Will Inbound Marketing “Obliterate” Industrial Marketing as Brian Halligan Suggests?

Inbound marketing (some call it content marketing) is dramatically changing industrial marketers’ go-to-market strategy. Brian Halligan, might be the guy that started it all.

inbound marketing a magnet that attracts customersA lifetime ago, in March 2012, Forbes published an article and interview with Brian Halligan, the CEO and co-founder of HubSpot, the leader in marketing automation software. HubSpot’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) helps the right-brain crowd manage all the content a company deploys on the web.  Once HubSpot’s snippet of code is installed on a web page its “all-in-one” dashboard quickly identifies content that works and content that does not work…then helps marketing personnel make adjustments to improve traffic to their web site and lead generation.

Imagine creating a display ad for an industrial trade journal. You buy the space, you insert the ad and find out the ad was a flop…no readership, no interest, no phone calls, no leads. For inbound marketing we call that “no-conversion”.

Now imagine creating 2 or 3 of the same ads with different graphics, different copy and different emphasis. You deploy the first ad, once again it flops.  Now you try the second ad and the “conversion rate” is significantly improved and the phone rings as a result of your adjustment…on the fly.

No more wondering which half of the marketing budget worked and which half did not.

That’s the power of inbound marketing, except the ads (i.e. content such e-books, blog posts, white papers, etc.) are in the digital space instead of traditional media. As Halligan says, “The Millennial generation has permanently changed the way they interact with companies and brands.”

And I do believe it will “obliterate” industrial marketing as we know it. Continue reading “Will Inbound Marketing “Obliterate” Industrial Marketing as Brian Halligan Suggests?”

The One, Absolute, Undeniable Skill Needed for the Industrial Marketer in the Digital Age

If industrial marketers are smart they would be wise to find someone in their company that has the VISION to compete in the digital age. So says Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen in their new book, The New Digital Age, Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business.

blogging equals more leadsI was watching the CBS Morning News this morning.  I was struck by the opening “teasers”.  Eric Schmidt, the Executive Chairman of Google and Jared Cohen, the Director of Google Ideas were due up to talk about their new book, The New Digital Age, Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business.

I had read an Executive Summary of the book (I download wirelessly to my Nexus 7 with “1-Click” from Amazon right from my computer screen in my office)  I don’t believe there is anything truly ground breaking in Schmidt’s and Cohen’s book, other than a unique prospective from two of the most influential technologists in the world. For any business owner, investor, citizen, it makes sense to at least read the “Look Inside” feature on Amazon. It’s free.

As most information I digest, I do it through the lens of my business and my industrial marketing friends.

Even I, at an age where time rushes past like road signs on I-94. (My Mother & Father warned me.) Even I, a pretty savvy technology guy, was struck up-side the head with the reality of the speed at which our society and industrial internet marketing is changing…primarily due to the web.

“As global connectivity continues its unprecedented advance, many old institutions and hierarchies (this means you Mr. Industrial Marketer) will have to adapt or risk becoming obsolete, irrelevant to modern society. The struggles we see today in many businesses, large and small, are examples of the dramatic shift for society that lies ahead”- from The New Digital Age, Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business, Continue reading “The One, Absolute, Undeniable Skill Needed for the Industrial Marketer in the Digital Age”

For Industrial Lead Generation, Stop Pitching Your Products!

Industrial marketing now requires that you pitch your solutions and answers and not just your products.

feet on the streetWe all know successful industrial companies not only have great products & service, they have great sales organizations. If an industrial supplier or B2B manufacturer wants to improve sales the first place to look was the sales organization. Overtime the very successful industrial organizations have sharpened and honed their sales incentives, process and tactics to the point of art form. I have been involved both on the inside and outside of several of these organizations and it truly is a marvel to see a well-oiled industrial sales organization running on all “eights”. (or all “fours” if you are in Europe or Asia)

Companies built on traditional sales tactics are at risk of losing market share to their more agile web-savvy, marketing-driven competitors. Continue reading “For Industrial Lead Generation, Stop Pitching Your Products!”

7 Content Marketing Lessons Manufacturers Learned in 2013

B2B Manufacturers have been slow to adapt content marketing for lead generation. We list 7 lessons industrial marketers have learned this past year and hints on what to do in 2014.

blogging equals more leadsWe have all heard it…content marketing for manufacturers is all the rage. Have B2B manufacturers adapted to this new channel to market?  According to a recent survey from GlobalSpec only about 50% of B2B industrial manufacturers are spending more on content this year.  From my experience in the field the smaller to mid-size B2B manufacturers are not even close to 50% adaption rate. (This is just my guess, but I would say less than 25% have started content marketing) To me, this makes no sense when 93% of B2B buyers use online search to source products and services. (per research from Marketo, a marketing automation company).

I have my own theories why adaption rates are slow. I expanded my thoughts in a recent blog titled, Is This the Invisible Skill Set Industrial Marketers are Missing?

But…for those of us that did EMBRACE content marketing for manufacturing, what did we learn in 2013? As a practicing industrial marketer and content marketer this is a list of the top 7 things I learned about manufacturers who adapted content marketing this past year. Continue reading “7 Content Marketing Lessons Manufacturers Learned in 2013”

Is This the Invisible Skill Set Industrial Marketers are Missing?

There is a logical reason why industrial marketers are not embracing content marketing as fast as they should. It’s call the invisible skill set.

blogging equals more leadsOften, when I did something that made no sense to my Father he would say, “Son, you don’t even know…what you don’t know.”   I remember on a couple occasions saying those exact words to my Son.  At Christmas, this year, I heard my Son say the same thing to my four year old Grandson.

So it is with industrial marketing.  Industrial marketers are missing a significant opportunity because of an invisible skill set they are not even aware of.

Many industrial marketers don’t even know…what they don’t know!

Stay with me on this.   Continue reading “Is This the Invisible Skill Set Industrial Marketers are Missing?”