2015 Marketing Planning Part 1: Generating Results in Today’s Digital Environment

Now is the time to begin formulating your marketing strategy and developing plans for 2015. In Part 1 of this two-part series, we’ll look at how you must account for the dramatically changing marketing landscape due to the rise of digital media.

In the early days of digital, industrial companies could get by simply with a company website. This is no longer the case. Today there is an influx of new and relevant digital channels. Technical professionals now have more digital tools and sources of information to do their jobs better and more efficiently. Consider this new reality brought about by the “digital disruption:”

  • Technical professionals are exposed to more companies than ever before—which means more competition for you—because suppliers of every size are building a strong digital presence, giving potential customers more choices in terms of who they do business with.
  • Technical professionals have more personalized preferences and more control in how they choose to interact with suppliers, and often don’t engage with a supplier until later in their buy cycle because they can do so much of their research and evaluation online.
business solution puzzle 2

The takeaway for marketers is that it’s no longer enough to use a limited suite of digital channels to connect with customers and prospects. To be successful today, you need a broad and deep online presence. Expanding your media program to multiple channels will get your name and brand front and center across all stages of the buy cycle, which you need to build awareness and stay competitive. This phenomenon—that you can achieve higher ROI allocating your resources across multiple channels than you can by relying on a single method—is called the Cross Media Multiplier. In essence, it means the whole is great than the sum of its parts.

Of course, you likely don’t have a bottomless budget that will allow you to take advantage of all the digital channels available to you—from online events, webinars and catalogs to newsletters, custom emails, social media, your own website and more. The question is how to allocate your marketing resources in 2015 to optimize results and achieve your marketing goals. Here are three tips to help in your planning:

1. Use the channels your customers use.
Search engines, online catalogs and supplier websites are the three big channels that technical professionals use when researching a work-related purchase. They belong in your mix. But technical professionals also use a variety of other digital channels to keep up with the latest technologies, product news and companies—and these channels and the information technical professionals get from them all influence their buying decisions. E-newsletters, industry websites, online events and webinars are all important channels for your customers and should be considered as part of your marketing suite. Be sure to allocate some of your budget to these channels.

2. Include both creative and directional advertising in your marketing portfolio.
Creative advertising builds awareness for your brand in the marketplace. Creative advertising occurs near the top of the sales funnel and helps your target audience discover who you are, what you have to offer, and how you can provide value. Examples might be an e-newsletter sponsorship, banner ad, online event or social media. Directional advertising is more mid- to end-funnel focused and can lure in technical professionals when they are looking for a specific product or component and need to find the right supplier. Examples are supplier directories, online catalogs and optimizing your website content for search. You need both types of advertising to be 1) recognized by your potential customers, and 2) chosen when the time comes to buy.

3. Work with experts.
Your media partners, including IHS Engineering360, have a wealth of knowledge about the digital media landscape and how it functions. They can offer you guidance in matching your marketing goals and budget with the right mix of digital channels to achieve the results you need. Reach out early to your media partners and get your plans in place for 2015 so you can begin the next year with momentum.

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How do you generate results in the age of digital? What advice would you give to your peers in industrial marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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What Your Digital Media Strategy May Be Missing

Almost every industrial company engages in digital marketing now. But if all you have are a website and newsletter, you’re missing out on something important — visibility and a better opportunity to connect with customers and prospects.

In this era of digital media teeming with innovation, industrial professionals and the companies that market and sell industrial products and services are faced with an influx of digital channels. From the introduction of general search engines, to an increase in specialized search, to the rise of social media, industrial professionals have more digital tools and sources of information than ever to do their jobs better and more efficiently. They also gain exposure to more companies to buy from. The result is that your customers have more choices, more individualized preferences, and more power than ever before.

A recent white paper from IHS GlobalSpec, “Marketers Require Multichannel Solutions to Achieve the Cross-Media Multiplier Effect,” documents the reasons why industrial marketers are rapidly adopting a multichannel digital marketing strategy and provides the benefits of diversifying your marketing spend across multiple digital media channels.

There are two primary reasons why industrial marketers are adopting a multichannel approach:

1. Customers have many digital tools at their disposal, and as a marketer you must engage them in ways that match their varied searching and sourcing preferences.

2. As an increasing number of companies allocate more of their marketing dollars to digital media, you must fend off increased competition online.

The evidence is mounting that multichannel marketing is producing the desired results for marketers in terms of improved campaign performance and a higher return on marketing investment. This phenomenon is known as the “cross-media multiplier effect.” It’s a classic case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

Marketers are getting savvy
Marketers are demonstrating their savvy in regards to multichannel marketing. Many are abandoning single campaigns and instead adopting broader campaign strategies that integrate multiple digital channels and produce the cross-media multiplier effect.

But that doesn’t mean you can simply spread your budget across all the online channels available to you and expect to be successful. Marketers must allocate their budgets wisely. Certainly you need to invest in your company website. Beyond that, you must evaluate digital media to determine those channels that will help you most efficiently and effectively connect with customers and prospects.

The channels that are right for you are the channels that your customers use—and the channels your prospects use in new markets you want to penetrate. For engineers and other industrial professionals, the top channels they use to research a work-related purchase are general search engines, online catalogs, and supplier websites. But they also use many other digital channels to keep up with the latest technologies, product news, companies and brands. E-newsletters, social media, industry websites and directories, and online events are all important information sources for your customers, and all exert influence over their buying decisions.

Follow these two recommendations
1. With many channels to choose from, it’s not always easy to know which ones are best given your target audience. Reach out to experts such as your digital media partners for recommendations on multichannel, integrated solutions that can help you achieve your marketing goals.

2. Download your complimentary copy of, “Marketers Require Multichannel Solutions to Achieve the Cross-Media Multiplier Effect” and share it with others on your marketing team. It offers you a better understanding of the multichannel mandate.

If this article was helpful to you, please spread the word using the share buttons below.

Have you formulated a multichannel digital media strategy to reach industrial professionals? What tips and ideas would you pass along to your peers in industrial marketing? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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