Marketing and Sales Summit
I’ve been in St. Louis for the ISA Marketing and Sales Summit. Had a quiet dinner with Dick Morely last night. Conversation ranged from manufacturing strategy to the spin of electrons to cures or prevention for Alzheimers and Type II Diabetes. I always leave a meeting with Dick energized. Do you know people like that? I’d love to know more. But that’s the joy of this profession. I get to hang out with awesome people.

The Marketing and Sales Summit began as a response to observations that marketing in the automation industry needed help. Sometimes engineers get “promoted” into marketing but receive little or no training and therefore get lost. Other times people come from consumer marketing into our space. Selling technical products to engineers is unlike any other marketing that you’ll do.

Many experts come to share their ideas and experiences. In my case, I’ll be leading a “speed dating” discussion on PR–or, working with editors. So many marketers don’t write a coherent, hard-hitting press release, often burying the important information in the third or fourth paragraph. They’re lucky if anyone reads that far. Sometimes PR people flood the world with releases and hope someone will read it (actually, many believe that everyone will read it and publish it). That doesn’t work. Trust me. I want to bring relevant information to my readers, and PR people help–at least the good ones do.

Automation Week

I’m seeing reports about the conference part of ISA’s Automation Week coming up in Mobile, Ala. Greg McMillan has assembled a great set of speakers and topics. You probably noticed that this conference was not on my travel agenda. I’m not snubbing ISA. There are three conferences on three different coasts that week that I should attend. Forces beyond my control obligated me to one on the West Coast. Can’t make it to the Gulf coast or the Atlantic coast for the others. But if you have a chance, head down there.

Plans are progressing for the 2012 Automation Week, which will be held in Orlando. I’ve offered to help with the conference if circumstances work out.

I also had a chance to chat with Bob Lindeman, ISA Secretary/President Elect. ISA is trying to turn the ship around and regain relevance in a new world. It is looking at different ways to communicate with members–using the ubiquitous “social media” among others. It is also looking to streamline its Byzantine organization structure. That’s the main reason I would like to be in Mobile–so I could participate in the changes. I’ll wish for the best. The organization sorely needs change and enthusiasm. I hope the current leadership can make it happen.

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