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Marketing in the industrial sector is increasingly complex. Your audience of engineers and technical professionals has access to more information during the buy cycle, and are exposed to more buying options than ever.

As a marketer, you must allocate a limited budget across multiple channels in order to best connect with customers and prospects. It can be a daunting process, and errors are often made. Here are three of the biggest errors marketers make and how to avoid them.

Mistake #1: Failing to Monitor Marketing Programs

The phrase “you can only manage what you can measure” is true. If you don’t know what‘s working and what’s not, then you can’t make appropriate changes to improve your marketing effectiveness.

According to the soon-to-be-published “2017 Trends in Industrial Marketing” report, the top measurements for marketing success are customer acquisition, sales attributed to marketing campaigns and customer satisfaction.

Customer acquisition is relatively straightforward to measure: How many new customers did we gain through our marketing programs? Similarly, you can get a grasp on customer satisfaction easily by looking at customer retention rates and conducting customer surveys.

Sales attributed to marketing campaigns takes more nuance to measure. Don’t fall into the “last click” trap, which attributes sales only to the last action your customer took before purchasing. In fact, many influencing actions took place before the final one. Page views, clicks, completed forms, downloads, shares, comments and more can all be counted.

The point is to keep measuring programs. Count every interaction with customers and prospects, and determine which ones work best and are deserving of more resources, and which need refining or eliminating.

Mistake #2: Moving Ahead Without a Plan

The infamous fourth quarter push is beginning, and the 2018 will quickly follow. Are you developing your road map for the future? Set aside time now to brainstorm your goals and objectives, review your results to date, and plan your tactics for the year ahead, including marketing channels that align with your goals.

Be sure to check in with your sales team to ensure that your channels and campaigns are delivering the kind of exposure and engagement opportunities that ultimately support sales. Include both push/outbound tactics (email, tradeshows) and pull/inbound (online directories and catalogs, search engine optimization, etc.) in your marketing mix.

This is often a good time to plan because budgets for 2018 are being formed. As marketers, you must be able to defend budgets by pointing to past results and forecasting expected ROI on marketing programs. This data takes time to gather and interpret, so again, now is the time to make a plan.

Mistake #3: Neglecting to Maximize Your Media Partner Relationships

While planning and accountability are essential to any marketing program, you shouldn’t be expected to shoulder the burden on your own. Marketers site a lack of resources as their biggest challenge today (2017 Trends in Industrial Marketing). Budgets are remaining mostly steady, while the number of available marketing channels continues to grow.

This an ideal time to find a trusted, expert media partner who can help you optimize your mix of channels and get the most out of your budget, while allowing you to free up some internal resources for other efforts. No matter the size of your company, whether you need strategic advice or detailed planning, the right media partner is your essential ally, not only during planning and budgeting, but while you are in the midst of executing and measuring campaign results.

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