Hey my name is Andrew, I work in Marketing, and it’s good to be here to speak with you about CONTENT MARKETING – You see that it is up here in quotation marks because we are not going to focus on the “marketing” concept, but rather what CONTENT CREATION IS and how it fits into each person’s professional life. To do so, we’ll be highlighting the wonderful efforts of Cross Company Employees toward this goal in the past year.We will also – hopefully – address the number 1 question you might have about Content Creation.
And this is a very important question. Here’s the answer that I’d LIKE to give you…
But I can’t just do that, so here are some additional reasons…
There are a lot of technical tidbits that go along with this one, such as Google’s complete replacement of its old search algorithm two weeks ago.
Now, hopefully, we’ll get to some more convincing…some more personal reasons to participate. So…what IS Content Marketing?
For those of you unfortunate enough to spend a lot of time around me, you already know this. But for everyone else, Content Marketing is “the creation and publication of media – in the form of web pages, white papers, and videos” in order to acquire new customers. This is the method that Cross Company has chosen to enthusiastically implement going forward…which brings me back to this slide.
In short, we use Content Marketing because people are using the internet in their professional lives the same way they use it in their personal lives.
The internet is simply a tool, and its usefulness extends to all facets of a person’s life, much like a car.
Innovative Controls has taken to content production like fish to water. Despite being extraordinarily busy, they have managed to publish 3 whitepapers with 6 more in draft.
Since the middle of September, these papers have been downloaded at least once each for a total of 6 downloads. This is not bad at all for a resource library in a temporary location.
Ryan Christian is one of our most enthusiastic content marketers. He instantly recognized the value of content creation and, despite all of the challenges of being new to his job, he began blogging right away and has kept a consistent weekly blogging schedule. I recently asked Ryan to summarize the results stemming from his content creation, and how he felt about it. The following information came from that conversation.EmailsRyan has received several email inquiries deriving from various blog posts. They typically arrive like this:
What makes this significant is that Jay is asking Ryan for help on a specific problem after Ryan published a blog post called “Pneumatic Actuator Speed Control”. Jay read the blog and considered Ryan enough of an expert to help him out. This is the sort of Freemium effort that could eventually turn Jay into a paying customer, and all Ryan did was write down what was already in his head and let Google do the heavy lifting. This next email is more recent:
This email was forwarded on to Wade Wright and Kevin, here, was considering an $8k sensor. Like Jay’s email, Kevin’s arrived out of the blue after reading one of Ryan’s blogs – this one “Solve Laser Displacement Sensor Problems.”If this seems fairly straightforward, that’s because it is! Ryan had some knowledge, he wrote it down, he gave it an accurate title, and he received some emails asking for his opinion, which lead to sales opportunities.
Andy Larson is the largest content marketing success story at Cross Company – so far. But he will be the first to tell you that he was not expecting these results. I had to really talk Andy into doing some writing and the usual excuses came to bear – not having the time or the inspiration to do it. But once Andy began publishing a few blog posts, he really began to enjoy organizing topics, thinking like his customers, and exploring new technologies in his field.Andy’s enthusiasm and knowledge bled into his writing and it was easy to see that he genuinely cared about his topics. Solution Seekers are always drawn to such transparency and helpfulness, so Andy received some emails of his own. Here is one such exchange from September 10th.
Here you see Eyembe recognizing Andy as an expert in his field, who is attempting to help people by offering his opinions and guidance on a new robotic technology. Eyembe describes his situation, and – like in Ryan’s emails – asks for Andy’s opinion regarding his specific situation.
Andy responds promptly and politely. Just like his blogs, his emails are friendly and personable. He takes an immediate interest in Eyembe and his project and requests detailed information, which Eyembe would not hesitate to give. This quickly establishes rapport and a higher level of trust with a new contact.
Eyembe immediately acknowledges Andy’s timely interest in his project and expresses his appreciation. The final step to cultivating a brand new lead is reached when – without being asked – Eyembe gives Andy his contact information for a more in-depth conversation. Thanks to the blog and his good customer service, Andy has not only been found by a prospective customer, but this customer has reached out and asked Andy to contact him further!Imagine if Andy had to search the Atlanta area, call around, and beg to talk to Eyembe…that would be hard!
When asked how he handles emails such as Eyembe’s, Andy said…
I hope this has highlighted the lead creation potential of content marketing, but in case it hasn’t, let’s look closely at some of Andy’s Universal Robots successes.
Added note, between just Technimark and Phoenix Stamping – two blog associated leads – there is $700k in business potential over the next two years.
When I asked Andy to describe his blogging experience, he said that it was good to see an added credibility associated with Cross Company, from current customers to competing venders and industry counterparts.
Andy also made a key observation regarding the efficiency of blogging. He said that he has been a part of dozens of costly and time intensive outbound marketing efforts, but none have been as productive in such a small amount of invested time as blogging.
With about 12 of these hours coming in “Dead Time” in the airport, or waiting on Account Managers.
Content marketing will become an increasingly significant method to generate awareness, leads, and sales for Cross Company. But this presentation only covered a bit about what we have done and little about what we will do.
I promise that we will be ramping this up significantly in the near future. We just had our entire blogging infrastructure redone to better present our writers’ great work to the public and to make them easier to find on search engines. This is what the Cross Company blog will look like in the near future. There is a featured story from each Group visible on the home page, as well as links to popular keywords and featured Series.
I cannot wait to talk to each of you on an individual level and to answer any questions you might have about content marketing or your role within it. I’ll leave you this excerpt from a letter that Ryan Christian wrote to me when I asked him how he felt about blogging.
So, we in the Marketing department are just incredibly excited about all that has been done in the past year and about what we can all do in the upcoming years! A big, big “thank you” to all of our content creators! Cross Company is much better off thanks to your commitment to content marketing!
Regardless of what you use it for,
the Internet works the same way
Steve’s Message – 5 Year Plan
Re-engineer the sales process to better address customer
• It’s about immediacy AND expertise
• Customers want to find solutions to their problems (FAST)
• Quickest way to find potential solutions is a Google search
Increase Marketing’s role to further enhance the Cross brand
• This is a corporate goal with logical corporate benefits (which we all gain – ESOP)
• Each person is a vital contributor at Cross and Content Marketing is just another
way to do it.
• Build the Brand of YOU – Let’s see who has done this!
Jul 23 – “Pneumatic Actuator Speed Control”
I have a ball valve with a spring return rack and
pinion actuator (ATO) that I would like to control the
opening speed to somewhere between 20 and 30
seconds. This is to prevent shocking the downstream
The air connection to the actuator is .25”, pressure is
80 psig natural gas, and volume per cycle is 218
What would you recommend?
Sept 12 – “Solve Laser Displacement Sensor Problems”
I am interested in possible solutions for a distance measurement project I am
working on. I am currently evaluating a laser displacement sensor for
measuring the focal plane on an optical system. Issues I've been running into
include reflection issues on mirrored surfaces, and inconsistent results on
transparent surfaces. I've attached the current setup for reference. It shows
my current optical setup, as well as, current laser placement and region of
interest. One constraint is that the distance measure system can only emit
wavelengths greater than 565nm since it is being used on materials sensitive
to light with wavelengths 520nm and lower. I was interested in a confocal
displacement sensor, but am unsure if there is a way to filter the unwanted
wavelengths from the white light without degrading performance. Please let
me know if you have any product recommendations. (emphasis is mine)
Thank you for your assistance
• Published 11 blogs in three months
• His blog was featured in the Advantech Newsletter
• Ryan’s blog posts have received more than 1200 unique
• In August, the AG’s blog page was the most viewed page
(other than the homepage)
• 2 sales leads
Email chain from September 10
After reading your blog i concluded you might be the brain to
pick for identifying my options for a
"desktop/desktop" industrial robot for use in a manufacturing
process (products weight 20g, and no more than 4cm wide)
Pricing would be a deal breaker. Ive seen some interesting
ones on the market: Rakurobo, UR, Denso..etc
which others should i consider?
Thanks in advance for your time and response
Good Morning Eyembe – thank you for your email. It sounds like you have
an interesting project, but we will need to identify a few more details about
it before we can narrow down your options.
• Safe to assume this is standard pick and place type application?
• Weight of your end of arm tooling
• Work area required? this will be necessary to know in order to
determine the reach of the robot
• Your worst case move distance and cycle time required?
• Will your product need to be oriented before placing it?
• Any harsh environmental contaminants? i.e. water, airborne abrasives,
• Voltage limitations?
• Can you use safety equipment or a cage to guard the robot or does it
have to run collaboratively?
Curious, where are you located? I may be able to point you towards a local
resource should you be out of our territory.
Thank you kindly Andy for the prompt reply
-This is a standard pick/place operation
-Product will be handled individually(20g each max)
-Still in design/layout phase of work area, accommodations will be made for the
-Worst case distance is 4f, with cycle time 11.22secs (max)
-Yes, orientation will be necessary
-No contaminants in the environment (high-volume food industry application)
-No power voltage limitations
-Robots primary interaction will be with other equipment, limited human
interaction. In fact the main reason for exploring the robot option is to provide
consistent performance in handling/placing/orienting the products in the high
Hope this give you the context you're seeking in the questions you asked
I'm based in Atlanta. I can be reached at (770)337-0419
Feel free to send me an invite on Linkedin as well
• If I can give any immediate (and easy) feedback on
their request , I do
• I try to determine where they are located, if in our
APR and there appears to be a real opportunity, I push
for a phone conversation; if out of APR I push them
towards a local resource with as much guidance as
• Eyembe is a great example, located in our APR, future
projects, developing the relationship as a trusted
resource, will continue to stay in touch as the project
focus get narrower, could result in some nice business
or at the very least a contact in a market that could be
a champion for Cross
Leads, Opportunities, and Credibility
• Andy receives 1-4 technical or application
related inquiries per month that are
generated from the Robotic Blogs
• GTRI, who has purchased two robots to
date, found us due to Andy’s UR web
content - $52K at 18% Margin (or $9.3k
Leads, Opportunities, and Credibility
• Andy has also been told that the Technimark
opportunity, to which the AG has sold the first of
several robots, found it’s way to us via a search on
Rethink’s Baxter robot - $36k at 32% GP or $11.5k
• Thought Leadership opened an opportunity for Andy
to be a featured speaker at Industry Week Best Plants
Tech Forum, which has led to 3 high quality inquiries;
on 1 of which he is currently working on developing a
beta solution that could lead to a minimum of 12
robots AND significant Hub Technology content.
Leads, Opportunities, and Credibility
“The blogs have gotten us leads that have
given us entry into significant accounts
where we have had little to no presence.
Companies like Consolidated Metco,
Cummins Diesel, Braseler, and Federal
- Andy Larson
“It has shown me that being willing to do
just a little more can produce significant
Andy’s estimated total amount of
hours associated with blogging:
• Content Creation is how businesses survive
and flourish online
• Cross Company has already had success
implementing Content Creation as a Sales
and Marketing method
• Cross Company is heavily invested in
continuing to use Content Creation
“The internet is our first point of contact in
finding out information. I thought back to our
sales meeting and how most customers find us
rather than the other way around.
If that is the case, in order for our customers to
be able to find us, we need to be visible on the
internet. Our customers are online researching
information as you are reading this. Are they
reading something we wrote?
Or competitor information?”
Thank You to ALL of our published content creators!
You will be the ones to take Cross Company forward into a new era!