Now is the time to fine-tune your 2014 industrial marketing editorial schedule. The trend's toward digital newsletters produced by industrial publications versus strictly print ads.
This might seem a bit old fashion but industrial marketing is slow to adopt consumer trends. These days consumer email boxes are brimming with newsletters from their favorite stores and brands. Not so much with industrial marketing. Industrial marketers know, though, they can contribute expert-authored articles to technical trade journals. The best publications factcheck and vet the articles for their audiences and everyone wins, right? Well, you still must make some decisions about where you're going to place your space for the year.
Common wisdom tells you to pick the top two publication in your industry and schedule twelve time frequency in both. To do that effectively you need to place the largest ad you can three or six times and fill in with classifieds or calling card size ads. Now we need to include the publication's digital newsletters as well. For the best short summary of industrial marketing techniques, download Business Marketing Association Director Rick Kean's presentation, "Marketing Skills Assessment," delivered to the 2005 AdVenture Electrical Industry Marketing Conference.
This blog post will give you some tools to help evaluate digital media.
Alexa.com is a great site to evaluate large internet sites like Thomasnet.com and Globalspec.com. We've included Google.com and Skf.com as control sites. They rarely change and are nearly linear in their internet industrial marketing media. For that matter Thomasnet.com and Globalspec.com are too. A modest Thomasnet program can increase traffic almost as much as a good ad words program. The ad words program will be more targeted and deliver about twice as many sales leads.
But here is where the comparison really points out what is happening in internet industrial marketing media mix - the number of indexed pages of a publication. The following charts illustrate the difference between Thomasnet.com and Globalspec.com.
Thomasnet.com has 2.8 million indexed pages and Globalspec.com has 5.8 million. Even though Globalspec is just a media baby compared to Thomasnet it has almost twice as many indexed pages. This is mainly because Thomasnet.com and Google didn't get along and Google couldn't index their huge number of pages. Thomasnet has since made aliances with Google and has started to recover in the industrial media wars. Thomasnet being almost hundred years older has a leg up on Globalspec. Globalspec was recently purchased by IHS, a global industrial intelligence service company. The jury is still out on how that will affect its industrial product sites.
If you're considering investing in digital newsletters for your industrial marketing media schedule for 2014, you need to be sure that they are indexed by Google and have a life of their own by continually being present on the interent. Here's an example of a Powder Bulk Engineering's newsletter and its proof that Google has indexed it.
You don't want to invest in any media that can't pass this sniff test. Pick out a unique sentence from the newsletter and search on it in Google by putting quotation marks on either side. If it doesn't come up, your customers won't be able to find it either. "Not allowing content to be indexed by Google" is the single biggest mistake media makes in trying to provide digital services.
Our recomendations for industrial marketing media schedules for 2014 include moving 15% of your media budget to digital newsletters. We don't recommend banner ads on publication home pages. The internet is only reached by searching on keywords and those searches shouldn't take you to home pages. They should take you to the page with the specific search keyword you searched on.
If you liked this blog post you may also like, "How To Realign Your Marketing Communications with Sales."