Now, with all your ducks in a row, it's time to get up on a soapbox!
Internet marketing is now called inbound marketing
The most successful established companies in business-to-business marketing utilize the Internet to extend and complement their current marketing methods. For example, by using the Internet to move important marketing, product, and sales information more quickly to interested prospects, a company can shorten the time it takes for a prospect to make a buying decision, thereby shortening the company's sales cycle. Write technical articles or presentations for the trade and publish these articles on your site. Include a contact form with opt-in request. Send out a quarterly newsletter to those contacts that opt-in as a willing recipient. Have visitors sign in for access to download your value added information. Forward those sales leads to your salespeople. Ask the visitor what sources they use when purchasing your type of product. Spend more of your budget on those media. Start with an informative site that educates your viewer. Follow up with customer services that make it easier for your customer to do business with your company.
These eye movement images shows where the viewer is looking on the search engine pages.
- Run modest web site advertising programs with Google (AdWords),Yahoo (Sponsored Results), Facebook and LinkedIn.
- A telltale sign that an ad generates good sales response is the fact that it repeats, month to month, in every issue of a publication.
- Smaller, inquiry-generating ads run by trade, industrial and business-to-business advertisers prove this point, and pay their way by generating sales response, not merely brand awareness, with every placement.
- To maximize the cost, impact and coverage of your new product introduction advertising program, run the largest fractional ad your company can afford, with a minimum three-time placement schedule in the two top publications.
The guiding principles of successful business-to-business public relations programs include seeking high-quality editorial coverage by making news announcements only when your company has "something to talk about," and thinking of how your press release or announcement will be perceived by the writer or editor at the trade publication. Since "hard" news events occurring in your company, such as new product announcements, have the highest chance of receiving coverage in your field, they should be the focus of most of your PR planning efforts.
This advertisement had a business reply card added to the bottom and tri-folded into a letter size direct mail piece. It was a survey mailed to their customer list. They received a 20% response. Typical for customer mailings.
- The most important part of any direct mail project is, by far, the mailing list used for the project.
- The "quality" of the names on this mailing list i.e., their propensity to become purchasers of your company's products determines the ultimate success or failure of the mailing.
- Even a poorly-written or implemented mailing piece stands a better chance of being successful if mailed to a top quality mailing list; however, the best mailing piece mailed to a poor-quality mailing list is unlikely to generate adequate response.
- Alternative marketing options, such as print advertising campaigns, often generate far less response compared to making the basic changes often necessary to correct a poorly performing direct mail program.
Follow-up phone calls made by sales reps to prospects who have recently received the company’s direct mail packages are often a necessary step in the sales process for many companies in business-to-business markets, and underperforming direct mail projects will often require additional follow-up contacts by the company’s sales reps to boost mailing response. Some say that it takes up to 11 contacts to close an industrial sale. So if they are real prospects, that have a need and a budget, stick with them!
Simple visuals that back up your benefits will communicate your message quickly. The average person has an attention span of 8 seconds.
Just as prior sales experience is a major advantage in a marketing manager’s professional background, getting live “face time” by talking with prospects and customers at the trade show provides invaluable response that helps marketing managers improve their company’s marketing program, by helping marketing managers improve the sales copy, presentation, and targeting of their marketing program. Booth locations that directly face the show entrance at the front of the show floor are the best locations for your tradeshow booth because they attract interested show visitors early, prior to visiting other exhibitors’ booths.
A sale is the bottom line
- Salesmanship is always the most important element in the development of marketing projects.
- It is the catalyst that makes every aspect of marketing deliverables effective and persuasive in the market from copy and design to layout and production.
- The role of creativity is to serve the salesmanship that determines the product’s key sales benefit, positioning and call to action.
- Creativity also plays a role in the downstream aspects of copy, design and layout for marketing deliverables, but always works in service to salesmanship.
- Underperforming ads, mailings or other marketing deliverables are most often caused by poor presentation in deliverables, poor execution of marketing projects, incorrect prospect targeting, wrong allocation of marketing costs to underperforming media and methods, and other problems directly related to the marketing program.
- The genesis of these problems usually stems from lack of leadership and poor management on the part of marketing managers in supplying outside ad agencies with the essential direction in copy and strategy required to drive the process of creating, developing, and executing successful marketing projects
If you don't succeed at first, try, try again. It's better to light a candle than curse the darkness.
In many instances, the result of a marketing program for a start-up or new product launch is neither a success nor a failure. Ultimate success is determined by your mindset. The measures you take to assess the causes of poor sales response and the steps you execute to correct the problems identified by the results of the marketing communication are key. Smart marketing managers realize they must be alert to detecting the clues from these first efforts - such as copy changes, media selection or better prospect targeting - that can yield better results on the next implementation. Prior research, or market surveys usually do not reflect the actual reality of sales response to a product, and are never a substitute for - asking for the order - in live advertising, mailings and other hard dollar marketing projects. The need for “branding” and brand reinforcement generally applies to those kinds of companies who can afford to implement massive saturation advertising campaigns to gain incremental market share in very large and mature markets. The importance of “branding” as a goal has been grossly overstated for small and mid-sized companies selling their products in industrial markets and is often a costly distraction from the far more important goal of using effective salesmanship and clear, persuasive presentation in company marketing projects.
Industrial New Product Introduction Marketing Communications Part 1
- “You and the Law,” Editor: Henry V. Poor, Assoc. Dean, Yale Law School
- "Marketing Skills Assessment," Author: Rick Kean, Director, Business Marketing Association
- “Diversity in the Workplace - Unleashing the Power of a Multi-Generational Workplace,” Author: Janice Urbanik, Construction Process Solutions, Ltd., Global Lead Management Consulting
- “NPCA Plant Certification Program,” NPCA Web Site•"10 Rules On Creating Business-To-Business Ads," Author: Ed Lawler, Professor Northwestern University
- “How to Write a Case History,” Editors “Powder Bulk Engineering” Magazine
Industrial New Product Introduction Marketing Communications Part 1
Chuck Lohre's AdVenture Presentation of examples and descriptions from Ed Lawler's book of the same title - 10 Rules On Creating Business-To-Business Ads