Archives for November 2014

Industrial supplies buyers want you to be online

By Kate Lee | 11/24/2014 | 11:30 PM

Your website might be more important than your sales rep.

The 2014 UPS B2B Buyers Insight Study looked at what drives the decisions of industrial supplies buyers.  The survey asked respondents to rate attributes with to deciding from which industrial supplies vendor they should purchase. 

78% percent of respondents rated product information on the supplier website as “extremely important” or “very important.”  74% percent of respondents rated the ability to make purchases on the supplier’s website as “extremely important” or “very important.”  In contrast, 58% of respondents rated having a sales representative as “extremely important” or “very important.”  54% of respondents rated having a hardcopy product catalog as “extremely important” or “very important.”

Industrial suppliers need to be online

Industrial supplies companies need to have a strong online presence to grow their business. As stated in the study:

“Given buyers’ high satisfaction levels with supplier performance on key selection criteria, and considering that web-based research is most preferred, it’s reasonable to infer that many buyers consider online research essential to their supplier selection process.  The use of search engines means that suppliers may be at greater risk of losing share to companies whose products are perhaps easier to find, in stock or competitively priced.  On the other hand, suppliers whose products are easy to find online and meet buyers’ criteria may also stand to gain customers.”

Conversion rates matter. Here's how one 3PL got to 14% conversion rate.

By Kate Lee | 11/17/2014 | 9:06 PM

What is your lead to customer conversion rate?  (If you don’t know this, this is something you want to learn and track.)  3PL Cerasis boasts an impressive 14% conversion rate.

In 2012 Cerasis moved from their traditional approach to marketing to one focused on inbound marketing.  In doing so, Cerasis made the company website and blog the hub of their efforts.  Meaning that Cerasis used content, SEO, and social media to drive targeted traffic to the company website and blog.  Because the content on the website and blog provides valuable, engaging, and industry-specific information, brand awareness increased and the company began to be recognized as a leader within the industry.

Cerasis case study

Within 25 months of launching their inbound marketing strategy, Cerasis had gained 715 leads.  98 of these leads became customers.  For some industries 98 new customers is a drop in the bucket, within the 3PL industry one new customer can generate significant revenue.  For Cerasis, 98 new customers meant a 14% increase in revenue.

To learn more about Cerasis’ approach to inbound marketing and for more results, download the case study: 3PL company Cerasis acquires 98 customers through inbound marketing.

Let's face it. No one wants to be thought of as a product

By Kate Lee | 11/10/2014 | 11:56 PM


I just got invited to “the coolest party on the Internet” and I am psyched.

On August 7th Ello launched in beta.  The last week in September invite-only social network was receiving more than 50,000 invite requests per hour.  Ello is hot.

Ello is hot because of the company’s manifesto:

“Your social network is owned by advertisers.

Every post you share, every friend you make, and every link you follow is tracked, recorded, and converted into data. Advertisers buy your data so they can show you more ads. You are the product that’s bought and sold.

We believe there is a better way. We believe in audacity. We believe in beauty, simplicity, and transparency. We believe that the people who make things and the people who use them should be in partnership.

We believe a social network can be a tool for empowerment. Not a tool to deceive, coerce, and manipulate — but a place to connect, create, and celebrate life.

You are not a product.”

Let’s face it.  No one wants to be thought of as a product.

People are clamoring to be invited to Ello, and investors want to invest. 

Companies would do well to take note of Ello’s popularity and remember that your objective is not to productize your customers, but rather to determine what you can to bring value to your customers.

Procurement professionals need to become social media gurus

By Kate Lee | 11/04/2014 | 1:42 AM

Lisa Malone, General Manager of Procurious (the world’s first online business network for procurement and supply chain professionals), has put forth that procurement professionals need to become social media gurus.  She writes:

“If you’re hoping social media is really just an issue for the Chief Marketing Officer (or perhaps even just your teenage daughter and son), this next statement is going to hurt: Every leader - regardless of industry or profession - needs to be social media savvy, and the expectations for CPOs to be masterful (not just literate) are ever greater.”

Why?  Because:

“Within five years social media literacy will be single greatest factor distinguishing top performing procurement leaders from the rest.” 

Malone is quick to point out that other skills such as superior financial skills, sourcing, and change or people management abilities are important and shouldn’t be diminished.  Rather, “social media will add a new dimension to these existing critical competencies.”

Malone offers this sage advice:

 “Change management, financial literacy, sourcing, vendor and people management will always be core to procurement. Social media, however, allows you to approach these tasks with far greater reach, influence and a superior market intelligence.”

The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Elizabeth Hines

Elizabeth Hines

Elizabeth is a content strategist with 12+ years of experience in content development, branding, marketing, and communications. As the creative/editorial director at Fronetics, she oversees all efforts related to content and creative assets, including strategy design and brand development.

She has written extensively about supply chain and logistics, and has developed content strategies across a number of verticals, including the B2B space. Prior to joining Fronetics, Elizabeth worked at Boston University, Prospectiv, and Cengage Learning.


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