves. On the contrary, they have to be carefully “nurtured” from one stage to the next. […]
Sales Is More Than Quoting: The Buying Process August 12, 2015 -   Sales Is More Than Quoting An Order: Understanding Your Customer’s Buying Process Many manufacturers act as if the sales cycle starts when they have the opportunity to provide a quote. This can work well for distributors or firms that practice e-commerce. In those instances, the decision to buy can happen in mere minutes—even seconds. […]
Competitor Analysis June 13, 2015 - Competitor Analysis To Differentiate Your Business  If you’re trying to grow a business, you know that it’s important to understand the market. Actually doing this might seem difficult, even overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be. Over the past few posts, I’ve given you a step-by-step guide for making sense of each part of your market […]
Customer Interviews May 18, 2015 -   The Customer Wants What? Using Customer Interviews to Get Inside Your Customers’ Heads Your business’s “sweet spot” helps you determine where your differentiating capabilities lie. It also helps you find which type of customers are the best fit for you. The customer evaluation chart described in the last post is a useful tool to […]
Are You Using The Right Tools To Select Customers?   April 16, 2015 - Should You Use A Compass Or A Mirror To Select Customers? Last month, I introduced the “3C Needs Map.” This chart helps you compare what you offer to what competitors offer and what customers want. The areas where the circles overlap reveal where your business’ “sweet spot” lies—and where, on the flip side, your competitors […]
Growing Your Sales Is As Easy As C-C-C March 23, 2015 - Growing Your Sales Is As Easy As C-C-C   Legendary management consultant and author Peter Drucker once said, “The aim of marketing is to know and understand the customer so well the product or service fits him and sells itself.” Drucker is considered the founder of modern management and although I agree with his quote, […]
Apple Shows How To Successfully Use Marketing During New Product Development October 28, 2014 - Apple Shows How To Successfully Use Marketing During New Product Development Apple was not the first company to introduce an MP3 player.  However when the Apple iPod was launched, it immediately became a best-seller.  It was fashionable, easy-to-use and expensive.  People paid a premium because of the value it brought to consumers.  Apple developed this […]
Getting Help Is Key To Business Owner Success October 8, 2014 - Getting Help Is Key To Business Owner Success Dave Sullivan, business leader and executive consultant, spoke on “The Gift of Help: Having The Courage To Ask For It And The Willingness to Accept It” at the Dayton Region Manufacturers Association (DRMA) September dinner.  Sullivan’s presentation was targeted to business owners and provided insight on how […]
Sun Tzu Explains Why Marketing Tactics Fail Too Often September 29, 2014 -   Sun Tzu Explains Why Marketing Tactics Fail Too Often The internet is full of great tactical marketing advice.  If one Googles a tactical marketing topic like “How To Increase Twitter Followers” or “Updating A Website”, millions of articles pop up.  Some companies are better than others at executing these marketing tactics.  However, many companies […]
Will you be ready January 1 to start executing your 2015 Sales And Marketing Strategy? September 15, 2014 - Will you be ready January 1 to start executing your 2015 Sales And Marketing Strategy? If you’re like many businesses it is likely you will dedicate your sales and marketing resources to driving sales in the last quarter of the year.  The upside to this approach is you know your full-time employees are doing everything […]
National Economist Forecasts Manufacturing Future: What’s Next? September 3, 2014 -   National Economist Forecasts Manufacturing Future: What’s Next? The Dayton Region Manufacturers Association recently asked nationally known economist Alan Beaulieu to forecast the future for manufacturing.  His key piece of advice: manufacturers should be investing in growth now using borrowed money at low rates and paying it back with inflated dollars in coming years.  In […]
Do You Need A Marketing Director Or Marketing Communications Director? August 7, 2014 -   Do You Need A Marketing Director Or Marketing Communications Director? Many organizations have a person at their company with the title of Marketing Director.  But is that person really acting as a Marketing Director or as a Marketing Communications Director? As noted in the article What Is Marketing? Marketing Is More Than Promotion, there […]
Marketing Firm Looks To Boost Manufacturers’ Sales July 31, 2014 - Marketing Firm Looks To Boost Manufacturers’ Sales “Leland Smith Marketing clarified the size of the market, identified competitors, and projected industry trends.  This information was critical in our decision to invest in the business,” says Don Clouser, Chief Operating Officer of The Champion Companies.  See full article in the Dayton Daily News. Read More Share
4 Ways To Take Market Share July 18, 2014 - 4 Ways To Take Market Share As mentioned in 4 Ways To Make Growing Your Business As Easy As Pie, if you want to grow faster than the market rate, one of the best ways to drive sales is to take market share.  Just like there are four ways to grow your business, there are four […]
4 Ways To Make Growing Your Business As Easy As Pie May 20, 2014 - 4 Ways To Make Growing Your Business As Easy As Pie The easiest way to think about growing a business is to think about pie. One of my favorite things about Thanksgiving is pumpkin pie.  Because I like it so much, I concentrate on finding ways to maximize pumpkin pie consumption.  Based on years of […]
What Is The Difference Between Sales And Marketing? May 9, 2014 - What Is The Difference Between Sales And Marketing? Many small to medium sized manufacturing companies often use the terms ‘sales’ and ‘marketing’ interchangeably.  Though it is important for sales and marketing to work closely together, there are clear differences between these two functions.  Understanding the differences between these functions is critical to the short and […]
What is Marketing? Marketing Is More Than Promotion April 30, 2014 - What Is Marketing? “Let’s face it, to the average business person, marketing equals promotion.” ~ Michael Brenner VP Marketing at SAP I have asked countless people outside of marketing what they think marketing is and most people would agree marketing equals promotion.  To them, marketing is advertising.  They see marketing as websites.  They see marketing […]
Leland Smith Marketing Joins DRMA March 19, 2014 - Leland Smith Marketing Joins DRMA Dayton OH, March 31, 2014 – Dayton is a large manufacturing hub with over 2500 manufacturers in the area.  However, according to Clark Schaefer Hackett’s 2013 Regional Manufacturing & Distribution Survey Report, 58% of the manufacturers reported no sales growth last year.  Those that did report growth reported lower growth rates […]

 

 

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