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6 min read

FABTECH Cancelled: Advanced Manufacturing Market Outlook 2020

By Nate Fuller on Mon, Aug 31, 2020

It's hard to imagine that we will be missing FABTECH 2020 this year, among many other cancelled trade shows. Last year, leading up to FABTECH 2019, we covered the market drivers, upcoming trends, and widespread changes in the advanced manufacturing markets. This year, despite the cancellation, sales and market growth continues.

Topics: Marketing Strategy Trade Show Strategy Tariff Manufacturing
3 min read

Moving Forward: Fall 2020 Update

By Michele Nichols on Wed, Aug 26, 2020

For a company who hires for ability to deal with ambiguity, 2020 has really put us to the test. I am incredibly grateful to work with clients and colleagues who put people first and move forward despite such unusual times.

Topics: Business Insights Company News Strategic Planning
4 min read

Resetting Your 2020 Priorities in B2B Markets

By Michele Nichols on Mon, Aug 03, 2020

Now that we’ve entered the second half of a challenging and unpredictable year, it’s time to re-look at 2020 goals, and begin the planning and budget cycles for 2021. But how? Maybe it’s the unknowns, maybe it’s concern for the impact goals can have on your team’s morale and motivation—this feels particularly hard this time.

Topics: Marketing Strategy Change and Innovation Product Launch Strategic Planning
5 min read

Increase CRM Efficiency: Fix These 5 Mistakes

By Alex Ormond on Wed, Jul 22, 2020

Whether you’ve been storing data in a CRM for years or your brand new to the tool, there are common challenges companies face that make their tool less effective. These challenges can impact your team’s efficiency, as well as your bottom line.

Topics: Sales HubSpot CRM implementation Salesforce Tech
4 min read

5 Ways to Get Smart With Your Marketing in 2020

By Sarah Holland on Tue, Jun 23, 2020

According to McKinsey, marketing’s holy grail is digital personalization at scale because “personalization can reduce acquisition costs by as much as 50%, lift revenues by 5-15%, and increase the efficiency of marketing spend by 10-30%.”

Topics: Business Insights Inbound Marketing Marketing Mix Email Marketing Digital Advertising
5 min read

Deconstructing the Marketing Tech Stack: What’s Critical & What’s Not

By Alex Ormond on Fri, May 22, 2020

Can your company relate to one or many of these scenarios? If so, read on!

  • We have a tool, but no one uses it.
  • We have tools that seem to be working, but no measurement of ROI.
  • We have 5 tools, but I think we could consolidate.
  • We want to do more, but we haven’t committed to spending the money on a tool to help.
Topics: Email Marketing Marketing and Sales Alignment CRM implementation Tech Digital Advertising Marketing Automation
4 min read

Pandemics and Product Launches: How to Effectively Go to Market in a Changing World

By Aimee Schenck on Fri, May 08, 2020

Effective product launches and rebrands are thoroughly planned out according to specific timelines – the best time to announce the name, events with the biggest audiences, tactics that get the most traffic. It's rare that product launch planning has a contingency plan for a global pandemic.

Topics: Business Insights Marketing Strategy Product Launch Positioning Branding and Identity
5 min read

Mergers & Acquisitions: Communication Strategy for a Smooth Transition

By Alison Arnold on Mon, May 04, 2020

Mergers and acquisitions present challenges to even the most seasoned leadership teams. Executing a strong and organized communications planone that delivers the right messages to the right constituents at the right time—can help a merger or acquisition go smoothly and establish unity and profitability. Yet, despite the best laid plans, change management is hard and you’re sure to encounter challenges along the way.

Topics: Business Insights Internal Communication Positioning Sales Strategic Planning Marketing and Sales Alignment
3 min read

Innovation in Medical Device Manufacturing: AR/VR

By Alison Arnold on Wed, Apr 22, 2020

As augmented reality and virtual reality tools continue to edge into health care, it’s easy to see the advantages. Color overlays and 3D renderings help surgeons make more informed decisions during a sensitive operation. Medical students practice procedures in a safe, immersive setting. An ultrasound technician conducts a hands-free examination at the patient’s bedside with a lightweight, portable display. In the end, digital realities such as these are aimed at improving patient outcomes. AR and VR will become more commonplace in the health care industry and it’s up to the medical device manufacturers to help push innovations into this sector.

Topics: Business Insights Medical Device Tech
3 min read

3 Tips That Will Make or Break Your Marketing Technology Implementation

By Alex Ormond on Mon, Apr 13, 2020

As marketing experts and Marketing Automation (MA) consultants, we’ve noticed a vicious cycle that many companies fall into with their software toolset: companies buy a tool, hate it, and purge, buy a tool, hate it, and purge, buy a tool, hate it, and purge, and continue to wonder why there aren’t technology options available for their needs. This is obviously bad for efficiency, but what about the unnecessary costs? For example, the average cost of a full-scale Salesforce implementation can run an organization anywhere between $5,000 and $100,000! And for companies shopping for their first marketing automation (or marketing drip) platform, we continue to hear that all the options and the work involved in planning for a successful implementation is extremely overwhelming.

Topics: Tech Marketing Automation
2 min read

COVID-19: Resources For Small & Medium Sized Businesses

By Sarah Holland on Fri, Apr 03, 2020

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), is a $2.2 trillion package to address the coronavirus crisis. There are many programs available to help small and medium sized businesses (SMB) adjust and survive during this time. The U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship has put together a guide to the CARES act, which you can download here. Some of the resources available for small businesses include:

Topics: Strategic Planning
2 min read

Internal Communications: What Your Team Needs Right Now

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Mar 20, 2020

In the best of times, employees report “better communications” as their top suggestion for improvement on nearly every leader’s 360° survey. It has become a trope…and the scourge of every leader.

4 min read

Extended Reality: An Overview of Augmented, Virtual, & Mixed Reality

By Matthew O'Donnell on Fri, Mar 13, 2020

Extended reality is the umbrella term for all real-and-virtual combined environments and human-machine interactions generated by computer technology. Over the last 20 years, augmented, virtual, and mixed reality technologies have seen mass adoption for consumer use due to new innovations in the semiconductor and photonics industries. While these extended reality (XR) technologies are heavily implemented in a creative economy, it’s predicted that ER technology will spread into more diverse industries with extensive near-term growth potential. As worldwide spending on XR products and services is predicted to be $18.8 billion in 2020, it is useful to understand this complicated market to better position your brand in the market.

Topics: Business Insights Positioning Tech
4 min read

Photonics Market Outlook: What's to Come in 2020

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Mar 06, 2020

This February, I was honored to present at SPIE Photonics West with other photonics industry experts. With business development (BD) and marketing tied up on the exhibition floor, sessions like our AR/VR Market Outlook, Photonics Outlook, and LFW’s Laser Marketplace, tended to attract C-level thinkers. Their strategies, experiences, and questions revealed some trends:

Topics: Optics Business Insights Strategic Planning Tariff China USA Manufacturing
4 min read

Some of Our Favorite Booths at Photonics West 2020

By Nate Fuller on Tue, Feb 11, 2020

Another year at Photonics West, the leading event for photonics and laser companies, is in the books! With over 5,000 presentations and 1,300 exhibiting companies, the consensus so far is that traffic was down and quality was up. After months preparing client booths, websites, collateral pieces, and campaigns, we're excited to share a few favorites!


Topics: Optics Marketing Mix Marketing Strategy Trade Show Strategy
3 min read

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA): What Your Business Needs

By Jordan Gipson on Tue, Jan 21, 2020

The CCPA was created with the goal of enhancing the privacy rights of California residents. Going into effect on January 2020, the CCPA requires businesses to take several steps to be compliant. The law is comparable to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) but takes certain measures even further, like having a broader definition of what constitutes private data.

Topics: Business Insights Lead Generation Change and Innovation Client Relations Sales Tech Digital Advertising
2 min read

20 Sales Stats to Boost Your 2020 Sales Game

By Nate Fuller on Mon, Dec 23, 2019

In our planning and strategy sessions we always center the conversation around data-driven decision making. So, we decided to dig up 20 sales stats to help you build your sales plan in 2020. Want to talk to an expert about hitting your sales goals in the new year? Contact us for a free consultation.

Topics: Sales Strategic Planning Marketing and Sales Alignment
5 min read

Networking and Trade Show Tips For Introverts and Engineers

By Nate Fuller on Mon, Nov 04, 2019

Sandy Sloane | Solutions by Sloane

For this post we talked with Sandy Sloane, the President of Solutions by Sloane. Her business serves as an extension of her clients’ existing internal training, employee engagement, special events, and public relations teams, complementing and enhancing what they are already doing or what they simply don’t have time to do. Sandy works closely with Nextcorps Luminate, a 6-month intensive accelerator program located in Rochester, NY, the imaging capital of the world.

Topics: Business Insights Lead Generation Trade Show Strategy Beer & Blog (interviews)
3 min read

Manufacturing Market Update: Gearing Up for FABTECH 2019

By Nate Fuller on Tue, Oct 15, 2019


As we gear up for FABTECH 2019, we'd like to take a step back and look at the market drivers, upcoming trends, and widespread changes in the advanced manufacturing market. Our experience last year told us that we would see growth in additive manufacturing, automation, and artificial intelligence (AI). The jury is still out on the numbers for specific growth in these areas, but we have certainly seen some market indicators over the past twelve months.

Topics: Tariff Manufacturing
4 min read

The Next Gen Salesperson: How to Master the Demo

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Oct 11, 2019

The New Sales Process & The End of the Test Drive

Sales, at its worst, is exemplified by the stereotypical used car sales process. The high pressure, lack of pricing transparency, the awkward test drive, peering under the hood pretending you know what you’re looking for, and the hand-offs from department to department... it’s a game no one seems to enjoy.

Topics: Sales Marketing and Sales Alignment
4 min read

4 Ways to Make Your Chatbot More Than Just a Pop-Up

By Aimee Schenck on Wed, Sep 25, 2019

Chatbots and live chat technologies are transforming the customer service model and sales processes. Slowly but surely, chat systems have gone from the pesky little pop-up that interrupts your browsing experience (okay, there are still a lot of those ones) to the fast, 24-hour support we expect from brands in today’s digital world. By 2020, it’s expected that 80% of businesses will be using chatbots, and recent stats show that consumers support the move toward AI (artificial intelligence):

Topics: SEO HubSpot Marketing Automation
5 min read

How to Maximize Efficiency of a Small Sales Team | 7 Tips

By Nate Fuller on Sat, Aug 24, 2019

Whether you’re a startup working through a product launch, or a large enterprise operating a small division, there will probably come a point where find yourself in the catch 22 of business growth: You need more accounts to fund a sales team, but you need more sales from your current team to get there. It’s through these growing pains that efficiency is paramount in your sales process. We’ve been helping companies overcome challenges like this for over 30 years, and we’ve got some tips to share from this experience.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Internal Communication Sales
5 min read

Why Choose SharpSpring as Your Marketing Automation Platform?

By Alex Ormond on Fri, Aug 16, 2019

In a vast sea of marketing automation (MA) platforms, it’s hard to pick the right tool – let alone fully understand what you’re even getting from your tool. And let’s be honest, every tool has email marketing and at the right paid level some type of automation, so what else should you be looking for when evaluating MA platforms? While our team is platform agnostic and works in powerful tools like HubSpot, Pardot, and Marketing Cloud, this blog post will dig into a few key features SharpSpring has to offer and why we feel they are valuable!

Topics: CRM implementation Tech Marketing Automation
5 min read

2019 Second Half Outlook for the Photonics & Manufacturing Markets

By Mike Holihan on Fri, Aug 09, 2019

With more than half of 2019 behind us, we wanted to take pause and perform a status check on the markets we serve. It's important to understand the state of the market before we begin to plan for 2020 internally and for our clients. Here's a summary at a glance.

Topics: Business Insights
6 min read

Introductory Guide to Using Google Ads in HubSpot

By Nate Fuller on Mon, Aug 05, 2019

This year HubSpot improved the Google Ads integration by allowing users to upload contact lists for targeting, monitor the performance of ads, see improved reporting, and edit various ad settings, all directly in the HubSpot user interface. With this new level of integration comes a whole new level of questions about setting it up and making it run smoothly. See below for a basic overview of getting started or send us an email with questions. We’re always happy to help.

Not sure if you should be using Google Ads at your company? Check out our other post, Is Google Ads the right fit for your B2B Marketing Plan?

Topics: HubSpot Tech Digital Advertising
4 min read

Product Launch Guide & Communication Plan

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Jul 25, 2019

Product Launch is Controlled Chaos

Whether you're a newby or a veteran of product launch planning, there's no denying the anticipation of opportunity and the stress of accomplishing all of the necessary tasks. As the launch date approaches, the flurry of activity increases, making it easy to overlook something or cut corners. Keeping track of who is responsible for what and when challenges even the most organized professionals. Many business leaders find it is in their best interest to seek external support to help organize and execute key activities.

Topics: Business Insights Marketing Strategy Internal Communication Product Launch
3 min read

Creating a Marketing Model for Sustainable Growth | Webinar Recap

By Matthew O'Donnell on Wed, Jul 03, 2019

Developing a marketing plan that sustains steady, consistent growth is imperative for your organization's success. Building a strategy that yields double digit revenue growth every year requires putting the customer first, and building around their specific needs. In the webinar Marketing and Sales Models for Sustainable Growth, Launch Team’s President Michele Nichols talks about how a company can achieve this goal by focusing on the customer first, with a data driven, educational mindset at the core of their marketing efforts. Michele also touches upon how customer behavior is changing and how companies should be adapting to support them.

Topics: Marketing Strategy Marketing and Sales Alignment
2 min read

Launch Team is Expanding: New People in a New Place

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Jun 28, 2019

Launch Team has recently expanded our team with two new valuable members to better serve our growing customer base and services. Additionally, to account for our new growth, we will be moving to a new location just down the road from our current location. Meet our new team members and our new home below!

Topics: Company News
4 min read

Defining Your Marketing Mix and Spend Based on Your Company’s Growth Stage | Webinar Recap

By Matthew O'Donnell on Tue, Jun 25, 2019

Whether you are in a start-up or second stage growth, taking your current size into consideration is important in evaluating and prioritizing marketing tactics and spend. In a recent webinar, Launch Team’s President Michele Nichols discussed the many approaches to developing your marketing mix and how companies in the technology space can help find leads and connect with potential customers. She also elaborated on:

  • Specific types of tactics that are working for customers
  • How to identify what tactics are advantageous and what are outdated.
Topics: Inbound Marketing Marketing Mix Marketing Strategy Marketing Metrics
4 min read

Applying the 80/20 Strategy in Advanced Manufacturing

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Jun 13, 2019

Topics: Business Insights Client Relations
3 min read

Salesforce Summer ’19: A Little Guide to the Big Updates

By Meghan Maloney on Fri, Jun 07, 2019

By now, you know that Salesforce is gearing up for its Summer ’19 release, which will arrive in North American orgs on June 15. As usual, the release notes for this update are very long, but they do include a number of exciting new features to explore. If you get a chance, we encourage you to go read them in full—but for those of you who simply don’t have time, we’re providing some especially notable highlights here.

Topics: Sales
10 min read

Guest Post: What is Affected by USTR and Chinese Tariffs, and How to Avoid Unnecessary Costs

By Casey Holder on Thu, May 30, 2019

The following blog post is a client alert created by Mike Snarr, a Partner, and Casey Holder, an Associate, at Baker & Hostetler LLP. You can find the original posting here, and you can contact Mike or contact Casey with any regulatory concerns or questions. It is recommended that you view the following primers prior to reading this article:

Topics: Tariff China Import USA
9 min read

Breaking News: Critical Salesforce Issue for Current or Formerly Connected Pardot Organizations

By Meghan Maloney on Fri, May 17, 2019

FIX ISSUED: Update as of 12:00pm EST, 5/21/2019:

Salesforce is now stating that a fix has been implemented and the incident is being declared over for users outside of NA53, 57 and 59. Anyone still experiencing issues should submit a support ticket if there are any left-over permission issues discovered.

Topics: Sales
5 min read

Tariffs and Other Troubles: How to Craft a Response Strategy for Tough News

By Meghan Maloney on Wed, May 15, 2019

Talk of a full-scale trade war between the US and China may sound dramatic, but the latest tariff applied to Chinese goods will have a major impact on the costs of materials coming to the US. The full list of affected goods, available here, includes fresh food and dry goods, consumer goods like hats and handbags, as well as a large list of manufacturing materials such as glass, aluminum, gold, electrical parts, and machinery.

Topics: Company News Internal Communication Strategic Planning Tariff
4 min read

CRMs and ITAR Compliance: Which Software Do I Choose?

By Meghan Maloney on Sat, May 11, 2019

Several of today's popular CRMs offer a variety of services all within the cloud. Cloud computing can do wonders for efficiency, allowing for more data storage, faster data retrieval, and ultimately higher satisfaction for end users and customers. But, with more companies across all industries moving sensitive information into the cloud, data security is becoming a greater concern.

Topics: CRM implementation ITAR Compliance
4 min read

The Next Gen Salesperson: What to Expect in B2B Complex Sales

By Michele Nichols on Wed, May 01, 2019

Imagine a salesperson—what comes to mind? We all likely picture the cliché car salesman who is pushy, "all-knowing", always closing, and solely commission driven. We may even suspect that this is appropriate behavior for a salesperson. Now consider the last time you purchased a car. How much research did you do before interacting with sales? What did you want from that salesperson? Did you care most about the expertise to answer your questions or the willingness to move at your pace?

Although expertise is necessary for a salesperson's success, the strongest next gen salespeople understand where the customer is in the buyer's journey and how to help them continue on that journey. Customers have changed and it is important that your organization keeps up with new buyer needs—whether that means engaging the help of a sales consultant, integrating new sales technologies, or revamping the sales process all together. 

Topics: Sales Marketing and Sales Alignment
4 min read

5 Tips for Better Business Meetings

By Aimee Schenck on Mon, Apr 08, 2019

Whether virtual or in person, we’re spending our work lives in meetings that aren’t working. Research shows that 67% of meetings are ‘failures’, and have lost their primary reason–getting things done.

Where have our meetings gone wrong? Over time, the amount of time spent in meetings and number of meetings held has increased significantly. Daily, upwards of 11 million meetings are held in American businesses, averaging a time frame of 31-60 minutes. These longer meetings have led to a 10% increase in the time employees spend in meetings since 2000.

Topics: Business Insights Internal Communication Branding and Identity Strategic Planning
6 min read

6 Annoying Tactics to Avoid When Creating Your Marketing Plan

By Nate Fuller on Fri, Mar 29, 2019

It's safe to say that in 2019 we are exposed to thousands of ads per day. Because of this, many Americans implement an ad blocker into their browser, causing an estimated $9.1 billion in missed revenue in 2019 alone. Getting inundated with intrusive advertisements is bad enough for consumer trust and attention, but when you add on annoying marketing tactics, it's clear why 72% of people dislike online popup ads, and 43% dislike native ads.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Marketing Metrics SEO
4 min read

Reviewing Q1: What Metrics Matter to Your Marketing Plan?

By Aimee Schenck on Mon, Mar 18, 2019

You kicked off 2019 with a well-developed and detailed marketing plan, but now that Q1 is over and revenue numbers are in, it's time to take a look at performance. Your first quarter marketing metrics are essential to answering the questions that will help you have a successful Q2. Key questions to ask include:

Topics: Marketing Metrics Strategic Planning
4 min read

It’s Time: Switch to Salesforce Lightning or Get Caught in the Storm

By Meghan Maloney on Thu, Feb 28, 2019

follow our 3-step process to make the switch to salesforce lightning.

 

Topics: Sales CRM implementation
2 min read

Launch Team's 2019 Commitments

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Jan 24, 2019

Here’s a few of our long-standing commitments, and what’s new for 2019:

 

Topics: Company News Meet the Team
5 min read

Salesforce Spring 19 Release: A Little Guide to the Big Updates

By Meghan Maloney on Tue, Jan 22, 2019

The Spring ’19 release of Salesforce is less than a month away. For those of you who haven’t had a chance to browse through the official release notes, here’s a quick rundown of the most important new items for this first update of 2019.

Topics: Sales CRM implementation
4 min read

CRM Implementation: Preparing Your Team for CRM Adoption

By Aimee Schenck on Tue, Jan 08, 2019

Whether you’re choosing your first CRM or transitioning to a new one, it’s a big decision — one that will lead to even bigger impacts on your team. Training your team to use a CRM efficiently is as important as the data that will be kept in it. If they don’t know how to use it comfortably, the transition into a new CRM tool can be a difficult one.

Topics: Internal Communication CRM implementation
3 min read

B2B Corporate Positioning: Start at the Beginning

By Aimee Schenck on Thu, Jan 03, 2019

Corporate positioning is one of the most important ingredients in establishing a company’s position in the marketplace. However, it’s often overlooked because most organizations believe they know what their target audience needs and wants. Strong positioning starts from the beginning and creates a clear path highlighting your product or service in the market.

Topics: Positioning Strategic Planning
3 min read

No Elves Needed: Using Salesforce Campaigns to Build Your Holiday Card List

By Meghan Maloney on Sun, Dec 16, 2018

Client relationships are an incredibly valuable resource for businesses of any size, and the holidays are a perfect time to reach out with warm wishes to all of your contacts. But wrangling a huge mailing list can get overwhelming during a hectic yearend. So what’s the best way to check off your holiday “nice” list? Channel your inner St. Nick and get it all done in a wink using a full-featured CRM like Salesforce!

Topics: Marketing and Sales Alignment CRM implementation
3 min read

Advanced Manufacturing: State of the Market at FABTECH

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Dec 11, 2018

Returning from 2018 FABETCH, which spanned 3 exhibit halls and attracted over 30,000 attendees, we’ve had the opportunity to see and hear the concerns and market drivers US advanced manufacturers are facing. FABTECH was an excellent opportunity to take a step back from our work with advanced manufacturing clients throughout the US, for a broader, forward-thinking perspective.

Topics: Business Insights
3 min read

Seen & Heard at FABTECH: The Latest in Advanced Manufacturing

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Dec 07, 2018

FABTECH 2018, which spanned 3 exhibit halls and attracted over 30,000 attendees, is North America’s largest metal forming, fabricating, welding and finishing event—and offered a fascinating and forward-looking view at advanced manufacturing.

Topics: Business Insights
6 min read

When Should A Small Business Add a CRM System?

By Meghan Maloney on Mon, Nov 26, 2018

CRM Implementation for Growing Companies 

Your company is small but growing. When should your team consider implementing a Customer Relationship Management system (CRM)? A better question may be, how far do you want to go?

Topics: Strategic Planning CRM implementation
6 min read

Is Google Ads the right fit for your B2B Marketing Plan?

By Sarah Campagna on Mon, Nov 05, 2018

Google recently renamed one of its more powerful marketing tools (AdWords, now Google Ads). As with anything like this, we saw a spike in conversation over the new name and how old habits die hard. However, for many small to medium businesses in the science and technology space, the tool itself is still a mystery, regardless of the name.

Topics: Strategic Planning
4 min read

Breaking Down Marketing Automation: HubSpot vs. Pardot

By Alex Ormond on Thu, Oct 18, 2018

 

As the digital landscape expands, more and more small to medium-sized businesses are utilizing marketing automation tools to take their sales process to the next level. Most often it seems that companies this size narrow their choices down to competitors HubSpot and Salesforce’s Pardot. We had two of our team members compare and contrast the two tools. Sarah Campagna and Sarah Holland break down both tools’ offerings and share tips to consider for integrating marketing automation into your sales process for 2018 and beyond.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Marketing Strategy HubSpot
2 min read

Diversify Your Revenue Base by Increasing Sales in New Optics Markets

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Oct 12, 2018

As the bull market continues and proposed defense budgets are growing, most optics and photonics companies are reporting strong sales and a general sense of optimism. With that comes a new challenge, though: when your revenue base becomes too concentrated on a single industry or customer, your risk of market pull-back or decreased demand increases.

2 min read

Maximizing 2018 in the 4Q: Tips to Optimize Your Revenue and Profits

By Michele Nichols on Mon, Oct 08, 2018

Quick Wins for the Last Quarter

Welcome to 4Q, where we’re planning for 2019 while trying to close out 2018 strong. Especially in sales and marketing for manufacturing, where we’re balancing capacity, booked revenue and shipped revenue targets, it’s a challenging time. For better sales and marketing alignment and a stronger close to the year, here are some key questions to ask your team:

Topics: Sales Strategic Planning Marketing and Sales Alignment
3 min read

5 Tips for Pitching your Product Launch or Start Up to Investors

By Damon Diehl on Thu, Sep 20, 2018

A launch plan that takes a product from concept to commercialization almost always involves acquiring external funding. Pitching your business is a specialized form of B2B brand positioning, as the product is yourself and your ideas. Giving a good pitch is a combination of research, preparation, and presentation.

Topics: Product Launch Strategic Planning
4 min read

What Does a Changing Customer Base Mean for Your Marketing Tactics?

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Sep 13, 2018

For the first time in over 100 years, there are four generations in the workforce. Differences in communication styles among these groups can have real implications for your marketing.

Topics: Marketing Mix Marketing Strategy Email Marketing
3 min read

Beer & Blog: Constant Learning in an Innovative Optics Industry, with Josh Cobb

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Aug 16, 2018

Josh Cobb, Senior Optical Engineer with Corning (Tropel), has spent years in the optics industry learning, teaching, and learning more. We sat down with him to hear more about his work in the classroom and in the field with the Advanced Optics division of Corning.

Topics: Optics Beer & Blog (interviews)
2 min read

Launch Team, Inc. Granted Women Business Enterprise (WBE) Status

By Alex Ormond on Wed, Aug 08, 2018

Launch Team, Inc. has been granted status as a Women Business Enterprise (WBE) by the New York State Department of Economic Development, Division of Minority and Women’s Business Development (DMWBD).

Topics: Company News
3 min read

Creative Designs & Adventures with Dogs: Meet Madi

By Alex Ormond on Fri, Aug 03, 2018

Madi Jacobs  | Graphic Designer 

While at work, you will most likely find Madi working through every last detail of a project in Photoshop. When she's not at work, Madi is most likely off adventuring with her dogs.

Topics: Meet the Team
2 min read

Implementing your CRM: Sales Process & Stage Alignment

By Ron Wille on Mon, Jul 09, 2018

Considering all the decisions you have to make in setting up a CRM, closely aligning your sales process with your stages should be at the top of your priority list. In a healthy pipeline, the two will work together to help your entire team communicate effectively. Alignment also helps sales managers efficiently oversee the sales process, pipeline and staff.

Regardless of which CRM application you use, some denotation of deal status will exist. You may just need to dig your way through the jargon to get there. For example, Hubspot CRM calls this “Deal Stage,” while Salesforce.com just calls it “Stage”. Either way, it's important not only to understanding the role of a stage, but also to make sure it's clearly defined.

Topics: CRM implementation
3 min read

How HubSpot and Technical Content increased marketing ROI by 10x

By Sarah Campagna on Thu, Jun 28, 2018

Lumetrics: A Case Study in Content Success

Not too long ago, Lumetrics, a Rochester N.Y. based company who makes high-precision thickness measurement and gauging systems, was spending around $3,000 per month on Google AdWords. The clicks were there but the leads weren’t. With only 2-3 new leads per week, Lumetrics’ leadership knew that their marketing strategy had to change. At the advice of Launch Team, Lumetrics began using the HubSpot Marketing Platform for an inbound rather than outbound marketing approach. Lumetrics’ engineering team began developing technical application notes meant to drive not just web visits but new leads as well.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Content Development
5 min read

Head Up Displays: Product Development from an Engineer’s Perspective

By Nate Fuller on Tue, Jun 26, 2018

With the rapid advancements in head up display (HUD) technology in the automotive industry, the futuristic Hollywood depictions of holographic windshield screens are quickly becoming reality. Augmented reality (AR) windshield HUDs are becoming a large focus for mainstream automakers and suppliers to the point where it is expected that the market for HUD components market is expected to grow more than $5 billion in the next four years, becoming an $8 billion industry.

Topics: Business Insights Product Launch
2 min read

Marketing Your B2B Tech Company from Startup to Exit

By Michele Nichols on Mon, Jun 18, 2018

 

Whether you’re launching your first product or expanding internationally, a strong marketing plan is essential. Ensuring continued growth requires new perspectives and new strategies in many areas of the business. We’ve created a guide with sales and marketing best practices for five different stages of growth. Here are some highlights:

Topics: Business Insights Marketing Strategy Change and Innovation Product Launch
2 min read

Luminate Demo Day: The Latest in Optics and Photonics Development

By Damon Diehl on Fri, Jun 01, 2018

 

Join us on Demo Day during the Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival.

 

Topics: Optics Business Insights Company News
4 min read

How to Launch a Product Quickly: What to do When You Don't Have Enough Time

By Sarah Campagna on Wed, May 23, 2018

Though it would be ideal to have a full six months to prepare for a product launch, this is not always a reality. Delays in funding, licensing, or product development challenges can put a product manager into a challenging situation where the window between product viability and revenue expectations is extremely narrow.

Topics: Product Launch
3 min read

Emerging Market Outlook: UAV

By Michele Nichols on Fri, May 18, 2018

Report from XPONENTIAL 2018

With more than 8500 attendees, the AUVSI XPONENTIAL show is the largest event worldwide for drones, robotics, and unmanned systems spanning over 20 different industries. In our second year of attendance at the show, we noticed significant shifts in the market makeup, exhibitor’s strategy, and the unmanned industry as a whole.

Topics: Business Insights Change and Innovation Trade Show Strategy
3 min read

5 Biggest Marketing & Sales Challenges for Engineers

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Apr 12, 2018

Customer Experience Sells

ideasWe’ve spent over 30 years helping tech companies create marketing and sales strategies that reach new customers. Although the word “sales” typically conjures images of overzealous, comb-over-sporting used car salesmen, sales are a necessary part of your business’s profitability and growth. Sales funds innovation, which in turn fuels more sales.

Topics: Optics Business Insights
6 min read

Sales and Marketing for Business Growth: Q&A from SPIE Photonics West 2018

By Damon Diehl on Wed, Mar 28, 2018

Though Launch Team has been presenting at Photonics West for the past five years on the topics of sales and marketing, the questions that we are asked are a bit different each year. Many of these questions relate back to the topic of inbound marketing. This concept addresses the tremendous increase in online research that is done by the buyer before they engage with your company on an individual level. In order to be found by or attract leads who are searching for technical information, and to nurture these leads to a point of readiness and beat out the competition for the sale, technical content has become almost essential to success.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Content Development
8 min read

Beer & Blog: Commercialization and Product Launch Strategy, Paul Tolley

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Mar 20, 2018

Paul Tolley, founder of Stretford End Solutions, a technology and business development consultancy, and former CEO of ITC MEMS and VP/GM of Syntec Optics, sat down with us to talk commercialization strategy.

Topics: Product Launch Beer & Blog (interviews)
3 min read

A New Perspective on a Familiar Role — Meet Alison Arnold

By Alex Ormond on Wed, Mar 14, 2018

Alison Arnold | Program Manager

While at work, Alison is most likely collaborating with colleagues to identify how to best bring value to our clients. Outside the office, Alison can be found at a little league game or other sporting event cheering her kids on.

Topics: Meet the Team
3 min read

Answers to the Hard Questions: What I heard at the Laser Focus World Laser Marketplace Technology and Markets Panel

By Sarah Campagna on Mon, Mar 05, 2018

laser-marketplace-summit

Though I was enjoying LFW's Laser Marketplace at Photonics West, furiously taking notes while Allen Nogee revealed the 2018 market forecast and geeking out over photobiomodulation as Praveen Arany shared his research, the final session of the day was a marketer's dream. A panel of highly respected individuals in the industry had been asked the question—"What do bioinstrumentation developers need to know from the photonics industry?"

Topics: Optics Product Launch Strategic Planning
4 min read

Trade Show Marketing: The Best of XPONENTIAL 2017

By Aimee Schenck on Thu, Mar 01, 2018

At a trade show that features the latest in the fast-developing field of unmanned technology, there is a lot of interest and noise. It’s the Wild West, and market leadership is up for grabs. So how do you make sure your company’s booth draws attention and traffic? Effective demos are key. Unique approaches to booth advertisement will get you noticed, too.

We noticed a number of powerful tactics at XPONENTIAL 2017. The following tactics are just a few your team could apply to any large trade show strategy.

Topics: Trade Show Strategy Branding and Identity
3 min read

Packing the Perfect Trade Show Shoe

By Alex Ormond on Wed, Feb 07, 2018

We all have our favorite pair of shoes. They might be the ones that look great but don’t feel as great, the shoes that match everything, or the shoes that are surprisingly comfortable. We have favorites for work, going out—any number of occasions. But what about trade shows?

Topics: Trade Show Strategy
3 min read

Fearlessly Leading and Learning by Example — Meet Michele Nichols

By Alex Ormond on Fri, Feb 02, 2018

Michele Nichols | President

While at work, Michele is most likely encouraging innovative and creative thinking among employees. While at home, she is likely doing the same for her children—setting the table for new ideas and conversation.

Topics: Meet the Team
2 min read

Trade Show Follow Up: Why Automated Lead Nurture Is a Must

By Sarah Campagna on Wed, Jan 24, 2018

 

Scenario: You’ve spent the past three days at a trade show. You were really good about not answering emails on your phone while on the exhibition floor. You ran a lead generation promotion that brought in double the leads over last year.

But now it’s Monday. You’re back in the office and your inbox is overflowing. You’ve downloaded the lead list, but there isn’t possibly enough time to do lead qualification research on all of themand certainly not enough time to make calls. How will you ensure consistent lead follow-up?

Topics: Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Trade Show Strategy Email Marketing
2 min read

Internal Communication & Change Management: A Marketing Challenge?

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Jan 12, 2018


Sometimes changing your brand demands real change internally. Your customer’s perception is reality, and a true brand can be seen and felt in every part of the organization.

Topics: Marketing Strategy Internal Communication
5 min read

5 Apps to Help You Capture Leads at Trade Shows

By Katie Steelman on Fri, Jan 05, 2018

CES, Photonics West, and other industry trade shows are just around the corner. Deciding how you will collect and manage leads is an important part of trade show planning, but the methods of lead capture vary. The most foolproof method of lead collection is using the official scanner provided at the event; however, due to the cost, many professionals are now relying on their phones to collect leads. Just be sure to test out any app you plan on using to work out any technical issues and make sure it will serve your needs.

Here are five smartphone apps to try at your next trade show:

Topics: Trade Show Strategy
1 min read

Launch Team Inc. to Present Small Business Marketing and Sales Strategies at Photonics West 2018

By Katie Steelman on Tue, Jan 02, 2018

Launch Team Inc. is pleased to announce that we’ll once again be offering a free marketing class at the 2018 SPIE Photonics West conference.

Topics: Company News
2 min read

Your Source for Salesforce Tips and Book Recommendations — Meet Sarah Holland

By Alex Ormond on Wed, Dec 20, 2017

Sarah Holland | Account Manager

At the moment, Sarah is settling into her new role as Account Manager, but outside of work you’ll likely find her at one of her children’s sporting events.

Topics: Meet the Team
2 min read

Building Your Team through New Capabilities in Sales Process & B2B Marketing Strategy

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Dec 12, 2017

You may have seen our recent announcement that Launch Team has acquired One Down Consulting Group. It has come together fast, but was a long time in the making.

Topics: Company News Sales Marketing and Sales Alignment CRM implementation
5 min read

Trade Show Planning: FAQ

By Katie Steelman on Fri, Dec 08, 2017

As we approach the year’s end and begin helping our clients map out next year’s marketing activities, one aspect we consider is their presence at trade shows. Trade shows and conferences are expensive, so it is important to make the most of the time and dollars that you spend there. Here are some common questions emerge from these discussions, and some tips that can help you maximize trade show ROI:

Topics: Trade Show Strategy
1 min read

Launch Team Adds One Down Consulting to Provide Full Marketing and Sales Support

By Katie Steelman on Wed, Nov 29, 2017

We are pleased to announce that Launch Team Inc. has acquired One Down Consulting Group to strengthen customers’ sales channels.

Topics: Company News Marketing and Sales Alignment
2 min read

3 Best Practices for Increasing Medical Device Market Penetration

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Nov 28, 2017

Recent research predicts that R&D expenditure for medical devices will grow to $34 billion by 2022, but top line growth is slowing. And while this increase in R&D investment is a positive sign, uncertainty in healthcare reform is causing some paralysis in the market. How can companies overcome this risk aversion and really sell?

Topics: Marketing Strategy Product Launch Medical Device
2 min read

Trends in the Medical Device Market: Accelerating Product Launch, Managing Risk

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Nov 17, 2017

As we do each year, Launch Team has paired up with Novatek to take a close look at the current trends, changes and technologies that are impacting the medical device industry. From product launches to new sales models, we're examining the 2018 outlook and sharing our insights.

Topics: Business Insights Medical Device
3 min read

Product Launch & Inbound Strategy: Is the Blog Dead?

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Nov 14, 2017

Is the blog dead? Marketing gurus have predicted the death of blogging on and off since 2009. In niche industries like optics and photonics, advanced manufacturing, and medical devices, many companies were slow to adopt a content-driven strategy because they believed their customers didn’t read blogs. Now that they’ve seen the ROI of blogging, we question how long it will remain viable. Let’s explore.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Product Launch
3 min read

Reaching Your Customers' Customers: Market Outlook in Additive Manufacturing & Automation

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Nov 10, 2017

FABTECH in Chicago represents some of the fastest growing segments in U.S. manufacturing today, including laser marking and automation. Attendees are the ultimate users of many of the technologies we work in: laser diodes, optical assemblies, laser steering systems, coating technology, and capital equipment. Yet many of these companies know little about the end application and the users’ needs.

Topics: Business Insights Positioning
1 min read

Coping with Q4 Pressures: Sell More, Spend Less

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Oct 31, 2017


It's the fourth quarter, and everyone is under pressure to close the year strong. For most companies, that means a mandate to cut spending and close more deals. However, one of those instructions often undermines the other. Marketing budgets are often the first to experience cuts, and these cuts can feel self-defeating. Marketing creates sales, and a healthy marketing and sales pipeline is key to sustainable growth.

Making this argument may not change your Q4 reality, though. Instead, we offer some practical suggestions of marketing and sales activities to stop, and some to start, to meet your budget and sales targets. 

Topics: Business Insights Marketing Strategy
2 min read

Marketing Metrics Play a Role in Marketing & Sales Alignment

By Sarah Campagna on Fri, Oct 27, 2017

I often hear from companies that their marketing team collects data for data's sake—that they are mired in the minutia of marketing analytics, which have little to no impact on the sales team. The marketing team in turn complains that the sales team doesn't take the time to put the data into the CRM, nor do they learn to use the CRM well enough to make use of the available data. The finger pointing is cyclical and can leave leadership in a quandary. In this case, I believe it is up to the marketer to prove the value of the data to the sales team.

Topics: Marketing Metrics Sales Marketing and Sales Alignment
5 min read

7 Tips on Crisis Communication Every Business Should Know

By Katie Steelman on Tue, Oct 24, 2017

Lessons from Upstate Social Sessions 2017

Last month I attended Upstate Social Sessions, a day-long conference in Rochester, NY focused on social media. The event, now in its third year, included presentations by national and local professionals who have used social media successfully in their fields. A favorite session among attendees was “Don’t @ Me: Navigate Controversy, Conversation and Comments.” 

Topics: Social Media Internal Communication Branding and Identity
4 min read

Organization and a Little Chaos: Ingredients for Success in Work and Life ― Meet Aimee Schenck

By Alex Ormond on Fri, Oct 20, 2017

Aimee Schenck | Program Manager

While at work, you are most likely to find Aimee bouncing between projects, organizing different client activities, or writing content―all while listening to music so loudly it takes 5 minutes to get her attention. When she's not at work, Aimee might be doing a DIY project, hiking, or playing basketball. She also plays the role of #1 Aunt to her niece.

Topics: Meet the Team
1 min read

Do You Need a Salesforce.com Implementation Partner or a Consultant?

By Ron Wille on Tue, Oct 17, 2017

One of the main decisions an Executive has to make regarding Salesforce.com is who is going to implement and support your solution. I have been in this space since 2001 and, in general, I see two different types of implementation partners: firms that lead with tech and firms that lead with consulting. The question is, which is right for you?

Topics: Sales CRM implementation
1 min read

Are You Ready for Salesforce Lightning?

By Sarah Holland on Wed, Oct 11, 2017

Salesforce.com has been talking about Lightning for over a year. It is on the way, and now is the time to start planning for it. 

Topics: Sales CRM implementation
3 min read

INBOUND 2017: Marketing Strategies that Keep Up with Changing Customer Behaviors

By Michele Nichols on Mon, Oct 09, 2017

Members of the Launch team trekked to Boston recently for INBOUND 2017, HubSpot's annual conference on inbound marketing best practices. It was a few team members’ first time attending, but it was a learning experience for all, as well as a chance to visit local Boston clients.

Topics: Inbound Marketing
2 min read

Salesforce Named #1 in CRM Applications

By Ron Wille on Wed, Oct 04, 2017

When Salesforce began in a San Francisco apartment 18 years ago, who would have imagined that today more than 150,000 customers would trust Salesforce to drive sales, service, marketing, and more every single day? In fact, every month, our customers facilitate more than 50 billion interactions powered by Salesforce.

Topics: Sales CRM implementation
2 min read

Inspiring Innovation: Lessons from Light and Sound Interactive

By Damon Diehl on Fri, Sep 29, 2017

Earlier this month I attended the Light and Sound Interactive (LSI) conference and expo, co-sponsored by Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the University of Rochester. The conference highlighted light and sound-based technologies and their applications in emerging fields such as virtual and augmented reality, gaming, cinema, and music.

Topics: Business Insights Company News
1 min read

We're Hiring! Business Development / Project Manager

By Katie Steelman on Wed, Sep 27, 2017

We have an immediate opening for a full-time Business Development / Project Manager.

3+ years business development and project management experience required. Experience in the B2B / technology sector is preferred.

Work with prospective customers to explore solutions for product launch or market growth, and plan and oversee execution of marketing activities.

Join a strong, collaborative team that's focused on client results. We offer flexibility and great benefits. 

Topics: Company News Careers
3 min read

Deep Dive into Emerging Markets: Opportunities for Optics in AR & VR

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Sep 26, 2017

While virtual reality promised and failed to hit 2016 expectations, market projections still show that augmented reality and virtual reality will reach $108B by 2021. Consumer electronics are a high-volume opportunity for U.S. optical manufacturers, but they often remain elusive due to cost constraints. Does augmented reality (AR) or virtual reality (VR) offer some optics and photonics companies a stronghold? Let’s break it down.

3 min read

Web Design Tips for Accessible Technical Content

By Katie Steelman on Fri, Sep 15, 2017

Your end user is changing, and so is the way they access information. Today's customers want easy, quick access to content such as product documentation, application notes, and white papers. The design of your website (mobile-first, clear navigation) as well as your content (visual, customer-focused) can help keep customers and prospects engaged with your company. 

Topics: Content Development
2 min read

An Introvert's Point of View: How Do You Maximize Trade Show ROI When You're Not Exactly a Social Butterfly?

By Aimee Schenck on Fri, Sep 08, 2017

Trade Show Planning for Introverts

Industry events such as trade shows and conferences are a great place to build sales opportunities and learn from fellow professionals. If you're a bold personality, it's easy to excel in these situations. However, if you’re a more introverted person, major events can feel daunting—speaking from personal experience.

Topics: Business Insights Trade Show Strategy
3 min read

Eating the Elephant: Marketing Tips for Product Managers

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Sep 01, 2017

More than a Product Manager

The role of the product manager is increasingly important in industries like medical devices, where time to market is accelerating, and optics and photonics, where emerging markets are driving demand for product innovation.  

Topics: Business Insights Marketing Strategy
1 min read

The CEO as Sales Manager: Asking the Right Questions

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Aug 24, 2017

In growing small and mid-sized companies, the CEO is often the company’s best salesperson. As the company grows, so does the sales team, but the CEO seldom is able to totally abdicate a role in sales.

Topics: Sales
3 min read

Beer & Blog: Branding a New Product Category, with John Martin

By Sarah Campagna on Tue, Aug 15, 2017

John Martin is the CTO and cofounder of Martin Materials Solutions, a U.S. company that manufactures innovative glass products for the aerospace market. Martin, whose goal is to drive the technology necessary to support this unique industry, has coined the term “spaceglass”, a reference to this truly unique type of glass.

Topics: Product Launch Branding and Identity Beer & Blog (interviews)
4 min read

Using your HubSpot Dashboard to Make Smarter, Data-Driven Marketing Decisions

By Mandy Bly on Fri, Aug 11, 2017

I like to start each day by opening up the HubSpot marketing dashboards for each of my client accounts. I take a look at the numbers, the most honest assessment of how an account’s inbound marketing activities are performing.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Marketing Metrics HubSpot
3 min read

7 Considerations for (Re)branding Your B2B Company

By Katie Steelman on Fri, Aug 04, 2017

Whether you’re starting a new company, establishing a spinoff, or considering a total rebrand, your company name is an important decision that will drive a lot of other aspects of your business.

Topics: Change and Innovation Branding and Identity
4 min read

What’s Next in Medical Devices, and What Does It Mean for Optics?

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Aug 01, 2017

The medical device market continues its slow and steady growth—projected at 2.8% annually for the next five years—making it an attractive and sustainable space for optics companies positioned to fill emerging needs. But where exactly does your company fit?

2 min read

Product Launch in Emerging Markets: How One Entrepreneur Found Success after a Year and a Half of Flying Drones

By Sarah Campagna on Fri, Jul 28, 2017

Successful entrepreneur Brian Pitre became fascinated with the UAV market in 2012. With a business partner and enough capital to cover a discovery phase of six months, Pitre traveled the country flying drones, meeting other early adopters of this new technology, and looking for the right opportunity to invest in this new high-tech market. Six months turned into 18 as Pitre saw the tremendous growth potential of the UAV market.

Topics: Business Insights Product Launch Market Research
4 min read

5 Questions to Consider When Planning Your Marketing Budget

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Jul 20, 2017

There's a lot more to budget planning than deciding how much to spend where. For some, it's setting a right-sized investment in marketing to match their growth goals. For others, it's optimizing their marketing budgets by shifting resources to what's working best todaynamely, online channels. This shift involves a broadened focus on bringing in leads through websites, targeted social media, regular blogging, opt-in email subscribers, etc.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Marketing Mix Marketing Strategy
3 min read

Making the Grade: How Print Ad Designs Win or Fall Short

By Sarah Campagna on Fri, Jul 14, 2017

There’s no doubt that inbound marketing strategies are critical to the success of today’s businesses. However, traditional outbound strategies can still play a role in capturing your audience’s attention.

B2B companies can drive buyer awareness and action with print advertising in highly targeted industry publications, but without good design, ads can go unnoticed.

Topics: Content Development Branding and Identity
2 min read

Entrepreneur to Entrepreneur: Scalable Sales & Marketing Models

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Jun 30, 2017

At a recent panel discussion, I was asked to share experiences in sales and marketing with an audience of Entrepreneurs’ Organization accelerator founders, along with fellow panelists Don Davis of Empire Automation Systems and Ron Valentine of ITX.

Topics: Business Insights Marketing Strategy Sales
2 min read

Blogging: The MVP of the Marketing Short-Game and Long-Game

By Sarah Campagna on Fri, Jun 16, 2017

Bringing Customers to You

Blogging has been recognized for years as an important aspect of any marketing campaign. For Launch Team clients, the most immediate impact is in the short-game of lead generation. Blog posts are used as part of an inbound marketing program to direct readers to longer pieces of content like white papers, eBooks, and tip sheets that are form protected and used to generate leads. The blog post is designed to attract leads early in the buying process, those at the top of the sales funnel. Promoting blogs in strategic locations across the web is the most effective means we have of attracting new leads.

Topics: Content Development SEO
6 min read

Beer & Blog: Reinventing & Differentiating through M&A, with Ben Burton

By Mandy Bly on Tue, May 23, 2017

Ben Burton, president and CEO of iuvo BioScience, talks with us about his five-year strategic plan, targeting aggressive growth both organically and through mergers and acquisitions. The acquisition of Moog’s laboratory services business and recent divestiture of iuvo’s sterilization facility, LINK, in Erie, PA, will allow the company to focus on investing in expanding testing services.

Ben spent more than eight years at Bausch + Lomb as vice president of quality for its pharmaceutical business. We had the pleasure of tapping into his thought process on acquisition strategy—considering both cultural and branding implications.

Topics: Change and Innovation Strategic Planning Beer & Blog (interviews)
2 min read

Looking Back at XPONENTIAL 2017: UAV Market Trends and Implications

By Katie Steelman on Thu, May 18, 2017

Last spring, Michele Nichols and Aimee Schenck attended AUVSI XPONENTIAL, the prominent unmanned vehicle conference and exhibit, where some of our clients were presenting technical papers. Our team was also there for market intelligence, looking for market fit and viability for many of our component manufacturing clients. Even if you aren't ready to exhibit at a show, you can learn so much about the upcoming industry trends by simply walking the floor. Here are a few of our takeaways from last year's show:

Topics: Business Insights Positioning
4 min read

How to Sell to Medical Device Companies

By Michele Nichols on Fri, May 05, 2017

Opportunities and Challenges

For optics and other component manufacturers, medical devices represent a strong opportunity—especially for those who need to diversify their revenue base from DoD.

The US medical device market growth rate has slowed in recent years; it’s projected at 6.1% for 2017. There are several factors slowing growth and innovation in US healthcare, including:

  • The repeal and reform of the Affordable Care Act, and post-election uncertainty
  • Iterative product innovation to speed product launch, reduce FDA hurdles, and reduce risk
Topics: Medical Device Sales
1 min read

Commercial Autonomous Aircraft Market: Three Lessons on Customer Research

By Damon Diehl on Tue, Apr 25, 2017

In our last post, we discussed the growing interest in commercial applications for compact unmanned aircraft, or drones. Imaging, in particular, presents a real opportunity for optics and photonics component manufacturers. This emerging UAV market provides important lessons on the criticality of understanding and anticipating the needs of your target customers. Here are three things to remember:

Topics: Business Insights Positioning Market Research
3 min read

Emerging Market Strategy: Market Positioning for UAV

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Apr 20, 2017

Just back from SPIE’s Defense & Commercial Sensing (DCS) conference in Anaheim, and preparing for XPONENTIAL in Dallas next month, we’re noticing that the emerging drone market presents real promise as well as challenges.

The optics, photonics, and imaging exhibitors at SPIE DCS share a common challenge with XPONENTIAL’s component exhibitors—a great deal of unknowns in:

  • UAV adoption curve
  • UAV applications to invest in
  • Requirements
  • Regulatory environment
Topics: Marketing Strategy Positioning
2 min read

Gaining Traction in Emerging Markets: 10 Keys to Early Sales

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Apr 07, 2017

Marketing Strategies for UAV, LIDAR, and Emerging Automation Markets

With this year's show coming up, we looked back at the success of AUVSI Xponential 2017, the conference for unmanned technologies, drones, and robotics. The show featured more than 650 exhibitors and more than 200 courses covering the future of unmanned systems in energy, defense, automotive, wireless communications, and other industries.

Exhibitors and attendees, from optoelectronic component manufacturers to lasers and system integrators, had many common questions:

Topics: Business Insights Marketing Strategy
1 min read

If You’re Treating Strategic Planning as an Event, You’re Doing It Wrong [Infographic]

By Katie Steelman on Thu, Apr 06, 2017

Effective strategic planning clearly establishes company goals and how you will meet them. It’s not something you discuss once in a meeting and then set aside; it’s an ongoing process with many moving parts. From regular budget checks to sales and marketing alignment to branding, you and your team should periodically revisit the different aspects of your strategic plan.

Topics: Business Insights Strategic Planning
1 min read

Launch Your Career! Graphic Design Position Available

By Katie Steelman on Mon, Mar 27, 2017

We have an immediate opening for a part-time or full-time Graphic Designer.

Print and digital experience required. Desired skill set: Adobe Creative Suite, template design for Microsoft Word and PowerPoint, HubSpot, among others. We offer flexibility, great benefits, and an interesting mix of work, from infographics to tradeshow booths, web to collateral. 

Topics: Company News Careers
3 min read

How to Use Internal Communication to Avoid Common Product Launch Traps

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Mar 24, 2017

New product launch is risky, even for established companies with a defined product development and product launch process. In our work with high tech B2B companies, we’ve noticed a few places where companies often stumble.

Topics: Internal Communication Product Launch
3 min read

Photonics West 2017 Survey: Back to Trade Show Basics, Focus on Business Connections

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Mar 09, 2017

It was all business at Photonics West 2017. The atmosphere was more serious and disciplined, with companies laser-focused on achieving specific marketing and sales goals and getting the most out of their trade show strategy. Our annual survey provides a look at these companies’ lead generation and follow-up success—check out the results to benchmark your own trade show performance.  [Take this year's survey!]

Topics: Trade Show Strategy
4 min read

5 Tips to Improve Your Trade Show ROI

By Mandy Bly on Fri, Mar 03, 2017

Occasionally we hear companies say that attending or exhibiting at trade shows brought them little ROI. The first question we ask is, “How many appointments with prospects did you have set up beforehand?” Frequently the answer is none. Hoping that prospects with a need will drop by your booth during the show, whether or not they are familiar with your company beforehand, is simply not enough.

Topics: Trade Show Strategy Sales
1 min read

Launch Team Inc. Establishes New Leadership Roles

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Feb 23, 2017

Position changes reflect focus on coordinated marketing strategy


Launch Team Inc. is pleased to announce that three members of the team have taken on new roles within the company as it expands. Sarah Campagna has been named vice president of account services; Beth Shope, vice president of digital marketing; and Katie Steelman, content director.

Topics: Company News Careers
2 min read

Photonics West 2017: Marketing Wins for Optics Companies

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Feb 21, 2017

Our team had the honor to teach a course called “The New Sales Model” during this year’s Photonics West industry track. We shared sales and marketing “wins” from our clients in the industry and asked participants to do the same.

Topics: Optics Marketing Strategy
5 min read

Beer & Blog: Data-Driven Decisions in B2B Sales, with Tom McManus

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Feb 17, 2017

Tom McManus, CEO of KegWorks, has worked to build a global, multi-channel, multi-brand corporation committed to “everything in the bar except the alcohol,” including their Line Logic and Behind the Bar brands.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Marketing Metrics Sales Beer & Blog (interviews)
4 min read

Photonics West 2017: Inbound Marketing for Optics Companies Q&A

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Feb 14, 2017

Photonics West brings together more than 20,000 optics and photonics leaders from all over the world. SPIE’s industry track of courses is gaining momentum, and this year our team had the honor to teach “The New Sales Model.” There were some exceptional discussions among myself, Launch Team VP of Account Services Sarah Campagna, and sales and marketing professionals the industry. Couldn’t make the session? These attendee questions might provide some insight.

Topics: Optics Marketing Strategy Sales
5 min read

The Best and Worst of Photonics West 2017

By Sarah Campagna on Fri, Feb 10, 2017

Booth design isn’t the only thing that can make or break a company’s trade show presence. Engaged, knowledgeable staff members who are eager to share their expertise are a must-have. A cool demo doesn’t hurt either. Check out the companies and events we thought shined at this year’s SPIE Photonics West, and what could have been better.

Topics: Trade Show Strategy
2 min read

Define Your Strategic Plan in One Word

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Jan 20, 2017

 

A Word to the “Whys”

You’re starting 2017 with a whole bunch of New Year’s resolutions for your business, gung-ho about your strategic plan. (Don’t have one yet? Download the one-page business plan.) A great plan has a clear vision and mission, a unique value proposition, measurable goals, and actions with accountabilities.

Topics: Business Insights Marketing Strategy
2 min read

2016 in Review: Marketing Tips that Mattered to You

By Katie Steelman on Fri, Jan 13, 2017

Most-Viewed Blog Posts

The data geeks in us love reviewing the year by the numbers. We identify what content was popular and useful to our audience so that we can continue to provide value in the new year. By views, here are the top 5 posts from 2016:

Topics: Marketing Strategy
4 min read

What Does Content Development Look Like for B2B Companies?

By Katie Steelman on Wed, Jan 11, 2017

 

Technical Writing that Generates Leads

One of the first things we discuss with clients after positioning is their content. Content includes blog posts, white papers, tip sheets, and any other pieces of writing or video that are educational in nature as opposed to sales-related.

Topics: Content Development
2 min read

Global Sales Growth: Consider Video for More Meaningful Customer Engagement

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Jan 06, 2017

 

Inbound marketing will inevitably expand your company’s geographic reach—the internet is global, after all. It’s important to qualify leads from countries that represent a good fit based on:

  • Industry clusters
  • Competitive pricing
  • Cultural fit
Topics: Client Relations Sales
4 min read

Creating a B2B Marketing Plan that Works

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Dec 13, 2016

 

Elements of a Strong Marketing Strategy

In our work over the years, we’ve created many marketing plans and inherited dozens more. Most address the same basic components of a strategic marketing plan:

Topics: Marketing Strategy Strategic Planning
2 min read

Improving Optics Marketing & Sales: Photonics West 2017 Short Course

By Katie Steelman on Fri, Dec 09, 2016


Launch Team Inc. President Michele Nichols will present a short course at the 2017 Photonics West conference to discuss inbound marketing and sales strategies for optics companies.

Topics: Optics Inbound Marketing Company News
4 min read

Marketing a Medical Device 101

By Mandy Bly on Wed, Dec 07, 2016

 

With rising trends in the medical device market such as 3D imaging and telemedicine, the consumer need for information is higher than ever. This article explains the basics of medical device classification and how to make sure your marketing adheres to FDA regulation.

Topics: Business Insights Medical Device
2 min read

Better Internal Communication Prevents Product Launch Failure

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Nov 29, 2016

 

According to a recent study of new product development, 39% of new product launches failed. Often these failures occur when companies don’t have a clear marketing plan, but there are other reasons, too. Improved internal communications can head off a number of these causes.

Topics: Internal Communication Product Launch
5 min read

Building Better Customer Relationships: INBOUND Takeaways Part 2

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Nov 22, 2016

 

Last week we reported some of our findings from Hubspot’s INBOUND 2016 conference, including how to succeed using today’s sales model and how to overcome common inbound marketing challenges. This week we dive deeper into our favorite presentations and explore ways to improve email marketing, social selling, and conversations for a better customer experience.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Client Relations
3 min read

12 Content Marketing & Sales Lessons Learned at HubSpot's INBOUND 2016

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Nov 18, 2016

 

It was Michele, Aimee and Mandy’s turn to attend HubSpot’s INBOUND conference this year in Boston. Each year we send part of our team while the rest hold down the fort at the office. While every member has been through HubSpot’s extensive training and certification, the conference offers the chance to interact with thousands of HubSpot agency partners and customers and to hear their experience with inbound marketing. Here’s what we learned:

Topics: Inbound Marketing Marketing Strategy Content Development Sales
3 min read

Internal Communication for Product Launch: What Info Matters Most?

By Michele Nichols on Wed, Nov 16, 2016

 

Selling to Internal Audiences

Preparing to introduce a new product or service is a significant undertaking for any business. You have invested considerable time, money, and resources in developing a great product, honing your message, and planning your marketing activities, and you want those efforts to pay off. Although the ultimate goal is to engage your external audience (potential customers) and get them to buy the product, it’s also important to get buy-in from your team.

Topics: Business Insights Internal Communication Product Launch
2 min read

Product Launch Planning with the Marketing Roadmap

By Mandy Bly on Wed, Nov 09, 2016

 

Over the past several months, we’ve done some research into what companies identify as their biggest challenge when planning marketing activities for a product launch. Though a well-established marketing plan is a large part of the groundwork for a successful product launch, we’ve found that many companies simply don’t have one. Our resources can help.

2 min read

Effective Marketing for Manufacturers: The New Sales Model

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Oct 27, 2016

 

You asked—we answered.

Last week, we presented at an event for High Tech Rochester (HTR) and their manufacturing community, and at Optifest, Optipro’s annual manufacturing open house. Many companies like these, faced with overseas competitive price pressures and increasingly complex customer demands, struggle with what an effective sales model looks like now.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Social Media SEO Sales
2 min read

Is Voicemail Dead? Helping Your Sales Team Reach Today’s Customers

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Oct 25, 2016

 

How many times have you said “I saw you left a voicemail. Haven’t listened to it, but I’m calling you back.”? I have to admit there are a number of unheard voicemails on my phone, but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested or have not responded.

Topics: Client Relations Sales
2 min read

Getting Early Wins from Your Inbound Marketing Strategy

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Oct 18, 2016

 

Many business leaders, particularly in manufacturing and high tech companies, are skeptical of inbound marketing; they think it’s “squishy” and question its value to the business. While it does take time to see significant growth, even those just starting to implement inbound strategies can achieve some wins relatively quickly.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Marketing Strategy
4 min read

11 Ways to Increase Sales in 1 Hour

By Katie Steelman on Tue, Oct 11, 2016

 

Ron Wille, CEO of two INC 5000 companies and newly launched One Down Consulting Group, a consulting firm focused on aligning technology, process and people to grow sales, recently sat down with Launch Team President Michele Nichols to discuss sales trends and tips for technology companies. Check out Ron and Michele’s 11 tips for improving sales in just 1 hour.

Topics: Sales
4 min read

Medical Device Product Launch: Barriers & Pathways to Telemedicine Adoption – A Case Study

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Oct 06, 2016

 

Launch Team is collaborating with technical documentation and training company Novatek to explore marketing and product launch challenges in the medical device industry.

 

In this interview with Paul Thomas, Development Director of Cupris Health, we explore the barriers, strategies and tactics for medical device product launch. Cupris, located in the UK and looking to enter the US market, has developed communication software and smartphone-connected medical devices that enable remote diagnosis and management of patient conditions.

Topics: Product Launch Medical Device
3 min read

Beer & Blog: Market Outlook & Sales Productivity for Tech Companies, with Ron Wille

By Katie Steelman on Tue, Oct 04, 2016

 

As Ron Wille, CEO of two INC 5000 companies, launches One Down Consulting Group, a consulting firm focused on aligning technology, process and people to grow sales, he sits down with Launch Team President Michele Nichols. Follow along as they discuss trends and tips to improve sales.

Topics: Sales Beer & Blog (interviews)
2 min read

Medical Device Product Launch Series: Marketing Lessons Heard at MEDTECH 2016

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Sep 30, 2016

 

In our annual deep-dive into the medical device industry, Launch Team collaborates with technical documentation and training company Novatek, which serves medical device and other regulated industries. Read their take on MEDTECH 2016 on the Novatek blog.

 

This year’s MedTech conference in Albany provided interesting insight into the direction of the medical device industry. While the impending election holds the fate of things like the Affordable Care Act and medical device tax, other changes are clear. Defining a value proposition is more important than ever for medical device companies, and buying power is steadily shifting to consumers.

Topics: Marketing Strategy Medical Device
2 min read

Aligning Sales, Marketing & Customer Service: What Not to Do

By Sarah Campagna on Tue, Sep 27, 2016

 

According to a recent Gallup report, only 29% of B2B customers are engaged or feel a strong connection with the companies they buy from. Often a lack of engagement is caused by poor customer service or difficulty doing business with the company. This situation represents a significant loss of growth opportunities for B2Bs.

Topics: Marketing Strategy Client Relations Sales Marketing and Sales Alignment
3 min read

Medical Device Product Launch: Ensuring Customer Engagement in Telemedicine

By Michele Nichols on Fri, Sep 23, 2016

 

In our annual deep-dive into the medical device industry, Launch Team collaborates with Novatek, which provides documentation and training services to companies in medical device and other regulated industries. Today’s post explores telemedicine’s implications on customer and user engagement as well as marketing, sales and support.

 

Topics: Client Relations Medical Device
4 min read

Beer & Blog: Achieving Exceptional Industrial Product Photography, with Randy Tagg

By Mandy Bly on Tue, Sep 20, 2016

 

High quality product photos are an important asset to your business. Randy Tagg, owner of Tagg Photography, recently gave us a snapshot into his life as a photographer. Randy has 35+ years experience with advertising and industrial photography in a variety of markets. From classy wine glasses to sleek optical lenses, Randy has an eye for elegance among challenging subjects. Launch Team Account Manager Sarah Campagna, a wedding photographer herself, discussed with Randy the artistic and technical experience of capturing images in high tech industries.

Topics: Business Insights Branding and Identity Beer & Blog (interviews)
2 min read

Medical Device Product Launch Series: Medical Device Market by the Numbers

By Katie Steelman on Fri, Sep 16, 2016

In our annual deep-dive into how market and technology changes drive marketing, sales and service models in the medical device industry, Launch Team and Novatek take a look at the stats behind the decisions we see in the medical device companies we work with each day.

Topics: Medical Device
3 min read

Beer & Blog: Medical Device Branding, with Tom McCall

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Sep 15, 2016

 

This beer and blog was no hardship; Michele met with Tom McCall in beautiful Laguna Beach, near Tom’s home base at ICU Medical. Tom is the VP and General Manager, and has led marketing for medical device companies like Welch Allyn and Masimo. Over a beer (Stone Liberty Cliché Blonde Ale, to be exact), he shared some insights on medical device marketing, sales, and company branding.

Topics: Business Insights Medical Device Beer & Blog (interviews)
1 min read

Medical Device Product Launch Series: Medical Device Industry Trends & Challenges Outlook

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Sep 13, 2016

In our annual deep-dive into the medical device industry, and how market and technology changes drive marketing, product launch, sales and service models, Novatek and Launch Team take a look at the industry outlook for the coming year and how the medical device companies we work with are responding.

Topics: Medical Device
3 min read

3 Reasons Industrial & Manufacturing Companies Are Slow to Adopt Inbound Marketing

By Katie Steelman on Mon, Sep 12, 2016

 

More and more companies are realizing that they can get better ROI from inbound marketing than traditional outbound strategies. In an age when most buyers prefer to do their own research before engaging your sales team, providing informative content is key. Content marketing is especially important in technical industries, where sales cycles are longer and engineers are often making purchase decisions. Yet many high tech companies still rely on an outbound marketing approach.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Marketing Strategy Content Development Marketing Metrics
6 min read

Trade Show Strategy: The Best and Worst of SPIE Optics + Photonics 2016

By Sarah Campagna on Fri, Sep 09, 2016

Optics + Photonics is a well-executed conference set in the beautiful city of San Diego. The weeklong event is known for its technical presentations and proclivity for attracting R&D enthusiasts. It’s also known for lead generation, not in volume but in quality of leads.

Traffic on the exhibition show floor on Tuesday was phenomenal—aisles so thick with attendees that at times it was hard to make it to the next booth. If you were working a booth that day you could easily forget that this wasn’t Photonics West.

Topics: Trade Show Strategy
3 min read

Family-Owned Business: 3 Keys to Successful Change Management

By Michele Nichols on Wed, Sep 07, 2016

 

The dream of any entrepreneur is to build a successful, profitable business that can survive long after he or she retires. Often the goal is to pass the business down to children or close relatives, as evidenced by the fact that 80% of businesses worldwide are family-owned. In the U.S., family-owned companies are responsible for 60% of all employment and 78% of new jobs.

Despite their prevalence, 70% of family businesses last just one generation before they either fail or are sold. Some common pitfalls can cause problems in transitioning the company down the road.

Topics: Business Insights Marketing Strategy Change and Innovation
4 min read

Social Media Strategy: Why You Shouldn't Just Talk About Your Company

By Aimee Schenck on Tue, Aug 30, 2016

 

You know that guy at the party who is having a one-way conversation? Here's how to avoid being that guy.

Topics: Marketing Mix Social Media Client Relations
1 min read

Meet Launch Team at Optics & MedTech Industry Events

By Michele Nichols on Wed, Aug 24, 2016

 

The Launch team is gearing up to teach, learn and share at multiple industry events this fall.

Topics: Optics Company News Medical Device
4 min read

Beer & Blog: Growing Tech Companies through Inbound Marketing, with Chris Bihary

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Aug 16, 2016

 

Chris Bihary, CEO and Co-Founder of Garland Technology, sat down with Michele Nichols in downtown Buffalo, near Garland’s new headquarters, right in the middle of Buffalo’s revival.

Chris shared the results of a shift to inbound marketing strategy and the ramifications on the rest of his business.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Sales HubSpot Beer & Blog (interviews)
1 min read

Launch Team Associate to Teach Optics Course for Sales Professionals at SPIE Optics + Photonics

By Katie Steelman on Mon, Aug 15, 2016

Heading to SPIE Optics + Photonics this month? Don't miss these presentations by Damon Diehl, Launch Team technical writer and Ph.D. Two other members of the Launch team will also be at the show, and we welcome the chance to meet with you

Topics: Optics Company News
4 min read

FAQ: Product Development and Product Launch

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Aug 09, 2016

 

Product development is an important entryway into new markets and new opportunities. From R&D to product launch to portfolio management, a lot of planning and collaboration goes into making new products and technologies successful.

Topics: Patents Product Launch
3 min read

Sales & Marketing Alignment – 4 Roadblocks to Inbound Sales Lead Follow-up & How to Get Past Them

By Sarah Campagna on Wed, Aug 03, 2016

 

When a tree falls in a forest and there is no one around to hear it...

Marketing can generate hundreds or thousands of leads through brilliant inbound marketing content, catchy banners, enticing emails, and stellar social media strategies, but if no one ever follows up with these leads, should they really be called leads? And what purpose do they serve?

Before you throw in the online lead generation towel, first reflect on the roadblocks that might be keeping Sales from following up on these leads. Once you understand the real challenges, you can then find ways to improve Marketing and Sales alignment for better follow-up.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Marketing Metrics Sales Marketing and Sales Alignment
3 min read

Three Ways HubSpot Users Are Leaving Money on the Table

By Michele Nichols on Wed, Jul 27, 2016

 

Questioning the value of HubSpot? Wondering when you’ll see ROI? Inbound marketing does produce results, but it takes work to get it right. HubSpot customers, especially those just getting started with an inbound approach, often leave money on the table. Here are the most common reasons:

Topics: Inbound Marketing Marketing Strategy HubSpot
3 min read

Is HubSpot Worth It? The Answer Your CEO Doesn't Want to Hear

By Sarah Campagna on Wed, Jul 27, 2016

You’re nine months into a one-year contract with HubSpot, and suddenly your CEO has noticed the quarterly charge on the corporate card. He seems to have forgotten all of the “long game” conversations you had when you sold him on the idea and now just wants metrics. Is it working? What’s the ROI? Is it worth it?

The answer to these questions might be a simple and very common one: We haven’t put enough effort into it to actually tell.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Marketing Strategy HubSpot
3 min read

Summer Reading List: 5 Books That Will Help You Improve Sales from HubSpot

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Jul 26, 2016

Summer is a time for road trips and lazy days. But that doesn’t mean we can’t learn a little, too. Looking to make the most of your car or beach time? Here are five quick reads to improve your HubSpot marketing ROI. Of course, we’ve already done the reading, so if you prefer the Cliff Notes, feel free to skim our takeaways.

Topics: Inbound Marketing HubSpot
3 min read

Why Brand Development is Necessary for Product Launch

By Mandy Bly on Tue, Jul 26, 2016

Launching a company or product is an exciting endeavor. You’ve developed a solution to an unfulfilled consumer need, and you’re ready to share it with the world. But the extensive planning process, from content development to sales training to PR, means your launch team has a lot on its plate.

Topics: Product Launch Positioning Branding and Identity
1 min read

Marketing Tip of the Week: Track Metrics that Matter

By Katie Steelman on Thu, Jul 21, 2016

MTOTW #54: There is a lot of data available that can help you assess whether or not your marketing strategies are working. But some metrics are more telling than others. Here are a few examples:

Topics: Inbound Marketing Marketing Metrics
5 min read

Beer & Blog: Leading Successful Business Development in Technical Companies, with Lisa Belodoff

By Katie Steelman on Wed, Jul 20, 2016

 

For today’s Beer & Blog, we spoke with Lisa Belodoff, vice president of business development at Rochester Precision Optics. Lisa has worked in sales and marketing throughout the optics and photonics industry, helping to build LightWorks Optics for successful exit, working in fiber infrastructure at CABLExpress and in medical devices at Masimo. She is a driver of change and growth, and we’re honored to collaborate with her.

Topics: Optics Business Insights Change and Innovation Internal Communication Beer & Blog (interviews)
1 min read

NYS Grant Opportunities to Stimulate Profitable Growth in High Tech

By Mandy Bly on Tue, Jul 19, 2016

Achieve Your Business and Sales Goals

Do you want to expand your marketing outreach? Are you looking to attract more potential customers and improve sales? While the answer may be an obvious yes, cost can often limit these aspirations. However, new grant funding opportunities may soon help high tech and advanced manufacturing companies achieve their growth goals.

Topics: Optics Business Insights
2 min read

Three Keys to Successful Change Management: An Interview with Jim Knittel

By Michele Nichols on Wed, Jul 06, 2016

Change is a constant. It's in times of change that Launch Team becomes involved with clients, whether they’re going through a merger or acquisition, a new product launch, new market entry, or channel reorganization. External and internal communication in these times of change are key.

Topics: Business Insights Change and Innovation
4 min read

7 Marketing Key Performance Indicators for Tech Companies

By Michele Nichols on Wed, Jun 29, 2016

Our clients often ask us, what marketing metrics matter? How can you tell if your marketing efforts are doing enough to generate business opportunities? Ideally, you want to establish metrics that align with your business goals. While these objectives can vary from one industry or company to another, Launch Team has identified seven key performance indicators that are commonly valuable in assessing the effectiveness of a company’s marketing strategy.

Topics: Marketing Metrics
2 min read

Building a Patent Portfolio Amid the Death of True R&D

By Katie Steelman on Tue, Jun 28, 2016

 

Patent Portfolio ROI

Each year, more and more American companies are cutting research and development budgets, moving further away from fundamental research and instead focusing on products that are closer to commercialization and monetization. As Fortune Magazine reported in December 2015, DuPont’s former CEO Ellen Kullman resigned under much criticism last year, and one of the complaints coming from opponents was her heavy investment in R&D.

Topics: Patents Change and Innovation
2 min read

Beer & Blog: Globalizing Web Content – What Growing Companies Need to Consider, with Scott Bass

By Michele Nichols on Mon, Jun 27, 2016

 

For this Beer & Blog we spoke with Scott Bass, Managing Director of Advanced Language Translation, a company that provides translation and localization services to growing businesses. Scott offered valuable advice for companies looking to adapt their websites and content for global markets.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Content Development Beer & Blog (interviews)
4 min read

Product Launch KPIs: Milestones & Metrics for Success

By Michele Nichols on Thu, Jun 23, 2016

 

Hitting Your Product Launch Targets

New product launch has gotten more challenging in recent years. As corporations have cut back on true R&D, it’s often smaller companies bringing new technologies to market. Many companies experience resource challenges, unclear accountabilities, and ad hoc project teams with competing priorities. If you are trying to decode the complicated product launch process in time for a 2020 product release, you've come to the right place.

Topics: Marketing Strategy Product Launch
2 min read

Midyear Marketing Reset: 10 Considerations for Q3

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Jun 21, 2016

As we near the halfway point in the year, it’s worth taking a fresh look at your current marketing plan to identify what’s working and what might need adjusting. It’s OK to retire events, ads, and tactics that aren’t delivering great ROI and instead focus on those that are.

Topics: Marketing Mix Marketing Strategy
2 min read

Marketing Tip of the Week: Use Buyer Behavior to Prioritize Mobile-Friendly Web Design [Video]

By Katie Steelman on Fri, Jun 17, 2016

MTOTW #53: More people are now using mobile for search, but it varies by industry. Find out how your customers search before jumping into a web redesign.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Content Development
4 min read

Beer & Blog: Optics Industry Sales & Marketing Trends

By Katie Steelman on Tue, Jun 14, 2016

 

Recently we spoke with Jeff Nichols, sales manager at PennWell, the organization that publishes Laser Focus World. Trade publications are valuable in reaching niche audiences like optics, photonics and lasers. Jeff is well regarded in these industries for being both practical and strategic in creating advertising plans. Though Jeff and Launch Team President Michele Nichols are not related, they have served many of the same companies, working to meet their advertising and marketing needs. Enjoying a craft beer (see below), they talked through trends in the optics industry right now.

Topics: Business Insights Marketing Mix Marketing Strategy Beer & Blog (interviews)
3 min read

Building Quality Customer Relationships with Inbound Marketing

By Michele Nichols on Tue, Jun 07, 2016

Trust in a Digital World

I just spoke with a long-time customer whose company we helped to reposition years back. Dan’s business has grown and continues to grow. The bulk of his business comes from referrals; repositioning to target the right type of projects and build their reputation in specific industries made sense then, and it makes sense now.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Client Relations
2 min read

Beer & Blog: IP Considerations for Second-Stage Growth Companies

By Katie Steelman on Tue, May 31, 2016

 

Last week, we spoke with Greg Gribben and Katie McGuire of Woods Oviatt Gilman about trademark entity discovery during a company rebrand. This week we'll share our conversation about the main intellectual property challenges for companies in their second stage of growth. From exit strategy to working with outside vendors, growing companies have a lot to consider.

Topics: Business Insights Patents Change and Innovation Beer & Blog (interviews)
1 min read

Marketing Tip of the Week: Ensure Product Launch Success with These Follow-up Tasks [Video]

By Katie Steelman on Thu, May 26, 2016

MTOTW #52: After the official launch of your new product or service, there are a few key activities that can help ensure continued success:

Topics: Lead Generation Marketing Strategy Product Launch
4 min read

Beer & Blog: Company Rebranding from a Legal Perspective

By Katie Steelman on Tue, May 24, 2016

 

Ever wished you could have a beer with a team of lawyers to pick their brains on things you should be considering as your company grows? We did just that, and we're sharing what we learned (plus some great local beer recommendations).

Topics: Patents Branding and Identity Beer & Blog (interviews)
1 min read

Marketing Tip of the Week: Optimize Your Website for Today's High Tech Buyer [Video]

By Katie Steelman on Thu, May 19, 2016

MTOTW #51: In manufacturing in the U.S., nearly 40% of the workforce is up for retirement in the next few years. The next generation of technicians and engineers has different buying behaviors, which will likely affect how you sell to them.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Lead Generation Marketing Strategy
2 min read

When Jury Duty Brings Your Business to a Standstill

By Sarah Campagna on Tue, May 17, 2016

A Lesson in the Value of Cross-Training

Could the absence of one key team member cause your sales or operations to grind to a stop?

Topics: Business Insights
1 min read

Marketing Tip of the Week: Go Beyond Sales Prospecting with Social Media [Video]

By Katie Steelman on Thu, May 12, 2016

MTOTW #50: Lots of salespeople use social media for prospecting, but it’s useful throughout all stages of the sales process.

Topics: Marketing Strategy Social Media Sales
3 min read

Driving Change Plans in Family-Owned Businesses

By Katie Steelman on Tue, May 10, 2016

At Launch Team, we are often brought in at a point of change in second stage technology companies; these companies have grown to a certain size and created a brand in some markets but are ready for the next stage of growth. This change is often triggered by new leadership, and in many cases, the next generation of leadership. They bring their own ideas to the business, such as new product launch, new marketing strategy, and interest in entering new markets.

Topics: Business Insights Change and Innovation
1 min read

Marketing Tip of the Week: Include Customer Experience in Your Marketing Message [Video]

By Katie Steelman on Thu, May 05, 2016

MTOTW #49: The experience a customer has with your brand can affect whether or not they’ll buy from you again, or recommend you to someone else. A recent study found that only 14% of large B2B organizations consider customer experience to be ingrained in their business.

Topics: Marketing Strategy Client Relations
3 min read

Growing with You: Launch Team Celebrates 30th Anniversary

By Katie Steelman on Mon, May 02, 2016

Thank You for 30 Years!

If companies are like people, then at 30 you're officially a grown-up. You've hit your stride, found a rhythm, know what you're good at, and you're still learning every day.

The other great thing about 30? We have found our tribe. The clients we partner with are bright, innovative, funny and kind. Thank you to each of you for adding to our success and making it fun to come to work!

Michele Nichols, President
Launch Team Inc. 

 

Topics: Company News
1 min read

Marketing Tip of the Week: Use Data to Improve Internal Communication [Video]

By Katie Steelman on Thu, Apr 28, 2016

MTOTW #48: A data-driven approach can improve communication and alignment among members of your team, especially within your marketing and sales teams. A few key metrics and the right tools can help strengthen your lead generation and follow-up processes.

Topics: Marketing Strategy Internal Communication Marketing Metrics Sales
1 min read

Marketing Tip of the Week: Three Naming Tips for a Successful Rebrand or Startup [Video]

By Katie Steelman on Thu, Apr 21, 2016

MTOTW #47: Lately we’ve been brainstorming names for clients who are either starting new ventures or branching out into new markets. If you’re considering a brand switch, here are a few naming tips:

Topics: Marketing Strategy Branding and Identity
5 min read

Brand Management — Why Your Company Should Be Monitoring Social Media

By Mandy Bly on Tue, Apr 19, 2016

The Need for Brand Monitoring

We’re all familiar with the saying “any publicity is good publicity.” People are talking about your company, which gives you an edge, right? Unfortunately, this is a bad public relations myth. Negative statements online can harm your brand’s reputation and image.

Topics: Social Media Client Relations Branding and Identity
1 min read

Marketing Tip of the Week: Ask If They Want the Puppy (A Lesson in Sales) [Video]

By Katie Steelman on Thu, Apr 14, 2016

MTOTW #46: There's a CEO of a local tech company who tells a great story. His first job was in a pet store. Customers would come in and happily hold and play with a puppy. But eventually he had to ask: “Do you want the puppy?”

Topics: Marketing Strategy Sales
3 min read

Improving Internal Communication in Product Launch: 5 Tips for Product Managers

By Michele Nichols on Wed, Apr 13, 2016

The product manager’s role has changed a lot in recent years for many tech companies. While many managers take the path of engineering into a business role, they are often charged with running the product line like its own business.

Topics: Internal Communication Product Launch
1 min read

Marketing Tip of the Week: How B2B Companies Can Win with LinkedIn [Video]

By Katie Steelman on Thu, Apr 07, 2016

MTOTW #45: More than 60% of B2B marketers consider LinkedIn to be the most effective social media channel for their business. So how should your team be using LinkedIn?

Topics: Lead Generation Marketing Strategy Social Media
3 min read

Sales & Marketing for Engineers & Scientists: MRS in Review

By Michele Nichols on Wed, Apr 06, 2016

The Materials Research Society held their Spring Meeting in Phoenix last week. While we have attended in years past, this year the conference organizers asked us to present a session for conference exhibitors, "Sales & Marketing for Engineers & Scientists.”

Topics: Marketing Strategy
3 min read

Photonics West 2016 Survey: More Qualified Leads, Shift in Trade Show Follow-up

By Katie Steelman on Mon, Apr 04, 2016

We recently asked optics and photonics companies to participate in our annual Photonics West lead generation survey. The survey results give us a better understanding of trade show lead gen and follow-up trends, and it helps business leaders benchmark their own progress in these areas.

Topics: Optics Trade Show Strategy
1 min read

Marketing Tip of the Week: Social Media Drives B2B Sales [Video]

By Katie Steelman on Thu, Mar 31, 2016

MTOTW #44: Social media’s marketing impact goes beyond brand awareness. In fact, social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close rate than outbound marketing. And 78% of salespeople using social media outsell their peers. If your sales team isn’t using social media, you could be missing out.

Topics: Marketing Strategy Social Media
1 min read

Launch Team President to Present Business Growth Strategies at MRS Spring

By Katie Steelman on Mon, Mar 28, 2016

MRS-Spring-16-logo-150x132.jpgLaunch Team is pleased to announce that our president, Michele Nichols, will speak to materials innovators this week at the MRS Spring Meeting & Exhibit in Phoenix.

Topics: Company News
1 min read

Marketing Tip of the Week: Two Keys to Successful Sales Lead Follow-up [Video]

By Katie Steelman on Thu, Mar 24, 2016

MTOTW #43: Deliberate lead nurture programs, as part of an inbound marketing strategy, are essential to sales. As we mentioned in a previous video, nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads. The two biggest keys to reaching those prospects? Persistence and speed.

Topics: Marketing Strategy
2 min read

Four Critical Missteps Established Companies Should Avoid When Entering a New Market

By Sarah Campagna on Tue, Mar 22, 2016

Well established companies face a unique set of challenges when entering a new market. Although these companies have already proven their ability to launch and sell their products or services, this experience can actually be a hindrance. Overconfidence from success in other markets can breed oversight.

Topics: Marketing Strategy Content Development Positioning
1 min read

Marketing Tip of the Week: Get Creative with Company Branding [Video]

By Katie Steelman on Thu, Mar 17, 2016

MTOTW #42: From taglines to co-branding, here are a few tips for establishing your corporate identity.

Topics: Marketing Strategy Branding and Identity
1 min read

Celebrating 5 Years as a HubSpot Certified Partner

By Katie Steelman on Wed, Mar 16, 2016

Launch Team Inc. is pleased to announce that we've been certified as a HubSpot Partner for the fifth consecutive year. This partnership enables us to offer the HubSpot CMS and CRM platforms to clients to improve their online marketing and sales.

Topics: Inbound Marketing Company News HubSpot
5 min read

15 Signs Your Marketing Strategies are Old-School

By Sarah Campagna on Tue, Mar 15, 2016

Typewriters, boom boxes, floppy disks. What we thought would never be replaced, well, have been. Technology and media are constantly changing, and inevitably so are customers’ buying behaviors.

Topics: Marketing Mix Marketing Strategy
1 min read

Marketing Tip of the Week: 7 Tips for Better Business Videos [Video]

By Katie Steelman on Thu, Mar 10, 2016

MTOTW #41: Using video as part of your content marketing can help you tell your brand story or explain a product application. But poor production can detract from even the most compelling story. Here are some tips to improve video quality.

Topics: Marketing Mix Marketing Strategy Content Development
1 min read

Critical Decisions over the Course of a Tech Company’s Growth

By Katie Steelman on Wed, Mar 09, 2016

From start-up to product launch, new market entry to a successful exit, innovators face many common challenges when working to grow their business.

Topics: Business Insights Company News Marketing Strategy