Achieve 100% ROI for Industrial Content Marketing

The ROI of industrial content marketingOK…as a savvy, progressive industrial marketer you are on the spot.

You have proposed an aggressive online industrial content marketing plan for your company…yet, nothing has been done.

You notice that your competitors are spending more on online marketing. You notice that your most aggressive competitor has added many calls-to-actions (CTA) on many of their product pages to attract interested prospects. Further, you hear through the grape vine that your competitor has hired an agency to develop high-quality, downloadable content on their website. In fact, you have downloaded much of your competitor’s content using an anonymous name and your heart drops as you see the very kind of content that you have been advocating for years.

Next, you hear from your star salesman that he lost a sale to your competitor. Your salesman tells you, “I thought I had the sale, then my prospect told me they found a better solution on the web”  Further, your star says, “They found some great content on the competitor’s website that explained how to install their product and that really made the sale easy for them and a lost the sale for us.”

Your heart drops to, yet, another floor.

The CEO hears the story and asks you to present your industrial content marketing presentation again. The same presentation you presented two years ago that was shelved.

This time you take the advice of one of your best friends, a CEO of a mid-size manufacturer. Your CEO friend says, “Calculate the ROI.  It might be potential ROI, but if you back up your proposal with numbers that are real and documented, they will take the hook.”

Fine. Here comes a teachable moment.

I will calculate the ROI for you based on my own experience, industry research and online financial calculators.

First, let’s set up the online metrics for a typical mid-size industrial company.

The only metrics that really matter when it comes to online marketing are:

  • How many visitors per month to your website
  • What is the conversion rate for these visitors to become marketing qualified leads (MQL)?
  • What is the conversion rate of these leads into real sales?
  • What is your average sale?

Let’s keep it real…

I will use a real-world example using a proposal and an industrial manufacturing company I am currently working with.

My customer is currently getting only about 300 unique visitors per month. I know by rebuilding their web site and using good content marketing practices I can increase monthly visits to 2500 per month.  Why do I know that?  Because I have already done it for another company in the same industry and similar customer personas.

Now, let’s look at, well respected, Marketing Sherpa’s research concerning conversion rates. According to Marketing Sherpa’s research there is an average conversion rate of 15% for visits-to-leads for the manufacturing sector.

If we achieve 2500 visitors and turn them into MQL leads, you now have 450 leads to work with per month.

Marketing data also tells us that 14% of those leads will be turned into real sales.

In this example I am using an average sale of $20,000 per sale, based on my customer’s typical product mix and their comments.

The online project, including branding, web design, content management system, shopping cart and premium content will total approximately $60,000 for the first year. After that, yearly costs go down until they rebuild the website in 3 to 4 years.

So…let’s calculate the ROI for the first year of my customer’s online marketing initiative.

Using on online calculator that I often use, you receive a return of 100%.

Go ahead and plug in your own numbers and calculate your potential ROI. How does that compare with the ROI for your traditional outbound sales efforts?

Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Frankly, it is…if you have the right resources and commitment.

From my knowledge and experience, here are the two most difficult issues to overcome to achieve online marketing success:

Lack of marketing & sales alignment:

True story. I am working with a customer where the numbers I quote in this article are dead on. They match my narrative exactly, except that they are not converting the leads into sales.  The primary reasons?; First they are busy. The economy in their sector has been strong and they have not had a chance to focus on their online efforts.  Second, they are still relying on the old sales model.  Hire the best sales people you can find and let ‘em go.  I get it.  However, if they could focus on their online content and paying attention to leads coming in from their online marketing efforts, passing them off in a timely manner then they could realize an even greater ROI from their marketing.

A Culture of Patience:

I get it.  Patience is a difficult virtue in a capitalistic system…based on monthly or quarterly results. However…

We did another project in Detroit for one of the largest industrial suppliers in the state.  Again, the numbers & conversion ratios matched my narrative. I was excited that things were working well. Then after six months the impatient owner gave me a call and dropped the program because they had not closed any million-dollar sales yet.  I am convinced if they had stuck with the program they would have closed several large contracts and achieved a nice ROI.

More importantly they would be setting themselves up for long-term, top-of-mind awareness and creating a marketing channel with a positive ROI…rather than a marketing expense that is difficult to justify.

What’s your ROI?

For more info on what The Repp Group can do for your industrial marketing & lead generation…CLICK BELOW

Author: Tom Repp

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

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