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11 Tactics/Media Channels you can Leverage to Gain Awareness

  1. Revenue Acceleration Series  Finding and engaging designers and architects where they work and learn - in their natural working environments. Part Two By Richard Hoffmann Chief Operating Officer Steelyard © Steelyard 11 Tactics/Media Channels You Can Leverage to Gain Awareness
  2. The Three Themes, A Reminder Saving Time Driving Profitability Facilitating Commerce In this presentation as well as those to follow, there will be three consistent themes:
  3. Revenue Acceleration Series: Part Two Have you ever heard your VP of Sales say something to the effect of: “When we get invited to the dance, we can beat our competitors, but too often, we just don’t get invited because our prospects don’t know who we are.”
  4. Market Awareness Trumps Sales Skills It can be frustrating when other manufacturers get the business not because they have better products, but because they were only better in another respect: name recognition. The marketplace leaders get invited because potential prospects know who they are, but they did not know your company, let alone the quality or suitability of your products.
  5. Here are 11 Tactics/Media Channels You Can Leverage to Ensure That Your Prospects Know About You Even if your sales force is just as talented, you can only win if you have the opportunity to compete. So the first order of business when it comes to building a strong sales channel is to create enough market awareness to get your products onto the consideration list – to get invited to the dance!
  6. 1. Word of Mouth Referrals are the best source of brand awareness, not just because they are usually free, but also due to the high quality of referral leads.
  7. 2. Press Releases A steady stream of news demonstrates to buyers that your company is a factor in the industry. Potential topics include major sales, partnerships, personnel changes (such as promotions or executive appointments) and community outreach.
  8. 3. Content Marketing Encourage your owners and executive staff to write articles, blogs and papers of interest to the design community. If possible, get this content placed in well-known industry publications. Always feature this content on your own website, after the initial publication date.
  9. 4. Product Listing and Review Sites This category can also include designer forums and other online communities. Featured Banner Ad Featured Product Ad
  10. 5. Online Mentions Anything you can do to get your brand better known in cyberspace will be instrumental in building awareness. Many of the other tactics on this list will help with this objective.
  11. 6. Organic Web Search This category is also called search engine optimization (SEO), which is the art and science of structuring your web presence around solid content that is of interest to professional designers. Google and all other search engines rate your website on the quantity and quality of content appropriate for specific market niches. Every CEO and marketing VP gets excited when their website shows up as one of the first few choices when a prospect enters a relevant search term. Pay attention to Google Image Search since designers can use this tool for inspiration.
  12. 7. Pay Per Click (PPC) Unlike organic search mentioned in the previous item, paid search allows you to pay for search traffic. You pick the keywords of interest, place a bid for these words/phrases, and create ads with landing pages to drive viewers to convert (e.g. contact you or download something from your website).
  13. 8. Trade Shows and Industry Outreach There are many options in this category. For example, you can showcase your products at designer-focused events such as the High Point Market, Las Vegas Market or Hospitality Design Expo. You can also work with industry groups such as the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) or the International Interior Design Association (IIDA) on sponsorship opportunities related to events or publications. PROJECT-ORIENTED SPECIFIERS & BUYERS Professional Commerce  Designers  Architects  Builders & Contractors  Facility Managers  Residential  Assisted Livings Facilities  Government  Cruise Ships  Hospitals  Hotels  Medical Facilities  Offices  Resorts  Restaurants  Institutions $68.5 Billion* (Purchased or Specified Annually) (Commercial Markets - B2B) (Consumer Markets - B2B2C) Market Reach:
  14. 9. Email, Ads and Other Forms of Paid Promotion You can use several different types of paid media to drive awareness. One example is renting (or buying) lists of designers and sending email promotions. You can also buy web “banner ads” that put your offer in front of potential prospects when they visit third-party websites. Brand/Product Showcase (Standard Placement) Brand/Product Showcase (Premium Placement)
  15. 10. Social Media The professional design community is highly creative and very social. They want to know what is going on and who is doing what. You can assist them by providing short doses of relevant content through social media platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram
  16. 11. Steelyard’s Professional Commerce Marketplace Since Steelyard puts you in front of a deep community of professional designers who are researching, specifying and buying for commercial projects - this is perhaps the fastest way to achieve the most impact. Learn more at
  17. The Power of Unpaid Leverage Don’t overlook the power of the unpaid sources on this list. For example, the talent and experience of your staff (especially executives) can be leveraged to create content and drive business. Similarly, a strong social media initiative can get your name and brand position disseminated to a wide audience. Blog Facebook Twitter Articles FeaturesPublications SEO
  18. Choices to be Made Yes, sales skills are important, as is lead generation and many other attributes of a finely-tuned marketing and sales operation. But market awareness is often the factor that decides whether you get a chance at the business. Get yourself known. Get invited to more dances. Close more business. Research, Specification, Projects and Procurement Designer Marketplace Commerce Analytics and Presence Management Brand Sales Portal
  19. We’ll be covering the final step in this series soon, be sure to check back and stay in touch. View the whole whitepaper on this series >>Here Coming Soon…
  20. About Steelyard Visit Us © Steelyard For more information about the Steelyard Professional Commerce Marketplace, please visit or contact us at or 800-631-3111. Steelyard is the premier online marketplace for professional commerce in the design industry. For our architecture and design professional members, we provide a secure and vetted community of manufacturers who know how to service the unique needs of designers, architects, builders, and facility managers. For our manufacturer brands, we provide access to a diverse and lucrative B2B market that specifies over $68 billion of products in North America annually (according to the American Society of Interior Designers 2015 Outlook report).