Buyer's Guide … the one with the Encyclopedia!

Time to Start Digital Marketing With RP Photonics – With a Discount

Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta

In recent months, more companies than ever have started digital marketing with RP Photonics. I suppose that partly this is caused by the coronavirus crisis, which deprives marketing people of other options such as conferences and exhibitions. A substantial part of a marketing budget may thus become reallocated for digital activities. It seems that the majority of people don't just want to save money the crisis, but rather take care that they won't lose part of their market share exactly now. One may of course have a particularly critical look at expenses in these days, trying to get rid of those expenses which are not worthwhile – but certainly not those which make you stronger.

Another factor may be that a few months ago we have started to offer a coronavirus crisis discount of 25% for up to six months. Personally, I would not give much weight to discounts – they are often used to sell something which is worth way less than the discounted price. However, it seems that many are keen to exploit such an opportunity. And once they are in the club, they usually realize very clearly (e.g. based on the obtained statistics) that with or without a discount, what you get is absolutely good value for money. They may then actually decide to safely abandon some other activities, which bring fewer results for more money, and in the end get substantially more effect without increasing the budget.

No Reduced Value

Some may wonder whether the discount is compensated by a loss of value – e.g. a reduction in web traffic due to the crisis. However, our traffic numbers are actually quite stable:

web statistics
Figure 1: Temporal evolution of web traffic on encyclopedia pages (red) and buyer's guide pages (blue).

Although we don't currently reach the extraordinary numbers of last October and November (which I can't really explain), we are doing quite well – e.g. significantly better than a year ago. In particular, that applies to the buyer's guide – where the relative increase has been stronger than that of the encyclopedia pages.

What Needs to Be Done

Marketing activities can be tedious, but in this case it is usually not a big deal.

The crucial thing for suppliers of photonics products is simply to upgrade their entry in the buyer's guide with our ad package. The clearly most important effect of this is that you can publish your product descriptions (with images and embedded links to your pages) on our site. They will then appear (a) on your company profile page, (b) on pages listing suppliers for specific products, and (c) even in related encyclopedia articles – which we have for the majority of products. The latter, by the way, makes the crucial difference to any other photonics buyer's guide (or other kind of digital platform): nobody else has a huge famous photonics encyclopedia used by tens of thousands of professionals each month.

Why are the product descriptions so important?

By the way, the idea is not to describe your products in greatest detail. The function of those descriptions is just to motivate readers to visit your website, where they can get everything else. Imagine what happens if people are confronted with a list of 50 (or sometimes even well over 100) suppliers for particular photonics product, where e.g. five of those suppliers present a few sentences and an image describing their product. Users need to decide which of the many supplier websites to visit – and for that it is obviously very helpful to find brief descriptions already in that list. Nobody has the time simply to search through all supplier websites, in each case starting from the homepage and struggling to find the page with the required product information. It is so much easier to click on a link in a product description in order to directly get what you need. For that reason, you generate many more sales leads that way.

Won't it be tedious?

Don't be afraid of requiring much time to do it. Usually, suppliers already have their product descriptions, in particular on their own website. My offer is to personally collect as much as possible of the required information from there, in addition to giving my assistance and detailed advice for optimizing the entries. I also often somewhat improve the language of descriptions and/or make people aware of possible deficiencies like missing essential details. That way, I personally make sure that everything makes sense so that it can work for you. I think that our customers love the diligent support just as much as the power of the results.

Spread the Word, Witness what Works!

Presumably, the Photonics Spotlight is a read mostly by technical people rather than by marketing staff. I am always grateful if fans of my encyclopedia tell their colleagues in the marketing department about it – to the benefit of everyone involved.

I am used to that effect e.g. when talking to people in exhibitions – I regularly experience the very helpful role of technical colleagues as credible witnesses for the value and importance of our website.

This article is a posting of the RP Photonics Marketing News, authored by Dr. Rüdiger Paschotta. You may link to this page, because its location is permanent.

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