Many of you that follow my blog know that I am a big fan of David Meerman Scott. David is a real thought-leader in the age of search, social and mobile. He is also a best-selling author when it comes to marketing, sales and service. David understands the fast changing marketing landscape better than anyone.
It is clear that marketing on the Web is moving the revenue needle for tons of businesses. Call it digital marketing, call it content marketing, call it inbound marketing, call it new media marketing.
Call it whatever…just don’t call it “marketing” to an industrial CEO, President or CFO. To these guys “marketing” is an expense and therefore has little relevance to top-line growth or sales.
In the early days of the web, when I founded Market Pipeline, we could get away with saying “SEO marketing” or “web marketing”. Both a web presence and SEO were seen as necessary. After all, their competitors were all doing it….so, “What the heck, let’s launch a web site”.
Very little top line growth came from our search engine optimization and web development efforts. Oh yea…occasionally we would get a few “attaboys” because one of our industrial clients did a quote from a previously unknown customer that found them on the web.
Did our SEO or web development efforts really contribute to top-line growth? Some, but not enough to get CEO’s excited.
Our “marketing” efforts reminded me of a large expense, like a new roof on your home. Lots of expense, but adds no value to the property. So, when an owner of an industrial company turns his nose up at any kind of marketing, especially online marketing, I certainly understand. That is why I started The Repp Group, to render better results.
So…is it time to give up on industrial “marketing” on the web?
Tom, do I really need to get involved with social media to market on the web?
I get this question all the time. So, I thought that I would address that thorny subject head-on and also support it with a recent article from the authorities, Search Engine Journal.
The short answer is “Yes”!
As briefly as possible, let me explain by making a basic assumption.
If you are to dominate your online industrial niche, you must be ranked on the first page of Google for your company’ specific keywords…right?
Of course, we call this search engine optimization or SEO.
Although Google’s algorithm is one of the most closely guarded secrets in the world, SEO authorities keep tabs on what Google’s techies say at conferences and also perform many case studies that give industrial marketing folks some pretty good signals on the importance of social media for the savvy industrial marketer.
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.
That is, most industrial owners and B2B owners are between 45 and 70 years old and not up to speed with the digital channel. Many industrial owners and marketers lack the skills to create online content to attract leads…a skill that Google, and your buyers, now require.
Although out of the industrial market a bit, here is a podcast from my friend Bruce McDuffee about a niche construction company in St. Louis that increase their online leads…”because no one is doing it”
The approach described in the podcast mimics the same process we use at The Repp Group.
Listen to Bruce McDuffee from Manufacturing Marketing Institute and his guest and find out how to increased online leads by 700%…
Discussions about industrial marketing strategy often begin with, “Do I need to update my website”. “I have heard a lot about content marketing for industrial. Do I need to do content marketing?” “What about mobile?” Or, “How can rank better with Google?” Etc. etc.
If you read this blog often you know that I am a huge fan of David Meerman Scott, best-selling author of the New Rules of Sales & Service, a must read of the savvy industrial marketer.
David Meerman Scott’s recent interview at The Microsoft Partner Network breaks down my typical responses to the questions above. Before you update your website, before you decide to do a blog, before you optimize for search engines, before you update for mobile…before you do anything, take these two critical steps.
Understand what your industrial customers really want. (Do not assume you already know what they want. Interview them to find out.)
Create content that helps them get what they want.