4 Reasons Your Industrial Marketing Simply Isn’t Performing
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- Categories: Industrial Marketing, Marketing Tips
Much like sales, marketing is an on-going non-stop effort. Both teams have the same ultimate goal – attracting and retaining customers to boost revenue. However, the similarity between those two teams ends there. There is a misconception the industrial industry that marketing and sales are the same. Many also erroneously believe that marketing your company, product, or service immediately opens the flood gates for new business.
Consider this: A salesperson contacts a company once, does not make a sale, and then simply moves on to another company. They continue to do that over and over again with different companies, making zero sales. Now, would you think that they would have their job for very long? No. They would be let go for lack of performance and simply not doing their job. The same goes for marketing. It is an ongoing process to warm prospects to your company and your offerings so that they think of you and contact you when they are ready to move forward.
When it comes to marketing, we hear these questions and comments all the time:
- How fast will I see results?
- Marketing is a waste of time and money!
- I just don’t see the value in marketing.
- Marketing simply doesn’t work.
- What kind of guarantee can you give me that the money I spend will give me a return on my investment?
A recent 2021 GlobalSpec study of engineers stated that “online content supports over 50% of the buyer’s journey.” Meaning engineers rely heavily upon online content for research during the buying process. The top four items they look for are datasheets, case studies, white papers, and technical blogs. They went on to say that “ninety-six percent of engineers watch videos weekly for work” and “eighty-percent of engineers find value from virtual events and webinars.” Weekly. Meaning they aren’t looking for your content once – they actively consume your content as you put it out, in a variety of formats.
The average industrial customer can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years to place an order with an industrial manufacturer (of course that time-frame depends on a lot of factors such as the product or service in question, the immediacy of the need, and more). Even the best marketing campaign in the world for engineered products usually still needs to go through the normal sales cycle in order to get the customer to actually spend money with you.
Marketing your company or product correctly leads the customer to your door where your sales team steps in. Typically, 60% to 70% of the buying decision has been made, through online research, before you are ever contacted by a customer. This means that you need to get your company in front of your prospective customer during this crucial time, and hold on to their attention, so that you will be considered when they are finally ready to purchase.
The divide between sales and marketing, as well as the view that marketing is a waste of time, is pretty standard in technical industries now-a-days but can seriously harm your customer relationships and overall company development and growth. If your marketing and sales are truly on the same page and you are still not seeing a good return on your investment, there are a variety of reasons why this could be true. Here are the top 4 reasons your industrial marketing may not be performing:
1.) You are not marketing yourself in the right places
Your customers, engineers, spend a lot of time researching online. One of the best ways to reach them is to make sure that your content is relevant to them and is easily accessible no matter how or where they want to see it. Your content needs to be on your website as well as shared across a variety of social channels, trade publications, online directories, and more. Your marketing needs to be where your customers are.
2.) You are in all of the right places but your message isn’t compelling
If you are already marketing yourself across all relevant industry publications, directories, your own company’s blog, social channels, and paid search engine ads and you are still not seeing a good return odds are your execution needs work. Some companies will also try only one channel, fail, and give up thinking “this won’t work for my company.” More often than not the problem is not with the selected channel but with the content of the marketing – meaning your message just isn’t compelling or resonating with your engineering customer. Too many industrial companies focus too much on themselves in their messaging – touting their greatness with little focus on the customer or how their company can help the customer.
As an industrial job shop, your primary objectives are to be the optimized solution provider for your customers. You are selling your ability to solve a specific problem for an engineer using your particular products, manufacturing methods, and expertise. The trick to getting your messaging right boils down to this – share your knowledge to help your customer do their job better or solve their problem. Yes, you can talk about yourself and your abilities a bit but the focus and majority of the messaging needs to be on the customer. When marketing yourself you need to clearly spell out how your company is their solution and in an eye-catching way.
3.) Your expectations are not realistic & you give up too quickly
Marketing is a slow and steady process – not a speedy race to the finish. As we have already stated at the beginning, your engineering customer will need at minimum 6 months before they may be ready to purchase from you. The long industrial sales cycle includes lengthy research to narrow down the manufacturing methods and processes, a full assessment to see which companies may have the right solution for the project, and then the final purchasing decision. When you begin a marketing campaign, you have to keep your longer industrial sales cycle in mind and adjust your expectations to match.
4.) You aren’t tracking, measuring, and analyzing the results correctly
Most companies lack true customer relationship management (CRM) tools to properly track, measure, and nature incoming qualified leads. Many still do not fully grasp the importance of properly installing and analyzing their company website’s analytic data. In addition to that, if the analytics are installed and tracking most companies simply don’t know what to do with the leads or don’t have time to get to them. It is incredibly important to have a process in place for lead acquisition, nurturing, and follow-up. Your CRM should be directly connected to your website or online catalog, utilize tracking, and automatically start the nurturing process with email marketing and sales follow-ups.
All industrial – all the time!
With over 30 years of experience, The Rico Group specializes in helping industrial manufacturers and job shops grow their business and diversify their customer base. We know how engineers think and what they are looking for. We know your processes, equipment, and materials. We also know that you have very little time to take away from your production and getting your customer’s orders delivered.
Interested to see what your current digital marketing efforts are really doing for your company?
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