As everything in life, there are no easy short-cuts that will ensure quality leads land on your loading dock. Most everything in life worth achieving is a long-term effort.
So it is with content marketing & marketing automation for industrial
My customers and prospects often ask me the quickest way to generate leads using web-based tactics. I remind them there is NO QUICK WAY. However, there are two components that will offer a SURE WAY to improve your brand image, top-of-mind awareness and, ultimately leads.
YOU MUST HAVE A CONTENT MARKETING & MARKETING AUTOMATION EVANGELIST
Yep, a sure-fire evangelist that knows your industrial market. An evangelist that knows both traditional marketing as well as new media marketing. Why? Because as good as the web and new media can be, it is ALWAYS better integrating the old marketing tactics that work with the new stuff. (i.e. SEO, industrial content marketing, marketing automation, A/B testing, analytics, PPC, social marketing, etc., etc.)
Now…an evangelist can come in many forms.
You might have a loyal employee that has been bitten by the content marketing bug and has been self-taught and has a passion for your industry. That is probably the best-case scenario, but extremely rare to find in the industrial sector.
You could hire a content marketing agency. That would clearly be the most expensive and is ALWAYS a long-term affair if you are going to achieve positive results.
The other option is hire an individual on a contract basis that specializes in industrial internet marketing that is willing to stick with you over the long-term and then ween you off his guidance and help you hire the right employee that can take his place to maintain your successful momentum.
The SECOND COMPONENT is a well-integrated marketing automation platform.
For this article I am going to use HubSpot, the leading marketing automation platform for small to mid-size businesses and why it gives industrial marketers a competitive advantage.
I have long been a promoter of HubSpot as a competitive advantage for industrial marketers. I have written many articles about the advantages of HubSpot:
- Using HubSpot vs. Traditional Industrial Marketing?
- Is HubSpot the Gold Standard for Connecting Your Content Marketing Assets?
- Google Analytics or HubSpot for Industrial Marketers?
- Which Marketing Automation Platform is Best for Industrial Marketing?
Allow me to back up just a little.
At the request of a customer, I cobbled together a “homemade” marketing automation platform just to compare ease-of-use and what the costs would be.
Keep in mind, that HubSpot’s platform uses a content management system. So, to create my own marketing automation system I had to host my web site and blog on another content management system. I selected the market leader, WordPress. I hosted the site with GoDaddy.
For email marketing I used MailChimp. For the CRM (contact resource management) I selected ProsperWorks. For social media marketing & montioring I used HootSuite..
To tie together the forms on my website (WordPress), MailChimp campaigns and the fields in the ProsperWorks, I used piesync.com.
I even put together a graphic to illustrate my own marketing automation platform I pieced together & how they work together. Using 10 “seats” for ProsperWorks Professional, the entire system came to approximately $7000 per year. For a similar set-up using HubSpot Professional and 3000 contacts, the cost would be $10,800. (HubSpot charges by the number of contacts in your system.)
Not that much more in terms of yearly investments.
Yet…you get so much more with HubSpot.
- HUBSPOT KEEPS YOU FOCUSED: As an industrial marketing professional, you are bombarded daily with new software, new tactics, new offers, new, new, new, new. When you focus on HubSpot’s methodology you have the luxury of tuning out all the distracting marketing noise. HubSpot has some of the smartest marketing minds in the world working for them and their platform is always stretching to stay in the marketing lead. Knowing that HubSpot is scanning the marketing horizon for you, you focus on what is best for your company. When I put together my “homemade” marketing automation platform, I had no such luxury.
- EASILY MEASURE & ADJUST WITH HUBSPOT: As our old friend Peter Drucker said, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure”. Well, let me tell you, HubSpot makes it extremely easy to manage all your marketing assets. You can monitor a customizable dashboard for that quick glance (desktop, tablet or smartphone). You can easily see which blog post generated the most traffic. You can determine which e-book converted and generated the most leads. You can determine which emails had to best open & click-through rate. Keep drilling down to see what social networks generated the best traffic. Want to insert some display ads in ThomasNet or GlobalSpec? Put the same ad in both industrial advertising platforms and see which one generates the best leads, all within HubSpot. Decided you want to use some Google Adwords? You can create your ads within HubSpot and measure the copy that converts the best. Also, HubSpot’s Workflows combined with their CRM product make it easy to track customer touchpoints across all your marketing assets. The benefits are almost endless. No other platform comes close to HubSpot’s capabilities for mid-size industrials.
- KEEP I.T. OUT OF THE MARKETING LOOP: In my 20 years of industrial marketing I often see I.T. professionals taking over or hindering online marketing efforts. By using the HubSpot platform you completely take I.T. out of the marketing equation. You only need to consult with I.T. when you transfer your domain and email. Done.
- HUBSPOT HAS THE BEST CUSTOMER SERVICE: I have been involved with multiple sales & marketing efforts over my career. I have had to deal with lots of companies’ customer support: Apple, IBM, Microsoft, Salesforce, etc. Also, I have dealt with other marketing automation platforms such as Manticore and Sales Engine Media. When it comes to customer support and being attentive to your needs, HubSpot is at the very top of the list. From my point of view, no one comes close. I have called HubSpot customer support over 300 times. I have never waited more than one minute (95% of the time it is immediate) and I have never been unhappy with their wonderful support staff or their answers. That is saying a lot in today’s dysfunctional, customer service, world.
- HUBSPOT IS THE MOST SCALABLE FOR MID-SIZE INDUSTRIALS: Another key advantage is HubSpot’s continual improvement. For example, shortly after I became involved with HubSpot they added a CRM…for FREE. I have used many CRMs over the years; ACT!, Salesforce, etc. I believe for the mid-size market, HubSpot’s CRM is perfect & I use it personally. I love it.
HubSpot also works well with ecommerce platforms such as BigCommerce and Magento. However, many of these ecommerce packages require middleware solutions, which can be costly and complicated to set up. Consistent with HubSpots’ constantly improving capabilities, they recently announced HubSpot’s CRM tool integrates with Shopify…for free. This integration is a “native” API and requires no middleware solutions.
Slack, a leading digital workplace platform recently announced that it will integrate directly with HubSpot.
On May 11th, HubSpot announced the launch of its “Service Hub” for managing customer service. It includes an universal inbox for all your customer service reps, a bot-builder making it easy to automate interactions with customers, tools to create customer knowledgebases and tools to create surveys, just to mention a few capabilities.
Just last night as I was enjoying an adult beverage on my deck, catching up on my reading, trying to keep pace with the tidal wave of innovation in industrial marketing and monitoring my “HubSpot” feed on my Google News app, I notice that HubSpot is now partnered with Taboola, the leading discovery platform for content your customers are interested in…dramatically improving your brand’s visibility. HubSpot is now able to start content marketing campaigns seamlessly right from the HubSpot dashboard. Taboola is probably not the best fit for the industrial market. But, for an aggressive online industrial marketer, Taboola can generate a huge amount of traffic and leads, especially if you use a lot of YouTube videos.
Some of these add-ons will cost you extra in terms of subscriptions and labor to set them up. But, as one of my developers says, “with HubSpot you will never reach a technical wall or marketing capability you cannot overcome.
I could go on…but here is the bottom line….
Based on my own experience and research, most of your competitors are simply not paying attention to the advantages of online marketing & commerce…yet, your prospects & customers are. This leaves gaping holes of opportunity for the savvy industrial marketer that embraces these 2 components…evangelism & marketing automation.
IF you have an evangelist, either on staff or contract help, and you follow HubSpot’s lead and use just 50 percent of it’s capabilities, in a few years you will find you have built a digital moat around your business that others will find hard to penetrate.
Listen to my podcast: “Grab Your Competitive Edge” with fellow industrial marketer & friend, Bruce McDuffee.
For more info on what The Repp Group can do for your industrial marketing & lead generation…CLICK BELOW