In a challenging economy, you must find new ways to make marketing work
more effectively, get more out of marketing investments, and measure
and account for marketing decisions. In short, you must make changes.
Doing the same things in an uncertain environment and expecting the
same results is a strategy headed for disappointment.

How can your company be one of those success stories that market and
grow their business during challenging times? The following strategies
will help you allocate marketing investments to better performing
programs that will carry your company through uncertain times, and

Get Targeted
A fundamental but sometimes overlooked marketing tenet is to “fish where the fish are.” In other words, place your marketing investments and increase your visibility in those specific, targeted media vehicles where you know your customers and prospects will be exposed to your message. GlobalSpec’s research shows that virtually all engineering, technical and industrial professionals now use the Internet throughout their work process. The same holds true in most B2B markets. But the Internet is vast, and the fish you are looking for may be using specific Web sites where the content is directly related to their information needs. Work with your media partners to identify and target those sites.

Measure performance
While it’s always the right time to purge marketing programs that don’t perform, it may be time to scale back any marketing plans whose results you can’t measure or are unsure about. In other words, re-allocate and “right-size” marketing budgets to measurable programs. Online programs — which are built around delivering visibility, impressions, clicks, leads and customers — are easy to measure.

Think integration
Integrated marketing means your marketing strategy takes advantage of multiple media, resources and customer touch points to create a whole that’s greater and more effective than the sum of its parts. For example, if exhibiting at a trade show is a top priority, you should develop an integrated plan to promote your company’s trade show appearance through e-mail announcements, banner ads, direct mail and other communication devices such as targeted e-newsletters. You will gain more attention and drive more prospects to your booth.

In addition, marketers should consider how they can reach those in their target audience who won’t be attending the trade show. Remember, your message is also relevant to potential customers who won’t be at the show. The more that marketing efforts are integrated and comprehensive, the greater impact you can achieve in gaining visibility in your market, qualified leads and sales. This implies you should take a broader view of all media available to you — both traditional and online — to create an integrated marketing approach, always keeping in mind to “fish where the fish are.”

Maintain frequency and consistency
The benefits of regular visibility in the market tend to compound over time as more prospects recognize your company. This improves your opportunity to get on a prospect’s short list of potential vendors and also shortens the sales cycle. A consistent online presence on those Web sites, directories and search engines your prospects and customers use, and the e-newsletters they read will help your company stay visible as well as provide measurable lead generation benefits via online contact.

Push and pull your way to success
Most marketing can be classified as either push or pull: companies push their message out through tactics such as direct mail, advertisements and e-newsletter sponsorships; and they also establish a presence in online directories, Web sites and search engines to pull customers in real-time when prospects are searching for information, products and services like those your company offers. Rather than struggling over whether to allocate resources to push marketing or pull marketing, seek out a media partner that has your target audience captive and can offer both push and pull programs under an integrated program.

Focus on quality over quantity
If marketing efforts focus solely on quantity over quality, fewer leads will convert, more sales resources will be wasted, and sales people will begin to distrust marketing’s lead generation programs. Commit to programs where quality is a key attribute:  programs that can deliver interested prospects, provide prospect contact information, and offer reports of program performance.

Seek assistance from media partners
The economy is likely forcing you to make harder and smarter decisions about allocating budgets. While you may be facing challenges, you don’t have to face them alone. Ask media partners to demonstrate how their marketing solutions help your company achieve the strategies mentioned above.

Ask them:

  • Do they have your target audience’s attention?
  • Can they keep your company visible to prospects and customers at all times?
  • Do they offer a variety of integrated marketing solutions aligned with your goals?
  • Can they provide both visibility and lead generation?
  • Do they deliver targeted, quality leads with full contact information?
  • Do they provide reports you can use to measure the performance of your marketing and justify your marketing investments?

Is your company trying to make the most of its market in these challenging times? Get more information by downloading the new GlobalSpec White Paper: “Pragmatic Business Strategy: Nine Ways to Make Marketing Work in Challenging Times.”

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