How would you define the role of technology in modern marketing strategies, especially within the manufacturing industry?
The buyers within the manufacturing industries that we serve primarily source their information online. In fact, I’ve seen research that says close to three quarters of the buying process is being done online before that buyer even contacts a vendor. It’s crucial that we take advantage of online channels, not only social media but also working with industry analysts, influencers and media to get coverage and endorsements so you can influence the buyer before they’re ready for the sale.
We’re also doubling down on intent marketing and tracking online behavior, so we’re able to track who is in the market, what they’re looking at, and when they’re looking at it.
Could you share your perspective on the importance of branding in the manufacturing software solutions sector? How does it contribute to the overall success of a company?
I think for us, the overall importance of the brand is not just to communicate to the buyer in position to buy, but also to assure our existing customers that they should have confidence in the viability of who we are and what we offer. It’s important to not only communicate the value that you’re offering but also to ensure confidence that you are modern and innovative. This is especially true for the manufacturing industry where you have to be able to give buyers confidence that you know their business and are able to support them from a technology perspective.
What were the main factors that drove the decision to undertake a company rebrand at iBase-t? How did you ensure the rebrand was aligned with the company’s goals and values?
The decision to undertake the rebrand started after we did a market study to find what the size of our potential market is and with that could adjust our strategy as a company and find where and how we’re going to grow as a business. At the same time, we were also measuring what the recognition was for iBase-t and the value we deliver to the market.
What we found was that even within our TAM (total addressable market), there was a sizeable segment of people we surveyed who weren’t familiar with us and didn’t know the name iBase-t or, even worse, confused iBase-t with our product offering, Solumina. On the one hand it was good that they recognized our product, but we needed to address the confusion and communicate the value that we deliver, who we are as a company, what the product is, what the product naming is, and the kind of nomenclature and structure of our brand.
Can you describe the process you followed to develop and execute the rebranding strategy at iBase-t? What were the key steps involved?
As mentioned, we started with the original survey that looked at market awareness and market size. Once we looked at the results of the survey, we then hired a branding agency that was able to help us put a process in place to do discovery because for any rebrand or brand launch, it’s vital to discover who you are, and what the market perceives you to be. The survey looked at our TAM to understand what the market perceptions are of iBase-t, as well as the challenges that the complex manufacturing industry faces and how a technology company can help in addressing these pain points. The core question in conversation with stakeholders asked if a software offering can help a complex manufacturer streamline and control their operations and address its issues with digital technology versus paper-based methods which historically has been the approach.
At this point, we had gathered a set of data and perspective which our branding agency was able to combine this intelligence and offer feedback about what the perception of our brand was. The conclusion was that we needed to update our brand and market awareness. One thing that was particularly out-of-date was our logo, which we hadn’t changed in close to 25 years. The whole brand project now turned to our visual approach and how we wanted to communicate our brand visually.
There was a lot of work done to make our color palettes more innovative. Everything from the font that we use to the look and feel of the website and the logo needed to communicate innovation and modernization. And once you start making changes to your brand, buyers are going to start wondering who you are and what’s new. That’s why it’s important for you to communicate how you address the pain points of the industry and show what value you bring to customers. This means leveraging customer stories in a way that can support your brand and how we help your customers.
How did technology and digital marketing tools play a role in the rebranding efforts at iBase-t? Which specific martech solutions did you find most valuable during this process?
The process for us is still going on. We had a point in time during the rebrand launch, which we attended a digital transformation event, PTC Liveworx, in mid-May which marked the beginning of our rebrand. In terms of digital marketing tools, we heavily leveraged social media, like LinkedIn, to push our story out there. With the rebuild of the website, we leveraged tracking technologies to monitor who is coming to our site, what they’re looking at, what information they’re gaining, and so on.
What metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) did you track to measure the success of the rebranding campaign at iBase-t? Which metrics proved to be the most insightful?
One thing we’re looking at as far as the success of the rebrand is how we go from paid to earned media. There’s a lot of investment in paid media, including pay-per-click type advertising. We’re also advertising through some industry media and getting opportunities and connections that way. As we see a rise in earned media, we’ll know that we’ve been successful in the paid brand launch at which point we’ll ease back on the paid side and apply those funds into things like content development to further the brand.
One of the biggest KPIs we’re looking at is how many people are visiting our website, as well as how many are following and engaging with us on our social channels. We’re also looking at what the industry analysts are saying about us. A central component of this was going to PTC Liveworx where we were able to leverage our presence and tell our story to a large segment of the manufacturing industry.
Could you share any challenges or obstacles you encountered during the rebranding process, and how you overcame them?
The biggest challenge we have is getting our story out there. One of the best ways to do that is to highlight your customers’ success. For example, when NASA talks about their Artemis space program which will return astronauts to the moon, we attached our name to that on social media, as we’re a part of that mission and their success is our success.
In your experience, what advice would you give to other marketing professionals considering a company rebrand? What are some key considerations they should keep in mind?
It’s so important to look for ways to incorporate your customers’ successes into what you’re communicating to the market. You really need to be successful with what you’re doing before you just go out and spend a lot of money on a new look and feel. You could update your logo or your website, but it needs to be backed by your brand promise and what you’re delivering to your customers.
Looking ahead, what marketing technology trends do you believe will have a significant impact on the manufacturing software solutions sector in the coming years? How should companies prepare for these changes?
Everyone is spending time online learning about new solutions and new technologies that can be applied in manufacturing, so you have to meet them there. That’s where you’re going to find out more about your customer and figure out how you can bring success to them.
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