Making Email the Cornerstone of Industrial Content Marketing

You may think email marketing is dead or passé with all the talk about social media. However, that is far from the reality that I see every day, working with manufacturers and engineering companies, especially when it comes to industrial content marketing.

Engineers and industrial professionals do read emails, provided you’ve earned their trust with valuable content and can get through their spam filters. According to the research report “How Engineers Find Information 2018” published by engineering.com, 95% of engineers will consider an email in their inbox.

You can read about this in my earlier post, Industrial Email Marketing for Engaging Engineers and Technical Professionals.

Email should be an important component of industrial content marketing

Given the above findings, it makes a lot of sense in making email marketing a key component of your overall industrial content marketing strategy. My opinion is corroborated by independent research findings.

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Industrial Marketing – Budgets, Challenges and Performance

Curious about how your peers and the competition are spending their industrial marketing dollars? You are in the right place at the right time.

I just finished reading the research report, 2018 Budget Trends in Industrial & Technology Marketing published by engineering.com. To put their findings in the right perspective, the top three segments of their demographics were:

  • Demographics for industrial and technical marketing32% Manufacturers
  • 20% Software companies
  • 16% were companies that provide Consulting/Engineering services

See the chart on the right for a complete breakdown.

The average industrial marketing budget is under $100,000 for more than half (52%) of these companies. There are a few (7%) with a budget of more than a million. Raise your hand if you are one of them!

Avergae size of industrial marketing budgets

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Happy Holidays

Happy Holidays from Tiecas

As 2017 draws to a close, I’d like to thank all of you for being regular readers of this blog. Some of you have become new clients. I truly appreciate your confidence and the loyalty of existing clients. Your support and patronage helped us make 2017 the most successful year in my industrial marketing company’s 30-year history.

I look forward to continuing our cherished relationships and building new ones in 2018. I wish all of you a prosperous and Happy New Year.

Stop Your Industrial Website Redesign from Derailment

industrial website redesign and train derailmentWhat does industrial website redesign have to do with a train derailment? I’m not trying to be funny here by using this image of the Montparnasse derailment that happened on October 22, 1895. The action of a train leaving its tracks accidentally can have catastrophic consequences.

Similarly, obstructions that prevent a redesigned website from meeting its goals and objectives can be devastating for a company. I’m not exaggerating to scare you, but I’ve seen too many industrial website redesign projects get sidetracked and go completely off course.

Are industrial website redesigns worth the time and money?

Let’s face reality here, it takes a lot of time (4 months or more) and money (budgets of 15K or more) to complete a redesign that will turn an informational website into a lead generating system. And that’s just the start, you have to continue to invest in optimization, promotion and content marketing.

It is worth spending that kind of time and money, because your target audience of engineers and technical buyers is online for work related purposes. They are in self-select and self-serve mode for a large portion of their buying journey.

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Using Digital Industrial Marketing for Reaching Younger Engineers

Digital industrial marketing is the norm these days, not because it is fashionable but because that’s how industrial buyers now prefer to interact with their suppliers. I’m sure you are aware of the fact that the industrial buy cycle is made up of four stages. Publishing generic content that is not tailored to each stage is not very effective.

It is virtually impossible to create relevant and engaging content unless you have a very good understanding of the roles engineers play at every stage of the buy cycle. Two more factors that you should be aware of to make your industrial digital/content marketing effective are:

  1. Engineers are time challenged – 44% of engineers are working on more projects now than they were two years ago and 55% of engineers are being asked to do more with less. (Source: IEEE Engineering360 survey).
  2. Understanding the age gap is important in digital marketing for industrial companies – 49% of engineers surveyed are less than 49 years old (Source: 2017 Digital Media Use in The Industrial Sector, IEEE GLOBALSPEC)

For more on point number 1, see my post “Overcoming the Challenge of Marketing to Busy Engineers.”

Role of the engineer in the buy decision

In this post, I’ll focus on understanding the age difference and how it affects your industrial digital marketing strategy and tactics. Before I dive deep into that, first let me give you some anecdotal evidence as to why this is important.

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Overcoming the Challenge of Marketing to Busy Engineers

Engineers from different fields probably make up a large part of your target audience if you are a manufacturer, distributor or an engineering company. As an industrial marketer, you know it is a challenge marketing to engineers.

While engineers do use social media, they tend to be passive participants making it hard to engage with them using those channels. To illustrate that point, here are a few key findings from the 2016 Social Media Use in the Industrial Sector report published by IEEE ENGINEERING 360.

  • 82% of engineers and technical professionals spend no more than two hours weekly on social media for work-related purposes.
  • 70% of industrial professionals have never shared or posted news about their companies to their own social networks.
  • 64% of engineers and technical professionals say the biggest challenge in using social media for work is its inefficiency when compared to other methods such as search engines, supplier websites and online catalogs.
  • 55% said that social media has too much noise and not enough substance.

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Content Marketing to Engineers is Tough. And Getting Tougher

Every industrial marketer should sit up and take notice of some of the preliminary findings from a recent survey called the Engineering Marketers 2017 Survey conducted by ENGINEERING.COM. As you read through this article, pay close attention to the prediction and the recommendations for achieving success with industrial content marketing to engineers.

This post is a departure from my usual ones. It is a guest post written by John Hayes exclusively for my blog. In case you are not familiar with him (check him out on LinkedIn), he is the CEO of ENGINEERING.COM.

Take it away John!

Welcome to 2017. Engineering marketers are now well versed in content marketing. In a recent survey, 89% of engineering marketers said that they were using content marketing as part of their overall marketing strategy.

Engineering marketers using content marketing

And most of them are having success. In fact, 75% of the marketers who use content marketing say that it is working.

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Top 10 Industrial Marketing Posts of 2016

Top 10 Industrial Marketing Posts of 2016Happy New Year!

I thought I’ll start off 2017 with a quick look back at 2016. I’ve compiled the top 10 posts on industrial marketing. The ranking is based on various parameters from Google Analytics. I left out the home page even though it is the most visited page as expected.

The interesting thing to note is that the top 3 posts were published in 2010. That’s 7 years ago, and still going strong! This is proof of the longevity of blog posts.

  1. SAL is the Glue that Binds Sales and Marketing in Lead Generation
  2. 7 Strategies for Using Content to Market Industrial Products
  3. Why More Engineers Ought to be in Sales and Marketing
  4. Marketing Engineering Services with Content
  5. How Manufacturers Use 3D CAD Models and 2D CAD Drawings as Sales Enablers
  6. Industrial Email Marketing for Targeting Engineers in Long and Complex Sales Cycles
  7. How Industrial Marketing Influences Buyers
  8. Content Marketing for Manufacturers: What’s real and what’s hype?
  9. Why Manufacturers Need a Multichannel Industrial Marketing Strategy
  10. Lead Generation for Industrial Companies is a Process not a Campaign

Thanks for being a regular reader of Industrial Marketing Today blog.

How Industrial Marketing Influences Buyers

Industrial marketing precedes industrial sales. That is the reality today.

I understand manufacturers, distributors and engineering service providers may find it hard to accept that fact. That’s because these industrial companies have traditionally depended on sales teams to drive their lead generation efforts from start to finish. Marketing has always provided sales support and not expected to play an active role.

Today’s industrial buyers have flipped that sales and marketing paradigm upside down. Even though the industrial buy cycle has not changed, buyers go through their buying journey very differently now. They prefer to operate in a self-serve and self-select mode by using a variety of digital sources of information.

If you are in industrial sales, hold off on your “salespeople are not dead” comments until you’ve read through to the end of my post.

I’m sure you’ve heard this digital marketing mantra ad nauseam. As an owner or a business development professional at one of these industrial companies, you are probably skeptical about that message, especially when it comes from industrial marketing consultants with vested interests.

Let me reassure you with some key research findings from unbiased, independent third parties.

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