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Case Study: B2B Specialty Manufacturer's Integrated Marketing Yields 30% Annual Sales Growth Three Years Running

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Company: Euchner-USA, Inc.
Contact: Michael Ladd, President and CEO
Location: East Syracuse, NY
Industry: B2B—supplier of safety, noncontact, and limit switches; other safety, man/machine interface, automation, and signal products.
Annual revenue: $10,000,000
Number of employees: 16

Quick read:

When you've schlepped your staff and booth to numerous tradeshows throughout the year, with no concrete results to point to, it's time for a change in your marketing approach. Euchner-USA, Inc. all but jettisoned its traditional print advertising efforts and embraced a comprehensive B2B online marketing model. The result: Many more high-quality leads and 30% annual sales growth for three years running.

Challenge:

For engineers and other technical users looking for safety, automation interface, and signal products, Euchner-USA is a one-stop sourcing nirvana. The problem was that Euchner-USA was well known only in the machine-tool industry. How to reach all the potential customers in other industries?


Euchner was particularly interested in targeting the packaging, textile, woodworking, robotics, plastics, and process control fields. "We needed to diversify," said Euchner-USA President and CEO Michael Ladd. "It was my mission to get into these other markets with the biggest bang."

Ladd acknowledged that the expensive print ads that Euchner-USA was running in industry publications were sufficient for building awareness. The problem was that they lacked any measurable ROI. "Without a lead I can contact or even track," says Ladd, "I have no idea or way to say specifically that an ad or tradeshow was worth the money spent."

Finally, Ladd decided that awareness was just not good enough. He wanted measurable leads. So the company took action.

Campaign:

Euchner-USA's goal was simple: expand brand awareness and generate leads by tapping into the potential of the engineering community. To do so, Ladd contacted GlobalSpec, a vertical search engine and Web-based content provider for engineers and related professionals.

With three million registered users and a community of more than 80,000 new registrants each month, GlobalSpec opened the door to Euchner-USA's missing demographic—and provided a sweet conversion rate at the same time. "I know for every dollar I spend with GlobalSpec, I'll get a 10% conversion rate of leads to sales," says Ladd.

Here's how Euchner-USA used GlobalSpec to reach new customers:

  • Global search engine and directory

    One of the first things Euchner-USA did was list some 1,000 part numbers and product catalogs on GlobalSpec's search engine. Sure, says Ladd, "you can find our limit switches on ThomasNet and Google—along with about 6 billion other results." But on GlobalSpec, Euchner-USA's available limit switches pop to the top and can be sorted by type and specification. In turn, Euchner-USA receives filtered, contactable, and measured sales leads in real time. Other marketing tools deliver click-throughs or impressions, says Ladd, "but with this search engine I get potential customers, not just clicks."

  • Euchner-USA search engine

    Ladd was so impressed by the visibility and sales generated from Euchner-USA's presence on GlobalSpec that he had an internal team create a search engine for the Euchner-USA site that provided the same level of searchability.

  • E-newsletter sponsorships and product focus ads

    Euchner-USA leveraged the 2.5 million opt-in, online subscribers of product-specific e-newsletters that GlobalSpec had gathered. The online newsletters are so effective, says Ladd, that his company purchases ad space for specific weeks up to 18 months in advance.

    A gold sponsorship lands Euchner-USA one of four prime spots at the top of the newsletter with space for an image, text, and four trackable links. A smaller, product-focused ad places it near the bottom of the newsletter with a smaller image, less text, and one trackable link. Ladd says the ad size is directly linked to the number of weekly leads. "If we run no newsletter ads in a specific week, we might yield 80 to100 leads. If we run a product-focused ad, leads jump to around 300 to 400. If we run a gold sponsorship, our leads from that week can be anywhere from 600 to 1,000 contacts."

  • Cost-per-click product placement

    For Euchner, certain products mandated more than one mention. So the company increased listings of its more popular products on GlobalSearch. Ladd says he knows this effort has been successful, because he keeps running out of money—thanks to high click-through rates. "With the cost-per-click (CPC) approach, now I have direct results. With our previous advertising efforts, we probably spent more money than we do now," says Ladd.

Bottom-line results:

The leads generated from Euchner-USA's new Web-based focus were so plentiful that the company had to hire someone just to respond to them. "I certainly don't hear our sales force asking anymore, 'Do we advertise?' The leads are there," says Ladd.

And what about that measurable ROI? The proof is in the bottom line. Sales for Euchner-USA have increased dramatically over the past two years. In 2004, sales grew 34%; in 2005, 30%; and 2006 is on track for 30% as well.

As for the modifications that Euchner-USA made to its own site, "we realized considerable gain in contact activity. This past October, we had over 14,000 hits. That's evolved from only 1,000 hits a month three years ago," says Ladd. He believes the increase in visitors tracks to the evolution of search technology.

Is print dead to Euchner-USA? Is the tradeshow a thing of the past? Ladd says his company will continue to run a few print ads and attend a few tradeshows, but online is the way to go. It's the difference, he says, between aiming with a rifle and aiming with a shotgun: online provides cleaner, surer targeting.

Related Links:

Euchner-USA e-newsletters:

Company web site URLs

Notes:

Euchner-USA sales account for just under $10 million; globally, the parent's revenue reaches $100 million.

The 16 employees at Euchner-USA are responsible for engineering, marketing, sales, accounting, administration, and customer service.


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