Are industrial internet marketers stupid or ignorant about their go-to-market strategies?

In light of the success of content marketing for B2B lead generation, why are industrial marketers so ignorant? Here are two contrasting approaches.

content marketing seo vs technical seoJust yesterday I had lunch with an old marketing friend that had retired from a large B2B manufacturer in Michigan. To protect the innocent I will just say this manufacturer is a market leader in their respective niche. They do about 70 million is sales, and feature long sales cycles. Their products are typically large capital expenditures. If you are a regular reader of my blog, I know what you are thinking. “Hummm…sounds like an ideal candidate for content marketing”.

My friend went on to tell that they actually started some content marketing (some call this inbound marketing) by launching a blog. However the President took it down after a few months because it was eating up resources and he did not see any results.

“Are you kidding me”…I blurted.

This is simply another case of a very smart person ignorant of the opportunities that wait on the web…or, another case study of a very bright baby-boomer not understanding why their go-to-market strategy must change in light of his buyer’s habits.

This particular company could “kill it” with a coherent, creative and aggressive content marketing strategy given the industry they are in. They could dominate their space with constant top-of-mind exposure that would eventually lead to gains in sales and market share.

Without going into detail, I know the appetite for online content in this industry and its buyers is growing by the day.

Are they resting on their past successes or just ignorant of the opportunities?

In contrast, last week I met with a large, 3rd generation industrial supplier in Illinois. The current President is a very sharp, late 30’s, MBA grad. Yes…he leads a typical, commodity-type, industrial supply business. In contrast to the bright, baby-boomer President, he understands the opportunity the web has laid at his loading docks.

His strategy is to take a profitable portion of the business and specialize by creating content that attracts very specific buyers to his web site. He told me he wants to become the “Wikipedia” of this particular niche.

You tell me. 3 years from now which business will feature the best brand image, the best content, the best top-of-mind recognition, the best B2B lead generation from their web site? (In their respective markets)

I think you know the answer.

Author: Tom Repp

A traditional industrial marketer…now a passionate evangelist for leveraging the digital channel for lead generation.

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