Measure, Analyze, Update!
In 2018, companies spent an average of 11.2% of company revenues on marketing.[i] It is anticipated that global media spending will reach $2.1 trillion in 2019, up from $1.6 trillion in 2014.[ii] Companies rely upon marketing to transform interest into profitable transactions, and ideally, long-term customer relationships.
But just how effective is your B2B marketing program? To effectively achieve the three steps below, you will need to have some processes—software and people—in place that will allow you to:
- Track, measure, quantify data MoM/YoY
- Mine intel to gauge effectiveness of campaigns
- Strategize based on intel to capitalize on success or remediate when necessary
The 3 Steps
Let’s take a closer look at the three steps you’ll need to execute in your industrial manufacturing company to create a B2B marketing strategy that works.
- Measure ROI
Inbound marketing continues to be one of the most effective strategies for achieving solid marketing ROI. CMOs rely upon digital marketing, investing one-quarter of their 2018 marketing budgets in paid and organic search, website, and email “because they work.”[iii]
An effective digital marketing strategy starts with an assessment of the successes or shortcomings of the previous year. A few simple metrics for measuring an effective inbound marketing program include:
- Increased website traffic
- More sales leads
- Greater customer engagement and loyalty
Whatever CRM you use to manage your customer relationships, assigning each campaign a unique ID and tracking prospects throughout the entire sales process ensures accuracy in measuring the results.
- Analyze What Worked
Gaining an understanding of what worked and what didn’t helps to establish marketing goals for a new year. Marketing accountability provides a real foundation for deciding where to invest marketing dollars. Marketing spend based upon “what we spent last year” or “matching our competitors’ budgets” isn’t going to deliver the desired results. Remember: any system or process (whether you try to track things manually or more efficiently through dedicated software platforms) is only as effective as the information you put into it. You can have powerful information and efficiency at your fingertips if you are diligent in setting it up properly and updating it correctly and regularly.
If you work with an outside marketing firm, a new year is also a good time review and assess the relationship to ensure they are well-versed in the latest digital marketing strategies. They may even be the key to helping you set up the right platform so you can optimize marketing and sales performance.
- Update Your Marketing Plan
Once you have measured and assessed the effectiveness of your marketing program, it’s important to update your marketing plan. Your plan is a living document that provides the blueprint for all marketing activity and evolves as you test new strategies and channels.
In setting marketing and investment goals for the year, you may want to consider:
- Corporate brand and matching messaging. Do you communicate value and passion to customers in fresh, exciting new ways? Are you indispensable to customers, who rely upon your guidance and industry leadership? Does your brand messaging match what you deliver to customers? If there is a gap between what you promise and what you deliver, this disconnect can be responsible for losing existing business, and can lend insight to why leads may not make it fully down the sales funnel.
- Market segmentation/positioning. Has your target market changed or evolved over time? Who really makes the buying decisions in the industrial companies you want to attract, and are you reaching these pivotal people? Positioning your content, written to the unique issues of the stakeholders you want to impress, is vital here. You must address their concerns, answer their questions, and communicate the solutions they need (as opposed to only promoting your products or services).
- What percent of your budget focuses on innovation? According to Gartner, “Over 9% of CMOs feel that marketing innovation will be vital to the delivery of their company’s marketing strategy over the next 18 months. As marketers adapt to a barrage of changes in consumer behaviors, technologies and environmental conditions, innovation spending plays a key role in many budgets.” How well are you anticipating—and planning for—the changing needs of your customers and the markets you serve? If your inbound marketing is set up correctly, you have plenty of clues and insights readily available to you to know what is fueling your prospects and customers.
Digital marketing is a powerful tool that can yield significant ROI and is the cornerstone of an effective marketing strategy. A well-conceived plan—based upon measurable metrics, market data, and customer insights—will drive a successful B2B marketing program that delivers on 2019 goals.
Implementing Your Strategy
As you begin to implement your strategy, set very specific goals and measure the results. Know what is working and where things are getting stuck. Find the bottlenecks in your marketing funnel so you can remediate where necessary and impact each visitor efficiently. Your marketing strategy will always be adjusting and changing according to your company goals, target audience, and industry trends, among other factors.
Need help to boost your inbound marketing strategy? We can help you get things off the ground, track key metrics, adjust your tactics, and grow your business. Want to find out how inbound-ready your industrial manufacturing business is? We have a quick DIY assessment that will offer you insight. Find out now!
[i] Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2018-2019
[iii] Gartner CMO Spend Survey 2018-2019