This blog features an interview between Tom Griffin, the President of Catalyst Sales, a manufacturing rep group in the local region, and Norman Wright Junior, CEO of Dimension X Marketing.
The first question asked by Norman to Tom is, “Does Social Marketing work for rep groups?”
Tom’s response is that there are more than 100 million Gen X and Gen Y’s between the ages of 25 to 45 years old that are moving into the ranks of engineering. This new generation collaborates differently and has different expectations than the baby boomers before them. This new generation finds themselves doing design work late into the night and early in the morning to work around their busy schedules. Finding the solution on their own terms and allowing them to find you, the rep group, is critical in allowing you to be “in their face, in their space—which is social and web.”
Tom also reiterates that Catalyst Sales has developed content strategy that allows them to engage through social networks such as Twitter, Facebook and Linked-In as well as blog posts, all of which are meant to guide the user to the desired website. This method allows engineers to find principles. Catalyst Sales is the first rep group to be approached by EE Web to provide blogs and videos onto the site, which was a huge success!
Norman next asked the question, “How do you measure the ROI?”
Tom replied that web traffic reports are obviously one method, but these reports aren’t income. Next, there’s anecdotal evidence. There was an engineer who had a design issue, and typed search results into Google. Catalyst Sales had a video that came up in the Google search, the engineer contacted the company, and that was all it took for him to begin fixing his design issue.
The same concept holds true with the blogs. Another engineer had a noise issue on a design. The engineer saw the blog, called the local sales representative and they were able to solve the problem. Tom said, “People can find us through social media marketing.” In both of the above cases the problems were solved without contacting competitors.
There were two principles signed in 2012 that grew both companies over 20% in the first year. That’s real ROI! From an engineer’s perspective, they can find the solution themselves; they just need the tools to be able to do so. That’s where social media marketing comes into play.
Tom said, “Catalyst Sales believes in solution driven content the client is looking for where they’re looking for it. They connect with us because they found the solution provided to them through social and online strategies.” Even though the rep industry as a whole has not yet fully embraced the idea of social media, Catalyst Sales feels strongly that this method works, and is the method of the future.