As we go deeper into Q4 with the holidays right around the corner, most industrial companies start to think about their industrial marketing plan for the next year. As an industrial marketing consultant, I’m often asked by clients the best way to approach this important planning task.
My preferred way is what I call the 3-phase industrial marketing plan approach. I refer to them as phases instead of steps because each phase consists of several smaller steps.
Three phases of an industrial marketing plan
- Kick-off discussion
- Internal discovery
- Buy-in and budget approval
- Strategy development
- Implementation road map
Read my article, “Digital Marketing for Manufacturers: Making a Business Case” and download the accompanying webinar recording for more in-depth information on Phase I of an industrial marketing plan. In the webinar, I also talk about why the traditional method of adding more sales people to increase sales that manufacturers and distributors have relied on in the past is no longer effective.
- Website assessment
- Review website content and calls to action
- Think/rethink the purpose of the site
- Keyword research
- Competitive analysis
- SEO, PPC and SEM strategy
Diving right into redesigning your industrial website probably won’t produce the results you want. A redesign that is nothing more than a cosmetic facelift is not going to be any more effective than your current site in getting found in search engines for keyword phrases that your target audience is using and converting those visitors into qualified sales leads. I suggest that you read some of my posts categorized under Industrial Websites and Website Design & Development.
- Content marketing strategy
- Content audit
- Content creation and repurposing
- Content distribution and promotion via social media and other channels
- Measurement, tracking and refinement
Phase III is what I refer to as the “growth phase.” This is where all the hard work from Phase I and Phase II starts to bear fruit. It is easy to get excited about the initial successes from an increase in traffic and number of downloads but all that will mean nothing if your content marketing doesn’t lead to conversions. Industrial companies are no different from other B2B companies when it comes to conversions. They want more qualified RFQs that lead to sales. The sooner the better.
Trying to justify your efforts alone won’t get you too far; you have to show tangible results measured in dollars. You’ll find plenty of good information about content marketing for manufacturers and industrial companies right here.
There you have it, the short version of my 3-phase industrial marketing plan. What’s yours?