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

Don’t Make These Three Marketing Mistakes

mistake-876597_1920

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.

Marketing, General

Two of the Best Ways to Measure Lead Quality

It’s not enough for industrial marketers to generate leads for their sales team—their ultimate goal is customer acquisition, as marketers themselves report year after year in the IEEE GlobalSpec Industrial Marketing Trends survey.

Marketers must provide sales not just with leads, but high-quality, motivated leads that have a high probability of turning into customers. The remainder of the leads marketing can work in lead nurturing programs. But how do you measure the quality of leads so that you know which ones are sales ready, which are targets for nurturing, or which leads are just downright cold?

Use these two inputs to measure—and improve—lead quality.

Input #1: Customer Profiles

Customer profiles—also called buyer personas—are composite representations of the types of customers you want to find.

Well-crafted customer profiles are the cornerstone of your marketing efforts. They are used to develop targeted campaigns and content, craft relevant and compelling messaging, help unite sales, marketing and service teams by sharing a greater understanding of customers, and even help guide product development efforts.

Source material for customer profiles

You need raw material to build and shape customer profiles. Where do you find it? Usually from a combination of the following sources:

  • The attributes of the best customers in your database. Look at customer location, industry, job title, company size, and other available details.
  • Gather anecdotal experience from your sales team or other institutional knowledge regarding the goals and needs of your customers.
  • Use industry research to better understand customers; for example, the IEEE GlobalSpec research white paper “Pulse of the Engineer” reports on the values, needs and challenges of today’s engineers.

When you generate new contacts that possess similar attributes to your customer profiles, they are more likely to be high-quality leads.

Input #2: Lead Activity

To really solidify a lead’s quality, look to their lead activity.  When a prospect engages with your marketing content—that is considered a lead activity. When they register for a webinar, email or call you—that is also lead activity. The more activities a contact has, the more interested they are likely to be in your product or company. You can increase lead activity by providing compelling content across multiple channels to your target audience.

With each prospect landing somewhere on the scale of your ideal customer profile and also demonstrating a degree of measurable lead activity, you can assign leads a measure of quality.

  • Close matches to your ideal customer profile who are actively engaged with your content are likely sales-ready leads.
  • Leads that are active but not great fits with your customer profile will need further qualification from marketing before passing on to sales.
  • Leads that match well to your customer profile but have shown little activity are good candidates for lead nurturing programs where you can offer additional content and track their digital behavior.
  • Leads that don’t fit your customer profile and are not active are cold leads. Don’t waste resources on them unless they raise their hand again and demonstrate further interest.

 

Learn more about lead nurturing in our 2018 Marketing Planning Toolkit, available here.

 

 

 

 

 

Lead Management

Emerging Technologies Enable Relevancy and Engagement

Don Lesem, IEEE GlobalSpec’s Vice President and Chief Design Offer, recently contributed to eMarketers latest report “Email Marketing Benchmarks 2017: Metrics Steady as Data Creates Better Context and Relevance.”

You can view the entire report here.

emarketer2

Other personalization tactics used by US marketing executives, according to an April 2017 survey from OneSpot and The Relevancy Group, include dynamic content (cited by 65% of respondents), personalized email based on real-time data (e.g., location) and personalized email content based on machine learning (60% and 58%, respectively).

Clients of IEEE GlobalSpec are using propensity models to craft more relevant audience segments, and seeing 30% better open and click rates. “We used data analytics and modeling technology to determine the propensity of subscribers to interact with video content,” said Don Lesem, vice president and chief design officer at the company. “Then we built the list based upon which audience members would be more likely to engage based on past behavior. Because of the technology, we know that if we send these users a certain type of content, they’re going to participate.”

You can learn more about data personalization by downloading the entire report here.

E-Mail Marketing

List Health Practices to Maintain an Engaged Audience

IEEE GlobalSpec’s own Linda Uslaner, Director of Product Management, was interviewed for eMarketers latest report “Email Marketing Benchmarks 2017: Metrics Steady as Data Creates Better Context and Relevance.”

You can view the entire report here.

emarketer

Sustaining and growing subscriber lists is another aspect of email marketing that’s also improved. A July 2016 poll from software services firm Clutch found that roughly six in 10 US email marketers used an opt-in form on their website, social media and online purchases to get new email addresses for their lists. About half as many relied on renting and paying for lists.

List health can decline in two ways, according to [Kyle] Henderick [Yes Lifecycle Marketing Senior Director, Client Services] . First, email marketers will always have users that unsubscribe on their own, but it is also important to consider passive opt-outs, in which recipients become unengaged over time by either deleting emails or just letting them sit in the inbox, unread.

“We’ve increased the frequency of doing list pruning for our clients from once a year to twice a year,” said Linda Uslaner, director of product management at engineering and industrial platform IEEE GlobalSpec. “That’s really helping drive performance and improve metrics across the board. If somebody’s not responsive and they’re really not engaging with the content, they should be removed.”

You can learn more about list hygiene by downloading the entire report from eMarketer here.

Charts E-Mail Marketing Market Research

5 Lead Nurturing Staples to Drive Sales

daniel-hjalmarsson-269425

Studies have shown that 70 percent of new business can come from long term leads.

To have a high rate of success at converting long term leads, companies must be able to optimize these five important lead nurturing processes.

1. Align marketing and sales teams

Lead nurturing requires buy-in from both your sales and marketing teams. You must come to agreement on your lead nurturing processes, including:

  • What type of leads are sales-ready and what type belong in marketing’s lead nurturing programs?
  • Who is responsible for responding to and routing leads? This can be an individual or a cross-functional team.
  • Who is responsible for updating and tracking leads through the marketing and sales process?
  • What tools and/or software will be used to manage leads?

2. Segment and score leads

Segmenting and scoring leads allows you to provide prospects with relevant information that will help them through their buy cycle.

  • Develop a lead scoring system based on prospect demographics, industry, buying time frame, product interest, digital behavior or other attributes. The relevant attributes are different for every company, so choose what works for you.
  • Apply weights to different lead attributes to come up with a lead score.
  • Determine what to do with a lead based on their score. Example: low-scoring leads stay with marketing while higher-scoring leads are ready for the sales team.
  • Your prospect’s digital behavior should count toward their lead score. Example: if they are actively downloading content or otherwise engaging with your company, their score goes up.

3. Execute disciplined campaigns

Long term leads require long term attention to ensure your company stays top of mind.

  • Develop measurable goals for your lead nurturing campaigns. This could be number of qualified leads passed to sales, new business closed, duration of sales cycle, or other objectives.
  • For each segment of leads, plan a campaign that offers your prospects value, as opposed to sales pitches. Start by sending educational content such as white papers, webinars, articles and videos. Move on to demos, product overviews, and technical specs. Bring them closer to a buying decision with ROI calculators, pricing quotes and special offers.
  • Develop a schedule for when and how often you reach out to prospects. Define the entire campaign in advance, so you will know how to phase your content and messaging.
  • Establish response rules for your campaign. Example: if a prospect downloads a white paper and attends a webinar, their score goes up, or they get a follow-up call, or they are considered sales-ready. Or if a prospect watches a certain video, you send them a topic-specific article. It’s up to you and your sales team to define the rules of the campaign.

4. Measure and improve

When you establish goals, create offers, and define campaign rules, you can track what does and doesn’t work in a lead nurturing program.

  • Eliminate content that doesn’t perform well.
  • Leverage successful content by creating similar offers and re-purposing valuable content into other formats, such as a white paper to a webinar, or an infographic to a video.
  • Follow-up with those responsible for tracking leads throughout the campaign to make sure none have fallen through the cracks. Fix any processes that are flawed.

5. Use marketing automation

While it’s possible to develop and execute a lead nurturing program using only spreadsheets or manual processes, marketing automation is becoming a common tool and an investment in a system might make economic sense.

  • Marketing automation can track your prospect’s digital behavior across websites, social media, blogs and more, helping you improve segmentation, scoring and response.
  • Use marketing automation to score leads, create landing pages, track prospect actions, trigger automatic emails and report on the effectiveness of your campaigns.
  • Marketing automation vastly improves your ability to report on the effectiveness of various content, can produce analytics and sophisticated reports, and much more.

The IEEE GlobalSpec Tool Kit “The Industrial Marketer’s Guide to Lead Nurturing” has other recommended best practices along with tips for following up on inquiries and creating successful lead nurturing campaigns. Click here to download your complimentary copy.

 

 

 

Lead Management Marketing Strategy

Four Guidelines for More Effective Marketing Measurement

coins-1523383_1920

More than ever, executives are demanding accountability for marketing expenditures.

The need to show return on marketing investment (ROMI) often leaves marketers dwelling on questions such as: How much did this email campaign contribute to the bottom line? How much revenue did that banner ad produce? However, these might not be the best questions to be asking.

It’s highly unlikely that any single campaign or tactic can be correlated on a one-to-one basis with a sale, especially in industries with long and complex buy cycles, and in an environment where your customers use a wide variety of digital tools and information resources to research a potential purchase.

As you begin planning for next year, you might be tempted to drop a marketing program that doesn’t have sales directly associated with it. This may be a mistake, and may lead to abandoning programs that are making real contributions to your overall marketing effectiveness.

Here are four guidelines to help you improve your marketing measurement and ensure that your integrated, multichannel marketing strategy is delivering a positive ROMI. For a more comprehensive analysis of marketing measurement, please download a complimentary copy of the 2018 Marketing Planning Kit.

1. Measure Engagement at Individual Touchpoints

Sixty-two percent of technical professionals wait until at least the Comparison & Evaluation stage of the buy cycle to make contact with a vendor (Digital Media Use in the Industrial Sector). They may have already downloaded a white paper, clicked on a newsletter ad, watched a video, explored your online catalog—and finally decided to reach out. Each of these marketing touchpoints exists as parts of an entire ecosystem of campaigns and they all contributed to this engagement opportunity. Since it’s difficult to match a specific campaign to a sale, try measuring activity and engagement at each touchpoint: clicks, downloads, forms completed, etc.

2. Measure Awareness that Leads to Later Sales Opportunities

Multiple touchpoints—especially early in the buy cycle when prospects are assessing their needs—can help your company establish credibility and be considered when it comes time for engineers to make contact with vendors.

Maintain a broad and consistent presence on the channels that your customers use to help you get noticed early in the buy cycle. You can measure brand awareness by tracking metrics such as impressions, page views, social media shares and mentions.

3. Measure Two Types of Leads

There are two types of marketing leads that can turn into customers: the marketing qualified lead and the marketing influenced lead.

The marketing qualified lead is a lead that marketing has generated through one of its campaigns and passed on to the sales team after qualifying it. Qualified leads are gems. You’ve generated interest from a potential client, and routed that prospect through your lead qualification process. Your sales team wants qualified leads that require less effort and are more likely to convert into customers.

The marketing influenced lead is sometimes overlooked because this lead hasn’t gone through the qualification process and been handed off to sales. It’s less visible than the marketing qualified lead.

However, the marketing influenced lead is any person who engaged with your marketing content before becoming a customer. If these future customers haven’t filled out a form (such as a registration), you may not even know about them yet—but they know about you, and they are being influenced by your marketing content. When they eventually make a buying decision and become a customer, your marketing efforts helped define their path and contribute to their decision, and marketing should get credit for this marketing influenced lead.

4. Don’t Measure Only the “Last Click”

The “last click” attributes a sale to the last marketing-related touch point a customer has before making a buying decision. Last click attribution is a mistake because we know the buy cycle includes many campaign touches that cumulatively add up to help achieve a sale. Today’s path through the buy cycle crosses multiple devices, platforms, sites, and user needs and behaviors. Last click ignores the many supporting tactics that help drive a purchasing decision.

Find out more about marketing measurement, plus gain access to tools and recommendations to build a stellar marketing plan, in the just-published 2018 Marketing Planning Kit. Download your complimentary copy today.

 

 

Industrial Marketing and Sales Marketing Measurement Marketing ROI

The Two Types of Marketing Essential to Your Success

stijn-swinnen-145895

Most industrial marketers are familiar with the terms push and pull marketing. Others use the phrases outbound and inbound marketing, or creative and directional. Whatever their names, these two types of marketing are essential to your success.

Though they are different, creative and directional advertising must work together to form an integrated marketing strategy. As you begin your initial marketing planning for 2018, keep these two approaches in mind.

Push, Outbound, Creative

These are the classic marketing tactics, where you push your message out to create brand awareness or raise a need in your audience.

  • Examples: Direct mail, email blasts, online ads, mobile text marketing, event marketing, telephone calls
  • Benefits: The marketer controls the timing, channel, content and frequency of outbound promotions. Tactics help build brand visibility in the market and awareness among your audience.
  • Challenges: Because push marketing is disruptive, many of those you reach will have no interest in your message at the time when it arrives. Also, while the marketer is in control of the campaign, the customer decides whether or not to pay attention to your marketing efforts.
  • Best practices: Segment your audience as much as possible by advertising on industry-specific sites or emailing only to a target audience.

Pull, Inbound, Directional

Although this type of marketing has been around for years (i.e., a person with a recognized need used to turn to the yellow pages), the rise of the internet and the digital age has led to the dramatic growth in pull marketing.

Directional advertising is placing your business in front of people who are actually looking for your product or service. Your audience has a recognized need and is searching for a solution. Your goal is to make sure they find you.

  • Examples: Supplier websites, presence on industry websites, search engine optimization/paid keyword search, social media recommendations, public relations/article placement
  • Benefits: Ability to connect with your target audience when they are motivated and searching, particularly early in their buy cycle before they make contact with a vendor. Typically, lower cost per opportunity generated
  • Challenges: Requires optimal allocation of resources across the variety of channels that your customers use today to access information and search for products, services and suppliers
  • Best use: Focus on maintaining an effective company website as well as building a broad and visible presence on industry sites that your customers use on a regular basis

Putting Creative and Directional Together

You need both creative and directional tactics to execute an effective marketing program. By implementing both strategies, you will build awareness among the potential customers you want to reach, and be highly visible to them when they are researching or making a purchasing decision.

Push and pull tactics work hand-in-hand for greater efficiency and effectiveness. For example, a web page optimized for specific search terms (pull) that you also drive prospects to using email blasts or banner advertising (push).

Another example is a supplier hub on Engineering360.com where engineers can find you when searching for solutions like those you offer (pull), and where you can also drive traffic to your hub or products through display ads on the site or by advertising in a targeted e-newsletter.

According to the upcoming Trends in Industrial Marketing research report, 69 percent of industrial marketers use both push and pull marketing tactics, but say they could be diversifying their mix more. How do you find the right mix? You can get more tips about creative and directional advertising, plus tools and recommendations to build a stellar marketing plan, in the just-published 2018 Marketing Planning Kit. Download your complimentary copy today.

Marketing, General Multichannel Marketing

How Many Marketing Channels Are You Using? Why the Cross Media Multiplier Can Work For You

rawpixel-com-252130

By this time of the year, you should have a good idea of how your 2017 marketing plan is performing. You may even be looking ahead to 2018.

The recently updated Marketing Planning Kit is designed to help you assess your current marketing mix with an eye toward creating an even stronger marketing plan for next year. Let’s take a look at why the channels you’re using matters.

Many digital channels are available to marketers and engineers.

Technical professionals have more digital tools and information sources than ever before to do their jobs better and more efficiently. When customers have many tools at their disposal, you need to broaden and deepen your presence to engage them in ways that match their searching and sourcing preferences.

With your customers being exposed to more companies and having many options when ready to buy, you might discover competitors you never knew existed.

Only by diversifying your marketing spend across multiple channels can you generate the results you need, including brand visibility as well as contact quantity and quality. Expanding your media program to multiple channels will put your company and products front and center during the early stages of the buying cycle, when prospects are seeking suppliers and before they are ready to make contact.

Simply stated, you will earn higher ROI investing in well-designed cross media campaigns than by relying solely on any single media channel. This is known as the Cross Media Multiplier.

Marketers are expanding the number of channels they use.

Analyst firm Outsell anticipates the number of tools in the marketing stack to increase between the years 2016 and 2018. In 2016, 58 percent of companies used between 1-5 marketing channels and 18 percent used between 6-10. By 2018, 45 percent will use 1-5 marketing channels and 23 percent will use 6-10.

According to the “Industrial Marketing Trends Survey” conducted by IEEE GlobalSpec Media Solutions, 69%  percent of industrial marketers use both push/outbound marketing channels (email marketing, e-newsletter advertising, et al.) and pull/inbound marketing channels (company website, SEO, catalog listings, et al.)

Content marketing tactics and distribution channels are on the rise.

Most B2B marketers are making extensive use of content marketing to demonstrate thought leadership, increase brand awareness, educate potential customers, and generate quality engagement opportunities.

Research from Content Marketing Institute/MarketingProfs, “2017 Manufacturing Content Marketing,” found that:

  • B2B manufacturing marketers report that their organizations use an average of 8 content marketing tactics, including e-newsletters, videos, white papers, and social media.
  • On average, manufacturing marketers use four paid advertising methods to promote/distribute content.

For your 2018 marketing plan, choose a number of key channels you know work for you, and also experiment with several newer opportunities.

When researching a work-related purchase, the top three channels for technical professionals are search engines, online catalogs, and supplier websites.

In reality, your audience uses many other digital channels to keep up with the latest technologies, product news, companies and brands—all of which influence buying decisions. E-newsletters, industry sites, social media, video sharing sites, webinars and email are all important industry information sources for your customers.

Include your media partners when evaluating marketing channels.

Planning an integrated, multichannel marketing program is no easy task, and you shouldn’t have to do it alone. Take time to consult with an experienced digital media partner that understands and has the attention of the industrial audience you need to reach. Discuss your marketing objectives and have them show you multichannel plan that will help achieve your goals and objectives.

IEEE GlobalSpec Media Solutions produced a Marketing Planning Kit to help you evaluate the effectiveness of your current marketing choices, calculate the value of existing marketing programs, understand today’s marketing landscape, and plan more effective strategies for 2018. Our intent is to help you define and achieve your marketing goals and objectives for the year ahead.

Download your complimentary copy of the Marketing Planning Kit and get a head start on your 2018 plan today.

Marketing, General