In the first article of our two-part series on planning for 2013, we presented a list of five questions to answer to help you analyze your past performance, make marketing choices for next year, and get budgets approved. (Read “Planning for 2013: Questions to Ask.”) This month, in Part Two, we point out common marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.

Even seasoned industrial marketers can lose focus and sometimes fall into these traps.

1. Failing to monitor marketing performance
The only way to optimize your marketing program is to monitor its performance. We all know the phrase “you can only manage what you measure” and it holds especially true for marketing. When putting your marketing plan in place for 2013, define your objectives and identify the metrics that will allow you to measure success. Continue to fund what’s working and be prepared to refine or replace campaigns that aren’t contributing to your goals. Keep in mind that online media channels offer you the ability to track metrics such as impressions, clicks, and conversions, making measurement easier.

2. Staying stuck in old ways
Some marketers continue to use the same traditional marketing programs either out of habit or because they are unable to evaluate performance and make informed decisions about change. But change is constant in the industrial marketing environment. For example, your company’s business goals change, and you need to realign your marketing objectives. Your audience of engineering, technical, manufacturing and industrial professionals has migrated online to search for products, services and suppliers, and you need to implement digital marketing programs to connect with them. Be flexible and open to trying new campaigns.

3. Working in isolation from sales
Disconnect between sales and marketing remains a big issue for many industrial companies. The results from your marketing campaigns must be in line with your sales team’s expectations. Otherwise, sales might lose faith in marketing and ignore the engagement opportunities you present to them. Get marketing and sales working together in the planning stages, with executives and representatives from each department making decisions that will benefit everyone.

4. Focusing on quantity versus quality
When you’re in that planning meeting with sales, ask if they’d rather have programs that generate piles of nameless, faceless clicks or have real contacts containing intelligent and relevant information that can be used to begin a relationship and gain a customer. Guess what the answer is? The takeaway is clear: you need to put your resources into marketing programs that deliver quality engagement opportunities.

5. Abandoning branding and exposure
Companies often emphasize getting contacts and inquiries, and in doing so make the mistake of moving away from branding and exposure. But you really need both. Continuously staying in front of your target audience will ultimately result in engagement opportunities because customers want to do business with companies and brands they recognize and that have standing in the market. Choose media channels that keep you in front of customers and prospects at all times — you’ll benefit from both the branding and the engagement opportunities.

What past marketing mistakes have you made? What are you doing now to avoid them? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

There’s more. There are always more mistakes you can make — but better yet avoid. The 2013 Industrial Marketing Planning Kit lists the top 10 marketing mistakes and offers advice on how to steer clear of them. This interactive toolkit will help you evaluate the effectiveness of your current marketing choices, calculate the value of existing marketing programs, understand changes in the marketing climate, and plan more effective prospect and client engagement strategies for 2013.

Our intent is to help you define and achieve your marketing goals and objectives for the year ahead. Download your complimentary copy and start planning for your success.

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