Industrial Marketer

Industrial Website Development Do's and Don'ts

March 08, 2021 Joey Strawn & Nels Jensen Episode 7
Industrial Marketer
Industrial Website Development Do's and Don'ts
Chapters
Industrial Marketer
Industrial Website Development Do's and Don'ts
Mar 08, 2021 Episode 7
Joey Strawn & Nels Jensen

A professional website that focuses on customer solutions is now a cost of doing business for manufacturers. Ideally, your content is at the intersection of what you want to convey and the questions prospects ask about how to solve their pain points.

These top the list for must-dos:

  • Provide searchable content that is customer-focused.
  • Leverage SEO.
  • Design for mobile.

And these top the list for don’ts:

  • Assume a prospect knows what your company does.
  • Make it all about your company.
  • Underestimate the power of video.

Links mentioned in the episode:

Nearly three-quarters of respondents in a survey say they are conducting more than half of the buying process online before choosing to speak with someone at a company.

https://www.globalspec.com/advertising/trends-wp/SMFE_2020


Show Notes Transcript

A professional website that focuses on customer solutions is now a cost of doing business for manufacturers. Ideally, your content is at the intersection of what you want to convey and the questions prospects ask about how to solve their pain points.

These top the list for must-dos:

  • Provide searchable content that is customer-focused.
  • Leverage SEO.
  • Design for mobile.

And these top the list for don’ts:

  • Assume a prospect knows what your company does.
  • Make it all about your company.
  • Underestimate the power of video.

Links mentioned in the episode:

Nearly three-quarters of respondents in a survey say they are conducting more than half of the buying process online before choosing to speak with someone at a company.

https://www.globalspec.com/advertising/trends-wp/SMFE_2020


Joey Strawn:

Welcome back, everybody to another industrial marketer Podcast. I am one of your hosts Joey Strawn. And as always, I am joined by Nels, Nels my heart melts Jensen, how are you and I'm doing great.

Nels Jensen:

I'm in a good mood, always fun to talk about industrial marketing.

Joey Strawn:

Good. We get together near the end of the week to really talk about this and dive in and, and, and really explore some things that we're passionate about. I mean, this is for those listeners who are returning. And for new listeners, the industrial marketer podcast where we're sharing tips, tricks and trends in the marketing, digital sales enablement world for industrial marketers, and industrial companies. In particular, we're looking at supply chain needs, we're looking at hurdles within the sales and marketing pipeline, and how technology and digital marketing trends can help with those and how they Buck up to end support traditional models of communicating with your customers, and essentially raising the bottom line of your business. If that sounds like something that you want to hear, then you're definitely in the right place. I mean, now, what would you say to some of our listeners, what what what do they need to be keeping their ears open for today as we talk about website development and, and website content?

Nels Jensen:

Yeah, so you know, the takeaways that you might be able to share in your company in your agency. There's, there's a lot here to chew on and digest. And I think having a couple go to here's here's actionable steps, we'll talk about that in the second segment. But there, there's a lot of ground to cover. And there's a lot of mystery to websites from the industrial perspective, because it's so far from what they do is a core operation. Well, awesome. Let's hopefully we will simplify it and give people some good starting points on what to address next.

Joey Strawn:

That's great. Well, let's go ahead and dive on into our big discussion of the week, which is website development in websites for industrials and industrial companies, industrial manufacturers, industrial supply, distributors, all of that. So you said simple, I'm going to ask you a very simple question now. so and so. And you know, it's simple because it's short. Should industrials, have a website?

Nels Jensen:

Of course.

Joey Strawn:

Question simple answer.

Nels Jensen:

How else are you going to explain to prospects and current customers how you can help them.

Joey Strawn:

But else, we have a very long history of partners and our Rolodex is very deep. We already have people we're talking to, why would I need a website?

Nels Jensen:

Well, it's boy, where did where do we get started on that

Joey Strawn:

one? So I guess that simple quiz? Not every question is simple because?

Nels Jensen:

Well, you know, I used to have a phonebook, too, but

Joey Strawn:

Oh, yeah. Wait, what's, what's a phone, a phone, a phone book?

Nels Jensen:

I'm a little older than you are.

Joey Strawn:

It feels? Well, I mean, again, I mean, I joke I kid. But the reality is, is those two worlds were butting up against each other. Those are questions that are being thrown around between owners of companies, and maybe their, you know, their lineage that they're gonna hand the company over to, or maybe there's new marketing managers that are, you know, fresh out of college, or whatever it may be. And there's these conflicting ideas floating around. Now, there's a lot of very well established large companies that are listening, that have deeply integrated and professional marketing teams. You guys know what we're talking about, you know, the importance of this, but there are still a lot of people that are thrown around the questions of Listen, our brick and mortar, our salesmen are the heart of what we do. So why would we need to spend a lot of money? Sure, and spend a lot of time to build a website that really frankly, is? Anybody gonna see it?

Nels Jensen:

Yeah. So you you touched on several different aspects, the dynamic, in part, people aging out so those long term veteran sales people that you have are going to be around the people that they've dealt with for many, many years might not be around anymore. So the people coming in, you may not know, they may not know you, their behaviors are different. They may never have been to some of the same trade shows and part of the same personal sales networks that you have. So

Joey Strawn:

I mean, even to pause there for just a second in the world that we're living in, in our reality of COVID. Who knows what the tradeshow world is going to look like in four years that may not be a natural half to have as it used to

Nels Jensen:

Right. So if you want to look at it again, in really simple terms, website could be a place where people can search to look through your sales brochures, as long as they can find them, right, we're not talking about PDFs, we're talking about content that actually is living and breathing in the Google crawler world. And so that people can look for solutions. And they can investigate your products and your services. And you can read about how other customers succeeded with this. You can hear testimonials, it's a library, if you will, that touts your benefits and how you help people

Joey Strawn:

Library is an interesting way to think about it. And it really is a good concept. It's the idea of this is a warehouse. This is a place that houses all of the information and the education that your customers, the people that drive your bottom line need to know about you and what you can provide to them. So if that's true, if that's something then a lot of people are probably nodding their head and saying will of course show you that this is exactly what a website is. Haven't you heard of the website? Have you heard of the internet? It's interesting that all of us, not our head in agreement, but in my experience, and now. So I'll let you talk to this and in the content world here, too. But not every website, especially in the industrial b2b world, answers even a percentage of those questions that their products may not be on there, their services aren't defined or labeled by industry, there's no description around any of the things that they do or produce or the solutions that they provide. There are mixed messages. And one of the things that I want to touch on in just a second now it's after I let you talk about how content is affected is why all of that matters when people are searching for your solutions and products and services online. But in a general term, before we dive too deep now, how would you say, you know that in the industrial world, if the general if the general idea and the head nod is our website answers our customers questions, and gives them the education and information about us that matters? Because from a content angle, if you're not answering the questions of what we do, who we talk to why we do it, how is anyone going to know that, Nels?

Nels Jensen:

Yeah, I think you have to look at the legacy of manufacturing, and the networks. We've talked before about the small circle, if you will, right, and how people who are going to be purchasing from you knew who you were. But it's also manufacturing's, an engineering driven culture in a lot of companies. And so people wanted to promote what's the latest and greatest from a product perspective, they wanted to communicate new features, they wanted to brag on technology. And there were opportunities for people to ask about these, but they were much more in those within those personal network sales, the personal sales calls, it was the people who came by your shop from the OEM, you know, once a quarter to check in and see how you're doing and ask, Hey, what can I help you with?

Joey Strawn:

We so and I would imagine, and if I'm getting ahead of you stop me but with specific questions, not just Hey, who are you? And what do you do? Yep.

Nels Jensen:

But when you know that relationship with your customer, you, you know, what things are keeping them awake at night? Right? Right. When you're dealing with a prospect, you don't know that? Yeah, so that's where the website really is. a golden opportunity is to espouse your values in terms of how you help people it's, it's in terms of sharing examples, and it's really an engagement invitation. How can we how can we help you those questions were answered in the past, but they were answered on more of a personal networking basis. So it's a lot different when you're talking about a prospect that you don't know and they don't know you.

Joey Strawn:

Yeah, well, and I think you mentioned it in a in a previous episode, but there's that statistic that now along the sales cycle, someone may not even encounter your brand until they're 70% of the way down their decision pathway. You know, and one of the technical aspects and let me dive in from from my world just a little bit guys because while all of this sounds very common Cincy, you know, well, our website should espouse our benefits, they should talk about our solutions, we should explain our products and, and our services. And that's all very, very well and true, but taking it a step further is now you have to be found on search engines and search engines run on algorithm. So there's not people sitting behind the search engine. When someone types in a question, finding those answers and throwing them out there, it's all code. And code is looking for specific things on specific sites, in order to show them as results when people search, the ultimate goal of all of this, guys and listeners is obviously to have your company and your brand or your solution show up very highly when someone is searching online for those things, because we know that that's one of the first things that they do. Study after study after survey after survey shows us and tells us that one of the first things people do when they're looking for a solution, a new vendor, a new sales technique, a new white paper, a new knowledge base of need, is they go to the internet. And if you're not discoverable there, because the words on your site don't match up with the algorithm that spouts the answers to what the search engine query or question is, then that's a problem. That's a disconnect. And so specificity is something that Nelson I mentioned earlier, his customers are coming, asking very specific questions of you and your solution. So if you're looking through your website, and it's just we're the best metal fabricators in the West, and we do the best of this, and everything is the greatest and the best. And there's no depth into dimension specs or machine types or angle abilities or, you know, deliverability notices and project management techniques and ISO certifications. If there's none of that, then the things that people are searching for, which are those things, specific questions we talked about earlier, you're not being found there. So sure, it just goes beyond being able to adequately answer questions on a website, it's truly the technical aspect of do the words that you are using on your site, match the words that your customers and potential customers are using when they're searching online? And if if those two things don't match, then there's a bigger gap, have you not correctly or adequately explaining what you do on your site?

Nels Jensen:

Correct? Yes, it's the the do's and don'ts of website development, you have to have the discoverability, right. But you just talked about how important it is that you have the right keywords on your site, so that people find you. And you have to have the solution based customer orientation content, once they get there. Just because they arrive at your site doesn't mean you've won them over and you've converted a lead or qualified lead, they need to find the value in what you do once they're there. So yes, the structure of how you build the site is really important. And we'll talk a little bit more about that in the next segment. But then once you arrive there to and I think I talked earlier about the legacy of manufacturing being engineering driven. So I think one of the transitions we've seen is the legacy marketing issues where this world was product based. I mentioned that earlier. You know, there used to be four P's of marketing product, place price promotion, you know, though, yeah,

Joey Strawn:

Well, those are that's drilled into us

Nels Jensen:

your old school, you know, but if you do the four P's on an industrial site, you're probably not helping the prospect as much as you could, you know, the acronym that I've heard now is SAVE solution access value education. If you are putting those sorts of orientate content around those orientations on your site, then you're being more customer focused, not product focused, you're being more customer focused, and you have a better chance of delivering what your customer wants.

Joey Strawn:

And I agree, and we, you know, we keep, and I don't want it to sound like we're downplaying the importance of product information or product specificity. If you are an e commerce vendor, if you're a product seller, of any kind, there should be detailed product data on your site, on the product level, there should definitely be that we're going to talk in the second segment about site hierarchy and how to structure different things. And that makes a difference. But now it's what I hear you saying is that when you're approaching how you talk about those solutions, how you go about building some of that higher funnel information. So let's say you're, you're a service provider for the aerospace or the air engineering world, that's going to be very specific talking points. So to your point, you may be able to say oh, we provide powder coating for aerospace, and that's very general and that's kind of a product or service, you know, that it's gonna have a price we do it for this much money and whatever and we have 50% off if you so Find out before the end of whatever, you know, those are that that old mindset of this is a thing that we have, let's commoditize it, and let's sell it on a wider scale, being able to say, you have a problem, and it's this, we have a solution. And it's this, this is how you get access to that solution. Here's the value of that. And this is all the information you need to know about why this type of packaging is better for the pharmaceutical industry logistics chain than something else? Maybe?

Nels Jensen:

Yeah, that not just the products value, but the process? Or, you know, the, as we like to say that the tips and tricks and trends within that segment within that area. Yeah, yeah, the website that you know, it, these are multi layered opportunities, you do have to, you know, this isn't a real simple as a, you know, the old phonebook one dimensional, I mean, websites, in many cases are, are dealing with several needs at the same time. And as long as you understand that, it's a lot easier to do that there is a way to merge what the is important to the company with what is important to the customer, there are ways to investigate that and arrive at common ground.

Joey Strawn:

So So Nels it's like, I know, outside of going into an entire webinar about you know, meeting styles or you know, various opportunities of gathering that information, what is at least one way, like, what's a good way that people can kind of, they're looking at a website, it's kind of a jumble of everything that their company stands for, and no one can really tell heads or tails of it, where's at least one place they can start? Well, how do they kind of they get to the main idea of what their like site needs to be about? What are some questions they can ask?

Nels Jensen:

Yeah, so from the beginning, from the homepage on should be the opportunities to learn about how people help you, and why they might be the right provider for you.

Joey Strawn:

So like somebody, and I know that you guys go through this? And we'll have Brian explained a little bit more, but one of the things that you guys have labeled it as the core model, yes. So trying to find the core identity of what are the major selling points or conversion mechanisms that a site has to offer?

Nels Jensen:

Right, and we a core model to just simplify it, you know, is taking sticky notes that say, what, why do people come to your site? What are they trying to get done? And how do we do that? And you move sticky notes, you know, off from one board into another? And, you know, we're we're gonna send these people here, where's the path for those people? You basically, in this core model that we use, you provide paths for solutions? What are people on site?

Joey Strawn:

Okay, answering that, like, what are the main reasons that people come? What are the main solutions and interact interactions that we provide? And then basically, you put sticky notes up and track how people could get to that? Like, yeah, I could convert, like, where do we need people who come to our website to land? Is that our contact form? Is that the RF q? Is that the schedule a free consultation? it? What is it? You know, exactly commerce store with a coupon? Right? How do we allow you in a coupon?

Nels Jensen:

Yep. How do we help them? They come to our site? wanting to do something? And where do we send them? How do we help them?

Joey Strawn:

Right? Also, what are before we get Brian on here and talk really kind of nitty gritty in the weeds? nails? What do you see as some opportunities or ways that people can do that?

Nels Jensen:

Well, I think, what we call a capturing prospect information. So uh, for you, you mentioned, you know, an RF cue where people want to quote, you know, and that's the old price quote, you have to give us your information, and we'll send you the price. You know, which, depending upon its if you're dealing with fairly expensive things, which a lot of manufacturing is that's fine, you know, I want to just try it out, hey, buy, it's not quite like buying a car and these machines, here's the complex, here's a $5

Joey Strawn:

million exhaust system, right, he's just credit card number or Venmo. Right.

Nels Jensen:

And traditionally, we've also referred to what we call gated content. So a white paper where, you know, here are everything you need to know about industrial air filtration systems for aerospace, you know, you have to trade your customer information to read that in depth, you know, research report. Like there's other ways to capture prospect information to like some sites have some functionality built into something. Hey, here's how you build your own paint booth or here's how you calculate savings from, you know, if you use this automation feature, there, there's a way to ask People free information before you, you know, give them some of the good stuff. So then you're, you're in a process of being able to qualify leads. So capturing prospect information is one. And I think another is basically just videos, it's whether it's training, whether it's best practices, whether it's client success, you know, I think videos are a really good opportunity to, you know, sort of really rope people into your site and into your website and get them find a way to get them onto your prospect list.

Joey Strawn:

Well, video, I mean, nowadays is one of the most engaged with types of communication online. You know, there are a lot of studies that show or surveys that show that YouTube is the second most used search engine on the internet, you know, so videos, yes, definitely do have. And from a technical side, and from my world, I love videos, because they help. And they rank really well, they they engage really well on social and they rank really well, in search. And that's great. One of the things that I was happy that you said, and I do want to reiterate and actually remind people is don't be afraid to give up some of that good stuff. You know, there's a lot of there's a lot of old school thing that's like, Oh, we have to keep all of our secrets to ourself. And nowadays, if you're answering the question, how can we help our prospects? How can we help our customers, you have to be willing to open some of those gates and share some of that good stuff. And most of the time, it's worth an email or is worth, you know, give someone giving you their phone number or contact filling out a form for it. But being willing to share some of that is always going to open the doors and get more people in, you know, your track was a you're tracking more bees with honey, yeah, well is the same, then your

Nels Jensen:

Your, your you're probably bragging about what a great authority you are in this sector. There's nothing wrong with showing that authority and that credibility and expertise to your prospects. You don't as you should..

Joey Strawn:

You want to write that trust, you know? Well, I think this is a perfect time to head on down to the shop floor and meet with our guests for today. I'm excited, because as someone that I've worked with a lot, but Brian Matthews, he's gonna be joining us today in the shop floor. He's a development wizard. The Angry developers we like to call them although he's not very angry. But he is very direct. And he loves to help websites get better and help companies do better with their stuff. And so I'm excited to have Brian on here in just a minute. So now, what do you what do you say we head on down to the shop floor? Sounds good.

Nels Jensen:

Brian, Brian is great. And there's plenty to be there's plenty to be angry about in terms of what when you look at some industrial websites, but he's, as you say, he's really not angry. He has incredible feedback and insight for industrial websites.

Joey Strawn:

Alright, well, we're gonna put them on the spot. And I hope you guys stick around. Alright guys, we are here in the shop floor. And I couldn't be more excited to introduce my friend Brian Matthews. Brian, we've worked together for a long time. And I had you join me and nails today, as I've labeled you correctly or incorrectly as the angry developer even though you're a sweetheart. But, Brian, thank you for joining us today to talk about industrial websites.

Brian Matthews:

Oh, great to be here Joey and I'm so mad. I'm so angry.

Joey Strawn:

I love to call you the angry developer. Because the thing that I appreciate Brian and then to brag on you for a minute. The thing I appreciate about all of our conversations is you're so direct to the point is, well, this website's terrible. Why are we doing this way, which is the exact voice we need in conversations, especially when talking about the act of building websites for industrials, especially ones that may be averse to the idea. So I mean, before before I dive into specific questions, give us a bit of an overview like where do you How long have you been working in web sites? What you know, where's your big focus? And what makes you the maddest? Oh, and you're looking at our website?

Brian Matthews:

Well, I mean, I'm, I didn't start out in the industrial world. I started out in the entertainment segment of the web worked at, you know, Ticketmaster, and Echo Music and a number of places for four years building super high traffic websites for very famous people. And then I guess it was about seven years ago, well, along I got into, you know, industrial websites when I started working with you. And it's a pretty big paradigm shift from you know, building a website for Dolly Parton to building a website, multimillion dollar manufacturer, the needs are, you know, quite different. But you know, it's it's easy to mess up in both cases. And you know, that's typically what makes me mad is seeing stuff that shouldn't Be a no brainer, easy problem to solve, but it's either over complicated or just not really addressed properly. And yeah, happens everywhere.

Nels Jensen:

You got some examples? I'm sure you do.

Brian Matthews:

Sure. Yeah. So thinking I'm gonna leave the entertainment industry alone. That's Yeah,

Joey Strawn:

We're right now to Brian, just so you know, we're talking to people who either are dealing with marketing stuff on the ground, these are people who are this straddling that sales and marketing kind of fence, and sort of having to figure this world out, or the C suite of manufacturers that leadership who are just trying to figure in this world out and need to know that someone else understand. So those are his Yeah, anything in the entertainment world, they're not gonna care about they want to know what manufacturers and ecommerce people are doing, and how they can learn.

Brian Matthews:

Yeah, well, my first big like, thing that I see, all the time very frequently is just a lack of unprofessionalism on the website, you know, it'll be a multi million dollar manufacturing company. And now have you know, a website that looks like it was built by someone's teenage nephew in between fortnight rounds. And it just, you know, when you land on something like that, that's just really does not, you know, does it match the budget and, you know, the clout behind the company? It's sort of erode your confidence, right? You know, it's

Joey Strawn:

There is I will say, there is that confidence hit of when you know, a name, and and let's be honest, you know, in the industrial b2b world, a lot of the names are just unknown, no one would people would be surprised if you'd heard of their company, but there's some out there that are big names, and you hit their website, and you're like, I have got to have found the wrong website. This cannot be so and so site, because I've heard of them, and they're huge. This is an accident.

Brian Matthews:

Yeah, no, I agree. In fact, some of them, you know, I guess it's changing a little bit recently, some of the bigger players, you know, they're they're getting more savvy, but they'll still be large companies that, you know, their sight is so bad that it's approaching avant garde status, you know, in the artwork, like it's, it's become something that's, you know, while maybe not effective, but as far as design goes, this is now avant garde, because it's, you know, retro, in a sense.

Joey Strawn:

I like that. I like that so much. It's like you think you landed I was that? Oh, what's the website that allows you to time machine, browser time machine or wayback machine like that? wayback machine. Thank you, you think you accidentally landed on a Wayback Machine page? It's just the website. So So Brian, like if people are listening, they're like, well, if that's the case, I don't want to spend time to keep it up. I'm an industrial? Should I even have a website? Do I even need one? Like, why should they even bother?

Brian Matthews:

Well, I mean, you know, if, if people are looking for you on the internet, and there we go, right?

Joey Strawn:

They are, yeah,

Brian Matthews:

Whether it's on their phones, or their computers, or whatever, if they have a problem to solve, you know, equipment to replace materials to secure, you know, they're not going to get the phone book out. And just press part, you know, going through the list of companies, they're the first thing most people are going to do is look for something on the internet that gets them closer to that goal. And if your website's a true business asset, looks professional builds confidence, and, you know, supports, you know, helping those visitors, you know, solve their problems, it's gonna be a big asset. And I think you're kind of hitting on, you know, that that question is, should I have, you know, a website as an industrial company? Should I have a website? And, you know, maybe even 10 years ago, that answer, you know, you know, he could have been wishy washy, right, because business has sort of changed in recent years, as far as the way those write those payrolls customers find those businesses. And, yeah, pretty much any business today, whether it's industrial or not, does need to have a website. And if it's industrial, it can, your business is industrial, it can certainly be a great asset for the company and a lot, oftentimes, just the very first point of interaction somebody is going to have with your company, and if it doesn't look professional, then they might form an opinion right away of how unprofessional your company is. Right?

Nels Jensen:

So once once you have that website, and you have that professional look, from a development perspective, what's next? What what's the, what's the priority for an industrial website? Once you know you're gonna have a, we're having it redone? It's gonna look good. We want it to make a true business asset and from a development perspective, what's next?

Brian Matthews:

Um, well, Isee you know, I don't want to get super super nerdy here, but I see this happening a lot with you know, clients, we interact with You know, they'll have an internal, you know, IT department that are, you know, really good at supporting the manufacturing floor or setting their employees up for, you know, success flowing leads around here and there and accounting, etc. And a lot of times, you know, they, it seems that those folks, those sort of internal IT departments get, they also get the website work, because you know, this guy knows about computers, he can do that, you know, kind of,

Joey Strawn:

He's got he's, well, he's the web guy.

Unknown:

He knows, like a computer on Yeah, he can build a website. And that's, that's not always the case. You know, it's like, you know, you've got a guy that fixes your lawnmower, and he's really good at it. And your plane breaks down, you're like, oh, Randy ball can fix my lawnmower that's got an engine, my plane has an engine, let's get him to fix it. He might.

Joey Strawn:

Oil gas gas. It's the same,

Brian Matthews:

Right? It's and you know, it might work out but oftentimes it doesn't. So one of the I guess a big mistake that could be made is, you know, just throwing, you know, website work over the wall to your, you know, internal it, folks. And sometimes that works out great if those people have that expertise, but a lot of times they don't, it doesn't completely overlap with, you know, supporting internal manufacturing systems versus something that's public facing for the general user.

Nels Jensen:

Yeah, that's, that's interesting, because manufacturers were faced with this ot IIT conundrum, to the operational technology that runs their businesses and their machines. And it took a while for them to realize, yeah, the it is, is a whole different avenue, a whole different, you know, vertical. And so, yeah, that website, even beyond that. So I think there's lessons learned for manufacturers in that from other areas of the company.

Joey Strawn:

Yeah, I would agree. And honestly, Brett, Brian, I want to dive in on one thing, because this is a term I've heard you use internally, and this usually comes up when it teams are, are gifted. The job of also updating and maintaining websites, is that there are patches or their plugins or their you know, things that have accumulated over time that solve an immediate problem. But maybe the term you've used that I love and want to introduce everyone to is technical debt, we all are very sure. We're all very confident and and comfortable with the idea of financial debt, or maybe emotional debt. But Brian, you introduced me to the term years ago of technical debt. And I want you to dive in a little bit on that, because I think one it is common within our industries, because of that idea of, well, I'm not an expert. So I'll just do this plug in, or I research this website patch, or I'm going to do this on WordPress, because of X, Y, and Z. And so I want to give you a platform to kind of tell everybody what this is, and what they should be looking out for.

Brian Matthews:

Right, great technical debt, that's one of them, you know, that that can be a major problem. And it knows it doesn't necessarily, like even expert developers that are doing exactly the right thing for years can still accrue technical debt. And let me get Let me explain it first, I guess with an analogy, and that might make sense to, especially folks, you know, in industrial or manufacturing, you can think of it as a bush fix, right? Like if you're, if you're mining for gold in the Klondike, and you know, the nearest by report by replacement parts is, you know, 30 miles away on a dirt road, and it's going to take you two weeks to get there something breaks, you know, operationally, you can't shut down for that long. So you do what's called a push fix, you might have some folks that can slap on some duct tape, use road, some welding, whatever, to just get you back up and running quickly. And that works. And it's great. The problem arises is when you continue to make those sorts of bush fixes, slapping duct tape on, you know, monkey patching is another word term I've heard to describe those types of fixes, jury rigging, etc, eventually, you'll have so many bush fixes and things like that, that you have something very fragile and is almost ready to completely unravel. And that happens in you know, the web world too. And it's, it's usually related to velocity of change, especially over time. So there'll be a change to a site or a campaign initiative, something that you sort of need to get out the door immediately. So you do the quick fix to support that. And and it works and it's great, but if you keep you know, adding those quick fixes up, right, so you'll get to a point where that debt you have created technical debt with those quick you know, fixes not doing it the right way, but the quick fixes will need to be paid down, because you'll get a certain point where like, Okay, oh, we can't really do another quick fix, we've done too many or this, if we do another fix, you might find that suddenly things are not stable and operating anymore. Right. And I guess that sort of concept of technical debt, you know, like you alluded to it applies across disciplines, there can be marketing, branding debt, you know, plenty of things to do that in, right. I guess it basically boils down to, you know, it's okay to do the quick fixes, but not every time, eventually, those will come back to bite you.

Joey Strawn:

Well, I think one thing, but Nels, please, please make your point. Yeah. Well,

Nels Jensen:

I was I was just going to talk about one of the ironies of the industrial sector is that this same mentality has been confronted with their processes with their machines. And at some point, there's Okay, our stamping press just can't do it anymore. The tonnage monitors outdated this, whatever they just understand. And inherently Yes, we have to invest in order to keep our business, let alone grow our business. And a lot of the lean efficiency things that came to manufacturing, you know, why did it takes so long to have the same continuous improvement on the knowledge base side, on the sales on the marketing on the hiring? You know, why is it been so hard to get that same kind of approach to a website? I think it's a return. It's a rhetorical question more than anything. But Brian, you know, they're not a lot of industrial companies aren't bringing the same mindsets to their website that they bring to their core operations?

Brian Matthews:

Yeah, that's a good point. And I think that, you know, sort of stems from a question Joey asked earlier was, you know, as an industrial companies, should I even have a website, I think we're, you know, we're watching this evolve, because, you know, the, their customers, you know, are getting, you know, younger, and I have more experience with the internet, even, you know, 10-15 years ago, like I kind of said earlier that, you know, the folks, their customers, you know, really weren't on the internet, there was still Rolodexes and phone calls. And, you know, the, your buddy network, how you would get around to doing that. And now, you know, obviously, the stuff you mentioned now is like internal operational stuff. That's top of mind. Right? That's it, that's not working. There's nothing but as far as a website goes as a way to, you know, get new customers get the word out, you know, help people solve problems. That's, I think we're kind of just now seeing industrials, realize that this is a real tool. That's, that's helpful, and can be just as probably should be just as important as making sure you know, the factory floors running Great.

Joey Strawn:

Well, and it's interesting and this and I actually, I'm glad NLC went first, because the point I was going to make was expand upon Brian's bush fix analogy is, I think one of the reasons that the website and the marketing systems and the say CRM systems don't get as much of that attention and love is because it's not as easy to see the duct tape, you know, you have the duct tape on your wagon, you have the wheel that's wobbling back and forth, you have the tonnage monitor, that's, you know, that's one not reading or to, you know, that's sparking or, you know, you got your safety curtain that's not, you know, firing correctly, those things send off alerts, the fact that a website isn't working is usually simply symptomatic, or the symptoms of that are no one's on your website, which then makes you think that the website doesn't work, which means then he doesn't want to give attention to the website. So it's a circular kind of virus, and no one's looking no one's like, no like page on the site is wobbly. So they don't think to look for the duct tape on the back end, unless they have someone like Brian on staff or you know, someone with that expertise that may not be that IT guy, it may be but it may not be. And then someone gets hired or a marketing agency or a consultant or Freelancer gets hired with Brian's expertise. And he comes in there and this horrified by all the duct tape and then a client's like, Well, I'm not gonna pay $80,000 or whatever, to fix this. It's doesn't even look that bad. And the guy's like, there's so much duct tape on the back end. Like if someone uploads a picture of Nicolas Cage, your whole site's gonna crash. Like, I don't know how to tell you there's so much tape back here.

Brian Matthews:

And that's a good point that the squeaky wheel gets the grease right and yeah, and yeah, website's not squeaking unless you know, you need the person to listen to a website and that person will do the sweeping

Joey Strawn:

Website whisper whether, you know, we're obviously you know, I have a vested interest in people, you know, talking to us but what whoever that website whisperer is, just make sure you have you find somebody who can listen. So Brian, this has been fantastic. Before you go, since we're on the shop floor, this is all about actionable mistakes and insights and tips. What is one piece of advice you would give to a company? Maybe something they could do this quarter? That would be an actionable thing they could do to help their website?

Brian Matthews:

Yeah. Okay. So specifically, thinking about industrials, that would be, you know, consider the mobile experience. Like truly consider, you know, if someone has their phone out what what's going to happen, you're going to get, you know, random people just sort of browsing the internet on their phone. But you're also going to get, you know, the guy in the field, who is trying to procure some steel or trying to fix this, you know, stamping press and needs apart, etc. And he, the first thing he might do is pull his phone out and say, Well, let me just go to, you know, Acme, and see if they can help me. And too often, I don't see that aspect really, truly considered. And if we, a lot of times, it'll work on the phone, right, the website will work just fine on the phone. But the experience is not considered, you know, if the guy is trying to, you know, replace a part on the shop floor, you know, but it's an emergency, he's trying to do it, he goes to Acme comm on his phone, and he's presented with, you know, the company history, or how awesome that leadership team is like, it's.

Joey Strawn:

No clickable phone number.

Brian Matthews:

Right there, there should be a way for this individual to solve their problem, whether that's, you know, a part search or, you know, starting materials, purchasing process, whatever, whatever it may be truly considered why somebody would get their phone out and contact you on the web in the first place.

Joey Strawn:

I love that advice. And honestly, I'm going to extend that out and take that advice and actually give our listeners homework, if you're working in the marketing department, if you're invested in how marketing and digital marketing affects your company and your bottom line, then over the next week, get out your phone, go to your website and go through an entire purchase, go through like a contact form, fill out a purchase or an RFQ, you go through your site answer a question that a customer would have, and go through the experience that they would go to if you're not happy with the experience, neither are they.

Brian Matthews:

Yeah, that's great advice. Like we we all are, you know, most of us are, you know, pretty heavy internet users, right? You know, around Christmas, we're ordering stuff online all the time. And we get frustrated easily and it makes us mad mad enough to you know, talk to other people about it. Same thing, same principles apply here. It just, you know, it might be not as frequent, you know, with industrial lead time and purchase cycles. But sure, frustrations are there. Well, I

Joey Strawn:

I couldn't agree more. I think that's a fantastic bit of advice, and we've even got some homework for people out of it. Brian, thank you so much for joining us. We're definitely gonna have you back. I want to dive into more specific things and maybe even pull out some case studies of the most embarrassing things you've seen on websites in the future, but we're definitely gonna have you back. Thank you so much for for joining us today and dropping some knowledge on these listeners.

Brian Matthews:

Yeah, my pleasure. Next time. I'll be sure to be a lot angrier. Yeah.

Joey Strawn:

Okay. Well, that would that would be that'd be so preferred. You are not very angry today angry developer. But, but thank you anyway, and listeners. As we wrap up our show today. As always, please, if you haven't already subscribed to our show, subscribe. Follow us on the website. Go there. You can follow all of our socials, you can read all of our educational articles, even some articles that are probably going to be written by Brian and yours truly, and Nelson as well. So find find us over there and share this podcast if you know other people that would benefit from it being part of this industrial marketer universe. Please go ahead and share this episode. Share this podcast with them. We want to grow this be as helpful as we can. Until next week. I am Joey strong. This has been Nelson Jensen, and we are the industrial marketer podcast. We will talk with you next week.