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Frequently Asked Questions About Industrial Marketing

Industrial marketing consulting and coaching questions

What is the difference between a consulting retainer and project work?

To avoid any confusion or misunderstandings, here are some key points to consider before discussing a consulting retainer:

  • In a consulting retainer, you are gaining access to my 30+ years of accumulated experience and expertise in industrial marketing
  • You are reserving a portion of my time for a pre-determined amount each month, which means I won’t make myself available to other clients for the time that I have committed to you every month. I will be turning down other opportunities to earn income during your reserved time
  • A retainer is not an advance payment for services to be rendered or completing a certain task
  • Most retainers include a “use it or lose it” provision; unused time doesn’t “roll over” and the fee is non-refundable and non-transferable
  • I will do my best to solve your marketing problem but I cannot guarantee specific outcomes or results
  • If you’re not sure if and how much of my expertise you will need each month, a consulting retainer probably wouldn’t make sense for you
  • Retainers are usually for six months or longer. Contact me if you are interested in discussing a consulting retainer

Who provides consulting or coaching at Tiecas?

Industrial marketing consulting and coaching is provided by our Founder/President Achinta Mitra. These sessions are personalized for your specific situation and not generic pre-recorded content.

What are your qualifications?

I earned my bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Indian Institute of Technology – IIT, Bombay and an MBA degree from Kent State University, Ohio. I consider myself to be blessed for being able to combine strategic left-brain thinking with compelling right-brain creativity. I combine my engineering education with 30+ years of practical industrial marketing experience to help you connect the dots between strategic advice and tactical implementation. This skill set is pretty unique in the world of marketing and advertising. That’s why I call myself a “marketing engineer.” I have a lot of passion for what I do and have a strong desire to produce measurable results for my clients.

How many retainers do you take on at a time?

Consulting retainers require a significant commitment of my time that limits the number of retainers I take on at the same time. My clients retain me for my 30+ years of experience and expertise in industrial marketing. It is not possible to scale up that capability by adding team members. Time slots do open during the year as annual retainers expire. I give higher priority to renewals over new retainers.

Who are you and what is it like to work with you?

I’m originally from India and came to the U.S. in 1980 for my graduate studies (MBA). Moved to Houston, Texas in 1982 and have lived here ever since. In a nutshell, I am a transplanted Indian who has learned to become a southern gentleman. You can count on two things from me – commitment and courtesy. I bend over backwards to live up to my commitments and on those few occasions when I can’t, I will let you know in advance without making excuses. I will show you the simple courtesy of listening – if you are talking, I’ll shut up. I realize trust and relationships are two-way streets. I do my best to meet you halfway and earn yours. If we don’t agree on something, I will politely voice my opinion while respecting yours. You may find me somewhat formal initially but once we get to know each other; I may crack you up with my wit and humor. Not that I’m all charm and grace like Rhett Butler, I do sometimes step on my wife’s foot while rushing to hold the door open for her. My clients often say, “He is a straight shooter who knows his stuff.”

How does your marketing consulting retainer work?

  • We start with a free ½-hour phone consultation to determine if we are a good fit
  • Discuss how best I can help you and if a consulting retainer is right for you or a fixed-price project would be better
  • I provide you a written consulting retainer agreement
  • Consulting Retainers require an initiation fee that is equal to one month’s retainer. This is to be paid at the time of initiation and work starts only after we receive payment of your initiation fee. Thereafter, you will be billed for the monthly retainer with terms of Net 30
  • After you sign and pay the initiation fee, I get started

How do you account for your time?

  • Accounting for my time can get a bit confusing and I speak from experience with other clients who have signed consulting retainers. It is not always the actual time that we spend together on the phone, exchanging emails and/or in online meetings
  • There will be occasions where I need to investigate the problem and/or review your current site before I can provide you an answer. Such hours are “billable”
  • Some of your questions may require me to do additional research, read reports or materials that you provide before I can answer your question(s). Research time is billable too
  • I bill my time in ¼ hour increments. Minutes are rounded to the nearest quarter hour
  • I can assure you that there will be no surprises or “Gotchas” when you retain me as your industrial marketing consultant

Industrial content marketing questions

What should I know about before starting industrial content marketing?

  • Develop a a content marketing strategy before implementing any tactics. Document your strategy and refine it based on tracking reports and benchmarks
  • It requires active participation of every stakeholder and a complete buy-in from you for it to be successful
  • It is a process that takes time to produce sustainable results
  • Content drives the inbound marketing engine. Rethink your marketing strategy if the thought of creating content bothers you and/or you don’t want to outsource this task

What else besides content do I need?

Content is the fuel that drives this engine but that’s not all. You also need a robust platform and a documented strategy.

  • Develop an editorial calendar
  • Develop buyer personas (More in-depth than just demographics data)
  • Identify in-house SMEs who will be responsible for contributing content (or at least outlines) even if you outsource content creation
  • Appoint a point person who will be responsible on your end
  • Install a Content Management System (CMS. We prefer WordPress)
  • Plan your content distribution channels
  • You may require subscription to Marketing Automation or an email service
  • Integrate your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system
  • Install measurement and tracking codes
  • Review site analytics and measurement reports regularly

How much time should I expect to spend on industrial content marketing?

The first 60 days of the engagement will require your active participation. Expect to spend about 10 hours/week during the first 60 days. Thereafter, you should expect to spend 6 to 8 hours per month or a little more if you are one of the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) we need to interview to draft content.

What not to expect from industrial content marketing?

  • It is not a short journey or a “Band-Aid” fix for lead generation problems
  • You shouldn’t expect quick or instant results
  • There are no tricks to game the system (Search engines)
  • It does not run on autopilot (Marketing Automation also requires a qualified person to manage it)
  • It is not a one-off marketing campaign
  • It is not a hands-off strategy

Industrial website design and redesign questions

How long does it take to redesign an industrial website?

It usually takes anywhere from 120 ~ 150 days from start up to launch, depending upon your needs and how well prepared you are with the content or if we are creating new site content. NOTE: It is difficult for us to plan the site map and the design without first receiving most if not all of your content before we get started

Can you handle my site updates and ongoing maintenance?

Who owns the site after it is launched?

  • You do
  • You do not own the rights to any stock images from our library that were used on your site

Terms and conditions

What are your terms and conditions?

A few basic rules I like to follow to protect both our interests.

  • All consulting fees must be paid in full and in advance.
  • All project work requires an initial payment of 50% of estimate and the balance due prior to final delivery
  • Consulting retainers require the first payment at the time of initiating the engagement (after signing the proposal) before we begin work. Thereafter, you will be billed around the 20th of each month for the payment to reach us in time for the following month. Our payment terms are Net 10.
  • We start on the project after receiving the initial payment based on payment terms specified in our proposal
  • No refunds will be issued after we have started on a project
  • We will try to answer your marketing question(s) to the best of our abilities and do our best to satisfy you but we cannot offer any guarantees or specific outcome(s)
  • Yes, we will sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) if you need us to. No, we do not work on active projects from other clients who may be your competition while we are working on your project or retainer.
  • Our normal working hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 5:30 pm Central Time. Our office address is 6140 Highway 6 South, Suite 175, Missouri City, TX 77459. Our phone number is 281.969.7514.

Do you offer any guarantees?

I can guarantee my best efforts to deliver results. I couldn’t have stayed in business and thrived for 30+ years if I wasn’t delivering on my commitments. However, I can’t guarantee any specific outcome. I have no control over market conditions, demand for your products and services, your pricing and a host of other things that directly impact your sales and revenues. I strongly believe in treating every client fairly and providing excellent customer service. Clients may not always be right, but clients always have rights!

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