Based on my experience in industrial marketing, I have found that a great deal of your online industrial lead generation is worthless.
So, when industrial owners or industrial marketers ask me about online marketing, I do my best to manage expectations and let them know that their online marketing efforts are similar to their offline, traditional marketing efforts.
“Mr. Owner, how many of your direct mail pieces produce great leads?”
“How are those cold calls working for your sales group lately?”
“Did you get a good return on our trade show investment, in terms of lead generation?”
I think we all know the answers to those questions, given the industrial buyers’ changing behavior.
I am not sure if it is because most industrial owners are digital immigrants, but they expect their online marketing efforts to render different results than their traditional marketing and lead generation efforts.
I often remind them of John Wanamaker’s famous quote about advertising: “Half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is, I don’t know which half.”
So…when I found this marketing research from my fellow marketing friends at Straight North in Chicago concerning B2B leads, I thought I would pass it along to my readers.
Need to pump up your industrial content marketing strategy? Want to vanquish your competitors? Pick up Bruce McDuffee’s book, The New Way to Market for Manufacturing.
I recently meet with my friend Bruce McDuffee, a fellow industrial marketing consultant for breakfast at the Content Marketing Institute conference in Cleveland. Bruce and I have talked numerous times on the phone and have produced a couple podcasts together at www.mmmatters.com. Since the first time I stumbled on Bruce’s Manufacturer’s Growth Manifesto, I knew we were fighting the same, rust-belted, demons that hold back dramatic growth in the industrial sector.
However, I believe the rewards will be significant for forward thinking industrial marketers.
But…it is tough. I always want to give my clients’ a dose of reality.
Is the owner or C-suite on board with content marketing?
If industrial content marketing does work, can they handle the RFQs and leads?
Do they really have the resources to mount a content marketing strategy that resonates with buyers?
Will they need outside help to get started with a quality effort?
I know most of the “players” in the industrial content marketing “space” and monitor all their blogs. I noticed this one from Achinta Mitra, a terrific industrial marketing professional in the Houston area.
Content marketing (or inbound marketing) for industrial works…but it takes lots of guts.
I was talking to the VP of large industrial supplier in West Michigan about the digital channel for B2B lead generation. My passion was bubbling over and I was expanding on the moat he could build around his business if he really embraces this idea of content or inbound marketing for industrial. I knew he trusted me, but he was a little like the deer in the headlights as I expounded on the benefits of the web and content marketing.
He retorted, “This whole industrial content marketing thing is going to take a lot of work, isn’t it Tom? We don’t have the right resources or staff to compete in this new world of content marketing for industrial. If we do this…it is going to take a lot of guts, isn’t it?”
Then it struck me.
It really does take a lot of guts to change the way you have gone to market for years…especially when it worked so well for years. For the industrial marketer there are so many unknowns when it comes to the brave new world of content or inbound marketing.
I live with this stuff every day. I see it work, and I think it is a no brainer for industrial companies to embrace a B2B lead generation machine.
Many industrial marketers are hesitant to launch an industrial blog because they fail to see an ROI. Let us examine the ROI potential of your company’s blog.
Speaking from experience here.
Blogging is an expensive and time-consuming marketing effort. It is not an exercise in creativity. Blogging will not hatch a bunch of Ernest Hemingway’s. A blog is not deployed to add more content to your web site. It is not for giving out tons of helpful information.
Although your industrial blog may do all of the above… it really is about lead generation.
Like other sales & marketing efforts, you need to know the potential ROI from your creative, time-consuming efforts. If you are a junior marketing person, this exercise is important to demonstrate ROI to gain support from management.
Can you really calculate ROI from your industrial blog? You bet.
Let us take a recent project we are working on for a B2B manufacturer & calculate the ROI. For all the number geeks out there, these numbers are not exact, but they are realistic. Based on real conversations with the customer and my own knowledge, ROIs such these are achievable.