How to achieve expert status within a few months.

Gefertec is a mechanical engineering company for additive manufacturing and was founded in 2015 as a start-up in Berlin, Germany. The US market is a major growth engine for the additive manufacturing industry. Therefore, shortly after its foundation, Gefertec decided to enter the US market via the leading trade show “Fabtech” to increase brand awareness and attract its first customers. The results of Fabtech 2017 in Chicago fell far short of expectations, both in terms of the number of leads generated and in regards to resulting business.

The USA Start-Up Challenge

“A trade fair in the USA cannot be compared with the trade fairs in Germany. Visitors do not come to your booth with concrete components or problems. The conversations last only briefly, people collect brochures, show a lot of interest and at the end of a trade fair you get the impression that many leads have been won. The follow-up though shows a completely different picture. We have invested EUR 60,000 and have in fact not been able to derive any tangible benefits from the trade fair appearance,” stated Tobias Röhrich, CEO of Gefertec.

Gefertec quickly realized that the company can build brand awareness through trade shows in the long run, but new customers can definitely not be acquired near-term. On top, the aerospace and defence industry that has been identified as the most promising customer segment is difficult to reach through large-format trade fairs.

“We were completely surprised what LinkedIn can do in the USA if you use this platform professionally. Inmotion has identified several hundred exciting prospects for us and positioned Gefertec as an expert in generative manufacturing in a very short time. We had 20 appointments at a congress with top companies such as Boeing, LAI or SSL, four of which had concrete projects on the way. And when we publish articles, they are seen about 1000 times, an incredibly broad impact after such a short time.”

Tobias Röhrich, CEO

The goal: Build brand awareness and a lead generation engine near-term in a cost-effective manner

The task was to look for a scalable lead generation engine that could quickly make Gefertec known to a specific target group. A strategy that helps them position themselves as experts and also provides them with leads that they work on permanently.

The winning set: LinkedIn, Content Marketing and telephone follow-ups

The solution was a combination of LinkedIn campaigns to target technical buyers in the aerospace and defense sector, supported by accompanying content marketing activities. Furthermore, participation in the “Additive Manufacturing Users Group Congress” was decided in April 2018. For this purpose, specific appointments with potential customers should be arranged via LinkedIn. The preparation time of 3 months was very short, mainly because neither a profile nor social marketing activities had been running on LinkedIn until then.

The short-term result: 20 meetings arranged during a congress

Within 3 months, Tobias Röhrich’s LinkedIn profile was established and connected to 1200 relevant contacts from Aerospace and Defense. After a detailed qualification of the contacts, about 350 target persons were approached and asked for a personal meeting during AMUG. Twenty meetings were arranged. Remaining activities for 2018 include a webinar together with and the participation in IMTS 2018. Since Inmotion also takes over the follow-up of the won leads, the Gefertec sales team can fully concentrate on the new USA projects.