In this white board video, we explore the seven core elements we believe must be present, optimized and working in sync for an industrial sector B2B company to achieve significant and sustainable revenue growth through marketing and sales.
How to audit your industrial marketing strategy
Following the seven core elements structure from the video above, this guide gives you as a manufacturing organization a structure for auditing your marketing and lead generation strategy, as well as next steps for improving your program's ROI. View guide
The 7 core elements of an industrial marketing strategy
Here’s the article version of the video above – about the seven things we believe must be present, optimized and working in sync to achieve significant and sustainable revenue growth through marketing and sales. Read article
Industrial Marketing: The Definitive Guide
This is our most comprehensive piece of content about online marketing for manufacturers and industrial service providers. You’ll learn how to construct a marketing strategy that will generate highly-targeted website traffic, convert website visitors into real sales leads with names and phone numbers and converge your sales and marketing efforts into a streamlined business development machine. View guide
About The Foundry: Building Better Industrial Marketing
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Hey, everybody. I’m Joe Sullivan, a Co-Founder of industrial marketing agency, Gorilla 76. And today we’re gonna be talking about what we believe are the seven core elements of an industrial marketing strategy. So these are the things we think need to be present, optimized, and working in sync, if you’re really gonna see a return on your marketing investment.
So let’s start right in the middle with Brand Positioning. I don’t think I’m gonna get an argument from many people when I say that, with marketing or sales, your customer really has to be at the center of everything you do. So when we talk about your customer, we’re talking about the type of company, first of all, the industries that, you know, those companies are in, the size of the companies, what they buy from you. Who is that ideal buyer? And then who are the individual human beings at those companies that you deal with in the buying process? So, it’s probably some combination of design engineers, plant managers, procurement folks, CEOs and presidents. Whoever that might be for you, let’s identify those people. And then, what message are you gonna deliver to those people? So the message really needs to be, you know, for the customer, it needs to be customer-centric. What problems do you solve for them? What challenges do you address? What value do you deliver to them? Let’s not focus the message on you, but the customer.
Okay, so once you’ve got your positioning in place, the next thing we’re going to deal with is, your Website Infrastructure. So today, for a manufacturer or industrial service provider, your website needs to be a lot more than just a brochure. It’s the online face of your company. It needs to be a business development machine for you. So some of the things that we’ve gotta have present are a flexible CMS, or Content Management System, so your site can grow and evolve as your company does. You site’s gotta be mobile-friendly, so it’s easy to view on mobile phones, on tablets, on desktop computers. You’ve got to follow best on page search engine optimization practices. Your website’s got to be CRO ready, or Conversion Rate Optimization ready, meaning we’ve gotta have the infrastructure in place, so we can easily add call-to-action systems, and lead-capture pages, as the site grows and expands. You’ve gotta have a learning center in place, a knowledge-base, a place to publish blog articles, publish white papers, publish case studies – the things that are gonna help your buyers in their buying process. And then we’ve gotta be linked to a CRM and a marketing automation software, so that, as leads are generated through the site, profiles of those individuals are created in the backend, and that whole process is tied to what your sales team is doing.
Okay, so that’s Website Infrastructure. Once we’ve got that in place, we need to shift the focus to driving qualified traffic – to your Website Traffic Strategy. Traditionally, awareness in marketing has meant doing things like attending trade shows, sending direct mail pieces, running print ads in trade journals, probably lots of cold calling. And, you know, all these things probably still have a place in some capacity for you. We’re not saying throw them all away, but it’s worth noting that these are all push tactics. It’s throwing a message out there to the masses, whereas with online marketing, your website traffic strategy is about generating awareness and attracting people to you who already have a need and who are already in some capacity sales-qualified, right?
Okay, so things that should be part of your website traffic strategy… The first one’s content, marketing, which is really core to all of this stuff. It’s all about attracting the right people to you by publishing content that’s designed just for them to help them solve their problems. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization is a big piece of that. In addition to the on-page search engine optimization that we mentioned already, is building inbound links from other credible sites to your site, to show Google and the search engines that your site is credible. Guest authorship can be a great way to do this. This is really its own topic, so we’ll stop there on that one. Social media… in some capacity, social media may play a role for you. For some of our clients it does, for some it doesn’t. LinkedIn is often a good venue for manufactures for lead generation, but it takes work and energy. Pay-Per-Click, retargeting other paid forms of online advertising, probably somewhere along the way may play a role for you, as well. Okay, so that’s number three, Website Traffic Strategy.
Number four: Lead Generation Strategy. It’s worth noting that a lot of manufacturing organizations, we realize, are not e-commerce stores. They’re not selling widgets. They’re selling complex, customized solutions, and their customers go through long buying processes. And so, that’s why lead generation is so important in the business-to-business space, and especially for manufacturers. The other thing worth noting is that, because most of your website visitors are not ready to buy something right now (they’re doing their research, they’re doing their homework, you know), a Contact-Us button, or a Request-For-Bid button, really isn’t enough to generate a lead. Those are for the people who are ready to have that conversation. So we need to think about people who are earlier in the buying process and, you know, may be inclined to download a white paper or a buyer’s guide, a case study, maybe register for a webinar or subscribe to your newsletter. These are what we call “gated resources.” They hide behind a form. You ask for some contact information in exchange for that thing that is a helpful resource to them in the buying process. It’s a fair trade, and this sort of thing works really well for manufacturers.
Once you start putting those gated resources in place, then we shift the focus to CRO, Conversion Rate Optimization, which is about maximizing the volume of website visitors that are actually converting into a real lead, by taking one of those lead-generation or form-submitting actions, right? Okay, so that’s Lead Generation Strategy.
I’m gonna jump over here. Number five is Sales Enablement. This is really about what happens after the lead is generated. One of the biggest challenges we’ve found, as a marketing partner for manufacturing organizations, is that, you know, the Sales teams kind of struggle with what to do after that lead is generated. And we think there are a couple reasons why that happens. One, there’s a lack of communication between Marketing and Sales very often. We need to kind of bring that together. And then, two, not all leads are sales ready, and a lot of Sales teams push back on getting leads on their plate that, you know, aren’t ready to buy something right now. But that’s kind of what you’re dealing with, with inbound leads, and there are ways to, you know, help you optimize the time of your Sales team, so that their time isn’t wasted on leads who are, maybe qualified but not yet sales ready.
So things we need to put in place are the processes, first of all. Who on your team is responsible for dealing with the inbound leads? What is that person gonna do? Follow up calls, emails. On what schedule, or when are those things gonna happen? So getting those processes in place and following them to a tee. And then the next step is really putting the tools in place that are gonna help optimize your Sales team’s time, give them lead intelligence, help them understand what these inbound leads are actually doing on their site, what they’re interested in doing. And so CRM tools and marketing automation software are a couple of tools you’re gonna wanna have in place for your Sales team, and to really bring your Marketing and Sales organizations within your company together. Okay, so that’s number five, Sales Enablement.
Number six is your Lead Nurturing Strategy. This is kind of the marketing side of what happens after a lead is generated. So your Sales team’s dealing with the hot and more sales-ready leads. Your Marketing side can deal with the leads who need to be developed a bit still. And a lot of this is gonna happen in the form of e-mail. So monthly newsletters can be a great way to continue to educate your contacts to keep them coming back to your site, to stay engaged with them, so that, when they are ready to buy – whether that’s a year from now, or a month from now, or five years down the road – you’ve been in front of them on a regular basis. You’ve been adding some value over the course of time, and they’re gonna think of you first, right? And, then automated e-mail campaigns can be triggered, based on all kinds of things that your visitors are doing on your site, or when their lead score reaches a certain threshold. We won’t get into that now, but there are a lot of ways to use marketing automation in the lead nurturing process.
Okay, so then number seven. Wrapped around all of this is your ROI Reporting Process. So we can measure website traffic all day. We can measure leads all day. But what really matters to you? Revenue, right? So, luckily today, we have the ability to attribute revenue back to your marketing activities, and dial in even as closely as a specific email campaign, or a search engine optimization campaign, or even an individual article that you wrote to a very specific buyer type. What we need in place, though, are the right analytics tools to be able to do that. So things like Google Analytics, maybe a marketing automation software, like Hubspot, and then we’ve gotta have a written data-sharing process in place. We’re big fans of documenting that process. How are Marketing and Sales going to communicate with each other? What reports are sales gonna provide to Marketing, so that Marketing can go match closed sales with individual contacts, and figure out what was the source of those contacts? What activities did they take that play a role in them actually buying from you?
And then, in order to facilitate that kind of communication and dialogue, we’ve gotta have recurring Marketing/Sales meetings. We recommend at least monthly, to get in the same room with the Marketing team and Sales team. Make sure that communication’s happening and that both parties are getting feedback from each other and understand what the other’s doing etc.
Okay, so that’s it. These are the seven core elements of an industrial marketing strategy. We have written an article that goes into depth on all of these seven components. We’ve also written another article that helps you figure out how to audit your own industrial marketing strategy, following that structure. And we’d encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter to get stuff like this in your inbox on a regular basis. So that’s it. Thanks for watching.