Industrial manufacturers realize more and more that to keep up with the competition, they need to be implementing digital strategies. They understand that online marketing can connect them with clients on a much broader scale. Even so, the implementation is a struggle. Why?
Of all the challenges faced by industrial marketers, the top three are…
- Budget (35%)
- Bandwidth (16%)
- Buy-In (14%)
1. INDUSTRIAL MARKETERS STRUGGLE TO GET THE BUDGET THEY WANT/NEED.
A company’s budget must be carefully formulated to allow every aspect of the business to operate efficiently. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to prove what works when using more traditional marketing methods.
35% of companies stating their budget was one of their biggest challenges. Fortunately, digital tactics can help– because their results are actually verifiable.
Digital marketing offers specific tools that analyze the effectiveness of their applications. Data produced through interactions and click-through rates can show the benefits of a certain marketing campaign by connecting it fully to the return on investment.
Which sounds better: “Our web traffic increased,” or “Investing $500 more in online ads got us 2 more customers this year”?
If your department struggles to get the budget you feel it deserves, then take a moment to investigate the end-results of your labor.
Once you can attribute dollars spent with dollars earned, you’ll have a far more compelling argument for your boss when the next budgeting session rolls around!
2. INDUSTRIAL MARKETERS DON’T ALWAYS HAVE THE BANDWIDTH TO ACCOMPLISH THEIR GOALS.
16% of the manufacturers claim bandwidth as one of the major challenges faced by industrial marketers that needed to be addressed.
Sometimes manufacturers agree that they should invest more in their marketing or sales tactics. However, they don’t necessarily invest enough to hire more staff-members. Or, they may not invest in the time, training, or tools that their existing staff requires to take on new techniques.
Once again, as with budgeting…measurability verifies your capabilities.
If your company doesn’t already have some sort of timesheets system, try getting your hands on one. It could be anything from free online software to a good ol’ pocketwatch.
Make a habit of timing your activities. Keep records for every project.
Let’s say you’re assigned to create a PPC campaign– but you’re not provided with the software training it requires. Afterwards, you can go back to your boss and calculate the total cost of those 20 overtime hours you spent on the project. That $50 tutorial or 1-day training course won’t look so unappealing next time.
It’s difficult to admit that you can’t accomplish a task to its fullest. It’s certainly a humbling challenge. But it’s also important for marketers (and companies) to know what is required in order to accomplish their goals. If you don’t make that clear, you and everybody else will feel let down at the end of a project. On the other hand, if you know how to better allocate the budget next time, you’ll come out hopeful and determined instead.
3. INDUSTRIAL MARKETERS NEED MORE BUY-IN FROM THEIR HIGHER-UPS.
One of the final major challenges faced by industrial marketers is bringing upper management teams on board with their new marketing strategies.
Of the 150 manufacturers interviewed, 14% said this is their biggest struggle. Digital marketing strategies are becoming increasingly popular. Almost 70% of companies have a marketing strategy in place that is well-defined. However, approximately 65% haven’t set monthly goals directed toward increasing the number of digital leads.
Part of the reason for this is that members of upper management teams who are unfamiliar with digital marketing may be slow to jump onboard. Old habits die hard, and it may take some convincing to show them just how effective the newer forms of marketing are.
In most situations, if you want to convince someone how effective something is, telling them that it’s popular won’t get the job done. Once again…factual proof and numerical indicators are your best option here.
If you want to get new digital tactics, prove that you’re making the best use of the ones you’re already using – however small – by measuring their effectiveness.
If you want an updated website or a new social media account, start by using analytics to measure the traffic and conversions that you’re currently bringing in. Then look at the percentage increase that B2B companies like yours have had from their own digital upgrades.
This way, if/when you finally earn that social account or website update…then your analytics will verify the benefits.
Industrial marketers can overcome their main challenges by providing verifiable causality.
As the old saying goes, “numbers don’t lie.” That new CRM might cost $50 a month, but how many hours (and therefore dollars) has it saved the marketing or sales teams? How many new leads are turning into new clients because of it?
Once you’ve identified the major challenges you face as an industrial marketer, then you can move forward. Find out how to prove your ROI; your bandwidth; or your progress. Only then can you achieve the progress you’re looking for.
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