AZ MTS: Social Media and, uh, Honeywell?
When you think of social media and corporations, does Honeywell come to mind?
Didn’t think so.
But that’s changing. As explained by Brian Chapman, director of e-business for Honeywell Process Solutions, the engineering-focused company needs to embrace it to attract future employees.
Chapman, who spoke at the Sept. 23 Arizona Marketing Summit in Phoenix, said that a survey showed that Honeywell’s customers – “extreme industrial users,” he said – had little interest in making purchases online. That makes sense; the typical sales process runs 18 to 24 months.
The survey revealed some key insights about them, however. Honeywell was able to create four “personas” – audiences — to use in its marketing strategy. They then created a fifth composite to represent a future customer.
The five are: Charlie the Channel Partner, Sam the Supporter, Ivan the Installed-Based Buyer, Nick the New Buyer, and Fiona the Future Buyer.
Chapman discussed the process:
The survey also provided insights into their customers’ online behavior, he said.
First, the majority reported spending seven to 10 hours a week online, a figure lower than expected.
Most users reported they couldn’t find information fast enough on the Honeywell website so he’s investing more dollars in internal search.
“95 percent said they like to use email for communications,” he said. “92 percent surf the web to research an issue, and 90 percent start with Google.”
Another insight was that customers want to do training online, not travel to a 2- or 4-week class. This has an impact because the on-site classes are a revenue stream, he said.
You either ramp up online training or risk losing customers.
They also hate marketing “fluff,” he said.
The information helped his division establish online priorities:
- Pump up email frequency
- Focus on Google
- Improve onsite search
- Build online training capabilities
- Facilitate online purchase of spare parts (if you can get the purchase price right)
- Improve response times to online inquiries
- Review results against strategic intent using tools like Google Analytics
- Create micro-sites that could publish content faster than the primary website
The company started dabbling in Twitter in June.
“We have 70 followers,” Chapman said. “And 75 percent are Fionas.”
They have embraced LinkedIn, with 800 engineers in a group.