What is the real purpose of industrial marketing? One can come up with a list of at least half a dozen or more excellent goals. IMO, the single most important function is that it must help drive sales and grow revenues.
I agree the journey is not straightforward from point A to point to B, especially in industrial sales where the sales cycles are typically 4 to 12 months long and there are several decision makers involved, some of whom may never interact with your marketing content.
Within manufacturing and industrial companies, I am seeing some real issues where industrial marketing is hampered and as a result, there is a negative impact on sales and revenues. These problems go beyond the typical marketing cutbacks in a difficult economy.
- Redesigning industrial websites for purely cosmetic reasons. The developer of the new site, be it in-house or an outside company, doesn’t take the time to understand how the site fits within the company’s sales process. The sales team is rarely asked for their input. All the developer hears is, “We need more leads.” In this scenario, I can guarantee you that the redesigned site won’t generate leads that turn into real sales opportunities.
- Copying and pasting old content and adding slick buttons for Calls to Action in an effort to increase conversions. Ask yourself this; if the old content didn’t convert, how can you expect better results with just eye candy? Effective industrial content marketing requires time, effort and money to produce real results. Let me direct you to some of my earlier posts to help you understand the difference.
- Branding and what it means to industrial companies. I see too many industrial companies ignore the importance of branding for lead generation and sales. Branding must go deeper than clever ad campaigns and logo design. It is not about what you say your company is, it is what your customers perceive you to be. See my post, “Industrial Content Marketing’s Impact on Customer Experience.”
- Drowning in analytics and data. Measuring data points such as traffic, page views and downloads is easy. The difficult part is being able to take proactive business decisions based on these reports. Throwing more technology at the problem won’t help if you don’t have the right processes in place. The key is to get the right information to your sales team at the right time so they can have conversations that are more productive and convert them into more wins. Analytics and tracking reports cannot be just a marketing exercise to prove its value.
Those are my observations from working with manufacturers and industrial companies. How do you see industrial marketing contributing to sales and revenues in your company?