When Performance Consulting Associates (PCA) and Michael Mackenzie Communications (MMC) began their decade-long relationship, Founder, President and CEO Dick DeFazio had embraced the “quiet” approach to market presence. His firm’s deep expertise in maintenance and asset management for industrial companies, he felt spoke for itself.
Coming out of the COVID lockdown, DeFazio decided to shake things up a bit. He hired two industry veterans, convincing one to abandon retirement, to secure more selling opportunities for PCA. DeFazio made it clear that now was the time to step on the accelerator a bit. The time for the company to be more proactive about touting its reputation, longevity, accomplishments, who our associates were, etc. was now.
The charge to Bob DiStefano, Chief Operations Officer (COO), and Will Goetz, Vice President of Corporate Development, was simple: Get PCA on more target company “short lists” and let the firm’s reputation and knowledge close the deals. Short lists are the top two or three companies that potential clients will research prior to hiring a consulting firm to help change culture and processes to improve industrial reliability. The previous “quiet leader” strategy didn’t always result in PCA being on those lists. PCA’s goal was to be consistently one of those top options. DiStefano and Goetz had spent decades studying the maintenance and asset management space to learn that sales had always been a “numbers game.” No complex math needed here – the more deals you’re in, the more deals you’ll close.
DiStefano and Goetz walked into a situation where MMC was already in place, which gave them a “leg up” in tackling their enormous and business-critical mission. MMC was especially important because PCA consciously opted for no internal marketing team, relying on MMC as the partner for marketing, and that marketing engine needed to secure the coveted “short list” inclusions DeFazio wanted.
“I was particularly impressed with MMC’s mastery of digital marketing – something I knew very little about.”
–Bob DiStefano, Chief Operations Officer
As business performance consultants, DiStefano and Goetz needed a lead generation engine capable of dramatically raising the company’s market profile and closely tracking campaign results. “We wanted to know what was working and what was not, so that we could make mid-course adjustments,” Goetz said.
“We set out to adjust our marketing spend based on results – and to do that in real time.”
–Will Goetz, Vice President of Corporate Development
MMC took the lead to help PCA leverage the reach of business-oriented social media to make the short lists and fill the sales funnel. For example, MMC grew PCA’s exposure on LinkedIn through increasing the frequency of posts and articles, complemented by paid ads. Followers of the company soared by nearly 80%. Some of the most successful and heavily followed items featured “people-centric” posts from the industry’s top trade show, SMRP, and PCA associate spotlights, which highlighted the bios of the company’s illustrious list of highly accomplished consultants.
Social media-based paid advertising, which MMC selected carefully and judiciously, focused on targeted industries and job titles where demand for PCA’s solutions and services was expected to be high. Each social media campaign averaged more than 150 clicks to the company website, generating close to 13,000 impressions. In addition, MMC tightly coordinated articles, email campaigns and paid advertising to maximize qualified traffic to the PCA website.
Social media was just one area where aligning multiple outreach efforts paid off for PCA. MMC used PCA’s tradeshow calendar to propose speaking engagements and presentations from PCA experts to conference organizers, creating for PCA a larger presence at influential events. In addition, MMC encouraged PCA to do more than post its thought leadership articles to its website. MMC created publication opportunities for PCA’s innovative ideas in leading online and print trade journals which directly reached maintenance and reliability decision makers.
While the combination of social and traditional media efforts meant more eyeballs on the website, MMC was ahead of the game already implementing best practices for navigation and organic SEO. “The resulting increase in traffic to our website was more effective because we had already made some improvements to that website that made it a richer experience for visitors,” continues DiStefano.
An early pioneer and long-time champion of digital marketing, MMC helped PCA see that low cost, synergistic outreach conducted digitally could advance their goals quickly and efficiently. Plus, digital marketing results could be tracked on an ongoing basis. As DiStefano, Goetz and the MMC team met each month, they moved aggressively to reallocate marketing spend into the efforts that were paying off and dial back on those campaigns that were less productive. DiStefano lauded MMC’s ability to quickly find maintenance and reliability decision-makers online, craft messages that appealed to them and move those executives into the sales funnel.
“We saw great success in working with MMC,” said DiStefano. “Their expertise showed us that making the most of what we thought were one-off opportunities, like trade show appearances, could cement our standing on those all-important short lists. They effectively leveraged the enormous value of digital marketing, something we would not have been able to do on our own.”
“Going digital helped us keep our costs down even as results soared.”
–Bob DiStefano, Chief Operations Officer
Thanks to all the heavy lifting on the digital marketing front that MMC did, PCA now has an efficient marketing engine capable of executing campaigns, tracking results and adjusting on the fly, DiStefano said. The original goal of securing a spot on prospective clients’ short lists was achieved and then some.
About Performance Consulting Associates, Inc.
Since 1976, Performance Consulting Associates, Inc. (PCA) has been providing maintenance and reliability “best practice” support to global manufacturing corporations across all industries. Based in Duluth, Georgia, PCA has more than four decades of expertise serving clients from the plant floor to the C-suite by delivering engineering and consulting services for Asset Reliability, MRO Stores and Maintenance Management. For more on PCA’s solutions and services, please visit www.pcaconsulting.com.