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2014 BDN Marketing Planner

A Strategic Planning Resource

Download this easy-to-follow template and use it as a starting point for mapping out next year’s marketing objectives, strategies and tactics.

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2014 Aerospace & Defense Trade Show Directory, Alpha-Sorted

Where can you display your products and services in 2014?

Trade shows, exhibitions, and conferences — there are hundreds of aerospace- and defense-focused events to consider. This directory is intended as a useful resource to inform trade show planning activities.

Whatever your focus, there’s an event for you.

Click here to download the 2014 Aerospace & Defense Trade Show List Alpha-Sorted.

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2014 Aerospace & Defense Trade Show Directory, Date-Sorted

Where can you display your products and services in 2014?

Trade shows, exhibitions, and conferences — there are hundreds of aerospace- and defense-focused events to consider. This directory is intended as a useful resource to inform trade show planning activities.

Whatever your focus, there’s an event for you.

Enter your information here to download the 2014 Aerospace & Defense Trade Show List Sorted by Date.

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Aerospace and Defense Media: A Surfeit of Choices

If you ever think, “there’s nothing to read,” think again!

Advertising, targeted editorial, and public relations are some of the tools for reaching relevant audiences with your message. BDN has located, and here listed, more than 300 aerospace- and/or defense-focused publications.

Register here to receive a copy of the Aerospace and Defense media publication listing.

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Exhibiting at a Trade Show: It's a process, not a given.

The Truth About Trade Shows

Companies allocate significant resources each year on industry-trade-show-related expenses and labor in an effort to market their current offerings while also supporting future growth objectives. The purpose of the guidelines that follow is to bring greater strategic value to the trade shows in which you participate, with the ultimate goal of optimizing your return on the objectives that you (should) set for each event.

Overarching Principles

A company’s Trade Show Marketing Strategy is part of an integrated go-to-market strategy. For example, the messages you send from the booth graphics and text need to be aligned with those you send from the marketing collateral you hand out; what you promote on your web site; your ads in industry trade pubs; what’s stated in your proposals; etc.

You should be internally integrated. Key organizations (Marketing, Business Development, Communications, Operations, etc.) should work together in development of objectives, strategy, messaging, entertainment, sponsorships, etc. to maximize the effectiveness of each event. In addition, if appropriate, you should work with sister organizations to bring unified marketing and marketing communications to multi-group events.

Set objectives for each show you attend, whether you’re exhibiting or not. It is best to set one or two primary objectives, but not more than two so that you can keep the effort focused. For example: “Give X number of product demonstrations,” “Meet with X number of customers,” “Introduce a particular technology or service to a new market.”

Make sure your objectives are realistic and measurable, and mapped to your go-to-market strategy. For example, one major defense contractor, who goes to about 30 shows a year, doesn’t realistically expect to sell anything at a trade show. Instead, its primary objectives are centered on meeting specific people: “Conduct X meetings with customers” and “Establish X teaming arrangements with business partners.” These objectives are mapped to a longer term and bigger picture company-wide market strategy.

Link objectives to metrics to gauge the effectiveness of your preparations and execution. For example, the objective, “introduce a particular capability into a new market,” could be linked to the number of visitors to the booth and/or the number of demos given. You should understand that, cost-wise, trade shows are typically an inefficient venue for generating awareness, but are a highly effective venue for face-to-face contact with prospects and customers.

Determine an “At-Event-Strategy or Strategies” for each show you attend, based on the objective(s) and customer life-cycles of those attending. For example, you might demo a particular capability to a prospect or new customer, versus entertaining your core customers (e.g., golf outing, after-hours client event, etc.) Or, part of your event strategy might be an analysis of what your competitors are promoting at the show. Their marketing strategies and tactics are on display. This task should be assigned in the preshow strategy meeting and the results evaluated as frequently as practical.

Be accountable for the budget. Be clear about responsibilities regarding who will budget for exhibit space, exhibit logistics and meeting rooms. Plan for all associated items, such as customized exhibit graphics, marketing collateral, sponsorships, shipping, giveaways, etc.

Download a free copy of Exhibiting at a trade Show, Pre- and Post-Show Strategies, plus a formula for estimating staffing levels.

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Is your intellectual property safe?

Inadequate protection could rock your world.

I think we can all agree that most any company would kill to have a brand name like Fender. Iconic products. Cult following. And a cool factor that’s off the charts. It’s brand heaven.

Heaven can wait?

But heaven turned to hell when Fender lost a landmark trademark case that effectively allows other guitar makers to replicate the distinctive body shapes of the Stratocaster, Telecaster and Precision Bass electric guitars and basses. How could this happen?

Uh-oh

Well, Fender never actually trademarked its two-dimensional body shapes. Company attorneys sought to rectify the situation in 2003, filing applications with the U.S. Patent and Trademark office. Then in 2004, a group of large and small guitar manufacturers and retailers, in a “David v. Goliath” action, formally opposed the applications. Finally, after five years of litigation and 20,000 pages of evidence, the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board — in a precedent-setting decision — overwhelmingly ruled in favor of the small manufacturers. This was not music to Fender’s ears. Any company is now free to produce sub-par knockoffs, and there’s nothing Fender can do about it. The ultimate cost to the company is incalculable.

So What?

Why should you care about what happened to a guitar company? Well, aerospace companies have intellectual property (IP) too. In many cases, it’s the foundation of the business. Let’s say you have a proprietary design for your company’s bestselling product, a unique aircraft component. What would happen if the product design or name was hijacked by a competitor, and you had no recourse because you lacked basic protection? This is any company’s worst nightmare.

It Pays to Protect Yourself

The upside to covering your assets is considerable. A case in point: In 2007 and 2008, U.S. District Court awarded Innovative Solutions $23 million against Kollsman Inc., an Elbit Systems Ltd. subsidiary, as part of an intellectual property case that alleged misappropriation of company trade secrets relating to commercial air data computers, despite signed non-compete agreements. Ultimately, Elbit indicated that the ruling affected its second-quarter earnings to the tune of $10 million. Innovative Solutions walked away with a $23 million windfall. Nice.

To download the complete whitepaper, register here:

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Is it time to hire an outside marketing firm?

How to select an agency that’s right for you

An aerospace company starts small, succeeds, grows bigger, hires more engineers. One of the engineers has a camera and a handful of fonts. The next thing you know, they are creating ads and brochures — and it’s cheap because they’re already on the payroll. But is it really the way to build your brand?

“We need an ad”

We’ve all heard it before, right? Perhaps from a frustrated salesperson who’s not making his numbers…or an embarrassed CEO who thinks he’s been outclassed by the competition.

What you do next will have far-reaching implications for your business and your brand.

Who does what?

Too often, the Aerospace Marketing role is relegated to “doing stuff.” Ads. Brochures. Trade Shows. Always at the last minute. Always in a panic. But a marketer’s true value is in delivering outcomes, not outputs…in understanding business strategies and then recommending projects to achieve the company’s objectives. This is where an outside firm can help.

You probably have the capability to produce an ad, in-house, quickly. Someone is sure to have product photos, and there’s a guy in engineering who knows Photoshop. You’ll grab some text from a presentation, pull it all together, and everyone will be happy, right? Sure, if you just want to produce an ad.

But if you want to elevate your role in the organization and produce an effective ad that will build your brand, distinguish you from the competition and drive customer preference, then it’s time to consider an alternative approach.

Maybe it’s time to hire a professional.

Marketing agencies are well equipped to provide the expertise, competence and service to ensure your messages are on target and delivered in the most effective way possible.

Selecting an agency

It’s important to be realistic about whether an outside firm is for you. If you wish to do the work of the people you are hiring – writing copy that sells, selecting typefaces that grab attention, designing the artwork or graphic element and determining the publications where the ad will appear – you may be better off not spending your money on an agency. The marketing team you are forming will be more effective if you define your requirements in advance and allow the agency to do its work.

Marketing agencies consist of experts in every area of conceiving, creating, producing, placing and testing your marketing message. Client personnel most often are experts in engineering, customer service, product development or other areas congruent with their product. It’s best that everyone works to his or her respective strengths.

Allow the agency to challenge your thinking and to float new ideas and concepts not familiar to you.

Choose Wisely

Some facts to consider…

Selecting a marketing firm is a big decision that can pay big dividends. A recent survey by the Chief Marketing Officers Council concluded that 2008 marketing budgets are remaining stable or increasing.

43% of CMO’s say budgets have grown between 5% and 10%.

The majority of  global marketers (52.6%) had budgets that equaled less than 4% of revenue. 35% said their spend was between 4% and 10% of revenue. The average $10 million company, for example, is spending between $400,000 and 1 million on marketing.

The bottom line is organizations are increasing the emphasis on marketing – and they are expecting something in return.

Working with a qualified outside resource is one way to meet objectives and maximize the return on your marketing investment.

To download the complete whitepaper, which includes hiring tips and expectations, register here:

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