How can you market better in 2015? IHS Engineering360 Media Solutions (formerly known as IHS GlobalSpec) conducted its annual Trends in Industrial Marketing survey of marketing and sales professionals in the industrial sector to find out. The survey revealed that marketers should expand their online, measurement and content marketing tactics in 2015 in several ways.
Deepen Online Efforts
With 40 percent of survey respondents revealing they feel neutral about their company’s online marketing efforts, and another 25 percent saying they are dissatisfied, it’s clear there’s room for improvement in this area in 2015.
As the audience of industrial companies continues to use a variety of digital platforms to search for information, products and suppliers, marketers need to become better aligned with this behavior to both increase satisfaction and get these professionals the information they want, when they want it.
Yet less than half (46 percent) of industrial companies’ marketing budgets are currently spent online. Company websites command a quarter of these online resources—more than twice the spending of any other channel. Although these websites are likely to remain important, a company’s digital mix should be optimized, with a portion of the budget shifted to other online channels such as e-newsletters, webinars and banner advertisements on industry websites.
Ironically, websites do produce a lot of measurable data, but much of it does not convert to a true ROI. This means that marketers should help companies determine ROI for all digital tactics (such as search, email, SEO, banner ads, social media, video, webinars, etc.). If marketers are able to help industrial companies understand the ROI of digital investments, it would encourage additional funding for these efforts moving forward.
Measuring the direct link between marketing and a sale is always a challenge, but, surprisingly, many companies say they are already doing this. Sixty-four percent of respondents say they are currently able to measure the success of their marketing initiatives by sales attributed to their marketing campaigns.
Create Content Marketing
Considering the buzz that content marketing enjoyed in 2014, it’s surprising how immature efforts are in many organizations. Forty-four percent of industrial companies are just getting started with content marketing, and only 29 percent have a content marketing strategy in place.
Many put content marketing at the top of the sales funnel because it is critically important for building brand awareness. If a company is top of mind in the early stages of the buy cycle, it becomes a serious contender when a prospect is ready to make a purchase. Even if they are not already doing it, industrial marketers understand that content marketing is important. Sixty-one percent are already using it as a marketing tactic, and 54 percent are planning to increase their spending on content creation.
However, only 9 percent of industrial marketers can demonstrate how content marketing contributes to sales. Moreover, only 15 percent align their content with the different phases of their customers’ buy cycle. This number presents plenty of opportunity for marketers to help industrial companies improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their content marketing efforts.
Optimize Your Mix
As was evidenced in this study, by becoming better aligned with the behavior of technical professionals through online measurement and content efforts, industrial companies can realize many opportunities for sales and marketing success in 2015.
Carolyn Ladd – Vice President of Account Planning, gyro Cincinnati
As an account planner, Carolyn is responsible conducting research projects, developing strategic insights, facilitating ideation sessions and workshops related to process improvement, new product development, campaign strategy, defining analytics and metrics for clients, and working with agency teams to develop campaign strategies and tactics that resonate with customers.
Carolyn’s first foray in business was with Thoughtware Inc., a pioneer in interactive learning and integrated support systems. The job at Thoughtware led Carolyn to realize that she thrives as a strategic planner and consultant. Her strong sense of curiosity, superb listening skills, solid facilitation acumen and the innate ability to distill complex ideas into simple messages were crucial to her role. As she says, “I’m always at my best when working with the unknown. I enjoy taking all the pieces of the puzzle and putting it together.”
Carolyn has been working with the world’s top brands for over 20 years. She has conducted complex research that drives brand messaging and tactical planning. She has developed segmentation programs for B-to-B companies that rely on brokers, deals and/or distributors to sell their products and solutions. Carolyn is passionate about leveraging digital strategy and tactics to drive results. At gyro, she is one of the leaders in digital marketing communications.