How manufacturers can use the web

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05/04/2009
A little bit of a slow weekend in the industry, so I thought I'd get to something that's been kicking around my in-box for a while. Basically, I really like the way Bosch followed through on their ISC West presence with a dedicated spot on their web site. Hate to be a suck up, and please send me the spots on other manufacturers' web sites that are similar, but this is the kind of follow through that helps companies create an online relationship with customers (and they even have a little fun while they're doing it - imagine that: Fun in the security industry). Most manufacturers follow up their ISC West experience with a press release about how awesome ISC West was for them, with many booth visitors impressed with the new technology presented to them. As a reporter, it's probably pretty unlikely I'm going to run with that story since, a: I was there, and b: nobody really cares. But if you've got customers coming to your site anyway to look up product specs or sign up for training or to get support, why not have a bit on the site where they can check out what you were up to or follow up on something they saw at the show? Some of you may remember my discussion with Bosch Americas president Jeremy Hockham about bag inflation at the show. Well, good for Bosch for not taking themselves too seriously. They lead their ISC West recap by making fun of their own bags:
40 ways to use your Big Bosch Bag: a rain poncho to carry your friends when they are tired a collection bag for recyclables a walking Bosch billboard inflate for emergency floatation device a bag to hold all bags eco-friendly grocery bag carry clothes to donate to charity stand out in a crowd trick-or-treat bag for Halloween to carry gifts during the holidays potato sack sleeping bag under-bed storage for clothes, pillows, comforters diaper bag for OctoMom
Okay, so really only that last one was funny, but still, not bad - I'm fairly certain 95 percent of other manufacturers would have put out a press release about how their customers were finding "new and environmentally supportive strategies for maximizing the ROI (which was, ha, zero) on their show bag investment." But they'd have been serious. And I like the fast facts and stats and the picture of the people in the booth, etc. Of course it's self-involved and -congratulatory, but so what? They're preaching to the choir here. The point is to create a choir. When you combine this with their IP issues blog (not bad really, though they've haven't posted since April 15 and they can't seem to spell my name right even when they're linking to my story, and jeez, it's the first name you got wrong?) and their video site (they get a good amount of views for those videos, too), I'd say Bosch has one of the better web presences in the industry, especially among the larger established manufacturers. Got something you think is better or comparable? Send me a link.