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Impact Strategic Marketing Tackles a
Huge Catalog for Timken Bearings

Timken Bearings, the global leader in friction management technologies with sales in excess of $5B, had a difficult task of re-introducing their vast product line to customers who were already using Timken products in their most important applications. Because Timken is the best source for high-load, extreme duty applications, construction machinery companies use Timken bearings almost exclusively for their mission-critical applications. This would seem like a good problem to have, except these companies often overlooked Timken when they choose bearing suppliers for their less critical applications. Timken was suffering from their success.

A Fresh Approach

Timken approached Impact Strategic Marketing to create 3D still renderings for use in their next round of sales brochures. After our initial capabilities presentation, Timken asked for our input on producing an html-enabled digital catalog created in Adobe Acrobat. We understood the vast challenge Timken faced in trying to market bearings which vary in size from smaller than a coin to larger and heavier than a family minivan. The bearings needed to be cross-referenced by type, industry, application, design and material. Each type of bearing would require corresponding spec sheets, product documentation and photo-realistic renderings created from Timken’s engineering CAD. As we understood the project, a simple .pdf file would not adequately fulfill Timken’s needs and would be a poor vehicle for generating new applications for Timken products within their existing customer base. Impact Strategic Marketing instead offered a dynamic application which included full-motion 3D animation of products, 3D animated cut-aways of bearings used in innovative, new customer applications, full motion video of the types of applications envisioned and large amounts of product literature. Timken loved the idea and we were off. Well, Sort of….

There’s Always A Catch

At the very beginning of the project, Timken threw a curve ball at us. The project would ultimately have to be delivered in 5 languages. Easy, since we do multi-lingual projects in all the time. Because Timken would be attending a large and important trade show in China first, they would need the initial version of the project to be delivered in Cantonese. Usually we have the luxury of completing a project in English before translation, but this one challenged our entire team from video editing, graphic designers and technical writers. We would have to develop, build and test a project in a language which most of our staff couldn’t understand. Oh, and we would have a ridiculously short time to get the project completed, and duplicated.

Big in China

The project was delivered on time, on budget and in time for several thousand copies of the program to be duplicated onto DVD and shipped to China in time for the show. The project was a huge success and served not only as a handout for customers on the show floor, but salespeople were able to use it interactively to “virtually” demonstrate the new products and their potential applications.

Immediately following the China show, Timken requested we get started producing versions translated into English, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Russian along with accompanying packaging and documentation. Timken committed to the format which Impact Strategic Marketing developed and has subsequently made regular updates to the program as their catalog has evolved.