2014 Industrial Marketing Trends
Content Marketing is on the Rise, But Expertise is Lagging
Content marketing has become an important marketing tactic for industrial marketing leaders, but many industrial companies lack the expertise to implement an effective content strategy. Experience has shown us that without an infusion of expertise, it can take 2-3 years to develop a mature and effective content marketing program.
Recent Trends Research
Industrial marketing leaders continue to increase spending on digital channels, with a strong emphasis on content marketing. While overall marketing budgets have increased 11% over 2013, companies are scaling back on trade shows, direct mail and branding in lieu of blogging, content creation and webinars. The top three marketing channels for industrial marketers remain e-mail marketing to in-house lists, trade shows and content marketing according to a July 2014 study by IHS.
Marketing Objectives & Measures
Customer acquisition remains the primary goal for 47% of industrial marketing leaders, although customer retention is becoming a more important goal. The leading challenges were reported as generating leads for sales and measuring ROI on marketing efforts. The top three success measures used included sales attributed to marketing campaigns, customer acquisition and leads.
Content Marketing Maturity of Industrial Companies
The top three marketing channels seeing increased expenditures include blogging, content creation & webinars, (all forms of content marketing), yet 44% of companies report they are just getting started with content marketing. Only 9% can show how content marketing contributes to sales. While the vast majority of companies expressed the need to have an effective content marketing strategy, many simply didn’t have the expertise yet to implement an effective program. Bringing in outside expertise could accelerate the maturation and ROI of their content marketing efforts.
When asked how they would describe their content marketing efforts, only 14% of the 704 respondents indicated they didn’t include content marketing in their plans. The rest described their efforts as follows:
Mapping Content to the Buyers Process
Creating content can be a time consuming and expensive proposition, especially if it goes unused by your sales team and prospective customers. Experienced content marketers have invested the time in developing buyer profiles, a buyers process and have mapped their content needs to specific stages of the buying process. If you are not familiar with how to do this, getting some help early on can radically accelerate the effectiveness of your content marketing program.