I try hard to be a student of industrial marketing. After all, today’s marketing is ever-evolving. To be successful, I believe you have to be constantly learning. While the objectives of marketing are much what they’ve always been, the tactics are changing daily. There really is no “master’s degree” that teaches the tactics of what we do. And “continuing education” requirements don’t really exist. So how do industrial marketers stay ahead of the curve? By reading books and blogs, attending industry events, networking with like-minded professionals and listening to Podcasts.

Several months back while listening to an episode of my favorite marketing podcast (Marketing Over Coffee), I heard an episode that featured Jay Baer talking about his book Youtility. The interview was really interesting, so I ordered the book. The book came and it ended up on a shelf for a good two or three months before I cracked it open. Once I did, I couldn’t put it down.

The book focuses on the idea of providing resources for your audience. The idea of not just selling to them, but helping them. The book argues that’s the difference between having a customer for a day versus a customer for a lifetime. And I agree. Baer points out that there are two ways for companies to succeed in the modern marketing era. Brands can either be “amazing” or useful.

Which do you think is more reliable and realistic to pull off?

Pretty interesting stuff, if you ask me. In addition to numerous examples of companies doing it right, the book provides strong data to support that “youtility” is the right way to “do” marketing. Here are four of my favorite excerpts from Jay Baer’s Youtility.

“In 2010, shoppers needed 3.5 sources of information before making a purchase decision. In 2011, shoppers needed 10.4 pieces of information before making a purchase decision.”

If you still haven’t bought in to the idea of helping your audience (versus focusing only on selling to them), it’s time to. I promise. The data is in, and your customers are researching their purchase way more than they were before. And a lot of that research is happening online. It’s your job, as someone who should be helping their customer versus only selling to them, to make sure that you are providing your customers with every single thing they could possibly be looking for.

Remember – help them first. You’ll be able to sell to them later.

Provide data sheets about your product, ebooks about your process, case studies about your success, examples of clients in your portfolio, profiles of key employees – you get the point. If it’s something that a customer might be curious about, make sure they have the information at their fingertips. In fact, if you give your website the attention it deserves, it’ll be the best salesman you have.

“In B2B, customers will contact a sales rep only after independently completing 60 percent of the purchasing-decision process.”

Building off the first featured stat from Baer’s book, nearly 60% of the B2B buying process is done before a buyer ever even thinks about picking up the phone. That means it’s extremely important to give your potential customers the information they’re craving. Answer their questions. Because if you don’t, someone else will. And guess what – your phone will never ring!

Think about how you use the web and research a buying decision. I’m guessing the two go hand-in-hand together. Perhaps, just perhaps, it’s time to quit flying your sales team across the country to set up an expensive tradeshow booth, and instead, shift your dollars to something that makes more fiscal sense – online lead generation efforts.

“Companies with websites with 101 to 200 pages generate two-and-a-half times more leads than companies with 50 or fewer pages.”

Pure and simple. The more quality content you have on the web, the better chance you have of getting found in the search engines. Additionally, the better chance you have of answering the myriad of questions your buyers just might be asking.

Don’t get me wrong, I get the argument for brevity and distilling information down to as few as words and pages as possible…in print. On the web, however, typically less is not more. In fact, more is more. And in the case of content marketing, currently, this is definitely the case. If coming up with content is what is holding you up, don’t sweat it. We’ve got you covered.

“By 2014 there will be more mobile Internet users than desktop Internet users.”

Is your site mobile friendly? It really needs to be. The data we’re seeing for our clients is staggering. More and more users are using mobile and tablet devices to browse the web.

If your site isn’t mobile friendly and provides a dismal browsing experience, don’t expect return visits or marketing qualified leads to come out of your online efforts. It simply won’t happen. I challenge you to think about how you use your mobile and tablet devices for research. I’m guessing if you land on a site and pinching and side-to-side scrolling are involved, you don’t stick around long. Neither will your customers.

Here’s what we can tell you: your website is at the core of it all

While the above relate to all aspects of the web-marketing experience, your website is at the core of it all. Without a strong foundation, you’re fighting an up-hill battle.

Click on the banner below and download our website redesign handbook. If you’re interested in a free assessment, click here, fill out the form and we’ll be in touch.