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Marketing Mix: A Case History - ENTEK

Author: Mitch Hannoosh

From the end of last year into the beginning of this one, Next Step was engaged in a multi-front marketing push for one of their clients, ENTEK (Lebanon, OR). The “Marketing Mix” that Next Step utilized led to overwhelming success and it makes a great case history to show how a well planned and executed ‘mix’ works in real life.

After over two years of development, ENTEK was ready to introduce an exciting new product and wanted to promote it as much as possible before NPE 2015, North America’s largest plastics-industry trade show.  Effective pre-show promotion creates pre-show ‘buzz’, so the word is already out there and interested visitors would know to stop by the booth.  Read on for more details of this coordinated, multi-faceted program.


20150611020629-34049.jpegIn January, just two months before NPE, Next Step's client, ENTEK, held a press conference at their headquarters in Lebanon, OR to unveil their brand new QC3 43mm twin-screw extruder. 

With the help of Next Step, ENTEK got three of the largest and most prominent publications in the plastics industry to send editors to Oregon for the event.

Each of them were treated to a full day event, first going over ENTEK's history and its current position in the marketplace before embarking on a tour that highlighted all of the company’s capabilities on the extrusion side, including their machine shop for production of wear parts and their pilot plant.  After the plant tour came the introduction of the new machine, which was the focal point of the entire day. The design team proudly showed off the new extruder and pointed out its new features step by step. After a quick lunch, there was a presentation on the company’s plant services capabilities and a final Q&A on the extrusion side of the business.  The day ended with a tour of the battery separator side of ENTEK's business, which included a walk-through of the company’s newest state-of-the-art battery separator film production line.

Clearly impressed, all three publications wrote glowingly about the new machine. See their articles here:

Plastics Machinery Magazine

Plastics News

Plastics Technology (the lead story in the compounding section)

After the conference, Next Step distributed ENTEK’s news to the global plastics press, which resulted in great follow-on coverage of the event . 

"Next Step was proud to be a part of this event and to help ENTEK introduce their new product," said Greg Hannoosh, President of Next Step. "When you work for over two years to produce something so new and innovative, it's foolish NOT to promote it as much as you can with the press. What's the point of developing exciting new things if nobody knows about it? That's where Next Step can really help any company, as we were able to help ENTEK."


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After the press conference and the initial unveiling of the machine, it was time to spread the word as much as possible. One way that Next Step targeted as a good option was by developing a new print and web ad campaign.

ENTEK has run its “people” ad campaign for years now, highlighting their commitment to doing whatever it takes to helping their customers succeed. This campaign, also developed by Next Step, has been extremely successful for ENTEK and helped fortify the company’s reputation for outstanding customer service. Thus, challenged with a new message of introducing the new extruder, rather than go completely in a new direction, Next Step tweaked the look while maintaining a similar message. The design and layout was new and would help the ad stand out, but the focus on ENTEK’s people, customer service and support was still the primary theme.

“When you have as successful of an ad campaign as ENTEK’s ‘People’ campaign had been, it can be hard to move on from,” said Hannoosh. “With the new push for this new product however, sometimes the best thing you can do is change it up to get people’s attention. No matter how good your ad campaign is, eventually it will get stale. The challenge is to stay true to the company’s message while designing a new look that will get noticed.” 


To ensure they reached as many people as possible with their new message and new product, ENTEK decided to finally pull the trigger on creating a Twitter account (follow them!). This would let them promote the new machine on their own terms and reach out directly to their clientele. It was also another way to continue to display their stellar company identity that the ad campaign had been promoting for years. A Twitter account can be the voice of your company, which can be very beneficial when your company has a unique voice to show off.

“Especially during trade shows and events where people are walking around looking at their phones for what to do and where to go, Twitter is a powerful tool,” said Mitch Hannoosh, Marketing Specialist at Next Step. “ENTEK was able to share photos of their booth, features of their new machine, and press pickups of their news to an open forum of people interested in the NPE show. It’s a valuable weapon to have in your marketing arsenal.”


As the final piece of the preshow blitz, Next Step created an 8-page e-newsletter (view it here!) that ENTEK sent out to personally invite everyone on their company contact list to come to their booth and see their new machine. A newsletter is a direct way to reach a select group of people with exactly the message you want them to receive. They are ideal for spreading stories to specific readers that you know should see them, inviting customers or vendors to events, or sharing news that is company specific and may not be picked up by industry press.


20150608110606-20150325_091354.jpg20150611020620-20150325_091424.jpgWith all of the promotion for the show, ENTEK was counting on high attendance numbers, meaning it was even more crucial than normal that their booth look impressive. Again, Next Step was able to help. They worked in tandem with ENTEK’s sales and marketing team, as well as the people at Freeman who were building the booth, to design a look that would stand out and draw people in, but also be functional, comfortable, and informative.

20150611020612-20150325_092015.jpgThe end result was a booth that everyone involved was proud of. The new machine was there on display with a large, attractive graphic detailing its features. The rest of ENTEK’s products and services got their own booth walls as well, as did their new ad and a few large graphics showing off their company’s strength – it’s people. The graphics managed to show off all of the things ENTEK is proud of about their company, all of the things ENTEK sells, and everything the sales people wanted to be able to specifically point out. All of this was done without making the booth seem overcrowded or uncomfortable, and every response they received from visitors was extremely positive.

“We couldn’t have been happier with the booth we ended up with and the show in general,” said John Effmann, Director of Sales and Marketing at ENTEK. “With the help of Next Step, we were able to not only 


put together one of our best booths ever, but attract a record number of visitors to that booth for a show that was really important to us.”


So, in conclusion, Next Step was able to help ENTEK spread the word about their new and exciting machine with an aggressive and diversified marketing campaign that featured everything from new advertising and new social media accounts, to hosting a press conference and making it the focus of their booth graphics. This marketing mix helped ENTEK have a successful product launch, with the rewards continuing to be reaped even months later.

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