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FABTECH 2021 Conference: Recap & Takeaways

fabtech 2021 expo-1Throughout the past year and a half, the marketing world (like many other industries) has been turned upside down by a plethora of COVID-related restrictions -- less in-person networking and more virtual trade shows and connections. However, with those same restrictions loosening, FABTECH 2021 marked the return of in-person trade shows. 

The goal of FABTECH 2021 was to bring world-class suppliers together to showcase emerging technologies and to learn how to increase profits and productivity. 

This year veteran FABTECH speaker Josh Curcio and I were able to bring manufacturers and suppliers together for a 30-minute seminar and breakout workshop with the goal of developing modernized marketing practices. Additionally, I lead a hands-on marketing workshop for building an inbound plan.

In case you weren’t able to attend, this blog will highlight the key takeaway and actionable items of each session: 

Seminar: '20 Bulletproof Marketing & Sales Tactics'

Since COVID restrictions began around 18 months ago, it grew clear that traditional marketing and sales tactics manufacturers utilize aren’t “bulletproof” to changing environments. Josh and I felt this pain as well. 

That’s why we’ve accumulated the best tips and tricks that our niche marketing and sales clients used to thrive during the pandemic: 

  • Varying Contact Mediums -- Promote your content with B2B social media, email, and PPC (pay-per-click advertising) while mixing up sales outreach using email, video, social media, and old-fashioned phone calls.

  • Actually Nurturing -- Streamline the lead follow-up process by learning to actively listen, ask questions, and advise in a genuine, pressure-free way.

  • The Path(s) to Success -- Use SEO (search engine optimization), PPC, and third-party submissions (both from and to you) to gain authority for key topics surrounding the products you create. Don’t rely on just one path to your quota/goal.

  • Building the Relationship -- Customize your approach for 1-to-1 and 1-to-many touchpoints. Take great notes during sales conversations and make sure to send a comprehensive and informative recap.

  • Before & After Executing -- Before you ever write a single piece of content, build rock-solid content maps and plans focused on evergreen keywords.

  • Working Smarter -- Utilize automation tools for internal management and sales automation tools (i.e. sequence emails) so sellers can focus on what they do best.

  • Sharing Assets -- Produce educational content (blog posts, videos, etc.) for all stages of the modern B2B buyer’s journey. Aligning sales and marketing teams re: what assets are needed, and when they’ll be available.

  • Updating Tactics -- Preparing reps for digital selling, including proficiency in CRM and other software. Converting physical trade show resources to digital.

  • Qualifying Buyers -- a Better understanding of how to target a niche market. Updating your buyer persona and journey to attract better-fit leads.

Josh and I each wanted to impart at least one pro-tip to not only survive but thrive when unexpected market changes happen. For Josh, always being open and prepared for change is crucial. 

Having a concrete marketing plan is great, however, if your plan is extremely volatile to market forces, you should not only be prepared but be willing and excited to seek change and utilize new tools to expand your growth. 

With the lack of in-person trade shows and client meetings and connections, the use of digital assets became of paramount importance to manufacturers that want to stay relevant in an ever-digitalizing society. 

Creating virtual assets, specifically for the decision stage of the buyers’ cycle will ensure any prospective clients have a premium and useful resource that houses your company branding and contact information. Digital content drives lead generation and establishes the value and benefits your services offer.

‘Creating an Inbound Marketing Action Plan for Manufacturers’

It’s no secret (or it shouldn’t be) - that manufacturers and content marketing are a match made in heaven. 

This workshop focused on a hands-on approach via workbook to help manufacturers build their inbound plan through:

  • Goal Setting -- ID’ing how you’ll measure success and plotting single- and multi-year benchmarks. Examining your competitors’ website and marketing efforts (i.e. blogging quality and quantity)

  • Buyer Personas -- what makes your top current and prospective buyers a great fit? How can you dig deeper into their pain points, digital hangouts, and purchasing hangups to strike more gold

  • Activity Setting -- what’s missing on your site that could turn more traffic into more leads and sales? Options include lead magnets, content writing, automation, and paid Google or social ads

  • Content Production -- how content works, how to generate topics, and how to research keywords so the right people find your content

If you're interested in seeing the slides and workbook from this presentation, click here!


B2B sellers and marketers for complex industries are in the midst of career-defining change. This is a good thing -- as long as you don’t get left behind. 

If you’re a seller or executive struggling to mix COVID-era remote tactics with “the way things were” pre-COVID, check out Josh’s HubSpot’s INBOUND 2021 seminar too. This virtual session (coming Oct. 14) will give sales teams a blueprint for blending remote selling tactics into their legacy tactics (and ID’ing bad habits you can ditch permanently).

For a copy of the book we gave out at FABECH, click here!

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