A challenging or disruptive business climate often leads to new ways of doing business. For example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was an outcome of corporate and accounting scandals that collapsed a number of companies, harmed investors and shook confidence in the securities markets. Today’s disruptive climate is the economic downturn, and one outcome of the downturn will be a change in how companies market their products and services as the recovery begins.

GlobalSpec has just published a new white paper on this subject: “Preparing for the Economic Recovery: How Marketing Will Help you Emerge Successfully from the Downturn.” You can download it here.

It Won’t Be “Marketing as Usual”
Many companies have been forced to reduce marketing exposure during the downturn due to budget constraints. It’s essential to regain that lost marketing momentum as the recovery begins.

However, you will not be able to go back to old forms of marketing. Even before economic problems hit, industrial sector marketing was trending away from traditional media such as printed trade journals and in-person trade shows, and toward online media such as online search, e-newsletters, virtual events and banner advertising.

The primary reason for the trend toward online marketing is that your industrial audience has migrated online. The vast majority of engineering, technical, manufacturing and industrial professionals use online resources to search for and locate suppliers, products and services. Suppliers that want to connect with this audience have reallocated marketing budgets to more effective online programs.

This trend will only grow stronger as the economy recovers, for three reasons. First, your customers and prospects will continue to go online first in their search process. Second, online marketing has proven effective in connecting suppliers with their customers and prospects. And third, online marketing offers a level of measurement and accountability not found with traditional marketing vehicles. This measurement and accountability is a requirement today to help you understand what works and to justify expenditures.

Online marketing by its nature is measurable. Online programs are built around impressions, clicks and conversions—metrics which can be captured and then analyzed, allowing you to focus marketing dollars on the most successful programs, which will help reduce waste while increasing results.

Getting Started Again
Emerging successfully from the economic downturn depends not only on abandoning old ways of marketing, but also timing your marketing investments. Now is the time to establish marketing plans for the recovery—formulate strategies, choose which markets to attack first, design campaigns, make media choices and justify expenditures.

If you save all this work until budgets open up and your company is ready to invest more in marketing, you’ll end up scrambling to put together marketing plans and seeking budget approval. You may make hurried decisions or unreasoned choices, and by the time you actually get out there in the market, you’ll be well behind competitors who got an early start.

Here are two important strategies to help you jump start marketing for the economic recovery:

  1. Your products and services may be a good fit for one of the industrial sectors that that held up best during the downturn or are recovering the fastest (find out which markets are strongest and most viable in this whitepaper). Make these markets your first targets.

  2. Explore marketing possibilities with an experienced online media partner. Some of your traditional media outlets may not even exist now, and many are no longer effective. You’ll need to evaluate online media partners who understand your goals and objectives and have the attention of the industrial audience you are trying to reach. Discuss your marketing objectives and have them show you an integrated marketing program that will help you achieve your goals and provide measurement and accountability.

Reach Beyond the Basics
No doubt, your company has an Internet presence. But at this point in the maturation of the Internet and its place in the business world, you need more than a company Web site to be effective at online marketing. Industrial companies today must deploy a portfolio of online programs that work together to achieve marketing objectives, from targeted e-newsletter advertising and banner ads on industrial Web sites, to searchable online catalogs of components and robust listings in online directories and Web sites.

One of the best resources available to help you create a successful marketing strategy for the economic recovery is the white paper: “Preparing for the Economic Recovery: How Marketing Will Help you Emerge Successfully from the Downturn.” Get your complimentary copy today.

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