2011 Marketing Trends Survey Reveals Social Media A Legitimate Player in Industrial Sector

According to the results of GlobalSpec’s annual Industrial Marketing Trends Survey, not only do 87% of companies anticipate an increase in sales this year, but the majority is planning on using social media to help them achieve their marketing goals in 2011. Download your own copy of the Survey results here.

The survey also reveals that as marketing spending increases, the top eight channels for increased marketing spend in 2011 are all online, and even more interesting, the top three channels are video, social media, and search engine optimization (SEO).

Specifically, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, video and blogs are all seeing increased usage in 2011 over 2010. LinkedIn is the most popular social media application, now used by 69% of companies. 64% of companies are increasing spending on video; and 47% of companies are spending more on online events.

And while these results are really not surprising, because as marketers we realize that the vast majority of our customers and prospects go online first when searching for information, the presence of social media as a top channel may be a little unexpected.

So what does this mean? That after a few recent years of cautious “wait and see”, social media is now being regarded as a legitimate tactic for increasing branding and awareness, promoting thought leadership and interacting with customers and prospects.

But what if your company is not in the majority, and has yet to implement social media? Well, now might be the time to start evaluating these tactics. Although make sure you understand the specific reasons and goals for your own social media strategy. For example, the top reasons industrial companies use social media are branding and lead generation, yet only 3% of companies report that social media is one of their top three sources for leads. So it’s safe to conclude, at least for now, that, increasing brand awareness is the goal most effectively achieved via social media.

If you are considering social media you ought to remember it should never be “instead of” other marketing tactics; it should always be “in addition to” other marketing efforts and integrated with your overall marketing strategy.

You don’t want to take budget, time and resources away from existing marketing efforts that are performing for you and put them toward social media. Although social media tools are free in terms of establishing accounts, there is a learning curve and they do require time and effort. For more information on how to develop your own social media strategy, read GlobalSpec’s white paper, “Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector“.

Clearly most industrial marketers are not only online, but now more than ever see the value in social media applications as a way to interact with customers and prospects, increase brand awareness, promote thought leadership, and so much more.

Is your company in the majority when it comes to using social media? What tactics have you found to be most effective? Facebook? Your company blog? Twitter? Share your own experiences, and suggestions here!

Industrial Marketing and Sales Market Research Marketing, General Social Media

5 New Year’s Resolutions Worth Sticking To.

As marketing mavens, of course we can think of  more than five resolutions to stick to, but let’s be realistic. Change is tough.

#1 Spend less time planning and more time reviewing. Often, we get so wrapped up in what we need to do that we forget to understand the results of what we’ve already done.

#2 Synergize to optimize. Go out to lunch with your sales team on a regular basis. Stay fresh with what’s really being said out there.

#3 Make some mistakes. Get your hands dirty with testing new ideas. 

#4 Avoid repeating them. This will take some true reflection, but growth is the point.

#5 Wear the right shoes. Make sure that they look an awful lot like the pair your prospects and clients are wearing this year.

Share your resolutions with us. We need to go shoe shopping…..

Industrial Marketing and Sales Marketing, General

Becoming a Thought Leader: What’s in it for You?

Positioning your company as a thought leader establishes credibility and positions you as a trusted advisor and partner – benefits beyond what a marketing or advertising program can deliver on its own. And while thought leadership is not a strategic objective on its own, it can certainly support other objectives such as lead generation, growth of market share, increase of share price—or all of these.

But just what does becoming a thought leader mean? It’s more than just a buzzword – thought leadership means having a reputation in the market as a company with unique, innovative, and important ideas about your industry, the forces shaping it, the challenges confronting it, and the future awaiting it.

 To get started, you’ll need to develop a unique point of view for your company – one that will be new, relevant, valid, and practical. A point of view that meets these criteria and that brings something new to the discussion will motivate people to follow you and take actions that you recommend.

If you’d like to learn more about how to develop a successful strategy for becoming a thought leader in your market space, download “How to Become an Industry Leader in the Online Era,” a complimentary white paper from GlobalSpec. This  paper provides insight into establishing a thought leadership position, and answers the following questions:

  • What exactly does it mean to be a thought leader?
  • How does your company gain – and sustain – a thought leadership position?
  • What tactics will help you become a thought leader in the online era?

You’ll also get a checklist of seven questions to help you determine your company’s thought leadership point of view. Download your complimentary copy now.

Have you already taken steps to becoming a thought leader? How did you accomplish this? What are some of the benefits you’ve experienced as a result? Share your story with us!

Marketing, General

Survey Results Show Preparation For Growth

The 2010 GlobalSpec Industrial Indicators Survey provided some hopeful data about the industrial sector. 67 percent of industrial professionals stated that their company revenue is above or on target for 2010. The worst of the economic downturn appears to be over, with many companies now focusing on growth-oriented initiatives they were unable to support last year. For example:

  • 18 percent of industrial companies have increased headcount, compared to only five percent a year ago.
  • Almost twice as many companies have increased spending (13 percent) this year compared to a year ago (7 percent).
  • 15 percent of companies are increasing research & development spending, a 50 percent increase over last year.

What areas of business are beneficiaries of this growth-oriented spending? 47 percent of companies are focused on improving production efficiencies, 42 percent on quality and 39 percent on new product development.

In order to support the development of new products and improvement of production processes and quality control, companies will need to spend on components, parts and services in the second half of 2010. 71 percent of survey respondents stated that the component and services spending they directly purchase or influence will increase or remain the same in the second half of 2010 compared to the first half, indicating stable or increasing budgets.

The takeaway for suppliers and manufacturers is to continue to market or ramp up efforts so that their company, products and services can be found by customers and prospects. Be sure to include online marketing as an integral part of your marketing mix, as research has shown that over 90 percent of engineers use the Internet to locate suppliers, components and products.

Industrial Marketing and Sales Market Research Marketing, General

Five Reasons to Advertise in e-Newsletters

Industrial marketers looking to stretch every dollar in their marketing budget and invest in effective and measurable marketing programs should add e-newsletter sponsorships to their marketing mix. E-newsletter advertisements are a perfect complement to your e-mail marketing efforts.

Here are five reasons why e-newsletters are a smart marketing choice.

E-Mail Marketing Industrial Marketing and Sales Marketing, General