Simple answer…..stay ENGAGED. Seems obvious that anyone paying thousands of dollars per year to represent and promote their brand would remain intimately engaged from strategy development through execution and tracking, but this is not as common as we think. Why?
I have worked with hundreds of small to mid-size (SMB) industrial suppliers for 2 decades and many of them fall into the description above. Typically speaking, revenue, brand, and employees are at the top of the list in terms of importance to business owners, and I commonly work with owners or executives. So how could so many of them have a passive involvement in their digital marketing strategy? The answer tends to be tied directly to 1) company size, 2) sales strategy, and 3) fear of the unknown…..which leads to a much more important question, how many business’ are still holding back from launching a more aggressive digital marketing campaign?
1. Company Size
I hear it all the time, “We’re a small company so we all have to wear a lot of hats”, which is something I can sympathize with as a self-employed person myself, but this tends to be paired with “I have to put out fires all day so marketing always falls to the bottom of the list”, which is something I do not agree with. Marketing is the face of your company, especially nowadays with the distribution power of the internet. How can that continue to fall to the bottom of the list of priorities?
If you fit the description above, do NOT to try and manage your own digital marketing strategy. Start by partnering with a digital marketing provider like ThomasNet who has experience in B2B/industrial sales. Then be disciplined and carve out some time and remain engaged with your marketing partner directly correlates to better results…at NO extra cost! I have seen this proven first-hand several times where digital marketing results improved significantly after the person/people assigned to manage digital marketing commit at least a minimum time investment to the strategy (and investment).
Company Size does NOT have to be a deterrent! I am not alone in my ‘war stories’ from decades of fields sales, and have dozens of colleagues who have just as many if not more than me. In response, ThomasNet has structured our services to provide industry leading results with minimal, but required engagement from our clients.
2. Sales Strategy
Some B2B suppliers sell only to distributors while others sell direct to end users, and I have worked with just about every combination in between. I hate to say it, but as much as you may think your sales strategy is “unique”, it’s not. In fact, it’s probably more common than you think, and chances are we’re partnering with dozens of companies to help them overcome the same ‘unique challenges’ you face.
The Digital Transformation of industrial sales is not an out-of-the-box solution where one size fits all, so it doesn’t matter if you are unique or a carbon copy of another company…..your strategy is yours. Own it! Make the most of it! Partner with a digital marketing provider with experience in with B2B/industry….it’s more difficult than you might think, because not a lot of digital marketing providers have the patience to understand the B2B market when the B2C market keeps them plenty busy. Furthermore, the historically low levels of engagement from industrial suppliers does not make them an attractive audience to work with.
ThomasNet has worked with B2B/industry for 120 years, we’ve built over 6,000 websites for industrial suppliers, manage over 600 turnkey marketing strategies, and connect 50,000 industrial buyers to 10,000 industrial suppliers EVERY DAY! No one has more experience in the realm of industrial marketing, we’re priced right, and our results are understandably better than the competition.
3. Fear of the Unknown
This morning I counted the number of actively used computers in my household of 5 people…..I stopped counting at 13!! You would think that somehow being so ‘connected’ could somehow make my life a lot easier, but we could buy 5 more computers and I wouldn’t know the difference. Yet, my (younger) neighbor has essentially the same ‘computing power’ as me and he barely lifts a finger to turn anything on/off in his house, has a security system, can manage his schedule/travel, etc. much more easily than I can at no added cost.
Why aren’t I more ‘connected’……Wouldn’t it make my life easier, free up more time for leisure, etc? I am disciplined enough to carve out the time and I have 3 children who will partner with me to make sure we’re successful, but I’ll be honest, I don’t do more because I really don’t know what I’m getting into.
The ‘public’ internet as we know it today is only about 25 years old, so digital marketing is relatively ‘new’ to everyone, but the digital transformation of marketing is gaining huge momentum, especially with the decrease/cancellation in trade shows.
The market is telling you that a more aggressive digital marketing strategy is a must. Do not let any lack of understanding on your part prevent you from exploring the option of partnering with ThomasNet to boost you ahead of your competition and open new channels of revenue to your business……How many times in your career do you get that opportunity? Do not let it pass you by.