From the editor's desk: Automation professionals need communication strategy too

September 2019 News

Catching the eye of a potential customer has become more difficult than ever thanks to the ethos of information promiscuity that defines the 21st century. It’s never been easy to stand out in a crowded market, but one thing is sure, the competitive challenges associated with the fourth industrial age are unlike any we have ever seen before.

The fundamentals of good business haven’t changed of course, even though the products and services have, which means that consumers demand value exactly as they did before – and perhaps even more so. What has changed is the proliferation of tools that marketing has at its disposal to get the company message out there. Social media has changed everything – or has it?

‘It’s vital to go viral,’ chant the converts. But for many industrial businesses, the social nature of the medium is its biggest limitation i.e. the message must have some social appeal for it to propagate effectively through the network. Therein lies the rub – the fundamentals of good marketing still apply, and one of those fundamentals is targeting. For marketers wanting to promote the latest cellphone to a fan base of millions, social media is indeed powerful; for marketers wanting to promote the benefits of a new chemical producer’s state-of-the-art supply chain, a targeted industry publication is a much better option.

As far as the manufacturing and process industries go, SA Instrumentation and Control has been (and will remain) a tightly targeted publication aimed at spreading news about the latest developments in automation and control technology. We have always seen the system integrators as essential to the future of the industry, as they have seen the value in having a presence in the System Integrator section of our magazine.

Over the course of the last year, we’ve been approached by several industry personalities asking why we don’t extend this to include consulting engineers and project houses as well. So we have. After discussions with Chris Campbell, CEO of Consulting Engineers South Africa (CESA), product manager Jane van der Spuy and I put our heads together to flesh out the idea.

What we’ve come up with is a flexible mix of advertising, editorial and public relations coverage that can be tailored to suit the communication strategy of any industry-related organisation, large or small. The new section in the magazine is designed to raise awareness for all consulting automation professionals – and the services they provide – in a targeted publication that reaches an audience of nearly 5000 industry professionals and decision makers. If you’re on a limited budget and looking for an effective way to cut through the clutter, both in print and online media, then we’ve lined up an excellent value proposition for you. Contact Jane at to discuss your specific marketing requirements, either as standalone, or to boost what you might already be doing in your social networks.

Steven Meyer

Editor: SA Instrumentation & Control


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