By Steve Guglielmo, Managing Editor
The 3rd Quarter Issue of The MHEDA Journal is always the most interesting of the year to me because it is the issue where we recognize MHEDA members celebrating milestone anniversaries and also distributors named by manufacturers as being the “Best of the Best.” One thing that I have noticed over the years is that there is a tremendous amount of overlap between the two lists. MHEDA members routinely make up 80% or more of the dealer recognition lists. That’s no accident. MHEDA distributors truly are the best of the best and the dealer recognition lists drive that point home.
2014 MHEDA President Scott Hennie put forth a challenge to the association in his “President’s Perspective Column” on page 11. He said “Let’s set a MHEDA goal for 2015 – 100% of the manufacturer-honored distributors are MHEDA members!” It is a lofty goal, to be sure, but one that is easily within our reach. The only obstacle standing in our way is not one of quality; after all, MHEDA members already make up the lion’s share of the lists, but one of messaging and branding.
In this issue, Site-Seeker, Inc. President and Co-Founder Brian Bluff wrote a great article about using your company’s anniversary as a marketing tool. The article, on page 44, lays out several strategies for using your company’s anniversary as a legitimate money maker for your company. “For online advertising, the name of the game is boosting engagement – attention and traffic – to your site. This goes double if you’re in any way related to e-commerce. Increasing engagement is paramount, and every legitimate opportunity to do so should be taken advantage of.”
There are dozens of MHEDA members celebrating major milestone anniversaries this year. We are recognizing them in The MHEDA Journal but are their customers aware? Their prospects? If not, these companies are missing out on a major opportunity to market themselves as experienced, trusted experts in the industry.
Companies with long and rich histories are appealing to customers for many reasons. There is a reason why a company has survived and thrived all these years. MHEDA members are already the best in the industry with the highest-quality equipment and products to offer, so any opportunity to get prospects in the door is an opportunity to convert more sales.
In the article “MHEDA at 60” on page 38, MHEDA EVP Liz Richards refers to customer outreach as the “last frontier” of MHEDA, saying, “One of the goals of the Most Valuable Partner program was to brand MHEDA among the end-user community.”
The Internet can be a very powerful tool, if utilized correctly. MHEDA members are a goldmine of experience and expertise. They have what customers are looking for. Now they just have to communicate that message effectively. If we can do that, then we are well on our way to the Association challenge of a 100% MHEDA dealer recognition issue in 2015.