How Can Manufacturers Get the Most Out of Their Marketing?

By Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect, Sonnhalter

Being able to accurately show how well your efforts impacted a company’s bottom line is one of the biggest challenges marketing teams face every year. For years, the easiest indicator of a marketing team’s success was measured mostly in sales and lead generation. But with the rise of content marketing, influencer relations and social media in marketing plans, it’s sometimes difficult to accurately quantify exactly how all these tactics improve ROI. Regardless of where you stand on the value of these tactics, even the most stubborn skeptics will need to face the reality that content marketing, social media and other tactics for the digital age are here to stay. Unfortunately, most marketing budgets have yet to catch up with the financial and personnel resources necessary to successfully utilize these tactics.

Many of these challenges and concerns were addressed in IEEE GlobalSpec’s “Trends in Industrial Marketing Survey,” which surveyed 326 marketing and sales professionals in the industrial sector on marketing trends within the engineering, technical, manufacturing and industrial communities. Here are some of the most interesting tidbits from the survey:

  1. Breakthroughs in marketing analytics have made it easier to calculate the ROI of a company’s marketing efforts.

“Marketers are under steady pressure to demonstrate ROI for their marketing programs. The need to improve ROI is one of the top challenges industrial marketers face. To meet this challenge, marketers use leads as their number one measure of success. But generating high-quality leads for sales is also one of the top marketing challenges. This may sound like a vicious cycle, and some marketers would agree, but the point is that measurement matters. Other measures of success include customer acquisition and sales attributed to marketing campaigns. Marketing automation software, which can improve tracking and measurement capabilities, is used by only 37 percent of industrial marketers.” (more…)

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2014 Report on B2B Manufacturing Content Marketing in North America

By Matt Sonnhalter, Vision Architect

The Content Marketing Institute (CMI) and MarketingProfs recently released their fourth annual report on the content marketing practices of business-to-business (B2B) marketers working in the manufacturing industry.

In this report you’ll find answers to questions such as: What percentage of manufacturing marketers have adopted content marketing? What tactics are they using? How does their approach to content marketing differ from that taken by other B2B marketers?

This report also looks at how manufacturing marketers approach content marketing when compared with a wider group of B2B North American marketers representing a range of industry segments.

Here are some key highlights from this most recent study on manufacturing marketers and their content marketing efforts:

  • 86% have adopted content marketing
  • Only 30% say they are effective at content marketing
  • Use the same number of tactics (13) as other B2B marketers
  • 81% use YouTube to distribute content and rate it as the most effective social media platform
  • Cite different goals for content marketing when compared with other B2B marketers
  • Top challenges faced for their content marketing programs: 1. Lack of time, 2. Producing the kind of content that engages and 3. Producing enough content
  • 46% plan to increase their content marketing budget over the next 12 months

Click here to read more details and download the full report.

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5 Highlights from Global Spec Marketing Trends Survey

GlobalSpecSearchEngineLogoI’ve used Global Spec online marketing for several of our clients who target engineering, technical manufacturing and industrial professionals. They are well respected and a great source for qualified leads. During the 1st quarter of ’09, they surveyed marketing executives on trends and challenges facing them for the balance of year. 555 surveys were completed. There are really no big surprises here–marketers are going to have to do more with less and online is going to be used because of accountability.               Here are some of the highlights:

  • 73% stated that customer acquisition and lead generation is their primary goal.
  • Top 3 challenges: 1-too few resources. 2-not enough qualified leads. 3-improve ROI
  • Top 3 marketing channels: 1-online directories/websites. 2-e-mail marketing to house lists. 3-SEO
  • 29% spend more than 50% of their budget online
  • 48% will spend more of their budget online

You can read the entire white paper here.


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Make Your B-to-B E-mail Campaign to Tradesmen a Success

E-mailYou need to connect quickly in the subject line in order for them to open an e-mail. Look beyond pitching your product and talk about issues that hit their hot button. Don’t know what those are? ASK!

Tradesmen are busy people like the rest of us, and when they get a marketing e-mail, you had better make clear (WIIFM) what’s in it for me in the subject line. They want to know  how your product or service will help them on a jobsite.

According to MailerMailer, 74% of all e-mails are opened within 24 hours. Which means if the email isn’t opened soon, then it probably wont be.

I read a post recently form Arthur Middleton, Making your B-to-B e-mail campaign a success, which he outlines 4 tactics that will help you become a reliable source of info. Here is my take on them as it relates to my audience, the professional tradesmen:

  1. Be a e-newsletter publisher. Look beyond just promoting your products and talk about industry issues that are affecting tradesmen. Give them inside information on marketing trends.
  2. Leverage the knowledge you get from these contractors. Find out how and why contractors make their decisions. Ask them to be on an advisory panel or participate in a contractor study.
  3. Preview your e-mail. Make sure preview panes are very much on point because if you don’t make your point quickly, they won’t open your e-mail.
  4. Create a mobile version. These contractors use mobile devices to stay connected, so make sure to use a smaller version of your logo, and state your claim (WIIFM) within the first few sentences.

Those are my thoughts, I’d like to hear yours.


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