Give Your 2018 Marketing Plan a Final Tune-Up

stil-326695

Whatever point you’re at in your 2018 marketing planning, the “2018 Industrial Marketing Planning Kit” can help. This guide offers advice, tools and tips to efficiently target your audience of engineers and technical professionals and get the most out of your marketing efforts.

Download your complimentary copy of the kit.

Using the planning kit, you will be able to answer the tough questions that every marketer faces:

1. How do you get more out of your marketing investments, and measure and account for marketing decisions in today’s economic climate?

Industrial marketers are under unprecedented pressure to demonstrate return on marketing investment (ROMI) for their initiatives. At the same time, due to the nature of the industrial buy cycle, and an engineer’s preference for multiple sources of information and multiple touches with your company, it’s difficult to make a one-to-one correlation between a specific marketing program and revenue earned.

By tracking every interaction between your company and a prospect you can better measure ROMI and account for your marketing decisions. In this planning kit, you will find out how to avoid the “last click” measurement trap, which attributes a sale to the last marketing-related touch-point a customer has with your company before making a buying decision.

2. Do you have a balanced mix of media channels to maximize your reach and effectiveness?

Your audience uses a variety of digital and traditional channels to discover and learn about suppliers, products and services. You can use the Media Choices table in the kit to find out which channels your customers prefer and how to balance your investments in order to optimize the performance of your marketing program.

3. Are your marketing programs delivering highly qualified contacts and inquiries to your sales team?

It always comes down to this: marketing must generate good leads for your sales team. The first step in measuring the quality of leads is to know what a high-quality customer looks like. The planning kit includes tools to help you create the ideal customer profile.

Prospects who most closely fit your ideal customer profile and demonstrate interest through active engagement with your company and content are most likely to be sales-ready leads. You can increase the amount of prospect activity by pushing content across multiple channels to your target audience, and by nurturing interested prospects with marketing automation.

4. How do you meet the incessant and growing demand among your audience for quality content that supports their buying cycle?

If you are like most industrial marketers, content marketing is going to play a role in your 2018 plan. Producing and distributing valuable and authoritative content positions your company as an expert, builds trust with prospects, and ultimately makes it easier to sell products and services.

However, marketers face a multitude of content marketing challenges: lack of resources to produce quality, engaging content on a consistent basis; a lack of content ideas; knowing which channels are best for distributing content; and integrating content marketing with your overall marketing plan.

We’ve included a special section on the content marketing challenge in the “2018 Industrial Marketing Planning Kit,” containing tips and advice on how to become an efficient and effective content marketer.

5. How do you avoid making common marketing mistakes?

Manufacturers, distributors and service providers in the industrial sector have more marketing choices than ever before, making it easier to maximize marketing budgets. However, even the most seasoned professionals sometimes fall prey to mistakes that are easily avoidable.

Our kit includes a list of the top ten marketing mistakes and how to avoid them. Number 10 on the list: Moving into the year ahead without a plan. If you still haven’t developed a road map for 2018, the first thing you should do is download your complimentary copy of the “2018 Industrial Planning Marketing Kit.”

Explore this handy guide, set aside time to brainstorm your goals and objectives, and plan your tactics for the year ahead, including marketing channels that align with your plans. Even if your plan is already in place, the kit offers checks and balances to keep you on the right track.

Marketing Strategy

Three Industrial Marketing Predictions for 2018

markus-spiske-484245.jpg

There might be as many marketing predictions out there for 2018 as there are marketing gurus. Everyone has their crystal ball out this time of year. Here at the Maven, we focus exclusively on the industrial sector. Our top three predictions for 2018 are all about you and what we expect you’ll be doing in the upcoming year.

1. Industrial Marketers Will Expand Multichannel Capabilities

Recent data from a survey sponsored by IEEE GlobalSpec and conducted by the Content Marketing Institute reveals that B2B marketers are using eight different marketing tactics in the development of content. Social media content (83 percent), blogs (80 percent) and email newsletters (77 percent) rise to the top as the most frequent tactics used.

The most successful marketers in 2018 will use a mix of push/outbound (email, tradeshows) and pull/inbound marketing tactics (corporate website, online catalogs). Currently, 50 percent of industrial marketers are using such a mix. Only 26 percent are satisfied with their marketing mix and only 25 percent are satisfied with their online marketing efforts (with 50 percent neutral).

These results indicate an opportunity for marketers to expand and diversify their mix more, especially in online channels, to better connect with their audience.  Past research about the “Cross-Media Multiplier” demonstrates the performance benefits of diversifying your marketing spend across multiple digital media channels rather than relying on a single platform

Industrial Marketers Will Document their Strategies

Forty-one percent of B2B marketers have a content strategy but it’s not documented, compared to 37 percent who have a documented strategy, according to the Content Marketing Institute survey.

It’s great to have a concept or general idea of where you want to go and what you want to achieve, but that’s not always enough to succeed. It’s all about having a clear and concise strategy that is documented, reviewed, and shared company-wide with all active participants so that everyone is aligned and aware of your marketing goals. Too many companies are starting from scratch every year, which is inefficient and can waste resources, but this will be the year that industrial marketers document their strategies to serve as signposts as well as a measuring stick of performance against expectations.

3. Industrial Marketers Will Work with Partners for Content Marketing

If you are like most industrial marketers, content marketing is going to play a role in your 2018 plan. However, content marketing, while an essential marketing strategy, presents a number of challenges you must overcome. Industrial marketers cite a lack of internal resources, difficulty in producing engaging content on a regular basis, and distributing content to their target audience as three of their more pressing challenges.

To overcome these challenges, more industrial marketers will turn to partners for help. The right partner will have deep knowledge and expertise in your technical field so they can help you create targeted, relevant content without having to take a long time to get up to speed. The right partner will also be able to create a variety of content types, including white papers, native advertising, technical briefs, e-books, webinars, infographics, and more.

A trusted media partner will also be able to turn your goals and objectives into action by designing effective campaigns to get your content in front of your target audience. Make sure you work with a partner that has the capabilities to offer comprehensive reports about the performance of your content and the ability to identify who is accessing it.

 

Marketing Trends Marketing, General

Five Marketing Resolutions for 2018

As marketers we tend to start off each new year with a mix of excitement and concern. We’re excited because the marketing canvas is clean, our plans are plentiful, and success lies just ahead. But we’re also concerned— we’re starting from scratch, we have to choose among many marketing ideas, and there’s always the chance we don’t meet expectations.

To stay confident in 2018, adopt some marketing resolutions. Here are five specific strategies and tactics you can resolve to adopt to help you have a successful year in marketing.

1. Stick with the channels your customers use

In this era of digital media, there is a proliferation of channels commanding attention from engineers. Technical professionals have more digital tools and sources of information that help them to do their jobs better and more efficiently. They are also exposed to more companies and have many options when ready to buy. This leaves marketers having to choose among many possible channels for their marketing investments.

Resolve to use the channels that your customers use. This will give you the greatest opportunity to connect with your target audience.

When researching a work-related purchase, the top three channels for technical professionals are search engines, online catalogs, and supplier websites. However, your audience uses many other channels to keep up with the latest technologies and product news. In addition to the top three, continue to invest in e-newsletters, webinars, in-person tradeshows, and industry websites and publications. These are all important industry information sources for your customers.

2. Use both creative and directional advertising

Creative advertising generates awareness for your brand in the marketplace, helping your target audience understand who you are and what you have to offer. Banner ads, webinars, technical articles—these are good vehicles for creating awareness.

Directional advertising is where professionals turn to find a business like yours. They know exactly what they are looking for and simply need to find the right supplier. Online catalogs, e-newsletters, and search engines are marketing tactics often used to capture potential buyers. Your company website can serve as both an awareness and lead generation machine.

By implementing both creative and directional strategies, you will build awareness among the potential customers you want to reach—and be there when they are researching or making a purchasing decision.

3. Deliver the content potential buyers need

Content is critical to the buying process. According to the IEEE GlobalSpec Industrial Buy Cycle Survey, 70 percent of buyers review four or more pieces of content prior to purchases greater than $10,000. Being a provider of valuable, authoritative content positions your company as an expert in your industry; builds trust with your prospects; and ultimately makes it easier to sell your products and services, and drive revenue.

It’s important that your marketing collateral and website are up-to-date. If you choose to enter new markets, you may need to revise some messaging and re-purpose existing case studies, white papers and other materials. Create an inventory of content assets and determine what else is needed to move your customers through the buy cycle. Do it now to avoid long lead times.

4. Be mindful of measurement

You’re likely under pressure to justify marketing expenditures and show a return on marketing investment. You also might need to change marketing plans mid-journey if you are not getting the results you expected. Measurement is the key to supporting marketing decisions and justifying budgets.

Today, the most effective marketing programs are ones that demonstrate branding, awareness and engagement opportunities for your company. Online channels, which easily lend themselves to measurement (views, clicks, conversions, etc.), let you easily see what is working in order to focus marketing dollars on the most successful programs.

5. Work with new media partners

You shouldn’t have to navigate the complexities of industrial marketing alone. The beginning of the year is a good time to consult with an experienced media partner that understands and has the attention of the industrial audience you need to reach.

Discuss your marketing objectives with your media partners and have them show you an integrated, multichannel media plan that will help achieve your goals and objectives. Remember that media partners are your allies—they want you to succeed as much as you do.

Marketing, General

Your Favorite Articles of the Year

brooke-cagle-411520.jpg

In 2017, you showed us that you like numbers: the top article offered “five” marketing myths that we debunked. Your next favorite was “three” marketing mistakes to avoid. If you read the Maven regularly you know you’ll get this type of quick-hitting, yet well-researched and practical marketing advice. The third most popular article was about sustaining and growing your email marketing list.

Take a look – we believe you’ll still find them valuable on a second reading. In the coming year, we look forward to offering you more marketing expertise. All of us at the Marketing Maven wish you the best both personally and professionally in 2018.

1. “Five Marketing Myths Debunked”

We’ve all heard “facts” about B2B marketing that are founded on misconceptions or assumptions. Basing your marketing decisions on myths can lead to subpar results. To help you improve your marketing effectiveness, here are five common marketing myths. Don’t believe them.

Read: “Five Marketing Myths Debunked.”

 

2. “Don’t Make These Three Marketing Mistakes”

As if there were only three possible mistakes! But these are big ones. Marketing in the industrial sector is increasingly complex. 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’s how to avoid three of the biggest mistakes.

Read: “Don’t Make These Three Marketing Mistakes.”

 

3. “List Health Practices for Maintaining an Engaged Audience”

Your house email list can be gold or fool’s gold, depending on how you mine it. IEEE GlobalSpec’s own Linda Uslaner, Director of Product Management, was interviewed for eMarketer’s latest report “Email Marketing Benchmarks 2017.” She points out several ways IEEE GlobalSpec is strengthening its lists to drive performance and  improve metrics. You can too.

Read: “List Health Practices for Maintaining an Engaged Audience.”

Marketing Roundup

Is Your Online Presence Helping or Hurting Your Brand?

nikita-vantorin-417627

Next to search engines, supplier and vendor websites are the sources engineers use most when seeking information on the latest engineering technologies, industry trends and products. This is just one revelation from a new survey from IEEE GlobalSpec and TREW Marketing, “Smart Marketing for Engineers.”

It’s hard to overstate the importance of your online presence when you are competing for business. For the majority of engineers (52 percent), a company’s website has considerable impact on their perceptions of them as a credible, technically competent vendor.

Here are three ways to make sure your online presence helps, not hurts, your brand.

Carefully choose fields in website forms

Engineers and technical professionals are willing to share some information about themselves in exchange for content, but no one wants to jump through unnecessary hoops to get content.

The four fields engineers are most likely to complete in a form on a company’s website are work email address (66 percent), company name (54 percent) and first and last names (48 percent and 45 percent, respectively). The fields they are least likely to complete are purchase time frame (10 percent) and mobile phone number (18 percent).

A good rule of thumb is to ask only for basic information, especially from new contacts. You can collect additional information, such as purchase time frame, budget, and purchasing authority as you further qualify your prospect and help them along their buying journey. Another good rule of thumb is to use dynamic forms, so that prospects don’t have to reenter information they’ve already provided.

Respond to inquiries in internet time

Forty-two percent of engineers expect to be contacted by a vendor within 24 hours, and 22 percent expect to be contacted within 48 hours.

This means you need a reliable process for responding to submitted forms. At a minimum, send an autoresponder that promises a personal follow-up, which lets a prospect know that you have acknowledged them. Better yet is a response from a named individual. Go one step further in your response and include links to content related to what your prospect has registered for.

Every gesture you make that shows you are listening and ready to help will be appreciated—and the faster the response, the more likely the payoff to you in terms of winning business. Eighty-four percent of engineers and technical professionals are more likely to do business with companies that engage with them after indicating interest. Younger engineers in particular are more likely to do business with companies that thank them for their interest and offer further related resources.

Keep the content on your website fresh

A whopping ninety-two percent of engineers are more likely to do business with companies that regularly produce new and current content. So keep your content machine rolling.

The content can be new or updated web pages; download offers of white papers, articles or application notes; videos; webinar invitations; blog posts; infographics and posters—anything useful in helping engineers and technical professionals make informed buying decisions.

The takeaway here is to pay close attention to your website and the impression it creates on customers. Use it as a relationship building engine for your marketing and sales team. For more marketing recommendations and the complete survey results, download your complimentary copy of the latest research, “Smart Marketing for Engineers.”

 

 

 

Content Marketing

Does Good Content = New Business?

matthew-guay-148463

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve heard that engineers and technical professionals rely heavily on content to make informed purchasing decisions. New research underscores this fact: 92 percent of engineers responding to an IEEE GlobalSpec and TREW Marketing survey said they are more likely to do business with companies that regularly produce new and current content.

Succeeding in content marketing and attracting customers, however, is no easy task. You must create a diverse portfolio of content that engineers and technical professionals find valuable, distribute the content to them, track their interaction with the content, and follow up with them to be their ally during their buying journey.

What Types of Content?

The survey found that engineers find significant value in case studies/application notes, with 81 percent of respondents ranking this type of content as either very or moderately valuable.

The next most valuable is longer-copy content such as e-books (75 percent find them valuable), white papers (74 percent) and books (73 percent). Videos also have a strong showing, regardless of length, with both how-to and product demos performing well.

Webinars are an established content type for this audience as well, with nearly all respondents (91 percent) ranking them at least “somewhat valuable.” In fact, very few engineers rated any content type as “not very valuable”, which demonstrates that you should focus on building a broad portfolio.

Distributing Content

The IEEE GlobalSpec and TREW Marketing survey reinforces previous research that shows that the top three content sources that engineers find most valuable are all online: search engines (43 percent), supplier/vendor websites (37 percent), and trade publication websites (29 percent).

YouTube is a valuable channel for distributing video content. Email, including your own e-newsletters and those of third parties, are effective vehicles for promoting content as well.

Among offline/traditional media, engineers and technical professionals value trade shows and trade print publications, with about a third of respondents finding each source very valuable. Social media channels – including Facebook, Google+, Instagram, and Twitter – are not viewed by respondents as exceptionally valuable sources for work-related information.

Trustworthy Content

While engineers and technical professionals are thirsty for content, the level of trust they have in content types vary. However, content written by an engineering expert at a vendor company is regarded as most trusted by respondents (4.5/6 on a scale of trustworthiness). This is great news for industrial marketers who might worry about how their content will be perceived.

Consider choosing one or more engineering experts at your company to promote as thought leaders. You can create content for them, such as white papers, articles, application notes, e-books and more. Your audience will learn to recognize the names of your experts and trust the content that is produced in their names. You can also partner with other respected experts in your field to produce content.

Integrate Content into Campaigns

Creating and distributing valuable, trusted content is only part of the content marketing equation.  Your goal should be to plan campaigns that help engineers and technical professionals make confident, informed buying decisions.

In the early stages of their buy cycle, engineers are seeking educational content that informs and generates trust. As they interact with your content and make contact with your company, offer additional content that can help them make a final decision, such as ROI calculators, competitive comparisons, detailed specifications, and support and warranty information.

If possible, you should track every interaction a prospect has with your content so you know where they are in their buying process. This enables you to respond appropriately with the next piece of content or to pass qualified prospects on to your sales team.

To find out more about how you can more effectively and successfully target technical audiences through your marketing efforts, download your complimentary copy of the latest research from IEEE GlobalSpec and TREW Marketing, “Smart Marketing for Engineers.” This is one tool you’ll want on hand as you finalize your 2018 marketing plans.

Content Marketing Market Research

Where to Catch Engineers? In Their Inboxes

mailbox-595854_1920

Engineers and technical professionals overwhelmingly find value in work-related emails and e-newsletters from publications and vendors, according to new research from IEEE GlobalSpec Media Solutions and TREW Marketing, “Smart Marketing for Engineers.”

The survey of technical professionals of all ages and from all regions in the world uncovered a number of compelling findings that should prompt you to pump up your email marketing:

Eighty-seven percent of engineers subscribe to at least two e-newsletters.

Nearly 50 percent subscribe to four or more. Engineers in the EU subscribe to more e-newsletters than any other region, with 35 percent subscribing to six or more publications.

This means that engineers in every region of the world are regularly turning to e-newsletters as a resource for information on products, technologies, and vendors, as well as for industry news. It also means engineers are checking out the content from a variety of vendors. Your e-newsletter has to stand out from competitors by offering valuable, targeted content.

Engineers aren’t deleting your emails.

When they receive e-newsletters in their inbox, nearly 50 percent of engineers scan subject lines that intrigue them and delete the rest. Thirty-eight percent of engineers open most or all e-newsletters to scan for content or read every one. Very few engineers delete most e-newsletters automatically or filter them.

These results underscore the importance of your subject line. While by its nature very short, the subject line must be written with as much or more care than the rest of your e-newsletter. The most effective subject lines offer a compelling reason to open the email, such as important news, a new and relevant white paper, or a time-sensitive invitation.

Put effort into enticing as much of your audience as possible to interact with your email content. A subject line such as: “White Paper: Five Reasons Why Hydraulic Pumps Fail” promises important information to a targeted audience and will likely result in higher open rates.  “Registration Closes Friday for Webinar on Solar Cells” creates a sense of urgency.

Virtually all engineers find e-newsletters valuable.

Only five percent of engineers say that e-newsletters are not very valuable when seeking information on the latest engineering technologies, industry trends and products. The takeaway here is that if you want to connect with engineers during their buying process, meet them in their inbox using targeted, relevant emails. What about the five percent that don’t find e-newsletters valuable? We don’t understand them either. Maybe they’ve only experienced e-newsletters that haven’t been targeted to their information needs.

No matter how good an email marketer you are, at some point you’ll bump up against the limit of your effectiveness if you only send an e-newsletter to your own internal lists.

You can pump up your email marketing efforts and reach a broader yet still targeted audience by advertising in industry e-newsletters. Appearing in a third-party e-newsletter offers a number of advantages:

  • Your company can be associated with another respected and relevant brand in the industry that your audience relies on.
  • You can connect with hard-to-reach audiences in different markets and geographies.
  • Your media partner will handle all list management, email production, sending and tracking.
  • You can benefit from your media partner’s advice about placement, frequency, messaging, and also receive comprehensive reports about the performance of your advertisement.

For a deeper dive into the most effective ways to target highly technical audiences—not only through email, but also other digital channels—download your complimentary copy of the latest research from  IEEE GlobalSpec Media Solutions and TREW Marketing: “Smart Marketing for Engineers.”

 

E-Mail Marketing

Industrial Marketing Survey Reveals a Challenging Environment

IEEE GlobalSpec Media Solutions recently conducted its annual Industrial Marketing Trends Survey. The online survey asked marketing professionals about the marketing trends, challenges and expenditures within the engineering, technical, manufacturing and industrial communities.

Below are some of the key findings of the survey.  How does your marketing situation compare with these survey findings? You can access detailed results, analysis and recommendations by downloading a complimentary copy of the upcoming 2017 Trends in Industrial Marketing white paper.

Marketing Goals & Challenges

For the sixth consecutive year, industrial marketers report that customer acquisition is their primary marketing goal, followed by demand generation.

The majority of respondents say that the quality of products/services offered is their organization’s main differentiator. Only six percent of companies focus on price as their differentiator.

Limited marketing resources, the need to generate enough high quality leads, and increased competition are the three most common marketing challenges.

The top three measures of success for marketing initiatives are customer acquisition, sales attributed to marketing campaigns and customer satisfaction.

Marketing Channels & Programs

Email marketing using in-house lists, social media and tradeshows are the top marketing channels in the industrial sector, followed by search engine optimization and online directories/websites. Four of the top five channels used are digital channels, indicating that many marketers understand the importance of devoting resources to a mix of digital channels.

Half of industrial companies use a balanced approach, mixing both push/outbound marketing (e-newsletters, direct mail, etc.) and pull/inbound marketing (corporate website, online catalogs, etc.). However, industrial marketers state that they want to diversify their mix more—only 25 percent are satisfied with their marketing mix.

While most marketers are neutral, about the same percentage are satisfied as dissatisfied with their online marketing efforts. Overall, only 25 percent of marketers are satisfied or very satisfied, meaning there’s opportunity for many marketers to grow and adopt new strategies.

Content Marketing

Content marketing has become an essential marketing tactic for industrial marketers, although 34 percent are just getting started (down from 39 percent in 2015) and only 12 percent can show how content marketing contributes to sales (same as 2015). Twenty-eight percent have a content strategy in place and 34 percent repurpose content for use in different formats.

Marketing Budgets

Overall, budgets have remained fairly steady since 2011. Seventy-nine percent report that they will spend the same or more on marketing as in 2016.

Thirty-nine percent of industrial companies are increasing online spending as a portion of their overall marketing budgets, with 45 percent of companies remaining the same. These results indicate that industrial marketers know how important online marketing is to connecting with engineers and other technical professionals.

Marketing as a Profession

When asked about the biggest single challenge in their profession, 29 percent of marketers cited generating leads for sales and 25 percent said measuring the ROI of their efforts. These challenges often arise due to a lack of resources, meaning that marketers struggling with these challenges should consider working with a trusted media partner that can help free up some of these resources.

These findings represent the state of marketing in the industrial sector. What should you do with this intelligence? We’ve produced a complimentary white paper that analyzes and presents the results of the survey, and offers recommendations to industrial marketers to help them allocate their budgets, develop a sound marketing strategy and plan effective programs and campaigns for the upcoming year. Click here to be one of the first to receive a copy of the report when it’s released.

Industrial Marketing and Sales Marketing Trends

Five Marketing Myths Debunked

We’ve all heard “facts” about B2B marketing that are based on misconceptions or assumptions. You might have read or heard that something is true when in fact research data or your own analysis can prove that it’s not.

Basing your marketing decisions on myths can lead to subpar results. To help you improve your marketing effectiveness, here are five common marketing myths, debunked.

Myth #1: People don’t attend webinars on Mondays or Fridays

Research conducted by HubSpot found that Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at 1 or 2 pm EST are the best times to host webinars, but the best time can vary widely based on your time zone, your audience’s time zone, their schedule, and more.

ClickDimensions Marketing, after experimenting with different times to hold webinars, offers this advice: “If you can offer a variety of times, you will get a great turn out and appeal to viewers in other countries for having made the effort. If you think about the average webinar, the majority of the effort goes into promoting it and assembling the content. Thus, if you’re going to go to all the effort, why not run the live webinar a few times during the day?”

Another issue with following the midweek trend for webinars is that you face more competition for your audience’s attention. Other companies are also hosting webinars on those days. It’s worth experimenting with a Monday or Friday webinar to find out what your draw is like.

Again, testing different times and days of the week is your best approach. Every business is unique—as is your audience—and what works for one company may not for another.

Myth #2: Tuesday through Thursday mornings are the best times to send email

It’s been common knowledge throughout the industry that people tend to open their email in the mornings and that Mondays and Fridays are days to avoid sending email. But as customers are becoming more and more mobile, email opens occur at all hours, on all days, and on all devices.

According to Entrepreneur, for B2B emails aimed at entrepreneurs and workaholics, the weekend is the best time to send emails. Saturdays yield the highest open and click-through rates. For those who work regular hours and don’t check email outside of work, the most opens and clicks occur Tuesday through Thursday.

Even though the weekend was not the most popular time to send emails, those who opened were much more likely to engage with the emails they received, and click through or purchase.

Again, experiment with different sending times and days, and track results to see what works best. Perform an A/B test using only the day or time as the variable to provide some insight.

Myth #3: When it comes to content, more is always better

Though it feels like the general advice about content marketing is “create as much content as possible,” the truth is that it’s better to have targeted, relevant content than simply more of it. The Content Marketing Institute reported that although the majority (88 percent) of B2B marketers use content marketing as a strategy, the median time people spend on an article is 37 seconds. That means your 3,000-word article is skimmed for a few seconds and then dismissed.

The solution is to focus on content quality that will keep your readers engaged.  Understand your audience’s information needs and content consumption habits, and create content that fits those needs. That way, your content efforts won’t be wasted.

Myth #4: Engineers don’t make B2B purchasing decisions

Not true. The 2016 Industrial Buy Cycle survey conducted by IEEE GlobalSpec Media Solutions found that purchasing is a collaborative effort, with staff engineers and engineering managers having the majority of influence. Budget authority resides throughout the organization—not just with senior managers.

For marketers, this means you must communicate with the entire engineering team, including operations, corporate management, and purchasing. In addition to your overall marketing message, develop a strategy to communicate with each of these different personas, make a connection with them, and address their key concerns.

Myth #5: Social media results aren’t measurable

Like most things digital, social media is immensely measurable. Social media analytics and marketing automation platforms can surface meaningful numbers and benchmarks to guide your practice.

The key is to align your B2B objectives with your social metrics. Most industrial marketers use social media to increase brand awareness and distribute content. Shares, mentions, comments and likes can all provide brand awareness measurement. Clicks and download of content can demonstrate the effectiveness of content marketing. But if you’re expecting to measure new customers gained exclusively through social media outreach, you will be disappointed. Social media is only one of multiple tactics and touches that must work within an integrated plan designed to win new business.

That’s it for this edition of marketing myth busting. What other fallacies have you uncovered through your own data and analysis? Let us know!

Content Marketing E-Mail Marketing Social Media Webinars

How to Succeed with Limited Marketing Resources

neonbrand-258972.jpg

Marketers report that their biggest challenge is a lack of marketing resources—dollars, people and time. This is one of the key findings in the upcoming 2017 Industrial Marketing Trends survey conducted by IEEE GlobalSpec Media Solutions.

Not only are marketers struggling in the face of limited marketing resources, and with budgets that have remained mostly steady over the past few years, they are operating in an era of increasing marketing complexity. Technical professionals use more channels than ever to research information and aid their buying process, forcing marketers to allocate limited resources across an array of marketing channels and programs.

No marketer has an unlimited budget, or the time to do everything on their list. Yet many industrial marketers are still achieving their goals and objectives. How do they do it? Here are a number of tips to help you solve the marketing resource challenge.

Make Content Marketing More Efficient

Many marketers are increasing their content marketing spend, but make sure you spend smartly. Developing fresh content on a regular basis can drain resources quickly. Follow these tips to alleviate some of this stress:

  • Re-purpose content from one format to another. For example, a white paper can become an article as well as a series of social media posts, a webinar can become a video, and a support page on your website can become a how-to tutorial. In addition to having more content, your audience will be able to access content in their preferred formats, since preferences vary.
  • Conduct a content audit. You might find you have old content no longer used that can be easily updated. Or, you may decide to purge and stop updating content that no longer serves an appropriate purpose.
  • Curate third-party content. Provide links (and attribution) to content that others produce and will be of interest to your target audience. Curated content is often less salesy because it doesn’t come directly from your company.
  • Rather than always focusing on producing and distributing original content, try commenting via social media or in comments sections on third party content. You can still create brand visibility and focus on your company’s positioning and messaging while providing thoughtful, helpful responses.

Double-Dip On Your Marketing Programs

Most marketers use a combination of programs, some intended to generate engagement opportunities, others to increase brand awareness. Try choosing programs that can serve both masters. Tactics such as sponsored listings on product directories/online catalogs, webinars, e-newsletter advertising and display advertising can highlight your brand while including a call-to-action to create engagement opportunities with prospects.

Work Incrementally On Your Website

Marketers should continually invest in their websites. While a complete overhaul can be cost prohibitive, you may be able to make incremental changes to your website that still create impact. Focus on the home page or on specific landing pages associated with campaigns.  Consider outsourcing a searchable product catalog to a media partner with expertise. Add short video clips—interviews, presentation snippets, tutorials and more—which you can create on a limited budget using a smartphone.

Be Smart on Social Media

Social media, with its array of platforms, can eat up resources. Accounts must be regularly updated and monitored. Rather than spread yourself thin trying to keep up with multiple social media channels, choose one or two (LinkedIn and Facebook are most popular with technical professionals) and focus your efforts on those. If you post interesting information regularly, respond to comments, and comment on postings you follow, you will end up being more effective than you would by having a limited presence on multiple social media platforms.

Find a Trusted Media Partner

This an ideal time to find a trusted, expert media partner who can help alleviate your marketing resources challenges. The right partner can help you optimize your marketing mix, laser-target your audience of engineers and technical professionals and get the most out of your budget, while allowing you to free up some internal resources for other efforts.

Some media companies offer extensive solutions and partnering, including content marketing, co-sponsored white papers and webinars, targeted email marketing, and extensive reporting on program performance. Keep in mind that the right media partner is your essential ally, not only during strategic planning and budgeting, but while you are in the midst of executing and measuring campaign results.

 

 

Save

Content Marketing Industrial Marketing and Sales Marketing Strategy