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Engel Metallurgical Consulting Report

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Engel Metallurgical Consulting Report

  1. 1. The World of Metal Testing: A Marketing Plan SCSU Management 498/598 Andrew Kriz Jaqueline Moffitt Tyler Ruble Kent Ryynanen Spring 2016
  2. 2. Table of Contents 1.0 Executive Summary ………………………………………………………………………... 1 2.0 Overview of Engel Metallurgical ……………………………………………………….…. 2 3.0 Scope ……………………………………………………………………………………….... 4 4.0 Methodology ………………………………………………………………………………... 5 4.1 SWOT Analysis …………………………………………………………………….. 5 4.2 External Factors ……………………………………………………………………. 8 4.3 Internal Factors …………………………………………………………………… 11 4.4 Market Segmentation ………………………………………………………….…. 12 5.0 Deliverable One: In-Depth Industry Analysis …………………………………………... 13 5.1 Manufacturing …………………………………………………………………….. 13 5.2 Methods to Reach Segmented Manufacturers ………………………………….. 14 5.3 Insurance ………………………………………………………………………….. 19 5.4 Methods to Reach Segmented Insurance Agencies …………………………..…. 20 5.5 Attorneys …………………………………………………………………………... 21 5.6 Methods to Reach Law Firms ……………………………………………………. 23 6.0 Deliverable Two: Maintaining Relationships …………………………………………… 26 6.1 Email Campaign ………………………………………………………………….. 26 6.2 Relationship Management ………………………………………………………... 26 6.3 Customer Support ………………………………………………………………… 27 6.4 Customer Retention …………………………………………………………….… 27 6.5 Customer Surveys ………………………………………………………………… 28 6.6 Measurement of Customer Satisfaction …………………………………………. 29
  3. 3. 6.7 Customer Satisfaction Drivers …………………………………………………… 30 7.0 Deliverable Three: Marketing Strategy …………………………………………………. 31 7.1 Marketing Plan Basic Elements ……………………………………………….…. 40 7.2 Engel’s Customized Recommendations …………………………………………. 47 8.0 Conclusion What Would It Take to Sustain? …………………………………………… 52 9.0 References ………………………………………………………………………….……… 54 10.0 Appendix …………………………………………………………………………………. 55
  4. 4. 1 | P a g e 1.0 Executive Summary The intent of this project is for Engel Metallurgical’s to expand their current client base through strong client relationships and a well-defined marketing plan. Being in a specialized industry, Engel is challenged to find new clients and establish long-term relationships with them. Referrals and word-of-mouth are a big factor in obtaining business in this market. By accomplishing this goal, Engel will gain national market share and demonstrate why they are such a respected company with the quality of work they do. The consulting team is tasked with developing a marketing plan to increasing Engel’s market share. The team's goal is to provide a plan to be efficient and consistent with their marketing efforts moving forward. Engel serves a unique market and reaching and maintaining a sound relationship with this market is going to take time and effort. With the economy in continuous flux, Engel is in need of a diverse customer base to grow and maintain revenue. Setting a plan for any future changes will help Engel make adjustments should any changes take effect. Engel is in need of a part-time marketing professional who will keep up on the marketing and advertising aspects for the company. The new employee will be able to put all of his/her focus on gaining clients and maintaining those relationships. The potential for growth is present in all three of Engel’s customer segments, it just needs to be exposed. Engel Metallurgical is a very reliable materials testing company with a very respectable facility, employees, and an ISO certification. This certification puts them ahead of other testing companies; they just need to let the world know they exist.
  5. 5. 2 | P a g e 2.0 Overview of Engel Metallurgical Engel Metallurgical is located in Sauk Rapids, Minnesota and was founded in 1983. Engel offers expert consulting and testing for attorneys, insurance company representatives, and manufacturers. On-site facilities include various laboratories, offices, meeting rooms, and a large shop with a wide range of equipment that perform metal strength testing and chemical evaluations. Engel has access to a great number of outside engineers throughout the world, utilizing their expertise when needed. Engel has a rather small staff with each member playing a very key role. Lester Engel is a Registered Professional Engineer in Ohio and Minnesota. His credentials include: Chief Metallurgist for Brown Boveri Turbomachinery, Metallurgical Engineer for the Aircraft Engine Group of General Electric, Nuclear Systems Programs, and Principal Investigator on three NASA programs. Lester earned his undergraduate and Master of Science degrees in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Cincinnati. Lester is involved in Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association, ASM International, and American Society of Nondestructive Testing, American Society for Quality, and American Society of Testing and Material. Lester also serves on The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (TMS), National Association of Corrosion Engineers, and the Society of Automotive Engineers group. James Brusso is a professional engineer with many years of experience. Brusso has been with Engel since 2000 and now serves as the quality manager. Brusso performs failure analysis, renders expert opinions, gives depositions and testimony for litigation support, assists in materials and process development, and develops and reviews product designs, materials and processes details. Kathy Zenzen is the Office Administrator who coordinates Engel’s schedule and conducts the
  6. 6. 3 | P a g e marketing for the company. Kathy assures that deadlines are met, and serves an important role in coordinating all business dealings. Engel’s team of metallurgical engineers and metallurgists perform laboratory tests according to government and/or applicable industrial standards, including ASTM, military, and other specifications. Engel’s laboratory equipment and capabilities include scanning electron microscopy/energy dispersive spectroscopy, metallographic preparation and examination, and corrosion testing. Engel performs microstructure evaluations, weld qualifications, hardness testing, carburized and nitride case depth measurements, mechanical property testing, chemical analyses, X-Ray diffraction, macro etching, photographic documentation, and coating and plating thickness measurements. Manufacturers, attorneys, and insurance company representatives are Engel’s current target market along with members of a broad range of industries including chemical, agricultural, aviation, power generation, construction, transportation and manufacturing. Engel’s ISO 17025 accreditation demonstrates that they have the processes in place to generate valid test results. Clients receiving results from Engel are assured that these tests are from a highly recognized testing laboratory.
  7. 7. 4 | P a g e 3.0 SCOPE The consulting team met with Lester Engel and staff on February 4, 2016 to receive a plant tour and scope the project. The consulting team determined the three outcomes to be delivered by May 2, 2016. The deliverables are as follows: ● In-depth industry analysis of customer segments ● Develop strategies to maintain relationships with current clients ● Create marketing strategy to expand customer base The team conducted research on each of Engel’s three customer segments. While looking into the demographics, trends, and lists of each of the segments in the Midwest and in the United States. The team also conducted research on how to develop strategies to maintain relationships with current and previous customers. With research on strategies within the niche industry itself, and overall tactics that any other business would use. The team has looked into different marketing strategies to expand Engel’s customer base. The team has concluded that committing more time into Engel’s customer relations and marketing efforts will result in more exposure to the company’s customer segments. Engel is an experienced materials testing company that needs to be recognized as the best in the industry. The team has provided strategies to gain industry exposure and maintain consistent relationships with new and existing clients. Being such a tight niche company, knowing how to advertise is difficult. It is not easy knowing where to put money into advertising in such an industry. Magazines, catalogues, newsletters, online websites, word-of-mouth, and other low budget techniques will help Engel connect with the market.
  8. 8. 5 | P a g e 4.0 METHODOLOGY A few different approaches will allow us to successfully examine and develop a strategy. Our team conducted an in-depth environmental scan which includes a SWOT analysis, external and internal factors affecting Engel, and their market segmentation. These different research methods helped the team create a plan for the deliverables that Engel had requested. They also helped the consulting team examine which sections in the plan that needed to be addressed and thoroughly discussed on. 4.1 SWOT Analysis The SWOT analysis determines the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats of a firm. In our analysis, the team concluded that Engel has several strengths that give them a competitive advantage. The SWOT analysis can be seen in Figure 1 below. Figure 1
  9. 9. 6 | P a g e A top strength is their ISO certification which gives them technological, economic, and societal benefits; conformity to International Standards helps reassure consumers that products are safe, efficient, and good for the environment. Other strengths include availability to clients nationwide, on-site laboratories, servicing within 24-hours which leads to quick turnaround, decades of experiences, consistently updating equipment and technology, and ongoing development of new methods and strategies. The team identified a few weaknesses within Engel. These weaknesses include the need of establishing a constant communication channel with existing and potential customers, widening their customer reach, and creating an online presence. Engel informed the team that the business has its current primary sources of income relatively fixed on a small number of recurring clients. The team recommends that Engel expand their customer base. Connecting with the community leads to many new customers and creates strong relationships with current clients. Engel has many options for creating profit since they have three market segments; they should use this to their advantage so if one client’s business is slowing down, it will not affect Engel to such an extent, for they have other avenues to pursue. Lastly, Engel needs to manage their online presence by interacting with viewers and creating profiles on high-traffic media platforms. Opportunities for Engel are endless. The team sorted through various opportunities and selected the top four uses of marketing techniques, potential new uses in the industry, changes in technology, and local events. The use of cutting edge marketing techniques to enhance business is a huge opportunity that Engel is missing out on. Marketing will help gain new clients and make Engel more credible; to learn more about marketing please refer to Deliverable Three on
  10. 10. 7 | P a g e page 31. Changes in technology is constantly evolving and with that comes the increased ability to reach potential customers. If Engel updates their current strategies and brings on new up-and- coming techniques, they will have no problem accomplishing this opportunity. Finally, participating in local events. Expos and trade shows will allow Engel to create and establish themselves within the community. These events will help Engel get word out on what services they provide and why a potential customer may need these services. For more information on trade shows and expos please refer to Appendix A. The last component in a SWOT analysis covers any threats that Engel may face. These threats include staff shortages, lack of public knowledge, and competitors. The team discovered that a staff shortage within administration may be a contributing factor as to why Engel’s marketing is not up to their standards. Employing a part-time marketing professional within the administrative department will help in delegating key tasks that need to be completed in order for Engel to expand their business and increase profits. Another threat Engel faces is the lack of public knowledge on what services they provide and why customers need them. By improving their marketing strategy, the public will gain greater knowledge about Engel; thus, customer traffic should increase. Competitors around the area are another threat that affects Engel. There are four companies that provide similar services as Engel; however, these companies are around the Twin Cities area. Engel has the advantage to serve the Saint Cloud area, since they are the only metal/material testing company around that region. After conducting the SWOT analysis, the consulting team had a clearer vision on how to develop a strategy that would assist Engel in accomplishing their goal. However, the team continued to
  11. 11. 8 | P a g e conduct research on the industry that Engel is in. The research helped the consulting team pinpoint Engel’s competitive edge and ways to use it to their advantage. 4.2 External Factors It is essential to evaluate every possible factor that could have an effect on the organization. External factors are things that will directly or indirectly make an impact on the overall business. There is little one can do to protect themselves from external factors in the world, but a business can accurately assess and predict the direction of an industry to either prepare for the worst, or pursue potential opportunities. The consulting team researched external factors that will affect the materials testing industry. Demographics With a large group of Baby Boomers retiring in the next ten years, this can be a positive and a negative for Engel. The negatives mainly revolve around having connections to current customers potentially lost. Higher-ups that have known Engel for years may be retiring soon, so Engel needs to connect with new employees taking over. Engel should contact boards and qualified managers to see if they are running the business in a different or similar way compared to the old managers. This is a great opportunity and reason for Engel to connect with its current partners and stresses contacting them and staying in touch. The positives for Engel can be focused on the opportunities to meet with new potential clients. Younger managers might see Engel through online advertising in ways that the old managers might not have previously thought of. A whole new perspective with Engel’s new clients means
  12. 12. 9 | P a g e that Engel should pay even closer attention to its presence online and focus on getting their name out onto the World Wide Web. The SWOT analysis hinted at both these positives and negatives of the changing demographics. However, the consulting team has suggestions later on how to address both of these issues. Economic The rise in product testing is the bulk of the increase. It’s the “significant diversity in products, growth in consumer demand, and globalization of sourcing that are providing a major thrust behind testing and certification” says a testing industry executive in Appliance Manufacturer. Engel should take this statement into consideration because it is important for Engel to connect with these people who are in need of testing. If production testing demand is on the rise, Engel should find ways to connect with these consumers online, in print, and in person. The team has discovered several ways to do this and will explain later in this report. Political and Legal Certifications for products vary from state to state. This could pose as an issue being that the laws are not entirely uniform. This could be a challenge in determining what markets in separate geographic areas could be further exploited. At the same time, this could pose as an opportunity after the regulations are identified; Engel can the test for each area that needs to be satisfied for that state’s certification. This may soon lead to customers from various states coming to Engel, for they know that they can help their products pass their state’s certification.
  13. 13. 10 | P a g e An American firms’ ability to transfer testing products into international markets will depend on the pace of which the international business community can settle on common testing and certification standards. Most experts agree that the development of one globally accepted mark of certification is a number of years off from now due to the lack of one single international legal system that ensures compliance. There is a rise in product liability insurance that has led companies to utilize testing labs for improved products. Technology Another factor affecting competition of the independent laboratory services is the internet. Sue Robinson in Seafood Business stated that analysts believe that testing companies will become even more vital as products are sold online. These sight-unseen transactions will place a greater premium on third-party assurances of quality. Competition With rapid expansion of a global marketplace, many testing and certification laboratories have sprung up across the nation. According to Reference for Business, the number and size of testing labs operating in the United States and other industrialized nations has significantly increased over the last number of years. This is due to the rise in product testing and growth in consumer demand. A few companies that have similar services as Engel in the Twin Cities area are listed below. ● Element St. Paul – materials testing and product qualification testing in St. Paul ● Innovatech Labs, LLC – material testing lab providing various other services in Plymouth, MN
  14. 14. 11 | P a g e ● Materials Evaluation & Engineering, Inc (MEE) – laboratory expertise & engineering consultations in Plymouth, MN ● MTS Systems Corporation – testing & sensing solutions headquartered in Eden Prairie, MN 4.3 Internal Factors Internal factors are very important as they influence and shape the marketing objectives as a business. They are directly controlled by the company and can be shifted to match marketing objectives. Once the internal factors are discovered Engel will have the increased ability to manage their strengths and recognize any threats outside of their operations. Existing Products Existing products are those that are currently in stock for a business. Engel’s existing products include items such as metal and material testing services, failure analysis, proper material selection, and Research and Development department. Strategies A strategy is a plan of action designed to achieve an overall goal. Engel’s strategies include offering one-on-one consultation, word-of-mouth, superior service, ISO certifications, and having a quality laboratory.
  15. 15. 12 | P a g e Culture Corporate culture refers to the beliefs and behaviors that determine how a company’s employees and management team interact and handle business. Engel’s culture includes having a friendly environment, being a small business with an emphasis on customer service, and creating fast service turnaround with proper diagnosis. Capabilities Business capability is what a company needs to be able to execute their business strategy. Capabilities of Engel include chemical analysis, weld qualifications, depth measurements, thickness measurements, special product testing, corrosion testing, hardness, tensile strength, and microstructure testing. 4.4 Market Segmentation Target markets can be divided in different ways to develop a strategy to appeal to potential customers. It narrows down and finds ways to appeal directly to who would be purchasing the product of service; thus, eliminating wasted money and time on advertising to the wrong segment. Due to the narrow customer base and a relatively small target market, the consulting team was tasked to define and explore Engel’s target market for their service. The team was provided with the primary industries that Engel should appeal to. These primary industries are manufacturing, insurance, and legal with attorneys. The consulting was tasked to analyze these three segments to develop our in-depth industry analysis. This will determine who, where and what these markets have to exploit in our quest to gain market share and appeal directly to who in these industries will use Engel Metallurgical and their services.
  16. 16. 13 | P a g e 5.0 Deliverable One In-Depth Industry Analysis 5.1 Manufacturing Market Segmentation Manufacturing Our team conducted an in-depth market analysis for manufacturing with a goal to find purchasing decisions and trends within the industry. Being that manufacturing is a broad field with many differing subdivisions, a broad approach was chosen. The team analyzed the manufacturing industry in an occupational and geographical perspective. While conducting our industry analysis it was learned that there are five manufacturing suppliers within twenty-five miles of Saint Cloud. Within fifty miles, there are thirty-three manufacturing facilities that are in close proximity for Engel Metallurgical to reach. The consulting team identified eight casting companies within a fifty-mile radius of Saint Cloud. According to Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, manufacturing jobs are on the rise and have increased seven percent since the recession in 2010. Eighty percent of these metal casting firms are small businesses and employ less than one hundred people. These smaller businesses would be easier to penetrate and deliver our marketing message to. A smaller firm tends to make purchasing decisions from the top, so targeting these individual owners becomes a necessity. Ideal Customer Engel’s optimal business strategy involves holding a relationship with repeat customers, particularly in the manufacturing and metal casting industry. With a higher quantity of orders, this would result in increased productivity and eventually repeat business. This would be a valuable asset to their organization and cash flow, as well as provide a secure portfolio of clients. Engel should search for companies that would be able to make new or improving products in
  17. 17. 14 | P a g e their development area(s). Another ideal customer would be a client starting a new business. Any new business needs new contacts and professionals to oversee the quality of each product. Searching for start-up businesses would be a good way to gain market share before the competition. Market The team developed a strategy to get Engel Metallurgical’s name out and attract new clients for the manufacturing industry. Being that the target market is relatively narrow, the strategy is focused on how to get the message and service Engel delivers to the target market in the right industry. This will involve some extra work and attention, but if treated properly it will go in the right direction providing long term results. 5.2 Methods to Reach Segmented Manufacturers Database Exposure While searching for competitors of Engel Metallurgical, the consulting team located a large variety of companies to target in the manufacturing industry. The website used was TomasNet.com, an updated version of thomasregistry.com which is the premier source for online manufacturing companies to locate products and services in the industry nationwide. While searching through Thomas Registry, our team comprised a list of six metal testing companies in Minnesota alone without locating contact information for Engel Metallurgical. It is important that Engel gets exposure through these databases. It is especially important for a reliable website like ThomasNet.com to have Engel’s information. According to New York Public Library,
  18. 18. 15 | P a g e ThomasNet.com is listed as one of the twenty-five best reference sources for the Reference Librarian, and is listed as their best-of-the-web list for industry information. ThomasNet.com has a wide variety of discovery platforms to help advertise and gain leads to potential manufacturing companies. It will have the capability to promote Engel’s advertisements directly to a manufacturer that could be in need of Engel’s service(s). This direct advertisement program will be very effective in narrowing down the target market and giving Engel the visibility they need from various manufacturing companies. These companies will then understand the service Engel provides and how to utilize it. This results-powered marketing program can be located at http://rpm.thomasnet.com/. ThomasNet.com also stays up-to-date with recent news in the metal and fabrication industry, as well as provides updates for trade shows and networking events. These trade shows and networking events will allow Engel to meet potential clients and suppliers. To learn more about trade shows, see Appendix A. A second online community that the consulting team suggests to be beneficial for Engel is for them to become a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The website for this society is a not-for-profit membership website that “enables collaboration, knowledge sharing, career enrichment, and skill development across all engineering disciplines.” Their goal is to develop solutions that benefit lives and livelihood. They have over 130,000 members ranging from college students to corporate executives. They have a global presence with conferences and networking events in over thirty countries. By joining this community Engel will be able to: ● Share professional qualifications with tens of thousands of engineers
  19. 19. 16 | P a g e ● Communicate and create professional connections ● Post relevant articles and publications ● Join groups related to a specific field and discuss in forums, blogs, and newsfeeds This website is similar to a global “LinkedIn” directly for manufacturing and engineering industries. With a membership, companies get the opportunity to join over 1,400 groups in industries such as Aerospace, Automotive, Construction, Energy, Environmental Engineering, Manufacturing and Processing, and Transportation. From here, members receive a directory of professionals in specific fields with direct messaging access. This would be a very beneficial tool to help set up a direct messaging and email campaign. Appendix B will share knowledge on what ASME is about, how to register, and how to search through their directory. Trade Shows Exposure With the research our consulting team has performed, it came to our attention that a crucial part of networking for such a niche service is to attend trade shows, expos and other networking events. A compiled a list of possible events to attend can be found in Appendix A. These events contain thousands of potential contacts that are available to meet in person, talk about what services companies provide, and how they can be valued and improved upon for a specific customer base. If taken seriously, these events would be extremely beneficial to Engel Metallurgical. Lead Calling Sales are arguably the most important part of a business. It is the top of the income statement and crucial to the survival of every business. Sales can be one of the most difficult and challenging
  20. 20. 17 | P a g e processes in the work environment; however, it can easily be overlooked as many small businesses do not have a sales department. Being so crucial, the sales aspect should not be overlooked as many firms lack the attention. One of the most challenging parts of sales is generating new leads. It is of utmost importance in gaining new customers. Prospecting can be done through various forms of social media, databases, and websites. The team took the liberty to put together a list of our top prospects for Engel Metallurgical to reach out to and acknowledge. There are seven steps on making a sale of a service. These steps are: 1. Generate Leads 2. Qualifying Leads 3. Approaching the customer and probing needs 4. Developing and proposing solutions 5. Handling objections 6. Closing the sale 7. Following up Cold Calling In order to cold call a customer, Engel should utilize the following steps: 1. Make a list of potential customers and insurance agencies the team has provided 2. Choose and list which potential customers would be a good fit for Engel’s services (the reasons can vary from location, services, or products that might need testing) 3. Call each potential customer and introduce Engel and who they are
  21. 21. 18 | P a g e 4. Ask if any products produced by the company are in need of testing or being checked for accuracy; ask if there are any developing products that might need testing in the future. If the potential customer has any qualifying products, then explain what Engel can do for them. 5. Ask if they would like to schedule a meeting or call back at a later date. If the customer is not interested, ask if they would like Engel’s contact information and offer if they request it. 6. Near the end of the call, no matter if the potential customer wants information, services, or neither, thank them for a time and to have a great day. *An example of a cold-call can be seen in Appendix C. Making these calls on a daily basis will not only lead to more sales, but will give the business more exposure to the market. While many companies will decline, they will know Engel exists and could refer their contacts to Engel, or use Engel’s services at a later date. Engel Metallurgical’s customers are not all in the manufacturing industry. There are two other types of customers that utilize Engel’s specific services. These customers include insurance company representatives who deal with direct damages from failed parts and attorneys using Engel as an expert witness in lawsuits. To reach these segments, in addition to manufacturing, the consulting team continued the in-depth industry analysis and proposed some solutions to gain exposure and market share in these additional segments.
  22. 22. 19 | P a g e 5.3 Insurance Market Segmentation: Insurance Engel has plenty of options to reach insurance adjusters and firms. There are almost fifty insurance firms that service the Saint Cloud area. According to the Insurance Journal, the numbers of independent insurance agents are growing. While the numbers of insurance agents are up, the number of insurance adjusters has not increased as significantly. Claims adjusters, examiners, and investigators account for one percent of Minnesota's workforce making an average salary of $66,770. However, according to the Insurance Business of America, insurance adjusters will be on the decline over the upcoming years (Bronson, 2015). This can be concerning for Engel, but should they have to deal with insurance adjusters, this is important information that they should keep in mind. Industry Analysis When it comes to insurance company representatives, Engel targets those who deal with product liability. The number of attorneys overall, as of 2014, is over 1.2 million, according to the Boston Globe. There are over 40,000 law firms in the United States (Inside Legal). While these numbers are good, especially for Engel trying to find cases, there are a large number of attorneys who have a possible chance to decline (Boston Globe). The number of students entering into law school is dropping, so Engel might have to personally reach out to current insurance company representatives. This is especially true since Engel does not need just any insurance company representatives; instead, Engel needs insurance company representatives that fall into the category of product failure and defective products. These types of insurance company representatives use Engel’s services to test out a product that is not passing quality standards.
  23. 23. 20 | P a g e They will test the product for thickness, check for ineffective material being used, and/or see if the metal was used correctly or not. By connecting with product liability attorneys, Engel is able to get more jobs with testing metals and being an expert witness in court cases. 5.4 Methods to Reach Segmented Insurance Companies The consulting team gained access and developed a prospect list for Engel. From our prospect list, Engel can market directly to these insurance adjusters, through our recommendations made as a consulting team. In developing our prospect list, the team came across a society called the National Association of Independent Insurance Adjusters. This association is home to over 300 independently-owned property and casualty claims adjusting companies throughout the United States. Their website contains a handbook which lists every member alphabetically with contact information. They also have these agents listed on a state-to-state basis, as well as offer pages to post advertisements in their membership booklet. The team recommends using an email extractor program called Constant Contact that can be used with PDF files to extract only email addresses from the documents. This helpful tool scans the provided document and prepares a list of email addresses for every independent agent in the United States. Importing them into the Constant Contact email system will create thousands of new leads and a solid marketing base. This could be an extremely valuable tool to reach the target market of people who would actually use a metal testing service to save money on claims. The email advertisement campaign must be professionally done and reflect the value that Engel Metallurgical can provide for them. A guide for creating an effective email advertisement can be found in Appendix D.
  24. 24. 21 | P a g e 5.5 Attorneys Market Segmentation: Attorneys The team took an in-depth look into the attorney industry as well. Of the 100 attorney firms in the St. Cloud area, the team compiled a list six firms to contact in the St. Cloud area, and four firms nationwide. At first glance, this looks good for Engel when it comes to trying to find new clients who need Engel’s service of expert witnesses. However, when looking at the demand, according to The American Lawyer, the demand for law firms is going down (Godwin, 2015). This means that while there are a lot of firms, there will not a rising demand for Engel’s services in this segment. When researching the number of attorneys, the ABA Journal states, “the number of attorneys is growing, but only slightly.” In comparison to other business sectors, the lawyer and law firm counts have failed to keep pace, according to Savills Studley Insights (2014). Although these numbers are not encouraging, Engel can use this to their advantage. Engel has the opportunity to keep in touch with firms that do not have to worry as much about other firms competing and taking their business. Firms can also get their standing with certain lawyers and allow Engel to work with the same lawyers for years to come. Industry Analysis When searching for attorneys in specific industries, our team gathered, researched and decided on several firms that have areas dedicated to product liability. Some of these companies are listed below in Figure 2 in our top ten best attorney firms to contact list.
  25. 25. 22 | P a g e Figure 2 The team located attorneys using two sites called Nonlo.com and Attorneypages.com. On both of these sites, there are dozens of product liability lawyers that have their contact information available with just the click of a button. These attorneys are nationwide firms and can be available for any case that Engel wants to contribute their services to. Using these databases can be very useful to Engel, especially since they can work nationwide. If Engel decides to use them, they should consider looking at the contact information. While some of the listed names provide general firm information, others provide information for a specific attorney. This gives Engel multiple options as to how they want to use the websites.
  26. 26. 23 | P a g e 5.6 Methods to Reach Segmented Law Firms Legal Industry Publications There are attorney magazines that Engel can advertise in, such as “Bench and Bar Magazine,” “Minnesota Association for Justice,” and “Minnesota Lawyer.” Many lawyers and attorneys have subscriptions to these magazine, so it would be best for Engel to advertise in them to gain more attorney clients. If attorneys have a case on part failure, they have an opportunity to look inside the magazines and find Engel’s name advertised. This could lead to Engel being contacted and getting assigned to a new failure analysis case if accepted. In fact, the sooner Engel signs up for this kind of advertising, the earlier their company name will be available for use. The team decided that this will help Engel reach many different attorneys and lawyer groups not previously contacted. Directories With word-of-mouth and professional advertising both being the biggest and most popular ways for companies like Engel to advertise to attorneys, that does not mean that Engel cannot try one more way to reach more prospective clients. There are a few online directories that Engel can put their name in. These law directories can put the company’s information into a metal testing group, so that attorneys can locate Engel in an effective manner. There are many competitors that are in different directories and this is a huge disadvantage for Engel and is something they should address immediately. Their six competitors in Minnesota can all be found using the Thomas Registry directory. The team concludes that Thomas Registry is the best place online for Engel, as previously mentioned, to advertise their company. By doing so, Engel can begin to close the gap on their competitors. The team noticed that Engel has a small online presence. They do not
  27. 27. 24 | P a g e appear on many directories, as noted previously, and while they do have a website, they are in desperate need of an online marketing upgrade. Expert Witness Exposure Another service Engel provides their insurance and attorney clients is an expert witness service. An expert witness is a person who has knowledge beyond that of the ordinary, regular person enabling him/her to give testimony regarding an issue that requires expertise or special knowledge to understand it. This is especially convenient when it comes to court cases. Engel has the opportunity to sell their services to the defense, the accuser, or both sides of a particular court case. Expert witnesses are allowed to give opinions, which a non-expert witness may not be allowed to do in the courtroom (US Legal). The average person does not understand how strong a certain metal is and what it can or cannot hold. They also cannot tell if a pipe, for example, would be strong enough to hold up during a hard winter chill or if it can handle a certain water pressure. Engel has a distinct company advantage when it comes to being able to provide this information. They can use their services not only to help their business, but to help others as well. They are providing services that may help other companies, people, and the United States of America through being an expert witness in court cases. However, the key to receiving this business is for Engel to understand how they can promote themselves towards their specific markets. When it comes to providing an expert witness service, this will require more work and dedication. Expert witnesses are usually heard about by word-of-mouth and not so much with advertising. This means that Engel needs to be sure when they are called to be an expert witness, that they discuss any future opportunities for work with both attorneys on each side. Some points Engel should ask these attorneys include if there are certain lawyers or
  28. 28. 25 | P a g e attorneys that deal with metal or manufacturing, are there other current cases that need expert witness help, and do they know others who could use Engel’s services. In order for Engel to remain competitive, they need to utilize environmental scanning to continually update their technology, as well as advertise in traditional and digital ways. Engel has a chance to dramatically increase their business opportunities within the segments of insurance adjusters and attorneys. The team recommends Engel to continue reaching out and advertising to all clients, asking for client’s opinions and suggestions, and creating a larger social media presence in order to keep in contact with customers and companies.
  29. 29. 26 | P a g e 6.0 Deliverable Two Maintaining Relationships It is our task to develop a strategy and an in-depth approach on the best way to retain Engel’s current and future customer base. Engel should focus on building strong relationships with all clients. By following our recommendations, Engel will gather more knowledge on how to maintain these strong relationships for the long-term. Ways to maintain relationships include an email campaign, relationship management, customer surveys, and customer support which will lead to high customer retention and customer satisfaction. 6.1 Email Campaign It is the consulting team’s opinion that it is in Engel Metallurgical’s best interest to set-up a mass marketing email campaign. This is when an email marketing provider allows for quick and easy email campaigns to be sent to existing and new customers. It is recommended to use a company called, “Constant Contact,” to do so. Their easy-to-use interface can be set-up to deliver messages, news, or any other web-based content to any client in Engel’s database. It can be done automatically, and is an effective way to remind customers of the services provided, allowing for greater increase in repeat business and customer retention. They assist with professional templates and allow for surveys and promotional material. The team recommends this campaign to increase Engel’s contact management with clients. 6.2 Relationship Management Our team also proposes that Engel develops a plan based on inventory within the warehouse. This plan would involve logging all of the former customers that have worked with Engel in the
  30. 30. 27 | P a g e past and inputting them into the Constant Contact database. It is in our opinion that Engel Metallurgical reaches out to these old accounts to see if they are in need of anymore assistance. A simple greeting, reminder, or question to see if their previous defective part or parts, which have been taken care of, would suffice. A part-time employee would be the best approach to go about doing this, as it is a relatively simple, yet tedious process. 6.3 Customer Support Another vital component that the team and other marketing professionals recommend, is customer support. The company should increase their involvement more than just on their website and with LinkedIn, in order for customers to reach out to Engel. Engel should get started on a social media platform such as Facebook, along with continually updating any deals they are running or local events they will be participating in. In addition, Engel Metallurgical should also make their social media open for feedback or questions, so that a customer can communicate to them without having to be face-to-face. If contact through social media is not enough, by placing their contact information on any of these online sites, clients will be able to quickly and easily telephone or e-mail Engel should a situation arise. The client will have their address through this media avenue as well, in case the customer needs to meet face-to-face. 6.4 Customer Retention There is a proven relationship between profit and customer retention. One way to put a value on customer retention is to estimate a “lifetime retention value.” This is the value and additional sales that would develop if customers were retained. For improving customer retention, Engel should use the system that is suggested below:
  31. 31. 28 | P a g e ● Internal service quality- Enables and reinforces climate and organizational culture ● Employee retention- Good human resource management and organization development methods such as teams, job development and empowerment. Employee retention depends on employee satisfaction which can be related to external service and customer satisfaction. ● External service quality- Delivered through an organization’s quality infrastructure ● Customer satisfaction- The follow up, in order to reduce customer defects and improve retentions. This system starts within the organization at the top level. It is influenced by the firm's strategic decision to improve its processes and total quality management. Our consulting team will make a focused approach at developing the last piece of the system and focus on customer satisfaction to retain its customers and maintain lifetime retention value. 6.5 Customer Surveys Another way Engel could improve relationships with customers is to ask for their opinions. In order to do so, Engel should create a client satisfaction survey that is distributed once the job is completed to receive honest feedback of their performance, level of quality and professionalism. This survey would act as a three-part solution in helping Engel retain its customers. 1. It allows them to notice areas of improvement and make corrective actions. 2. The survey, which would be sent via mail, will act as a reminder of Engel’s services and promote the company overall. This survey would be acting as an advertisement without actually being one.
  32. 32. 29 | P a g e 3. In addition to these, the last important reason for incorporating a survey is that the surveys reinforce the professional appearance and culture within the organization if implemented properly. It shows the customer that Engel values their opinions and recognizes their value. 6.6 Measurement of Customer Satisfaction Many firms measure customer satisfaction by using the “if it isn’t broken, don't’ fix it” model. This focuses on the negative aspects of dissatisfaction rather than satisfaction. Complaints are often very few. There are two basic steps in a measurement system. 1. Develop key indicators that drive customer satisfaction. 2. Collect data regarding the perceptions of quality as received by customers. Key indicators are what the company has chosen to represent quality in its products and services and how they are delivered. The building blocks to this system are designed to:  Track expectations of the customer  Company perceptions of customer expectations Indicators to consider include timeliness of the service, satisfaction, dependability, reputation of the provider, friendliness of employees, billing and invoicing procedure, responsiveness to requests, competence, appearance of physical facility, approachability, location and access, respect for customer feeling, willingness to listen, honesty, and ability to communicate in a clear language. These indicators can be converted into action items that reflect specific delivery systems where the product or service meets the customer.
  33. 33. 30 | P a g e 6.7 Drivers of customer satisfaction (Key Excellence Indicators) In order for Engel to comprise recurring customers, spread the word about their company, or possibly both, they need to have great customer satisfaction. This can be addressed in many ways and it can happen at any time. From the first contact to when the customer walks out the door, Engel needs to address any concerns their customers have, but also deliver quality services. The team has developed a list for Engel to check and examine how well they are doing on customer satisfaction. The list follows: ● Service standards derived from customer requirements ● Understanding customer requirements ● High levels of satisfaction ● Proactive customer service systems ● Proactive management of relationships with customers ● Use of all listening posts (surveys, product/service follow ups, complaints, turnover of customers, employees) ● Quality requirements of market segments (survey goes beyond customer, commitment to customer, trust confidence, making “good” on spoken words) Many companies have targets for process improvement. But for Engel, it is in our opinion that the target for customer retention should be implemented into its central theme. This theme will correlate with the overall strategy and will be a focus for everyone to achieve.
  34. 34. 31 | P a g e 7.0 Deliverable Three Marketing Strategy The final deliverable to be presented is an in-depth marketing strategy for Engel Metallurgical. A proper marketing plan and its features that apply to Engel Metallurgical will be discussed. This will highlight the important areas needed for an effective marketing strategy. Recommendations given for Engel will contribute to the development of an action plan that can be taken to improve the current marketing strategy. The Marketing Plan The marketing plan is a written document that acts as a guidebook of marketing activities. It is very important for any business to write as it includes specific objectives and defines what actions are required to obtain them. Marketing can, however, be expensive to implement, but it can be the most important driver in any business. The crucial elements include defining the business mission, performing a situation analysis, defining objectives, delineating a target market, and establishing components of the marketing mix. These should not be viewed as sequential planning steps, but simultaneously in conjunction with one another. Every marketing plan should be unique to the firm it was created for. The Marketing Plan element can be seen below in Figure 3.
  35. 35. 32 | P a g e Figure 3 Mission Statement The foundation of any marketing plan is the mission statement which answers, “What business are we in?” This should be based on the benefits sought after for present and potential customers, and an analysis of existing and anticipated environmental conditions. It should focus on the market the company is trying to serve and not the service itself. Situational Analysis Conducting a situational analysis, which is sometimes called a SWOT Analysis, identifies strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. While conducting these internal factors, the company should look at the firm's resources, such as production costs, marketing skills, financial resources, company or brand image and employee capabilities. Next, the company should examine the external opportunities and threats that will affect the marketing environment called, “environmental scanning.” This includes information about forces, events, and relationships that may affect the future of the firm which is an important metric to consider. The six most popular forces are social, demographic, economic, technological, political and legal, and competitive.
  36. 36. 33 | P a g e Competitive Advantage After conducting a firm's current situation through a SWOT analysis and external analysis, a clear indication of the firm's competitive advantage should surface. Competitive advantage is defined as a set of unique features of a company and its products that are perceived by the target market as significant to the competition. The three types of competitive advantages are cost, product/service differentiation, and niche. Cost competitive advantage is when a company is a low-cost competitor in an industry while maintaining profits. Product service differentiation is when a firm provides something unique and valuable for buyers. This competitive advantage provides a durable and longer lasting strategy than solely based on cost alone. The last advantage a firm can have is a niche advantage. This seeks to target and effectively serve a single segment of the market. The key for a competitive advantage is making sure it is sustainable. An ideal sustainable competitive advantage is one that cannot be copied by competition. Target Market Strategy A market segment is a group of individuals who share one or more characteristics and have similar product needs. This begins with a market opportunity analysis (MOA) or a description and estimation of the size and sales potential of market segments that are of interest to the firm. Market segmentation plays a key role in the marketing strategy and is a powerful marketing tool. Market segmentation helps define customer needs more precisely which will help design a marketing mix specifically matched with the company’s desires. This will help align marketing objectives and allocate resources. Groups can be segmented by age, gender, occupation, geographical region, or demographic characteristics.
  37. 37. 34 | P a g e Another marketing strategy that the team recommends Engel to consider is a Multi-segment Targeting Strategy. This strategy forms when a firm chooses two or more well-defined marketing segments and develops a distinct marketing mix for each. This strategy has many benefits including greater sales volume, higher profits, larger market share, and economies of scale. However, this strategy may involve greater promotion and market research costs for the company. The Marketing Mix The marketing mix is a blend of product, place (distribution), promotion and pricing strategies. Successful marketing mixes have been designed to satisfy target markets and are a blend of all four components to achieve optimal results. Implementation of the Marketing Plan One key to success, which is overlooked by businesses, is to actively follow up on the marketing plan. One of the best ways to get results from the marketing plan is to actually implement it. Implementation activities involve detailed job assignments, activity descriptions, time lines, budgets, and lots of communication. This requires delegation and responsibility for completing tasks and allocating resources. Sometimes these plans require assigning a task force to a goal in order to accomplish it.
  38. 38. 35 | P a g e External Factors Social Social change can be one of the most difficult external factors for marketing managers to forecast. These include attitudes, values, and lifestyles. The top six characteristics consumers want in a product or service is reliability, durability, easy maintenance, ease of use, a trusted brand name, and a low price. Generational Consumer Behavior It also important to note that there are approximately twenty-five million teenagers in the United States who spend approximately 72 hours a week on electronics. Currently 95 percent of teens are using the internet in some form. Generation Y is the millennial generation that is currently entering young adulthood and the workforce. They are arguably the most tech-savvy generation, spending more time surfing the web than they do watch television or reading. Social Media on Consumer Behavior Social media encompasses a wide variety of formats including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc. These platforms have changed the ways of communication, browsing for products and services, and making purchases. Living in this digital age has completely changed the way consumers send and receive information. Most information about a company is now searched through an external information search (the internet).
  39. 39. 36 | P a g e Purchase Involvement and the Internet It is important for any business to evaluate the level of consumer involvement in purchasing decisions. Involvement is the amount of time and effort a buyer invests in the search, evaluation and decision. Consumers undergo extensive decision making when buying an unfamiliar, expensive or infrequently bought product or service. This is regarded as a complex decision and has high involvement. For high involvement purchases, promotion should be extensive and informative. A good advertisement for example gives the proper information and specifies the benefit and advantages of purchasing the product or service. High involvement purchases are more frequently searched through on an external information source to aid in additional information about the product and company. It also aids in reading reviews and posts from former consumers to help them decide if the purchase is the right one. It is important to consider the customer experience as well as the quality of information provided to ensure the customer is knowledgeable and well informed about a purchasing decision. Business-to-Business Marketing on the Internet Companies selling to businesses face the same challenges as all marketers including who the market is and what is the best way to reach them. Content marketing is becoming more and more important for business-to-business marketing. Content marketing is based on the idea of developing valuable content for interested audience members. Email newsletters, webinars and blog posts are some examples. Email marketing, search engine optimization (SEO), and a paid search are ways to “pull” customers to Engel’s site. One study found that 91 percent of business- to-business marketers who use content marketing spend an average of 33 percent of their total budgets on this type of marketing. It is a very important and effective method which can be used
  40. 40. 37 | P a g e to reach Engel’s target audience in today’s world. Some business-to-business marketers use social media to generate quality leads. The key to making social media marketing effective however, is to combine it with other digital assets like email and content marketing. Designing websites with the user in mind is crucial for business-to-business marketing. Some suggestions include ● Simple, uncluttered design ● Bold colors and large text ● Central layout that is typically 960 pixels wide ● A separate top section ● Solid areas of screen real estate ● A strong visual hierarchy Measuring Online Success Most measurers use web analytics to determine which online activities generate leads. They use the information found to make their website more effective and appealing. External word searches, internal search engine analytics, and keyword searches are all great methods to use in measuring online consumer activities. Positioning/Differentiation Based on the target market, a firm can position themselves in a way to influence a potential customer's overall perception of the company relative to a competitor. This is dependent on product differentiation. Product differentiation is differing a firm's product in relation to a competitor on the basis of price, service, or quality.
  41. 41. 38 | P a g e Marketing for Services Since service organizations differ from businesses that produce goods, a different measure of marketing is implemented based on the different factors customers’ value the service. For example, distribution strategies for service organizations must focus on convenience. This is a key factor that influences a consumer. Consumers tend to have a harder time evaluating the service rather than a good because services are less tangible. Being that many services involve interaction between the firm and the customer, relationship marketing becomes a great benefit. Relationship marketing is attracting, developing, and retaining customer relationships. The idea is to create strong loyalty from satisfied customers. These satisfied customers will engage in word-of-mouth advertising and/or repeat business. It is more cost effective to keep repeat customers than attracting new customers. The following shows the two different levels that are a part of relationship marketing. ● Level 1: The firm uses price incentives to encourage customers to continue doing business with them. ● Level 2: The firm uses price incentives, but seeks to build a social bond with customers. The firm stays in touch with customers and learns their needs. Internal marketing Internal marketing means treating employees as customers and developing ways to benefit their needs. Employees who like their jobs are more likely to deliver exceptional customer service. By delivering exceptional customer service, the customer will become happy. A happy customer has a better chance of returning for repeat business.
  42. 42. 39 | P a g e The Promotional Mix Most promotional strategies use several ingredients which include advertising, sales promotions, personal selling, social media, and public relations. The combination of these elements are referred to as the promotional mix, and it is often believed to be the key that will meet the needs of the target market and fulfill a firm's overall goal. Personal selling Tradition methods of personal selling involve a planned presentation while more current notions emphasize the relationship between the buyer and seller. Relationship selling emphasizes a win- win outcome that benefits both the buyer and the salesperson in the long term. This leads to increased customer loyalty and retention. Personal selling, like other promotional mix elements, are increasingly dependent on the internet. Most companies use their websites to attract potential buyers seeking information on products and services, and drive them to make a call or head to the location where the salesperson can close the sale using a personal selling technique. Customer relationship management Customer relationship management (CRM) is the ultimate goal of a new trend in marketing. In order to implement this system, the business must manage the customer relationship across all points of customer contact. By understanding their customer base and their data, salespeople can leverage the information, not only to develop closer relationships but to close more sales. Web and social media platforms can help gain information about the potential customer as well as old school methods of phone conversations and personal visits. The CRM system can manage leads, contacts, accounts, and potential clients.
  43. 43. 40 | P a g e Data mining can help identify the most profitable customer and prospects. Managers can then tailor marketing strategies to these segments. With data and information gathered from potential prospects, sales calls and promotional campaigns can be targeted towards the intended audience. 7.1 Marketing Plan Basic Elements There are an estimated ten main basic elements that should always be included in a marketing plan. These topics are target market, messaging, media, pricing, channels, promotion, major milestone goals, important metrics, scheduling, and the budget (SBA, 2016). The following information contains the basics to a marketing plan along with information already provided by Engel Metallurgical. Target Market Engel’s target market consists of three separate market segments. These segments are attorneys, insurance company representatives, and members of a broad range of industries. Attorneys and insurance company representatives require Engel to provide information regarding failure analysis and executive witness knowledge. Customer members are from industries such as chemical, agricultural, aviation, power generation, construction, transportation and manufacturing. The consulting team advises Engel Metallurgical to continue to promote themselves to members of industries in the Midwest. Since attorneys and insurance company representatives make up a smaller portion of the customer base and can be used long distance, Engel should promote themselves to these targets nationwide. The Small Business Administration advises companies to describe an ideal target customer in detail. Defining the
  44. 44. 41 | P a g e target market in detail will improve the marketing plan molded for each customer segment (SBA, 2016). Messaging Engel’s main tagline is “Every material tells a story...And Engel Metallurgical studies that story.” This phrase helps point out to clients that no material used in a product is insignificant, and that Engel has the abilities to study how that material has been used over time. Value proposition is another aspect that should be included in a company’s messaging. Value proposition is an innovation, service, or feature intended to make a company attractive to customers. Through research, our team has found a number of aspects that Engel should emphasize to catch the client's attention. Engel’s ISO accreditation, their on-site laboratories and equipment, their quick-analysis turnaround, the methods developed by employees to improve results, and knowledgeable staff in such a niche market are all points that should be emphasized. Engel needs to advertise using the value propositions mentioned. These values set them apart from other companies who may perform similar services. Media With Millennials becoming society’s up-and-coming employees, it is essential for Engel Metallurgical to get their name out on social media platforms. According to Social Media Today, Facebook is still the top social media platform used in society today, so it is suggested for Engel to create a “Page” for their company on this social media outlet. For help creating a Facebook “Page” please refer to Appendix E. Another great social media source to market with is LinkedIn. Engel Metallurgical already has a profile on LinkedIn, now it’s just a matter of using it
  45. 45. 42 | P a g e in a more efficient way to attract new clients. LinkedIn’s Small Business page (https://smallbusiness.linkedin.com) is full of ideas on how to promote a business through their social media platform. Many of their tips include techniques to establish the business, how to connect with the community, and how to engage the audience (screenshots can be found in Appendix F). LinkedIn also provides a Small Business Marketing Playbook for download which can be found by clicking on the “View Resources” button on their website. When using social media, always think about where potential customers will see the message, how to help the right people find the message, and how to track what customers say about the message. It is essential that the marketing manager and/or team does more than “post and pray;” always make the post or message something that will be relevant to clients and remember to interact with customers on these social media platforms. Pricing This section of the marketing plan basics will be generalized. Pricing is an important part of the marketing message. Pricing should reflect the service that is provided. In Engel’s case, the value should be a higher-end price. The fact that every project is different means that custom quotes is Engel’s primary business model. It is difficult to predict every possible test a customer will want, so Engel Metallurgical works one-on-one to find an appropriate price based on how much work and time will be invested. It is essential to remember that a lower price does not necessarily mean more customers. Customers will seek out great service and will be willing to pay that price. It is important to assure that pricing matches the rest of the marketing plan.
  46. 46. 43 | P a g e Channels Since Engel Metallurgical is a service business, they need to leverage the appropriate channels in a different aspect. Channels for a service company include web, mobile, and paper. When deciding on how to use the different channels available, think “what is the best way to reach out to my target market?” As stated before, using the internet as a way to reach out to customers is essential. Facebook and LinkedIn are the best social media outlets for Engel to use along with their established website. Engel’s website contains all the necessary information that is needed for a small business; it is in the team’s opinion, however, that towards the bottom of the screen Engel includes thumbnails that can direct viewers to Engel’s LinkedIn profile and possible Facebook page. Figure 4 below shows what these thumbnails look like. Figure 4 Another channel that Engel should take advantage of is the use of newsletters and magazines. Engel should continue to send out newsletters to current customers. These newsletters should contain information that pertains to the customer receiving it, so it may be in Engel’s best interest to create three separate newsletters, one for each customer segment. Newsletters might contain the history of Engel, information such as new technology or equipment being used, trade shows that Engel will be a part of, accreditation information, and new regulations that Engel is following are all acceptable to include in a newsletter. Industry magazines are a great way for Engel to advertise their business to potential customers. Some great magazines to choose from
  47. 47. 44 | P a g e include “Bench and Bar,” “Minnesota Trial,” “Minnesota Lawyer,” “Claims Magazine,” “Enterprise Minnesota,” and “Minnesota Business Magazine.” Promotion The promotion section of a marketing plan is where all previous sections get tied together and shown to the world. There are several ways to promote a business. These methods include a consistent online presence, email marketing, advertising, affiliate sites, public relations, and holding or attending events. Merriam-Webster defines promotion as a way to make people aware of a business and increase sales or popularity; essentially, the promotion section of a marketing plan should explain how a company plans to raise customer awareness (Merriam-Webster, 2016). Currently, Engel Metallurgical is relying primarily on previous and current customers and word-of-mouth advertising. Engel can continue to use these two forms of promotion, but should also take advantage of other promotional avenues to completely capture their target market. The team has previously mentioned the use of an email marketing system. Email marketing is an easy way to get information out into the hands of customers with just the click of a few buttons. The only downfall to email marketing is that messages could be flagged as spam in the customer’s inbox; thus, the email may never get opened and viewed, making this form of promotion a difficult one to increase awareness. The team recommends advertising in magazines as Engel’s most successful form of promotion. As discussed above, purchasing advertisement spaces in the top magazines of each customer segments’ industry will allow Engel to expose themselves to customers not previously contacted.
  48. 48. 45 | P a g e Other ways to promote Engel would be keeping a constant presence on social media platforms, promoting their newsletter to current clients, and being involved in any trade shows and expos that may come up. Trade shows and expos are a great way for Engel to meet and introduce themselves to prospective clients, even if Engel decides not to provide an expo booth. By just attending the event, Engel has a higher chance of finding new clients than if they had never gone at all. Lastly, another great way that Engel could promote themselves would be through affiliate companies. Engel has the opportunity to contact their equipment providers and suppliers whom they have strong relationships with and ask to be a part of a link-building strategy. Link-building is when a supplier provides customers with a website link to one or more of their purchasers and include said purchasers on their “Store Locator” webpage. This strategy encourages customers of the supplier to locate companies who are close to them that provide the services that they need (Shopify). This is an easy form of promotion and usually has no cost associated with it. Major Milestones Every marketing plan requires specific milestones the company needs to meet in order to track the plan’s progress. These milestones help the company meet the overall marketing plan goal. Milestones can include important deadlines, budgets, profits, and customer satisfaction. The team advises Engel to keep track of their progress when implementing our recommended marketing strategies. Setting everyday goals is an efficient way to keep a marketing strategy from falling behind. Making calls, building relationships, and keeping record every day with a set plan is a good way to measure milestones. Many companies set unattainable goals when implementing a new strategy. Keeping Engels goals small will keep the plan on track and the new strategies will fall into place as the company grows.
  49. 49. 46 | P a g e Important Metrics Results from the marketing plan need to be measurable. In order to see the impact the marketing plan may have on the business, goals and tasks need to be kept track of. Engel can measure their outcomes through sales, web traffic, Facebook posts, Facebook likes, social media follows, and client leads, just to name a few. Any metric can be used as long as it is kept up-to-date and makes sense in measuring the goal. An example of matching the correct metric to a goal is as follows. If Engel wants to increase web traffic on their LinkedIn profile to a certain percentage, they would want to use web traffic, follows, or leads to measure the outcome. Scheduling Scheduling review meetings throughout the life of the marketing plan is extremely important. The consulting team recommends that Engel schedules review meetings either monthly or quarterly depending on how heavy their marketing plan becomes. Review meetings are needed since over time society and the economy change, and with it revisions may be necessary. If Engel does this, they will be able to prepare for any possible problems that could have gone unnoticed. They also will be able to come up with strategies on how to stay ahead of the competition and keep themselves as one of the go-to metallurgical companies. Budgets Incorporating a budget is an essential part in creating a good marketing plan. When Engel makes more money, they create more opportunities. However, Engel can find ways to make their company better by finding ways to save money. The company can also find ways to spend
  50. 50. 47 | P a g e money efficiently when it comes to travel and expenses. Engel can make money back with efficient advertising and, as previously stated, value and great customer service. 7.2 Engel’s Customized Recommendations Strategy 1: Online Web Presence A website is the primary point of contact for customer-supplier interaction. The majority of information and purchasing decisions are dependent on a clean, up-to-date, and reliable source. The importance of a good website is a critical component in specialized services such as material testing. People who are looking for Engel want to be found. Although Engel’s website is satisfactory, a few changes would drastically improve its effectiveness. First and foremost, while searching Google for, “Metal testing Minneapolis,” Engel was listed on the second page of Google. This does not show Engel’s competitive edge. A business needs to be on the first page in the first few companies listed to get noticed by consumers. A few recommendations to enhance Engel’s website include updating the overall look and feel to the page. An updated and livelier page would look more appealing and catch the attention of an everyday viewer. Additionally, adding more employee biographies would be helpful. A potential customer researching a metal testing firm that is in need of Engel’s services could be lead to believing Engel runs a small operation with only two employees listed. This could mislead a consumer and might sway their decision in looking into a bigger competitor. Engel should add their phone number at the top of their webpage so consumers can quickly glance and have a contact method to call and ask questions. Currently, the website search bars on Engel’s current site are slightly confusing. It states the industries Engel serves, but not exactly how they serve
  51. 51. 48 | P a g e them or their capabilities. Restructuring these to appeal to more demographics including engineers would be of benefit. Getting rid of the employment opportunities tab is another suggestion for Engel. This takes up space and is relatively unimportant from a customer’s perspective. Adding more updates on completed projects could also give the page more appeal. Engel should post small promotions, trivia, or contests to interact with viewers and give the page more web traffic. Strategy 2: Differentiation The most important perspective for attracting customers to Engel’s webpage is to remember basic marketing techniques. Metal testing services are just like any other commodity type business. There are many locations, which all do the same thing, and have relatively the same capabilities. This is an extremely regional industry with laboratories in most major cities. The strategy to gaining new customers is dependent on differentiation. Think from a customer's point of view. “Everyone here is the same so why should we pick Engel, a small firm in Sauk Rapids?” Engel’s three main selling points could either be price, service, or quality. Since quality is consistent with the competition, Engel must focus on either price or service. While price is relatively universal or potentially not a competitive factor for Engel, the consulting team advises that Engel should sell themselves on their superior service. This makes superior service their top selling point with lead time, honest and accurate predictions of when the job will be completed, and a friendly voice on the other end of the phone that wants to help. Superior customer service is, in fact, often more valuable than price for customers of metal testing. Value is what every small business needs to provide to the customer in order to be
  52. 52. 49 | P a g e successful. Engel must not only know the competitive strengths and value it brings to the customer, but it must promote and publicize to gain new ones. Strategy 3: Analytics Google Analytics is a phenomenal website that tracks and reports the website traffic on a page. It shows dashboard type data that gives an in-depth analysis of the web pages as well as their individual performance and bounce rates. It shows the path of the searchers and can tell Engel exactly where and what pages they went to from their website. These can help indicate a potential problem within the site and its overall attractiveness or its ability to be easy to use. The analytics can help show a website’s host that one particular page on the site isn’t attracting much attention. Perhaps it is too wordy or unappealing. The analytics will help find the root of the problem and aid in retaining the visitors. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website. SEO considers how search engines work, and what they actually search for. Editing a website's content and increasing its relevance to specific keywords or phrases will help promote a website better on Google search. This could bring the site from the second or third page on Google to the first page and closer to the top. With more visibility, more “clicks” and potential customers Engel will generate. Developing a list of key search terms here is very important, and must be relevant to what the potential customer will type in. For example, Engel could use, “Corrosion Testing MN” or “cross section testing Minneapolis.” Both of these terms popped up zero links connected to Engel Metallurgical on the first page of Google. However, Engel’s competitor “Materials Evaluation and Engineering” (MEE) connected with both searches. From a
  53. 53. 50 | P a g e customer’s point of view, it is searches such as those provided that are specific and based on the exact service they need that will gain a larger audience and expand its potential customer base. Another important and often underutilized web-based marketing strategy is the pay-per-click (PPC) approach to advertising. This approach is an internet model that is used to direct traffic to websites, and is run primarily through search engines. In general, the search engine promotes sponsored advertisements on an individual’s search results. The results are targeted on the basis of searched criteria. If the criteria matches keywords, the advertisement which is in the form of a website link will pop up for free. However, the website who wants more customers pays the search engine or host a fixed dollar amount only if the individual clicks on the link. Typically, close to one dollar per click. This model allows for less risk while advertising on the web. If consumers do not click on the link, Engel would not pay. If the consumer does click, the consumer may become interested in their services and becomes a potential customer. Strategy 4: Dominate the Local Market and Current Customers With the successful implementation of Customer Relationship Management (CRM), Engel would maintain contact with their clients to develop closer relationships which will increase sales. This should be coupled with relationship marketing. Using price incentives as well as building a social bond with customers. This means that Engel should stay in touch with customers and learn their needs. This can be done through our customer retention suggestions. Surveys followed up with phone calls and continued customer service. Newsletter and email campaigns would facilitate customer contact as well and maintain advertising and promotional material.
  54. 54. 51 | P a g e Strategy 5: Implement Sales and Marketing Coordinator Coupled with the website appeal and added traffic, a salesperson and marketing coordinator needs to be added to the overall marketing plan. They would facilitate with lead generation from the website, as well as prospect and data mine for additional companies to target. These sales and marketing positions will go hand-in-hand with the methods in order to reach our segmented market, by facilitating in our previously mentioned approach to potential customers. This employee would actively make sales calls, attend trade shows, and promote Engel Metallurgical in our suggested trade magazines and publications Strategy 6: Expand into Close Geographic Markets An important factor to consider while marketing for material and metal testing services is that there are a large number of these laboratories in the market. Most major towns have one and it is all relatively the same service and capabilities within each. Our team interviewed a President of a material coatings company in the Twin Cities area who uses a material testing service fairly regularly. He said he personally, “would never ship his metal products to Saint Cloud to have them tested.” He could not see a competitive advantage and thought it would be a hassle to deal with shipping and turnaround times when the company he uses is local and will in theory, do exactly the same work. An option for Engel is to focus on the Saint Cloud area and its surrounding manufacturing, engineering, and metal casting companies within a thirty-mile radius. By focusing on dominating this region, Engel will become a serious competitor in capturing market share. This is of course dependent on Engel selling and promoting their value and superior service to persuade companies that the shipping is worthwhile.
  55. 55. 52 | P a g e After Saint Cloud and its surrounding cities have been targeted for metal testing services, Engel should focus its efforts into other cities. The Fargo, North Dakota area would be an ideal place to dominate the market. There are no metallurgical testing facilities in the area, and there is a surplus of manufacturing facilities that could utilize Engel’s services. 8.0 Conclusion: What Would It Take to Sustain? In order to successfully implement marketing strategies to increase your market share and customer base, a full commitment from Engel Metallurgical is key. It is important to realize the success of the marketing plan is dependent on the time and effort the organization puts into it. By holding to our advice and following through with our suggestions, there should be an increase in the number of manufacturing facilities, insurance agents, and attorneys who Engel does business with for a relatively low cost. By hiring an additional marketing and sales coordinator, Engel can be given the task of successfully implementing the “push” marketing approach. They should be willing to search the directories and place strategic phone calls and promotional material to potential firms within the area that could utilize such services. Engel needs to attend tradeshows and build the network of industry related professionals face to face, as well as online in the social platforms. These external marketing approaches are in search of potential customers, as that would be their primary job. While these push factor marketing components are in effect, it is extremely important to have the “pull” marketing factors in place simultaneously. These pull factors allows potential customers
  56. 56. 53 | P a g e to search for Engel rather the other way around. This is the online web presence, utilizing search engine optimization, pay per click advertising and google analytics. These factors are the primary component of successful marketing in today's day and age. Any potential customer that needs your service will indeed look it up, and Engel Metallurgical has to be there when they need it. Once this is successfully implemented it will be a more hands off approach, and in theory “pull” customers in, so they place a phone call or inquire for more information. This again is another role where the sales and marketing coordinator comes in place to handle these potential customers and drive for what they actually need; while reminding them that Engel is the company they should trust, selling the customer on Engel’s value of high customer service and quick turnaround. Sustaining this marketing technique comes down to two core components: 1) Having a marketing coordinator for the external techniques mentioned 2) Utilizing the internet's marketing functions to drive in more customers With these two systems successfully implemented, Engel Metallurgical will have a solid foundation for obtaining more exposure in the industry for capturing and retaining more customers in their customer base.
  57. 57. 54 | P a g e 9.0 References ASME.org Community Participant Registration. (n.d.). Retrieved April 2, 2016, from https://community.asme.org/register.aspx Bronson, Caitlin. "One in Four Insurance Agents Will Be Gone by 2018." Insurance Business. N.p., 23 Feb. 2015. Web. 14 Apr. 2016. Godwin, Andrew. The American Lawyer. N.p., 9 Nov. 2015. Web. 14 Apr. 2016. Grisdela, Margaret. "Overview of the U.S. Legal Market." HG.org. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Apr. 2016. How to Create a Facebook Business Page in 5 Simple Steps [Tutorial]. (n.d.). Retrieved April 22, 2016, from http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/5492/How-to-Create-a- Facebook-Business-Page-in-5-Simple-Steps-With-Video.aspx "Independent Agencies Continue Growing in Number, Revenues: Study." Insurance Journal. N.p., 18 Oct. 2012. Web. 14 Apr. 2016. "Law Firm Employment and Space Trends." Savills Studley. N.p., 15 Oct. 2014. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.
  58. 58. 55 | P a g e 10.0 APPENDIX Table of Contents A. Trade Shows & Expo Information A.1 Current List of Tradeshows to Attend ………………………………….. 56 A.2 Tips for Creating an Event Booth ………………………………………. 58 B. American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) B.1 About ASME ……………………………………………………………… 60 B.2 How to Registerwith ASME …………………………………………….. 60 B.3 The ASME Directory …………………………………………………….. 61 C. Example of a Sales Cold Call ………………………………………………………… 62 D. Guide to an Effective Email Advertisement Campaign ……………………………. 63 E. How to Create a Facebook “Page” …………………………………………………... 64 F. LinkedIn Marketing Tips …………………………………………………………….. 67
  59. 59. 56 | P a g e Appendix A - Tradeshow & Expo Information A.1 Current List of Tradeshows to Attend 1. Modex - www.modexshow.com/default.aspx ○ Date: April 4-7, 2016 ○ Location: Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta, GA ○ Cost: Free ○ Value: Modex is ideal for networking with and gaining insight from leaders in the supply chain industry. Approximately 850 provides congregate at this conference each year to showcase their products and offer advice. There will be keynote speeches, an education summit, and over 100 interactive workshops for Engel to attend. 2. Manufacturing 4 the Future (Mfg4) - www.mfg4event.com ○ Date: May 3-5, 2016 ○ Location: Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford, CT ○ Cost: Is contingent upon when the exhibitionist signs up. ○ Value: Mfg4 is unique in that it is planned exclusively for the aerospace, defense, and medical industries. The conference focuses on industry-specific solutions and cross-collaboration. 3. Medical Design & Manufacturing East (MD&M East) - mdmeast.mddionline.com ○ Date: June 14-16, 2016 ○ Location: Javits Convention Center in New York, NY
  60. 60. 57 | P a g e ○ Cost: Price depends on the level of access the exhibitionist chooses, and the date by which the exhibitionist registers. ○ Value: MD&M East is “the East Coast’s Largest Medical Design & Manufacturing Event.” This conference features 1,200 leading suppliers that will showcase cutting-edge technology and answer all industry-related questions covering every aspect of product development and more. 4. International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) - www.imts.com ○ Date: September 12-17, 2016 ○ Location: McCormick Place in Chicago, IL ○ Cost: Price range depends on the size of the exhibitionist’s group and time of registration. The pricing rubric is available online. ○ Value: IMTS is an international event that is considered the premier manufacturing technology show in North America. This show takes place every other year, so a firm needs to plan ahead in their marketing plan whether to make this a strategic method or not. Attendees get a firsthand look at new metalworking machinery. The opportunities to network, access industry leaders, and explore new solutions are unparalleled, which is why IMTS has become so popular. 5. Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) ○ Website: cscmp.org/annual-conference ○ Date: September 25-28, 2016 ○ Location: Gaylord Palms Resort and Convention Center in Kissimmee, FL ○ Cost: Prices range depending on the exhibitionist’s level of membership in CSCMP. A detailed list is included on the conference’s website.
  61. 61. 58 | P a g e ○ Value: CSCMP provides its own Top 10 Reasons to Attend the 2016 Annual Conference. It reinforces the points made above and is definitely worth consideration. BONUS: Design and Manufacturing Series There are two design and manufacturing series conferences taking place later this year of 2016. They are held in various locations along the east coast. By attending either conference in this series, Engel would have the opportunity to gain more knowledge about the technologies and applications that are revolutionizing manufacturing today. Engel would receive insight from expert speakers and leaders within the field, and would be positioned to take advantage of the complimentary offers that flow throughout the exhibition halls. 1. Design & Manufacturing New England ○ Website: design-manufacturing-new-england.designnews.com ○ Date: April 13-14, 2016 ○ Location: Boston Convention Center in Boston, MA 2. Design and Manufacturing New York ○ Website: atlantic-design-manufacturing.designnews.com ○ Date: June 14-16, 2016 ○ Location: Javits Convention Center in New York, NY A.2 Tips for Creating an Event Booth An event booth at conferences and expos will greatly increase the number of potential networks and interested parties if done in an effective manner. There are some precautions that need to be considered and planning that should be completed before the conference. By creating an
  62. 62. 59 | P a g e interesting event booth that looks pleasing and professional, the company may gain a good image in the public’s eye. Some tips for creating a booth that stands out and produces interest are as follows: ● Make the booth unique ● Have promotional material ● Demo a service or product ● Stay active on social media platforms ● Introduce Engel and what services they provide ● List features, advantages, and benefits of Engel ● The booth should show what value Engel will bring
  63. 63. 60 | P a g e Appendix B - American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) B.1 About ASME ASME’s mission statement is “to serve diverse global communities by advancing, disseminating, and applying engineering knowledge for improving the quality of life; and communicating the excitement of engineering.” ASME website states that it is a not-for-profit membership organization that “enables collaboration, knowledge sharing, career enrichment, and skills development across all engineering disciplines.” To learn more please visit their website at www.asme.org. B.2 How to Registerwith ASME This social media platform is where Engel can connect with colleagues, stay up-to-date on mechanical engineering news, and share thoughts on industry topics. This site will help Engel increase their online presence by networking with other in their servicing industries. ASME states, “Once you join the ASME.org Community, you can: ● Share your professional qualifications with tens of thousands of engineers ● Communicate with your fellow engineers and make professional connections ● Post relevant articles, photos, video, and more from your personal Dashboard ● Join Groups for your areas of interest, where you can participate in discussions in Forums, comment on blog post, and share new in the Activity Feed” (ASME, 2016)
  64. 64. 61 | P a g e To register with ASME, please follow the website link to community.asme.org/register.aspx. Input Engel’s information into the “Input Boxes” such as name, email, and password. Once registered Engel should receive a ASME Member ID to further use the website’s resources. B.3 ASME Directory Once Engel becomes a member of the ASME, they will be able use all resources provided. The ASME is one of these resources. This directory will allow Engel to “search” for other members and member companies who may interest them. From there, Engel would have the opportunity to connect with these members and potentially gather more business.
  65. 65. 62 | P a g e Appendix C - Example of a Sales Cold Call Example: Hello, my name is ( ) with Engel Metallurgical. I am calling today to explain how Engel Metallurgical can help ( ) company out. With our capabilities we can save you time and money in your operations. We offer a 24-hour guaranteed turnaround. We are the highest quality metal testing facility in the Saint Cloud area with an ISO 17025 certification. By testing your materials, we can save you money in product failure and quality management. *It is an added selling point to be able to state that Engel is ISO certified, and therefore providing a top quality product.
  66. 66. 63 | P a g e Appendix D - Guide to an Effective Email Advertisement Campaign Choosing content for an advertisement can be one of the trickiest decisions to make, especially while designing an email marketing campaign. The following bullets are some of the best ways to determine how and what to include. ● Analyze what Engel’s consumers want to know. ● Think about what message Engel wants to convey. Messages can convey a promotion, welcome for newcomers, or thanks for loyalty towards returning clients. ● Think about the consumer’s receiving end and what would get them interested. How would the message pertain to them? What value would Engel bring to the client? ● Once the message is finalized, add headers and an eye catching layout that would intrigue the client into wanting more information.
  67. 67. 64 | P a g e Appendix E - How to Create a Facebook “Page” To create a Facebook “page” for a business go to the website www.facebook.com. Towards the bottom right of the Homepage, click on “Create a Page” for a celebrity, band or business. You will then be directed to the beginning of “Page” setup. 1. Choose a Classification: This page shows six different classifications to choose from. The best classification to choose from for Engel is the first box, “Local Business or Place.” 2. Complete Basic Information: Here you will be able to enter information about Engel, hours of operations, contact information, address and more. Next, you will be asked to upload a profile picture which will serve as the main visual icon for Engel’s page. It is recommended by Hubspot.com to use a 180x180 pixel picture. 3. Understand the Admin Panel: The basics of Engel’s business Page is now live. Next, Engel should click on the settings option in the top navigation pane. The three core sections to now focus on are page info, notifications, and page roles. a. Page Info: Here you can add additional details about the business. b. Notifications: Here is where you can customize when and how you would like to receive Page alerts such as likes and posts to your Business page. Set a frequency that would fit into Engel’s social media marketing plan. c. Page Roles: Here you can invite other colleagues who will help make changes to your Business’ Page.

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