If an agency asks you these questions, please calmly walk away. Most advertising agencies simply don’t understand the industrial manufacturing world. It’s a unique specialty that requires a deep understanding of the manufacturing industry and global economic dynamics affecting the sector.
The Communications Group has an entire division dedicated to working within the manufacturer’s go-to-market requirements. Our iB2B specialists have graduated from “motor school,” logged hours of manufacturing boot camps and trade show floors and spent hours on the plant floor. This group possesses a special expertise that simply cannot be found in many other ad firms.
Our Customer Stories
Baldor Publishers Tour – Plan & Implementation
The Story: Baldor Electric Company, located in Fort Smith, Ark., designs, markets and manufactures industrial electric motors, drives, and mechanical power transmission products. These products are sold worldwide in more than 70 countries to an almost endless group of customers, ranging from end-users to original equipment designers to consulting and specifying engineers. Industry trade publications remain a pertinent source of industry information for Baldor’s customers.
The Cast of Characters:
- 45 Industrial Media Outlets, Publishers and Editors
Our Part in the Story: Our team was asked to create an event for influential trade media outlets that reinforced Baldor’s continued commitment to investing in U.S. manufacturing and the resulting economic benefits. The purpose of the Baldor Publishers Tour was to highlight the plant expansions and new product innovations while further positioning the company’s thought-leadership position. The focus was on maintaining Baldor’s technical experts as the editors’ first-choice resource for industry information.
We developed the theme “A History of Excellence,” to signify the long relationship between Baldor, the publishers and editors and the 113 years of the company’s success.
The graphic identity for the event supported the “history” theme and highlighted the historical role Fort Smith played in the days of the Wild West. Fort Smith is the setting for the novel “True Grit” and was once known as the “Gateway to the West.”
Our team developed a series of competitions that focused on keeping the publishers fully engaged in the “tour experience.” We built simple quizzes on company history, facts, company products, engineering applications and plant tour information. We created a hands-on product assembly challenge to occur during one of the plant tours. (Think men in business attire assembling a motor in under 90 seconds.)
We developed a hashtag (#BalPub) and Twitter competition. As a finale, each publisher team was responsible for creating and performing a song based on the tune “Home on the Range,” the lyrics of which had to describe their tour experience.
The Story Continues: The Twitter competition generated more than 400 tweets over the 24-hour tour period with a total reach of over 60,000 followers. The Publishers Tour was an immediate hit with the publishers and editors, evident by the numerous follow-up emails, personal notes and industry information we received.
Innovation Industries – Marketing & Advertising
The Story: In 1972 a small group of investors and an inventor with a great idea bought an abandoned Dairy Queen in Roswell, New Mexico and began producing what became the world standard for elevator passenger protection devices.
Innovation Industries has evolved to become the recognized leader in elevator signal fixtures and push buttons in North America.
The Cast of Characters:
- Innovation Industries
- Elevator Service and Maintenance Companies
Our Part in the Story: As our oldest customer, we have been fortunate to be a valuable partner with Innovation for more than 28 years, assisting in numerous campaigns, programs and branding efforts.
The Story Continues: Our iB2B Group knows Innovation products almost as well as the company’s sales staff. Years of experience with the company makes the work we do for them feel intuitive, but we know that success in all things requires information as well as imagination. We are proud to have been a part of Innovation’s continued success by producing:
- Corporate branding campaigns
- Product trade ads and literature
- Trade show booth design
- Direct mail campaigns
- Product naming and branding
- Logo design
- Media Planning
Motion Industries – Co-op Advertising
The Story: Motion Industries is North America’s leader for MRO (maintenance, repair and operations) industrial replacement parts and services. Motion Industries has over 550 locations throughout North America and stocks more than 5.6 million parts.
Research on suppliers revealed that many of Motion’s suppliers had co-op advertising funds that were going unused. We were asked to develop a simple to use and execute co-op advertising program, working directly with Motion and their top tier suppliers.
The Cast of Characters:
- Motion Industries
- Motion Industries Suppliers
Our Part in the Story: We developed the co-op program’s message Brands You Count On, People You Trust to elevate Motion Industries’ position as the “complete package” in industrial manufacturing supply.
Based on editorial calendars of more than 25 industry trade publications geared directly to the target audiences, more than 100 ads were placed in the first year by our retail and professional group.
Our Creative Group developed an ad format that made participation easy for the suppliers. Suppliers had only to submit a product image and 50 words or less of copy.
The Story Continues: Supplier surveys declared the Brands and People co-op program as a success and publication readership surveys rated the ads extremely positive based on reader feedback. Motion’s corporate leadership was pleased with Brands and People and authorized continuing the program and expanding the program to Canadian suppliers as well.
Orbit Valve – Product Marketing
The Story: Orbit Valve critical-duty ball valves were the undisputed preferred valve by the oil and gas industries around the world. The name Orbit was as recognizable in the oil and gas industry as Kleenex and Coke are to the general public.
The Cast of Characters:
- Orbit Valve
- Oil and Gas Industries
- Consulting and Specifying Engineers
Our Part in the Story: Orbit challenged us to assist in “re-introducing” a line of butterfly valves they manufactured but never actively promoted because the oil and gas industry had regarded butterfly valves as high maintenance/high failure valves for use in less-than-critical applications. Orbit was able to determine and correct the inherent sealing weaknesses in all butterfly valves by offering the first no-leak, critical-duty butterfly valves in the world. Both lines were manufactured for use in the oil, natural gas, chemical processing and petroleum industries. The TruSeal® line was developed for critical service duty in fuel manifolds and transport systems. The TriAx™ line was developed for high-cycle applications in the same industries. Both lines were supported with trade ads, product catalogs, direct mail programs and, for TriAx, an award-winning sales demonstration CD.
The Conclusion: Reaction to the improved valve design was immediate, resulting in much better than predicted sales. An extra production line was added to meet demand. Unfortunately, the two valves were so successful they drew the attention of industry giant Cooper-Cameron who had not been able to develop a reliable butterfly valve. Cooper paid over twice the book value for Orbit, absorbing their world-famous line of ball valves and adding the TruSeal and TriAx lines to their product line.
Better Beginnings, a program of the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS), connects Arkansas families with information and care that helps their children experience a safe, happy, healthy childhood. Better Beginnings is designed to improve the level of quality in child care and early childhood education programs across the state.
Agency founder and president Dan Cowling joins Little Rock Police Department Chief Kenton Buckner, North Little Rock Police Department Chief Michael Davis and Pulaski County Sheriff Doc Holladay in a special interview with Tom Wood on iHeartRadio BIG 94.9 about Central Arkansas’ Behind the Badge campaign developed by The Communications Group.
Behind the Badge was created to tell the personal and powerful stories of men and women who put on a badge and put their lives at risk to keep our families and community safe.
Year-long campaign starts Dec. 1
Created as pro bono campaign by Little Rock marketing firm
Dec. 1, 2015, Little Rock Arkansas – Three Central Arkansas law enforcement agencies are the focus of a new public service campaign that launched December 1 in Arkansas. The PSA campaign, called Behind the Badge, was created as a pro bono project by Arkansas marketing firm, The Communications Group.
The Communications Group president, Dan Cowling says Behind the Badge grew from a combination of current events and a personal connection: the agency’s creative director has a son who works in law enforcement in a large metropolitan city. Cowling said 18 officers from Little Rock Police Department, North Little Rock Police Department and the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office were interviewed on camera and their stories became television and radio spots featuring the officers and the reasons they serve. Each spot features three to four officers who serve in law enforcement in Pulaski County.
Kicking off the campaign Dec. 1 at the Arkansas State Capitol Building, Arkansas Sen. David Sanders said, “Behind the Badge is not a campaign about a police department. It is not even about crime. Behind the Badge is about the untold story of the men and women who get up every morning, put on a uniform and a badge and put their lives on the line to keep our community, to keep us and our families, safe.”
The Behind the Badge campaign includes 4 TV spots, 4 radio spots, digital outdoor boards, a website and bumper stickers. KATV Channel 7 and Central Arkansas iHeart radio stations are airing the spots. Lamar Outdoor is featuring the campaign on digital billboards throughout Pulaski County. Simmons Bank’s 19 locations are serving as the pickup point for Behind the Badge bumper stickers. A total of 10,000 bumper stickers were printed and donated by Positive Impressions owner, John Festa of Little Rock. The campaign will run for a year.
“The support we’ve received for Behind the Badge has been incredible. Once we got the stories of these officers developed, we started asking for support from media and community leadership and just about everyone said yes,” said Cowling. “We found so many people who wanted to be a part of telling these officers’ stories. It’s a testament to how people view law enforcement in Central Arkansas,” he said. Cowling thanked Little Rock’s Chief Buckner, North Little Rock’s Chief Davis and Pulaski County Sheriff Holladay for their support.
Find out more and see all the campaign elements at www.ARBehindTheBadge.com.